Hello from Slough, UK

bundushathur
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Hello from Slough, UK

Hello everybody, I am a 33 year old atheist from Slough in the United Kingdom. I was born into the religion of Sikhism, a faith I rejected for almost as long as I can remember. Probably about the age of 4 or 5.

I'm very happy to join the Rational Response Squad. I've read up on you guys and seen your stuff on youtube. I think you all rock and kick ass and I wish you all the success in the future in whatever it is that you happen to be doing!!!!!


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Welcome!

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Thanks for stopping by and

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Welcome

 

 

 

                          From Canada welcome to the site. Post  early and often.

 

 

 

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Welcome bundu

 

bundushathur wrote:

I wish you all the success in the future in whatever it is that you happen to be doing!!!!!

Back at you from the land of oz. 

Be really interesting to hear how it is to be an atheist Sikh. Do Sikhs believe in a god? Were your parents pissed at you? Did girl or boyfriend's families get narky?

Have you rejected all trappings of Sikh belief?

What's the fallout, if any, been like?

Congrats on your early disbelief. Wish I'd been as clever as you were. 

 

 

"Experiments are the only means of knowledge at our disposal. The rest is poetry, imagination." Max Planck


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The Ukk took my baby

The Ukk took my baby away

Took her away

Away from me

 

Just being silly, that was a spoof of a Ramones song. Anywho, welcome.

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 Welcome from London!

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Welcome to the forum

Welcome to the forum !

My life would have been a lot easier had I rejected religion at the age of four or five.

I was almost a grown man when I decided that it was all bunk .

Post early and often.

“It is proof of a base and low mind for one to wish to think with the masses or majority, merely because the majority is the majority. Truth does not change because it is, or is not, believed by a majority of the people.”
― Giordano Bruno


bundushathur
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deconversion

Well thank you very much for the comment about being clever. I was in fact, quite clever about it, but the reason for that was because i kept my mouth shut about it.

Sikhism is a monotheistic religion, so they believe in the one god. The god of the sikh faith has no physical characteristics or even gender that I've ever heard described.

My parents didn't realise i was an atheist until i was in my early teens. By this time they had kinda resigned themselves to the idea that i was never going to be a fully practising member. When my old man realised that i didn't even believe god existed, he wasn't shocked or angry... more disappointed. I remember him kind of shaking his head and we never spoke about it again for years. When it did come up, he wouldn't really try. I've never heard of any description in Sikhism about burning in hell, so maybe that was the reason.

I got married to a girl from India and surprisingly, she was only nominally a Sikh. She did believe in god and went to a sikh temple but was a sort of sikh lite. The rest of her immediate family were the same.

I guess i have completely abandoned the faith. Eben when my parents were alive to influence me, they never pushed me and i became a lapsed Sikh probably a decade and a half ago. Ever since they passed away, there's no real reason for me to continue at all.

Nobody in my family really cares about the fact that i don't practice the faith. More consternation has been expressed at the fact that i don't believe that god exists. Recently i've gotten into a couple of debates with two of my sisters but it doesn't resolve anything because they can't convince me of their position because i have the ability to think, and i can't convince them of my position because they are dyed in the wool victims of culture.

As a resident of Australia, i wouldn't imagine there are many sikhs there, so if this fairly lengthy post has quenched some of the thirst of your curiosity, then i'll have been glad to help.


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Cheers for this bundu

bundushathur wrote:

Well thank you very much for the comment about being clever. I was in fact, quite clever about it, but the reason for that was because i kept my mouth shut about it.

Sikhism is a monotheistic religion, so they believe in the one god. The god of the sikh faith has no physical characteristics or even gender that I've ever heard described.

My parents didn't realise i was an atheist until i was in my early teens. By this time they had kinda resigned themselves to the idea that i was never going to be a fully practising member. When my old man realised that i didn't even believe god existed, he wasn't shocked or angry... more disappointed. I remember him kind of shaking his head and we never spoke about it again for years. When it did come up, he wouldn't really try. I've never heard of any description in Sikhism about burning in hell, so maybe that was the reason.

I got married to a girl from India and surprisingly, she was only nominally a Sikh. She did believe in god and went to a sikh temple but was a sort of sikh lite. The rest of her immediate family were the same.

I guess i have completely abandoned the faith. Eben when my parents were alive to influence me, they never pushed me and i became a lapsed Sikh probably a decade and a half ago. Ever since they passed away, there's no real reason for me to continue at all.

Nobody in my family really cares about the fact that i don't practice the faith. More consternation has been expressed at the fact that i don't believe that god exists. Recently i've gotten into a couple of debates with two of my sisters but it doesn't resolve anything because they can't convince me of their position because i have the ability to think, and i can't convince them of my position because they are dyed in the wool victims of culture.

As a resident of Australia, i wouldn't imagine there are many sikhs there, so if this fairly lengthy post has quenched some of the thirst of your curiosity, then i'll have been glad to help.

 

I think there are about half a million Indian folks living in Oz but Sikhs are a minority of these. I must say, religions that are cultural are less of an annoyance to me. There's something about the abrahamic faiths resort to violence in the first instance that really jars. Do Sikhs have creation myths and so on? Do your sisters believe in evolution or creation? Is that what they try to convince you of? First cause and so on?

 

 

 

 

"Experiments are the only means of knowledge at our disposal. The rest is poetry, imagination." Max Planck


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Welcome from Texas, brother.

Welcome from Texas, brother.


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This is for

This is for atheistextremist. You asked me a few questions. I've been off the radar for a couple of weeks and I decided to have a go at answering them.

Do Sikhs have creation myths and so on? Do your sisters believe in evolution or creation? Is that what they try to convince you of? First cause and so on?

From scan reading an english translation of the Guru Granth Sahib (GGS from now on) online coupled with what I was taught and more importantly, what I WASN'T taught when growing up, I don't believe there is a creation myth as such.

Sikhism is a considerably newer religion than most and the emphasis seems to be more geared towards describing god and doling out absolute moralities. There is a sort of... recognition that god created the universe but how he did it seems to be... an unexplored issue.

My sisters believe in the literal truth(s) of the GGS. The problem arises from the fact that the GGS doesn't say anything about these things!

Having grown up in the U.K., I can only HOPE they do believe in evolution because there's massive amounts of evidence in support of evolution. The debates we've had have always ended up in disagreements about more basic things like god's existence or lack of, so we never really got that far...

If by the first cause you mean the creation of the universe, I'm a proponent of the big bang theory. They are not. They definitely believe that god did it all.


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Thanks Bundu

bundushathur wrote:

This is for atheistextremist. You asked me a few questions. I've been off the radar for a couple of weeks and I decided to have a go at answering them.

Do Sikhs have creation myths and so on? Do your sisters believe in evolution or creation? Is that what they try to convince you of? First cause and so on?

From scan reading an english translation of the Guru Granth Sahib (GGS from now on) online coupled with what I was taught and more importantly, what I WASN'T taught when growing up, I don't believe there is a creation myth as such.

Sikhism is a considerably newer religion than most and the emphasis seems to be more geared towards describing god and doling out absolute moralities. There is a sort of... recognition that god created the universe but how he did it seems to be... an unexplored issue.

My sisters believe in the literal truth(s) of the GGS. The problem arises from the fact that the GGS doesn't say anything about these things!

Having grown up in the U.K., I can only HOPE they do believe in evolution because there's massive amounts of evidence in support of evolution. The debates we've had have always ended up in disagreements about more basic things like god's existence or lack of, so we never really got that far...

If by the first cause you mean the creation of the universe, I'm a proponent of the big bang theory. They are not. They definitely believe that god did it all.

 

Appreciate the reply - always interesting getting a feel for the underlying beliefs of other religions. What's interesting is the similarities. Have spent the whole weekend arguing with my christian brother about creation or evolution. Science can be wrong says he, and science can't answer everything. Nor can empiricism prove itself empirically. Yet according to him, we can know things in other ways than through empiricism and these ways (I can only suppose) must be somehow divine. Including every thought that goes on in his head. But it's not supernatural, he insists. It's all so annoyingly vague that talking with him about it makes my head explode. Sounds like you go through the same thing. 

 

 

 

"Experiments are the only means of knowledge at our disposal. The rest is poetry, imagination." Max Planck


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What a world (what a world) . .

 

AE wrote:

 

Appreciate the reply - always interesting getting a feel for the underlying beliefs of other religions. What's interesting is the similarities. Have spent the whole weekend arguing with my christian brother about creation or evolution. Science can be wrong says he, and science can't answer everything. Nor can empiricism prove itself empirically. Yet according to him, we can know things in other ways than through empiricism and these ways (I can only suppose) must be somehow divine. Including every thought that goes on in his head. But it's not supernatural, he insists. It's all so annoyingly vague that talking with him about it makes my head explode. Sounds like you go through the same thing. 

 

 

 

  I do hope you made some in roads, I assume this is a Global flood belief underpinning this. Most christians I have run into do not actually explore these issues themselves but will defer to someone else an authority figure or educated clergy or even a para-church organization WITHOUT examining any evidence.

 

 

 


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danatemporary wrote:   I

danatemporary wrote:

 

  I do hope you made some in roads, I assume this is a Global flood belief underpinning this. Most christians I have run into do not actually explore these issues themselves but will defer to someone else an authority figure or educated clergy or even a para-church organization WITHOUT examining any evidence.

 

That's been my experience with a lot of Christians when it comes to personal debates. They suddenly want to refer me to a pastor or someone that leads their bible studies.

“It is proof of a base and low mind for one to wish to think with the masses or majority, merely because the majority is the majority. Truth does not change because it is, or is not, believed by a majority of the people.”
― Giordano Bruno


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No inroads whatever, Dana

danatemporary wrote:

AE wrote:

Appreciate the reply - always interesting getting a feel for the underlying beliefs of other religions. What's interesting is the similarities. Have spent the whole weekend arguing with my christian brother about creation or evolution. Science can be wrong says he, and science can't answer everything. Nor can empiricism prove itself empirically. Yet according to him, we can know things in other ways than through empiricism and these ways (I can only suppose) must be somehow divine. Including every thought that goes on in his head. But it's not supernatural, he insists. It's all so annoyingly vague that talking with him about it makes my head explode. Sounds like you go through the same thing. 

I do hope you made some in roads, I assume this is a Global flood belief underpinning this. Most christians I have run into do not actually explore these issues themselves but will defer to someone else an authority figure or educated clergy or even a para-church organization WITHOUT examining any evidence.

As you can see from this discussion, BrotherDavid doesn't hold much truck with bible mythology but argues the gaps with great vigour. I send BrotherDavid a cartoon from AtheistEve - http://www.atheist-community.org/atheisteve/ - it was Science supports God...BD insisted science was irrelevant to the understanding of consciousness and it came after a while to this.... 

 

AE wrote:

 

Do you argue then, that the nature of consciousness, the workings of the brain, are not in the realm of scientific explanation? That it is impossible to ever comprehend anything arguably true about the nature of mind and thought by observation? Or do you argue there are brain functions and then there are thoughts which are entirely separate from these processes?

 

BrotherDavid wrote:

It is very difficult, I think, to say the nature of consciousness can be investigated scientifically, according to the principle of demarcation already mentioned. It seems that no theory of consciousness can be refuted using a physical test. However, this is not the same as believing nothing of worth can be said about consciousness on the basis of observation—but in order to say such things, we have to allow observation to bear on much more than is refutable using a physical test. (Eg, The assertion, ‘Human beings often experience joy’ is the result of observation, and is I think true, while it is irrefutable using physical testing—bearing in mind that it does not explain what experience or joy are, but leaves that question open.)

AE wrote:
 

The point of the cartoon was that the scientific method of gathering data to support observation has proven many things, while assertions that the ‘true’ explanation is ‘supernatural’ have never proved anything certainly in material reality. Do you disagree with this? And if you argue the mind is supernatural, then what is that? What are its qualities? Isn’t it forced to be whatever we cannot explain? 

 

 

BrotherDavid wrote:

This is a complicated question — I mean the question of proofs in science. Popper says without any hesitation that scientific theories are never proven, they are only ever statements which are so far unrefuted; while other philosophers of science who are less strict about this, like Carnap, have such a vague criteria of demonstration, they seem next to useless.

(In Conjectures and Refutations, Popper actually shows in detail that Carnap’s more genial ideas about what passes for scientific knowledge mean that the assertion, ‘There is an omniscient, omnipresent and omnipotent being’, has the probability of 1; while scientific theories all have the probability of 0.)

On the other hand, I doubt anyone serious uses supernatural explanations to establish precise notions about the behaviour of physical objects acted upon by physical forces. The mind is not, in my understanding, supernatural.

 

AE wrote:

Do you argue we can say that a thing for which an hypothesis does not exist is certainly or even probably true? If not, how strong a position should any person take on the basis of unfalsifiable assertions in either camp? Or do you argue that because mind cannot falsify itself, then falsifiability loses its pre-eminence as a tool for knowing things about mind, and possibly, everything mind can conceive? That at some point in the thought process, empiricism stops working?

 

 

BrotherDavid wrote:

If you mean, strictly scientific hypothesis, yes, I think many other things can be true. I think there can definitely be lesser and greater probabilities regarding other problems. A simple example of this is where you have two non-scientific theories, one which says a lot, and one which says almost nothing—eg. ‘All democracies break down over economic problem x’, and, ‘This democracy will break down over economic problem x’. Prior to investigation, the first theory is obviously less probably true than the second, because it claims a lot more. If these theories can never be investigated, but we are forced for some reason to choose between them, the second one will as a matter of fact be much more probably true. 

On the question of unfalsifiable non-scientific assertions: my point is that falsifiability simply does not work, when they are being considered. Falsifiability is not a criterion for evaluating the cognitive merits of non-scientific ideas. So just because a non-scientific assertion is unfalsifiable doesn’t mean we should think it must be knowable in only a vague way, or is perhaps unknowable & etc..

Also, as mentioned previously falsifiability only allows for refutation of our ideas: it does not allow for any constructive analysis of the epistemological value of these ideas. This is true even in science. It is not a pre-eminent method for knowing; it is an ancient method for ruling some ideas out. If you mean strictly scientific empiricism, then it is quite evident, I believe, that it stops working as soon as you are dealing with theses and theories which are irrefutable by the use of genuinely scientific observation.

 

AE wrote:

I would argue that if assertions about objective truths cannot be more or less proved by experiment and observation then we should agree we can say nothing certain about them. This is a position I’m generally quite happy with. I see no moral crime in a position of doubt in relation to claims about ‘supernatural’ elements of the human ‘body’. What tools are there then, for considering the nature of mind? Under modus tollens aren’t all thoughts equally suspect as mere approximations of truth? 

 

BrotherDavid wrote:

I’ve already mentioned the problem of the weakness of scientific proof. It appears we can say nothing certain about scientific theories. On the general question of other issues, I do not think we face a situation where we have three possibilities---we know with certainty; we do not know with certainty, and need not be concerned about things falling into this category; and we do not know. Rather, I think that we know some things well, we are ignorant of other things, and in between these two extremes there are many degrees of understanding, from reasonably good to vague and next to worthless comprehensions or apprehensions (but even this last we might need to act upon, seeing that we have nothing better).

Again, it is very important to see that the modus tollens is simply one of numerous methods we have for the rational evaluation of evidence; it should I think usually be applied in conjunction with as many other methods as the evidence we have make worthwhile.

 

 

 

AE wrote:

To me, as a physical being, it seems natural to feel that thoughts are things, whether this be electrons or neuro-peptides or both. I am comfortable with the idea that the mind and body are a single choral entity. When I perceive through my senses I become a part of the thing, connected to it, whether this be running my hand over the bark of a tree or diving into the sea. I have trouble conceptualising the separations of brains, thoughts, consciousness, feelings, emotions, mental concepts of mind from my senses. I feel mentally connected to my senses, to my environment. When you subtract mind from body and environment I feel we are talking about the thing on too narrow a front. 

 

BrotherDavid wrote:

I think you are perhaps right to think holistically about the mind-body problem; my point not that there is no union between mind and body. My point is rather this. Say we devised a perfect account of the physical processes upon which thought depends—say we could name all the chemical reactions, all the electric shocks, all the physical movements involved—then there would remain something left over, which we had not accounted for. This would be the difference between a series of mathematico-physico-chemical equations (our physical account), and the rational and emotional thought processes we experience directly during our own personal mental activity (the consciousness we are seeking to explain). The mental side is not simply the physical side; if it were our mental life would be nothing more than the physical processes, and we would have no thoughts and feelings. 

 

AE wrote:

Is it possible a naturalist philosophy might better explain mind than a theistic?

BrotherDavid wrote:

As I have said before, given the mathematical and logical nature of thought, and the non-mathematical and non-logical nature of physical processes, the thesis that the mind has a natural origin is improbable in the highest degree. For that thesis says, ‘What the cause does not have at all, in any way, it nevertheless grants to the effect; and what it grants is moreover something of the most extraordinary sophistication, involving activities of a different order entirely to those typical to the cause’. All statements of this kind are without much doubt highly improbable, even though they are not strictly speaking impossible. I think on the other hand it is quite clear that the assertion, ‘A powerful mind made consciousness’, is less improbable. For it says in effect, ‘What the cause has, it grants to the effect’—which no doubt can be said to be improbable, but is I think definitely less improbable than the alternative.

 

AE wrote:

 

Given you argue for the improbability of mind developing naturally, how probable is it that the creator of a mind would develop naturally or supernaturally? Isn’t it special pleading to suggest it alone must always have been?

BrotherDavid wrote:

On the question of special pleading, which is an important problem: I don’t think on this occasion I am guilty of it. My reason for believing that is simply that both natural and theistic explanations of the universe start from the same place, ie. one supposes a pre-existing capacity or susceptibility or pre-existing matter and forces, or even nothing at all; while the other assumes a pre-existing mind. In my view, these ideas are all more or less as improbable as each other. However if I am correct, this means the issue of pre-existence does not affect answer to the question, ‘Which is more probably the cause of the universe (or of consciousness etc)?’ It is other considerations which determine the solution to the problem, like the issue of number and reason previously mentioned.

 

 

 

 

"Experiments are the only means of knowledge at our disposal. The rest is poetry, imagination." Max Planck


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 Well, seems like my introduction thread has been hijacked somewhat...


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bundushathur wrote:

 Well, seems like my introduction thread has been hijacked somewhat...

 

 

                   Ignor the highjacking and jump in, speak up we'd love to hear from you.

 

         

"Very funny Scotty; now beam down our clothes."

VEGETARIAN: Ancient Hindu word for "lousy hunter"

If man was formed from dirt, why is there still dirt?


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bundushathur wrote:

 Well, seems like my introduction thread has been hijacked somewhat...

 

 

                   Ignor the highjacking and jump in, speak up we'd love to hear from you.

 

         

"Very funny Scotty; now beam down our clothes."

VEGETARIAN: Ancient Hindu word for "lousy hunter"

If man was formed from dirt, why is there still dirt?


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bundushathur wrote: Well,

bundushathur wrote:

 Well, seems like my introduction thread has been hijacked somewhat...

Yeah don't sweat it. Your intro thread was already a year old and no one was posting any thing new, until you came back.

Just join in on the other threads if you find a subject interesting.