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dougeaton

Athiesm as an escape from reality?

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There is no such thing as different types of proof. Using the scientific method, we can explain the universe pretty well as it is. A lot of the stuff we know know the answer for yet (the origin of life for example), is not an excuse to start envoking any god. And as for subjective experience (ghosts, new age energy etc), there is nothing to explain.

See folks, science explains, or in principle can explain, everything. Now, how can we test this notion scientifically.....

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Good question. It can be interpreted many ways, but it implies to some degree at least, a fortuitous concurrence of circumstances that readies, or predisposes you to be receptive to the divinity. I suppose it is a bit like luck, you can make your own luck to some extent, but beyond that is a large measure of happenstance, whether that is random or guided by an unseen hand we cannot tell.

I don't know about your own beliefs, but if you're a Christian then I find this explanation completely unsatisfactory. If God loves us all and wants us all to be saved, then I don't think there should be any room for luck to be playing a part.

Of course, if you're more of a deist then God can be anything you want, free of all doctrine - which always made more sense to me anyway.

In short, your answer is a bit of a cop out. I mean that with all due respect. But it's the easy answer to an awkward question. Whilst the answer 'empiricism is limited in it's scope' cannot be refuted, surely the God that most people believe in (whatever their religion) should be accessible to this form of enquiry. Most of the world believes in a personal God that takes special interest in everyone and also intervenes in this world. These interventions should be measurable.

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See folks, science explains, or in principle can explain, everything. Now, how can we test this notion scientifically.....

Well, that's what science is - the exploration and explanation of the universe around us. You don't need to test this notion, it is being tested and used very day by millions of people.

You're asking where the manual for the car manual is. You don't need one. The car manual does the job, that's what its there for, by definition.

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I don't know about your own beliefs, but if you're a Christian then I find this explanation completely unsatisfactory. If God loves us all and wants us all to be saved, then I don't think there should be any room for luck to be playing a part.

Of course, if you're more of a deist then God can be anything you want, free of all doctrine - which always made more sense to me anyway.

In short, your answer is a bit of a cop out. I mean that with all due respect. But it's the easy answer to an awkward question. Whilst the answer 'empiricism is limited in it's scope' cannot be refuted, surely the God that most people believe in (whatever their religion) should be accessible to this form of enquiry. Most of the world believes in a personal God that takes special interest in everyone and also intervenes in this world. These interventions should be measurable.

Clearly you have thought deeply about these matters, but I'm afraid to say I don't think it helps. But I fully understand people's impatience with vague notions like 'grace', that to me is the normal reaction of the mind that is conditioned to prefer more de-limited concepts. Where there is ambiguity and paradox, there is little to hang your hat on. But that doesn't stand as an argument against it.

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How do you know what you believe is reality? Here's the thing though, we are not 100 percent sure what reality is. We do not have prove of whether God exists or not, so how do we know what reality is? Everything said on here is just opinions/beliefs...

Edited by failturner25

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Nothing clever about that argument, that proposition is accessible to rational enquiry. Try again.

Can you answer any question without having to lace your post with unintelligible fluff?

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The problem with these arguments is that people have been thoroughly brain-washed into believing the word "rational" implies that which is sane, right, or correct. The proper way of looking at things. This is wrong, 'rational' thinking is simply a systematic way of looking at the relationship of elements within a system, it has no application at all to answering the problem of how the whole system, that is the entirety of known elements, came about. The only scope then for scientific rationalism is to discover hitherto unknown elements to the puzzle,to continue the game, but the problem does not go away, science has nothing to say about the how and why of the totality. Only the interactions within it.

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Rational

1. agreeable to reason; reasonable; sensible: a rational plan for economic development.

2. having or exercising reason, sound judgment, or good sense:a calm and rational negotiator.

3. being in or characterized by full possession of one's reason; sane; lucid: The patient appeared perfectly rational.

4. endowed with the faculty of reason: rational beings.

5. of, pertaining to, or constituting reasoning powers: the rational faculty.

Source: http://dictionary.reference.com/browse/rational

Edited by Hasina
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Rational derives from the word ratio, a precisely defined relationship between distinct elements in a system. It tells you nothing about how you come to have a pie chart to play with. Known reality is the pie.

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rational (adj.)

late 14c., "pertaining to reason;" mid-15c., "endowed with reason," from L. rationalis "of or belonging to reason, reasonable," from ratio (gen. rationis) "reckoning, calculation, reason" (see ratio).

Source: http://www.etymonline.com/index.php?term=rational

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I think the word that describes my stance in all this is apatheist, basically I am not interested in whether God exists or doesn't exist, and the answer has absolutely no relevance to how I live my life.

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I think the word that describes my stance in all this is apatheist, basically I am not interested in whether God exists or doesn't exist, and the answer has absolutely no relevance to how I live my life.

Oh, I don't know, you cared enough to post !

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He shared his opinion. I post a lot about politics but I never vote because I don't care enough to.

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Oh, I don't know, you cared enough to post !

I wouldn't say I 'cared', I was merely rubbernecking the debate

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The problem with these arguments is that people have been thoroughly brain-washed into believing the word "rational" implies that which is sane, right, or correct. The proper way of looking at things. This is wrong, 'rational' thinking is simply a systematic way of looking at the relationship of elements within a system, it has no application at all to answering the problem of how the whole system, that is the entirety of known elements, came about. The only scope then for scientific rationalism is to discover hitherto unknown elements to the puzzle,to continue the game, but the problem does not go away, science has nothing to say about the how and why of the totality. Only the interactions within it.

Ah, the tedious old "science can't address my beliefs" shtick. Sorry, if something can't be addressed by the scientific method, it doesn't exist. Science is just a tool, a way of approaching our understanding of the world around is.

Rather than me not understanding rationality, you don't seem to understand science.

Believing in something that has no empirical evidence for it is irrational, and your made up definitions aren't going to change anyone's minds.

Edited by Emma_Acid

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and here you loose all credibility. Has Euphorbia ever called for the death of anyone have they caled believes evil and should rot in dirt, NO so your example tells more of your extrimism no one elses.

Well no, not yet ;-). But all throughout the world, atheist kill believers on a regular basis. China and North Korea today, in the past other countries. Atheist have bloody hands as well in fact the 20th century attest to that reality. It is people who are the problem, not atheism nor faith, just people doing what they do best.

peace

mark

Edited by markdohle

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What is more irrational:

Trying to prove something that there is no evidence for? And believing it anyway?

Or not believing in something because there is no evidence to support it whatsoever?

I'll rephrase: Is it more irrational to believe in something there is no evidence for, or to not believe in something there is no evidence for?

Faith in God is not irrational and there is evidence. The anthropic principle points to a creator, though does not prove it. The fact that we live in a rational universe ruled by laws, and creatures who are in fact rational points to a rational creator. Philosophical proofs can be convincing to many, or to put it better, show believers that do in fact have reasons to believe in God. Since the universe had a beginning and is not eternal, well that points to a creator as well, though not absolute proof.; Science for many has nothing to say on the God issue and a mistakes for them to do so in my opinion. Dawkins a great man of science makes a fool of himself when speaking on God and faith-heads as well as many of the new atheist. In fact it resembles a cult. Just go to one of their web pages and see for yourself.....though you may be a new atheist yourself.

peace

mark

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Well now, that was just harsh and mean spirited. Quite uncalled for.

This is one problem that I have with a few agnostics, and anyone else really when they think they 'see both sides', if you don't really have a stance on an issue, how can you have an understanding of either end? If you claim agnosticism, then claim atheists don't understand theists, and vice versa, what makes agnostics so special that they understand both sides? Or in this case, you so special?

I think he was responding to the atheist tendency to think those who don't agree as crazy....perhaps you are like that, I don't know, hope not. He reacts against what he interprets as an injustice, though like you say, he may do the same thing when he is riled ;-). I think we can respond to an indivudual in any group from some past experiences which clouds communication, transference can be a big block to listening and actual communication.

Peace

Mark

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Indecision is still a decision. Just shrugging and saying 'well, there might be a god or there might not be, I'll just sit and wait' is not reasonable at all. Agnostics are only viewed as 'reasonable' because they can sway from side to side and prop up either end of the argument without having to take a real position. I prefer conviction to this 'welp we just don't know' rhetoric.

You yourself make a stance now by saying both are flawed but never think that this agnostic view point just makes you cross eyed. Being 'undecided' isn't a stance, it's a defense against making a desicion, which everyone has to make at some time or the other, even to ourselves. Humans are a 'this' or 'that' kind of species. It's what got us to the moon and kept us from being eaten by lions on the savannah. If my views are flawed, I'll change them, but not until proven otherwise.

You are under the illusion that belief is a decision. It is not. Certainly beliefs can be backed up, but you don't choose to believe or not believe you just do based upon your own psychology.

Agnostics are simply being honest. They don't know. Which is true because no one really can. Whatever/however created this universe probably lies outside of it, therefore that information is inaccessible by material means. Agnostics are not defending anything they are stateing the only actual truth that can be recognized. "we don't know." to say otherwise must be inaccurate. Note, opinions are another matter. I'm an agnostic theist but that is truth then an opinion. I recognize I cannot know for sure if there is a god or the nature of such a being. My experiences could be all psychological and physiological, but I am convinced there is, so I have an opinion. and no my beliefs are not choices, they just are. I could not possibly believe any different if I tried. Potentially new evidences could sway me, but I wouldn't have a choice in that either.

Edited by Seeker79

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I just think you are generalizing. In my experience, atheists are more like myself than the vocal few you see all over the internet.

Your kidding right? You don't see your self as a vocal atheist? :D

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There is no such thing as different types of proof.

What!!!! You must be jokeing. There is no "proof" of anything. Scientific knowledge is expressed with statistics with degrees of accuracy and margin for error.

There are many kinds of evidence. Empirical, circumstantial, annecdotal etc...

All the kinds of evidence evenchually break down, there for a prudent thinker looks at all of it.

If 10,000 people witness a murder and identify the culprit it's much more likely to be true than if one person does. Plural of anecdote isn't proof, but it gets closer and closer.

The same thing with circumstances... The more circumstances that point to a specific conclusion the more likely it is to be true.

Empirical evidence is great, but when it breaks down its useless for decision makeing, and without the whole picture small truths say nothing about the larger ones that they are apart of.

100 billion years from now ( something like that) our galaxy will sit alone. We will have no way of knowing that other galaxies exist. We will not know that space expands, we could not possibly have a big bang theory, our entire cosmological knowledge base will be completely different. Thories based purely on fundamental Empiricism is and must be an utter failure.

Edited by Seeker79

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You are under the illusion that belief is a decision. It is not. Certainly beliefs can be backed up, but you don't choose to believe or not believe you just do based upon your own psychology.

Agnostics are simply being honest. They don't know. Which is true because no one really can. Whatever/however created this universe probably lies outside of it, therefore that information is inaccessible by material means. Agnostics are not defending anything they are stateing the only actual truth that can be recognized. "we don't know." to say otherwise must be inaccurate. Note, opinions are another matter. I'm an agnostic theist but that is truth then an opinion. I recognize I cannot know for sure if there is a god or the nature of such a being. My experiences could be all psychological and physiological, but I am convinced there is, so I have an opinion. and no my beliefs are not choices, they just are. I could not possibly believe any different if I tried. Potentially new evidences could sway me, but I wouldn't have a choice in that either.

I believed in Santa, the Tooth Fairy, the monster under the bed, etc and so forth. Why did I believe in those things? The half eaten cookies, the quarter left for me under my pillow, the scary stories my sisters would tell, I believed because I had these 'proven' facts to support them, I chose to believe in them because the evidence (and my sisters were pretty trust worthy till proven otherwise) pointed towards their existence. If a person just chooses to believe because well gosh darnit it's a nice story, well that's just silly.

Honesty really has nothing to do with it, theists believe they're being honest when they say 'this god did this and I have the proof' and the same with atheists. Yes, true, there's no proof what happened before the creation of the universe but one example is not a very good one to just up and decide 'we don't know'. I have to agree more with Batfastard then anyone else, atheist or theist, agnostic or agnostic theist, it only really matters to those who 'believe' whether a god exists or doesn't exist. For me, atheism fits into my world view. Does it matter whether a god exists? Not really, no, especially not one who does nothing.

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Ah, the tedious old "science can't address my beliefs" shtick. Sorry, if something can't be addressed by the scientific method, it doesn't exist. Science is just a tool, a way of approaching our understanding of the world around is.

Rather than me not understanding rationality, you don't seem to understand science.

Believing in something that has no empirical evidence for it is irrational, and your made up definitions aren't going to change anyone's minds.

I find this post quite ignorant. Considering science is still only a baby, to say if science cannot proof it, it doesnt excist.

Science doesnt have an opinion on right or wrong, exsistance or non exsistance. it is just a tool like you say.... Therefore to say something doesnt exsist because science hasnt proved it to be, is completely insane and irrational(as this is the word being used alot)

It ONLY implies that science may not be effective to measure this phenomena until it has advanced.

Or it may not exsist, but to say it isnt now is completely ignorant, insane and irrational.

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Yes, true, there's no proof what happened before the creation of the universe but one example is not a very good one to just up and decide 'we don't know'.

Well.... We don't. Anyone claiming that they do is simply inaccurate. You can have an opinion about it and Mabey on of those opinions is right, but it is still an opinion.

You did not choose to believe in the toothfary, you simple did until you had reason not to.

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Well.... We don't. Anyone claiming that they do is simply inaccurate. You can have an opinion about it and Mabey on of those opinions is right, but it is still an opinion.

You did not choose to believe in the toothfary, you simple did until you had reason not to.

Once again, true, we don't, but it's still the same as your concept of belief, opinion still has a right to exist and still has a right to be used as a empirical conclusion or 'belief'

I did choose, I was introduced to the concept of the Tooth Fairy, I was told 'there is a tiny woman with fairy wings who comes into my room at night and takes my baby teeth and gives me a quarter for them'. I had the proof, those quarters, I had my parents backing it, I choose to follow the evidence, there was a Tooth Fairy. Maybe that's a bit analytical, but it's how the human mind works. Evidence, Choose, Conclusion, Belief.

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