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crookedspiral

Atheism and faith

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ShadowSot
2 minutes ago, Aquila King said:

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.

I'd add something to Psyche101's post. There's a bit of a mix up in how people approach thoughts. It's presented that our thoughts are energy, when it's actually that our thoughts are produced through energy. In the same way that the operating system on your computer isn't energy, but it functions using energy. 

 Get rid of the Grey matter, hormones, and so one and you've got nothing going on. 

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Aquila King
3 minutes ago, ShadowSot said:

I'd add something to Psyche101's post. There's a bit of a mix up in how people approach thoughts. It's presented that our thoughts are energy, when it's actually that our thoughts are produced through energy. In the same way that the operating system on your computer isn't energy, but it functions using energy. 

 Get rid of the Grey matter, hormones, and so one and you've got nothing going on. 

Kinda sucks, but so do most versions of the afterlife too. Both have pros and cons when you really think about it.

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ShadowSot
2 minutes ago, Aquila King said:

Kinda sucks, but so do most versions of the afterlife too. Both have pros and cons when you really think about it.

Even as a kid, and even when I was religious, most conceptions of the afterlife creeper me out. Reincarnation seemed pointless. 

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Aquila King
3 minutes ago, ShadowSot said:

Even as a kid, and even when I was religious, most conceptions of the afterlife creeper me out. Reincarnation seemed pointless. 

I spent many a sleepless night over the fear of hell, and many more wondering how I could enjoy heaven knowing people I care about would be there (under the Christian worldview I had). I used to wonder how a place without any pain could be good if pain is the very thing that brings great value to pleasure.

Neither heaven nor hell were realistic in my eyes, and reincarnation is basically just regular death, since you lose most everything about yourself and don't know about it.

If there is an afterlife, I surmise it to be something similar to this life. Lotta happiness, lotta pain, and a lotta in-between.

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psyche101
1 hour ago, Aquila King said:

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

You are most welcome. I quite like Sean Carroll. I find he is easy to understand and has a great sense of humour. Personally, I feel he is more benign than most of the New Atheists we see doing the rounds like Dawkins and in his day, Hitchens. He is less aggressive I reckon. I often read the blog I linked to, and he some great lectures and debates on YouTube. I hope you will enjoy his work as much as I do. 

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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.

Fair enough, I can see what your saying there, but you don't think science has not well proven itself in so many areas that it deserves the benefit of the doubt? Where we as individuals might fall short of thecompletely understanding the process, we can see the results of other areas. From space  travel to modern medicines science has offered many benefits. 

Have you tried any of the great books these guys have brought out to close the gap between science and the layman? Publications such as A Brief History of Time by Hawking, A Universe From Nothing by Krauss or The Big Picture by Sean Carroll might take a couple of reads to fully comprehend, but close that gap. There are some excellent series for Television too like Brian Greenes Fabric of the Cosmos and An Elegant Universe. Which help with understanding QM as much as one can understand QM. 

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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 have too. I had a religious outlook when I first came to UM. Some of my early posts would reflect that. It's been a while now and I've changed my views based on the factual information I've learned in that time. Some here, some prompted by here, but as far as I can see there are claims we can rely upon, and ones we cannot. That's what's more shapes my views I would say. One might say I'm not an atheist because I pretend God doesn't exist, but rather that I don't pretend God does exist.

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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.

I did too for most of my life. I think my big epiphany was Dawkins. He is the only one who made real sense of religious ideology to me. I first took him seriously when he made headlines threatening to sue the pope, which I thought was a pretty stupid move at the time. So I looked at his argument and to my surprise I couldn't fault it. It lead me to reading more if his work and listening to lectures and debates on YouTube and it lead to an atheist epiphany. This brought me to discover more about the work if the greats like Hawking Krauss Greene and Carroll. I'm not a particularly smart person myself, I just try and do my best to understand accomplished clever people. 

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And honestly, I'm not so sure that I even care that much anymore.

That's fine too, there's no criteria to get involved, but I honestly do feel there's a lot of sense in listening to the people who dedicate entire lifetimes to understanding and unravelling these mysteries. And I personally find them interesting to listen to. 

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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.

I'm more than over the silliness of religious ideology. It just doesn't work for me and IMHO asks too much in the way of faith considering our knowledge base. And has many adverse effects on humanity IMHO. 

Knowing is another thing again. The models that tell us this is a natural universe are 'best fit to data' not necessarily 'the answer' and I find that an honest approach. Science is more about showing us what is wrong rather than what is right. That's the first test any discovery must pass, falsification. And science has been rewritten in the past on that premis. Phlogiston was a bona-fide scientific theory which was entirely wrong. It did not impede science, it improved it. Science is fluid and able to change entirely on new information. It does not fall apart at a challenge but draws from it. Science also offers repeatability upon demand and predictions. Whether our current understanding is close or completely wrong, science will eventually unify that too. If its wrong, we will find that out,  it considering how theories connect, that seems highly unlikely. 

Edited by psyche101
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crookedspiral
9 hours ago, Aquila King said:

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

 

It claims that Christianity requires no more faith than atheism, in fact less.

Because many of us Theists, don’t have enough faith to believe that the universe is some kind of gigantic car-crash, a colossal accident that just happened to come about by random chance. I don’t have enough faith to believe that there was a Big Bang followed by an ordered world, out of nothing. It’s a step beyond reason, a leap in the dark that we are not willing to take. Clearly, I don’t have enough faith to be an atheist. 

Edited by Clockwork_Spirit
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ShadowSot
4 minutes ago, Clockwork_Spirit said:

It claims that Christianity requires no more faith than atheism, in fact less.

Because many of us Theists, don’t have enough faith to believe that the universe is some kind of gigantic car-crash, a colossal accident that just happened to come about by random chance. I don’t have enough faith to believe that there was a Big Bang followed by an ordered world, out of nothing. It’s a step beyond reason, a leap in the dark that we are not willing to take. Clearly, I don’t have enough faith to be an atheist. 

Yes, much less faith required to believe that it was all done for the benefit of a species on a small planet, of which most of both the planet and the universe surrounding it are actively caustic. I more you replied to none of the other presented objections, just a pat response offered by the author. 

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psyche101
13 minutes ago, Clockwork_Spirit said:

It claims that Christianity requires no more faith than atheism, in fact less.

Which is nothing short of outright ridiculous. 

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Because many of us Theists, don’t have enough faith to believe that the universe is some kind of gigantic car-crash, a colossal accident that just happened to come about by random chance. I don’t have enough faith to believe that there was a Big Bang followed by an ordered world, out of nothing. It’s a step beyond reason, a leap in the dark that we are not willing to take. Clearly, I don’t have enough faith to be an atheist. 

Its not faith you lack but knowledge. Knowledge erodes religious claims. 

And you never addressed if the cosmos is random, or an eventuality. I don't know that, how can you? And how can you speak for all atheists on that issue when clearly no atheist agrees with you?

Edited by psyche101
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Jodie.Lynne

Wait for it.....

Wondering when the OP will pull out the trope about a junkyard, plane parts and a tornado.....

4 hours ago, Clockwork_Spirit said:

don’t have enough faith to believe that the universe is some kind of gigantic car-crash, a colossal accident that just happened to come about by random chance.

 

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eight bits
5 hours ago, Clockwork_Spirit said:

Because many of us Theists, don’t have enough faith to believe that the universe is some kind of gigantic car-crash, a colossal accident that just happened to come about by random chance. I don’t have enough faith to believe that there was a Big Bang followed by an ordered world, out of nothing. It’s a step beyond reason, a leap in the dark that we are not willing to take. Clearly, I don’t have enough faith to be an atheist. 

The connection between this creed and the theism-atheism debate is strained, IMO.

Living atheists tend to believe the Big Bang because that's the dominant view in cosmology these days. Typical atheists in the past believed a "steady state" picture (the Universe was always here), because that was a widely held view back when they were alive. What anybody believes about gods has nothing to do with what's the best available explanation of natural phenomena in their lifetime.

Theism does not imply a creator God, and even within pantheons where there is a creator god(dess), that deity isn't necessarily more powerful than other supernatural beings. Since big-G God is outside of time (eternal), cause and effect for divine action cannot depend on temporal sequence. An eternal creator divinity is therefore just as consistent with an eternal Universe as with a "Big Bang" model (which has its own eternity paradoxes involving what was "before" time itself was).

The creed also has little to do with "Christianity," the context in which the creed came up. Genesis 1 is about the creation of the well-ordered Earth from a watery chaos, not the creation of everything everywhere from nothing anywhere. Everything from nothing is an idea with Greek philosophical roots that was popular among the Christians who became the dominant brand after centuries of squabbling, and so whose views on secular subjects are represented today. Those views themselves have nothing at all to do with Jesus.

Even assuming that the Gospels record the words and deeds of a historical Jesus, we find nothing about the Big Bang, for or against, in his teachings. Later Christian teachers, like the evangelist John, mention creation in their own voices, but even John's version of Jesus keeps his cosmology to himself.

Why exactly could not the most confident Christian  believe that the chaotic nature of matter is exactly what Jesus came to Earth to save us chaotic natural beings from? In fact, that's pretty much what we find in some of the fully Christian gospels that didn't make it into the canon. Their authors were just as Christian as any of their persecutors, but their persecutors won the battle for control of the mass media of the tiime.

Jesus is not on the hook for what got canonized centuries after he went off into outer space to search for his absent father's home (at least that's what Matthew and Acts show him doing). Jesus is just one god among many that "theism" embraces, and he's not even the god of all the living theists who worship a creator god.

Your creed never gets within shouting distance of the atheism-theism divide. It has nothing at all to do with "faith," mainly because atheism has nothing to do with "faith," which in turn has nothing to do with secular questions about natural events.

Edited by eight bits
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Emma_Acid
17 hours ago, Clockwork_Spirit said:

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

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.

Faith is a framework you build around something that has no evidence. The scientific model is built on evidence. If the scientific model didn't work, we would literally still be living in huts. I have "faith" that the people carrying out the scientific work do it with clear, moral goals and do so on objective, progressive grounds (i.e. they don't work in eugenics for example).

"Religious faith" is named so because you cannot have evidence for something that is un-falsifiable, be definition.

So, please, once again, tell me what the point in your original post was.

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Emma_Acid
7 hours ago, Clockwork_Spirit said:

Because many of us Theists, don’t have enough faith to believe that the universe is some kind of gigantic car-crash, a colossal accident that just happened to come about by random chance. I don’t have enough faith to believe that there was a Big Bang followed by an ordered world, out of nothing. It’s a step beyond reason, a leap in the dark that we are not willing to take. Clearly, I don’t have enough faith to be an atheist. 

You're inventing your own scenario and then saying "I don't believe it can happen!"

Do some actual research into the current scientific model of the early universe, and then come back and at least try and sound like you know what you're talking about - because I don't recognise the above as scientifically valid in any way.

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Emma_Acid
7 hours ago, Clockwork_Spirit said:

It claims that Christianity requires no more faith than atheism, in fact less.

Then not only do you not understand the science you so readily disagree with, but also the basis for the things you do believe in.

The concept of "god" is un-falsifiable. It cannot be proven that god doesn't exist, by definition, so by definition it is not an acceptable scientific concept - and therefore it is easier for you to accept than something like early-universe cosmology, which y'know, needs some reading to be able to understand.

TLDR; religion is easier to accept than religion because there is less to understand.

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Rlyeh
7 hours ago, Clockwork_Spirit said:

Because many of us Theists, don’t have enough faith to believe that the universe is some kind of gigantic car-crash, a colossal accident that just happened to come about by random chance. I don’t have enough faith to believe that there was a Big Bang followed by an ordered world, out of nothing. It’s a step beyond reason, a leap in the dark that we are not willing to take. Clearly, I don’t have enough faith to be an atheist. 

You're confusing verifiable evidence with faith again. It's not faith you lack, it's comprehension.

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danydandan
8 hours ago, Clockwork_Spirit said:

It claims that Christianity requires no more faith than atheism, in fact less.

Because many of us Theists, don’t have enough faith to believe that the universe is some kind of gigantic car-crash, a colossal accident that just happened to come about by random chance. I don’t have enough faith to believe that there was a Big Bang followed by an ordered world, out of nothing. It’s a step beyond reason, a leap in the dark that we are not willing to take. Clearly, I don’t have enough faith to be an atheist. 

What definition of faith are you using?

So you dismiss every bit of tangible evidence to believe in something that is unfalsifiable? There is zero logical sense in that.

Unfortunately you have to face facts, the universe is chaos, and made up of statical observations.  We have no data on what happened before the Big Bang but we probably never will and don't need to.

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Stubbly_Dooright
18 hours ago, Clockwork_Spirit said:
22 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.

 

So, in essence, I think you answered my question with the 'you think Atheists have faith and want everyone else to see that' answer. Am I understanding you correctly? 

Having seen bits of the video, and reading more of a transcript of it later on, (it was easier on the device I was on at the time), it seems the video is going through the usual arguments between the two, and I don't see how it can be definitely decided that Atheist's arguments are showing they process this like a faith. It just seems to me, there's just a one side subjective conclusion it's being presented in the faith point of view. 

I wonder, if you have come to your own conclusions on how you think one group sees their point of view, are you interested in their side of it? 

Would you understand if a group labeled your point of view in a way that doesn't make sense to you? 

Granted, in my feelings, I don't think I can ever stop anyone from thinking something, whether I consider it correct or not. But, when it comes out in public to label me as something I'm not, I think the defense of it, should be heard as well. 

18 hours ago, Aquila King said:
On 4/23/2018 at 12:16 AM, 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.

 

14 hours ago, psyche101 said:

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.

 

 

14 hours ago, psyche101 said:

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/

 

Now, I hope you both mind, AK and psyche, I want to put my spin on it. But, it's a spin that can only be entertained by just me. ;)  (If ya like, I suppose :w00t: ) But, for me, I would like to entertain both here. I feel the same way as AK does. Though, with all the in depth information with links(sources) that psyche put, I could also entertain that I don't think we can prove psyche's information is wrong. *looks sheepish* If that makes sense. 

To me, it does make sense, as I think AK's post makes sense to me. I often feel how personalities cannot be existing anymore. I express that out of more than just wishful thinking and grief, but that it doesn't seem to make sense that they are just not ..... are. *shrugs* 

For me, in the end, I really feel there's more to this, and consider that after all of this time, there really isn't any objective 'evidence' like a post card or something. ;)  

18 hours ago, Aquila King said:
23 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:

:blush:  :blush:  :blush:  :blush:   

Awwww, shucks, thanks AK   

But, I think you're more.................  :wub:   

 

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Stubbly_Dooright
12 hours ago, ShadowSot said:
12 hours ago, Aquila King said:

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.

I'd add something to Psyche101's post. There's a bit of a mix up in how people approach thoughts. It's presented that our thoughts are energy, when it's actually that our thoughts are produced through energy. In the same way that the operating system on your computer isn't energy, but it functions using energy. 

 Get rid of the Grey matter, hormones, and so one and you've got nothing going on. 

It always makes me wonder, when there are diseases that effect the brain or brain injury, how affecting it is on the personality of a person. 

11 hours ago, Aquila King said:
12 hours ago, ShadowSot said:

I'd add something to Psyche101's post. There's a bit of a mix up in how people approach thoughts. It's presented that our thoughts are energy, when it's actually that our thoughts are produced through energy. In the same way that the operating system on your computer isn't energy, but it functions using energy. 

 Get rid of the Grey matter, hormones, and so one and you've got nothing going on. 

Kinda sucks, but so do most versions of the afterlife too. Both have pros and cons when you really think about it.

Either way, that's why I like to keep a personal and subjective attitude of 'who knows!?' outlook on this. ;)  :w00t:

9 hours ago, Clockwork_Spirit said:
19 hours ago, Aquila King said:

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

 

It claims that Christianity requires no more faith than atheism, in fact less.

Because many of us Theists, don’t have enough faith to believe that the universe is some kind of gigantic car-crash, a colossal accident that just happened to come about by random chance. 

Well, I wouldn't look at it in that way. And, I think there's more to that understanding than of that too. But, the thing is, I feel I'm a bit of a Theist, if you may. Somewhat, anyways, that I do, yes, feel there might be something more, it's still left to just me considering that. Granted, it might follow the same path or characteristics that you see it as someone who also believes, I think the thing that should still be considered, is that belief and such, is still within the subjective and personal situation. I don't think it's something that should be pushed onto others, whether you believe this or not. I don't believe in pushing how I look at it, whether it's my own personal logic or not. 

The thing is, belief, that being in the subjective and personal level, it's like an apple compared to the Atheist's outlook (the orange) I don't see anyway of denying it, the understanding an Atheist sees stems from an objective outlook. It's not they have faith in not believing, it's that they don't see anything by consequence or conclusion, (which I feel comes by an objecting understanding) More likely, that what is not there to be evidence in the Atheist's eyes, is the same to others as well. 

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I don’t have enough faith to believe that there was a Big Bang followed by an ordered world, out of nothing. It’s a step beyond reason, a leap in the dark that we are not willing to take. Clearly, I don’t have enough faith to be an atheist. 

This is looking to me, like you think you have to pretend to think something, that you honestly don't want to believe. I get that, you have no inclination to feel that you consider what is presented is not jarring with you. I feel that way about various things too. But, I consider that on a personal and subjective level, and that it is what is presented under logical environmental situations. I feel, it's at least a basis on closely understanding our world, our universe. I may feel there is more, but that is for me. I still cannot deny what is logically presented to basically understand what is actually there. I think one is harming themselves denying it, at the least on this basic level. 

 

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Podo
On 4/23/2018 at 11:36 AM, Clockwork_Spirit said:

Many secular atheists, for instance, propose that their worldview is proved by science and therefore true.

I'm going to be a pedant here, but only because I think it's important. There is a difference between an atheist insisting that their conclusions are supported by science, and that their conclusions are supported by science. This is important because there is a big difference between someone stating that they 100% know that there is no god, and someone stating that there is no evidence of a deity and therefore there's no reason to believe in one. The former is a faith-based statement, equal in all ways to someone stating that they know that their god is real. The latter, however, is a statement of procedural logic. If there's no reason to believe in something, not believing in it is simply a conclusion, not a faith-based statement. You wouldn't consider not believing in leprechauns to be a matter of faith, would you? It's the same with deities. Or, at least, it can be. There are definitely atheists who maintain that they are 100% certain that no god exists, and those ones are definitely making faith-based statements.

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Liquid Gardens
15 minutes ago, Podo said:

This is important because there is a big difference between someone stating that they 100% know that there is no god, and someone stating that there is no evidence of a deity and therefore there's no reason to believe in one. The former is a faith-based statement, equal in all ways to someone stating that they know that their god is real.

This will also be pedantic, but I don't see them necessarily as 'equal in all ways'.  As you say, "If there's no reason to believe in something, not believing in it is simply a conclusion, not a faith-based statement.", which is getting you almost all of the way there to '100% know'.  If I merely shave off some decimals of a percentage point and say that I'm 99.999% sure that there is no god, am I out of the faith-based category?  Maybe most importantly, what is the counterbalance to this procedural logic that there's no reason to believe things without evidence, what is supporting the opposing faith-based statement that God does exist?  Am I correct that you agree that, 'there is no evidence of a deity and therefore people should believe in one', is not an example of procedural logic?  If not, given that our current state on the question of god is 'no good evidence', they don't seem to be equal statements, the scale is already tipping towards it not being so.  To put it another way, the non-believer seems like they need just the smallest bit of faith to get to '100% know' from where logic leaves off; the believer on the other hand needs faith to counteract that logic to get to the neutral point and then a whole bunch faith more to get to 'god exists'.  Again, "not equal", said the pedant.

Using the word 'faith' in context of things not existing is a little odd to me anyway, maybe just because we don't encounter it much.  "I have faith that leprechauns don't exist" seems a weird thing to say, but maybe something with more uncertainty fits better.  "I have faith that the multiverse doesn't exist"; nah, still kinda strange.

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Aquila King
16 hours ago, Clockwork_Spirit said:

It claims that Christianity requires no more faith than atheism, in fact less.

I'm well aware of what it states, as I've already told you I've read it multiple times in the past.

It was my absolute favorite apologetics book back during my fundamentalist Christian days, and I read that book more than I did the Bible itself.

It makes the case for Christianity being objectively true based on the evidence. That's it's claim. You can argue semantics all you like, but the claim is the same.

16 hours ago, Clockwork_Spirit said:

Because many of us Theists, don’t have enough faith to believe that the universe is some kind of gigantic car-crash, a colossal accident that just happened to come about by random chance.

That's not what the atheist claims. See, this ^ is the problem with the book as a whole. Just about every argument made in it is one big straw man. It captivates it's readers by undeniably refuting the atheist's claims. The problem is though that the supposed claims of atheists the book sites are fundamentally wrong. No serious atheist claims such things.

Believing the universe came about through blind natural processes without any conscious intelligent guidance or direction is not the same thing as a 'colossal accident' or 'random chance' as you suggest.

An accident implies that there is an intended path, but that something veered off that intended path. For instance a car-crash may be an accident, but it's only considered an accident because there was a conscious intent to not crash, and there were already rules of the road that were trespassed. Take away any conscious intent to not crash and any rules of the road, and there's nothing 'accidental' about it. It's just natural forces.

As for 'random chance' being a factor, no one's suggesting that either. Many atheists are philosophically determinists, and therefore believe that all future outcomes are predetermined by set natural laws. There's nothing random or chance-based about that. Under this philosophy, our existence was a natural necessary outcome of the laws in motion.

I may not be an atheist, but I at least know what their arguments actually are, and I don't fall into pathetic straw man tactics to prove a point.

16 hours ago, Clockwork_Spirit said:

I don’t have enough faith to believe that there was a Big Bang followed by an ordered world, out of nothing. It’s a step beyond reason, a leap in the dark that we are not willing to take. Clearly, I don’t have enough faith to be an atheist.

I'm curious now as to whether or not you actually read the book, or if you simply found an apologist who agree with you and simply watched a couple lectures from him or something. Frank Turek and Norman Geisler actually devote an entire chapter proving the Big Bang to have actually occurred. They simply make the argument that it was God who did it. In fact one of Frank Turek's 'jokes' in many of his lectures is "I believe in the Big Bang too, I just know who banged it."

The fact that you don't have enough faith to believe in a Big Bang out of nothing, screams to me that you've never even read the book, since you're arguing against the authors themselves.

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Podo
42 minutes ago, Liquid Gardens said:

This will also be pedantic, but I don't see them necessarily as 'equal in all ways'.  As you say, "If there's no reason to believe in something, not believing in it is simply a conclusion, not a faith-based statement.", which is getting you almost all of the way there to '100% know'.  If I merely shave off some decimals of a percentage point and say that I'm 99.999% sure that there is no god, am I out of the faith-based category?  Maybe most importantly, what is the counterbalance to this procedural logic that there's no reason to believe things without evidence, what is supporting the opposing faith-based statement that God does exist?  Am I correct that you agree that, 'there is no evidence of a deity and therefore people should believe in one', is not an example of procedural logic?  If not, given that our current state on the question of god is 'no good evidence', they don't seem to be equal statements, the scale is already tipping towards it not being so.  To put it another way, the non-believer seems like they need just the smallest bit of faith to get to '100% know' from where logic leaves off; the believer on the other hand needs faith to counteract that logic to get to the neutral point and then a whole bunch faith more to get to 'god exists'.  Again, "not equal", said the pedant.

Using the word 'faith' in context of things not existing is a little odd to me anyway, maybe just because we don't encounter it much.  "I have faith that leprechauns don't exist" seems a weird thing to say, but maybe something with more uncertainty fits better.  "I have faith that the multiverse doesn't exist"; nah, still kinda strange.

Faith is a funny thing, and it's hard to discuss without pedants like us :)

The reason I'd say that the believer needs faith to get to "god existing" because there's no reason for them to adopt that belief in the first place. There's no reason or evidence for the existence of any deities, ever. Likewise, there's no reason to actively disbelieve, either; this is why atheism is the lack of belief, not the presence of nonbelief. Or rather, it should be a lack of belief. What the OP and the book she links seem to be arguing against is the presence of active disbelief, rather than a lack of belief. I would argue that non-sentient entities are also atheist: cats, dogs, rocks, trees, etc. These things lack a belief in anything, since they don't have the capacity for such things. Same with many atheists--a lack of something is not the same as the presence of opposition to that thing.

That's not to say that there aren't atheists that pride themselves on their loud, aggressive presence of nonbelief. These would be the people who maintain that they KNOW that there is no god. I dislike these people, because they're as ridiculous to me as zealous theists.

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ShadowSot
41 minutes ago, Podo said:

Faith is a funny thing, and it's hard to discuss without pedants like us :)

The reason I'd say that the believer needs faith to get to "god existing" because there's no reason for them to adopt that belief in the first place. There's no reason or evidence for the existence of any deities, ever. Likewise, there's no reason to actively disbelieve, either; this is why atheism is the lack of belief, not the presence of nonbelief. Or rather, it should be a lack of belief. What the OP and the book she links seem to be arguing against is the presence of active disbelief, rather than a lack of belief. I would argue that non-sentient entities are also atheist: cats, dogs, rocks, trees, etc. These things lack a belief in anything, since they don't have the capacity for such things. Same with many atheists--a lack of something is not the same as the presence of opposition to that thing.

That's not to say that there aren't atheists that pride themselves on their loud, aggressive presence of nonbelief. These would be the people who maintain that they KNOW that there is no god. I dislike these people, because they're as ridiculous to me as zealous theists.

There's the thing too that by nature of being monotheistic they are atheistic towards other deities. Barring those that think other gods are simply Satan in a Halloween costume.

 I do think God's run the gamut of characteristics. Those that can be tested are no longer major religions. And we see instead an ever woolier version of God's coming out

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Liquid Gardens
1 hour ago, Podo said:

The reason I'd say that the believer needs faith to get to "god existing" because there's no reason for them to adopt that belief in the first place. There's no reason or evidence for the existence of any deities, ever. Likewise, there's no reason to actively disbelieve

But I think there kinda is, although it's not purely logic-driven nor proven; a huge part of my disbelief is that there's no reason or evidence for the existence of any deities.  There are a finite number of things that have reason and evidence supporting their existence; there are an infinite number of things that don't have reason and evidence supporting their existence, of which gods are one.  I can start spinning through all kinds of beasts and scenarios that have no evidence to support them and yes I disbelieve them; I'm not agnostic on Jovian space dragons.  Does the fact that space dragons is something you'd rightly suspect I just dreamed up have something to do with the likelihood of it being true, especially since our baseline for space dragons is 'no evidence or reason' anyway?  Does the fact that in most cases we can't pinpoint a particular person in the usually ancient and ignorant past that we can evaluate to see if we think they similarly just 'dreamed up' their god really that much of a difference-maker?  If someone can point out what phenomenon or personal experience is better explained by a god rather than a variation of space dragon, I'm all ears.

It just seems to me sometimes that given the endless amount of evidence/reason-free propositions that it may be more reasonable to disbelieve as a default those propositions, although I agree an argument can be made for being agnostic concerning the infinite number of these propositions, even if it sounds odd to me when driving down to specifics to say 'I neither believe or disbelieve in space dragons'.  I don't think it necessarily works the other way, defaulting to believing in evidence-free propositions leads to conflicts and contradictions. 

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Davros of Skaro

@Clockwork_Spirit

What made you get into scientology? 

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eight bits

@Liquid Gardens

Wellll... it might affect your deliberations to clarify your objectives. Are you trying to decide the accuracy of somebody's beliefs, or are you trying to understand how somebody else came to their beliefs and continues to hold them in the face of disagreement?

If the former, then peachy. Jovian space dragons may as well be leprechauns, or the tooth fairy or what all else people have dreamt up for various reasons, even if the reasons for dreaming them up aren't the same. No matter, they're all ontological orphans. From your point of view, since there is no testing gods, and at least their depictions are human constructs, gods are ontological orphans, too, "the same kind of thing" as JSD's etc.

If the latter, though, then the reasons might matter. Luminiferous ether was also dreamt up, and defined so as to be untestable by the wit of the dreamer-upper. Nevertheless, it was thought (and not just by the dreamer-upper) that something very much like luminiferous ether "had to" exist, since light "was" a wave, and a wave "had to be" a wave "in" something. Phlogiston's original case might be similar, and the epicycles of the Ptolemaic system had some of that flavor...

Long story short, these things were made up because they were necessary for some plausible interpretation of experience. They were not, however, necessary for the experience itself, and we don't believe in these things today because we have other interpretations of the experiences, which are better founded, etc. We also have more or finer-grained observations of the same experiences, and the old interpretations fail to interpret anymore.

Some gods are necessary to some plausible interpretations of some experiences that people actually have. For example, I personally do not believe in the Piraha people's possessing entities because I hold a different interpretation of the Piraha possession experience. Doubtless, this interpretation which I find plausible would have little immediate appeal to many of the Piraha, who seem satisfied with their existing interpretation.

Piraha possessing entities may be no less ontological orphans than Irish leprechauns, but the two don't come from the same kind of up-dreaming. A believer in the PPE's could rightly, I think, reject "as go the leprechauns, so go the entities." The proposed analogy misses the difference. That the non-PPE believer thinks the cases to be parallel offers no reason for the PPE-believer to agree.

Again, that's not a reason for you to re-estimate the prospects of PPE's for your own belief state, but dragging in leprechauns is unhelpful in understanding where PPE belief comes from. It might even seem to the PPE believers that you, too, intrepret your experience according to what you find plausible. Those believers might wonder why you use the word "faith" for their acceptance of what plausible (to them) interpretations of experience imply, but you seem unenthusiastic about using that same word to describe your own acceptance of what plausible (to you) interpretations imply.

Not that there's any merit to the view, but maybe something in all that might help understand the view and its robustness against Jovian space dragons (which, despite whatever ontological shortcomings they suffer, sound charming).

 

Edited by eight bits
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