Is being a "materialist" an atheist requirement?

relrick
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Is being a "materialist" an atheist requirement?

I assume this is correct, but is it fair to assume that to be an atheist, you must be a materialist?? That follows correct?? Atheism requires that all things are the result of a "natural material process"? Anything else could be construed as non-natural or rather "super natural".

 

 

 

 

 

 


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You decide what's a requirement for you.

There is no pope, imam, pastors or holy book to tell what is a requirement for anyone. You decide what your values and beliefs are right for yourself. You don't have any fear of any god, devils or Hell.

Rather than say "natural material process" I would say all things result from a rational process. Science only knows about matter, energy, time and space, so one can only comment on things we see resulting from these. There could be other things such as extra dimension of space giving rise to things like the big bang, life and consciousness, but no one knows it's all speculation.

Many Theists assign anything that science can't explain as in the spirtual realm. Before science explained the causes of disease, the Theists said disease was caused by demons or curses from god. Now they've changed their tune and accept the scientific explanations.

Usually the term materialistic has a negative connotation, as in people who derive their pleasure from material things money can buy such as houses, cars, electronics... I think some of that complaining is just poor that are jealous of the rich. Some may be justified in that materialistic values can cause exploitation of the poor and the environment.

Maybe for some atheists these are fulfilling pursuits for others not much. But you decide for yourself, there is no god to require you do or not do anything.

Question for Theists. To me to the term "supernatural" is complete non-sense an oxymoron as in something that exists that violates the laws for existence. Even if a god existed wouldn't his existence then be natural? Religion seems like tons of oxymorons.

 

 

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I say "material" to

I say "material" to completely do away with anything spiritual. Nothing at all to do with material possessions, money etc. Simply that our universe came to pass (or whatever language expresses non directed) without any intelligent guidence. So, I still assume this must be an atheist requirement.

Concerning your use of the word "rational". That would imply with thought or design. So I don't think it correct that an atheist could say our universe was created with "rational" .....anything.

 

Concerning "supernatural" you are quite right. I am trying to express what is "outside of nature". Which is what Christians believe their God to be. Christians believe that God not only created the universe but time and space as well. So God is required to be outside of that process. If you think that's crazy sounding. Try string theory. 11 Dimensions-that's what's crazy.

 

peace

 


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I would say no, you don't

I would say no, you don't neccesarily have to be a materialist if you are an atheist.  Atheism applies only to the lack of belief in God.  You would still be an atheist if you lacked belief in god, but believed in ghosts or auras.

However, most of the time it seems that the atheistic requirement for evidence before they will believe in god seems to spill over into pretty much every other category of belief as well.


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relrick wrote:Concerning

relrick wrote:

Concerning "supernatural" you are quite right. I am trying to express what is "outside of nature". Which is what Christians believe their God to be. Christians believe that God not only created the universe but time and space as well. So God is required to be outside of that process. If you think that's crazy sounding. Try string theory. 11 Dimensions-that's what's crazy.

 

Relativity and quantum theories would have fit the catagory of "crazy" before there was data to support them. If string theory can be demonstrated to be true, it would fall into the catagory of a natural phenomenon. If a creator left any proof of his existence, we would say his existence was a natural phenomenon.

The concept of "supernatual" is complete non-sense, cause if any god exists in another relm, that relm would have to be natural. I think a better concept would be extra-universal like how the term extraterrestrial is used to describe thing outside the realm of earth.

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It might be more likely on

It might be more likely on average, but no it's not a requirement.  I'd imagine there's plenty of people don't believe in a god but still might think there's some magic in the world somehow.


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I'm really getting sick of

I'm really getting sick of hearing the term "materialistic".  Just another term with a negative connotation, hijacked by the religious idiots, used to guilt gullible people into buying their religious BS.  Same way they've managed to associate the word "morals" with religion, twist the word "theory" into being synonymous with "hypothesis", and equate anything atheist with evil.

Pure and simple dishonesty wrapped in rhetoric.

 


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 Nthing what others have

 Nthing what others have said about there not being a rule about this. Atheism is just a possible position on a question; a negative position on god-belief awkwardly stated only because it contradicts the majority.


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Having a materialist or

Having a materialist or naturalistic world view can lead to atheism, but the reverse isn't necessarily true.

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HC Grindon wrote:I'm really

HC Grindon wrote:

I'm really getting sick of hearing the term "materialistic".  Just another term with a negative connotation, hijacked by the religious idiots, used to guilt gullible people into buying their religious BS.  Same way they've managed to associate the word "morals" with religion, twist the word "theory" into being synonymous with "hypothesis", and equate anything atheist with evil.

Pure and simple dishonesty wrapped in rhetoric.

 

 

don't get your panties in a wad dude.  From wikipedia:

The philosophy of materialism holds that the only thing that can be truly proven to exist is matter, and considered a form of physicalism. Fundamentally, all things are composed of material and all phenomena are the result of material interactions; therefore, matter is the only substance. As a theory, materialism belongs to the class of monist ontology. As such, it is different from ontological theories based on dualism or pluralism. For singular explanations of the phenomenal reality, materialism would be in contrast to idealism.

 

I'm not trying to subvert some concept or interject some secret way to get around something. I genuinely wanted to know if all atheist would ultimately have to subscribe to the above. I assume an atheist must reject anything with spirit/soul etc. Can an atheist believe in ghost. How, isn't that an after life of sorts?? That's all I am trying to confirm. I hope you have a great day though. : )


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relrick wrote:I assume an

relrick wrote:

I assume an atheist must reject anything with spirit/soul etc. Can an atheist believe in ghost. How, isn't that an after life of sorts?? That's all I am trying to confirm. I hope you have a great day though. : )

It would be an afterlife, but that's not strictly relevant to atheism. Read: Am I Agnostic or Atheist?

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Tanath wrote:relrick wrote:I

Tanath wrote:

relrick wrote:

I assume an atheist must reject anything with spirit/soul etc. Can an atheist believe in ghost. How, isn't that an after life of sorts?? That's all I am trying to confirm. I hope you have a great day though. : )

It would be an afterlife, but that's not strictly relevant to atheism. Read: Am I Agnostic or Atheist?

 

Thanks for the link. I read it, not sure if we're exactly on the same page, so I'll clarify.

Using that link. It states that if you call yourself an atheist or agnostic you're still basically an atheist. Fine and dandy. Either way,..you either doubt or don't believe in God. If that is the case, you must have concluded some sort of other explanation, other than God, for the universe and our existence. 

Perhaps this is where I get off the path, but it seems that any believer in a God gives credit to God.  Conversely, if one is an atheist/agnostic, I would assume that they are required to believe that the universe/us came to be purely from a  "naturalistic" and "materialistic" phenomena. More specifically, there was/is no guiding intelligence/intention/purpose behind the creation formation of the universe and our lives in it.  What I am trying find out is, if there are atheist who don't agree with that, and if so, how would one rationalize our universe and existence without a purely materialistic approach and still call themselves an atheist/agnostic.

Thanks

 


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relrick wrote:Either

relrick wrote:

Either way,..you either doubt or don't believe in God. If that is the case, you must have concluded some sort of other explanation, other than God, for the universe and our existence.

Nope. No other conclusions are needed. Even to positively assert that god(s) are non-existent only requires that one believes an alternative explanation is possible.

I understand you're trying to figure out what sort of metaphysics this might require, but that's easier said than done. There is no single metaphysical stance that is required for atheism.

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Tanath wrote:Nope. No other

Tanath wrote:

Nope. No other conclusions are needed. Even to positively assert that god(s) are non-existent only requires that one believes an alternative explanation is possible.

Is it not this simple?... Believers in God believe God created the universe and all that follows.

Atheist don't believe in a creator, so to atheist we are the product of a non-guided physical/material phenomena. In other words, at least for our existence, the strong anthropic principle,.. and for the universe in general, some to be determined NON-intelligent Non-Spiritual only physical/material phenomena.

Perhaps what I am trying to get at. Can an atheist believe in any type of spirit/soul/non-physical existence?  If so, what evolutionary mechanism would account for that?

 

 

 


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relrick wrote:Tanath

relrick wrote:

Tanath wrote:

Nope. No other conclusions are needed. Even to positively assert that god(s) are non-existent only requires that one believes an alternative explanation is possible.

Is it not this simple?... Believers in God believe God created the universe and all that follows.

Atheist don't believe in a creator, so to atheist we are the product of a non-guided physical/material phenomena. In other words, at least for our existence, the strong anthropic principle,.. and for the universe in general, some to be determined NON-intelligent Non-Spiritual only physical/material phenomena.

Perhaps what I am trying to get at. Can an atheist believe in any type of spirit/soul/non-physical existence?  If so, what evolutionary mechanism would account for that?

 

I'm an atheist. I don't believe in God. To me, we are likely the product of a non-guided series of physical phenomena. I don't believe it is true, I simply feel it's the best explanation. But that doesn't mean it can't be wrong. Ghosts and other supernatural phenomena... I don't see hard evidence for them, but lacking hard evidence against them, I can't actively believe they don't exist any more than I can actively believe they do.

That doesn't mean I can't see possibilities. I don't think that ghosts-as-afterlife, where your consciousness is retained and you keep trying to finish some deep-seated desire so that you can finally cease to be.... that I don't think is terribly likely, but at the same time, I can't rule out some kind of vague impression left by the electromagnetic fields around our body that under some freakish circumstance might be made manifest in some way.

Again, not fucking likely, but until we have an unshakeable Grand Unified Theory of Everything that explains every single thing that can ever happen with perfect reliability... can't say it's not possible, however tenuously.

Remember, one of the valid definitions for 'supernatural' is "departing from what is usual or normal especially so as to appear to transcend the laws of nature"... note the phrase 'so as to appear'. In other words, supernatural can mean 'we have no fucking clue how that happened. It shouldn't have happened. Our theories didn't say it could happen. Now we need to figure out how it happened.'

And frankly, we get shit like that every day, in tiny little doses. Still lots of things science can't explain. Like what, exactly, gravity is. Or time. Or consciousness.

But that's ok, too. It'd be boring as hell if there wasn't anything left to figure out. Smiling

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BMcD wrote:I'm an atheist. I

BMcD wrote:

I'm an atheist. I don't believe in God. To me, we are likely the product of a non-guided series of physical phenomena. I don't believe it is true, I simply feel it's the best explanation.

As a theist I find this interesting. With the fact that the universe and our place in it at least "appear" to have design, (which I would argue is why we have the strong anthropic principle) I would think the default position would be a belief in some sort of creator. Not saying an all loving one or anything like that. But if something appears designed and as you and I both agree we don't know (our shared agnosticism-so to speak) why wouldn't the default position be that of "created"? As a side note, for those that want to debate the appearance of design. You can easily find dozens of quotes from all sides stating the fact of "appearance". Please note I am not saying "is" designed, but the appearance of design. So I hope I didn't just hijack my own thread! Smiling I went off topic.

BMcd wrote:
But that's ok, too. It'd be boring as hell if there wasn't anything left to figure out. Smiling

 

yep. I believe that's a big part of the point of it all. When I think about the quantum physics stuff and the design aspect, I can't help but think it's all one big simulation. The best holideck ever! We don't die, because we were never alive. Just the appearance of alive. We exist.  The question is.... will we ever know our real selves. Which I believe to our eternal non physical. I'll put the bong down now.


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Atheism is lack of belief in

Atheism is lack of belief in God or Gods, envisaged as some sort of conscious super-being, as in the most common religions.

This does not imply 'materialism' -  there are an infinite range of ideas about the origin of the the universe that don't involve that particular concept, but still lie utterly outside what we perceive as the world of matter, energy, and the structured patterns of interaction between them which we characterise as the 'laws' of nature.

One can envisage 'supernatural' driving forces or principles that don't have any attribute that we would call consciousness. I think many Eastern religions like Buddhism are not based on anything we would call God.

In fact many philosophers of past centuries used the term 'God' to describe something which really amounted to some governing principle of 'order', which they felt was necessary to explain what they perceived as the order of the world. It did not really correspond to the personal God of the ordinary believer.

String theory is not remotely in the same category as the 'supernatural'. It is speculative hypothesis extrapolated from current knowledge, constrained by logical and mathematical principles, as a possible way of providing an explanatory framework for basic physical laws. the issue of 'proof' is irrelevant to science, at least in any absolute sense. All we require is that a theory provide a 'better' explanatory and predictive framework than the alternatives. If it ties more phenomena together, reduces the number of arbitrary independent physical constants we have to use, and is consistent with all the tests we can devise, it is given a higher probability of matching 'ultimate reality' in a significant degree.

The task of the scientists developing string theory is to come up with experiments and/or observations which will distinguish between the various alternatives. This is normal science. There is nothing intrinsically 'crazy' about proposing multiple dimensions, just because it makes no sense to our normal intuitive picture of the universe - the same could be said of Quantum Theory, which has been very thoroughly tested. The problem for string theory, and other candidates for the next level of fundamental theories of physics, is that we need some extremely subtle observations at extremely small scale and possibly extremely large energies to test it. There are hints of some experiments that may give us a handle on this in the not-too-distant future.

This automatic assumption that anything which 'caused' our observable universe to come into existence in its current form (I'm allowing for the option that 'something' existed before the Big Bang) had to be something corresponding to a conscious entity seems to me totally unnecessary. 

Favorite oxymorons: Gospel Truth, Rational Supernaturalist, Business Ethics, Christian Morality

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relrick wrote:BMcD wrote:I'm

relrick wrote:

BMcD wrote:

I'm an atheist. I don't believe in God. To me, we are likely the product of a non-guided series of physical phenomena. I don't believe it is true, I simply feel it's the best explanation.

As a theist I find this interesting. With the fact that the universe and our place in it at least "appear" to have design, (which I would argue is why we have the strong anthropic principle) I would think the default position would be a belief in some sort of creator.

Personally, I see no appearance of 'design' in our universe. It is mostly chaotic. There is certainly a degree of structure and pattern and order, but that only requires a set of basic consistent modes of interaction between a limited set of fundamental particles of matter/energy.

Quote:
Not saying an all loving one or anything like that. But if something appears designed and as you and I both agree we don't know (our shared agnosticism-so to speak) why wouldn't the default position be that of "created"? As a side note, for those that want to debate the appearance of design. You can easily find dozens of quotes from all sides stating the fact of "appearance". Please note I am not saying "is" designed, but the appearance of design. So I hope I didn't just hijack my own thread! Smiling I went off topic.

BMcd wrote:
But that's ok, too. It'd be boring as hell if there wasn't anything left to figure out. Smiling

 

yep. I believe that's a big part of the point of it all. When I think about the quantum physics stuff and the design aspect, I can't help but think it's all one big simulation. The best holideck ever! We don't die, because we were never alive. Just the appearance of alive. We exist.  The question is.... will we ever know our real selves. Which I believe to our eternal non physical. I'll put the bong down now.

The basic problem with the 'creator' or 'Matrix'-style simulation is that it doesn't address the ultimate question of origins at all  - you have just added another layer of complexity, ie a creator 'being' or super-beings that surely are even harder to explain than our humble selves on an unremarkable planet in the suburbs of an ordinary galaxy among billions of others. Even if there was a 'creator', seems incredibly unlikey we would be the reason for it all.

We know that order and complexity can arise from simpler things, as long as there is a source of energy to comply with the Second Law of Thermodynamics', so there is no need to invoke a 'designer' there.

The anthropic principle is questionable, because we really don't have enough knowledge of the plausible ranges of values for those fundamental constants to allow us to assign a probability that they have values suitable for a life-friendly universe, and it is extremely hard to assess the possibility that different combinations of values might also work. We typically only consider the effect of changing the vaues one at a time. So I think the anthropic principle, while possibly the strongest argument for some cosmic design, it is still very weak.

Favorite oxymorons: Gospel Truth, Rational Supernaturalist, Business Ethics, Christian Morality

"Theology is now little more than a branch of human ignorance. Indeed, it is ignorance with wings." - Sam Harris

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relrick wrote:As a theist I

relrick wrote:

As a theist I find this interesting. With the fact that the universe and our place in it at least "appear" to have design, (which I would argue is why we have the strong anthropic principle) I would think the default position would be a belief in some sort of creator. Not saying an all loving one or anything like that. But if something appears designed and as you and I both agree we don't know (our shared agnosticism-so to speak) why wouldn't the default position be that of "created"? As a side note, for those that want to debate the appearance of design. You can easily find dozens of quotes from all sides stating the fact of "appearance". Please note I am not saying "is" designed, but the appearance of design. So I hope I didn't just hijack my own thread! Smiling I went off topic.

Because the default position, regardless of appearances is "I don't know". You can draw all the inferences you want, but you don't know, and belief is an assertion of knowledge. As soon as you say 'I believe', my response is 'prove it'. If you can't, then I have no impetus to believe, just as I have no impetus to actively disbelieve. I remain in my default position of "I don't know". I interact with the universe, I operate within the limits of my understading and the likely/probable ways that things work, but I make no claim of surety. I could be wrong. As Penn Jillete says, I love finding out I'm wrong. It means I'm learning.

 

Quote:

yep. I believe that's a big part of the point of it all. When I think about the quantum physics stuff and the design aspect, I can't help but think it's all one big simulation. The best holideck ever! We don't die, because we were never alive. Just the appearance of alive. We exist.  The question is.... will we ever know our real selves. Which I believe to our eternal non physical. I'll put the bong down now.

Welcome back to Descartes. All you can ever know is that you exist in some form. Everything else could delusion/illusion.

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BobSpence1 wrote:This does

BobSpence1 wrote:

This does not imply 'materialism' -  there are an infinite range of ideas about the origin of the the universe that don't involve that particular concept, but still lie utterly outside what we perceive as the world of matter, energy, and the structured patterns of interaction between them which we characterise as the 'laws' of nature.

Agreed-Atheism does not imply materialism. However, as rational thinking people, and when the "ifinite range of ideas" that can be conceived of simply do not make as much sense as what "appears" to be a "designed" universe that has constants and physical laws that can be expressed perfectly with math. Why would one go to what seems to be counter intuitive? Almost like the God of the gaps argument in reverse. Anything goes so long as it can be conceived. The multiverse for example, has no basis in reality, only in theoretical constructs. We can make em up all day. For many it seems that even if it breaks what we know are physical laws and/or simply have no evidence of if it can be conceived of we must believe it in order to avoid the potential of a creator. This is why it seems more rational for me to believe in a creator.

BobSpence1 wrote:

This automatic assumption that anything which 'caused' our observable universe to come into existence in its current form (I'm allowing for the option that 'something' existed before the Big Bang) had to be something corresponding to a conscious entity seems to me totally unnecessary. 

I realize it is "unnecessary", but isn't it more logical?? There is order in the universe. Unconscious?? Possibly, but why not go with what seems like a logical conclusion?


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relrick wrote:Agreed-Atheism

relrick wrote:

Agreed-Atheism does not imply materialism. However, as rational thinking people, and when the "ifinite range of ideas" that can be conceived of simply do not make as much sense as what "appears" to be a "designed" universe that has constants and physical laws that can be expressed perfectly with math. Why would one go to what seems to be counter intuitive? Almost like the God of the gaps argument in reverse. Anything goes so long as it can be conceived. The multiverse for example, has no basis in reality, only in theoretical constructs. We can make em up all day. For many it seems that even if it breaks what we know are physical laws and/or simply have no evidence of if it can be conceived of we must believe it in order to avoid the potential of a creator. This is why it seems more rational for me to believe in a creator.

Except experience has shown that what you would see as counter-intuitive is, by far, the more sensible avenue. After all, wouldn't it seem more logical that people fall sick and become raging, violent psychotics because of some malicious influence, perhaps a demon or sorcerer who wishes them ill, rather than because of the mindless operation of creatures so tiny, we cannot see them, feel them, smell them?

Quote:

I realize it is "unnecessary", but isn't it more logical?? There is order in the universe. Unconscious?? Possibly, but why not go with what seems like a logical conclusion?

Is it not more sensible and self-evident that the seasons are caused by the waxing and waning influence of the goddess Demeter as she pines for her daughter Persephone, trapped for half the year in the underworld, rather than claim that the seaons are caused by the relative position of a rock so large, we can't really conceive of it as a rock, hurtling through the void around an explosion so massive, it can't all blow up at once? After all, it certainly appears that there's a guiding hand to the seasons, rather than relying on some fanciful model that requires so many things to be absolutely perfect or the whole thing would fall apart...

"You've got to remember that these are just simple farmers. These are people of the land. The common clay of the new West. You know... morons." - The Waco Kid


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EXC wrote:The concept of

EXC wrote:

The concept of "supernatual" is complete non-sense, cause if any god exists in another relm, that relm would have to be natural.

Not at all in my opinion. As a believer, it is of paramount importance that God exist outside of anything "natural". I would argue God created nature-not born of it.

 


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relrick wrote:Tanath

relrick wrote:

Tanath wrote:

Nope. No other conclusions are needed. Even to positively assert that god(s) are non-existent only requires that one believes an alternative explanation is possible.

Is it not this simple?... Believers in God believe God created the universe and all that follows.

Atheist don't believe in a creator, so to atheist we are the product of a non-guided physical/material phenomena. In other words, at least for our existence, the strong anthropic principle,.. and for the universe in general, some to be determined NON-intelligent Non-Spiritual only physical/material phenomena.

Perhaps what I am trying to get at. Can an atheist believe in any type of spirit/soul/non-physical existence?  If so, what evolutionary mechanism would account for that?

Being an atheist doesn't rule out spirituality, or even the existence of the soul, depending on your definition. Personally, I define "soul" as "the essence of who you are." Unfortunately there doesn't appear to be any evidence that it can survive the death of the physical body. Mind = brain and all that. If we hypothesize that our present (known) universe (not all existence mind you) was created by an intelligent being, one might suppose that perhaps it is basically a computer program a la The Matrix. One might further suppose that everything that happens gets stored in memory, and that people the creator/user wants to get reused or something. This remembered version of us might be considered a sort of spiritual version of ourselves. Now I've provided you with a specific example of how an atheist might believe in all kinds of things.

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Tanath wrote:Having a

Tanath wrote:

Having a materialist or naturalistic world view can lead to atheism, but the reverse isn't necessarily true.

Some eastern world views like Theravada Buddhism promote an atheistic outlook,  or at least one where gods don't matter much, without committing themselves to materialism as their metaphysical foundation.

 


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BMcD wrote:Except experience

BMcD wrote:

Except experience has shown that what you would see as counter-intuitive is, by far, the more sensible avenue. After all, wouldn't it seem more logical that people fall sick and become raging, violent psychotics because of some malicious influence, perhaps a demon or sorcerer who wishes them ill, rather than because of the mindless operation of creatures so tiny, we cannot see them, feel them, smell them?

Not when we know better. If we didn't have all this information about how the cell is a complicated being and how all of our physical laws work together to make ours a habitable place for life, I'd be an atheist most likely.

[=relrick]

I realize it is "unnecessary", but isn't it more logical?? There is order in the universe. Unconscious?? Possibly, but why not go with what seems like a logical conclusion?

BMcD wrote:

Is it not more sensible and self-evident that the seasons are caused by the waxing and waning influence of the goddess Demeter as she pines for her daughter Persephone, trapped for half the year in the underworld, rather than claim that the seaons are caused by the relative position of a rock so large, we can't really conceive of it as a rock, hurtling through the void around an explosion so massive, it can't all blow up at once? After all, it certainly appears that there's a guiding hand to the seasons, rather than relying on some fanciful model that requires so many things to be absolutely perfect or the whole thing would fall apart...

Once again, not if we know better. The fact is,..that it is incredibly complicated how our seasons work. I'm sure you're familiar already with all of the design arguments, and I'm getting off track here, but the more we learn about how complicated it is, the more and more it seems to me anyway to be designed. Some might call that wishful thinking, but I say creating complicated formulas only to fight logic is also wishful thinking. Wishing there wasn't a creator that is.


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AdvancedAtheist wrote:Tanath

AdvancedAtheist wrote:

Tanath wrote:

Having a materialist or naturalistic world view can lead to atheism, but the reverse isn't necessarily true.

Some eastern world views like Theravada Buddhism promote an atheistic outlook,  or at least one where gods don't matter much, without committing themselves to materialism as their metaphysical foundation.

I'm aware of this. I was simply pointing out that the reasoning didn't hold.

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relrick wrote:Not when we

relrick wrote:

Not when we know better. If we didn't have all this information about how the cell is a complicated being and how all of our physical laws work together to make ours a habitable place for life, I'd be an atheist most likely.

Except without all that information, all of the explanations become more and more dependent on the supernatural. So why would you be an atheist?

Quote:

Once again, not if we know better. The fact is,..that it is incredibly complicated how our seasons work. I'm sure you're familiar already with all of the design arguments, and I'm getting off track here, but the more we learn about how complicated it is, the more and more it seems to me anyway to be designed. Some might call that wishful thinking, but I say creating complicated formulas only to fight logic is also wishful thinking. Wishing there wasn't a creator that is.

Except that it's really not all that complicated at all. How our seasons work is really VERY simple. We're warmed to one degree or another based on where we are compared to a source of heat. That position's based on our movement at the end of a gravitic tether, of sorts. That movement, too, is fairly simple: it's movement in a straight line across a curved surface. The curvature of the surface is simple, a dent caused by mass.

Each step is simple. It's only when each simple thing is compounded with all the other simple things that it begins to appear so incredibly complex. Now, which is more logical? That simple interactions between entropy, time, and gravity give rise to apparent complexity as they compound over one another again and again over billions upon billions of years as a natural process that we are the lucky benefactors of, or that all of this is an incredibly complicated mechanism, indeed, an overly complicated mechanism, put in place by a being so powerful it can first figure out how to fine-tune everything just right, and then actually violate the natural laws of the universe it's creating by creating all of this matter and energy out of nothing... just to produce us?

Give me proof, or no, the simplest, most logical explanation is 'Shit Happens'.

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What is crazy?

You obviously haven't been reading your bible!


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relrick wrote:BobSpence1

relrick wrote:

BobSpence1 wrote:

This does not imply 'materialism' -  there are an infinite range of ideas about the origin of the the universe that don't involve that particular concept, but still lie utterly outside what we perceive as the world of matter, energy, and the structured patterns of interaction between them which we characterise as the 'laws' of nature.

Agreed-Atheism does not imply materialism. However, as rational thinking people, and when the "ifinite range of ideas" that can be conceived of simply do not make as much sense as what "appears" to be a "designed" universe that has constants and physical laws that can be expressed perfectly with math. Why would one go to what seems to be counter intuitive?

The God-creator is one of those range of purely speculative, non-naturalistic ideas I was referring to, and not, to me, any more plausible than any of the others.

The naturalistic explanations make more sense TO ME, andf to many other scientifically informed people. Don't project your own lack of understanding onto the rest of the world - yes it "makes more sense" TO YOU, but you are not justified in assuming that is a valid general statement.

The universe does NOT appear to be a "designer" universe to me, so, again, don't assume your reaction is the only logical one. It is NOT counter-intuitive to me, the God idea makes the universe less comprehensible to me, raise far more questions than it answers, especially 'Why" type questions.

And the physical laws are not 'perfectly' expressed with math, only, like all scientific laws, to varying degrees of accuracy, some very high, some not.

Quote:

Almost like the God of the gaps argument in reverse. Anything goes so long as it can be conceived.

Absolutely and utterly wrong. For any new hypothesis to get off the ground, it has to be based on existing data and well-established observations. It has to have very strong grounds for casting doubt on stuff which has already passed a lot of testing. The more it stretches current ideas, the more it must offer in the way of greatly improved explanatory and predictive possibilities.
Quote:

The multiverse for example, has no basis in reality, only in theoretical constructs.

It is a hypothesis, extrapolated from current data and theories, which provides a possible frame-work for explaining remaining puzzles in cosmology, and possibly quantum theory. It is not made up of random ideas. It is one of a number of hypotheses being devised to test and possibly let us progress beyond current cosmology. So of course it is only 'theoretical constructs' at the moment, that is not equivalent to saying it is just pulled  out of someone's rear.

Did you read the part of my previous post where I addressed the Multiverse idea?

Quote:
We can make em up all day. For many it seems that even if it breaks what we know are physical laws and/or simply have no evidence of if it can be conceived of we must believe it in order to avoid the potential of a creator.

Emphatically wrong. If it breaks known physical laws it ain't going anywhere. If it calls for extension of known laws, it better have some good justification, also known as EVIDENCE, at least prima facie evidence, or again it ain't gonna be accepted.

Quote:
This is why it seems more rational for me to believe in a creator.

BobSpence1 wrote:

This automatic assumption that anything which 'caused' our observable universe to come into existence in its current form (I'm allowing for the option that 'something' existed before the Big Bang) had to be something corresponding to a conscious entity seems to me totally unnecessary. 

I realize it is "unnecessary", but isn't it more logical?? There is order in the universe. Unconscious?? Possibly, but why not go with what seems like a logical conclusion?

There is absolutely no 'logical' connection between 'order' and 'consciousness'. We know order can arise spontaneously from disorder, from crystals forming out of solution, stars condensing out of a formless cloud of gas, etc, etc. So it is NOT a 'logical conclusion'.

Favorite oxymorons: Gospel Truth, Rational Supernaturalist, Business Ethics, Christian Morality

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BobSpence1 wrote:We know

BobSpence1 wrote:

We know order can arise spontaneously from disorder, from crystals forming out of solution, stars condensing out of a formless cloud of gas, etc, etc. So it is NOT a 'logical conclusion'.

Well, minor (and I do mean minor) quibble on that one, Bob. The 'order' is only apparent order, as the processes that form (for example) a star out of a cloud of gas result in the release of waste energy and heat, which actually increases the total entropy.

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BMcD wrote:BobSpence1

BMcD wrote:

BobSpence1 wrote:

We know order can arise spontaneously from disorder, from crystals forming out of solution, stars condensing out of a formless cloud of gas, etc, etc. So it is NOT a 'logical conclusion'.

Well, minor (and I do mean minor) quibble on that one, Bob. The 'order' is only apparent order, as the processes that form (for example) a star out of a cloud of gas result in the release of waste energy and heat, which actually increases the total entropy.

What's illogical is stars are supposedly formed from supernovas. Supernovas are the result of a dying stars. Do we really have a clue? Smiling

 


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relrick wrote:BMcD

relrick wrote:

BMcD wrote:

BobSpence1 wrote:

We know order can arise spontaneously from disorder, from crystals forming out of solution, stars condensing out of a formless cloud of gas, etc, etc. So it is NOT a 'logical conclusion'.

Well, minor (and I do mean minor) quibble on that one, Bob. The 'order' is only apparent order, as the processes that form (for example) a star out of a cloud of gas result in the release of waste energy and heat, which actually increases the total entropy.

What's illogical is stars are supposedly formed from supernovas. Supernovas are the result of a dying stars. Do we really have a clue? Smiling

 

Haha, I think you're falsely assuming that all stars are born as a result of supernovas.

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BMcD wrote:BobSpence1

BMcD wrote:

BobSpence1 wrote:

We know order can arise spontaneously from disorder, from crystals forming out of solution, stars condensing out of a formless cloud of gas, etc, etc. So it is NOT a 'logical conclusion'.

Well, minor (and I do mean minor) quibble on that one, Bob. The 'order' is only apparent order, as the processes that form (for example) a star out of a cloud of gas result in the release of waste energy and heat, which actually increases the total entropy.

Of course, but in the more informal sense of visible regularity of structure and process, as would "make sense" to our Theist friend, there is more apparent 'order'.

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relrick wrote:BMcD

relrick wrote:

BMcD wrote:

BobSpence1 wrote:

We know order can arise spontaneously from disorder, from crystals forming out of solution, stars condensing out of a formless cloud of gas, etc, etc. So it is NOT a 'logical conclusion'.

Well, minor (and I do mean minor) quibble on that one, Bob. The 'order' is only apparent order, as the processes that form (for example) a star out of a cloud of gas result in the release of waste energy and heat, which actually increases the total entropy.

What's illogical is stars are supposedly formed from supernovas. Supernovas are the result of a dying stars. Do we really have a clue? Smiling

 

You are just plain wrong here (again). Supernovas are thought to be the origin of neutron stars or other dense stars, as the remnant of the original star. They do serve as a major way of distributing heavier elements into interstellar space, which form part of a next generation of stars with different composition, like our sun. The new stars will still form in the same way, in general. I think it has been speculated that the explosion of supernovas may accelerate the condensation of new stars from a cloud by compressing local regions of the cloud.

But no, the first stars only need a cloud of gas with a slightly denser region to start collapsing under the influence of gravity.

You seriously don't understand what goes on in science if you think a such a discrepancy could be part of accepted theory.

Favorite oxymorons: Gospel Truth, Rational Supernaturalist, Business Ethics, Christian Morality

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Issue of Overlap

Most atheists I meet tend toward philosophical materialism and/or or naturalism whether they realize it or not, but atheism doesn't really have "requirements" for "joining," if you know what I mean. No dogma here. We just don't believe in irrational claims without damned good evidence. Atheist is generally called weak or strong, depending on who's defining the terms. I think it's all semantics, and RRS doesn't represent all the atheists on the planet.

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relrick wrote:I assume this

relrick wrote:

I assume this is correct, but is it fair to assume that to be an atheist, you must be a materialist?? That follows correct?? Atheism requires that all things are the result of a "natural material process"? Anything else could be construed as non-natural or rather "super natural".

For the record this is pretty much my position, though, in different words.

“It is true that in the land of the blind, the one-eyed man is king. It is equally true that in the land of the blind, the two-eyed man is an enemy of the state, the people, and domestic tranquility… and necessarily so. Someone has to rearrange the furniture.”


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relrick wrote:What's

relrick wrote:

What's illogical is stars are supposedly formed from supernovas. Supernovas are the result of a dying stars. Do we really have a clue? Smiling

 

Actually, no, that's fine. You see, stars form out of gas clouds left by one nova/supernova that either a)slowly recollapse due to internal gravity, or b)are perturbed into self-collapse by the shockwaves of subsequent novae.

The first generation of stars would have been far slower to form from the gas clouds that coalesced as the universe cooled, and loss of energy dropped high-energy particles into their decay cycles to produce the 'normal' range of subatomic particles, which eventually formed atoms, etc etc etc.

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BobSpence1 wrote:BMcD

BobSpence1 wrote:

BMcD wrote:

BobSpence1 wrote:

We know order can arise spontaneously from disorder, from crystals forming out of solution, stars condensing out of a formless cloud of gas, etc, etc. So it is NOT a 'logical conclusion'.

Well, minor (and I do mean minor) quibble on that one, Bob. The 'order' is only apparent order, as the processes that form (for example) a star out of a cloud of gas result in the release of waste energy and heat, which actually increases the total entropy.

Of course, but in the more informal sense of visible regularity of structure and process, as would "make sense" to our Theist friend, there is more apparent 'order'.

Yupyup. Like I said, only a minor quibble. Eye-wink

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BobSpence1 wrote: You are

BobSpence1 wrote:

You are just plain wrong here (again). Supernovas are thought to be the origin of neutron stars or other dense stars, as the remnant of the original star. They do serve as a major way of distributing heavier elements into interstellar space, which form part of a next generation of stars with different composition, like our sun. The new stars will still form in the same way, in general. I think it has been speculated that the explosion of supernovas may accelerate the condensation of new stars from a cloud by compressing local regions of the cloud.

But no, the first stars only need a cloud of gas with a slightly denser region to start collapsing under the influence of gravity.

You seriously don't understand what goes on in science if you think a such a discrepancy could be part of accepted theory.

 

Hey man, you gotta talk to the History Channel about that one. That's where I got this from. The series "The Universe".  So you're saying stars evolve?? Maybe I heard it wrong, but that's what it seemed to suggest. But it got us way off topic. I have to say these were not the responses I was expecting. I was thinking an atheist would pretty much have to be a materialist. If one accepts even the potential of some cosmic soul, a spirit, any kind of metaphysical reality or intelligence in our world or universe, would that not lend credibility to the potential of an intelligent creator? Things begat things. Material cannot begat spirit. Or at least not that I've ever heard.

 

 


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relrick wrote: don't get

relrick wrote:

 don't get your panties in a wad dude.   

I'm not trying to subvert some concept or interject some secret way to get around something. I genuinely wanted to know if all atheist would ultimately have to subscribe to the above. I assume an atheist must reject anything with spirit/soul etc. Can an atheist believe in ghost. How, isn't that an after life of sorts?? That's all I am trying to confirm. I hope you have a great day though. : )

 

Sorry, relrick.  My wadding of the panties was not directed at you (though I can see how it looked that way).  I've just been hearing "materialist" used by Huckabee and other religious types of late.  My rant was directed at those types and like idiots who, as I stated in my panty-wad, hijack and spin words then inject them into the mainstream consciousness.  Actually had one of these religious sheep comment on my "materialism" when I recently bought a new cell phone.

 

Hope that clears things up. Apologies for the misunderstanding.

 

-HCG


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FulltimeDefendent

FulltimeDefendent wrote:

 Atheist is generally called weak or strong, depending on who's defining the terms. I think it's all semantics, and RRS doesn't represent all the atheists on the planet.

 

I find it interesting that RRS prefers to lump atheist and agnostic together. At least with the link provided earlier in this thread. To me it should be cut and dry. Atheist = I do not believe in a God/s. Agnostic = I am unsure and strongly doubt it. By lumping together I think can be an out. Either you don't believe at all, or you do and need more proof to claim it.


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relrick wrote:If one accepts

relrick wrote:

If one accepts even the potential of some cosmic soul, a spirit, any kind of metaphysical reality or intelligence in our world or universe, would that not lend credibility to the potential of an intelligent creator? Things begat things. Material cannot begat spirit. Or at least not that I've ever heard.

Even if that were the case, which isn't necessarily so, accepting the possibility is not the same as believing it.

relrick wrote:
I find it interesting that RRS prefers to lump atheist and agnostic together. At least with the link provided earlier in this thread. To me it should be cut and dry. Atheist = I do not believe in a God/s. Agnostic = I am unsure and strongly doubt it. By lumping together I think can be an out. Either you don't believe at all, or you do and need more proof to claim it.

Uh, they don't lump them together... hence the link. Atheism vs. theism is about belief. Agnosticism vs. gnosticism is about knowledge. You can have agnostic atheists, agnostic theists, gnostic atheists and gnostic theists. Again, all that is required to fall under the definition of atheist is a lack of theistic belief.

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relrick wrote:Hey man, you

relrick wrote:

Hey man, you gotta talk to the History Channel about that one. That's where I got this from. The series "The Universe".  So you're saying stars evolve?? Maybe I heard it wrong, but that's what it seemed to suggest. But it got us way off topic. I have to say these were not the responses I was expecting. I was thinking an atheist would pretty much have to be a materialist. If one accepts even the potential of some cosmic soul, a spirit, any kind of metaphysical reality or intelligence in our world or universe, would that not lend credibility to the potential of an intelligent creator? Things begat things. Material cannot begat spirit. Or at least not that I've ever heard.

Yes, stars evolve, one generation to the next. The first stars were purely composed of hydrogen and helium, unlike the sun, which has many heavier elements in it. Earlier generations of stars, as their nuclear fuel was spent, generated these heavier elements, then when the star dies, it throws off layers of gas, which eventually coalesce into clouds and then collapse into the nuclei of new stars.

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relrick wrote:BobSpence1

relrick wrote:

BobSpence1 wrote:

You are just plain wrong here (again). Supernovas are thought to be the origin of neutron stars or other dense stars, as the remnant of the original star. They do serve as a major way of distributing heavier elements into interstellar space, which form part of a next generation of stars with different composition, like our sun. The new stars will still form in the same way, in general. I think it has been speculated that the explosion of supernovas may accelerate the condensation of new stars from a cloud by compressing local regions of the cloud.

But no, the first stars only need a cloud of gas with a slightly denser region to start collapsing under the influence of gravity.

You seriously don't understand what goes on in science if you think a such a discrepancy could be part of accepted theory.

 

Hey man, you gotta talk to the History Channel about that one. That's where I got this from. The series "The Universe".  So you're saying stars evolve?? Maybe I heard it wrong, but that's what it seemed to suggest. But it got us way off topic. I have to say these were not the responses I was expecting. I was thinking an atheist would pretty much have to be a materialist. If one accepts even the potential of some cosmic soul, a spirit, any kind of metaphysical reality or intelligence in our world or universe, would that not lend credibility to the potential of an intelligent creator? Things begat things. Material cannot begat spirit. Or at least not that I've ever heard.

 

About the stars, either you misunderstood something on that program, or they were a bit sloppy in their presentation.

And yes, you could describe it as a sort of stellar evolution, but not quite like biological evolution, since stars don't have a mechanism like DNA to pass on detailed attributes to affect the formation of other stars in anything like the detail that DNA can with living organisms.

About 'matter begatting spirit', progressively more complex material structures can have properties not present in the constituent atoms. At a very elementary level, protons, neutrons and electrons are sub-atomic particles which could not in themselves have an attribute like 'wetness'. But combine them into atoms of hydrogen and oxygen, and combine those atoms into a quantity of water, then you have something which has properties which are not present in its fundamental components. Silicon, oxygen and other elements are major constituents of common sand. Process them into silicon chips, and you can assemble them into a computer which can do things that grains of sand, let alone sub-atomic particle can only dream of. They can even fool some people into thinking they might be communicating with an intelligent being.

My point is that there are 'emergent properties', the whole can definitely be more than the sum of its parts, especially if it is organised into a complex structure. So even if we can't prove that it is possible, there is no logical reason why a sufficiently complex material structure, whether of silicon or brain tissue, cannot display what we think of as 'consciousness', as a process (not a material object) of interacting physical objects and energy.

Many experiments, such as brain scans, prove an intimate connection between our thoughts and things going on in our brains that we can observe ant photograph. Damage to various parts of our brains produces all sorts of strange impairments of our thoughts. further supporting the belief that consciousness is the result of a brain process.

Complexity definitely does not require a creator. A 'creator' cannot be the ultimate solution to existence, because you then need to explain what created the creator, and so on, indefinitely. So a creator is not only NOT a logical requirement for complexity, it logically CANNOT be.

Favorite oxymorons: Gospel Truth, Rational Supernaturalist, Business Ethics, Christian Morality

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relrick wrote:So you're

relrick wrote:
So you're saying stars evolve??

Yeah they do. If you promise to return them, I will lend you my notes from my Astronomy 580 class, Stellar evolution. Then you could educate yourself on this matter. Isn't knowledge great?


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Maybe some mad scientist

Maybe some mad scientist named Theo created our universe in his basement and it expanded in its own new space, but he screwed up the cosmological constants so silicon life forms seemed to have no chance of evolving, but we just happen to be in the process of creating such life forms ourselves.

 If we do not consider Theo anymore than a weird nerdy alien who does not deserve anything but our pity (he probably never even had a girlfriend - 40 year old virgin) why call him a god? Would the creator of the universe even have to be supernatural if he was just some normal alien nerd named Theo who used natural processes to do it?

 

when you say "faith" I think "evil lies"
when you say "god" I think "santa clause"


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patcleaver wrote:Maybe some

patcleaver wrote:

Maybe some mad scientist named Theo created our universe in his basement and it expanded in its own new space, but he screwed up the cosmological constants so silicon life forms seemed to have no chance of evolving, but we just happen to be in the process of creating such life forms ourselves.

 If we do not consider Theo anymore than a weird nerdy alien who does not deserve anything but our pity (he probably never even had a girlfriend - 40 year old virgin) why call him a god? Would the creator of the universe even have to be supernatural if he was just some normal alien nerd named Theo who used natural processes to do it?

 

The ultimate creator has to be something simple enough to arise spontaneously, otherwise you've got the old "what created the creator" problem, which is still the basic problem for any 'intelligent creator' theory - they are all logically invalid.

Whereas a complex Universe growing from a state of raw energy is not in conflict with logic or science.

Favorite oxymorons: Gospel Truth, Rational Supernaturalist, Business Ethics, Christian Morality

"Theology is now little more than a branch of human ignorance. Indeed, it is ignorance with wings." - Sam Harris

The path to Truth lies via careful study of reality, not the dreams of our fallible minds - me

From the sublime to the ridiculous: Science -> Philosophy -> Theology