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Unbelief, the world’s third-largest religion

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#121    Mr Walker

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Posted 02 January 2013 - 06:05 AM

View PostArbenol68, on 02 January 2013 - 05:53 AM, said:

I'm not talking about BELIEF
??? Neither am I. Belief exists in the absence of knolwedge. Many people/ humans, now and through history, KNOW god and know god is very real and existent,  via many evidences.

They know this like they know all other realityand using the same qualit yof evidences and the same forms of logic by which the yindividually establish the existenc eof all their realaity.

They correctly claim this as knolwdge not belief. As i said the only arguable point within such knowedge is the nature of a god or gods and an acceptable definition of one. SOme argue that the definition of god sets such a high standard as to make it impossible for such a being to exist, but that is not a realistic argument.

The word god has many diverse and acceptable parameters in human language and this applies even to the christian variant.

You are a child of the universe, no less than the trees and the stars; you have a right to be here. And whether or not it is clear to you, no doubt the universe is unfolding as it should.

Therefore be at peace with God, whatever you conceive Him to be, and whatever your labors and aspirations, in the noisy confusion of life keep peace with your soul.

With all its sham, drudgery and broken dreams, it is still a beautiful world..

Be cheerful.

Strive to be happy.

#122    Mr Walker

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Posted 02 January 2013 - 06:10 AM

View PostLikely Guy, on 02 January 2013 - 06:02 AM, said:

On the first point, I defy your constructs.

On the second point, I have actively weighed the differences in my own soul, and neither or your camps make sense.

'If' there is a God (a consciousness of some kind), I don't think that there is a theist that could understand it, and an atheist that would accept it.

I'm not 'lazy' in this regard. :)

Mr. W., you raised, "relative evidences". I'm curious what you mean by that.
Oh, outside of knowledge, atheists and theists may form a belief /disbelief based on the same evidences, or lack thereof. For an atheist the alck of evidences may be conclusive proof that a god does not exist but it certainly enables disbelief. For a person who choses belief it is this very lack of evidences which enables belief.

Once evidentiary material becomes available, the room for belief /disbelief diminishes and may disappear. MAny people have considerable evidences for the existence of god, and that tips their belief towards god, even though they do not have enough evidences to prove to themsleves that god exists.  It doesnt really mater if oyu defy "my" constructs That is like defying the definition of a dog or a cat.

Ps no one has any evidence for the non existence of god other than the lack of evidences FOR such existence. They can put forward logical and sound philosophical arguments why god may not exist  based on many factors And non belief is as a good and as logical a belief position based on lack of evidences as is belief. Arguably more so. Belief requires an investment of "faith" which disbelief does not.

. In my own experience and in my logic and reading of human history,  there is  considerable evidence for the existence of god.


To move away from belief/disbelif and into the realm of knowledge.

I personally know god is real, physical and powerful, because of the physical evidences in my life.  Others know the same, for the same evidentiary reasons.


It is possible that the totality of god might be incomprehensible to me, but the part /avatar or extension of god which connects to me is entirely comprehensible, if very powerful and somewhat alien.

This enables it to communicate with me in many forms and to teach, mentor, educate, inform, empower, heal and strengthen me. It allows it to explain what it is doing and why, and how it connects to me and why it  bothers to explain the rationales for its behaviour, and for its choice of actions and non actions in my life.

For me (and i assume for them) neither belief in god nor disbelief are possible, because my evidentiary experiences prove conclusively to me that such an entity exists. Another can argue that this is not god; but not that it does not exist, because it self evidently and incontrovertibly does, in the same way as I, my wife, and my dog self evidently, and incontrovertibly, exist..

Edited by Mr Walker, 02 January 2013 - 06:33 AM.

You are a child of the universe, no less than the trees and the stars; you have a right to be here. And whether or not it is clear to you, no doubt the universe is unfolding as it should.

Therefore be at peace with God, whatever you conceive Him to be, and whatever your labors and aspirations, in the noisy confusion of life keep peace with your soul.

With all its sham, drudgery and broken dreams, it is still a beautiful world..

Be cheerful.

Strive to be happy.

#123    Arbenol

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Posted 02 January 2013 - 06:17 AM

View PostMr Walker, on 02 January 2013 - 06:05 AM, said:

??? Neither am I. Belief exists in the absence of knolwedge. Many people/ humans, now and through history, KNOW god and know god is very real and existent,  via many evidences.

They know this like they know all other realityand using the same qualit yof evidences and the same forms of logic by which the yindividually establish the existenc eof all their realaity.

They correctly claim this as knolwdge not belief. As i said the only arguable point within such knowedge is the nature of a god or gods and an acceptable definition of one. SOme argue that the definition of god sets such a high standard as to make it impossible for such a being to exist, but that is not a realistic argument.

The word god has many diverse and acceptable parameters in human language and this applies even to the christian variant.

I'm not sure where what you have to say fits in the context of my reply to Eight Bits. The discussion wasn't about 'belief'. Neither was it about how we might define a god. It was about knowledge and certainty.


#124    Likely Guy

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Posted 02 January 2013 - 06:21 AM

View PostMr Walker, on 02 January 2013 - 06:10 AM, said:

Oh, outside of knowledge, atheists and theists may form a belief /disbelief based on the same evidences, or lack thereof. For an atheist the alck of evidences may be conclusive proof that a god does not exist but it certainly enables disbelief. For a person who choses belief it is this very lack of evidences which enables belief.

Once evidentiary material becomes available, the room for belief /disbelief diminishes and may disappear. MAny people have considerable evidences for the existence of god, and that tips their belief towards god, even though they do not have enough evidences to prove to themsleves that god exists.  It doesnt really mater if oyu defy "my" constructs That is like defying the definition of a dog or a cat.

Very well put Mr. Walker. I understand the belief/ disbelief system that exists. I just can't accept either explanation.

You said, "Once evidentiary material becomes available...". I have to say that I 'believe' that that will never, ever happen.


#125    Mr Walker

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Posted 02 January 2013 - 06:43 AM

View PostArbenol68, on 02 January 2013 - 06:17 AM, said:

I'm not sure where what you have to say fits in the context of my reply to Eight Bits. The discussion wasn't about 'belief'. Neither was it about how we might define a god. It was about knowledge and certainty.

I was agreeing with and supporting your statement /pov .It is possible you are so used to me disagreeing with you that you didnt see this. Indeed I had half written my response before i realised that i was agreeing with what you were saying.

BUT i also wanted to make clear the difference betwen belief and knowledge, and to add that some humans indeed KNOW that god exists, despite what others may believe.

It is absolutely and entirely possible for any individual to have such knowledge, based on personal experiences; and no one else nor any group of others, can gainsay such knowledge based on their disbelief and own lack of experiential knowledge They cannot say it is not knowledge, any more than they can claim that any experience based/gained knowledge is not knowledge.

Edited by Mr Walker, 02 January 2013 - 06:44 AM.

You are a child of the universe, no less than the trees and the stars; you have a right to be here. And whether or not it is clear to you, no doubt the universe is unfolding as it should.

Therefore be at peace with God, whatever you conceive Him to be, and whatever your labors and aspirations, in the noisy confusion of life keep peace with your soul.

With all its sham, drudgery and broken dreams, it is still a beautiful world..

Be cheerful.

Strive to be happy.

#126    Arbenol

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Posted 02 January 2013 - 06:50 AM

View PostMr Walker, on 02 January 2013 - 06:43 AM, said:

I was agreeing with and supporting your statement /pov .It is possible you are so used to me disagreeing with you that you didnt see this. Indeed I had half written my response before i realised that i was agreeing with what you were saying.

I read that post a couple of times and came to the conclusion that you agree (sort of) but were putting me right on something (which I couldn't fathom).

Any way. We agree. Let's celebrate. :clap:


#127    Mr Walker

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Posted 02 January 2013 - 06:52 AM

View PostLikely Guy, on 02 January 2013 - 06:21 AM, said:

Very well put Mr. Walker. I understand the belief/ disbelief system that exists. I just can't accept either explanation.

You said, "Once evidentiary material becomes available...". I have to say that I 'believe' that that will never, ever happen.
In my experience and to my knowledge, it already has, many times, and defines the connection between many human beings and a real, physical, powerful and interventionist god. not as many as are defined by belief in faith, but  still many.

It is an interesting and informative relationship and very empowering but it does not impinge on free will or choice. In fact my physical relationship with god leaves me freer than my wifes belief in faith leaves her. Her faith "enforces" her behaviour.

As with my parents presence, the physical authority and presence of god strongly motivates me, but leaves me free to do as i chose. I mostly chose to honour and respect god, as i did my parents; and to do as he wills, as i chose to do as they willed, because all three are knowledgeable, wise and helpful influences in my life.

You are a child of the universe, no less than the trees and the stars; you have a right to be here. And whether or not it is clear to you, no doubt the universe is unfolding as it should.

Therefore be at peace with God, whatever you conceive Him to be, and whatever your labors and aspirations, in the noisy confusion of life keep peace with your soul.

With all its sham, drudgery and broken dreams, it is still a beautiful world..

Be cheerful.

Strive to be happy.

#128    Likely Guy

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Posted 02 January 2013 - 07:02 AM

View PostMr Walker, on 02 January 2013 - 06:43 AM, said:


BUT i also wanted to make clear the difference betwen belief and knowledge, and to add that some humans indeed KNOW that god exists, despite what others may believe.

It is absolutely and entirely possible for any individual to have such knowledge, based on personal experiences; and no one else nor any group of others, can gainsay such knowledge based on their disbelief and own lack of experiential knowledge They cannot say it is not knowledge, any more than they can claim that any experience based/gained knowledge is not knowledge.

That may well be all and fine and dandy for you. (It seems so, and I'm glad for you for that.

But your own deep-rooted 'personal knowledge' will not sway an atheist, ever.

I just wish that theists and atheists would spend less time arguing a position that will never be answered, and start living.


#129    Valdemar the Great

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Posted 02 January 2013 - 08:19 AM

I think the problem, if I may interject for a moment, is that institutional religion has, effectively, hijacked the concept of "God", and indeed organised Christianity has hijacked the name and the figure of Jesus, to serve its purposes of social control and keeping the people in a state of Fear. Indeed, by carefully selecting passages from the old Testament to suit their purposes, they've ignored many other passages, predominantly from the New testament but also from the Old, that give a very different picture of God from the one that imposes fear and discipline that the Churches have wanted to promote. And now, of course, that the influence of the Church has declined, it's the "democratically elected" Governments that have taken over the role of keeping the people in a state of fear, and thereby making them easier to control. What people who have turned against religion have turned against is the idea of God that has been promoted by the organised religions throughout their history. Really, I think God, and certainly Jesus, have been very badly misrepresented by organised Religions who, surely deliberately, have adopted these policies that every word in the Bible is literally true and all of it carries equal weight (but the Old testament, it seems, trumps the New). They must have deliberately decided these policies because surely no one could see the stories in Genesis, etc, as anything other than myth and allegory if they looked at it rationally without any preconceptions. So actually I think that people are probably right in attacking the "beliefs" that the Church has imposed on people throughout the centuries, but these policies are not, I think, necessarily the truth about what God might actually be.

Life is a hideous business, and from the background behind what we know of it peer daemoniacal hints of truth which make it sometimes a thousandfold more hideous.

H. P. Lovecraft.


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#130    Mr Walker

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Posted 02 January 2013 - 09:56 AM

View PostLikely Guy, on 02 January 2013 - 07:02 AM, said:

That may well be all and fine and dandy for you. (It seems so, and I'm glad for you for that.

But your own deep-rooted 'personal knowledge' will not sway an atheist, ever.

I just wish that theists and atheists would spend less time arguing a position that will never be answered, and start living.

I have no intrest in swaying an atheist. Nor in convincing a beliver via faith that god is real and physical. Atheism is a belief position. It can only become knowledge via personal experience. In my life the relationship with god is just that, entirely a personal connection. It has no religious element.

I lived 22 years without realising god was a constant presence in me and around me. I've lived 40 more years in his presence. While both forms of life were wonderful, and lived to the full, living life physically connected to a powerful god is a lot more fun and challenging. Imagine what is possible in life with god inside you and all about you..

I just tell the truth I know, but i dont expect others to believe it.

Nonetheless such truths must be told, and not left unsaid, otherwise too many people simply claim god does not exist because(they say) no one ever meets him anymore, or sees his angels, or is connected to god on a physical level, or has miracles as a part of their everyday life.

Today I got up at 6, took the dog for a 5k run and swim, had a croissant and coffee at the local bakery for breakfast  at 7 while reading the daily paper through, did an hour in the garden, bought some petrol, drove 50 ks to  the nearest city to see my mum in hospital. Visited my neice and grand niece and picked the grand niece up for a weeks stay with us. Took my wife and grand niece out to lunch did an hours shopping, came home (another 50ks) and unpacked the shopping, made 3 pizzas, including a chicken veges and sweet chiili one,  and cut up nectarines for tea. I watched the news, did another hours gardening (thanks to day light saving) and spent half an hour here. Next i will read for an hour or two,  talk to my wife, entertain my great neice and have a coca cola with her. Finally to bed about midnight, for some lucid dreaming and obeing . Not sure how i could live life more than that. :innocent:
Ps i had inadvertantly dropped my driving glasses in a car park when i got out of the car, on arriving in the city. About 3 hours later, ready to drive home, I missed them. God told me where to go and find them. I drove there and looked all round the car park area.  "They're not here." I said to god

God said, "Look under your car, you idiot."

And there they were. Not only had i driven right over  them (without hitting them, or seeing them as I drove up)  but they had lain there for 3 hours on a busy afternoon They were still perfectly intact, saving me well over 500 dollars for a new pair.

Edited by Mr Walker, 02 January 2013 - 10:09 AM.

You are a child of the universe, no less than the trees and the stars; you have a right to be here. And whether or not it is clear to you, no doubt the universe is unfolding as it should.

Therefore be at peace with God, whatever you conceive Him to be, and whatever your labors and aspirations, in the noisy confusion of life keep peace with your soul.

With all its sham, drudgery and broken dreams, it is still a beautiful world..

Be cheerful.

Strive to be happy.

#131    eight bits

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Posted 02 January 2013 - 11:12 AM

Arbie

Quote

  I must admit, this has been entertaining and a little bemusing.

I'll bet it has been :) .

Quote

First of all, I vaguely remember reading Dawkins and how he scales belief, but I can't recall it too well. That had no bearing on what I wrote and I have no idea whether I would agree with him or not.

OK, that's fair. Dawkins and the "scale" didn't come up "in earnest" until after you posted. I didn't think you were commenting on him.

Quote

I don't believe that any atheist can logically make the statement "God does not exist". This is because it is impossible to exclude the possibility, no matter how small it may be. An atheist can make statements describing the existence of a god as unlikely, implausible or unnecessary. But not impossible.

I would agree, insofar as I believe the question of God to be contingent and well posed. However, I have encountered atheists who find the question ill-posed in a variety of ways. I think that it is possible for some logically consistent person to assert with experienced certainty that "God," especially as the term is used by some specified opponent, doesn't exist.

However, I don't know whether that possibility is realized. Also, I don't know whether the key difference between Dawkins and this person would be that the person is "more confident" than Dawkins. It seems to me that the key difference is in the underlying reason for the conclusion. I believe that Dawkins has said that his atheism proceeds from an absence of evidence. This hypothetical other person might have logical grounds for her view, not shared by Dawkins.

Example: If you personally had never heard of the Pythagorean Theorem, you might nevertheless have noticed that 3-4-5 triangles often produce very nearly right angles. You might be "very confident" that the rule will work in the future. Somebody else, who knows the Theorem, is even more confident than you are: she strictly knows that the rule will always work, because she knows why it works, and knows it in a way that makes certainty possible.

I think that covers why I disagree with the distinction you make between the logical situation of believers and non-'s. So, I really do thank you for clarifying.

Happy New Year. And congratulations on agreeing with Mr Walker, too.

Likely Guy

Quote

I renounce the Theist/Atheist construct.  

I am very sympathetic to that renunciation.

For one thing, we end up with suspiciously lengthy debates around here about the boundary lines and distinctions among the stances, including where agnosticism fits in. We also end up with nonsense contructions like unitarian agnostic atheist deism, which is not to be confused, of course, with Unitarian agnostic atheist deism, with a capital-U.

At some point, I begin to suspect that the whole framework is inherently faulty. Correspondingly, I admire Pew for simply cutting the Gordian knot, and just asking whether the person affiliates themselves with some religious group.

Me? No. Next.

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#132    Bonecrusher

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Posted 02 January 2013 - 02:59 PM

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#133    Liquid Gardens

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Posted 02 January 2013 - 04:55 PM

View Posteight bits, on 01 January 2013 - 09:53 PM, said:

As to the idea that Dawkins just liked the words "I don't believe - I know" and wasn't seeking to bolster his "scale" proposal by attaching Jung's reputation and authority as a psychologist to both of his most disputed categories: Sure, I believe that.

Can I still get in on that Brooklyn Bridge deal?

Thanks for the post, eight, I do see what you are talking about, thanks for the further clarification.  Ha, the above I definitely don't disagree with, I suspect that Dawkins was more than happy to use someone of Jung's stature in his spectrum, in addition to Jung's quote being a very concise expression of a number 1, even if that is not actually what he is.

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#134    scowl

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Posted 02 January 2013 - 05:19 PM

View PostLord Vetinari, on 02 January 2013 - 08:19 AM, said:

I think the problem, if I may interject for a moment, is that institutional religion has, effectively, hijacked the concept of "God", and indeed organised Christianity has hijacked the name and the figure of Jesus, to serve its purposes of social control and keeping the people in a state of Fear. Indeed, by carefully selecting passages from the old Testament to suit their purposes, they've ignored many other passages, predominantly from the New testament but also from the Old, that give a very different picture of God from the one that imposes fear and discipline that the Churches have wanted to promote.

I think it's entirely the opposite. The God in the Bible is a ruthless creature who destroyed life indiscriminately and treated humans as if they were worthless. Jesus based his religion on a doomsday scenario which never happened and terrified people with the promise of eternal suffering after death if you didn't follow his platform.

Churches these days dance around the many horrifying stories in the Bible, highlighting all the feel-good quotes about peace and love and leaving out the parts that showed that God killed for fun and Jesus hated anyone who wasn't poor. They want you to believe that God is your big buddy in the sky looking out for you and Jesus is that forgiving brother you never had.


#135    Valdemar the Great

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Posted 02 January 2013 - 05:43 PM

View Postscowl, on 02 January 2013 - 05:19 PM, said:

I think it's entirely the opposite. The God in the Bible is a ruthless creature who destroyed life indiscriminately and treated humans as if they were worthless. Jesus based his religion on a doomsday scenario which never happened and terrified people with the promise of eternal suffering after death if you didn't follow his platform.

Churches these days dance around the many horrifying stories in the Bible, highlighting all the feel-good quotes about peace and love and leaving out the parts that showed that God killed for fun and Jesus hated anyone who wasn't poor. They want you to believe that God is your big buddy in the sky looking out for you and Jesus is that forgiving brother you never had.
is that what Jesus believed God to be about? Or is it what a literal interpretation of things that he may (or may not) have said for rhetorical and metaphorical effect inists that he did? Did he say he wanted to "terrify people with the promise of eternal suffering after death if you didn't follow his platform."? What platform did he have?  He "Jesus hated anyone who wasn't poor"?  What he hated was hypocrisy. Which very often went, and still does, with not being poor, it is true. All these are things that the church and theologists and people who decided what Christian Dogma had to be decided to make of it. In fact, this is the kind of literalism that is just what Atheists always attack religion for; the irony is that that's just what they do themselves. They insist that God has to be this great big monster, or this old man with a beard, because that way they can hold on to their beliefs that God is a monster. They dont' want to consider any other way of thinking of God, or Jesus, because it might be more difficult to hate him if they did.  They never seem to consider that the idea of God punishing or fighting on the side of ancient people might be how those ancient people saw God, and that might be what the old testament is actually about, the developing story of how the people of Israel saw their relationship with God, and not a documentary history of what God actually and literally did.
But there's no point arguing about it is there.

Life is a hideous business, and from the background behind what we know of it peer daemoniacal hints of truth which make it sometimes a thousandfold more hideous.

H. P. Lovecraft.


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