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Magicjax

Your Road to Atheism?

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eight bits
So, in short - yes. I'd expect it to be a Schematic Model, basically.

Ok, then.

Tempted as I am to ask just how tiny you think the mare in question is supposed to be, perhaps it is best to leave it at I am unpersuaded that the Trundholm example is depiction of an ontological hypothesis. I do, as it happens, think it depicts something psychological, or at least take it to be a good deal less literally astronomical than you do.

My feeling, then, is that we have thoroughly popped this particular ear of corn. So to speak.

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Mr Walker

Resp

Atheism simply means the absence of a belief in god, not an opposition toward it. Babies are atheist. Magical thinking has nothing to do with atheism, per se. Most if not all atheist engage in magical thinking, we all do to some degree. If you ever thought an item was more special, say your grandmother's necklace, and were told you could have a new one, anyone else who found that old necklace would likely exchange it for a new one, but the one whose grandmother owned it sees it as special. Is it really? If magically thinking, yes, because they touched it but its value to others would never include such imaginings. The value remains the same.

When cultures do that then the object or person becomes an icon. Although that might veer into branding in this day age using the same mechanism that told us objects were holy but now it is done through marketing resulting in lots of coveting of i-products.

To take issue with your very first point; atheism is a belief that gods do not exist. It is NOT simply an absence of belief, otherwise all non sentient organisms could be called atheistic. An unborn child could be called atheistic.

Atheism is a CONSCIOUS position of belief/disbelief, held rationally and logically just as communism is, or racism, or theism or facism or paganism. Its nature can be explained, as can one's reasons for holding it.

And 'magical" thinking is simply a slightly derogative term for logical thinking without sufficient data. Every human thinks this way when faced with questions beyond, or outside their data set, unless or until they have been trained NOT to think in such a way.

Edited by Mr Walker

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Mr Walker

Mr W

The remarks you quoted were specifically concerned with the Bronze Age northern Europeans, as opposed to "primitive" people in any generality. So, the questions I raised in that post, and Tiggs' in the preceding post, would be matters of fact about specific people, as opposed to generalizations about how visual perception varies with culture.

Actually, it is portrayed as two stacked plates in the Trundholm example. Here's a link to a slideshow of it, along with a recent development of thinking about its purpose,

http://news.discover...dar-120330.html

It is very difficult to infer what people see from simply looking at their representational art, unless you take into account their representational conventions (which are not always known to scholarship), and, as a case like this illustrates, remember also that the "representation" may be affected by the demands of usefulness for a purpose.

In any case, among the visual effects that I would suspect our friends might have noticed is that a distant featureless ball is apt to look a lot like a disk. That would be a partial answer to your "evidence" question. The rest is that the sun always looks like a disk, all day, from everywhere. Balls do that, real disks don't. As I moved and it moved, I would expect a disk to look different, while I would expect a ball to look the same, always like a disk viewed "base on."

It is true i divided primitive people and scientific people into two camps. The time periods are not so relevant. We still have stone age primitive peoples on earth today and the first known scientific thinkers were emerging, perhaps, 3 millenia ago. However a scientific thinker also required a data base of knowedge to make sense/ use of their ability to think in certain ways. Probably, as with the development of speech and thought, the two processes are inextricably linked and co- evolving. I take your example of the ball and disc. But how one perceives it will often depend on knowedge. Many of the diagrams and explanations of early cosmologys are quite clear and detailed. If the sun was a disc on a rotating hemisherical or spherical interface between earth and " sky" then it would always appear the same.

Secondly, modern commentators explain how observations from around the world clearly show the nature of the sun. But in early times nobody travelled such long distances. Almost no one travelled more than a few miles from their home in their lives, except for a few ocean navigators who were among the first to provide data which allowed others to make more informed hypotheses on the nature of the sun and the earth.

And those who did take part in mass migrations of people had neither the maths nor science to make anything of what they may have observed. Their belief systems created in them understandings which overwhelmed or negated any concrete observational evidences ; or to put it another way, they saw what they expected to see from within their understandings, rather than seeing, and then altering their understandings.

I am sure you are aware of this ,but other readers who would like to get an idea of one of thef irst known scientific theories on the cosmos and also an understanding of how the scientist's mind worked with the data available, could look up anaximander.

However there are many other early cosmologies we know of, built by good minds doing the best with the data they could gather in their times.

Anaximander c 610-546 BC made many pertinent, accurate observations and conclusions, but his basic lack of data led him to this conclusion.

At the origin, after the separation of hot and cold, a ball of flame appeared that surrounded Earth like bark on a tree. This ball broke apart to form the rest of the Universe. It resembled a system of hollow concentric wheels, filled with fire, with the rims pierced by holes like those of a flute.

Consequently, the Sun was the fire that one could see through a hole the same size as the Earth on the farthest wheel, and an eclipse corresponded with the occlusion of that hole. The diameter of the solar wheel was twenty-seven times that of the Earth (or twenty-eight, depending on the sources)[29] and the lunar wheel, whose fire was less intense, eighteen (or nineteen) times. Its hole could change shape, thus explaining lunar phases. The stars and the planets, located closer,[30] followed the same model.[31]

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Anaximander

Edited by Mr Walker

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eight bits
We still have stone age primitive peoples on earth today

Today, however, they are exceptional, while at some earleir time, "they" were the entirety of the species. So, there is an obvious sampling problem. Are the so-called "primitive" people of today fully representative of the Earth's entire population long ago? I think it depends on the attribute. For example,

But in early times nobody travelled such long distances

No nomads, no seasonal hunting migrants, no seafarers, no river travelers, nowhere on Earth? Really. The world's oldest surviving sea-going boat is roughly contemporary with the Trundholm example,

http://www.dailymail.co.uk/sciencetech/article-2110578/Worlds-oldest-sea-going-boat-sail-scientists-rebuild-Dover-Bronze-Age-Boat-ancient-tools-understand-people-crossed-channel-1500BC.html

The oldest surviving boat of any kind comes from about 5000 BCE.

And, of course, the species itself moved from its origins in Africa to be represented almost everywhere on Earth. Somebody moved, Mr Walker. And even if they didn't, the sun appears to move quite a bit, both daily and through the course of a year.

The simplest geometric object which at a constant distance looks like a disk of fixed radius, regardless of viewing angle, is a ball. The Sun looks like a ball.

In any case, we are not talking about "scientific theories of the cosmos" as the alternative. We aren't talking about science at all, since that has nothing whatsoever to do with atheism.

We are talking about the hypothetical existence of made-up stories, which are allegedly believed to assert ontological facts despite being made up, whose alleged purpose is to assuage durably some supposed curiosity, a kind which is satisfied not only by an explanation, but by any story that features the objects of curiosity, even if only to describe them.

I see no evidence that such a drive exists. I am being invited to suppose that curiosity is like sex or hunger where, if I am unable to satisfy the drive as I would like, then I will be content with whatever dulls the respective itch. Except with one additional feature: I am supposed to believe, really believe, not to pretend, that this stone soup is real soup, and that this man, my bearded and bathless neighbor Bubba, really is Keira Knightley.

I don't buy it, and I don't think that appealing to a fanciful "primitiveness" makes it any more plausible, particularly not a theory of "primitiveness" which groundlessly overstates the difficulty our ancestors had making elementary observations and inferences about their surroundings.

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Clarakore

To take issue with your very first point; atheism is a belief that gods do not exist. It is NOT simply an absence of belief, otherwise all non sentient organisms could be called atheistic. An unborn child could be called atheistic.

Atheism is a CONSCIOUS position of belief/disbelief, held rationally and logically just as communism is, or racism, or theism or facism or paganism. Its nature can be explained, as can one's reasons for holding it.

And 'magical" thinking is simply a slightly derogative term for logical thinking without sufficient data. Every human thinks this way when faced with questions beyond, or outside their data set, unless or until they have been trained NOT to think in such a way.

I concede the type of atheism you described exists, it is the type most people think about, but that is not the only type of atheism.

There are different type of atheism. Dan Barker wrote, "Basic atheism is not a belief. It is the lack of belief. There is a difference between believing there is no god and not believing there is a god--both are atheistic, though popular usage has ignored the latter."

Babies clearly do not believe there is a god, just as much as babies do not inherently have understanding of our cultural concept of morality (although they might have morals, the kind that are adaptive traits). Thus babies are amoral and atheists depending on how one defines atheism and there is more than just one definition.

Edited by Lookitisoneofthosepeople

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Beckys_Mom

Babies clearly do not believe there is a god

Explain how a baby would even know what a god is let alone not hold a belief in one? For anyone to say they so not hold a belief in something, they at least have to know and understand what it is they do not hold beliefs in... So your statement is not making any real logical sense at all. How does any infant / baby ever know what a god is, to decide not to believe the god is real?.................

Babies are born ignorant..it is the parents job to teach them... If a parent raises the baby to believe in a god, then the baby grows into a believer... Same if the parent teaches the baby ( as it grows ) that people hold beliefs in a god.. and teaches the baby there is no god.. then that baby will soon grow into atheism.. WHY? because of what the baby was taught as it was growing up....... You should note that it all has to be taught, learned ..before they hold any beliefs that god is either for real or not.... No one is born atheist... just like no one is born a believer... it is all from what we are taught and conditioned to...

I have highlighted the key words ...to lay emphasis...I feel many key words should be noted ...teaching.. growing, learning.. that lands from choice.. the choice of the parent to teach the child.. and later the choice of the child as it is much older to make up his or her own mind to follow atheism OR religion.. all choice

Edited by Beckys_Mom

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Clarakore

Look closer at Dan Barker's words. "Babies believe there is no god" is not the same as "babies do not believe there is a god."

Babies believe there is no god is false because babies do not believe in anything.

Babies do not believe there is a god is true because babies do not believe in anything.

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Beckys_Mom

Look closer at Dan Barker's words. "Babies believe there is no god" is not the same as "babies do not believe there is a god."

Babies believe there is no god is false because babies do not believe in anything.

Babies do not believe there is a god is true because babies do not believe in anything.

Well then this Dan you speak of has it wrong and I am not interested in what he thinks.. ... ..That description you posted is poorly described definition of the term atheism.... It should be understood that you need to know of something BEFORE you decide if it is real or not... Danny boy should understand that babies are born ignorant... they need to learn and grow... babies cannot believe in things until they grow and learn it is simple as ABC..Its the same for everything else we come to know.... We cannot know of it until it is taught or we fully understand it... its called growing, learning and making choices ...

Atheism is a path choice made.. like I told previously - It is taught by choice of a parent OR later taught by other means.. then the choice is made by the individual to keep it or ditch it..A child would have to know what God is before they can understand what it is they are told is not real..Same with IE - Santa...a child cannot hold a belief in Santa until the child is told what Santa is....Just like a child cannot be told Santa is not reall if they never were informed of him it would be a pointless exercise ..

Atheism is about not holding beliefs..in Gods ...if you do not know about the gods then you are not labelled atheist or believer.. you are ignorant to what Gods are ect...

The word Dan should use in ref to babies knowledge is - Ignorant ..and not atheist . Dan is barking mad if he doesn't grasp that Pun intended lol

Edited by Beckys_Mom

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Magicjax

Just a thought on the discussion about if babies are born atheist.

My point of view is that if you have no idea of the concept of a god or religion. Then the word atheist alone could not exist. It's interesting though. Imagine a society that has no idea of the concept of religion. They've never heard of it or thought of it. The idea of religion and gods just never came up. Would you label this society and "atheist" society?

I don't think I would. But its kinda like a double edge sword thought. On one hand they don't believe in any god (because they never heard of it) so atheist could apply. But on the other side an atheist can't exist in the absence of religion.

Theist and Atheist can't exist without prior knowledge of the concept of religion and gods.

Edited by Magicjax
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Arbenol

Atheism is about not holding beliefs..in Gods ...if you do not know about the gods then you are not labelled atheist or believer.. you are ignorant to what Gods are ect...

There are various definitions of the word atheist. They don't all require an active disbelief. You're really arguing semantics here. Where you've got definitions that conflict you'll go with what best fits your own view. But that doesn't make you right and everyone else wrong.

If you look at what you're arguing about, you're not actually disagreeing with anyone here. I think we can all agree that babies are born lacking belief in a deity - who cares what you call it.

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Beckys_Mom

There are various definitions of the word atheist.

Yes..we have the traditional version.. Non belief in Gods or a God ..then we have other peoples personal views...

.I stick with the plain old - Do not believe in God or Gods.. that is simple and it cuts to the chase... I do not mess with personal multi add ons.... If I am to describe an atheist to my kids.. I will tell them - They are people who do not hold beliefs in any Gods.. and I will not add in any other personal logic

I think we can all agree that babies are born lacking belief in a deity - who cares what you call it.

Many care ... I have heard a dozen times before hand by a few others in the other multi atheist threads... ..My view will remain and that again is born ignorant with no knowledge.....It stands to reason if we have no knowledge of something, that makes us ignorant of that something ... until we gain knowledge then it changes.... I figured everyone knew and understood that by now.. obviously not !

Bottom line with my view ( and many like me ) .All babies are born ignorant...And not to sound harsh but to be honest and add - People adding in what suits their personal view doesn't make me see any logic or convince me it is right... I will stand by the traditional definitions ..I will never ever view atheism as = have no clue what a god is I have no idea .. . that sounds so weird and not right to me..I think the personal should know what it is they are not holding beliefs in..it does help, same with those that holds the beliefs, they must know what it is they are believing in..It cuts both ways ... .I speak on my own behalf.. just like those that think for some reason if you are born with no knowledge of a god it makes you a non believer.. <-- no matter how often I read it or hear it like that..I still see no logic..and I do not want to sound harsh..I am being most honest I cannot see the logic in that ..

Example - I can imagine telling a child - Have you ever heard of Venus or mercury ?..and the child saying Venus? Mercury ? What are they? ....... And I reply - Oh I see you must not believe they exist as planets in our solar system ...ok then.. That would not make any sense to me or even the child.... I would obviously have to at least inform the child of them explain more before they can make up their minds and decide either to believe or not believe..

Edited by Beckys_Mom

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Beckys_Mom

Just a thought on the discussion about if babies are born atheist.

My point of view is that if you have no idea of the concept of a god or religion. Then the word atheist alone could not exist. It's interesting though. Imagine a society that has no idea of the concept of religion. They've never heard of it or thought of it. The idea of religion and gods just never came up. Would you label this society and "atheist" society?

I don't think I would. But its kinda like a double edge sword thought. On one hand they don't believe in any god (because they never heard of it) so atheist could apply. But on the other side an atheist can't exist in the absence of religion.

Theist and Atheist can't exist without prior knowledge of the concept of religion and gods.

THANK YOU...this is what I am saying.. If a society ( like you note) has never had any knowledge of a god ..then they cannot believes Gods do not exist ..... You have to at least have heard of a god.. it kinna helps ya know? lol

Edited by Beckys_Mom

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Mr Walker

Today, however, they are exceptional, while at some earleir time, "they" were the entirety of the species. So, there is an obvious sampling problem. Are the so-called "primitive" people of today fully representative of the Earth's entire population long ago? I think it depends on the attribute. For example,

No nomads, no seasonal hunting migrants, no seafarers, no river travelers, nowhere on Earth? Really. The world's oldest surviving sea-going boat is roughly contemporary with the Trundholm example,

http://www.dailymail...nel-1500BC.html

The oldest surviving boat of any kind comes from about 5000 BCE.

And, of course, the species itself moved from its origins in Africa to be represented almost everywhere on Earth. Somebody moved, Mr Walker. And even if they didn't, the sun appears to move quite a bit, both daily and through the course of a year.

The simplest geometric object which at a constant distance looks like a disk of fixed radius, regardless of viewing angle, is a ball. The Sun looks like a ball.

In any case, we are not talking about "scientific theories of the cosmos" as the alternative. We aren't talking about science at all, since that has nothing whatsoever to do with atheism.

We are talking about the hypothetical existence of made-up stories, which are allegedly believed to assert ontological facts despite being made up, whose alleged purpose is to assuage durably some supposed curiosity, a kind which is satisfied not only by an explanation, but by any story that features the objects of curiosity, even if only to describe them.

I see no evidence that such a drive exists. I am being invited to suppose that curiosity is like sex or hunger where, if I am unable to satisfy the drive as I would like, then I will be content with whatever dulls the respective itch. Except with one additional feature: I am supposed to believe, really believe, not to pretend, that this stone soup is real soup, and that this man, my bearded and bathless neighbor Bubba, really is Keira Knightley.

I don't buy it, and I don't think that appealing to a fanciful "primitiveness" makes it any more plausible, particularly not a theory of "primitiveness" which groundlessly overstates the difficulty our ancestors had making elementary observations and inferences about their surroundings.

Fair enough. I am beginning to think this approach is a part of a consistent skepticism or "tendency to disbelief "(but only based on the pattern of a number of recent posts) That is a reasonable approach to life, i suppose, although i believe it "blinds" you to what are quite well known and accepted truths such as how humans are KNOWN to construct beliefs.

Then again, your basis for "knowing" for yourself may be far more stringent than it is for others and for good reasonswhich is. ALso logical/ reasonable. I have found (from my point of view ) that you tend to express "disbelief" or at least your stated "agnosticism " in every thing you contemplate on which is consistent . IMO (and i understand the existence, and construction of, my own biases. For example i read a lot and get a lot of concepts, knowledge and understandings from both factual material but alsofrom fictional stories based on scientific knowledge and understandings) this seems to "blind" you to things which are not just accepted by the "general public" but readily evident. (perhaps i am too acepting or even gullible from your point of view.

None of this is written as a criticism. I actually can understand and admire such a world view, although it is so alien from my perspective as to be almost incomprehensible to me, and i couldnt make my world work if I thought the way you seem to.

But it certainly puts us at philosophical odds on many things. I am just happy to understand why this is so (if i have got it right)

Ps I did say that early navigators were an exception, but for most of them the skills of navigation did not alter their view of the cosmos, again because they did not have the perspectives/understandings to allow this to happen. When they saw different things they wove them into their cosmology rather than changing their cosmology. Any evidences we have suggest that they remained part of their society's belief system.

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eight bits
i suppose, although i believe it "blinds" you to what are quite well known and accepted truths such as how humans are KNOWN to construct beliefs.

Brave talk, Mr Walker. When you get some evidence, you know where to find me.

In the meantime, don't worry about my scholarship.

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csspwns

im an atheist and i have lived pretty well without believing in god

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Clarakore

There are various definitions of the word atheist. They don't all require an active disbelief. You're really arguing semantics here. Where you've got definitions that conflict you'll go with what best fits your own view. But that doesn't make you right and everyone else wrong.

If you look at what you're arguing about, you're not actually disagreeing with anyone here. I think we can all agree that babies are born lacking belief in a deity - who cares what you call it.

Exactly. It is not anyone's fault for not knowing the difference between implicit and explicit atheism. Although discussing atheism with others who do not understand that difference is bound to confuse them even as they sincerely believe it is your understanding that is lacking.

Being right or wrong is not as important as understanding another.

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Mr Walker

Brave talk, Mr Walker. When you get some evidence, you know where to find me.

In the meantime, don't worry about my scholarship.

I dont have to be brave, to make a belief statement. :innocent:

And i would hazard a guess you are one of the most scholarly people on the forum; which may, just possibly, at least in part, go some way to explain your world views and how you have come to hold them.

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