Christian seeking truth

mountaineer
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Christian seeking truth

I am a Christian and I think an open analysis of different systems of thought is very important.  When I look at the atheist world view, I end up puzzled.  If atheism is true, then what are our thoughts?

 

This has me puzzled.Undecided


Maragon
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I'm sorry, I don't

I'm sorry, I don't understand what you mean by this.

 

Are you asserting that god puts thoughts into our heads?

 

Please clarify. Smiling 


The Patrician
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Our thoughts are the same as

Our thoughts are the same as yours really: nuerochemical/electric reactions developed over millions of years.

Freedom of religious belief is an inalienable right. Stuffing that belief down other people's throats is not.


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Welcome!  I hope you have

Welcome!  I hope you have truly come here with an open mind. 

The first thing you need to understand about atheism is that it soley means a lack of belief in a god.  All atheists are free to believe anything they want about anything they want except their lack of belief in a god.  There is no dogma; there is no doctrine; there is no one to answer to except yourself.


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The Patrician wrote: Our

The Patrician wrote:
Our thoughts are the same as yours really: nuerochemical/electric reactions developed over millions of years.

 

Yes, but I would go a step further and say they are nuerochemical/electric reactions filtered thru language.  This is called linguistic determinism theory, and while it doesn't explain all things we may consider thoughts.it nevertheless, I believe, explains the thing we mostly consider 'thought'.  I have yet to see a compelling refutation of this theory.

 

 

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

 

Language is the tool we use to organize these reactions/impulses into coherent meangingfull things we call thoughts.

 


mountaineer
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If all thoughts can

If all thoughts can ulitmately be reduced to chemical/electircal causes, then how do we know what is true?

 

The chemicals are not rational are they?  They are just chemicals right?


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If theism is true, what are

If theism is true, what are our thoughts?

Does this question not puzzle you even more being as that we, at the very least, know empirically that chemical reactions and electrical impulses occur within the brain and have effects on mental states, while this whole spirity soul thing has absolutely no evidence nor even so much as a coherent definition?

“Philosophers have argued for centuries about how many angels can dance on the head of a pin, but materialists have always known it depends on whether they are jitterbugging or dancing cheek to cheek" -- Tom Robbins


Maragon
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mountaineer wrote: If all

mountaineer wrote:

If all thoughts can ulitmately be reduced to chemical/electircal causes, then how do we know what is true?

 

The chemicals are not rational are they? They are just chemicals right?

 

True and Rational are both subjective terms.

That's why they mean different things to different people. 


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mountaineer wrote:

mountaineer wrote:

If all thoughts can ulitmately be reduced to chemical/electircal causes, then how do we know what is true?

The chemicals are not rational are they? They are just chemicals right?


That's because 'truth' and 'reason' aren't things. Smile
Language is a practice. We use language to describe things.
Perhaps we might describe how the world is.
If the description is accurate then we call the description true and if not then we call the description false.
Reason is our method of working out truth from falsity.
So if we call someone 'irrational' then it means they aren't using the right methods to judge whether something is true or false - they might as well be taking a random guess!

Welcome to the RRS - exposers of bad guesswork! Wink


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gregfl wrote: Yes, but I

gregfl wrote:
Yes, but I would go a step further and say they are nuerochemical/electric reactions filtered thru language. This is called linguistic determinism theory, and while it doesn't explain all things we may consider thoughts.it nevertheless, I believe, explains the thing we mostly consider 'thought'. I have yet to see a compelling refutation of this theory.

 

 

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

 

Language is the tool we use to organize these reactions/impulses into coherent meangingfull things we call thoughts.


Ah! I'd be looking for this but I couldn't find its 'official name'.
(I tried searches of 'non-cognitivist philosophy of mind' or 'anti-realist philosophy of mind&#39Eye-wink

Thanks for the link!


mountaineer
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I guess this is why I'm so

I guess this is why I'm so puzzled.  You say truth and reason aren't things? What do you mean by that? You say that if somthing is accurate, you take that as true. What do you mean by accurate?

If all of your thoughts can be ultimately reduced down to chemicals in the brain, how do we know that certain chemical reactions are true and other chemical reactions are false?

How can we be cetain that the chemical reactions in our brain are true? Some sort of theory about a language filter does nothing to solve this problem because how is the filtering being accomplished?  By, assuming atheism is true, chemical reactions going on in the brain.  But we still haven't established how we can know truth if we assume that all we have as our thoughts are chemicals reacting.


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with all due respect

with all due respect Mountaineer, you are playing a game.  You are pretending to have sincere questions while throwing old presupossitional apologetic arguments around.

 

Even if we grant your argument, which is an argument from ignorance (I can't figure out how we can determine truthand reason without god, therefore god), and it begs the question (without god everything is random, therefore all chemical reactions must be random,), you haven't given us even a smidgen of a clue on how theism solves the problem.

 

Assuming theism, what makes god's thoughts not random and/or true?  Where do god's thoughts come from?  What are god's thought composed of?

 

Since what you are really posturing (now, aren't you? ), is that god is the ultimate source  of everything.  That leaves you explaining god.  Explain god to us without resorting to materialistic explanations.  What is he?  Where?  How was he created?  By what process?  what is he made of?  How can you demonstrate he exists? 

 

See, we can play this game too.  The fact is, the universe behaves in certain ways.  No one knows *Why*, at least yet, and just plugging god into every gap of knowledge solves nothing.  It never has, never will.


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Quote: How can we be cetain

Quote:
How can we be cetain that the chemical reactions in our brain are true? Some sort of theory about a language filter does nothing to solve this problem because how is the filtering being accomplished? By, assuming atheism is true, chemical reactions going on in the brain. But we still haven't established how we can know truth if we assume that all we have as our thoughts are chemicals reacting.

 

The answers to your questions may be found in science: neurophysiology, chemistry, psychology and the field of artificial intelligence.

First of all, true or false is not a 'thing'. There are many philosophical debates about what constitutes truth and falsehood; but in context of reasoning [by formal logic] it is an assesment of whether a given statement does not contradict other statements that are presumed to be infallible. For example, if we know that all cats are felines, saying that a dog is a cat would result in falsehood, since dogs are not felines (see syllogisms). So, in your brain, truth and falsehood are results of your minds' verification of something against something else. When conflicts occur, your mind tries to resolve it. This is why it is perfectly possible to arrive to wrong conclusions stemming from what seems to be the right opinions; and this is also the cause for many a mental disorder. The mind can not reconcile accepting conflicting statements as true. The problem is furthered even more when the mind has to deal with statements that are uncertain (e.g. "some people are not here right now&quotEye-wink or circular ("bible is true because bible says its true, ergo everything that contradicts bible is false&quotEye-wink

How can you be certain what's true and what's false? Well, formal logic has it all laid out for you. The methodics of reasoning as well as common pitfalls (as well as deliberate manipulation) are all extensively researched and documented since ancient times. In terms of logic and reasoning, truth is observed when there is consistency. Religious arguments from Christians violate them on two basic points:

1) Arguments that God exists at all, in their various forms, fail, since there is no evidence to support it other than circular arguments from sacred books regarding their sacredness, whereas numerous other evidence supports the exact opposite.

2) Arguments that God is the Christian God Yahwe (which are only valid if the above arguments are true) and not Allah or the Lord and the Lady or Flying Spaghetti Monster also collide with competing claims from other religions, which are no more or less valid objectively (i.e. when evaluated outside of Christian context) that those of Christianity.

Hope that helps.

 


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mountaineer wrote:I am a

mountaineer wrote:

I am a Christian and I think an open analysis of different systems of thought is very important.  When I look at the atheist world view, I end up puzzled.  If atheism is true, then what are our thoughts?

This has me puzzled.Undecided

Let's take something that's really really hard to deny: President John F Kennedy was assassinated.

Do you mean to say that the logic of the atheist position entails that we can't be sure if Kennedy was assassinated or not? If so, why would you think that?

mountaineer wrote:

If all thoughts can ulitmately be reduced to chemical/electircal causes, then how do we know what is true?

The chemicals are not rational are they?  They are just chemicals right?

Attention! We atheists now have own own version of Pontio Pilato.

Look at it this way. Here is an analogy to your question. When you play a video game are there really x wing fighters flying around somewhere and blowing up real death stars? Of course not. It's *only* a pattern of electrical signals.

This may sound facetious but it's not. Your brain essentially no different.


mountaineer
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Well thanks for the

Well thanks for the responses here guys but unfortunately, we haven't gained much ground. Some guys are tossing around some interesting theories but they are nevertheless assuming that their chemical reactions are providing real and true insight without demonstrating how.

 Obviously most atheists trust that their chemical/elictrical brain reactions are giving them real insight but how do you know this to be true?  Can you prove it? Or is this just a faith assumption?


Hambydammit
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~sigh~ I don't feel like

~sigh~

I don't feel like typing out the foundations of logic for the third time in two days, so here's a wonderful link for you .

I don't believe you're going to read it because I don't think you're here to learn, but at least I'm pointing you in the right direction in case I'm wrong.

In any case, if you don't know the difference between faith, axiomatic truth, induction, and deduction, then you have no business making such sweeping statements about what atheists believe or don't believe.

 

Atheism isn't a lot like religion at all. Unless by "religion" you mean "not religion". --Ciarin

http://hambydammit.wordpress.com/
Books about atheism


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Hambydammit wrote: In any

Hambydammit wrote:

In any case, if you don't know the difference between faith, axiomatic truth, induction, and deduction, then you have no business making such sweeping statements about what atheists believe or don't believe.

Not only that but he apparently can only feign indignance over 'unacceptable answers' without offering any rebutal of his own, and what's worse, he steadfastly ignores any calls upon him to provide his justification for thought reason or truth in his own unsupported worldview. As is often the cause with theists he is merely an antagonist having no justifications of his own to propose with anything more substantial than a handwave and a 'godidit'.  

“Philosophers have argued for centuries about how many angels can dance on the head of a pin, but materialists have always known it depends on whether they are jitterbugging or dancing cheek to cheek" -- Tom Robbins


mountaineer
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I'm not disputing the truth

I'm not disputing the truth of formal logic but I don't see how the atheist justifies his trust in his own thoughts apart from plain faith in those thoughts.

What are your thoughts? If they are just chemical reactions, then even the ideas of truth and logic are just chemicals as well.  To prove that your chemical reactions are trustworthy and true, are you not just appealing to other chemical reactions?  Then how do we justify those?  If we assume that logic came from man's thoughts, these would just be chemicals as well wouldn't they?  So how do you know anything assuming this view of the world?

 But I see that some of you guys are appealing to some absolutes, like logic. Are we now willing to concede that logic is absolute?

Is there such a thing as an absolute in the atheist world view and if so, how did you arrive at it?


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tell you what mountaineer,

tell you what mountaineer, lets get on a level playing field here.  You wouldn't want to ask of us something you can't answer yourself, now would you?

So, the basic argument underlying your initial questions is this...

"I assert that God causes thoughts in our brain and it can't be explained by natural occurances".

Okay, we got that.

Are answer is...

"I assert that thought processes are a natural occurance and can't be explained by supernatural occurances"

Okay, we are on a level playing field.  Got it?

Now, what you are doing is asking us to become cerebral neuro physicists and answer how the process works.

I will tell you right now that the process is out of my realm of expertise.  Is it in yours?


Can you tell us the material process that god uses to create thoughts?

Keep in mind that saying "god did it"  makes you lose automatically. We say "nature did it" and by  Parsimony, we win.  You only complicate the matter by introducing a concept you can't explain that is infinitely more complicated than nature.

And finally, you avoided my other post where I pointed out you were pretending to ask honest questions but really trying to disquise old presuppositional arguements.

Do you wish to answer that as well?  would you like to come out of the closet..so to speak?

10,000 bc

caveman1:  Lightning!

 caveman2:  what causes that stuff? Fascinating!

 cavenman1:  it is beyond our capablity to account for.  It must be a great spirit in the sky..lets call him Yahwee!

caveman2:  But.....

caveman1....booga booga.

2007

internetguy1:  Thoughts!

Internetguy2:  what are they?  fascinating, no?

internetguy1:  we can't account for it, it must be from a great spirit in the sky..er wait, outside of time and space.  we shall call him Jesus!

internetguy2:  but....

Internetguy1:   Booga booga.


Strafio
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Let me introduce you between

Let me introduce you between two types of 'because'.
There's rational justification and causal explanation.
A causal explanation is why something does happen.
A rational justification is why something ought to happen.


Example:
"Why did you bandage your arm?"
"It was bleeding."
"Some chemical reactions in my brain moved my arm to do the action."

 

 

The first is a rational justification of why the person chose to scratch his arm. The second is a causal explanation of how it happened. So causal explanations (like our minds being chemical reactions of the brain) do not affect our rational justifications. That make sense?


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Don't attack him people, he

Don't attack him people, he doesn't understand how our brain works - instead of accusing him of playing games with us, recommend a good scientific book that explains (if possible, in simple language) how our thoughts are produced. I bet there are many, and I would like to read one myself - so if anyone has any recommendations, please share.Smiling


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It's part of a common theist

It's part of a common theist shell game. They assert that there must be some sort of supernatural absolute on which to support logic and reason. Then, once they think they've justified that assertion, they bait-and-switch and assert that not only is there a supernatural explanation for logic, but that this supernatural explanation created the universe, wants us all to love it, turned itself into a human being, killed that human being, and cares very very much about what you do with your genitals.

Götter sind für Arten, die sich selbst verraten -- in den Glauben flüchten um sich hinzurichten. Menschen brauchen Götter um sich zu verletzen, um sich zu vernichten -- das sind wir.


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I had a huge post typed out

I had a huge post typed out for this thread.

Then I deleted it.

 

I cannot abide people who, when faced with something not immeadiately definable or understandable by them, they attribute it to god.

 

GODDIDIT!

GODDIDIT

goddidit goddidit goddidit goddidit goddidit goddidit goddidit!

 

God did it is less of an answer than even the stupidest theories presented by an un-educated person.

God did it says that you never want to find any further knowledge, and may not accept any if it comes to you. 

God did it encourages us all to stop trying to explain, to stop trying to further ourselves, to stop wondering about the world. 


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LovE-RicH wrote: Don't

LovE-RicH wrote:
Don't attack him people, he doesn't understand how our brain works - instead of accusing him of playing games with us, recommend a good scientific book that explains (if possible, in simple language) how our thoughts are produced. I bet there are many, and I would like to read one myself - so if anyone has any recommendations, please share.Smiling

I don't believe anyone is attacking him. It is not at all unreasonable that in a discussion forum people expect that their responses will be read and responded to.

As for a book on the nature of consciousness, which I believe is what he is, in an odd way, asking for an explanation of. Maybe someone else could suggest one. It is a topic that I don't believe we have a firm grasp on presently.

 

“Philosophers have argued for centuries about how many angels can dance on the head of a pin, but materialists have always known it depends on whether they are jitterbugging or dancing cheek to cheek" -- Tom Robbins


mountaineer
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greg, I'm not asking you to

greg, I'm not asking you to explain how thoughts are produced in the brain.  Regardless of how they are produced, assuming materialism, the real question is how you can know anything for sure.  How do you get absolute truth out of the chemical reactions.

This is a real question greg.  I'm not trying to be funny and I do have an open mind.  I don't know everything but I do know some things.  I guess the problem here is that this question is unanswerable if atheism is assumed.

 As far as my world view goes, I believe in objectivity beyond the chemical reactions that go on inside of our brains so as a Christian, I don't have any problems with this issue.

Its only when atheism/materialism is assumed that this becomes a problem.  How can we say atheism is true when we can't even justify why we should trust any particular chemical reaction over another.  Remember, its not about how thougths are produced.  Thats actually irrelevant here because we are assuming materialism and that is what is most important.  

 I think this is an interesting topic and I appreciate everybody who is adding to it.


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mountaineer wrote:greg,

mountaineer wrote:

greg, I'm not asking you to explain how thoughts are produced in the brain.  Regardless of how they are produced, assuming materialism, the real question is how you can know anything for sure.  How do you get absolute truth out of the chemical reactions.

Whether an absolute exists or not is wholly unimportant. What exists from our perspective as humans is all that is important as that is all we can ever know as humans interpreting data with our human means, aka our brains.

What you are doing here is assuming that because we use our brains, which operate chemically/electrically, to interpret the data we experience from our environment that we have no reason to trust our brains to be providing an accurate analysis of our environment. My question is, when we function perfectly well in our environment using this brain and trusting the way it interprets data why would we not trust it?

Even more importantly, when we use the word "we" to ask why we should trust our brains you are referring to our brains. So you are basically asking if our brain should consider itself as reliable. Can you see how absurd the question itself is?

Quote:
This is a real question greg.  I'm not trying to be funny and I do have an open mind.  I don't know everything but I do know some things.  I guess the problem here is that this question is unanswerable if atheism is assumed.

What question is?

Quote:
As far as my world view goes, I believe in objectivity beyond the chemical reactions that go on inside of our brains so as a Christian, I don't have any problems with this issue.

I would hazard to guess most atheists believe in objective reality removed from our brains as well. The chemical electrical processess in our brains don't create reality they interpret reality.

 

Quote:
Its only when atheism/materialism is assumed that this becomes a problem.  How can we say atheism is true when we can't even justify why we should trust any particular chemical reaction over another.
 

 We can. Those that better interpret the data received from the environment.

Quote:
Remember, its not about how thougths are produced.  Thats actually irrelevant here because we are assuming materialism and that is what is most important.
 

Now, assuming theism, if you would be so kind as to answer the question I have posed to you, what is a thought, or consciousness if you prefer? If you believe that your consciousness is an aspect of your soul an explanation of what a soul is would be greatly apprecited.

“Philosophers have argued for centuries about how many angels can dance on the head of a pin, but materialists have always known it depends on whether they are jitterbugging or dancing cheek to cheek" -- Tom Robbins


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mountaineer wrote: As far

mountaineer wrote:
As far as my world view goes, I believe in objectivity beyond the chemical reactions that go on inside of our brains so as a Christian, I don't have any problems with this issue.

Incase you missed it the first time:

Let me introduce you between two types of 'because'.
There's rational justification and causal explanation.
A causal explanation is why something does happen.
A rational justification is why something ought to happen.

Example:
"Why did you bandage your arm?"

"It was bleeding."
"Some chemical reactions in my brain moved my arm to do the action."

 

 

The first is a rational justification of why the person chose to scratch his arm. The second is a causal explanation of how it happened. So causal explanations (like our minds being chemical reactions of the brain) do not affect our rational justifications. That make sense?

To apply it to your latest post:

Quote:
Its only when atheism/materialism is assumed that this becomes a problem. How can we say atheism is true when we can't even justify why we should trust any particular chemical reaction over another.

That our thoughts are chemical is a causal explanation.
This doesn't affect our rational justification.
It's completely irrelevent to how we make judgements based on our first person view of the world.


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mountaineer wrote: greg,

mountaineer wrote:

greg, I'm not asking you to explain how thoughts are produced in the brain.  Regardless of how they are produced, assuming materialism, the real question is how you can know anything for sure.  How do you get absolute truth out of the chemical reactions.

 

the question is, how can you know anything for sure?  You dont' get a free pass because you are a christian. I made that clear before.  Don't pretend these philosophical problems only exist for people who don't share your worldview, and stop disquising your presup philosophy behind phrases like " I am confused".  If you wanna play here, please be honest.

Mountaneer wrote:
This is a real question greg.  I'm not trying to be funny and I do have an open mind.  I don't know everything but I do know some things.  I guess the problem here is that this question is unanswerable if atheism is assumed.

 Bullocks.  You can't answer it to my satisfaction, any more than I can answer it to yours.  So what?

Quote:
 As far as my world view goes, I believe in objectivity beyond the chemical reactions that go on inside of our brains so as a Christian, I don't have any problems with this issue.

No, you do have a problem.  If you are asserting 'god' causes these chemical reactions, then you are burdened with explaining *how*, or you are just spouting nonsense. You are then further burdened with explaining god.  You have steadfastly avoided that. 

 

So tell us, *how* does god do it?  What is god?  Where is he?  What is he made of?

 

Quote:

Its only when atheism/materialism is assumed that this becomes a problem.  How can we say atheism is true when we can't even justify why we should trust any particular chemical reaction over another.

 

Hey, let me try that!  [assertion]Its  only with theism/christianity is assumed that this is a problem. How can we say christianity is true when we can't even justify why we should justify any chemical reaction over another?[/assertion]

 

So, explain, assuming christianity, in a universe where things behave at the whim of a supernatural dictator, how you can justify one chemical reaction over another? 

 

 

Quote:

  Remember, its not about how thougths are produced.  Thats actually irrelevant here because we are assuming materialism and that is what is most important.  

 I think this is an interesting topic and I appreciate everybody who is adding to it.

 

Sorry, but this has been done many times and never leads anywhere.  Your underlying premise is flawed, and that is that you can merely assert your god to solve all philosophical problems.  It doesn't...it causes you to need to explain your god.  You haven't.

 

 


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It seems you are

It seems you are misrepresenting athiesm (the 2nd comment on the thread). It doesn't not solely mean a lack of belief in a god. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Athiesm 

 


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dandres87 wrote: It seems

dandres87 wrote:

It seems you are misrepresenting athiesm (the 2nd comment on the thread). It doesn't not solely mean a lack of belief in a god. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Athiesm 

 It seems you didn't read your own link...

 

Atheism, defined as a philosophical view, is the position that either affirms the nonexistence of gods[1] or rejects theism;[2] but in its broadest definition, it is the absence of belief in deities, sometimes called "nontheism".[3]

Most atheists merely reject theism.

 

 


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dandres87 wrote: It seems

dandres87 wrote:

It seems you are misrepresenting athiesm (the 2nd comment on the thread). It doesn't not solely mean a lack of belief in a god. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Athiesm 

 "...in its broadest definition, it is the absence of belief in deities sometimes called "nontheism"." From the cited source.

One of the definitions of atheism, and by far the most common used by atheists themselves, is exactly as he stated. If by "it doesn't solely mean a lack of belief in god" you mean there are other definitions used by some people, you could be correct. However, it seems a silly point to make as the person who made the comment obviously uses the definition he stated. In either case, it was not a misrepresentation of atheism to define it as he did as that is an accepted (and the most common) defintion of atheism.

“Philosophers have argued for centuries about how many angels can dance on the head of a pin, but materialists have always known it depends on whether they are jitterbugging or dancing cheek to cheek" -- Tom Robbins


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mountaineer wrote: Well

mountaineer wrote:

Well thanks for the responses here guys but unfortunately, we haven't gained much ground. Some guys are tossing around some interesting theories but they are nevertheless assuming that their chemical reactions are providing real and true insight without demonstrating how.

 Obviously most atheists trust that their chemical/elictrical brain reactions are giving them real insight but how do you know this to be true?  Can you prove it? Or is this just a faith assumption?

Enough.

Please explain why the fuck you think being an atheist means that is impossible to know things.


mountaineer
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I know some of you guys

I know some of you guys want me to talk about my beliefs and thats cool. I don't have any problem with that but this thread was supposed to be about atheism and our thoughts.

Some guys don't think its a legit question to ask how we can trust our thoughts within an atheist world view and thats ok.  If this question is irrelevant to you then more power to you.  It is however, a pretty important question for me. 

Anyways lets look at some of the things that some guys are saying.

Tilberian said this :

You keep asking over and over how we know that the reactions in our brain add up to Truth, as in, an accurate depiction of reality. My answer is: they don't. We don't know Truth. You don't and nor do I. For all we know, we may be brains in a vat (a la the Matrix) and everything we sense could be an illusion.

We don't know truth...... ok...... is that ture?

You also said this : Because of this, it is technically wrong to ever state that you Know anything.

And somehow we know this?  

  


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Quote: It seems you are

Quote:
It seems you are misrepresenting athiesm (the 2nd comment on the thread). It doesn't not solely mean a lack of belief in a god. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Athiesm

Dandres87, do you mind allowing me the liberty of describing my own belief?

How presumptuous of you to tell me that I don't actually believe what I say I believe because Wikipedia has a different definition.

You know how Wikipedia is written, don't you?  By consensus.  You know what appeal to consensus is?  A fallacy.

Spare me the high horse, please.

 

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mountaineer wrote: I am a

mountaineer wrote:

I am a Christian and I think an open analysis of different systems of thought is very important.  When I look at the atheist world view, I end up puzzled.  If atheism is true, then what are our thoughts?

This has me puzzled.Undecided

 

I am an atheist and I think an open analysis of different systems of thought is very important.  When I look at the christian worldview, I end up puzzled.  If christianity is true, then what are our thoughts.

 

This has me puzzled.  Please explain....

 

 

 

 


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mountaineer wrote:I am a

[MOD EDIT - removed duplicate post]


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gregfl wrote: mountaineer

gregfl wrote:
mountaineer wrote:

I am a Christian and I think an open analysis of different systems of thought is very important.  When I look at the atheist world view, I end up puzzled.  If atheism is true, then what are our thoughts?

This has me puzzled.Undecided

I am an atheist and I think an open analysis of different systems of thought is very important.  When I look at the christian worldview, I end up puzzled.  If christianity is true, then what are our thoughts?

This has me puzzled.  Please explain....


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mountaineer wrote: I am a

mountaineer wrote:

I am a Christian and I think an open analysis of different systems of thought is very important. When I look at the atheist world view, I end up puzzled. If atheism is true, then what are our thoughts?

 

This has me puzzled.Undecided

Well, you can start by not making assumptions.

Atheism is not a "system". It is merely adressing a position. the "off" postion. It is a lack of belief, that is it. You lack belief in Apollo and Zues, so you are atheistic to those claims.

The only differance between you and I is that I lack belief in one more deity than you.  

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Well, let me sum it all up

Well, let me sum it all up for you in a nice and not-so-mind-bending package

As human beings, we owe to ourselves to be honest with ourselves and other people. Believing in something without having a slightest justification is an equivalent of lying to yourself. Every human being has a right, I would even say a God given right to lie to themselves; however, that right stops the moment you are trying to tell a lie to another person as if it was truth. That's deception: disgusting, dishonest, and most amoral of all evil things a person can do, for deception is rooted in cowardice and fear - the innate fear that you are wrong and that all your hard effort is in vain and that in the end there is no reward and you will die just like everyone else - lucky if without suffering. Deception is the worst of all evils because it undermines mutual trust, erodes perception of reality, shuns away the truth, and people who engage in all of that typically do not have the balls to admit it.

I am sorry to say that to you, but you do not have any justification for your beliefs other than the Bible, and the Bible does not have any justification for itself other than itself. Whether human beings are prone to faith, or whether the limits of science preclude it from answering questions of spirituality that you seek is completely irrelevant to the fact that in the specific case of Christianity, Christian belief is an instance of self-deception that is propagated to other people by force and indoctrination, against their will, using their intellectual weakness and lack of education in critical thought, and results in opression of these people and especially those surrounding them who did not consent to participate in this lie. Those people happen to be us, and we are not going to stand by and allow it to do to us the same thing it does to you.

I think you feel pretty sad about us heathens not being saved by Christ, but let me reassure that we feel pretty sad about you having had been deprived of choice. Religion is an intellectual rape, and you are its unwilling victim. We are terrified both by watching you getting raped, and by the fact that you defend your rapist. Which is the more humane, which is the more real, and which is more truthful of an emotion is for you to judge on your conscience.

Either way, be well.

DIXI


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Mike Seth wrote: Well, let

Mike Seth wrote:

Well, let me sum it all up for you in a nice and not-so-mind-bending package

As human beings, we owe to ourselves to be honest with ourselves and other people. Believing in something without having a slightest justification is an equivalent of lying to yourself. Every human being has a right, I would even say a God given right to lie to themselves; however, that right stops the moment you are trying to tell a lie to another person as if it was truth. That's deception: disgusting, dishonest, and most amoral of all evil things a person can do, for deception is rooted in cowardice and fear - the innate fear that you are wrong and that all your hard effort is in vain and that in the end there is no reward and you will die just like everyone else - lucky if without suffering. Deception is the worst of all evils because it undermines mutual trust, erodes perception of reality, shuns away the truth, and people who engage in all of that typically do not have the balls to admit it.

I am sorry to say that to you, but you do not have any justification for your beliefs other than the Bible, and the Bible does not have any justification for itself other than itself. Whether human beings are prone to faith, or whether the limits of science preclude it from answering questions of spirituality that you seek is completely irrelevant to the fact that in the specific case of Christianity, Christian belief is an instance of self-deception that is propagated to other people by force and indoctrination, against their will, using their intellectual weakness and lack of education in critical thought, and results in opression of these people and especially those surrounding them who did not consent to participate in this lie. Those people happen to be us, and we are not going to stand by and allow it to do to us the same thing it does to you.

I think you feel pretty sad about us heathens not being saved by Christ, but let me reassure that we feel pretty sad about you having had been deprived of choice. Religion is an intellectual rape, and you are its unwilling victim. We are terrified both by watching you getting raped, and by the fact that you defend your rapist. Which is the more humane, which is the more real, and which is more truthful of an emotion is for you to judge on your conscience.

Either way, be well.

DIXI

I'm sorry you feel that way.  Nobody is trying to force Christianity on you though.  You cannot force another person into belief in Jesus.  Impossible.  I'm all for everybody being heard.  Lets open the market place of ideas.  Thats how I feel.  


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WRONG!!!! People are trying

WRONG!!!! People are trying to force Christianity on us all the time:

ID attempting to be taught in schools, the anti-choice movement, "In God We Trust", "Under God", 10 commandments tablets in public buildings, the Christian War on Science, anti-gay marriage, etc, etc, etc.

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Don't be sorry. Address the

Don't be sorry. Address the points or rethink your position.


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The problem with the word...

"Truth", in the strictest religious sense, is a loaded word.  No one, regardless of religious position, has the faintest idea of what "truth" is.  Since it is completely relative to the belief system to which one is immersed, it is true only until you encounter different beliefs and altar your mindset. 

The "facts" that are thrown around by both sides to prove / disprove arguments get tripped up by the same antagonist - the discovery of new knowledge.  As we learn more, we tend to adjust our world view to make our existence more bearable.  Religion, in my opinion, is just a lack of knowledge, and nature abhors a vacuum.

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Mike Seth wrote: Well, let

Mike Seth wrote:

Well, let me sum it all up for you in a nice and not-so-mind-bending package

As human beings, we owe to ourselves to be honest with ourselves and other people. Believing in something without having a slightest justification is an equivalent of lying to yourself. Every human being has a right, I would even say a God given right to lie to themselves; however, that right stops the moment you are trying to tell a lie to another person as if it was truth. That's deception: disgusting, dishonest, and most amoral of all evil things a person can do, for deception is rooted in cowardice and fear - the innate fear that you are wrong and that all your hard effort is in vain and that in the end there is no reward and you will die just like everyone else - lucky if without suffering. Deception is the worst of all evils because it undermines mutual trust, erodes perception of reality, shuns away the truth, and people who engage in all of that typically do not have the balls to admit it.

I am sorry to say that to you, but you do not have any justification for your beliefs other than the Bible, and the Bible does not have any justification for itself other than itself. Whether human beings are prone to faith, or whether the limits of science preclude it from answering questions of spirituality that you seek is completely irrelevant to the fact that in the specific case of Christianity, Christian belief is an instance of self-deception that is propagated to other people by force and indoctrination, against their will, using their intellectual weakness and lack of education in critical thought, and results in opression of these people and especially those surrounding them who did not consent to participate in this lie. Those people happen to be us, and we are not going to stand by and allow it to do to us the same thing it does to you.

I think you feel pretty sad about us heathens not being saved by Christ, but let me reassure that we feel pretty sad about you having had been deprived of choice. Religion is an intellectual rape, and you are its unwilling victim. We are terrified both by watching you getting raped, and by the fact that you defend your rapist. Which is the more humane, which is the more real, and which is more truthful of an emotion is for you to judge on your conscience.

Either way, be well.

DIXI

Great post! I swear I'm just going to start calling Christians liars until they can explain to me why rationality is bad when they are contemplating the beginning of the universe but irreplaceable when they are buying a car. 

Lazy is a word we use when someone isn't doing what we want them to do.
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Tilberian wrote: Great

Tilberian wrote:
Great post! I swear I'm just going to start calling Christians liars until they can explain to me why rationality is bad when they are contemplating the beginning of the universe but irreplaceable when they are buying a car.

Because they don't have an invisible sky friend who supposedly wrote a book three millennia ago telling them how he invented cars and his advice for choosing the best one. 

Götter sind für Arten, die sich selbst verraten -- in den Glauben flüchten um sich hinzurichten. Menschen brauchen Götter um sich zu verletzen, um sich zu vernichten -- das sind wir.


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JeremiahSmith

JeremiahSmith wrote:

Tilberian wrote:
Great post! I swear I'm just going to start calling Christians liars until they can explain to me why rationality is bad when they are contemplating the beginning of the universe but irreplaceable when they are buying a car.

Because they don't have an invisible sky friend who supposedly wrote a book three millennia ago telling them how he invented cars and his advice for choosing the best one.

Right, but the point goes to how theists decide that faith in that book is better than rational examination of the universe. They won't buy a car on faith. Why buy a worldview that way? 

Lazy is a word we use when someone isn't doing what we want them to do.
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The problem with the word...

"Truth", in the strictest religious sense, is a loaded word. No one, regardless of religious position, has the faintest idea of what "truth" is. Since it is completely relative to the belief system to which one is immersed, it is valid only until you encounter different ideas or beliefs and alter your mindset.

That being said, the "truths" that are thrown around by both sides to prove or disprove an argument get tripped up by the same antagonist - the discovery of new knowledge. As we learn more, we tend to adjust our world view to make our existence more understandable.  However, most (read almost all) "believers" have made a conscience decision to ignore any information that might interfere with cherished dogma.  That is the definition of "closed minded".  Rationalist, on the other hand, don't filter new information through "the God lens" to determine if it has merit.  I (and I'm sure most others) would walk lock-step with the theist if they could produce even an ounce of evidence that wasn't buried under a ton of circular reasoning.

Bottom line - the rise of religion was due to a lack of knowledge, and nature abhors a vacuum.

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Arthur: I say you are Lord, and I should know. I've followed a few.


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mountaineer... what happens

mountaineer... what happens when you look at something under a microscope? You suddenly see things that weren't visible to your naked eye. Zoom in some more.. what do you see? Molecules.. atoms.. electrons(I'm getting somewhere with this... I think). What you don't see are microscopic fairies or magic God dust mites.. My point is. The world is not made of magic. It is made of things that can be broken down and analyzed by people much smarter than you or I.. We call them scientists. Bare with me.. Now, scientists can look at the brain under a microscope and essentially see how it works on a biological level but one thing science can not answer(at least not yet) is what exactly makes us self-aware or conscious. The easy way out? At that point you could say that there must be a God because then you wouldn't have to try to comprehend something that is uncomprehendable with our limited human brains. But does God answer the question of what makes us self aware? no.. God just takes the question, throws it on the ground, and takes a massive dump on it. Suddenly, everything is explained by magic which requires you to no longer think. But then you pause... and you remember back to when you were looking under that microscope and you saw atoms and electrons and what not.. no magic faires or tiny mini Gods .. Then you think... hmmm if I am living in a world of magic then why do I see these atom thingys.. and suddenly.. EUREKA! You realize that even though you can not comprehend something you can trust in the fundamental observable logic that everything can be broken down and explained naturally.. logic and conventional wisdom prevail.. God is dead.. glad I could help Eye-wink