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Clockwork_Spirit

Atheism and faith

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Clockwork_Spirit
Posted (edited)

There seems to be a basic creed that we can establish for many self-proclaimed atheists:

  • The universe exists by chance
  • Nothing exists beyond this life – there is no ultimate source of trust in the universe
  • Humans are the ultimate judge of all things – there is no final moral reckoning
  • Any value or purpose of life can be worked out from the wisdom of mankind
  • Everything can be discovered by science
  • There is no purpose or meaning to the universe (And it’s a silly question to ask anyway - see below)
  • Human ideals are progress, tolerance, and individualism

After reading this book by Normand L. Geisler and Frank Turek, I have come to the conclusion that atheism, for many people, isn't merely a ''lack of belief in a Deity'' but an actual faith system. It makes propositions. It has a set of beliefs and doctrines which some consider to be evidence.

5o9uzl.jpg

What do you think? But please do remain civilized and polite. This isn't about bashing particular views but questionning one's ways of thinking.

Edited by Clockwork_Spirit
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Aquila King

I'm actually very familiar with this book, and have read through it multiple times. There are numerous flaws with the book, too numerous for me to address here tonight with less than 30 mins. to midnight, so I'll simply link to other people's rebuttals instead:

Quote

I Don’t Have Enough faith to Be an Atheist (2004) is a book authored by Christian apologists Norman Geisler and Frank Turek. The book is intended to portray atheists as having blind faith in non-belief in Christianity while theists (particularly Christians) beliefs are based on reason and evidence. The book contains arguments in favor of intelligent design and many anti-evolution propaganda, for which I label this a Creationist book.

The following article presents my critical analysis and counter-arguments to the trite apologetic arguments used to persuade it’s readers that “atheists have more faith then theists.” As a Igtheist Atheist Agnostic Apistevist, I challenge that bold claim.

http://trollingwithlogic.com/godless-wolf/2013/04/25/a-review-of-i-dont-have-enough-faith-to/

Quote

The fundamental problem with this book is the particular way it takes a partisan approach: there are partisan books and then there are obnoxiously partisan books.  Like many (but not all) of those other books in the apologetics genre, the basic approach seems to be the following.

  1. Present and defend the author’s preferred view as favorably as possible.
  2. Represent opposing views as unfavorably as possible.
  3. Reach the remarkable conclusion that–surprise, surprise–the author’s view is true.
  4. Suggest that anyone who disagrees is ignorant, irrational, or has ulterior (non-rational) motives.

The problem with obnoxious apologetics, which seems to afflict as many atheist apologists as theist apologists, is that it’s a fatally flawed way to search for truth. If our goal is the sincere pursuit of truth–and it should be–then the above approach is what not to do. Rather, if our goal is the sincere pursuit of truth, then our basic approach should be to represent opposing views fairly, in the best possible light, and interact with the best arguments both for and against the different viewpoints.

http://www.patheos.com/blogs/secularoutpost/2015/03/13/index-rebuttal-to-geislers-and-tureks-i-dont-have-enough-faith-to-be-an-atheist/

 

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papageorge1
36 minutes ago, Clockwork_Spirit said:

What do you think? 

Atheism and faith

Do secular atheists have faith?

 

Even as a non-atheist, I hesitate to call it faith. Those things you listed seem to be just logical followings from the assumption that life is just a temporary arraignment of physical components. To me, the main question is if that assumption is correct; that we are just temporary physical compositions and our consciousness is also just a temporary production of matter in motion.

To me, my study of the paranormal is crucial in my determining that there we are more than this physical-only understanding. 

 

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MrBene

I do have faith in that these charlatans and religious fanatics will find a real job soon. 

 

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psyche101
1 minute ago, MrBene said:

I do have faith in that these charlatans and religious fanatics will find a real job soon. 

 

:lol::rofl::tu:

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Hello Davros Kitty

Total Strawman apologetics. 

Just give me evidence of a God. Wishful thinking, confirmation biases, and belief itself is not evidence. I repeat not evidence. 

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Clockwork_Spirit
Posted (edited)
1 hour ago, Aquila King said:

I'm actually very familiar with this book, and have read through it multiple times. There are numerous flaws with the book, too numerous for me to address here tonight with less than 30 mins. to midnight, so I'll simply link to other people's rebuttals instead:

 

I take issue with the Patheos review.

This book isn't meant to be objective. It makes a case and present arguments for it. It's a partisant book, as there are many partisant books on the atheist side as well (see Dawkins' The God Delusion or God is not great by Hitchens). Does the reviewer hold these authors by the same standards?

Edited by Clockwork_Spirit

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Clockwork_Spirit
Posted (edited)
56 minutes ago, MrBene said:

I do have faith in that these charlatans and religious fanatics will find a real job soon. 

 

I was hoping that personal attacks could be avoided in this thread.

For your information:

One of the author, Frank Turek is a former aviator in the U.S. Navy, and has a master's degree in Public Administration from George Washington University and a doctorate in Philosophy of Religion from Southern Evangelical Seminary.[2] He has also taught classes in Leadership and Management at George Washington University.[1] 

 https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Frank_Turek

He's currently a radio host and has a television show on the NRB network.

That seems very much like a ''real job'' to me.

Edited by Clockwork_Spirit

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MrBene
2 minutes ago, Clockwork_Spirit said:

I was hoping that personal attacks could be avoided in this thread.

For your information:

One of the author, Frank Turek is a former aviator in the U.S. Navy, and has a master's degree in Public Administration from George Washington University and a doctorate in Philosophy of Religion from Southern Evangelical Seminary.[2] He has also taught classes in Leadership and Management at George Washington University.[1] 

He's currently a radio host and has a television show on the NRB network.

That seems very much like a ''real job'' to me.

I never lost my faith! :D 

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Noteverythingisaconspiracy
7 hours ago, Clockwork_Spirit said:
  • Human ideals are progress, tolerance, and individualism

Sounds horrible. We should surely stick to bronze age morality, rather than this. :rolleyes:

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Liquid Gardens
7 hours ago, Clockwork_Spirit said:

 It's a partisant book, as there are many partisant books on the atheist side as well (see Dawkins' The God Delusion or God is not great by Hitchens). Does the reviewer hold these authors by the same standards?

I do.  Can you point out where either Dawkins or Hitchens is wrong or inconsistent?  It took me all the way to the seventh word in the OP ('creed') to find something that is incorrect in what the OP says atheists 'seem' to believe, not a good start.

 

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Stubbly_Dooright

I'm not an Atheist, (well now, I was for some years in my young adulthood, plus grew up secular with no church going, bible reading, yada yada yada, I'm sure the long timers have had enough of my constant describing of that. :D   Sorry ) But, I feel, there isn't a total understanding of them here. I'm hoping you don't consider this accusing you of anything, just that I feel there is a misconception. I may have my 'outlook', but in the end, I wouldn't be able to see up close anyone's perspective, just my own. Drawing up the thoughts, goals, and attitude of someone else, I find a bit too self*confident in assuming one knows someone else better, than they know themselves. I really think, one really cannot understand someone else, and there will be 'misconceptions' just on the mere fact, that they are not them. (In fact, for me to see this, I would think one is drawing someone else's perspective out of their own 'wishful thinking' more than really trying to understand another person. 

I think Psyche worded it pretty well, in his post. And I think he has the right idea of it being better to ask an Atheist than making 'conclusions' about them. I wonder, do you really want to know if Atheists have faith? Or, are you pointing out in your perspective that they don't, and want to have it known what you have come to a conclusion that they don't? I'm really curious about that. 

Keep in mind, again, I'm not an Atheist. And that I have had many conversations with Psyche, and despite a multitude of disagreements from each other, I feel, ( and hope he knows that from me :blush: ) I feel the conversations have been educational, and not just 2 dimensional. There is a lot more to this, then I think meets the eyes of some.  And I love and agree what psyche put in his post. A lot more about each other, I feel :yes: that shows how one cannot pin point very quickly about another. There are varying elements in everything, that I think should be taken into consideration. 

 

While I was skimming through the video, (to get an idea of it, I'll be honest, at this point, I haven't seen all of it) there the point of quoting something from someone who said, (Pascal?) 'people come to their beliefs based not on truth, but on what they find attractive'. 

I don't know. Actually, I kind of know for me, but don't know how to follow this thinking, but feel I have to disagree strongly. I don't think that's the basis of people's beliefs, but on their wishful thinking. In which, I think, are two different things. This made me reflect on my beliefs and see how they came to be. (It gave me an answer :yes: ) If my belief was like what that it said, then my belief system has me in a mansion, with a lot of books, I'm the biggest author there is, and I have a whole lot of cats!!! (and yes, my family is there, doing so many things that if they knew, they would be like............. :no:  ) 

Ok, I do have a lot of books..............................

Anyways, other wise than that, my belief system is failing to live up to it. :w00t:  

Though, remembering a few posters on here, (don't worry, I think it was profoundly said, and I reflect on it in an honest way) about those who have their beliefs, because that is what they want or choose to, because they're not happy with life. Or, something close to that. *shrugs* I have come to the conclusion, that maybe I have. But, and this is where that part of the video comes in, and then my reflections that come out to disagree with that. I do feel, yes, I have practiced and believed my beliefs, due to how I see the negatives of my life, but I think the certain aspects of it, were actually ramifications or side effects of it, if you will. 

I still feel, one believes something, because they have a proof, be it their own proof, or truth, or they see it objectively, along with other's eyes. There is something, I think, that runs along of how something can, (even circumstantial as it may) can happen to give them clues to believe. I think, that I have practiced and experimented with my belief, that responses in my eyes, cause me to believe. Maybe not others, but I think we're talking individual beliefs and how they believe, and that's how I see how one comes to believe based on their truth, and not out of wishful thinking. I think these two are confused for each other. 

 

Another in the video, and part of this point here, he was saying how Atheists would still say no, if they were ask, "If you have proof of Christianity being real, would you believe it?" I have come across, (in my observations) of quite a few posters here who are Atheists, have said they would believe, if the evidence is there. I have Atheists outside of this net world, say that. What the guy in the video is saying about Atheists saying no to believing with evidence, goes against what I have noticed of Atheists saying about believing with evidence. So, I don't think that part of the video,  is something that actually would happen. 

 

4 hours ago, eight bits said:
Quote

... Humans are the ultimate judge of all things ...

Nobody who lives with cats believes that.

As a cat lover, who has and is still living with cats, you got that right!!!! :tu:  

 

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Clockwork_Spirit
Posted (edited)
8 hours ago, Noteverythingisaconspiracy said:

Sounds horrible. We should surely stick to bronze age morality, rather than this. :rolleyes:

I did not argue that the creed is bad. Only that it takes faith to be a secular atheist.

3 hours ago, Stubbly_Dooright said:

I think Psyche worded it pretty well, in his post. And I think he has the right idea of it being better to ask an Atheist than making 'conclusions' about them. I wonder, do you really want to know if Atheists have faith? Or, are you pointing out in your perspective that they don't, and want to have it known what you have come to a conclusion that they don't? I'm really curious about that.

I've had many conversations with atheists over the years. There are recurent themes, assumptions and beliefs that comes up in those dialogues. I have outlined them in the OP. Many secular atheists, for instance, propose that their worldview is proved by science and therefore true. But I think that is being confused with faith. One of the author of the book also had debates with well-known atheists. That's how conclusions were reached.

 

Edited by Clockwork_Spirit

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Aquila King
14 hours ago, psyche101 said:

What science tells us is that there is no good reason to so much as consider the afterlife as a viable concept. It is as man made as Unicorns and mermaids. The concept has nothing more than man made myth behind it.

I really like the majority of what you post, but this is where we disagree. :hmm:

I don't wish to diverge into another topic on here, but I am curious about this. I'm mostly agnostic about the afterlife, but I'm not sure where you're getting the idea that science has definitively proven that there is nothing beyond death. I'm not so certain that science has the definitive answer to this question yet. Just like the idea of a multiverse or the exact origins of this universe have not been definitively proven or explained. Science hasn't answered everything yet, so I think it's better to humbly say when we don't know. If you wouldn't mind supporting your statement here it'd be greatly appreciated.

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Aquila King
4 hours ago, Stubbly_Dooright said:

I may have my 'outlook', but in the end, I wouldn't be able to see up close anyone's perspective, just my own. Drawing up the thoughts, goals, and attitude of someone else, I find a bit too self*confident in assuming one knows someone else better, than they know themselves. I really think, one really cannot understand someone else, and there will be 'misconceptions' just on the mere fact, that they are not them. (In fact, for me to see this, I would think one is drawing someone else's perspective out of their own 'wishful thinking' more than really trying to understand another person.

I truly love reading your posts Stubbly. ^_^

This above is incredibly wise, and a good lesson for living life in general really. Thank you for that. :tu:

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Aquila King
14 hours ago, Clockwork_Spirit said:

This book isn't meant to be objective.

The book claims that Christianity is objectively true, and that it can be objectively proven.

You're just moving the goal posts.

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Jodie.Lynne
Posted (edited)

The assumption that atheists have a 'belief system', is a common argument from the camps of the believers in a deity, mostly but not entirely some form of Christian. It is not a fair and accurate assessment of the atheist position. 

 

From Mirriam-Webster:

 

Definition of atheism

1 a : a lack of belief or a strong disbelief in the existence of a god or any gods
b : a philosophical or religious position characterized by disbelief in the existence of a god or any gods
2 archaic : godlessness especially in conduct : ungodliness, wickedness
 
I would point out that definition # 1b would apply to any theist who disbelieves in gods from other faiths. I would also like to add that an atheist does not necessarily discount the existence of a god (as in the case of myself), but that there has not been sufficient evidence to confirm a believe in a deity. And until such time that such evidence is produced, it is reasonable to hold the position that no deity exists.
 
However, if it makes the OP feel comfortable claiming that atheists have a belief system, he is free to do so. He would be incorrect, but still free to believe it.
 
Now, if you'll excuse me, I have to run to the Lab... we are sacrificing a 1st year seminary student to the statue of Richard Dawkins.......:devil:
Edited by JMPD1
forgot one little word that changes everything
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psyche101
3 hours ago, Clockwork_Spirit said:

I did not argue that the creed is bad. Only that it takes faith to be a secular atheist.

And that's as silly as saying the creed is bad, which actually does not exist and does not apply to all atheists. Faith and atheism don't go together. Your just seeking self validation again. 

3 hours ago, Clockwork_Spirit said:

I've had many conversations with atheists over the years. There are recurent themes, assumptions and beliefs that comes up in those dialogues.

That's called consistency. That's convincing if anything. It's not a personal view but a practical one that applies to the real world, not just the beholder. 

3 hours ago, Clockwork_Spirit said:

I have outlined them in the OP. Many secular atheists, for instance, propose that their worldview is proved by science and therefore true.

See you never learned a thing from a single discussion you had with any atheist 

I have corrected you on this personal assumption numerous times. 

Science has shown 'best fit to the data' 

Predictability and repeatability make it so. What that observation has shown is that the universe is natural and there is no need to continue the original philosophies of a creator. That's called learning. It's what we do as a species. Information gets superseded as we learn more. God philosophies have been superseded by better and more accurate information. 

3 hours ago, Clockwork_Spirit said:

But I think that is being confused with faith.

Its very clear that you are who is confused here. How can you possibly associate repeatability and predictability with faith? Your just not making sense at all. 

3 hours ago, Clockwork_Spirit said:

One of the author of the book also had debates with well-known atheists. That's how conclusions were reached.

 

Then he has failed as well. Its clearly a case is the blind leading the blind here. But thanks for the clip  I'll watch it when I have a couple hours spare. 

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psyche101
Posted (edited)
4 hours ago, Aquila King said:

I really like the majority of what you post, but this is where we disagree. :hmm:

I don't wish to diverge into another topic on here, but I am curious about this. I'm mostly agnostic about the afterlife, but I'm not sure where you're getting the idea that science has definitively proven that there is nothing beyond death. I'm not so certain that science has the definitive answer to this question yet. Just like the idea of a multiverse or the exact origins of this universe have not been definitively proven or explained. Science hasn't answered everything yet, so I think it's better to humbly say when we don't know. If you wouldn't mind supporting your statement here it'd be greatly appreciated.

Sure no worries. That's why we are here - discussion :tu: It's just an extension from the discoveries that show us there is no good reason at all to consider a creator. Thermodynamics and physics in general agree that there is no afterlife. Expect a very stupid comment about this explanation being a 'creed' or 'mantra' from the devoutly religious who can only understand repeatability as such.

We know that the mind is the brain, despite the fringe people who claim otherwise, all evidence well illustrates that the mind is the brain, and it is made of atoms. We know how atoms work. Surely there may be things we will learn in addition to what we already know but our basic knowledge of atoms is highly unlikely to be altered. We know how the brain is connected with neurons and synaptic connections. Sure too many to map and replicate with current technology, but we do have good models of the Connectome which is basically a map of our consciousness. We have measured all forces in the body and around it. We can detect very weak forces in nature, so if there is one weaker than we can detect, physics tells us it would not be capable of maintaining that complex connection of the Connectome, successfully.

data14-e1307568806641-720x693.jpg

We understand what the 'energy' in your body is, how it gets there, and where it goes when you die. It is generated by tiny pumps on your nervous system. When you die that system shuts down and stops generating energy and it is disapated as heat which is where thermodynamics kick in. 

Body farms have been around for decades now. People actually place bodies in different conditions and study decay. All of the above results in the expected breakdown of materials that we record in body farms. We have consistency with scientific prediction and practical application, gruesome as it may be. 

The problem with the afterlife anecdotes on the form of NDEs is often misinterpreted to fulfill our hopes and wishes. Thing is science does not support the myths of the afterlife, but the process of decay. Some doctors have offered an opinion based on these anecdotes which is why I tend to dismiss the medical profession over physics here. Physics cannot be biased by tales handed down generation after generation telling us what to expect. Doctors are offering opinions just like a plumber might, with no actual insight. Doctors deal with life not death. And some such as Eben Alexander have shamelessly cashed in on this myth of hope. 

To further support the above, here are some of the best minds in the planet flatly stating the afterlife is nothing more than myth. Put simply  just like there is no good reason to consider a creator with our current level of knowledge, there is equally no good reason to believe in an afterlife either. 

http://www.preposterousuniverse.com/blog/2011/05/23/physics-and-the-immortality-of-the-soul/

 

https://skeptiko.com/near-death-experience-research-debate-with-steven-novella/

 

https://www.google.com.au/amp/s/futurism.com/the-physics-of-death/amp/

 

https://www.scientificamerican.com/article/why-the-ldquo-you-rdquo-in-an-afterlife-wouldnt-really-be-you/

 

Edited by psyche101
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ShadowSot
19 hours ago, Clockwork_Spirit said:

The universe exists by chance

Not really. We don't know currently how the universe came into existence. We can track back to certain point, but beyond the theoretical we don't have any data beyond that point yet. Among other issues, it implies the universe could be otherwise, and we don't really know that either. 

19 hours ago, Clockwork_Spirit said:

Nothing exists beyond this life – there is no ultimate source of trust in the universe

Now, I know this has been pointed out to you many, many times before. But let's try one more time to make this stick, eh? 

Atheism is not explicitly against Paranormal phenomenon or an afterlife. There is no universal creed on this at all. 

19 hours ago, Clockwork_Spirit said:

Humans are the ultimate judge of all things – there is no final moral reckoning

To me personally there doesn't seem to be. Certainly no God presented stays consistent, they tend to change to reflect society not the other way round. Even the Christian God tends to violate his own prescriptions of morality. 

20 hours ago, Clockwork_Spirit said:

Any value or purpose of life can be worked out from the wisdom of mankind

Probably not. 

20 hours ago, Clockwork_Spirit said:

Everything can be discovered by science

Nope. But of you present any sort of testable claim it can be. But otherwise, there are limits to human cognition at the very least. 

20 hours ago, Clockwork_Spirit said:

There is no purpose or meaning to the universe

Not in the sense people want. An active willing purpose that intentionally created humanity, for example. 

 

20 hours ago, Clockwork_Spirit said:

Human ideals are progress, tolerance, and individualism

Nope. Those make hopefully a successful society, and seems to be born out by history. But those are not innate human ideals. Also see history. 

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Aquila King
2 hours ago, psyche101 said:

Sure no worries. That's why we are here - discussion :tu:

Thanks for the numerous sources. I'll most definitely check them out.

As for me personally, I may just simply not know enough about science or understand it well enough to make a decision. At the end of the day, I just end up having to trust the word of some scientist(s), which is no different to me then trusting the word of some NDE experiencer or something. Yeah, I suppose the scientist is more credentialed, but since I just don't understand the science itself I end up just having to trust their word on it nonetheless. And I hate doing that.

I'd say my views on such matters have grown and evolved, even since being on here, rather significantly. I started out a fundamentalist Christian, then a staunch atheist, then a committed spiritualist, and now I'm about at the point where the only thing I'm actually certain of is that I'm uncertain about any of it. I've tried racking my brain to figure out the answer for years, and so far I haven't come any closer to the truth then I was to begin with. And honestly, I'm not so sure that I even care that much anymore.

I guess if I had any titles now days, I might be an 'Agnostic Apatheist' or something. I just don't know, and I'm not so sure that anyone else knows either.

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