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CommunitarianKevin

The Seven C’s of Atheism

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Posted (edited)

So when I have lunch I like to talk to the difference religious groups on campus. Today the Atheist group had a stand...I decided to check it out. I asked what type of materials they had. The answer I got was "some good ****." So I picked up a few pamphlets. He is one that I found mildly entertaining...

The Seven Cs of Atheism

By August Berkshire

Conservative

Atheism is a conservative position. We

accept statements only so far as there is

reason and/or evidence to back them up.

Anything else is speculation. We make no

leaps of faith. If there should someday be a

compelling reason or piece of evidence for a

god, then we would acknowledge it and

change our views.

Clarity

An atheist possesses clarity in his or her

thinking processes. We are able to identify

those things for which we have evidence

and separate them from other things that are

merely wishful thinking.

Consistent

An atheist is also consistent. We apply our

skepticism equally to all supernatural claims.

We do not say, All prophets, saviors, or

gods are false except ours. We make no

exceptions or special pleadings.

Contradiction-free

Another benefit of atheism is that it is

contradiction-free. We dont have to try to

reconcile an all-loving, all-seeing, allpowerful

god with the existence of evil. We

dont have to define love exactly the

opposite of how we normally define it in

order to make it applicable to a god. We

dont have to claim that a poor supernatural

designer is intelligent.

Courage

An atheist possesses courage. It is natural

for people to have a healthy survival instinct.

However, some people have such a fear of

death that they feel compelled to believe in

an afterlife to alleviate those fears.

It takes intellectual and emotional courage to

abandon belief in an afterlife because there

is no evidence for it (and compelling

evidence against it). It also takes intellectual

and emotional courage to abandon ones

belief in a cosmic, supernatural protector

and realize that, as far as we know, we are

alone in our universe and must therefore

help each other as best we can.

Consequences

There are certain consequences that

naturally follow from being an atheist. Since

there are no gods to help us, we must rely

on ourselves and each other. Since there is

no afterlife, it becomes more important to

improve life on Earth.

Conclusion

One of the arguments of Pascals Wager is

that a person loses nothing by believing in a

god. This is not true. Accepting Pascals

Wager means saying that we are willing to

abandon reason and evidence as our guides

to living, and instead make a leap of faith

to… where?

Its true that by converting (or deconverting)

from theism to atheism a person will lose his

or her sense of divine specialness, cosmic

meaning in life, and any hope of an afterlife.

But you cant lose what you never really

had.

The reality of atheism far outweighs the

dream of religion. There is an excitement

and beauty to perceiving the world as it

really is, and not as an illusion.

© 2008-2010 August Berkshire

AugustBerkshire.com

MinnesotaAtheists.org

After reading this I had a couple of questions for them...All they could do was kind of stumble over their words...maybe I caught them off guard. I was hoping an atheist on here could answer my questions (according to the 7Cs if possible.)

I am not a scientist so I am ignorant in some areas. I have two questions...

1. What is the accepted, scientific, evidence based, theory for the origin of life on Earth?

2. What is the accepted, scientific, evidence based, theory for the origin of the universe? I am not talking about the Big Bang, I accept the Big Bang. I am asking about the cause of the Big Bang. Can someone point me to the accepted scientific theory of how everything came from nothing?

Ok, lets see the clear, evidence base, non-contradictory, faithless answers to my questions.

Thanks

Edited by HuttonEtAl

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After reading this I had a couple of questions for them...All they could do was kind of stumble over their words...maybe I caught them off guard.

Possibly.

I was hoping an atheist on here could answer my questions (according to the 7Cs if possible.)

I am not a scientist so I am ignorant in some areas. I have two questions...

All right then, I would be happy to explain with what little I know.

1. What is the accepted, scientific, evidence based, theory for the origin of life on Earth?

There are a few, actually. Now, when we are talking about the origins of life on Earth, what we are specifically referring to is what process resulted in the first reliable production of the amino acids which would later become the foundations for life as we know it. Nothing at this level would be what we regular people would refer to as "life"; rather, it is the setup which we understand to create the environment we refer to as conducive to life. A weak metaphor would be that we are talking about the conditions in which it can snow, not about whether it did actually snow or not.

In regards to the theories, they are generally broadly separated into two categories, and then again into two others. The first two categories are "Extraterrestrial" and "Biogenesis". Basically, did the foundations of life come from outside the planet, or did they emerge on the planet. Panspermia, the idea that amino acids hitched a ride to Earth on a comet or meteorite is probably the most famous example of the former. The latter category is what most people tend to focus on.

In regards to Biogenesis, we break off again to two categories, and those are "Replication" and "Metabolism". Basically, which came first, sex or babies.

Actually, that is so undiscriptive it may as well be wrong. Basically, there are theories which propose strings of nucleic acids first chemically joined up and, through completely mechanical and electrochemical processes, began a primitive sort of evolution that eventually, through many, many millions of years, led to the formation of RNA and DNA. These strings of nucleic acids eventually began producing proteins. This sort of thing could have occurred in relatively placid environments.

Then there are the theories that demonstrate that genetic instructions did not actually need to come first. That, under certain conditions, primitive proto-proteins (to coin an nonexistent term) could actually be formed purely through non-organic chemical processes. However, these conditions are very limited, and if we are talking about ancient Earth, then this would probably be in the deep-sea vents.

You probably also remember, from high school biology, the "phospholipid bi-layer with embedded proteins" chant that described the membrane of a cell. These actually spontaneously form, simply due to the natural aquaphobic, aquaphilic nature of lipid molecules. By themselves, they do not actually either replicate or metabolise anything, however they form an organically compatible, extremely flexible, and relatively strong protective shell, that, one way or another, was made use of by whichever process eventually dominated life on Earth.

There are a few others, my favorite of which is the Abiotic theory of life, but one can cover an entire semester at college doing nothing but talk about all these theories. The above are generally considered to be the most probable statistically.

2. What is the accepted, scientific, evidence based, theory for the origin of the universe? I am not talking about the Big Bang, I accept the Big Bang. I am asking about the cause of the Big Bang. Can someone point me to the accepted scientific theory of how everything came from nothing?

No. Not if you intend to actually understand them.

I mean sure, go study quantum physics, but don't kid yourself. There is literally no way that even the most basic of quantum theories regarding the origins of the universe is going to be understood in any way other than layman's terms by anyone not directly involved in that study. The most you can hope for is to have agenerally understanding of what the theory claims, maybe even why it claims it, but as to actually understanding it, that is pretty high-level, pretty specialized stuff, and you will no more be able to understand it here than you will truly understand brain surgery in anything more than a basic level by reading about it on an internet forum.

Ok, let’s see the clear, evidence base, non-contradictory, faithless answers to my questions.

Thanks

Well, I can explain most of the biogenesis ones; they are pretty simple and straightforward. As far as faithless, you will have to take my word on it unless you intend to carry out the experiments yourself. Which you could, but it would require a touch more dedication than most people have available in their day to day lives.

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Posted (edited)

If one clicks on my profile there is no secret that I am religiously agnostic. Based on the religions I have studied I have not found evidence of a god and I find it more plausible that there is not one, however, I do not think that is a question that can be answered. Some claim that agnosticism is the safe route but I think it is the only route for those who base their beliefs on evidence and logic alone. Atheists claim to be so superior, so intellectually and logically advanced compared to everyone else. But when looking at the evidence it appears they rely on just as much faith as religious people do. I said I am ignorant of some things in science, specifically physics (if you consider that science and not philosophy.) You do a good job of addressing my issues.

There are a few others, my favorite of which is the Abiotic theory of life, but one can cover an entire semester at college doing nothing but talk about all these theories. The above are generally considered to be the most probable statistically.

Here is a great example...One can spend an entire semester talking about these theories, though I doubt these theories are actual scientific theories, like that of Darwinian Evolution and Gravity, but rather hypothesis, many of which are pure speculation. Granted I side with Darwin that the most probable start of life happened in some hot little pond but that is hardly scientific and evidence based. The most probable statistically are hardly what I would equate to evidence or anything in the 7 Cs.

I do not have experience in physics but I have made an attempt to understand Stephen Hawkings ideas but I find that they hardly fall into the realm of what we would consider scientific evidence. Richard Feynman says it best...

What I am going to tell you about is what we teach our physics students in the third or fourth year of graduate school... It is my task to convince you not to turn away because you don't understand it. You see my physics students don't understand it... That is because I don't understand it. Nobody does.

The fact that Nobel winning physicists do not understand physics makes me strongly question the empirical, and logical based evidence.

As far as faithless, you will have to take my word on it unless you intend to carry out the experiments yourself.

Take your word on it? You mean have faith in what you are telling me? I do not need to carry out an experiment. I am fine reading a scholarly, peer reviewed paper based on evidence. But based on what I have seen there are some things there are nothing more than philosophy, or speculation if you please. The 7 Cs do not explain all of the answers in the universe...or even in this world. That is why atheism is a contradiction. It does not show that there is no god based on evidence and logic. It is not consistent because it is not based purely on evidence based arguments. If it were we would have accepted scientific theories for these questions that do not rely on a form of faith. This arrogance and contradiction of logic, empiricism, and evidence is why people detest the New Atheist movement and people like myself are embarrassed to admit they do not believe in a god.

I do appreciate you taking the time to answer my questions.

Edited by HuttonEtAl

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The seven C's could be mistaken for a leap into the realm of Dogma by a casual observer - just saying.:ph34r:

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The seven C's could be mistaken for a leap into the realm of Dogma by a casual observer - just saying.:ph34r:

Every time someone sets a set of rules it could get understood by followers as dogma... this is why I can perceive only one rule: There are no rules just endless possibilities. Is that the door to wisdom? :innocent:

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Every time someone sets a set of rules it could get understood by followers as dogma... this is why I can perceive only one rule: There are no rules just endless possibilities. Is that the door to wisdom? :innocent:

It's a fair place to start I think, at least it allows tolerance of opposing views rather than attachment to a particular mindset without evidence either way.

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It's a fair place to start I think, at least it allows tolerance of opposing views rather than attachment to a particular mindset without evidence either way.

Amen...so to speak...

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Posted (edited)

As an agnostic myself, I hold out the possibility that atheists are factually correct about the question of God. But that doesn't mean all arguments for atheism are equally good. These "Seven C's" may persuade the people who hand them out, but they aren't especially good.

Conservative describes all rational people, not just rational atheists, and does not exclude rational theists. People do not choose their beliefs. If persuasive evidence arrives, then anybody will spontaneously change their beliefs. That's what persuasive means. Part of believing something is to estimate that it is unlikely that you will encounter persuasive contrary evidence.

So far, for the question of God, that's a pretty safe estimate, for both theists and atheists.

Clarity It is false dichotomy to portray "merely wishful thinking" as the only alternative to "things for which we have evidence." Put aside that the author offers no evidence that "wishful thinking" is in fact the usual or necessary basis of theism. In the absence of evidence, priorism is widely recognized as a rational (if not especially reliable) basis for forming an opinion.

Consistent appears to confuse special pleading with a possibly reasoned conclusion that a solution is unique. If I solve a linear equation, (3x + 1 = 7, conclude x = 2) then I believe "all proposed solutions, substitutions for the variable and answers to the question are false, except mine." I am not being inconsistent. I am provably correct, although many people who present the solution as unique couldn't prove that it is unique.

Contradiction-free confuses paradox with contradiction. That somebody finds something difficult to understand does not make it contradictory. It is perfectly rational to decide a question on aesthetic grounds (like "my opinion is simpler and more elegant than yours"), but to invoke a technical term in logic to describe an aesthetic debating tactic is either ignorant or deceitful.

Courage is folk psychology. If the problem is fear of death, then theism or atheism is of no consequence: both die. Furthermore, people routinely accept their own death as the natural course of things, as the preferred alternative to indefinite physical decline, or in order to achieve their goals (for example, by fighting in a war, or to protect others in an emergency).

Hamlet articulates the actual object of fear:

Who would fardels bear,

To grunt and sweat under a weary life,

But that the dread of something after death

The undiscover'd country, from whose bourn

No traveller returns, puzzles the will,

And makes us rather bear those ills we have

Than fly to others that we know not of?

Thus conscience does make cowards of us all, ...

Life after death is scary, not the end of natural life.

Put aside that the question of God is loosely coupled to the question of life after death. A theist can believe he will perish, and an atheist can believe she will flourish. Put aside there are religions where extinction is the very goal of religious practice. If someone believes that there is nothing after death, do they display "courage"?

How so? They look forward to the median outcome of the fates on offer. Plus, they are unlikely much to enjoy the supposed "good outcome." Professor Dawkins would be glad enough not to be prodded by demons with pitchforks, but would hardly enjoy praising God all day, either. Nothing is a good deal for him. There is no "courage" in his anticipation that he will get it.

Consequences One could as easily argue that because God has made us stewards of the world, and will hold us to an accounting of our stewardship, that for theists it is "more important to improve life on Earth."

Also, since this an American publication, the author has easy access to observant Jews, and could learn from them what Judaism counsels about the importance of improving life on Earth. There are other theists besides fundamentalist Protestants, as nice as it would be for atheists if only that weren't so.

Conclusions Pascal does argue that a person loses nothing by believing in God, but the "wager" proceeds on the assumption that there is a cost. Despite its popularity as a straw man in atheist self-congratulation, the wager addressed foundational problems in decision theory that weren't resolved until the Twentieth Century. That Pascal freely mixed his religion and his science in unpublished work wasn't so unusual for the time; so did Newton.

The rest is rhetoric, assuming the consequent repackaged as a "conclusion " Whether or not "you never really had" the cooperation of God is the hypothesis under dispute, not something that the author has established.

The evidence that was such a pressing concern in the first "C" has by the seventh disappeared entirely. Ah. well, maybe that's what the atheist actually meant when he wrote "You can’t lose what you never really had."

Edited by eight bits

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If one clicks on my profile there is no secret that I am religiously agnostic. Based on the religions I have studied I have not found evidence of a god and I find it more plausible that there is not one, however, I do not think that is a question that can be answered. Some claim that agnosticism is the safe route but I think it is the only route for those who base their beliefs on evidence and logic alone.

*shrugs*

People believe what they believe. Logic, reason, and evidence rarely factors into it.

Atheists claim to be so superior, so intellectually and logically advanced compared to everyone else.

:huh:

Did an atheist kick your puppy or something?

But when looking at the evidence it appears they rely on just as much faith as religious people do. I said I am ignorant of some things in science, specifically physics (if you consider that science and not philosophy.) You do a good job of addressing my issues.

Thanks, but I am a little curious as to what you think atheism has to do with science. Belief systems, theistic or otherwise, do not actually play a part in the methodology.

Here is a great example...One can spend an entire semester talking about these “theories,” though I doubt these “theories” are actual scientific theories, like that of Darwinian Evolution and Gravity, but rather hypothesis, many of which are pure speculation.

Doubt all you like, but again, belief systems do not really affect science. A scientific theory remains a scientific theory until such time it is falsified. Doubting doesn't actually do it.

Granted I side with Darwin that the most probable start of life happened in some hot little pond but that is hardly scientific and evidence based.

Or even a claim made by Darwin.

“The most probable statistically” are hardly what I would equate to evidence or anything in the 7 Cs.

Then perhaps you should consider that what you understand of science may not actually be what scientists consider science to be.

Science is pretty much entirely about statistical probability, and the 7 C's have absolutely nothing to do with scientifically methodology.

I do not have experience in physics but I have made an attempt to understand Stephen Hawkings ideas but I find that they hardly fall into the realm of what we would consider scientific evidence. Richard Feynman says it best...

“What I am going to tell you about is what we teach our physics students in the third or fourth year of graduate school... It is my task to convince you not to turn away because you don't understand it. You see my physics students don't understand it... That is because I don't understand it. Nobody does.”

The fact that Nobel winning physicists do not understand physics makes me strongly question the empirical, and logical based evidence.

Have you considered that you not understanding the statement made by this scientist may indicate that you do not have the correct idea of science?

Take your word on it? You mean have faith in what you are telling me?

Well, you could, but it would kind of defeat the purpose of science.

I do not need to carry out an experiment. I am fine reading a scholarly, peer reviewed paper based on evidence.

Mmm...you really haven't shown a good understanding of basic scientific methodology. I have difficulty believing that you would be able to follow an actual scientific study.

But based on what I have seen there are some things there are nothing more than philosophy, or speculation if you please.

Oh, certainly. Not the actual theories, though. That is why reports are so specific about what they are reporting and what they are speculating on.

The 7 Cs do not explain all of the answers in the universe...or even in this world.

Well, of course not. I don't even think the claim was ever made. Even if it was, it wouldn't. Atheism isn't a philosophy in and of itself.

That is why atheism is a contradiction. It does not show that there is no god based on evidence and logic.

:huh:

By definition, beliefs do not require logic, reason, or evidence. That is the difference between beliefs and theories.

It is not consistent because it is not based purely on evidence based arguments. If it were we would have accepted scientific theories for these questions that do not rely on a form of faith. This arrogance and contradiction of “logic,” “empiricism,” and “evidence” is why people detest the New Atheist movement and people like myself are embarrassed to admit they do not believe in a god.

I do appreciate you taking the time to answer my questions.

Okay, all coyness aside, the fundamental error you are making here is thinking that atheism has anything to do with science. Atheism, at most, could be described as a belief system, and even then only if there was an actual, formalized, set of behaviour for it (like militant atheists do). Regardless, no belief system has any part of scientific methodology.

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So when I have lunch I like to talk to the difference religious groups on campus. Today the Atheist group had a stand...I decided to check it out. I asked what type of materials they had. The answer I got was "some good ****." So I picked up a few pamphlets. He is one that I found mildly entertaining...

The Seven C’s of Atheism

By August Berkshire

Conservative

Atheism is a conservative position. We

accept statements only so far as there is

reason and/or evidence to back them up.

Anything else is speculation. We make no

leaps of faith. If there should someday be a

compelling reason or piece of evidence for a

god, then we would acknowledge it and

change our views.

Clarity

An atheist possesses clarity in his or her

thinking processes. We are able to identify

those things for which we have evidence

and separate them from other things that are

merely wishful thinking.

Consistent

An atheist is also consistent. We apply our

skepticism equally to all supernatural claims.

We do not say, “All prophets, saviors, or

gods are false – except ours.” We make no

exceptions or special pleadings.

Contradiction-free

Another benefit of atheism is that it is

contradiction-free. We don’t have to try to

reconcile an all-loving, all-seeing, allpowerful

god with the existence of evil. We

don’t have to define love exactly the

opposite of how we normally define it in

order to make it applicable to a god. We

don’t have to claim that a poor supernatural

designer is intelligent.

Courage

An atheist possesses courage. It is natural

for people to have a healthy survival instinct.

However, some people have such a fear of

death that they feel compelled to believe in

an afterlife to alleviate those fears.

It takes intellectual and emotional courage to

abandon belief in an afterlife because there

is no evidence for it (and compelling

evidence against it). It also takes intellectual

and emotional courage to abandon one’s

belief in a cosmic, supernatural “protector”

and realize that, as far as we know, we are

alone in our universe and must therefore

help each other as best we can.

Consequences

There are certain consequences that

naturally follow from being an atheist. Since

there are no gods to help us, we must rely

on ourselves and each other. Since there is

no afterlife, it becomes more important to

improve life on Earth.

Conclusion

One of the arguments of Pascal’s Wager is

that a person loses nothing by believing in a

god. This is not true. Accepting Pascal’s

Wager means saying that we are willing to

abandon reason and evidence as our guides

to living, and instead make a leap of faith

to… where?

It’s true that by converting (or deconverting)

from theism to atheism a person will lose his

or her sense of divine specialness, cosmic

meaning in life, and any hope of an afterlife.

But you can’t lose what you never really

had.

The reality of atheism far outweighs the

dream of religion. There is an excitement

and beauty to perceiving the world as it

really is, and not as an illusion.

© 2008-2010 August Berkshire

AugustBerkshire.com

MinnesotaAtheists.org

After reading this I had a couple of questions for them...All they could do was kind of stumble over their words...maybe I caught them off guard. I was hoping an atheist on here could answer my questions (according to the 7Cs if possible.)

I am not a scientist so I am ignorant in some areas. I have two questions...

1. What is the accepted, scientific, evidence based, theory for the origin of life on Earth?

2. What is the accepted, scientific, evidence based, theory for the origin of the universe? I am not talking about the Big Bang, I accept the Big Bang. I am asking about the cause of the Big Bang. Can someone point me to the accepted scientific theory of how everything came from nothing?

Ok, let’s see the clear, evidence base, non-contradictory, faithless answers to my questions.

Thanks

Not knowing everything there is to know does not mean some supernatural force is hiding in the gaps in our knowledge. We will never know everything there is to know.

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Posted (edited)

We will never know everything there is to know.

I tend to agree on that.

There are some questions, in my opinion, that science will never anwser.

Does that mean we should all have beleifs? Not at all.

The way I understand it, many atheists are like so because of their lack of agreement with one or more religion(s) and the whole ideas they hold on to.

I for myself do not follow any religion but do have profound spiritual/philosophical beleifs. They do not go against science in any way. It is my own "theory of everything" uniting the physical and non-physical. The physical part is about science, the rest is part of my beleifs which are based on free will for instance at a very deep level.

I can't bring myself to only beleive in my five senses, scientific proof and the idea that our consciousness is only the result of electrochemical activity inside the brain. Can't help it. It is profoundly anchored in the depth of my soul. The more I dig into it, the better my life is.

Peace.

Edited by JayMark

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I tend to agree on that.

There are some questions, in my opinion, that science will never anwser.

Does that mean we should all have beleifs? Not at all.

The way I understand it, many atheists are like so because of their lack of agreement with one or more religion(s) and the whole ideas they hold on to.

I for myself do not follow any religion but do have profound spiritual/philosophical beleifs. They do not go against science in any way. It is my own "theory of everything" uniting the physical and non-physical. The physical part is about science, the rest is part of my beleifs which are based on free will for instance at a very deep level.

I can't bring myself to only beleive in my five senses, scientific proof and the idea that our consciousness is only the result of electrochemical activity inside the brain. Can't help it. It is profoundly anchored in the depth of my soul. The more I dig into it, the better my life is.

Peace.

An intelligible and inclusive comment. Very good.

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An intelligible and inclusive comment. Very good.

Thank you beautiful one!

Quite indeed, I try to explain it as simply as possible although going into the depth of everything it implies so far for me would be quite a hard challenge. For one it is not easy to put words on such beleifs as much as english isn't my mother tongue. Also as much as I try to make it as inclusive as possible, there is still a lot of stuff that I am trying to figure out and accord to my views. Basis of it beeing expressed by my tagline.

I think Consciousness (my vision of "God") is pure, infinite thought and emotion. The combination of thought and emotion leading to manifestation. Such a process is constantly happening among us. We have a thought accompained by an emotion which leads to an action which leads to more thoughts, emotions and actions etc. Hard to explain but that would be the very gist of it.

Peace.

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Until a god can be cataloged, classified, criticly examined, contained, controled, communicated with and confirmed then wtf is with a god anyway. Thats my 7 c`s

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Until a god can be cataloged, classified, criticly examined, contained, controled, communicated with and confirmed then wtf is with a god anyway. Thats my 7 c`s

That would majorly depend of how you describe it. So it's all subjective to begin with.

For something to be cataloged, classified, criticly examined, contained, controled, communicated with and confirmed, it would inevitably have to be physical to begin with which is exactly not what people generally imply. So given the scientific method, we surely as hell can't prove it's existence.

While we are at it, I might even add that science dosen't necessalry imply that we have to contain or control anything to prove it's existence. We can't control or contain the sun although we know it exist.

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So when I have lunch I like to talk to the difference religious groups on campus. Today the Atheist group had a stand...I decided to check it out. I asked what type of materials they had. The answer I got was "some good ****." So I picked up a few pamphlets. He is one that I found mildly entertaining...

The Seven C’s of Atheism

By August Berkshire

[...]

Atheism by definition is simply the absence of beleif in a God/deity/creator etc. The rest, as you imply it, is proper to every individual as I see it. I don't think there is a "guide to atheism" since it's simply about not beleiving in a "God". Dosen't mean you can't beleive in anything other than "God" that is no scientific matter so far.

If you are simply waiting for science to anwser everything, I think you are going to be profoundly dissapointed even if you live for another zillion years. But that is your choise. Nothing can force you to think otherwise.

One of the arguments of Pascal’s Wager is that a person loses nothing by believing in a god. This is not true.

You are surfing on pure subjectivity here. Just like in many other areas of your message. Beleiving in a "God" isn't necessarly about deniying or losing anything. Again, it depends on how you perceive it and how you apply your beleifs to your life.

"Beleif" is a word. What matters is the connection it implies. And that is diffrent for everybody.

My thoughts. Peace.

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Umm,this is how to grade a diamond.

A system decades old.

All I can think of is jewelry if its presented this way .

:blush:

http://www.4diamond.com/4Cs/

Sorry

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Posted (edited)

As an agnostic myself, I hold out the possibility that atheists are factually correct about the question of God. But that doesn't mean all arguments for atheism are equally good. These "Seven C's" may persuade the people who hand them out, but they aren't especially good.

Conservative describes all rational people, not just rational atheists, and does not exclude rational theists. People do not choose their beliefs. If persuasive evidence arrives, then anybody will spontaneously change their beliefs. That's what persuasive means. Part of believing something is to estimate that it is unlikely that you will encounter persuasive contrary evidence.

So far, for the question of God, that's a pretty safe estimate, for both theists and atheists.

Clarity It is false dichotomy to portray "merely wishful thinking" as the only alternative to "things for which we have evidence." Put aside that the author offers no evidence that "wishful thinking" is in fact the usual or necessary basis of theism. In the absence of evidence, priorism is widely recognized as a rational (if not especially reliable) basis for forming an opinion.

Consistent appears to confuse special pleading with a possibly reasoned conclusion that a solution is unique. If I solve a linear equation, (3x + 1 = 7, conclude x = 2) then I believe "all proposed solutions, substitutions for the variable and answers to the question are false, except mine." I am not being inconsistent. I am provably correct, although many people who present the solution as unique couldn't prove that it is unique.

Contradiction-free confuses paradox with contradiction. That somebody finds something difficult to understand does not make it contradictory. It is perfectly rational to decide a question on aesthetic grounds (like "my opinion is simpler and more elegant than yours"), but to invoke a technical term in logic to describe an aesthetic debating tactic is either ignorant or deceitful.

Courage is folk psychology. If the problem is fear of death, then theism or atheism is of no consequence: both die. Furthermore, people routinely accept their own death as the natural course of things, as the preferred alternative to indefinite physical decline, or in order to achieve their goals (for example, by fighting in a war, or to protect others in an emergency).

Hamlet articulates the actual object of fear:

Who would fardels bear,

To grunt and sweat under a weary life,

But that the dread of something after death

The undiscover'd country, from whose bourn

No traveller returns, puzzles the will,

And makes us rather bear those ills we have

Than fly to others that we know not of?

Thus conscience does make cowards of us all, ...

Life after death is scary, not the end of natural life.

Put aside that the question of God is loosely coupled to the question of life after death. A theist can believe he will perish, and an atheist can believe she will flourish. Put aside there are religions where extinction is the very goal of religious practice. If someone believes that there is nothing after death, do they display "courage"?

How so? They look forward to the median outcome of the fates on offer. Plus, they are unlikely much to enjoy the supposed "good outcome." Professor Dawkins would be glad enough not to be prodded by demons with pitchforks, but would hardly enjoy praising God all day, either. Nothing is a good deal for him. There is no "courage" in his anticipation that he will get it.

Consequences One could as easily argue that because God has made us stewards of the world, and will hold us to an accounting of our stewardship, that for theists it is "more important to improve life on Earth."

Also, since this an American publication, the author has easy access to observant Jews, and could learn from them what Judaism counsels about the importance of improving life on Earth. There are other theists besides fundamentalist Protestants, as nice as it would be for atheists if only that weren't so.

Conclusions Pascal does argue that a person loses nothing by believing in God, but the "wager" proceeds on the assumption that there is a cost. Despite its popularity as a straw man in atheist self-congratulation, the wager addressed foundational problems in decision theory that weren't resolved until the Twentieth Century. That Pascal freely mixed his religion and his science in unpublished work wasn't so unusual for the time; so did Newton.

The rest is rhetoric, assuming the consequent repackaged as a "conclusion " Whether or not "you never really had" the cooperation of God is the hypothesis under dispute, not something that the author has established.

The evidence that was such a pressing concern in the first "C" has by the seventh disappeared entirely. Ah. well, maybe that's what the atheist actually meant when he wrote "You can't lose what you never really had."

Very interesting read 8ty. I enjoyed this post immensely.:wub:

For the record, as an Atheist, I do not think that I am superior in logic or more clear on matters concerning g-d (s). I could easily fit an Agnostic label too (for that matter.)

An Agnostic/Atheist. Hmmm :wub::lol:

Edited by Sherapy

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An Agnostic/Atheist. Hmmm :wub::lol:

Which one is sexier? There's quite a diffrence between both. ;)

By definition I can't say I'm an atheist, agnostic, religious or even theist. It's really special. I guess theist would be the closest but I still don't find the definition to suit my beleifs very well at every level.

I truly love science and even work in that area. So it's not a question of disbeleiving it. At all. I just think that science can only explain part of this universe. The rest, like our consciousness, is something much deeper and non-physical which partially work with the brain to generate individual self-awarness of the physical plane.

I also beleive in something much greater than our universe, that we are all part of it and that free will is the fundamental principle from which causality emerges. Consciousness. The source of everything.

I don't think of a "God" as an entity that "rule" over us and that is separate. I view it as "The Whole", like the sum of everything. Pure Absolute Consciousness. But that everything is simply infinite. It experiments itself in everyway possible which are infinite. Our universe is barely "one possibility". Very hard to describe with bare words.

So where do I fit? :huh:

Am I sexy? :P

Just kidding. These were my thoughts.

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First, maybe I should clarify...

I am talking about Atheists, not atheists. I try not to get into this because it always causes a huge argument but I consider Atheists, those that are part of the New Atheist movement, religious. I know what atheism is, but those types of atheists are not out preaching to the world using science to prove their point. The type of system of reasoning atheist use is scientific, that is it is empirical and evidence based. Why do I think atheism has anything to do with science? Because that is what Atheists use to prove their points and they use scientific reasoning. I guess one could argue they use philosophy but I would argue that much philosophy is not evidence based.

Did an atheist kick your puppy or something?

If you really want my long write up about my experience with them (New Atheists) I will type if up for you later…

Doubt all you like, but again, belief systems do not really affect science. A scientific theory remains a scientific theory until such time it is falsified. Doubting doesn't actually do it.

Well right that it is a scientific theory is such until it is falsified but there are requirements for something to become a scientific theory. One does not sit around and speculate, as philosophers do, which leads to a scientific theory. A scientific theory much be supported by evidence, observation, and experiments.

Or even a claim made by Darwin.

Actually this is a claim Darwin made. He made it in a letter to one of his friends saying that if he had to speculate he would speculate life started in a warm pond. He did note this is pure speculation.

Then perhaps you should consider that what you understand of science may not actually be what scientists consider science to be.

Science is pretty much entirely about statistical probability, and the 7 C's have absolutely nothing to do with scientifically methodology.

I would argue many scientists do understand what science is. Statistical probability plays a role, especially when figuring out the legitimacy of a claim, but I would disagree that science is pretty much entirely about statistical probability.

Well, you could, but it would kind of defeat the purpose of science.

Well then why did you tell me to do it?

Mmm...you really haven't shown a good understanding of basic scientific methodology. I have difficulty believing that you would be able to follow an actual scientific study.

How do you figure this? What actual study have I not been able to follow?

Well, of course not. I don't even think the claim was ever made. Even if it was, it wouldn't. Atheism isn't a philosophy in and of itself.

It is made constantly. Many Atheists claim they know there is no god because science can explain everything. I have heard this claim many times, and that is what is annoying. The have all of the answers and that’s how they know there is no god but they don’t have all the answers…

By definition, beliefs do not require logic, reason, or evidence. That is the difference between beliefs and theories.

Did I make this claim? Maybe I am confused at what you are saying but I know this…

Okay, all coyness aside, the fundamental error you are making here is thinking that atheism has anything to do with science. Atheism, at most, could be described as a belief system, and even then only if there was an actual, formalized, set of behaviour for it (like militant atheists do). Regardless, no belief system has any part of scientific methodology.

I addressed the New Atheist movement at the beginning…

I do not buy your claim. New Atheists use science the same way many Christians use theology. At the very lease the New Atheists do have something to do with science. If I am misunderstanding, let me know. I would be interested is listening if you expanded on your last sentence. You can PM me if you would like or post it here.

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Atheism by definition is simply the absence of beleif in a God/deity/creator etc. The rest, as you imply it, is proper to every individual as I see it. I don't think there is a "guide to atheism" since it's simply about not beleiving in a "God". Dosen't mean you can't beleive in anything other than "God" that is no scientific matter so far.

If you are simply waiting for science to anwser everything, I think you are going to be profoundly dissapointed even if you live for another zillion years. But that is your choise. Nothing can force you to think otherwise.

You are surfing on pure subjectivity here. Just like in many other areas of your message. Beleiving in a "God" isn't necessarly about deniying or losing anything. Again, it depends on how you perceive it and how you apply your beleifs to your life.

"Beleif" is a word. What matters is the connection it implies. And that is diffrent for everybody.

My thoughts. Peace.

If you were talking to me on that second quote, that is not somethign I said. If you were not saying that, nevermind.

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If you were talking to me on that second quote, that is not somethign I said. If you were not saying that, nevermind.

I don't know exactly what quote you refer to but if you don't feel concerned or that it dosen't apply to you, it wasen't directed to you then. ^_^

Peace.

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Posted (edited)

Thank you, Sheri for the kind words.

We all decide what words best describe ourselves. On the question of God, there is a very congested space where the some atheists, agnostics, deists and pantheists live very close together. It's kind of like

http://www.utah.com/playgrounds/four_corners.htm

At Four Corners, the difference among Arizona, Colorado, New Mexico and Utah is only wherever you'd most like to be. Nobody in Denver or Boulder or Phoenix worries about which state best describes their location. But if you happen to be at Four Corners... well, you know you're in the USA at least. Anything else is negotiable :).

Edited by eight bits

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The seven C's could be mistaken for a leap into the realm of Dogma by a casual observer - just saying.:ph34r:

I think that's exactly right. As an atheist myself I find it mildly embarassing how other atheists feel the need to behave like a religion. What do they do? All stand in a circle holding hands whilst chanting "The 7 Cs of Atheism".

I may be being a little unfair. Being an atheist in America probably isn't much fun. Not when you consider that a politician who wants America to be a Christian theocracy can get so close to the White House. That's pretty scary.

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I think that's exactly right. As an atheist myself I find it mildly embarassing how other atheists feel the need to behave like a religion. What do they do? All stand in a circle holding hands whilst chanting "The 7 Cs of Atheism".

I may be being a little unfair. Being an atheist in America probably isn't much fun. Not when you consider that a politician who wants America to be a Christian theocracy can get so close to the White House. That's pretty scary.

See this exactly is my big issue. I guess I need to specify which atheists I am talking about. The New Atheist movement is embarassing and it makes not believing in God in America very difficult. I have so many bad experiences with the New Atheist movement...

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