Jesus is about freedom

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Jesus is about freedom

I actually seen someone on another site say that Jesus is all about freedom. My jaw almost dropped. Who ever said that either doesn't know what Jesus supposedly said or has some strange definition of freedom.

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Probably some kind of

Probably some kind of transcendent freedom. "Freedom from sin" and all of that hoopla.

 

Which, of course, atheists will scoff at from the get-go. 

A place common to all will be maintained by none. A religion common to all is perhaps not much different.


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Which Jesus is that? The

Which Jesus is that? The late JC or the one I found in Tijuana?

Miracles don't exist. "Miracle" is a word given to a preposterous event that a theist considers dogmatically advantageous. Def. - Ecclesiastical sensationalism.


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The freedom to go to hell

The freedom to go to hell or kiss divine ass.

Never taken the trip to hell myself, but it sounds like a nice place.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hell%2C_Norway

Edit:

Quote:
 

Temperatures in Hell can reach -20°C during winter.

 

"Everyone knows that God drives a Plymouth: "And He drove Adam And Eve from the Garden of Eden in His Fury."
And that Moses liked British cars: "The roar of Moses' Triumph was heard throughout the hills."
On the other hand, Jesus humbly drove a Honda but didn't brag about it, because in his own words: "I did not speak of my own Accord." "


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MattShizzle wrote: I

MattShizzle wrote:
I actually seen someone on another site say that Jesus is all about freedom. My jaw almost dropped. Who ever said that either doesn't know what Jesus supposedly said or has some strange definition of freedom.
 They think they are free,but one is never free when the mind is enslaved.

Nero(in response to a Youth pastor) wrote:

You are afraid and should be thus.  We look to eradicate your god from everything but history books.  We bring rationality and clear thought to those who choose lives of ignorance.  We are the blazing, incandescent brand that will leave an "A" so livid, so scarlet on your mind that you will not go an hour without reflecting on reality.


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Hahahah

Braveheart is about freedom!


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Freedom - Fo' Shizzle

" Freedom is not an abstract philosophical (or legal) concept, but the vital and concrete possibility for every human being to bring to full development all the powers, capacities and talents with which nature has endowed him/her"

Although this quote is taken from a book that deals primarily with political theory it is in some ways similar to that which Christians are refering to when they speak about 'freedom in Christ'.  It is actually quite an interesting take on freedom and this is what people are talking about (among other things) when they say that Jesus is all about freedom.

Matt Shizzle - "Who ever said that either doesn't know what Jesus supposedly said or has some strange definition of freedom."

What is your concept of freedom? I have found in my own life that the idea that 'freedom is the ability to do what we please when we please' is extremely problematic.  This sort of freedom ceases to exist as soon as an individual is placed in any sort of social environment in which they are (whether they like it or not) forced to deal with the reality that life is primarily a relational experience.  We are effected and limited by the presence of other human beings period. 

There are freedoms or rights which the State allows us so long as we are not harming or effecting others in a negative or malicious manner.  Ultimately we are responsible for our choices still and must submit to the consequences of our actions whether they be natural consequences or State legislated consequences.

In the same way the argument could be made that God, if you beleive there is a God, has allowed humanity the ability to make choices. This is what 'freewill' is.  If an intelligent creator is responsible for the creation that intellegence or justice is inevitabley going to be reflected in creation.  Therefore when we make good or bad choices we then might suffer the consequences or reap the benefit  of our actions.

To tie this back into the question of whether Jesus is about freedom or not...well 'beleif' in Christ (whatever that means) or following the example of Christ allows the beleiver to reach their full potential and thus attain ultimate freedom. Freedom in the biblical sense is the ability for an individual to become that which they were designed to be.  To experience life on this planet to it's fullest - to be and become all that they are capable of being.  This is perhap why Paul contrasts being "dead in sin/free in Christ". If to 'sin' is to 'miss the mark' then these things we find in the Bible listed as sin are all things that bind us or keep us from living a life centred on loving and intimate relationships with either God, people or creation as a whole.  To be free in Christ is to be freed from the bondage of sin and it's eternal consequences. Freedom is the ability to be an unpolluted (or as close as it comes) version of yourself.

This idea of freedom is not soley a Christian one. If you ask me it is among the most solid philosophies on the concept that I've come across.

Matt, please be careful not to be so hasty in your judgments.  I'm not knocking you bro - I just know how it goes. One person disagrees with a certain belief system or philosophy and so they knock every thought that comes out of that camp. This is one of the problems with 'religious' communities (as I'm sure you've noticed).  Just don't fall into that same pattern. Anyways I guess to close I would say that this is not irrational - from my understanding Jesus was definately about freedom on so many levels.


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Matt Churchman wrote:Anyways

Matt Churchman wrote:
Anyways I guess to close I would say that this is not irrational - from my understanding Jesus was definately about freedom on so many levels.

Uh....Wasn't Jesus in favor of all those biblical laws ? So it's freedom for everybody, except all those people we're supposed to stone to death ?

I'm sorry, I don't mean to be cynical, but I really wish you christians would finally agree on which bits of the bible we're supposed to take seriously and which bits we're allowed to ignore.


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Well freedom  is a

Well freedom  is a extremely vague political ,philosophical and if you like religious concept. In my opinion for direct practical purposes its so vague it can mean so much it actually means nothing at all .

One mans freedom is anothers prison, any law or consitution that has the word 'freedom' in is a poor one, great concept for wooly debates bad for deciding what is or isnt acceptable in society


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Anonymouse

 

"Uh....Wasn't Jesus in favor of all those biblical laws ? So it's freedom for everybody, except all those people we're supposed to stone to death ?"

First, actually Jesus had a very interesting take on the Laws that you are refering to. He was confronted in one passage by a group of people who wanted to stone a woman for the act of adultery. While according to the Law the people would have been justified Jesus gives them a bit of a 'mind fuck' if you will. Long story short, no one stoned the woman.

Also the concept of freedom that you seem to be refering to is very much a political one - I mean that within this community the Law was looked upon as...well law.  If someone broke the law they were punished for that. Every society on earth has some form of punishment criminals. Again this is not necesarily the sort of freedom that I am talking about specifically...although Jesus does teach a freedom from the law in a sense. I could go off on a tangent and get into a lot of stuff here...what may be helpful is if you check out wikipedia for the term 'Christian pacifism'.

"I'm sorry, I don't mean to be cynical, but I really wish you christians would finally agree on which bits of the bible we're supposed to take seriously and which bits we're allowed to ignore."

Well I wish all you Athiests would finally agree on what it means to be an athiest. See how that sounds when I reverse it.  Of course different groups disagree on what certain things mean or how to practically apply them to life. WE are all freethinking individuals and the result is that some of us will interpret things differently than others. I do beleive that there are some opinions that are more well informed than others though. With the case that you're talking about there is pretty much a consistent view of the law among scholars.  This understanding comes directly from the teachings of Jesus (he actually taught on these things along with other NT authors).


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Jesus said and did some

Jesus said and did some pretty crazy things:

See_here.

 

Anyway, pretty much every law that is anti-freedom in this country that is attempted to be passed (anti-abortion, anti-birth control, discriminatory, censorship, etc. ) is mainly sponsored by Christians.

 

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Matt Churchman wrote:Freedom

Matt Churchman wrote:

Freedom in the biblical sense is the ability for an individual to become that which they were designed to be.  To experience life on this planet to it's fullest - to be and become all that they are capable of being.  This is perhap why Paul contrasts being "dead in sin/free in Christ". If to 'sin' is to 'miss the mark' then these things we find in the Bible listed as sin are all things that bind us or keep us from living a life centred on loving and intimate relationships with either God, people or creation as a whole.  To be free in Christ is to be freed from the bondage of sin and it's eternal consequences. Freedom is the ability to be an unpolluted (or as close as it comes) version of yourself.

This idea of freedom is not soley a Christian one. If you ask me it is among the most solid philosophies on the concept that I've come across.

Take the magic out of this concept and it's a pretty good, though not complete, definition.  As you said, the idea of freedom is not solely a christian one.  In fact, it is a concept far older than christianity as is free will.  They are not Dog given, they are concepts developed as we as a species became more intelligent and began to seek out ways to survive, not just as individuals but as groups where individuals began to cooperate toward that end.

You must have missed the many threads where atheism was defined.  It is not a philosphy, nor is it a lifestyle or belief.  It is in fact the exct opposite of belief, it is non-belief in Dog or any god for that matter.  We simply do not accept that there is any sky daddy watching over us or affecting our lives in any way, shape or form. Simple, it's not even a concept, just the lack of belief.  Don't make things too complicated, your head might explode.

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"Jesus said and did some

"Jesus said and did some pretty crazy things:"

haha thanks Matt. I've actually read and done a little bit of study on what Jesus said...hence why I call myself a Christian or follower of Christ:P  If youre interested in finding out what the context of these passages you should definately do a study...I have found people like NT Wright offer great insights. Even if you just read the rest of the story from which these passages where taken you might get a better idea of the context. It would probably be helpful for you as well if you are engaging Christians about Jesus if you better understood Christian theology. My original post that got me linked up with the RRS had to do exactly with this issue.  I emailed them about how SOME NOT ALL athiests just throw out isolated passages without understanding what they mean to Christians and this can weaken their arguments.  I don't knock the athiest belief to be honest, I just think that if a conversation is going to take where the words of Jesus are being used to in some way challenge the Christian beleif...well then it would be important that the Christian beleif is first understood.

 "Anyway, pretty much every law that is anti-freedom in this country that is attempted to be passed (anti-abortion, anti-birth control, discriminatory, censorship, etc. ) is mainly sponsored by Christians."

 I know...and as a Christian I would like to apologize to every non-Christian who has had to adhere to laws that have been based soley on 'Christian morality'. Most of these laws are not a reflection of what Jesus taught - and even if they were from reading the accounts of his life it seems quite clear that Jesus was not interested in people following his teachings because they were forced to by the government. This confusion is most likely the product of Christendom NOT Christ.


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Why even assume Jesus

Why even assume Jesus philosophy is Xain?  Fuck, I read that NT mess just the opposite. The "laws" (god)  will always be, the physics of what was, this "big bang" day .... All that is, is in motion and change, if "measured" time is your guide. What did a Jesus write?  NOTHING ! Umm, what's that tell us, YOU ! 

   Well, Christians are fools, inventors and idol worshipers. Atheist Jesus, Xain Jesus, take your pick, it's all there, the choice is yours. My best Jesus was atheist "and the bible told me so" , not that I needed that fucking bible cannon of edited babel contradiction. All idol worship is blasphemy of any resemblance of logic that I can entertain in my little pea brain. So I shout , WTF isn't gawed, and how can anyone worship and why?  Sheezzzz, religion sucks  .....  i am god as you. DA DA DA , blah, blah, blah     Condemned to be what we are, 100% god .... Damn, wish there was a loving sky daddy, ahh this life sucks, no wings, why hunger, why the tease?  .... god damn it. God doesn't give a fuck, but WE DO !    

    


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BullDog

Well that was a sweet little response...last time I check life was still complicated and my head has yet to show any signs of combustion...ffffewwwSmiling

"You must have missed the many threads where atheism was defined.  It is not a philosphy, nor is it a lifestyle or belief.  It is in fact the exct opposite of belief, it is non-belief in Dog or any god for that matter.  We simply do not accept that there is any sky daddy watching over us or affecting our lives in any way, shape or form."

Hey BullDog,

I didn't miss the posts I just am still a little confused as to the logic behind this. Maybe you cold clear it up for me though. Is that like when I say to someone "what are you thinking?" and they respond "nothing".  Isn't thinking about nothing still thinking? By not beleiving in God aren't you either just beleiving there is no God or beleiving that you don't know if God exists? Isn't it still a belief? If beleiving in God then shapes ones lifestyle then wouldn't not believing in God also shape your lifestyle at the very least because you don't adhere to the same moral code or practice certain religious rituals ect? I'm not saying it would look the same for every athiest just as following Christ doesn't look the same for every Christian. Athiesm though it may not be a complete philosophy is still a part of what shapes your understanding of the world and therefore it informs your life philosophy does it not? In the same way the teaching of Christ inform the Christian understanding of the universe and the variety of philosophies that make that up.

PS - My sky daddy would beat up your sky daddy in a fight:P Atheism spelled backwards is Ms. Ietha! Sorry I'm just having fun.

Peace and Love

 


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Woosaah

That's cool. To each his own.  I'm not sure what hermanuetic or exegetical process you used to come to these conclusions about the NT or the philosophy of Jesus presented therein but having spoke with you briefly in other forums you seem like a decent intelligent human being and I respect your opinionSmiling

Definately some Christians (and people in general) are fools, inventors and idols worshippers.  I'm not one to judge who at this point (only time will tell) but sure some of us are foolish.

And yes, I give a fuck and I'm encouraged by the fact that you obviously do as well.

Peace and Love

 


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Cool Matt Churhman. I dig ya

Cool Matt Churhman. I dig ya man. To be a Jesus fan does not mean one is xain. The bible is so vague that interpretation of them words is no reason for claiming a prejudice label for oneself. We are simply one earth, one human race.

   Jesus is highly adored in all the world. To say Jesus is an idiot, who wrote nothing, is more to say, the biographers of idol worship invention, as is traditional religion are idiots, and YEAH. I and you and all are the Christ ! We are what we are , as, "I am what I am" .... Need I even mention all is god !   Therefore I am simply atheist, as is the essence of many other labels, such as pantheists, buddhists, taoists etc. Even the Muslims have one, which I can't remember.    Dig ?


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Anonymouse wrote: "I'm

Anonymouse wrote:

 

"I'm sorry, I don't mean to be cynical, but I really wish you christians would finally agree on which bits of the bible we're supposed to take seriously and which bits we're allowed to ignore."

 

 

I gave up Christianity for Lent a couple years ago, and "forgot" to take it up again, but I find the bit that is Matthew 7:12 to be about the only thing worthwhile in the whole book. Hillel the Elder was of much the same opinion about the scriptures as they existed in his day, too.

 

 


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Jesus is slavery.

Jesus is slavery.


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Matt Churchman wrote:Well

Matt Churchman wrote:

Well that was a sweet little response...last time I check life was still complicated and my head has yet to show any signs of combustion...ffffewwwSmiling

"You must have missed the many threads where atheism was defined.  It is not a philosphy, nor is it a lifestyle or belief.  It is in fact the exct opposite of belief, it is non-belief in Dog or any god for that matter.  We simply do not accept that there is any sky daddy watching over us or affecting our lives in any way, shape or form."

Hey BullDog,

I didn't miss the posts I just am still a little confused as to the logic behind this. Maybe you cold clear it up for me though. Is that like when I say to someone "what are you thinking?" and they respond "nothing".  Isn't thinking about nothing still thinking? By not beleiving in God aren't you either just beleiving there is no God or beleiving that you don't know if God exists? Isn't it still a belief? If beleiving in God then shapes ones lifestyle then wouldn't not believing in God also shape your lifestyle at the very least because you don't adhere to the same moral code or practice certain religious rituals ect? I'm not saying it would look the same for every athiest just as following Christ doesn't look the same for every Christian. Athiesm though it may not be a complete philosophy is still a part of what shapes your understanding of the world and therefore it informs your life philosophy does it not? In the same way the teaching of Christ inform the Christian understanding of the universe and the variety of philosophies that make that up.

PS - My sky daddy would beat up your sky daddy in a fight:P Atheism spelled backwards is Ms. Ietha! Sorry I'm just having fun.

Peace and Love.

Well, let's see if I can clear it up for you.  As to your example, I sometimes "veg" when I'm tired or just want to relax.  When I do I just stare, my eyes usually lose focus and I don't have a thought running through my consious mind.  Now I'm reasonably certain my subconscious mind is racing around doing whatever it does, mainly keeping me breathing.  I am not, however, "thinking" in the sense that I am reviewing my day, or wondering how an idiot like the Bush got elected, etc.  There are no conscious thoughts in there, it's just blank.  I don't "see" images in my mind and I don't "speak" or "hear" words, music, and sometimes even real noise from outside my mind. So when someone tells you "nothing" they may very well be not thinking of anything in a conscious way.

I don't "believe" there is no Dog, I simply do not accept the existence of Dog, just like I don't accept the existence of pink unicorns, elves, faeries, Thor, Buddha, bigfoot or any other human constructs.  Not accepting something is not the same as believing something.  If I were an agnostic then I would in fact "believe" that Dog doesn't exist but admit that I don't know for sure and could be wrong.

While my beliefs do in fact shape my lifestyle, my beliefs are not based on my not accepting the existence of your sky daddy.  My lifestyle is based on morals and ethics I have developed throughout my lifetime and has nothing to do with anything supernatural.  Morals do not come from any supernatural beings, they have developed with the human race as a means of survival.  Just as our secular laws do not come from christianity or any other religion.  Hammurabi was the first to codify laws and this was quite some time before christianity was hatched in the booby trap of the Middle East.  There were some good laws and some barbaric (by today's standards) ones.  When the Constitution and the laws that followed were written, they were based on age-old laws in existence well before jeebus freaks were around to screw things up.

Yes, our morals, ethics and perceptions of the world around us do shape the way we behave, our lifestyle if you will.  However, our morals, ethics and perceptions of the world are not based on the writings and fantasies of a bunch of cave dwellers in the Middle East some 1900 years ago. Since we all percieve the world a little differently from each other, mostly based on our experiences and understanding of things, our lifestyles are different in many ways. Except for theists, that has nothing to do with dieties living in the sky, or in the ground or rocks, trees or anywhere else.

To reiterate, Atheism (a poor term at best) is not a philosophy, it is not even the beginning of a philosphy.  It is merely the lack of any acceptance of the supernatural.  Language is not a precise animal and the English language is no exception.  Realism, rationalism, existentialism and several other isms are philosophies.  Philosophy is a systematic approach relying on reasoned argument to address life, truth, justice and a whole host of other tangible and intangible realities of our world.

While atheists use reasoned argument to debunk the apologetics of religion, atheism is not a philosophy.  There is just one tenet, if it can be called that, to atheism and that is simply non-acceptance of Dog, Thor, etc.  BTW, If I had a sky daddy your sky daddy couldn't beat him up because my sky daddy wouldn't accept the reality of your sky daddy.

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peppermint wrote:Jesus is

peppermint wrote:

Jesus is slavery.

Naw, Jesus just thought slavery was cool is all. Otherwise..... why not do away with it and not leave it up to that putz Paul. Oh wait he never said anything about doing away with that horrible institution either. Ok, so jesus is just for slavery.

"Always seek out the truth, but avoid at all costs those that claim to have found it" ANONYMOUS


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The Pauline xian jesus is

The Pauline xian jesus is indeed a delusional "slavery" Master to be defeated. I vote for the atheist jesus, "and the bible tells me so" ....       me CHRIST, just as YOU !


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Bullgod

Hey Bullgod,

Thanks for responding. I was just reading your reply and there where a couple of areas where I'm still not totally clear.

"Well, let's see if I can clear it up for you.  As to your example, I sometimes "veg" when I'm tired or just want to relax.  When I do I just stare, my eyes usually lose focus and I don't have a thought running through my consious mind."

I guess this is kind of a personal thing so I can't really go against what you are saying from personal experience.  I've not expereinced this state of "veg". I do at times veg/relax and think about very little consciously but my mind is constantly going and as random as it is I am still always thinking about something. Usually if I am watching TV there are a variety of different thoughts running through my mind even if they are just processing and interpretting what I am seeing on the television...then I usually go off on some tangent that is in some way, regardless of how vaguely, related to whatI have been watching.

"I don't "believe" there is no Dog, I simply do not accept the existence of Dog"

This is what I mean. This seems to be a word game and that's where my confusion comes from. 

definitions - accept - say yes; approve; BELIEVE

So really all I have to do is use my thesaurus and your sentence would read "I don't believe there is no Dog, I simply do not beleive the existence of Dog." One of the words in the dictionary that is used to define the word accept is in fact the word 'belief'. In the context of what you are saying I beleive they are interchangable.

I said - "If beleiving in God then shapes ones lifestyle then wouldn't not believing in God also shape your lifestyle at the very least because you don't adhere to the same moral code or practice certain religious rituals ect? I'm not saying it would look the same for every athiest just as following Christ doesn't look the same for every Christian. Athiesm though it may not be a complete philosophy is still a part of what shapes your understanding of the world and therefore it informs your life philosophy does it not? In the same way the teaching of Christ inform the Christian understanding of the universe and the variety of philosophies that make that up."

You said - "Yes, our morals, ethics and perceptions of the world around us do shape the way we behave, our lifestyle if you will.  However, our morals, ethics and perceptions of the world are not based on the writings and fantasies of a bunch of cave dwellers in the Middle East some 1900 years ago. Since we all percieve the world a little differently from each other, mostly based on our experiences and understanding of things, our lifestyles are different in many ways. Except for theists, that has nothing to do with dieties living in the sky, or in the ground or rocks, trees or anywhere else."

No, as an athiest they are not based on the "writing of cave dwellers..." they are based at least in part by the belief that the words of these individuals are not in some way the inspired word of God. This may not be the case if you were never exposed to the beliefs of these' cavedwellers' as you call them but you have and therefore you are forced to wither beleive what they are saying or not beleive as you have chosen to do.

"To reiterate, Atheism (a poor term at best) is not a philosophy, it is not even the beginning of a philosphy."

definitions - philosophy - an explaination or theory of the universe. 

The beleif that there is no God is one theory of the universe. It is a universe without a God. Jus tlike my belief in God effects the way I interpret the universe, Your not beleiving in God effects the way you understand the universe???

"Philosophy is a systematic approach relying on reasoned argument to address life, truth, justice and a whole host of other tangible and intangible realities of our world."

Wouldn't Atheism be part of a "reasoned approach to address "a whole host of tangible and intangible realities of our world"?

PS- Just because your sky daddy didn't accept the reality of my sky daddy it doesn't mean that my sky daddy's reality isn't realitySmiling Therefore your sky daddy would be forced to accept (or not accept) the reality of my sky daddy's foot in his ass:P Either way my sky daddy's foot would still be all up in his ass:O

 

definitions - Atheism - the beleif that there is no God.

 

 


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First of all, if you want a

First of all, if you want a definition go to the dictionary, not the thesaurus.  One has the definition of words the other has words with the same or similar meaning depending on the context in which they are used.  Accept, in the Merriam-Webster online dictionary, has the following definitions:

transitive verb

1 a: to receive willingly <accept a gift> b: to be able or designed to take or hold (something applied or added) <a surface that will not accept ink>

2: to give admittance or approval to <accept her as one of the group>

3 a: to endure without protest or reaction <accept poor living conditions> b: to regard as proper, normal, or inevitable <the idea is widely accepted> c: to recognize as true : believe <refused to accept the explanation>

4 a: to make a favorable response to <accept an offer> b: to agree to undertake (a responsibility) <accept a job>

5: to assume an obligation to pay; also : to take in payment <we don't accept personal checks>

6: to receive (a legislative report) officially

intransitive verb: to receive favorably something offered —usually used with of<a heart more disposed to accept of his — Jane Austen>

As I said before, the English language, or any language for that matter, is imprecise.  I use the term "accept" as a transitive verb with the definition (3b) broadly defined. 

Your mistake is assuming "believe" has a strictly religious or faith based definition.

Believe:

 intransitive verb:

 1 a: to have a firm conviction as to the goodness, efficacy, or ability of something <believe in exercise>

 2 a: to have a firm religious faith b: to accept as true, genuine, or real <ideals we believe in> <believes in ghosts>   

3: to hold an opinion : think <I believe so>   

transitive verb 

1 a: to consider to be true or honest <believe the reports> <you wouldn't believe how long it took> b: to accept the word or evidence of <I believe you> <couldn't believe my ears>

2 a: to hold as an opinion : suppose <I believe it will rain soon >

 When I use the term "accept" in the context I have, I certainly do not infer the use of the word "believe" as anything other than it's transitive form.  There is no belief in a god or diety of any kind implied. Yes, this has become a word game.  You understood when you first read it what was meant, so you can stop the word games now.

As to morals; suffice to say that morals were around long before jeebus and christianity.  All your cave dwellers did was copy from a far older and, likely wiser, culture and then claim it was thier idea. Had you finished reading the paragraph from which you took my sentence out of context, you would have seen that. Your god is not real, therefore there is no connection between morals and the idea of a sky daddy.

"An explanation or theory of the universe"? How is that the definition of "philosphy"?

1 a (1): all learning exclusive of technical precepts and practical arts (2): the sciences and liberal arts exclusive of medicine, law, and theology <a doctor of philosophy> (3): the 4-year college course of a major seminary b (1)archaic : physical science (2): ethics c: a discipline comprising as its core logic, aesthetics, ethics, metaphysics, and epistemology

2 a: pursuit of wisdom b: a search for a general understanding of values and reality by chiefly speculative rather than observational means c: an analysis of the grounds of and concepts expressing fundamental beliefs

3 a: a system of philosophical concepts b: a theory underlying or regarding a sphere of activity or thought <the philosophy of war>

4 a: the most basic beliefs, concepts, and attitudes of an individual or group b: calmness of temper and judgment befitting a philosopher.

Maybe it's my eyesight, I just don't see anywhere in the definition anything about the universe.  Is there some kind of code I'm missing? Again, atheism is not a philosophy, nor is it an approach, it is only one thing that might be part of someone's philosophy about something, nothing more. Re-read the definition I provided or, at least, read it for the first time. If you're going to post definitions post the entire definition not just the parts that tend to back only your argument, and don't make them up anymore.  If your argument can't stand up to the full definition, don't use the definition at all.

LOL! Very good, you got me on the sky-daddy debate. I'd continue it but it would start losing punch after your comeback. Love it! 

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"First of all, if you want a definition go to the dictionary, not the thesaurus.  One has the definition of words the other has words with the same or similar meaning depending on the context in which they are used."

All of my definitions came out of my dictionary (Collins Gage) not a thesaurus. 

"As I said before, the English language, or any language for that matter, is imprecise.  I use the term "accept" as a transitive verb with the definition (3b) broadly defined." 

I totally agree. Language is merely symbols. I have found that for the most part many of the misunderstandings we have deal with this issue.  That's why I was trying to clear up how we're defining terms. I'm still at a bit of a loss when it comes to grasping your use of the word. I mean I see the definition you are using but I can not see how one could be presented with a few different wordviews and beleive one without not believing the others if the ideas are in opposition or contradictory to one another. This could just mean that you are open to the idea that god may exist, therefore you do not not believe you just don't accept it enough to live your life by it...but judging from some of your other comments I can't assume this is the case ie. "your god is not real".

"Maybe it's my eyesight, I just don't see anywhere in the definition anything about the universe."

Probably not your eyesight - we may just have different dictionary definitions.

"Atheism...might be part of someone's philosophy about something."

Exactly. I think I said this almost word for word in a earlier post.

"As to morals; suffice to say that morals were around long before jeebus and christianity.  All your cave dwellers did was copy from a far older and, likely wiser, culture and then claim it was thier idea. Had you finished reading the paragraph from which you took my sentence out of context, you would have seen that. Your god is not real, therefore there is no connection between morals and the idea of a sky daddy."

There must be some confusion here. I don't remember saying anything about the origin of morality? I was just saying that since you do not believe in a sky daddy you do not accept or believe some of the moral teachings of these 'cave dwellers' as authoritative. Since you have been exposed to these writings you have had to choose whether or not to beleive them as authoritative and this is a part of what makes up your concept of morality (even if you have only given it a little thought). Just a quick question...would you refer to Plato, Socrates or many other ancient writers as' cave dwellers' or is this just an attempt to minimize the contributions of biblical authors through using negative language to describe them?

"If you're going to post definitions post the entire definition not just the parts that tend to back only your argument, and don't make them up anymore.  If your argument can't stand up to the full definition, don't use the definition at all."

I used those definitions specifically because they supported what I was saying. You had called me out on my use of words ie) that Atheism is not 'not beleiving in God'. I was just demonstrating that your argument was a word game because according to my use of the word I was justified in my statement. I mean we may disagree on terms but that is neither here nor there. It was the use of the word 'accept' as opposed to 'believe' that had me confused because I see little distinction between the two words in the context of this conversation. Fair play though. I'm stilll kind of fuzzy on this as I mentioned earlier.

I'm glad I got a laugh out of you Smiling If you want...I'm still kind of unclear on how you can  'not accept the existence of God' without 'not beleivng in God'. If you think you could clarify this further it would be helpful for me. Just maybe PM me because we've gotten so far off the topic of the thread and I don't want people to have to read our ramblings about language.

Peace

 


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Yeah guys, definitions. When

Yeah guys, definitions. When asked if I believe in god, I say of course, how could there even be a choice? , BUT I sure the heck don't believe in the likes god of abraham and such  definitions of separatism and idol worship. 


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As a kid I did not accept

As a kid I did not accept the teachings of the bible because much of it went contrary to my sense of morals (learned from my parents, neighbors, teachers, etc) and was thoroughly contradictive.  Thou shalt not murder, commit adultery, steal and bear false witness.  These are the only commands that can be found in the law.  They make sense from a thoroughly secular perspective.  The rest of the commandments were obviously written by mortals without divine guidance, for cultural or other reasons. There is no authority to their "teachings" except what any individual might give them for their own personal needs. The writers produced one of the most poorly written books ever and their morals are not something I would choose to follow.  Thou shalt not murder unless god tells you to and, of course, god is exempt from that rule.  No mention of rape being immoral, oh, right. Rape was rampant back then as was slavery and genocide.  Can't comdemn others for doing what your people do, now can you?

My morals were not based on their "teachings", they were based on common sense and a swift smack on the bottom when I violated one of them (or any of the rules set down by my parents). My morals were developing prior to starting Sunday school and my parents, while theists, didn't read the bibble to me.  I had no knowledge of the supernatural until I started watching movies like the "Werewolf" and "Dracula" on tv and that included Abes god.  The writers had no influence on me one way or another, even after I started going to Sunday school because I immediately had questions about everything not mentioned.

To not believe does not require belief in that which is not believed.  I don't believe (keeping it simple here) in little green men from Mars and I never believed that there are, were or will be little green men from Mars.  The only "proof" for your god is in a 2000 yr old book that has been misinterpreted countless times since it's writing and your faith.  That is not adequate for me to accept your proposition that there is a spirit in the sky interested in us and all the other crap.  I have never given any weight (accepted) the argument, or "evidence", in support of the existence of any god.

You really need to read all of a thread and not stop at what seem arguable or what seems to bolster your argument and take it out of context. These questions could have easily explained themselve by reading my thread thoroughly. And the fact that you can't understand what I mean doesn't mean my meaning isn't expressed there. Anyway, this thread is becoming a little tedious and we need to end it.

My apologies, MattSchizzle, didn't think it would go this far. Matt Churchmann, it's been fun.


 

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Fairwell

"As a kid I did not accept the teachings of the bible because much of it went contrary to my sense of morals"

That sounds like a conscious decision to not believe something. That's all I meant.

"My morals were not based on their "teachings", they were based on common sense and a swift smack on the bottom when I violated one of them"

I know that. I never said they were? What I meant was that at some point these ideas were presened to you and you chose NOT TO BELIEVE them. Some of the choices you make in life are based on the fact that you don't beleive in God.  If you did you might make different choices. 

"To not believe does not require belief in that which is not believed."

Exactly. It requires only that you not believe. I think you said "I don't "believe" there is no Dog, I simply do not accept the existence of Dog" I said I don't understand this because to not accept an idea that you have been exposed to is to not believe it. Now you are talking about 'not believing' and I think that is how we got onto this in the first place.

"I don't believe in little green men from Mars and I never believed that there are, were or will be little green men from Mars."

Just like you 'don't believe in God'. That's all I was saying. Maybe there was some misunderstanding.

"That is not adequate for me to accept your proposition that there is a spirit in the sky interested in us and all the other crap."

I was not proposing that you should beleive in God anywhere in this post.

"You really need to read all of a thread and not stop at what seem arguable or what seems to bolster your argument and take it out of context. These questions could have easily explained themselve by reading my thread thoroughly."

I wasn't even aware that you had a thread somewhere. I just responded to Matt Shizzles freedom thread. You responded and I was interested in something you said so I asked you about it. I didn't mean to be a bother. Perhaps I should have just PM you to get clarification on what you meant. I'm new to the forums and how things can go like this otherwise I would have just sent you a private message. Still based on your responses I haven't found a great explaination. Not that you may not have a good point but I am missing it apparently. In fact in this last post it seems you re now saying exactly what I was saying originally about Athiests 'not beleiving in God'.That's why I suggested that maybe you should PM. Oh well..no harm no foul.

Sorry Shizzle. Great topic for a post. hope you get some more posts that are more on the point. Peace and Love Mr.Dog

 


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And the definition of 

And the definition of  g-o-d  IS  ?!? 

Hummm, maybe a big contest prize for the best one! Of course mine is the best, but I know I will lose the contest.  Shit, at least I probably won't get murdered over it, but it still happens this day ..... on this planet "ouch". Mercy, mercy ....


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Matt Churchman,Do you

Matt Churchman,

Do you believe in Zeus?


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Smiling Of course not but what does that have to do with Jesus and the topic of the thread which is freedom? Let's show Shizzle some respect and stay on topic...I'm already guilty of wasting too much space on here but you can ask me in a Private Message.

I'm sure you're logic will be something like..'well if you don't believe in Zues how can you believe in Jesus?'. If this is where you're going with this I would challenge you to message me with your position that there is equal historical evidence to support the existence of Zues (perhaps multiple alleged eyewitness reports would be a good starting point).


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Matt Churchman wrote: Of

Matt Churchman wrote:

Smiling Of course not but what does that have to do with Jesus and the topic of the thread which is freedom? Let's show Shizzle some respect and stay on topic...I'm already guilty of wasting too much space on here but you can ask me in a Private Message.

I'm sure you're logic will be something like..'well if you don't believe in Zues how can you believe in Jesus?'. If this is where you're going with this I would challenge you to message me with your position that there is equal historical evidence to support the existence of Zues (perhaps multiple alleged eyewitness reports would be a good starting point).

Not at all, Matt.

You said:

Matt Churchman wrote:

Since you have been exposed to these writings you have had to choose whether or not to beleive them as authoritative and this is a part of what makes up your concept of morality (even if you have only given it a little thought).

Does this mean that your non-belief in Zeus makes up part of your morality? Or Dagon? Or Krishna? Or whatever deity you might come across? Are you telling me that your morality is malleable according to the deities you reject? I very much doubt that this is the truth. The non-existence of those deities has no more impact on your morality than the non-existence of Yahweh has on mine.

 

All that is necessary for the triumph of good is that evil men do nothing.


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AHH PM unless it

AHH PM unless it has something to do with  freedom and Jesus!

"Does this mean that your non-belief in Zeus makes up part of your morality? Or Dagon? Or Krishna?"

Maybe only if I define myself by my disbelief (ie) Athiesm). Also, for me I haven't been exposed to the moral teachings of Zeus or Dagon...so this wouldn't apply. This is interesting though...did Zeus have moral teachings?

This also may not apply for everyone and it was ignorant of me to assume it would. In my case at least I've grown up in a society (NA) that's sense of morality seems to be at least loosely based on Judaeo-Christian morality. As such, at least in the early years of my life much of what I concieved of as moral or immoral without even thinking had to do with the cultural influences of Christianity or some form of it. My later rejection of these morals came at least in part because I didn't beleive in the god that was allegedly responsible for them. The cultural impact of Zues was not quite as invasive during those formative years although he is becoming more and more relevant now that I have joined an Atheist forum:P

"Are you telling me that your morality is malleable according to the deities you reject? I very much doubt that this is the truth. The non-existence of those deities has no more impact on your morality than the non-existence of Yahweh has on mine."-

Actually you have a good point here.  I think perhaps it would have been more appropriate for me to say that "the beleif that any given diety is non-existent informs my worldview and my worldview informs my sense of morality". Though I do see your point.  Your morality may not be based fully on your rejection of the existence of God, but your rejection of those things that are deemed moral or immoral by that God that go contrary to your own personal concept of morality is directly tied to your disbelief in God:S

Great point. Next time maybe just PM me.

Peace and Love- 

 


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Matt Churchman wrote:AHH PM

Matt Churchman wrote:

AHH PM unless it has something to do with  freedom and Jesus!

"Does this mean that your non-belief in Zeus makes up part of your morality? Or Dagon? Or Krishna?"

Maybe only if I define myself by my disbelief (ie) Athiesm). Also, for me I haven't been exposed to the moral teachings of Zeus or Dagon...so this wouldn't apply. This is interesting though...did Zeus have moral teachings?

This also may not apply for everyone and it was ignorant of me to assume it would. In my case at least I've grown up in a society (NA) that's sense of morality seems to be at least loosely based on Judaeo-Christian morality. As such, at least in the early years of my life much of what I concieved of as moral or immoral without even thinking had to do with the cultural influences of Christianity or some form of it. My later rejection of these morals came at least in part because I didn't beleive in the god that was allegedly responsible for them. The cultural impact of Zues was not quite as invasive during those formative years although he is becoming more and more relevant now that I have joined an Atheist forum:P

"Are you telling me that your morality is malleable according to the deities you reject? I very much doubt that this is the truth. The non-existence of those deities has no more impact on your morality than the non-existence of Yahweh has on mine."-

Actually you have a good point here.  I think perhaps it would have been more appropriate for me to say that "the beleif that any given diety is non-existent informs my worldview and my worldview informs my sense of morality". Though I do see your point.  Your morality may not be based fully on your rejection of the existence of God, but your rejection of those things that are deemed moral or immoral by that God that go contrary to your own personal concept of morality is directly tied to your disbelief in God:S

Great point. Next time maybe just PM me.

Peace and Love- 

 

 

Do young children really grow up with 'morality' surely they grow up with reward and punishment ? . Only when they are considerably older are they considered or expected to understand right or wrong. In the UK children are not held liable for any crimes until the age of 10 (which some people think is too young it used to be 14) as they are not considered to understand morality

 


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Atheist Jesus - freedom /

Atheist Jesus - freedom / Christian Jesus - slavery.

It's your choice. Ya can't mess with my Jesus, as we are ONE!   

  What would Jesus do today ? Maybe be in a band ?!!!

The Who - I'm Free  ( be jesus, follow his lead, suggestion ! )

New:   http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=E8zeL6uSEl8&feature=related

Old:     http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tdCXweJHAkg&feature=related

Cream - I Feel Free

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EVcIer_4OnA

Cleaner:   http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Qb_Uu0eTNWk&feature=related

Cream - I'm So Glad   [ and so I get sad too ]

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0Yi7AJvzRUA

 

 


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Matt Churchman wrote:AHH PM

Matt Churchman wrote:

AHH PM unless it has something to do with  freedom and Jesus!

I do not conduct private conversations based on public forums. If you think it is warranted, feel free to open a new thread. I am sure MattShizzle doesn't care that this thread wanders a bit.

 

Matt Churchman wrote:

"Does this mean that your non-belief in Zeus makes up part of your morality? Or Dagon? Or Krishna?"

Maybe only if I define myself by my disbelief (ie) Athiesm). Also, for me I haven't been exposed to the moral teachings of Zeus or Dagon...so this wouldn't apply. This is interesting though...did Zeus have moral teachings?

I doubt anyone here actually defines themselves generally as an atheist. It is the common denominator for this particular grouping, but it is not true that we define ourselves by the lack of one irrational belief. You mistake the point of this forum for the point of the forum members' lives.

And you can get a good idea of Zeus' morality from the collected stories of those who believed in that particular pantheon.

Matt Churchman wrote:

This also may not apply for everyone and it was ignorant of me to assume it would. In my case at least I've grown up in a society (NA) that's sense of morality seems to be at least loosely based on Judaeo-Christian morality. As such, at least in the early years of my life much of what I concieved of as moral or immoral without even thinking had to do with the cultural influences of Christianity or some form of it. My later rejection of these morals came at least in part because I didn't beleive in the god that was allegedly responsible for them. The cultural impact of Zues was not quite as invasive during those formative years although he is becoming more and more relevant now that I have joined an Atheist forum:P

Morality is not set in stone. It evolves over time, but you will find that most moral ideas are identical across cultures, precisely because they are derived from human nature and adopted(along with a lot of useless junk) by the religions based in that culture. In most cases, you will find that the moral code you assume originated in your religion preexisting in most other religions as well as finding expression in secular morality.

 

Matt Churchman wrote:

"Are you telling me that your morality is malleable according to the deities you reject? I very much doubt that this is the truth. The non-existence of those deities has no more impact on your morality than the non-existence of Yahweh has on mine."-

Actually you have a good point here.  I think perhaps it would have been more appropriate for me to say that "the beleif that any given diety is non-existent informs my worldview and my worldview informs my sense of morality". Though I do see your point.  Your morality may not be based fully on your rejection of the existence of God, but your rejection of those things that are deemed moral or immoral by that God that go contrary to your own personal concept of morality is directly tied to your disbelief in God:S

 

Great point. Next time maybe just PM me.

Peace and Love-

When I eat a shellfish, it has no bearing on whether some middle eastern god forbid it. If I buy a shirt that is 50/50 cotton/poly blend, it doesn't matter that this was forbidden by Yahweh. If I indulge a sexual fantasy about someone I saw on the street, it doesn't matter if Jesus forbid it. It is not that I am actively trying to violate those moral prohibitions. It is simply that they have no bearing, because I do not define my morality by gods I don't believe in. Likewise, I don't consider making an oblation to Poseidon when I go out on a boat. It's not a factor.

All that is necessary for the triumph of good is that evil men do nothing.


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Children and Morality

I'm sure they've done studies on this. I don't know the answer to your question though. I recall as a child feeling that some things were right and others wrong. I remember feeling bad for the kid on the playground who was getting bullied and thinking it was wrong regardless of punishment or reward. I don't know though, that's just me.

As far as your comment about young offenders...maybe this is the case. I thought it had to do with our ability to reason as youth and the fact that we make poor choices so the goal is not to condemn someone whose person is not yet fully formed. I mean that a young person may still know that what they are doing is wrong but not be emotionally 'mature' enough to control themselves from acting irresponsibly. Not sure about that one either but I remember as a child getting angry and hitting a person...I knew hitting people was wrong but I was simply unable to control my emotions or put things into perspective as to the severuty of the consequences of my actions.

 


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"I do not conduct private conversations based on public forums. If you think it is warranted, feel free to open a new thread. I am sure MattShizzle doesn't care that this thread wanders a bit."

Cool. If you think Shizzle is cool with it then so am I. I didn't think it was a big deal to request that you private message me but hey...whatevers good.

"Morality is not set in stone. It evolves over time, but you will find that most moral ideas are identical across cultures, precisely because they are derived from human nature and adopted(along with a lot of useless junk) by the religions based in that culture. In most cases, you will find that the moral code you assume originated in your religion preexisting in most other religions as well as finding expression in secular morality."

That's certainly one opinion.

"When I eat a shellfish, it has no bearing on whether some middle eastern god forbid it. If I buy a shirt that is 50/50 cotton/poly blend, it doesn't matter that this was forbidden by Yahweh. If I indulge a sexual fantasy about someone I saw on the street, it doesn't matter if Jesus forbid it. It is not that I am actively trying to violate those moral prohibitions. It is simply that they have no bearing, because I do not define my morality by gods I don't believe in."

Of course it doesn't matter to you because you don't believe in the God that deemed these things to be immoral. That's reasonable and as I said you have a good point. If you did beleive in this God you would give more weight to that Gods teachings on morality...it is only in that way that your sense of morality is effected by your disbelief. All I'm saying is that if you believed in God you might have a different view on morality (or not) and since you don't you have your own sense of morality based on other things. So belief or disbelief in God can effect our sense of what is moral or immoral. I thought I'd clarified what I was trying to say about this but maybe that will be more clear now.

Thanks for posting.

 

 


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freedom for atheists

Just thought I would kind of turn the tables for fun. What is freedom for an Atheist?...not that you all share the same concept of freedom but since I have claimed that Jesus IS about freedom  I wonder what you all conceive freedom to be (if there is such a thing at all beyond legal rights ect.).

Here's my thought.

If you are Atheist you are also a biological determinist/social-constructionist correct? There is no 'I', 'Me' or soul of any kind (I could be wrong which is why this is a question).  So there is no freedom in Atheism? The mind is simply an illusion of the brain, therefore you are the product of biology mixed together with your environment/experience (and your predetermined biological responses to these factors). The implication is that your entire life is simply the playing out of forces completely beyond your control. I often hear people criticize Theism, saying that Theists have a Master and therefore they are not free, however based on my understanding as articulated here, if atheists are correct in their assumptions about the universe and humanity, you too have a Master or a force that guides your every action and thought. Now, at the same time this isn't a challenege to your beleif or lack of beleif...because the truth of a matter is not determined by how favourable it sounds...even still it would be interesting to hear some of your thoughts on this.

Peace and Love


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Matt Churchman wrote:If you

Matt Churchman wrote:

If you are Atheist you are also a biological determinist/social-constructionist correct? There is no 'I', 'Me' or soul of any kind

That depends on how you're defining "me". If it's defined via a soul, then no, there isn't one. But there is a phenomenon going on somewhere behind the eyes that I refer to as "me".

 

Quote:
So there is no freedom in Atheism? The mind is simply an illusion of the brain, therefore you are the product of biology mixed together with your environment/experience (and your predetermined biological responses to these factors). The implication is that your entire life is simply the playing out of forces completely beyond your control.

Yes, but it's important to realize that such a fact has no real implications. If the universe is deterministic, there is no change. It's still the universe we live in now, and we still have just as much (perceived) free will as we always had. Nothing changes. So what's there to be upset about?

I ask because your beef here sounds like an appeal to emotion. Something along the lines of "Wouldn't a deterministic universe be depressing???"

The answer to that question, though, would be irrelevant. But you're probably aware of that.

Quote:
I often hear people criticize Theism, saying that Theists have a Master and therefore they are not free, however based on my understanding as articulated here, if atheists are correct in their assumptions about the universe and humanity, you too have a Master or a force that guides your every action and thought.

In this situation, too, there would likely be no PERCEIVABLE difference between the two versions of the universe. A universe where things were the case because deterministic, natural laws made them that way, would not necessarily be distinguishable from a universe where things were the case because a conscious being felt that that's the way they should be.

Atheists interpret the latter universe as the sadder of the two, though, out of principle. But this is not so much a proof against God as it is a way of pointing out that it's very possible to view God in a not-so-favorable light for the same reasons he's being viewed in a favorable one.

 

A place common to all will be maintained by none. A religion common to all is perhaps not much different.


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Matt Churchman wrote:Just

Matt Churchman wrote:

Just thought I would kind of turn the tables for fun. What is freedom for an Atheist?...not that you all share the same concept of freedom but since I have claimed that Jesus IS about freedom  I wonder what you all conceive freedom to be (if there is such a thing at all beyond legal rights ect.).

Here's my thought.

If you are Atheist you are also a biological determinist/social-constructionist correct? There is no 'I', 'Me' or soul of any kind (I could be wrong which is why this is a question).  So there is no freedom in Atheism? The mind is simply an illusion of the brain, therefore you are the product of biology mixed together with your environment/experience (and your predetermined biological responses to these factors). The implication is that your entire life is simply the playing out of forces completely beyond your control. I often hear people criticize Theism, saying that Theists have a Master and therefore they are not free, however based on my understanding as articulated here, if atheists are correct in their assumptions about the universe and humanity, you too have a Master or a force that guides your every action and thought. Now, at the same time this isn't a challenege to your beleif or lack of beleif...because the truth of a matter is not determined by how favourable it sounds...even still it would be interesting to hear some of your thoughts on this.

Peace and Love

Assuming we are all limited by our biological/genetic, determinism/tendencies, it is not relevant then, when speaking of the difference in freedom levels between a theist and non theists, to mention how much more or less a theist is affected by these biological factors. Theists do not overcome the the biological facts when they deny they are limited by them. The only difference is that the theist adds limitations on top their already limited lives and force themselves into a constant state of cognitive dissonance over the natural tendencies and impulses they do have.

The point is that we know enough about human psychology, and have the scientific observation neccesary, to form a solid case for some form of determinism. Since we as humans all start with a relatively equally limited amount of freedom, via our psychological and genetic tendencies, why add another set of meaningless rules and guilt trips that have no relevance to our happiness nor our functionality?

Thats cute.


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Archeoptryx

"I ask because your beef here sounds like an appeal to emotion. Something along the lines of "Wouldn't a deterministic universe be depressing???"

The answer to that question, though, would be irrelevant. But you're probably aware of that."

Hehe did you start responding to my post before reading the whole thing? The reason I ask is because at the end I actually made this point. It's not tha TI have a beef at all or am attempting to appeal to your emotions..just interested in hearing some of your thoughts. I totally agree with you though and that's why this wasn't meant as a challenge to your disbeleif in God. As depressing as it is (and only depressing really because I see the world differently), if it is the truth it is still the truth. I just find it interesting and was wondering what your thoughts were on this...or whether you'd all thought about it. Most Atheists or people who don't beleive in a Deity still tend to beleive "there is a phenomenon going on somewhere behind the eyes that I refer to as "me"." I'm just not sure how this lines up logically with not accepting the existence of a soul/mind.  Some neuroscientists have actually done some interesting studies on this kind of thing...whether the mind can influence the brain ect.

"In this situation, too, there would likely be no PERCEIVABLE difference between the two versions of the universe. A universe where things were the case because deterministic, natural laws made them that way, would not necessarily be distinguishable from a universe where things were the case because a conscious being felt that that's the way they should be."

Really? I haven't really thought this through...but I mean on an individual level you don't think that this makes any perceivable difference? The existence of a true 'self' might give a person ownership over their actions and thoughts, it is hopeful, 'change is possible' type thing. Whereas if I am who I am because of things completely out of my control..I don't know but it sounds like a cop-out in waiting. Again, this doesn't change whether it's true or not, it just raises some questions about how we see ourselves. Just something to chew on. Perhaps there are even some interesting and valuable consequences as well. We might stop hating or harbouring offence toward those who behave in ways we deem unfavourable...we might be more understanding of, say, a pedophile Priest or a cleptomaniac if we conclude that there is little they can do about their condition? It could also result in us locking people in jail and throwing away the key without change for reform because they are simply biological 'defects'. But still we wouldn't hate them for it I guess. Interesting thoughts though Archeoptryx. Thanks for responding so quickly...I've much to think about. Keep 'em coming guys.

Peace and Love


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"Assuming we are all limited by our biological/genetic, determinism/tendencies, it is not relevant then, when speaking of the difference in freedom levels between a theist and non theists, to mention how much more or less a theist is affected by these biological factors."

Well assuming that we are COMPLETELY limited by our biology then...yes you are correct that there is little difference and as Archeoptryx said, in practice, in life, there would be little difference between the two. I understand what you're saying better now.

Of course coming from that position it would be pointless to add rules...especially if they are meaningless rules as you've said. But I don't know many Theists (or more specifically Christians) who adhere to entirely 'meaningless' rules or guilt trips... actually I can't think of any of the guilt trips you're referring to personally. Meh..that's not entirely true...I think that some people do expereince these things but I don't think it is what is taught in the Christian holy book. Even if this is the case (COMPLETE biological determinism) most of the guidelines or ethics that religious folk adhere to have some physcological or social value. On the other hand assuming that is not the case, that we have a soul or an essence that is distinctly 'us' and that 'I' was created by an intellegent being, if that being was to provide certain guidelines as to how best care for that 'self' or 'soul' these guidelines (or rules) may be infintely valuable.

I mean for me...as far as cognative dissonance...I am fully aware of my desires ect. Whether they are entirely biological is up for grabs, though it's likely that some are. The difference is I beleive that by not acting on these desires or by some sort of spiritual intervention as is taught in Christianity, I might experience life more abundantly by following the 'righteous path' (to use religious language) that the Creator of the universe has directed me toward. I also beleive that by partnering in relationship with God I am more likely to overcome some of the 'vices' or 'sins'  that keep me from living the abundant life. At the core I do beleive that there is a 'me' or an 'I' or soul. I can't even imagine this not being the case.

I mean not to get into a theological discussion but Paul does talk about overcoming the 'flesh'.  It's not like we deny their existence.

I didn't really get what your take on this is though...so you DO beleive that you are simply the product of your biological make-up combined with your environment?

If by "That' you were referring to me...and by cute you were referring to cute...then thank you...yes I am cute...thanks for noticing:P

Peace and Love

 

 


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follow up ?'s

Just was thinking on this a little more today and thought I'd follow up with some thoughts/questions.

Supposing there is a 'self' or 'soul'...that 'me' behind your eyes...what do you suppose becomes of that after you die? Would it cease to be as well? If so then isn't it just absolutely biological? and if it's biological must it not also conform to the laws and systems of biology? And then aren't we right back to ABSOLUTE biological determinism? Also, how would this concept of a 'self' factor in to the evolutionary model?

If it lives on however, is it not the exact same as the idea of a 'soul' as proposed by religions? So suppose that the teachings of religion are ways to care for that eternal part of you because in some way your earthly life has an impact on the eternal state of your soul...I guess that would be the whole idea of heaven/hell which if this process is designed by a higher entity that might be what we call "God's judgement" and it may be why people say things like "You brought God's judgement upon yourself". So from that understanding 'sin' would be those things that effect the eternal state of the 'self'. We all believe in life after death really...whether you beleive that your body simply decays and your energy lives on in the natural world as nutrients ect, or you beleive in a soul.  The only difference is whether you beleive that there is a consciousness that is distinctly you that lives on after your physical body has died. I know this was kind of a ramble but my mind is just moving and I thought I'd share it. Talk to you all soon.

Peace and Love


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Matt Churchman wrote:Just

Matt Churchman wrote:

Just was thinking on this a little more today and thought I'd follow up with some thoughts/questions.

Supposing there is a 'self' or 'soul'...that 'me' behind your eyes...what do you suppose becomes of that after you die? Would it cease to be as well? If so then isn't it just absolutely biological? and if it's biological must it not also conform to the laws and systems of biology? And then aren't we right back to ABSOLUTE biological determinism? Also, how would this concept of a 'self' factor in to the evolutionary model?

If it lives on however, is it not the exact same as the idea of a 'soul' as proposed by religions? So suppose that the teachings of religion are ways to care for that eternal part of you because in some way your earthly life has an impact on the eternal state of your soul...I guess that would be the whole idea of heaven/hell which if this process is designed by a higher entity that might be what we call "God's judgement" and it may be why people say things like "You brought God's judgement upon yourself". So from that understanding 'sin' would be those things that effect the eternal state of the 'self'. We all believe in life after death really...whether you beleive that your body simply decays and your energy lives on in the natural world as nutrients ect, or you beleive in a soul.  The only difference is whether you beleive that there is a consciousness that is distinctly you that lives on after your physical body has died. I know this was kind of a ramble but my mind is just moving and I thought I'd share it. Talk to you all soon.

Peace and Love

Depends on how one defines the self.

For me the "self" is the combination of one's personality traits. Those are learned traits so when one stops learning at death, those go away also.

Adding the baggage of an undefinable "soul" is unnecessary. In fact, it makes me wonder if the "soul" was a concept created for religious extortion.

"I do this real moron thing, and it's called thinking. And apparently I'm not a very good American because I like to form my own opinions."
— George Carlin


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jcgadfly

I follow you I think. So you are saying that 'you' is really just predetermined biological responses to your environment and experiences...so then any notion of freedom or freewill...aside from politcal or legal freedoms/rights is simply an illusion.  We are born and what takes place after that takes place...like a version of fatalism in a sense. 

I understand that and logically it seems to make sense from that view of the world.

You made a comment at the end that I'm not sure about though. What did you mean by "Adding the baggage of an undefinable "soul" is unnecessary. In fact, it makes me wonder if the "soul" was a concept created for religious extortion." I'm just confused as to what the concept of a soul or self has to do with extortion? I think the word here that's got me confused is 'extortion'?


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Matt Churchman wrote: Most

Matt Churchman wrote:

 Most Atheists or people who don't beleive in a Deity still tend to beleive "there is a phenomenon going on somewhere behind the eyes that I refer to as "me"." I'm just not sure how this lines up logically with not accepting the existence of a soul/mind. 

Well, as has been said, I don't accept that there is a soul because there is no reason for me to suppose that there is such a thing. And when I say "soul" I'm referring to the idea that there is a supernatural element to the self, or a part of the self that survives brain death. Granted, I haven't proved that no part of my consciousness will survive brain death, but I find no reason to suppose that it will. All indications seem to point toward non-survival, and nothing seems to point toward survival. (Other than "god says you'll survive", etc, but that's not very persuasive to me.)

But the question of the soul, I think, is an  unhelpful one if we're trying to answer whether or not there is a god. I typically don't bother with this question, other than to state that I am highly skeptical. I don't believe there is a soul, but it's not a question that is particularly interesting. Even if the existence of a soul is determined to be true, it wouldn't be very informative beyond informing us that there is some kind of soul. Beyond that, it wouldn't say anything. So I tend to not see the point of wrestling with this one too much.

 

mattchurch wrote:

Really? I haven't really thought this through...but I mean on an individual level you don't think that this makes any perceivable difference?

 

I don't think there would be a PERCEIVABLE difference,  no. Emphasis on perceivable.

 

mattchurch wrote:

The existence of a true 'self' might give a person ownership over their actions and thoughts, it is hopeful, 'change is possible' type thing. Whereas if I am who I am because of things completely out of my control..I don't know but it sounds like a cop-out in waiting. Again, this doesn't change whether it's true or not, it just raises some questions about how we see ourselves.

 

Right, it doesn't speak to the truth/falsity of either. This only tells me how you feel about the difference. It tells me how each would make you see yourself in relation to the universe if you knew one or the other was true. But as for how you would experience life on a day-to-day functional level, it wouldn't be any different at all. In either universe, life would be just the same as it is now. You and I already see the universe differently, so both views are already here, and probably would be in either universe. Nothing changes. *shrug*

 

mattchurch wrote:

Just something to chew on. Perhaps there are even some interesting and valuable consequences as well. We might stop hating or harbouring offence toward those who behave in ways we deem unfavourable...we might be more understanding of, say, a pedophile Priest or a cleptomaniac if we conclude that there is little they can do about their condition?

 

Nooo, no person who accepts determinsim is advocating that sort of thing. I mean, that's on the same level as saying, "Well, if the universe is deterministic, then I don't have any control over anything, do I? Then I guess I'm powerless and I'll just waste my life away playing video games, because what's the point?"

I think we both see the fallacy.

Just because the universe is deterministic doesn't mean we should stop behaving as though we have free will. The universe is the same whether we accept or reject determinism, and regardless of whether or not we agree with it, we should behave the way we always have. Determinism does not mean that everyone becomes a mindless automoton. ; )

 

 

 

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Matt Churchman wrote:I

Matt Churchman wrote:

I follow you I think. So you are saying that 'you' is really just predetermined biological responses to your environment and experiences...so then any notion of freedom or freewill...aside from politcal or legal freedoms/rights is simply an illusion.  We are born and what takes place after that takes place...like a version of fatalism in a sense. 

I understand that and logically it seems to make sense from that view of the world.

You made a comment at the end that I'm not sure about though. What did you mean by "Adding the baggage of an undefinable "soul" is unnecessary. In fact, it makes me wonder if the "soul" was a concept created for religious extortion." I'm just confused as to what the concept of a soul or self has to do with extortion? I think the word here that's got me confused is 'extortion'?

No,

I said that the personality traits that make up you are things that are taught to you by other people (parents, friends, mentors). that is why one can change one's personality. The association of you to your personality constiturtes the "self" in my view.

I beleive that the soul as you are discussing is strictly a religious concept that was created by church people to guilt their flock into being controlled. Statements like "Do X or your soul will burn" or "altar boy, I'm only haveng sex with you so I can save your soul" are examples of the extortion I mentioned. It's emotional blackmail.

"I do this real moron thing, and it's called thinking. And apparently I'm not a very good American because I like to form my own opinions."
— George Carlin


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jcgadfly

"I said that the personality traits that make up you are things that are taught to you by other people (parents, friends, mentors). "

That's exactly what I meant by social constructionist. It would be a combination of biological responses to environment and experience. But if you are no more than biology (which adheres to certain laws and systems) then your responses to these situations or "things you're taught be people" would be predetermined by your biological make-up.

I get what you're saying now about exortion...and I agree that this idea has been abused by religious institutions in order to guilt people into behaving in a certain way...like if a religious leader says "true Christians support the President ect.". But I mean this is irrelevant really because an atheist could just as easily abuse the idea that there is no sould and attempt to convince someone to behave in a certain manner that may not truely be in their best interests...of course any idea can be exploited by the perverse and power hungry.


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Archeoptryx

I don't think I would want to think about it too much either if I were of the same worldview as you so I totally understand that I think. That sounds kind of bad but I hope you get what I mean. I get what you're saying though and you made some really great points. 

As far as a percievable difference, we'll have to disagree. I can't really form an argument outside of my own experiences as I shifted from one view to the other...from that I can say that at the very least it has made a percieveable difference for me as an individual. I can also tell you that it has made a percieveable difference to those around me.  It does change the way I function in the world...but I get you. Like if the universe is deterministic then of course it makes little difference and it is simply our disagreement on that point that makes us disagree on this one.

Thanks for responding. I actually found another thread on here where people are talking about evolution and how conscious awareness might fit with that. It's under the Theist v Atheist section.

Peace and Love


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Matt Churchman wrote:I don't

Matt Churchman wrote:

I don't think I would want to think about it too much either if I were of the same worldview as you so I totally understand that I think. That sounds kind of bad but I hope you get what I mean.

 

As long as what you mean is that you understand why I think the answer to the soul question wouldn't be very informative, then okay. I would only take offense if you were suggesting that I was "afraid of the truth" or "avoiding the hard questions like a typical atheist" or something snarky along those lines. But it sounds like that's not what you mean, so no problems here I don't think.

A place common to all will be maintained by none. A religion common to all is perhaps not much different.