Why do some theists desperately try to claim a lack of faith as religion?

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posted on Apr, 2 2013 @ 02:16 PM
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reply to post by grainofsand
 


Apart from recorded placebo effects, I am personally unaware of any conclusive evidence that mind over matter, or prayers, have any noticable influence over ailments.
Please refer to my very brief comment and link on Lourdes. It's eight posts above yours. The medical community is pretty darn well convinced it's nothing that science can explain.




posted on Apr, 2 2013 @ 02:34 PM
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Originally posted by charles1952
reply to post by grainofsand
 


Apart from recorded placebo effects, I am personally unaware of any conclusive evidence that mind over matter, or prayers, have any noticable influence over ailments.
Please refer to my very brief comment and link on Lourdes. It's eight posts above yours. The medical community is pretty darn well convinced it's nothing that science can explain.
Ah, cheers fella, I saw it but after the 1000's + being whittled down to 60 odd or so I had instant doubts. I admit I haven't looked into it too much but I assume there are no examples of re-grown limbs or other such obvious miracles?

It is very interesting of course, but my intentions in the thread are the considerations that lack of faith in gods is in itself a faith based position as I and others have been accused many times by theists.
I am happy to go off-topic to an extent, but I would like to try and keep our debate close to that idea if possible.

For example, my comments regarding a 'belief' in my antibodies being able to carry the torch for me during times of illness is based on a reasoned opinion that I am well nourished and live a generally fit and healthy lifestyle. My positive thoughts and confidence in recovery is with that in mind, not any faith in an external force.



posted on Apr, 2 2013 @ 04:05 PM
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reply to post by grainofsand
 

Dear grainofsand,

You're quite right and I apologize for getting off track. I have a nasty habit of following interesting paths of conversation, triggered by only a sentence or two.

Part, if not all, of the confusion in the headline, comes from the language used:

Believer: You believe there's no god.

Atheist: We don't believe there's no god, we don't believe there is a god. Got it?

Believer: ??? So, if there was more or better evidence, you would believe?

Atheist: Absolutely.

Believer: So, each Atheist sets the level of evidence he believes is sufficient for belief in god. Then, each Atheist exaimines the presented evidence in a way which he believes is the proper manner, and draws the conclusion which he believes is correct. But, the Atheist will not stoop to relying on belief. Have I got it?

Atheist: Yep. That's exactly how we rationally deal with the question of the existence of a god.

Believer: ???

(I know this is off-topic, but I can't help myself, that Lourdes stuff is really impressive. As scientific as anyone could hope for, and some amazing results


Serge Perrin Visited Lourdes: 1 May 1970.

Age 41, from Le Lion-d'Angers, France. Recurrent right hemiplegia, with ocular lesions, due to bilateral carotid artery disorders. Symptoms, which included headache, impaired speech and vision, and partial right-side paralysis began without warning in February 1964. During the next six years he became a wheelchair user, and nearly blind. While on pilgrimage to Lourdes in April 1970, he felt a sudden warmth from head to toe, his vision returned, and he was able to walk unaided. His cure was recognised on 17 June 1978.


With respect,
Charles1952



posted on Apr, 2 2013 @ 04:26 PM
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Excellent reply charles, appreciated and no apologies necessary, your responses so far have been far more considered and reasonable than many here


Originally posted by charles1952
You're quite right and I apologize for getting off track. I have a nasty habit of following interesting paths of conversation, triggered by only a sentence or two.

Part, if not all, of the confusion in the headline, comes from the language used:

Believer: You believe there's no god.

Atheist: We don't believe there's no god, we don't believe there is a god. Got it?

Believer: ??? So, if there was more or better evidence, you would believe?

Atheist: Absolutely.

Believer: So, each Atheist sets the level of evidence he believes is sufficient for belief in god. Then, each Atheist exaimines the presented evidence in a way which he believes is the proper manner, and draws the conclusion which he believes is correct. But, the Atheist will not stoop to relying on belief. Have I got it?

Atheist: Yep. That's exactly how we rationally deal with the question of the existence of a god.

Believer: ???

Atheist: But there is no conclusive evidence at all so belief concepts do not influence the opinion.
Debatable evidence would involve belief (or not) in the various arguments, but a total lack of conclusive evidence is a non faith based reasoned opinion.


(I know this is off-topic, but I can't help myself, that Lourdes stuff is really impressive. As scientific as anyone could hope for, and some amazing results


Serge Perrin Visited Lourdes: 1 May 1970.

Age 41, from Le Lion-d'Angers, France. Recurrent right hemiplegia, with ocular lesions, due to bilateral carotid artery disorders. Symptoms, which included headache, impaired speech and vision, and partial right-side paralysis began without warning in February 1964. During the next six years he became a wheelchair user, and nearly blind. While on pilgrimage to Lourdes in April 1970, he felt a sudden warmth from head to toe, his vision returned, and he was able to walk unaided. His cure was recognised on 17 June 1978.


With respect,
Charles1952

If any gods were to repeat such things in an obvious and public manner then I would of course be influenced in my thinking. A couple of unusual results from 40 odd years ago are unable to convince me of healing from a higher power though. I would have many questions such as 'why pick that particular person?' 'Why let thousands of people praying with empty stomachs starve to death in various parts of the world?'
I could go on with examples, but I will not say it is not true, because I am unable to prove such an assertion. I will say that the evidence is not strong enough to draw me towards believing any gods fix people at Lourdes.
It is a reasoned opinion though, not based on any unprovable faith as a theist may have.
edit on 2-4-2013 by grainofsand because: Typo



posted on Apr, 2 2013 @ 04:40 PM
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reply to post by grainofsand
 

Dear grainofsand,

Thank you for your kind words. I enjoy, and learn from, thoughtful conversations. Naturally, therefore, I appreciate yours.

But, if I understand you correctly, I may have to surrender to despair.

Atheist: But there is no conclusive evidence at all so belief concepts do not influence the opinion.
Debatable evidence would involve belief (or not) in the various arguments, but a total lack of conclusive evidence is a non faith based reasoned opinion.
Isn't "conclusive evidence" the same thing as proof? If so, is the Atheist demanding that the believer "prove" the existence of a god? But it is agreed that no one can prove or disprove the existence of a god.

Therefore, you seem to be saying, that unless a believer can do the logically impossible, Atheism is the appropriate belief.

Please tell me I misunderstand, otherwise I'll just have to say that, under those conditions, there's really nothing to talk about.

With respect,
Charles1952



posted on Apr, 2 2013 @ 04:51 PM
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Originally posted by charles1952
reply to post by grainofsand
 

Dear grainofsand,

Thank you for your kind words. I enjoy, and learn from, thoughtful conversations. Naturally, therefore, I appreciate yours.

But, if I understand you correctly, I may have to surrender to despair.

Atheist: But there is no conclusive evidence at all so belief concepts do not influence the opinion.
Debatable evidence would involve belief (or not) in the various arguments, but a total lack of conclusive evidence is a non faith based reasoned opinion.
Isn't "conclusive evidence" the same thing as proof? If so, is the Atheist demanding that the believer "prove" the existence of a god? But it is agreed that no one can prove or disprove the existence of a god.

Therefore, you seem to be saying, that unless a believer can do the logically impossible, Atheism is the appropriate belief.

Please tell me I misunderstand, otherwise I'll just have to say that, under those conditions, there's really nothing to talk about.

With respect,
Charles1952


I cannot claim to speak on behalf of other agnostic atheists, just myself, but yes, I would require proof to believe in gods or afterlife or healing powers or whatever.
If my position appears unreasonable then that is unfortunate but I've enjoyed reading your reasoned contributions to the debate. If there is no evidence then I do not believe in X or Y concept, perhaps it is a failing in my life, but it is an honest position. It remains a position which does not rely on any faith though, and as such, going back to the OP, it seems strange to consider a religion don't you think?

Thanks for the interesting discussion though, your style of debate is one which many others could learn from



posted on Apr, 2 2013 @ 05:10 PM
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reply to post by grainofsand
 

Dear grainofsand,

Thank you, thank you! My despair has lifted. You've opened up at least three avenues for discussion.

I would like to agree with you on your most important point. There is no need to consider Atheism as a religion. It is, of course, tempting to many to lob a logical blockbuster into the middle of an opponent's position. But that's not helpful or necessary here.

I'm perfectly willing to say Atheism is a philosophy or a worldview (whatever the heck a worldview is), and that it can be discussed profitably without labelling it a religion.

Another possible avenue? Could I be misunderstanding you when you talk about "evidence" and "proof?" For me evidence is a clue. A clue isn't enough to prove anything, but it points in the right direction. After 20 or 30 "clues" I figure I've got the problem solved, even if I don't have sealed laboratory, video recorded, repeatable proof. Heck, most of the things I think I know, I don't have proof for. Years of experience pointing one way or the other, but not "proof." Is this a possible path to explore? Can we try to find enough "clues" to conclude that, unless we hear something else, the weight of the clues is enough to be living our lives by?


If there is no evidence then I do not believe in X or Y concept, perhaps it is a failing in my life, but it is an honest position.
I agree with you completely! A principle with no evidence has to be put on the shelf, unused, until there is evidence. Even then it can only be considered and tested. My wonder is, whether we can use the "clues" just mentioned to build up to evidence ?

Anyway, I'm learning a lot from you. I believe I have a much broader understanding of the Atheist position and I'm grateful. (Now I can tell my friends that Atheists are NOT three-headed monsters with fangs.)

With respect,
Charles1952



posted on Apr, 3 2013 @ 12:05 AM
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I think youre missing what Im driving at. Which is ok most usually do (i have a warped disposition as it pertains to views askew).


That is always possible I readily admit that I often misunderstand people.


The issue shouldn't be whether or not something exists or where the burden of proof lies. In all actuality most arguments of this nature are unnecessary and unimportant in what humanity truly represents. We should be more open to the possibility that the existence or nonexistence need be more explored before we can come to any foregone conclusions of what is and what isn't.


I agree that issue is not whether or not something exists however I do believe the burden of proof is relevant dealing with this topic. The only conclusions that I have made is faith is not required to not believe in something. This is the only real issue I'm trying to deal with in this thread.


Otherwise either side is based in mere speculation on the very answer that humanity has asked itself for a millennium. What would you do if tomorrow they unearthed a purple unicorn? All of a sudden it is no longer magic that only a large percentage of children believe in.


I do not really see where I need to speculate when I see no evidence to support the existence of something. The question about if they unearthed a purple unicorn is easy to answer. That would be definitive proof of the existence of a purple unicorn. The question is do you have faith that purple unicorns do not exist? Does it require faith to not believe in them? I will say it does take faith to believe they exist without evidence such as an unearthed purple unicorn to support such a stance as their existence. Like in your scenario where they unearth a purple unicorn faith would no longer be required because the evidence would remove the need for faith.


As children we were taught its ok to draw unicorns, as we age we are taught they don't exist. There in lies the contradiction.

As children we were also told about Santa Claus and later we learned that this was a fairytale. I do not really see a contradiction.

To simply believe that your existence is nothing more than a evolution of physical being just seems......sad.

Well your opinion is very valid that is still your opinion whereas others can have valid and contradicting opinions on the matter.


We have proven that there is a spiritual essence to us all with science. We are beginning to stray off topic however that's fine this seems interesting.


Unfortunately I have not seen this proof of a spiritual essence I am not aware of any peer-reviewed scientific articles verifying this.


To assume that it has no function would be tragic.


I am a little lost here I do not know where this would be tragic how does this pertain to nonbelief being a faith?




If all we are is a physical property of years of conformity, then why do we have such deep rooted emotions that manifest within us in a physical way?


I'm not sure what you mean by years of conformity however our emotions are tied to the serotonin balance chemical reactions in our brain and outside stimuli. There are many scientific articles you can look up on this.




As emotion drives our physical being aside from our environment, where do you draw the line? This is relevant by the way as it has everything to do with the very core of what beliefs are and how we represnt them to others.


I do agree emotions drive our physical being but our ability to rationalize keep us from acting like wild animals.




My query is this, what makes your belief any more valid than a christians considering that neither side has enough evidence, burden of proof or not.

I do not believe I ever said one was more valid than the other. If I was gnostic I would claim one was an absolute truth however I am agnostic which means I do not have 100% certainty on the issue. Even though I'm not 100% certain the lack of evidence for a supernatural existence has led me to the conclusion that there is no such thing as deities except in mythology.




And even though you may not believe in god, Im sure there is some traditional superstition you do celebrate no matter how small it may seem in your beliefs.

I am not really sure if I follow any superstitions. I would have to think about that however the issue is does the lack of believe in something I cannot see and have no evidence for constitute faith? Does a lack of belief in purple unicorns, Santa Claus, or Easter bunnies constitute a faith? One thing I am certain about is that to be a atheist it does not require following any superstition.

I do not and cannot claim with 100% certainty a deity or deities exist. My position is until evidence can be shown that such things do exist I have no reason to believe in them. That is why I am considered an agnostic atheist.



posted on Apr, 16 2013 @ 09:51 PM
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reply to post by Grimpachi
 


The short answer? Yes, disbelief in something constitutes faith. Your belief in the nonexistent dictates that by your view you hold that belief in tow.

Meaning faith is a representation that you are right about something being truth so you hold that over any other belief by your own personal logic. SO again, yes...to answer your question.



posted on Apr, 17 2013 @ 02:51 AM
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Originally posted by UncleBingo
reply to post by Grimpachi
 


The short answer? Yes, disbelief in something constitutes faith. Your belief in the nonexistent dictates that by your view you hold that belief in tow.

Meaning faith is a representation that you are right about something being truth so you hold that over any other belief by your own personal logic. SO again, yes...to answer your question.


Wrong I'm afraid.
Surely that's suggesting that atheists exist with a constant disbelief of god when (and I can only speak for myself...) I really don't give it a second thought unless I'm pressed on the matter. Also "disbelief" has a very different connotation than simply "not believing".

I'm not entirely sure why some christians are seemingly obsessed with wanting to lump atheists with the burden of faith.
Is it to show that "they're" not so different from "us" or is it that they are trying to prove in a very tenuous way that faith is an inherent human characteristic?



posted on Apr, 17 2013 @ 03:29 AM
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reply to post by charles1952
 


If your god manifests in reality then there is evidence by which to prove its existance.

If you believe in a reality with a god that is indistinguishable from a reality where no such god exists, then what is the point?

Do i really have to be the only one to bring this up? .

edit on 17-4-2013 by Wertdagf because: (no reason given)
edit on 17-4-2013 by Wertdagf because: (no reason given)



posted on Apr, 17 2013 @ 02:36 PM
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reply to post by Wertdagf
 

Dear Wertdagf,

Please be patient here, I'm not sure I understand your point, so I may fumble around a bit.


If your god manifests in reality then there is evidence by which to prove its existance.

If you believe in a reality with a god that is indistinguishable from a reality where no such god exists, then what is the point?
I believe that God manifests Himself in this reality. I also believe that the word "evidence" is where we meet the separation of our thoughts, you and I.

Let's take, for example, the concept of "Love." There is no way to measure love; no scale has been made, nor yardstick constructed, that will be of any use in finding the "quantity" of love. How do we even know it exists? By it's effects, of course.

But here is where the two schools take separate paths. I see a smiling mother holding a baby in her arms and conclude that love exists and it is before me. Others, however, say "That is not love, it is a condition of hormone imbalance caused by the chemical changes of pregnancy." Perhaps they might say "That is not love, it is a wish fulfillment fantasy. The mother wishes to live her life over through the surrogate of her newborn."

The technique that shows us there is no God, shows us there is no love.

With respect,
Charles1952



posted on Apr, 17 2013 @ 02:39 PM
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reply to post by charles1952
 


So your using the "god of the gaps" fallacy?

We disagree on "science has no idea what love is". There are many ways to educate yourself on neurobiology




posted on Apr, 17 2013 @ 03:37 PM
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reply to post by Wertdagf
 

Dear Wertdagf,

Forgive my naivete. I am not aware of the "god of the gaps" fallacy. As for Neurological studies, etc., that was the point I was trying to make.

Science cannot measure "love." It can measure the effects of something described as love on the brain or body chemistry or heart beat or whatever. In the same way, Science cannot measure God.

Take, as an example, a "miracle." Whether it is a cure, an apparition, an answer to prayer, anything inexplicable by Science. If one accepts the supernatural nature of a miracle, one tends to say "This point is where God affected the material world to effect a cure, a vision, the miracle."

If one doesn't accept the supernatural nature of the miracle, one says things like "It's a coincidence, it would have happened anyway, the facts are wrong, the witnesses were hypnotized, it was mass hysteria, it was the placebo effect."

I believe that both God and miracles exist. People who don't believe in God are almost forced to deny miracles, for who else could be performing them? The skeptic has to find an explanation for each and every miracle, no matter how far-fetched. The believer doesn't have to accept any particular event as a miracle. The skeptic, therefore, has an emotional interest in the outcome and has difficulty conducting an unbiased examination. The believer can be (and is. Look at the Lourdes Medical Bureau.) free to reject something that claims to be a miracle, or accept it, based on objective tests.

Thus, the believer is more likely to be the objective scientist, and the skeptic is more likely to have the conclusion before the evidence is examined.

With respect,
Charles1952



posted on Apr, 17 2013 @ 03:41 PM
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reply to post by charles1952
 


Well you should read up on the "god of the gaps" fallacy, because you just used it again.

Making a claim that some sequence of events that isn't currently understood by science means that an afterlife and god exist.... is exactly that fallacy.

You cannot claim "magic" or "god" when you don't understand something.... You have to simply state that you "don't know".

I would ask you to present a single RECENT miracle that is some how unknowable by science. Otherwise your simply propagating misinformation to deceive people into believing something for which there is no evidence.
edit on 17-4-2013 by Wertdagf because: (no reason given)



posted on Apr, 17 2013 @ 04:58 PM
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reply to post by Wertdagf
 

Dear Wertdagf,

I believe I mentioned Lourdes in an earlier post. Here is an interesting website which talks about scientifically unexplained things which occurred there and how they tested them.
en.lourdes-france.org...
They talk about two cures which are scientifically inexplicable. Since Lourdes is in France, a few of the articles are in French. Here is a brief description of a cure which occurred in 1989. (Sorry for the machine translation. Also, I've introduced paragraph breaks for readability.)

At their annual meeting, which was held in Paris on 18 and 19 November 2011, doctors from the International Medical Committee of Lourdes (Comité) made their findings on cases of cures, which were presented by Dr. Alessandro de Franciscis, head of the Office of the medical findings of the sanctuaries of Lourdes. During their meeting, they voted by a majority of two-thirds in favor of the unexplained nature of two of these healings, "in the current state of scientific knowledge". This vote closes analyses and medical research concerning these two people, including the folders you are synthetically presented below.

Following this decision, it is up to the Bishop of Tarbes and Lourdes to transmit the two files to the Bishops of the dioceses of the two healed people. They now have the responsibility of religious interpretation that the Church will give these healings...

The healing of Mrs C. born January 16, 1946The recovery date: May 4, 1989 - Declaration of healing: August 1989

Ms. C. led up to the age of 35 (1981) a more or less normal life, when she began to show severe spontaneous hypertensive crises. She has done a few reviews of laboratory and radiology suspecting a pheochromocytoma. The results were all negative. In 1982, radiological examinations and ultrasound highlight a right para-uterine mass and a fibromatous uterus. The patient underwent a hysterectomy and a right annexectomie. In November 1982, partial pancreatectomy. New scanner in 1983. It then conducted a scan with meta-I-131 benzilguanidine dans l'espace vescico rectal, bladder and the vagina.Several surgical procedures conducted in the hope of eliminating points causing the crisis until 1988. No clinical results. The only treatment against blood pressure crises (> 22/12) is the regitin (generic name: fentolamine) is a non-selective alpha-adrenergic antagonist.

In May 1989, during a pilgrimage to Lourdes, Ms. C. feels an extraordinary well be. She just report to the Office of the medical findings of the sanctuary of Lourdes have been healed may 4, 1989 of "high blood pressure with serious and recurrent crises hypertensive (neoplasia endocrine producing catecholamines or hypertension of different nature. Since then Ms. C. was able to resume a normal life.First meeting of the Bureau of the medical findings on October 12, 1989 (decision to open a folder).

Other meetings of the Bureau of medical findings: April 13, 1992 (it was decided to obtain further information in order to deepen the folder); on 12 October 1994-August 4, 1997.Fifth meeting of the Bureau of the medical findings, September 29, 2010. The Bureau confirmed the healing by a formal and unanimous vote: "Mrs C. is healed, syndrome which she suffered from his pilgrimage to Lourdes there twenty-year-old, in 1989, and without improvements related to interventions and treatments.

The CMIL (Committee Medical International de Lourdes), in its meeting of 19 November 2011 in Paris, according to the report by Professor Fausto Santeusanio, by secret ballot with over two-thirds of the votes, has certified that this healing mode remains unexplained in the current state of scientific knowledge.
This was the first of the two cases certified at the time. But I'm running out of space. The committee is an international panel of licensed physicians, the files are completely open for any medical review, the committee members are of various religions or none at all.

Do you want the other one? Also, there are others from meetings earlier than 2011.

With respect,
Charles1952



posted on Apr, 17 2013 @ 05:22 PM
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reply to post by charles1952
 


"Lack of scientific explanation" is not synonymous with "presence of a sentient supernatural power". Ignorance is not the same as divine intervention.



posted on Apr, 17 2013 @ 05:33 PM
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This is an easy one OP

If you come to me and tell me you can levitate, I WOULD NOT BELIEVE YOU AT FIRST. I would let you prove it to me. If you say I dont need to, a million people saw it and can tell you I have done it. I WILL NOT BELIEVE THEM AT FIRST I would let them prove it to me.

Why do I have to prove that you cant levitate.

/thread.



posted on Apr, 17 2013 @ 05:35 PM
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reply to post by AfterInfinity
 

Dear AfterInfinity,

So, we're back to demanding proof which is scientifically and logically impossible to obtain? If that's your standard, I suspect your fairness and objectivity, but I may have misunderstood again.

Science admits that it can not and never will find "scientific" proof of anything outside of Nature. Demanding that science does so is folly.

In Lourdes, science announces "There is nothing in science or the natural world which accounts for this event." Is it so difficult to say that it is very possible that something outside the natural world, supernatural, caused it? Are you willing to go that far? If you must, go ahead and deny sentience for now, but on what grounds do you deny the existence of "something" outside of nature?

With respect,
Charles1952



posted on Apr, 17 2013 @ 05:38 PM
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reply to post by charles1952
 


With out word of mouth we wouldnt be discussing this, but the fact that Religion is based on word of mouth, you guys are on the defensive having to prove it to us. You are allowed to do what you want but its not fair to come to our faces and say its real because we cant prove its not.
edit on 17-4-2013 by NotAConsumer because: (no reason given)





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