Why we need faith...

d_focil
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Why we need faith...

 

I'm going to address faith here, as opposed to one particular interpretation of a higher power. The premise of this website, and this board is not to “respond rationally” but to completely denounce any and all metaphysical positions that do not subscribe to a material reductionist approach. This position leaves no room for “faith” of any kind and alienates over ninety percent of the people on earth. I've heard people call believers of any kind “delusional” “stupid” “irrational” etc. These assertions not only insult the vast majority of human beings inhabiting the planet, they disparage and minimize the contributions of history's greatest leaders. If you can't respect someone who believes in God or Gods then how can you respect Martin Luther King, Gandhi, Socrates, Aristotle, Descartes, Avicenna, and most of earth's greatest heroes?

 

Beyond that lies the point that for some reason whether you believe its evolution or the hand of God, every culture on earth has devised some form of spirituality. Not all believe in personal gods or even just one soul, but all believe in something. For them its not a delusion, or a fallacy, it is a very real and profound experience. Its guides their lives, gives them meaning, and provides a sense that beyond the bitter realities of life their lies hope.

 

Why spend hours compiling evidence to disprove something that by its very nature is unfalsifiable? It is impossible to disprove something which is considered immaterial using by observing material reality.

 

Science is not the absolute final word, because we do not have total information about all of existence. Until that day, all we have is an approximation based on what we've observed until now. In this way you can legitimately have an Atheist and Theist position because neither has the final word.

 

The premise by which many decry theism is that its irrational and ignorant of what “we know”. But I ask what part of human existence as a whole is completely rational? Why do people drink, and smoke if it harms their body? Why do people jump of airplanes when they could die? We do irrational things all the time, its part of being human. We do these irrational things, and hold these irrational beliefs because they make life interesting, they make it exciting. For most people a detailed knowledge of the physical world is not enough to stand in awe of nature, to sacrifice all, to love.. They need to believe it all means something, that our actions are not in vain, and that the trails of our ancestors are worth remembering.

 

Some might say; “so what if it doesn't all mean something, deal with it”. If you want to live in a meaningless universe then go ahead, but don't act surprised when the rest of the world doesn't follow you into nihilism. Because at the end of the day if everything is random mathematical chance, why stand for anything, why even argue with anyone about the existence of God? Humanity can be wiped out and everything we've ever done is gone, it never meant anything. Everything that you are, all that you did, every hope and dream you ever had becomes nothing but a series of physical forces that at some point in time interacted for no reason whatsoever.

 

Of course if you are comfortable with this be my guest, but then I wouldn't expect you to keep posting here, or try in any significant way to make a difference in the world. Unless you too are delusional, and you too have some kind of faith, maybe not in a particular deity, but at least in your own dignity as a human being. If this is the case welcome to the club.


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Quote:

Quote:
Science is not the absolute final word, because we do not have total information about all of existence. Until that day, all we have is an approximation based on what we've observed until now. In this way you can legitimately have an Atheist and Theist position because neither has the final word.

Of course science is not the absolute final word. New evidence is always presenting itself and will continue to do so.

Quote:
Why do people drink, and smoke if it harms their body? Why do people jump of airplanes when they could die? We do irrational things all the time, its part of being human.

"People Are Stupid." I believe that sums it up pretty well.

Quote:
We do these irrational things, and hold these irrational beliefs because they make life interesting, they make it exciting.

We do irrational things and do irrational things because that is what being a human is about. It's called free-will, the ability to decide things for ourselves. We have the ability to use logic, we have the ability to reason. But we also have the ability to decide to use or in most cases not use logic and reason in our thought process. We do stupid and irrational things because we have the capability to do stupid and irrational things through free-will.

Quote:
For most people a detailed knowledge of the physical world is not enough to stand in awe of nature, to sacrifice all, to love.. They need to believe it all means something, that our actions are not in vain, and that the trails of our ancestors are worth remembering.

My question to you is this. Why does our existence have to have a purpose? Why do we need to be here for some divine reason? Let me tell you something, I may be an atheist, but that is about as far as it goes. I don't believe in God but I sure believe in everything else. Love, life, morals, bettering mankind, ect. Everything. I am even willing to risk my life to save another. Because to me, life is that precious. I do not believe our existence has a divine purpose, but I do think it has a purpose. A natural purpose. I imagine that the purpose of life is to live. To live to the best of our abilities. To our greatest potential. And be the best that we can be in this life.

Quote:
Because at the end of the day if everything is random mathematical chance, why stand for anything, why even argue with anyone about the existence of God?

Just because one does not believe in God does not warrant for one to not stand for anything. A sudden lack of belief in God does not mean that suddenly there is no point to anything that we do.

Quote:
Humanity can be wiped out and everything we've ever done is gone, it never meant anything. Everything that you are, all that you did, every hope and dream you ever had becomes nothing but a series of physical forces that at some point in time interacted for no reason whatsoever.

It will happen. One day, sooner or later. It is inevitable. Either a natural disaster will destroy us, or we will destroy us.

I disagree with you however. We do not need faith. Faith is like the ostrich putting it's head in the ground to keep it safe. To me, to have faith is not really irrational [ it can be of course, but to have basic faith is not necessarily irrational ] as it is to be afraid. People get scared and faith comforts them. What they don't realize though is that faith is a lie. It doesn't tell the truth. Some people may be comfortable with believing in a lie, however some are not. Faith does not provide answers, science does or at least strives to. And we can trust science because it will always be based on evidence and facts and truth. Faith will almost assuredly be based upon opinion.

"Why would God send his only son to die an agonizing death to redeem an insignificant bit of carbon?"-Victor J. Stenger.


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There is really no need to

There is really no need to respond in full. I'll just list the logical fallacies in chronological order.

1. False generalization

2.Argument from popularity

3. Argument from Authority

4. Argument from popularity again

5. Argument from consequences 

6. Deus ex Machina fallacy

7. False dichotomy

8. Hat trick: Three false dichotomies

9. Argument from consequences again combined with argument from emotion again

10.  False dichotomy again.

11.  Reduction to the Absurd

12. Argument from emotion again 

13. Argument from emotion again 

14. False dichotomy again. 

 

"Physical reality” isn’t some arbitrary demarcation. It is defined in terms of what we can systematically investigate, directly or not, by means of our senses. It is preposterous to assert that the process of systematic scientific reasoning arbitrarily excludes “non-physical explanations” because the very notion of “non-physical explanation” is contradictory.

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d_focil
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There is a difference

There is a difference between faith in something more, and blind fanaticism. The latter is the ostrich keeping its head in the sand, the former gives you the freedom from fear, to trancend beyond what the odds say is possible.

 In the end you did not refute what I wrote because you have faith in the possibility of improving the human condition, in the purpose of living.

In the larger material reality such aspirations of yours are irrelevant, incosequential to the existience of the universe. 

If you hold that there is nothing beyond the material, then your own ideas of what constitues a life lived to its full potential can be nothing but a construct of your own mind. They mean nothing beyond yourself.

But you don't believe that, from what you've written its clear you do believe in purpose and meaning. Not a devine one, but a natural one as you said. In the end though you still fall back on faith as we all do.

The difference is you stop at what is demostratable by science at the moment, and people with religious faith take the chance there is something more.


d_focil
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deludedgod wrote: There is

deludedgod wrote:

There is really no need to respond in full. I'll just list the logical fallacies in chronological order.

1. False generalization

2.Argument from popularity

3. Argument from Authority

4. Argument from popularity again

5. Argument from consequences 

6. Deus ex Machina fallacy

7. False dichotomy

8. Hat trick: Three false dichotomies

9. Argument from consequences again combined with argument from emotion again

10.  False dichotomy again.

11.  Reduction to the Absurd

12. Argument from emotion again 

13. Argument from emotion again 

14. False dichotomy again. 

 

 

Thats a pretty long list to something that doesn't even warrant a response...

 It just shows your arrogance that you try and pick apart the method of my argument instead of trying to understand the meaning behind it.

 If a person is not as versed as you in formal philosophical method you just trample their ideas with dry sarcasm?

How does this make you any better than the blind fanatic that refuses to acknoledge criticisms of religion because its "beneath him"?

And yes I do make arguments based on emotion, because I'm a human being that feels emotion. Maybe Martin Luther King should not have used such emotive language in his famou speeches, I'm sure that a quiet presentation of the facts would have been just as dramatic as "I have a dream".

Poetic language, symbolism, allegory, re-enforce sound arguments, they don't detract from them.

The reason you can't understand that is the reason why you can't understand people of faith.

You might not care too, but maybe if you took the time you could reach alot more people, and make more of an impact.


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d_focil wrote: I'm going

d_focil wrote:

I'm going to address faith here, as opposed to one particular interpretation of a higher power. The premise of this website, and this board is not to “respond rationally” but to completely denounce any and all metaphysical positions that do not subscribe to a material reductionist approach. This position leaves no room for “faith” of any kind and alienates over ninety percent of the people on earth. I've heard people call believers of any kind “delusional” “stupid” “irrational” etc. These assertions not only insult the vast majority of human beings inhabiting the planet, they disparage and minimize the contributions of history's greatest leaders. If you can't respect someone who believes in God or Gods then how can you respect Martin Luther King, Gandhi, Socrates, Aristotle, Descartes, Avicenna, and most of earth's greatest heroes?

I don't determine my worldview based on how many people share it. Even if they are famous.  Is that all you got?

d_focil wrote:

Beyond that lies the point that for some reason whether you believe its evolution or the hand of God, every culture on earth has devised some form of spirituality. Not all believe in personal gods or even just one soul, but all believe in something. For them its not a delusion, or a fallacy, it is a very real and profound experience. Its guides their lives, gives them meaning, and provides a sense that beyond the bitter realities of life their lies hope.

People all over the world used to think the earth is flat. Should we have bowed to the collective wisdom of the ages and not changed our views?  

d_focil wrote:

Why spend hours compiling evidence to disprove something that by its very nature is unfalsifiable? It is impossible to disprove something which is considered immaterial using by observing material reality.

It is, however, possible to show that claiming to know something about supernatural, immaterial entities is not rational and is based entirely on fantasy. Still, I probably would leave theists alone with their delusions if it weren't for the political activism that we've seen from Christian fundies lately.

d_focil wrote:

Science is not the absolute final word, because we do not have total information about all of existence. Until that day, all we have is an approximation based on what we've observed until now. In this way you can legitimately have an Atheist and Theist position because neither has the final word.

Crap. Total crap. The theist position is based on fantasy. The atheist position is based on observed reality. They are not equivalent. If you claim that not knowing everything might admit the possibility of God's existance, you must equally admit the possibility of the tooth fairy. 

 

d_focil wrote:

The premise by which many decry theism is that its irrational and ignorant of what “we know”. But I ask what part of human existence as a whole is completely rational? Why do people drink, and smoke if it harms their body? Why do people jump of airplanes when they could die? We do irrational things all the time, its part of being human. We do these irrational things, and hold these irrational beliefs because they make life interesting, they make it exciting. For most people a detailed knowledge of the physical world is not enough to stand in awe of nature, to sacrifice all, to love.. They need to believe it all means something, that our actions are not in vain, and that the trails of our ancestors are worth remembering.

Totally disagree. Most people will stand in awe of the natural world if they are given the opportunity to know it in detail. Sadly, most people these days are too ignorant because of failures in our educational system to have that knowledge.

It's fine for people to be irrational on their own time. But when it comes to making public policy, we need a basis for dialogue and common understanding of what is true. If we accept irrational bases for decision making, no meaningful dialogue is possible and only force can break the logjam between disagreeing parties. That's why all through human history, before the secular state. force was the only language of power. 

 

d_focil wrote:

Some might say; “so what if it doesn't all mean something, deal with it”. If you want to live in a meaningless universe then go ahead, but don't act surprised when the rest of the world doesn't follow you into nihilism. Because at the end of the day if everything is random mathematical chance, why stand for anything, why even argue with anyone about the existence of God? Humanity can be wiped out and everything we've ever done is gone, it never meant anything. Everything that you are, all that you did, every hope and dream you ever had becomes nothing but a series of physical forces that at some point in time interacted for no reason whatsoever.

So what? Is this supposed to convince us of something? You are basically admitting that certain conclusions about the nature of the universe are unacceptable to you, and therefore you must believe other things instead. This is not discovery of truth, this is fantasy.

Atheism need not lead to nihilism or meaninglessness. Rather, the atheist can locate meaning where it actually is: in the human mind. 

d_focil wrote:
Of course if you are comfortable with this be my guest, but then I wouldn't expect you to keep posting here, or try in any significant way to make a difference in the world. Unless you too are delusional, and you too have some kind of faith, maybe not in a particular deity, but at least in your own dignity as a human being. If this is the case welcome to the club.

Theism tends to reduce the dignity of the human being, telling people that they are flawed, evil and unable to make moral choices without the aid of a superior being. For dignity, choose atheism every time.

Lazy is a word we use when someone isn't doing what we want them to do.
- Dr. Joy Brown


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Well, if you

Well, if you insist...

The premise of this website, and this board is not to “respond rationally” but to completely denounce any and all metaphysical positions that do not subscribe to a material reductionist approach.

Thats the nature of exclusivism. Something is either right or wrong. I don't "denounce" non-materialism any more than I "denounce" "people who believe that cell phones cause gas stations to explode" even if I think they are wrong. In your mind, If I believe someone's belief is false, the automatic label is denouncement. False generalization fallacy.

This position leaves no room for “faith” of any kind and alienates over ninety percent of the people on earth.

What do you mean "alienates"? So if people disagree, they can't get along? What a remarkably arrogant and oblique way to view the world.

Oh, and I hardly need to point out the argumentum ad populum in the statement.

I've heard people call believers of any kind “delusional” “stupid” “irrational” etc.

Those people are assholes. But I've also heard believers call us "debaucherers" "tools of Satan" etc ad infinitum. It's tiresome.

These assertions not only insult the vast majority of human beings inhabiting the planet, they disparage and minimize the contributions of history's greatest leaders.

Again, the false generalization fallacy.

If you can't respect someone who believes in God or Gods then how can you respect Martin Luther King, Gandhi, Socrates, Aristotle, Descartes, Avicenna, and most of earth's greatest heroes?

So if people disagree they can harbour no respect for each other. What a remarkably arrogant and oblique way to view the world.

Strawman. I should add it to the list.

It's also an argument form authority. Smart person believes X therefore X is true.

Beyond that lies the point that for some reason whether you believe its evolution or the hand of God, every culture on earth has devised some form of spirituality.

I would not claim for this to be my field, but the man to see about that is Scott Atran, the neurobiologist who wants to know why people believe in God. His studies led him to conclude an evolutionary basis in the concept of spirituality and belief in God. Unlike you, he has evidence. He has MRI scans and transcripts and testimonies and physcoanalytical studies and PET scans etc ad infinitum.

And just throwing it out there. It's another argumentum ad populum

Not all believe in personal gods or even just one soul, but all believe in something. For them its not a delusion, or a fallacy, it is a very real and profound experience. Its guides their lives, gives them meaning, and provides a sense that beyond the bitter realities of life their lies hope.

So you are not here to discuss truth, just what sounds nicest?

Why spend hours compiling evidence to disprove something that by its very nature is unfalsifiable? It is impossible to disprove something which is considered immaterial using by observing material reality.

You just fell into the noncognitivist trap. If something is unfalsifiable, that means it is unverifiable. We don't need to disprove something which is unverifiable. Our opponents need to verify it. But since you admitted it to be unfalsifiable, you just defeated your own argument, since you have just admitted that it cannot be verified ergo there is no need to disprove it.

Science is not the absolute final word, because we do not have total information about all of existence. Until that day, all we have is an approximation based on what we've observed until now. In this way you can legitimately have an Atheist and Theist position because neither has the final word.

False dichotomy: We (atheists) never claimed to have the answers. We claim that there are questions which are hitherto unknown. They (theists) do claim to have the answers. The answer is God.

And before going any further, I suggest you learn the following terms. Strong atheism, weak atheism and agnosticism.

This is called the deus ex machina fallacy, offering an intractable solution to plug an intractable problem. It just is not an acceptable answer to a question.

Also, I do believe that there are aspects of the theist position which are impossible, as shown here.

http://www.rationalresponders.com/forum/sapient/philosophy_and_psychology_with_chaoslord_and_todangst/6279 

The premise by which many decry theism is that its irrational and ignorant of what “we know”.

Strawman. Decrying of theism is that we are accepting fantastic claims with no backing whatsoever.

But I ask what part of human existence as a whole is completely rational?

A human being is not completely rational, for evolutionary reasons. However, we do have logic processers and are capable of rational thought. Nonetheless, there are laws of how reality is governed called axioms which are imprinted onto our conciousness. As I showed in the link above, theism breaks these laws making it impossible as well as unfalsifiable. Nasty combination.

Why do people drink, and smoke if it harms their body? Why do people jump of airplanes when they could die?

People are stupid.

we do irrational things all the time, its part of being human. We do these irrational things, and hold these irrational beliefs because they make life interesting, they make it exciting.

I suggest you read a dictionary.

http://dictionary.reference.com/browse/alogical

http://dictionary.reference.com/browse/illogical

For most people a detailed knowledge of the physical world is not enough to stand in awe of nature, to sacrifice all, to love.

Argumentum ad Consequantiam. Don't really need to elaborate on this. The key word I noticed was need.

They need to believe it all means something, that our actions are not in vain, and that the trails of our ancestors are worth remembering.

Again with the need. This is where you make your false dichotomy hat trick.

Even if there was a God, how would that give meaning to human existence? Tell me are you truly deluded enough to believe that across the span of billions of galaxies and quintillions of planets orbiting infinte numbers of stars...that this entity would care about you.

Second dichotomy: What do you mean it all "means something"? Meaning is not inherent. This is a basic fallacy of composition. "Meaning" exists as long as conscious entities exist. "Purpose" exists as long as concious entities exist because they have the capability to make such concepts.

The very existence of concious entities in the universe creates meaning and purpose. You just applied the deus ex machina fallacy to the is-ought fallacy to the

What an extraordinarily selfish way to view life. Look around you...what more do you want?

Some might say; “so what if it doesn't all mean something, deal with it”. If you want to live in a meaningless universe then go ahead, but don't act surprised when the rest of the world doesn't follow you into nihilism.

False dichotomy. Do you even know what nihilism is?

 

Because at the end of the day if everything is random mathematical chance, why stand for anything, why even argue with anyone about the existence of God?

This is the weakest point you have made thus far. And that's saying something. First go to the dictionary and study the two words you used.

Then come back and study basic science. Formation of planets, galaxies, stars, etc. The existence of life, evolution, and conciousness is the precise opposite of chance. So whats the false dichotomy? You think that if God doesnt exist, everything is chance. That shows a lack of understanding about mathematics and science.

Humanity can be wiped out and everything we've ever done is gone, it never meant anything. Everything that you are, all that you did, every hope and dream you ever had becomes nothing but a series of physical forces that at some point in time interacted for no reason whatsoever.

I would strongly suggest you study the reason-conciousness relationship before making these ridiculous strawmen.

 

"Physical reality” isn’t some arbitrary demarcation. It is defined in terms of what we can systematically investigate, directly or not, by means of our senses. It is preposterous to assert that the process of systematic scientific reasoning arbitrarily excludes “non-physical explanations” because the very notion of “non-physical explanation” is contradictory.

-Me

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Quote:

[edit] Meh nm.


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deludedgod wrote: Well, if

deludedgod wrote:

Well, if you insist...

The premise of this website, and this board is not to “respond rationally” but to completely denounce any and all metaphysical positions that do not subscribe to a material reductionist approach.

Thats the nature of exclusivism. Something is either right or wrong. I don't "denounce" non-materialism any more than I "denounce" "people who believe that cell phones cause gas stations to explode" even if I think they are wrong. In your mind, If I believe someone's belief is false, the automatic label is denouncement. False generalization fallacy.

This position leaves no room for “faith” of any kind and alienates over ninety percent of the people on earth.

What do you mean "alienates"? So if people disagree, they can't get along? What a remarkably arrogant and oblique way to view the world.

Oh, and I hardly need to point out the argumentum ad populum in the statement.

I've heard people call believers of any kind “delusional” “stupid” “irrational” etc.

Those people are assholes. But I've also heard believers call us "debaucherers" "tools of Satan" etc ad infinitum. It's tiresome.

These assertions not only insult the vast majority of human beings inhabiting the planet, they disparage and minimize the contributions of history's greatest leaders.

Again, the false generalization fallacy.

If you can't respect someone who believes in God or Gods then how can you respect Martin Luther King, Gandhi, Socrates, Aristotle, Descartes, Avicenna, and most of earth's greatest heroes?

So if people disagree they can harbour no respect for each other. What a remarkably arrogant and oblique way to view the world.

Strawman. I should add it to the list.

It's also an argument form authority. Smart person believes X therefore X is true.

Beyond that lies the point that for some reason whether you believe its evolution or the hand of God, every culture on earth has devised some form of spirituality.

I would not claim for this to be my field, but the man to see about that is Scott Atran, the neurobiologist who wants to know why people believe in God. His studies led him to conclude an evolutionary basis in the concept of spirituality and belief in God. Unlike you, he has evidence. He has MRI scans and transcripts and testimonies and physcoanalytical studies and PET scans etc ad infinitum.

And just throwing it out there. It's another argumentum ad populum

Not all believe in personal gods or even just one soul, but all believe in something. For them its not a delusion, or a fallacy, it is a very real and profound experience. Its guides their lives, gives them meaning, and provides a sense that beyond the bitter realities of life their lies hope.

So you are not here to discuss truth, just what sounds nicest?

Why spend hours compiling evidence to disprove something that by its very nature is unfalsifiable? It is impossible to disprove something which is considered immaterial using by observing material reality.

You just fell into the noncognitivist trap. If something is unfalsifiable, that means it is unverifiable. We don't need to disprove something which is unverifiable. Our opponents need to verify it. But since you admitted it to be unfalsifiable, you just defeated your own argument, since you have just admitted that it cannot be verified ergo there is no need to disprove it.

Science is not the absolute final word, because we do not have total information about all of existence. Until that day, all we have is an approximation based on what we've observed until now. In this way you can legitimately have an Atheist and Theist position because neither has the final word.

False dichotomy: We (atheists) never claimed to have the answers. We claim that there are questions which are hitherto unknown. They (theists) do claim to have the answers. The answer is God.

And before going any further, I suggest you learn the following terms. Strong atheism, weak atheism and agnosticism.

This is called the deus ex machina fallacy, offering an intractable solution to plug an intractable problem. It just is not an acceptable answer to a question.

Also, I do believe that there are aspects of the theist position which are impossible, as shown here.

http://www.rationalresponders.com/forum/sapient/philosophy_and_psychology_with_chaoslord_and_todangst/6279

The premise by which many decry theism is that its irrational and ignorant of what “we know”.

Strawman. Decrying of theism is that we are accepting fantastic claims with no backing whatsoever.

But I ask what part of human existence as a whole is completely rational?

A human being is not completely rational, for evolutionary reasons. However, we do have logic processers and are capable of rational thought. Nonetheless, there are laws of how reality is governed called axioms which are imprinted onto our conciousness. As I showed in the link above, theism breaks these laws making it impossible as well as unfalsifiable. Nasty combination.

Why do people drink, and smoke if it harms their body? Why do people jump of airplanes when they could die?

People are stupid.

we do irrational things all the time, its part of being human. We do these irrational things, and hold these irrational beliefs because they make life interesting, they make it exciting.

I suggest you read a dictionary.

http://dictionary.reference.com/browse/alogical

http://dictionary.reference.com/browse/illogical

For most people a detailed knowledge of the physical world is not enough to stand in awe of nature, to sacrifice all, to love.

Argumentum ad Consequantiam. Don't really need to elaborate on this. The key word I noticed was need.

They need to believe it all means something, that our actions are not in vain, and that the trails of our ancestors are worth remembering.

Again with the need. This is where you make your false dichotomy hat trick.

Even if there was a God, how would that give meaning to human existence? Tell me are you truly deluded enough to believe that across the span of billions of galaxies and quintillions of planets orbiting infinte numbers of stars...that this entity would care about you.

Second dichotomy: What do you mean it all "means something"? Meaning is not inherent. This is a basic fallacy of composition. "Meaning" exists as long as conscious entities exist. "Purpose" exists as long as concious entities exist because they have the capability to make such concepts.

The very existence of concious entities in the universe creates meaning and purpose. You just applied the deus ex machina fallacy to the is-ought fallacy to the

What an extraordinarily selfish way to view life. Look around you...what more do you want?

Some might say; “so what if it doesn't all mean something, deal with it”. If you want to live in a meaningless universe then go ahead, but don't act surprised when the rest of the world doesn't follow you into nihilism.

False dichotomy. Do you even know what nihilism is?

 

Because at the end of the day if everything is random mathematical chance, why stand for anything, why even argue with anyone about the existence of God?

This is the weakest point you have made thus far. And that's saying something. First go to the dictionary and study the two words you used.

Then come back and study basic science. Formation of planets, galaxies, stars, etc. The existence of life, evolution, and conciousness is the precise opposite of chance. So whats the false dichotomy? You think that if God doesnt exist, everything is chance. That shows a lack of understanding about mathematics and science.

Humanity can be wiped out and everything we've ever done is gone, it never meant anything. Everything that you are, all that you did, every hope and dream you ever had becomes nothing but a series of physical forces that at some point in time interacted for no reason whatsoever.

I would strongly suggest you study the reason-conciousness relationship before making these ridiculous strawmen.

 

Very nice refutation. (Note to self: take a logic class)

 

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We need "faith" and the

We need "faith" and the ability to "be faithful" as psychologically sound beings able to cope with many day to day activities and relationships.  God need not be part of this discussion as you can and do posess faith even if you have no belief in a God.

 

However, I think it's interesting that the argument could be made that the faith comes from the same faith resevoir (that is wherever or however you must your faith or offer your faithfullness) whether it be a faith in God or faith in your boyfriend that he'd never cheat on you. 

Regrettably, yes. But it is, you know, a sacrifice required for the future of the human race. I hasten to add that since each man will be required to do prodigious... service along these lines, the women will have to be selected for their sexual character


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Thats the nature of

Thats the nature of exclusivism. Something is either right or wrong. I don't "denounce" non-materialism any more than I "denounce" "people who believe that cell phones cause gas stations to explode" even if I think they are wrong. In your mind, If I believe someone's belief is false, the automatic label is denouncement. False generalization fallacy.

The issue my friend is not with you specifically, its with the tone of this site as a whole. Its not simply a site devoted to presenting an athiest postition, its very emblem speaks to it being more than that. The implication is that if you hold a belief in the supernatural that you are somehow less intellgent, more irrational, and ultimately deluded.

My point about great leaders is not to add weight to the theist argument as you have interpreted, but rather to show that people of profound influence and intelligence are also in many cases religious.

I know very well that are various forms of non belief including agnosticism. But this is not primarily an agnostic site, it is an Athiest one. A site that takes a clear position and which goes out of its way to disprove religious ideas.

You take a humble position which tries to maintain an objective tone, and many others do as well, but the majority of comments on this site are nothing but attacks and ridicule. This tone is what I have a problem with.

Its the same tone that fundamentalists have as you pointed out and I think its something that should be opposed in all its forms.

You are right that something which is unfalsifyable has no need to be disproved. So why do people here bother to try and do that?

You have taken what I've said and applied it to yourself, when its meerly a generalized observation.

Perhaps I should have been more clear in my target audience, and I do appologize for making sweeping remarks.

Going back to some of your ponts..

The question of need is indeed a Argumentum ad Consequantiam as is most of my writing. The thing is I'm not trying to prove a fundamental truth, I'm simply giving my opinion the way I see things. How can we talk about human society and ignore the consequences of certain beliefs?  You may disagree with the validity of the consequences I propose, but you can not dispute I can appeal to them in matters of informed opinion.

 

Then come back and study basic science. Formation of planets, galaxies, stars, etc. The existence of life, evolution, and conciousness is the precise opposite of chance.

If you subscribe to the position that the basic forces in the universe are hard wired into existence, then of course the natural course of those forces would lead to only one possible reality, ours. In this view there is no chance, only the appearance of chance because of a lack of total information.

But we are not sure this is the case, and quantum physics yeilds the possibility of infinite chances being responsible for reality.

In either case it is still devoid of a purpose created by an objective will beyond humanity.

We all make meaning and purpose as consious beings as you say. but from what I have observed if people do not have some objective belief in something more, then they tend care only about material pleasure and internalize a deep apathy towards the world around them. This then leads to feelings of dispair and a wish to destroy not only themselves but external things as well. This is the nihilism of which I write. People not only fail to find meaning in life, but wish to strip meaning from everyone's life.

Now I never said that meaning needed to be found in a beleif in God, only that it requires a faith in something beyond your own existence. Reading Carl Sagan you can get a picture of how someone can see this meaning built into the fabirc of the universe without necessarily calling it "God".

The thing is for most people this appears to be very difficult because its difficult for them to see the larger reality beyond their own experience. Hence why God is seen as a "Father" with a long beard sitting in heaven. This allows people to conceptualize things which in earlier times were impossible to understand.

What is needed in my opinion is a new approach to faith and spirituality whereby we can reconsile the old notions of God, with what we have learned from science. This allows us to imagine God in a way that may be closer to reality.

But you don't have to call it God, and its your choice in the end how you want to look at things. But I have found that the idea of God contains a certain weight to it which allows most people to hold existence with more reverence and respect.

Again this is my viewpoint not an argument. And yes it is an apeal to emotion and consequeces, so what? I think its important for us to care about the consquences of our ideas in addition to their validity.  

 


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I'm new here so I'd like to

I'm new here so I'd like to know whats up the theist tag below my name. I think its pretty ridiculous that someone else can label you because of 5 or so posts they have made. It puts you in one category and paints everything you write within that context. I'd rather not know what someone "is", just simply read what they have to say..


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I dunno I didnt put it

I dunno I didnt put it there. The theist tag is typically there to stop confusion and false alias posting. If you are a theist, we'll keep the label. If not, I'll take it off for you.

"Physical reality” isn’t some arbitrary demarcation. It is defined in terms of what we can systematically investigate, directly or not, by means of our senses. It is preposterous to assert that the process of systematic scientific reasoning arbitrarily excludes “non-physical explanations” because the very notion of “non-physical explanation” is contradictory.

-Me

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d_focil wrote: I'm going

d_focil wrote:

I'm going to address faith here, as opposed to one particular interpretation of a higher power. The premise of this website, and this board is not to “respond rationally” but to completely denounce any and all metaphysical positions that do not subscribe to a material reductionist approach.

Show me a metaphysical position that has any evidence for it's veracity whatsoever that doesn't subscribe to a material approach. That can accomplish something a material approach cannot.

d_focil wrote:

This position leaves no room for “faith” of any kind and alienates over ninety percent of the people on earth.

Bull. For two seperate reasons. First of all, faith has two definitions. One is the belief in the unprovable, which you talk about. But the other is confidence in an identity or object to act in a certain way. I have faith that if I punch the computer monitor, my hand will hurt and the screen will break. That's because it's what would happen. I can test it and prove it. I'll just have to replace the monitor. Faith in a god, gods, or anything that defies the natural universe, however, is unfounded faith. It cannot be tested. It has no influence on reality.
Second of all, a significant percentage of that 90% acknowledge the fact that their beliefs are irrational and unfounded. Therefore the statement that it is so does not bother them in the slightest.

d_focil wrote:
I've heard people call believers of any kind “delusional” “stupid” “irrational” etc. These assertions not only insult the vast majority of human beings inhabiting the planet, they disparage and minimize the contributions of history's greatest leaders.

They do nothing of the kind. Just because we're saying the belief in a god is irrational doesn't mean everything else a person does is also irrational. Any theist who is honest with themselves knows that their beliefs are unwarranted.

d_focil wrote:

If you can't respect someone who believes in God or Gods then how can you respect Martin Luther King, Gandhi, Socrates, Aristotle, Descartes, Avicenna, and most of earth's greatest heroes?

We don't respect the belief. That says nothing about respecting the person.

d_focil wrote:

Beyond that lies the point that for some reason whether you believe its evolution or the hand of God, every culture on earth has devised some form of spirituality.

Exactly how is evolution spiritual? It's merely the explanation of what happens. Are you saying gravity is spiritual? Aerodynamics? Thermodynamics? Cosmology?

d_focil wrote:
Not all believe in personal gods or even just one soul, but all believe in something.

Not even remotely true. I am Vastet, and I do not believe in anything that doesn't exist. I don't believe in a god, I don't believe in a soul, I don't believe in magic, and I don't believe in super heros. Unless it makes for a good video game, movie, or book that is.

d_focil wrote:
For them its not a delusion, or a fallacy, it is a very real and profound experience. Its guides their lives, gives them meaning, and provides a sense that beyond the bitter realities of life their lies hope.

And makes it easier for them to torture and threaten and destroy those who disbelieve in their god. Their happiness doesn't trump everyone elses, sorry.

d_focil wrote:

Why spend hours compiling evidence to disprove something that by its very nature is unfalsifiable? It is impossible to disprove something which is considered immaterial using by observing material reality.

Immaterial is a broken concept. I suggest you read this essay:

http://www.rationalresponders.com/supernatural_and_immaterial_are_broken_concepts

d_focil wrote:
Science is not the absolute final word, because we do not have total information about all of existence. Until that day, all we have is an approximation based on what we've observed until now. In this way you can legitimately have an Atheist and Theist position because neither has the final word.

The theist must assume that there is more than there is. The theist must presuppose god. This is inherrantly illogical and irrational. The atheist assumes nothing. Or at least most don't assume.

d_focil wrote:

The premise by which many decry theism is that its irrational and ignorant of what “we know”. But I ask what part of human existence as a whole is completely rational? Why do people drink, and smoke if it harms their body? Why do people jump of airplanes when they could die? We do irrational things all the time, its part of being human. We do these irrational things, and hold these irrational beliefs because they make life interesting, they make it exciting.

Drinking: Not inherrantly a problem. Can induce pleasurable experiences.
Smoking: Addictive and pleasurable. Complicated situation there.
Jumping out of a plane: You could die walking across the street. In fact statistically, walking across the street could be even more dangerous. And really, death is inevitable. It comes when it comes. Most people don't want it to come. Or don't want it to come when it does. You might as well enjoy what little life you have with new experiences. You only have one shot at it.

d_focil wrote:

For most people a detailed knowledge of the physical world is not enough to stand in awe of nature, to sacrifice all, to love.. They need to believe it all means something, that our actions are not in vain, and that the trails of our ancestors are worth remembering.

They can do that without a god. I do. In fact, I think that those theists who disbelieve in evolution are dishonouring their ancestry, not remembering it.

d_focil wrote:

Some might say; “so what if it doesn't all mean something, deal with it”. If you want to live in a meaningless universe then go ahead, but don't act surprised when the rest of the world doesn't follow you into nihilism.

Who says there's no meaning? To live is to mean to live. The meaning of life is to live.

d_focil wrote:
Because at the end of the day if everything is random mathematical chance, why stand for anything, why even argue with anyone about the existence of God? Humanity can be wiped out and everything we've ever done is gone, it never meant anything.

God doesn't make it suddenly mean something you know.

d_focil wrote:
Everything that you are, all that you did, every hope and dream you ever had becomes nothing but a series of physical forces that at some point in time interacted for no reason whatsoever.

That's your opinion. Even if all humanity was wiped out tomorrow, we still existed. I still had my experiences. My friends, my family. Death doesn't rob me of who I am. All it does is stop me from doing more.

d_focil wrote:

Of course if you are comfortable with this be my guest, but then I wouldn't expect you to keep posting here, or try in any significant way to make a difference in the world. Unless you too are delusional, and you too have some kind of faith, maybe not in a particular deity, but at least in your own dignity as a human being. If this is the case welcome to the club.

Faith in my own dignity as a human being? What does that even mean? Seriously.

Proud Canadian, Enlightened Atheist, Gaming God.


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d_focil wrote: I'm new

d_focil wrote:

I'm new here so I'd like to know whats up the theist tag below my name. I think its pretty ridiculous that someone else can label you because of 5 or so posts they have made. It puts you in one category and paints everything you write within that context. I'd rather not know what someone "is", just simply read what they have to say..

I did not tag you either but I have an opinion on this.

If you are a theist you should be proud of your faith and ready to defend it at any time. If you feel it paints your words with a broad brush, please explain how the tag does not apply and it can be removed. Trying to post and remain obscure is dishonest to the other posters.

This is another moderators opinion of this subject and I think it puts the "theist branding" concept into words very nicely.

Quote:
I am unashamed of my label. It is an accurate representation of who I am.

I am an atheist. My lack of belief in any deity is the only criteria.

Would I feel shame if labelled as an atheist on the religious forums? No.

Should I be labelled as an atheist on the religious forums? Yes. If even solely because it eliminates the need for that question to be asked.

This is not a relative or comparative term like fat or skinny, dark or pale, big or small. You either have belief in a deity(in any form) or you don't.

It would be unethical to pretend to be of the opposing ideology. We've already established many times over that dishonesty is something we're not fond of in any situation.

 


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Its not a question of

Its not a question of dishonesty. Its pretty obvious what I've written and what that says about what I believe. Its about ading a label to one type of belief and not the other. I know this is an Athiest board, but as deludedgod pointed out not everyone here is a "strong athiest". Perhaps I'm wrong but I don't see labels like agnostic put on people which is a rather different position than strong athiesm.

Similarly, a person maybe a theist, but up to a point. I see "God" as the will of existence at work in the universe. What science describes as a process starting from the big bang, to where we are now, is that will.

But as i've said its not necessary to call that God, or give it a personality. Its an addition that for me gives existence a more profound quality.

This is the same thing as assigning a deeper signifance to your favorite poem, or song. The poem by itself is one thng, represented by the printed thoughts of a particular individual. But when you internalize the qualities of that poem it becomes something personal, an experience of meaning and context.

I choose to look at the universe in the same way, and I believe religious symbolism is well suited for that task.

So to tag me or someone else with a label such as "theist" completely generalizes their viewpoints and paints everyone with a broad brush. Its the same as if you were agnostic and were labled athiest. I see it as an attempt to create the "other", an opposition to be combated. Its a natural human tendency to do this unfortunately, and its not limited to religion.

Human reasoning and experience just isn't as simple as yes or no, black or white.


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Could you maybe.. explain

Could you maybe.. explain your beliefs one more time in a clearer fashion because I'm having difficulty understanding just what they are please.

"Why would God send his only son to die an agonizing death to redeem an insignificant bit of carbon?"-Victor J. Stenger.


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Its not that clear because

Its not that clear because it was not really my intention to outline my beliefs. But I will attempt to make a short summary..

 Basicly, "God" for me is the "will" which through the axioms ingrained in physics have essentialy produced our modern existence. This will is not the will of a human like persona but the natural process of matter moving into higher and more complex forms. This natural process does not necessesarily have to be called "God" but it does in fact exist because we exist and we have so far discovered a great deal of it permeating natural phenomenon.

You can easily state that I am making an unnessesary leap in calling this natural process "will" or "God" but I am meerly doing what all humans do and attaching meaning and context to existence.

The idea of love is a value that we attach to what can be described as physiological, and psychological reactions to contact with other human beings. But yet saying " I love you" makes it so much more at least for many people on earth. Again, you can live by not calling it anything but nature, but the process is real and it can only be enriched by more context.

You can read genisis and get glimpse into this reality of the human condition. The task God assigned to Adam was that of naming everything in creation. This means that without man, creation is devoid of any context, in naming things we give the universe value, we appreciate what would otherwise simply be. 

Genisis and other texts are not so much fairy tales, but allegory desined to discuss philosophical ideas by those who had no concept of modern cosmology and a developed knowledeg of the natural world. yet it is much deeper than most people, especially literal fundamentalists, want to see.

 

 


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I think I understand what

I think I understand what you're saying a little bit better... Although, I still think you are assuming.

Quote:

D_focil wrote:

This natural process does not necessesarily have to be called "God" but it does in fact exist because we exist

You are assuming that just because we exist, something higher and more powerful has to exist. 

But is what you are saying is that... without a God... without a "Higher power" or, something more than human to start all of this. Then there is essentially no purpose to do anything, no drive to do what we do? That we do what we do because a higher power instilled it in us? I'm not sure if that is exactly what you're saying but from my understanding that is how it's comming across.

 

Quote:

D_Focil wrote:

in naming things we give the universe value, we appreciate what would otherwise simply be.

I still think that when you say things like this, you are more-so trying to justify our existence than anything. You are looking for a purpose, divine or otherwise. And that that purpose comes from a supernatural source. What you don't realize you are doing however is that you are assuming that because we do all these things, that these things are like this, that there must be a higher power. A higher existence. I understand what you're saying but damnit, I can't think of the right thing to say. lol. Maybe it'll come to me later. 

"Why would God send his only son to die an agonizing death to redeem an insignificant bit of carbon?"-Victor J. Stenger.


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d_focil wrote: Its not a

d_focil wrote:

Its not a question of dishonesty. Its pretty obvious what I've written and what that says about what I believe. Its about ading a label to one type of belief and not the other. I know this is an Athiest board, but as deludedgod pointed out not everyone here is a "strong athiest". Perhaps I'm wrong but I don't see labels like agnostic put on people which is a rather different position than strong athiesm.

Hi d_focil,

Before I came onboard, I believe the core members, moderators, etc. discussed giving out labels to atheists instead of to theists, but decided against it because (as you pointed out) this is an atheist site. Giving the label to atheists would get unwieldy. 

Because of the massive influx of new people, I've had to do a lot of "tagging" this week.  With the site slowing down because of high traffic, it sometimes takes awhile to apply the theist badge.  And yes, I goofed once and labeled an atheist as a theist. 

I tagged you as a "theist" based upon your posts.  Most theists are proud of the fact they are theists and don't see a problem with this system, although we have had a few complaints.  

We feel that it's easier to engage one another if we have an idea of where that person is coming from.  As for in-between states, there aren't any.  Belief in god is an either/or kind of question.  You either believe or you don't believe.  Agnosticism is not a position of indecision.  It's a claim of "not knowing."  Most of the atheists on this site, including me, could be called agnostic atheists.  There are also agnostic theists. 

Check out this link: http://www.rationalresponders.com/am_i_agnostic_or_atheist

Participation on this forum is entirely voluntary.  If you really don't like the theist label, you are free to leave and join one of the numerous sites for theists.  

There aren't many sites for atheists and in American society, we are often hated just because we don't believe in god.  This site is our home.  We try to run it fairly, but we also want a place that we can call our own, away from the mostly theist society.

You seem like a thoughtful person: just the kind of person who is very welcome here, even if we don't agree with you.  If you feel you have something to add to our discussions, I would encourage you to stay. 

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d_focil wrote: deludedgod

d_focil wrote:
deludedgod wrote:

There is really no need to respond in full. I'll just list the logical fallacies in chronological order.

1. False generalization

2.Argument from popularity

3. Argument from Authority

4. Argument from popularity again

5. Argument from consequences 

6. Deus ex Machina fallacy

7. False dichotomy

8. Hat trick: Three false dichotomies

9. Argument from consequences again combined with argument from emotion again

10.  False dichotomy again.

11.  Reduction to the Absurd

12. Argument from emotion again 

13. Argument from emotion again 

14. False dichotomy again. 

Thats a pretty long list to something that doesn't even warrant a response...

 It just shows your arrogance that you try and pick apart the method of my argument instead of trying to understand the meaning behind it.

 If a person is not as versed as you in formal philosophical method you just trample their ideas with dry sarcasm?

How does this make you any better than the blind fanatic that refuses to acknoledge criticisms of religion because its "beneath him"?

And yes I do make arguments based on emotion, because I'm a human being that feels emotion. Maybe Martin Luther King should not have used such emotive language in his famou speeches, I'm sure that a quiet presentation of the facts would have been just as dramatic as "I have a dream".

Poetic language, symbolism, allegory, re-enforce sound arguments, they don't detract from them.

The reason you can't understand that is the reason why you can't understand people of faith.

You might not care too, but maybe if you took the time you could reach alot more people, and make more of an impact.

The problem is that your tirade is fallacious from beginning to end.

Just because you are a person with emotions does not mean that you should defeat yourself by lining your attempted arguments with emotion. Would you like a doctor to use emotional appeals to get you to undergo surgery? No. You would want damn good reasons. The problem in this world is that far too many people, nearly everyone, accepts all too much without asking for damn good reasons. The only way we get away with this without immolating ourselves as a species is that most of the things we believe for no good reason have ABSOLUTELY NO EFFECT on the real world, like believing that Jesus rose from the dead. It just doesn't matter.

Quote:
The reason you can't understand that is the reason why you can't understand people of faith.
I among others am not interested in "understanding" nonsense. The fact is, however, that I do understand. many of us do. But even if I understand you, it does not detract from your wrongness.


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d_focil wrote: Its not

d_focil wrote:

Its not that clear because it was not really my intention to outline my beliefs. But I will attempt to make a short summary..

 Basicly, "God" for me is the "will" which through the axioms ingrained in physics have essentialy produced our modern existence. This will is not the will of a human like persona but the natural process of matter moving into higher and more complex forms. This natural process does not necessesarily have to be called "God" but it does in fact exist because we exist and we have so far discovered a great deal of it permeating natural phenomenon.

You can easily state that I am making an unnessesary leap in calling this natural process "will" or "God" but I am meerly doing what all humans do and attaching meaning and context to existence.

The idea of love is a value that we attach to what can be described as physiological, and psychological reactions to contact with other human beings. But yet saying " I love you" makes it so much more at least for many people on earth. Again, you can live by not calling it anything but nature, but the process is real and it can only be enriched by more context.

You can read genisis and get glimpse into this reality of the human condition. The task God assigned to Adam was that of naming everything in creation. This means that without man, creation is devoid of any context, in naming things we give the universe value, we appreciate what would otherwise simply be. 

Genisis and other texts are not so much fairy tales, but allegory desined to discuss philosophical ideas by those who had no concept of modern cosmology and a developed knowledeg of the natural world. yet it is much deeper than most people, especially literal fundamentalists, want to see.

 

 

I think the lable has been misapplied, and that you are a deist. Would you agree?

Deist:
-one who believes that God exists and that He created the world, but now stands completely aloof from it.

-One who subscribes to or professes the belief in the existence of a personal God, based solely on the testimony of reason and rejecting any supernatural revelation; also believing that God created the world and set it into motion, subject to natural laws, but takes no interest in it

-a person who believes that God created the universe and then abandoned it

-One who admits the possibility of the existence of a God or gods, but claims to know nothing of either, and denies revelation. An agnostic of olden times.

Proud Canadian, Enlightened Atheist, Gaming God.


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I'll admit, faith can enrich

I'll admit, faith can enrich people's lives. It does have benefits but at the end of the day it is blinding or at best, partially blinding to the things we actually can know. We cannot know that a God exists. We cannot know that Jesus was resurrected 2,000 years ago... Science is the means through which we find out what is actually around us in the universe in which we find ourselves. Religion is making up 'truths' about the universe in which we find ourselves and sticking to such fairy tales through faith. But the thing is it cannot stand up against the increasing tide of knowledge that is being gathered through science. It is constantly conceding points, a few hundred years ago they wouldn't admit the world was round. Only in the 20th century did the Catholic Church admit the Earth went round the sun. These days most religious people will admit evolution is true except in America or the Middle East.


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d_focil wrote: So to tag

d_focil wrote:

So to tag me or someone else with a label such as "theist" completely generalizes their viewpoints and paints everyone with a broad brush. Its the same as if you were agnostic and were labled athiest. I see it as an attempt to create the "other", an opposition to be combated. Its a natural human tendency to do this unfortunately, and its not limited to religion.

Human reasoning and experience just isn't as simple as yes or no, black or white.

A label is only bad if it is inaccurate. Do you deny that you are a theist? Is there some aspect of being a theist that does not apply to you? That would be difficult, since the only thing required to be a theist is belief in a god.

If other people don't know what a theist is and apply characteristics to you in error because of it, that isn't the fault of the label but rather the fault of their ignorance.

On this site, we speak honestly and bluntly and call things what they are. We do not decide, in advance, how we want things to be, then modify everything we see and say to fit our prefered outcome. That is a feature of theistic thinking.

 

Lazy is a word we use when someone isn't doing what we want them to do.
- Dr. Joy Brown


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kmisho wrote:  The only

kmisho wrote:

 The only way we get away with this without immolating ourselves as a species is that most of the things we believe for no good reason have ABSOLUTELY NO EFFECT on the real world, like believing that Jesus rose from the dead. It just doesn't matter.

I among others am not interested in "understanding" nonsense. The fact is, however, that I do understand. many of us do. But even if I understand you, it does not detract from your wrongness.

Really? So the religious beliefs of people throughout history have had no effect on the real world? I guess then there is no reason to argue about how much pain and suffering religion has caused.

Or perhaps human culture is somehow not "real"? 

It may not matter to the universe as a whole, but beliefs matter to us whether they are true or not.

Yeah it doesn't always make pure logical sense, but so what? Does picaso make "sense"? Does love?

Maybe people like mystery, maybe they like magic and believing in fairy tales.


 


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Deludedgod nailed it with

Deludedgod nailed it with that list.


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In regards to Diesm, I

In regards to Diesm, I can't agree with the frist premise because for me "God" is very active in the universe by virtue of his "will" being manifested through the observable laws of nature.

I don't think God is the personal one depicted on the ceiling of the Cistine Chapel. I resist the label of "Theist" because it limits my beliefs to pre established ideas which I feel are inadequate for our modern understanding of reality. 

This post and peoples responses have made me look for a better way to describe what my beliefs are. In search of this I came across Einstein's beliefs on "God" which I think conveys things better than I could ever hope.

"By way of the understanding he [the scientist] achieves a far-reaching emancipation from the shackles of personal hopes and desires, and thereby attains that humble attitude of mind towards the grandeur of reason incarnate in existence, and which, in its profoundest depths, is inaccessible to man. This attitude, however, appears to me to be religious, in the highest sense of the word. And so it seems to me that science not only purifies the religious impulse of the dross of its anthropomorphism but also contributes to a religious spiritualization of our understanding of life. My religion consists of a humble admiration of the illimitable superior Spirit who reveals himself in the slight details we are able to perceive with our frail and feeble minds. The deeply emotional conviction of the presence of a superior reasoning Power, which is revealed in the incomprehensible universe, forms my idea of God" -Albert Einstein

I leave it up to others to label me as they wish accodring to what they think that means. It doesn't matter in the end because we are all a bit more complicated than some binary function of yes or no. If it helps people put things into context so be it.

 


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d_focil wrote: In regards

d_focil wrote:

In regards to Diesm, I can't agree with the frist premise because for me "God" is very active in the universe by virtue of his "will" being manifested through the observable laws of nature.

I don't think God is the personal one depicted on the ceiling of the Cistine Chapel. I resist the label of "Theist" because it limits my beliefs to pre established ideas which I feel are inadequate for our modern understanding of reality.

This post and peoples responses have made me look for a better way to describe what my beliefs are. In search of this I came across Einstein's beliefs on "God" which I think conveys things better than I could ever hope.

"By way of the understanding he [the scientist] achieves a far-reaching emancipation from the shackles of personal hopes and desires, and thereby attains that humble attitude of mind towards the grandeur of reason incarnate in existence, and which, in its profoundest depths, is inaccessible to man. This attitude, however, appears to me to be religious, in the highest sense of the word. And so it seems to me that science not only purifies the religious impulse of the dross of its anthropomorphism but also contributes to a religious spiritualization of our understanding of life. My religion consists of a humble admiration of the illimitable superior Spirit who reveals himself in the slight details we are able to perceive with our frail and feeble minds. The deeply emotional conviction of the presence of a superior reasoning Power, which is revealed in the incomprehensible universe, forms my idea of God" -Albert Einstein

I leave it up to others to label me as they wish accodring to what they think that means. It doesn't matter in the end because we are all a bit more complicated than some binary function of yes or no. If it helps people put things into context so be it.

Interesting that Einstein took care to label it an "emotional" conviction.

This paragraph certainly describes a form of deism. I usually wonder why anyone bothers believing in a God like this, since attaching the name "God" adds no information to the conversation. Why not just say you believe in the universe? Certainly there can be no point in worshipping a God of this type, or claiming to know its desires. 

I guess people are just deists because it makes them feel better. OK, whatever gets you through the night. 

Lazy is a word we use when someone isn't doing what we want them to do.
- Dr. Joy Brown