No idea what to believe. Give me reason to believe in atheism

heel13
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No idea what to believe. Give me reason to believe in atheism

I don't want to ride the fence on what my beliefs are anymore. I'm a super-opinionated university guy who does not believe in grey areas in any manners of interest I have, whether it be politics, ethics, reason, etc.

 

Unfortunately, I can't make such a claim on theistic/atheistic beliefs. I've heard arguments supporting both but this seems like a virtual melting pot of intellectual atheists, so I want to see what it is you can say. I'd like to point out I'm a very logical person, so, if you don't mind me asking, show me logically why atheism makes sense. This is not a demand, it's a plea. Convince me that atheism is the way to go. I would just up and believe it but I can't consciously accept something until I have logical proof of it.

 


latincanuck
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heel13 wrote:No, logically

heel13 wrote:

No, logically coherent position would to be to take an impartial approach to any hypothesis involved. When it comes to the origin of the Universe, you, nor any other naturalist have any clue as to where it came from. For all we know the origin of the Universe might be something unscientific, it may not be theological, but for all we know it could've just randomly exploded into chance, or maybe matter actually defied the conservation law and created itself. We don't think that's probable because we've never witnessed matter nor energy created or destroyed, but we have no way of proving that it never happened, because there's no way to test that law.

The only way to truly form a logically coherent position is to look at the world today. Since we're talking the Judeo-Christian God lets take a look at the one thing in the world that the Bible says was made in God's image, humans. If there were no chance that some sort of entity or "realm" outside of science existed, and thus there was no chance of a God, then everything in a human's power could be defined scientifically. Now here comes the part where many atheists and theists disagree, when it comes to what truly is within a human's power. So let's take a subject upon which both sides can agree. For instance, humans innately know murder w/out rightful cause is wrong. If there's a new employee in my company who does shoddy work, slows his branch of the company down, pisses off employees, makes inappropriate remarks, I can't kill him. Why? It's immoral, I know that, atheists know that, theists know that.

Ok so, if we can prove that man was not created by god, and woman not created from the rib of man that shows that the bible is false and god is not real because it's wrong, then of course the 7 days to create the universe, the solar system, earth and all life, which the evidence has shown that it took billions of years to happen, 10.3 billions of years (approximately) for our solar system to form and earth, and another 500 million years before life came to be on this planet, that disproves the bible's version. So we can say the bible is wrong, god did not do this, so god is not needed to explain all this so far.

Next murder, yeah no, murder in our tribe is one thing, humans throughout history have had laws against killing those within the same society, however others outside of our tribes/society are usually game, example, hebrew's killing other tribes to the point of genocide, even though they had a commandment that said thou shalt not kill, this only works if it goes as thou shalt not kill another Jew. As many many many religions/tribes basically have the same laws regarding that throughout history.

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But if species that we supposedly evolved from have taught us one thing, it's that they live in an environment where the strong kill the weak. Why? Because the weak slow down and possibly endanger the whole. So why are we the first step on the evolutionary scale that has this different idea of murder? Would not eliminating prisoners and disabled persons in mental health hospitals save the federal governments millions of money? Of course it would, but we don't do that because we all, you, me, and the guy down the street know it's wrong. But why are we the only species that truly has this concept of morality in place? Because it could be argued, from a purely evolutionary spectrum, that this impedes our overall "progress" as a race. But no ones about to change it because we all know it's the right thing to do. 

I really do believe you don't understand evolution at all, I mean it really is survival of the fittest, not strongest, saber tooth tiger was a strong powerful creature but was not the fittest to survive once it's enviroment changed and died out. As well, no we are not the only species that help the weak and disabled, and humans have throughout history discarded the weak and disabled, but now thanks to modern medicen, we are in a better position to help the weak and disabled, however millions die every year because we cannot help them, because they are weak and disabled as well.

As for the animals, Dolphins, Dogs, Wolves, Baboons, Gibbons, chimpanzees, Racoons, Vampire bats, Walrulses, Vervet Monkeys all have shown altruism and helping out the weaker or sick members of their packs. So your hypothesis is out the door on the strong kill the weak. Now strong animals will kill weaker animals sure, just as we kill weaker animals that cannot escape from us hunting them down, just as strong animals have been known to kill humans (usually the weaker ones that cannot escape the animals attack) but they don't tend to kill members of their own packs at all.


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heel13 wrote:But if species

heel13 wrote:
But if species that we supposedly evolved from have taught us one thing, it's that they live in an environment where the strong kill the weak.

The organisms that are better adapted to the environment simply have a better chance of surviving than those that are not as well equipped to survive. They don't necessarily kill the weak, especially when they're part of the in-group. 

heel13 wrote:
Why? Because the weak slow down and possibly endanger the whole.

You're assuming that organisms always accomodate to the weakest individuals, and that there couldn't be a situation where having weak individuals around was beneficial. Why do you assume this? 

Take a thought experiment, and this is just one possibility; lions go for the weakest individuals in a herd of antelope. So, the herd doesn't select for its best members; the environment does. And, contrary to your claim, if antelopes killed their weakest individual, then the lions would go for their next weakest individual, so killing their weakest individual would be deterimental to the herd as a whole. See, they don't try to protect the one antelope that gets attacked; they run away. Ever heard the expression, "You don't have to run faster than the bear, just faster than the other person?" How about the expression, "There is strength in numbers?" Or, if you actually possessed a decent understanding of evolution, you would know that a rich gene pool is beneficial. 

heel13 wrote:
So why are we the first step on the evolutionary scale that has this different idea of murder?

We're the only species that has an 'idea' of 'murder' at all. Other animals have similar instincts, but they wouldn't abstract them and call them 'morality' or 'murder.' I can think of over a dozen species of social animals that don't just kill their weakest individuals for no reason other than that they're weak. On the other hand, I can't think of any species that does what you're describing. If you know any, tell me. 

heel13 wrote:
Because it could be argued, from a purely evolutionary spectrum, that this impedes our overall "progress" as a race.

Maybe it does. Evolution is not perfect.

heel13 wrote:
But no ones about to change it because we all know it's the right thing to do. 

Yeah, we can't change an 'is' into an 'ought.' I've had about enough of those naturalistic fallacies.

Our revels now are ended. These our actors, | As I foretold you, were all spirits, and | Are melted into air, into thin air; | And, like the baseless fabric of this vision, | The cloud-capped towers, the gorgeous palaces, | The solemn temples, the great globe itself, - Yea, all which it inherit, shall dissolve, | And, like this insubstantial pageant faded, | Leave not a rack behind. We are such stuff | As dreams are made on, and our little life | Is rounded with a sleep. - Shakespeare


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 Natural selection isn't

 Natural selection isn't about "progress."  That's a human concept.  Natural selection is about surviving right now.  Because the environment and organisms are dynamic, there is change, but it cannot properly be called progress.  The only thing we can really say is that natural selection does tend to go from simplicity to complexity, but it's pretty difficult to argue complexity as progress.  After all, bacteria are still the overall winners in the evolutionary race for population.

 

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

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Atheistextremist
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Hi there

 

Hamby and others are right in what they are saying here.

I'm asking myself what you want to believe as I read your posts.

You can't expect us to be able to convert you to unbelief - that's not the way it works.

The intensely concrete answers you seem to be seeking don't exist. There's a weight of evidence, however.

Why not try to find conclusive proof jesus existed outside the new testament?

Then take a thorough look at the fossil record.

And think long and hard about all the arguments for theism.

Just don't expect a boxed answer with ribbon and bow unless you propose to embrace theism.

Our understanding is a work in progress and you need to be brave enough to own up to this

and diligent enough to seek a way forward.

 

 

 

 

 

 

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


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heel13 wrote:Convince me

heel13 wrote:
Convince me that atheism is the way to go.

 

Being an atheist is edgy and cool.

 

Good enough?

How can not believing in something that is backed up with no empirical evidence be less scientific than believing in something that not only has no empirical evidence but actually goes against the laws of the universe and in many cases actually contradicts itself? - Ricky Gervais


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It's not as easy as asking

I don't think anyone wants to convice you of anything or can.  I am a lifelong atheist so I wouldn't know what to say in the first place. All I know is that I never really think about a deity. It is unnecessary. Logically, I guess it comes down to how an all powerful, eternal, and omniscient  being would regard us. If I were in that position, humanity would be inconsequential. How often do you think about the dustbunnies in China? Never? Precisely.

-

As to whether or not a deity even exists, I suppose the ultimate 747 argument is pretty good. Basically, it is a tongue in cheek reference to how creationists refer to life meaning that "it is as statistically likely as a tornado running through a junk yard and making a 747". (One of my all time favorite stupid thought processes!!!). The "ultimate 747" is simply that if everything we know is so unlikely to exist without a designer, how much more unlikely the existence of said designer? Imagine, all of the power of the universe crammed into as a singularity. Now make that an infinite number of universes, ie no end, all powerful......now make it all knowing and eternal, .....don't forget that this thing is supposed to care about all of us. To me......it's a ridiculous concept. Impossible to the infinite power.


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From a skeptic's point of

From a skeptic's point of view, belief is anathema.

It's not so much a matter of chosing what to believe, but to decide to not use belief as a tool to view the universe.

Belief has no bounds. People can, and do, believe virtually anything at all. Knowledge is a horse of another color.

I realize that there are various meanings for the word 'believe,' but I'm speaking of it in the sense of believing in gods, fairies, and so on, using lame rationalizations, hearsay evidence, logical fallacies and so on to construct a belief in your mind.

I don't so much "believe" in evolution as I understand it and accept what I understand to be a very good set of facts based in many human-centuries of work. I don't believe in gods, because, well, I don't like to believe, period. If a god proved to me beyond doubt that it was real, that it was what it said it was, well, then I'd be hard-pressed to not accept that as true. But we humans are so easily fooled.

We are fraught with hallucinations, dreams that seem real, misinterpretation of observations. We often have poor understanding of logic, critical thinking and simple cause and effect. We aren't even sure what the meaning of "is" is. So often the theist uses the word "know" when they really mean "certain," as in: "I know there's a God!" Certainty expresses a strong position on a subject, but it does not necessarily reflect any amount of knowledge.

I like to think that if I am certain of something, it is because I have a great deal of knowledge about it. Did the universe have a beginning or was it always in existence in some form? I don't know. Although I'm certain abiogenesis is possible and likely, I have no idea what form it took being bereft of a time machine.

And I am as certain as a person can be that there are no gods because I have looked and found that there are no convincing arguments, and given that gods are human inventions there is no reason to accept that any of them are real. To posit a deity is to insert an idea that is far more complicated than the universe itself. Rather than answering questions, it simply adds more questions. Saying that a god created the universe begs the questions: how? why? and the ever-recursive who created god?

If you want to know what to believe, my answer is to quote an old saw: believe nothing that you hear and only half of what you see.

And if you're looking for answers, it's the journey, not the destination, that's important. If you just have to have an absolute answer to everything, the best I can do is: 42.


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heel13 wrote:I don't want to

heel13 wrote:

I don't want to ride the fence on what my beliefs are anymore. I'm a super-opinionated university guy who does not believe in grey areas in any manners of interest I have, whether it be politics, ethics, reason, etc.

Unfortunately, I can't make such a claim on theistic/atheistic beliefs. I've heard arguments supporting both but this seems like a virtual melting pot of intellectual atheists, so I want to see what it is you can say. I'd like to point out I'm a very logical person, so, if you don't mind me asking, show me logically why atheism makes sense. This is not a demand, it's a plea. Convince me that atheism is the way to go. I would just up and believe it but I can't consciously accept something until I have logical proof of it.

 

Then don't be in the gray areas when it comes to your belief. Either you believe in the supernatural/divine or not. You might be having a difficult time deciding based on your intelligence, but what do your emotions tell you? Do you truly believe something exists or is it more of a hope in order to make the situation less complex, because belief in a deity is much easier to default to?

Sometimes believing in something can be fun and comforting; why do you think people still convince their children to believe in Santa? It's all make-believe yet they still want to imagine that someone is thinking about them at every moment of the day and they'll be rewarded (aka have something to show) for all the good deeds done in life.

So are you truly on the fence about the existence of a deity? Or are you actually just having a difficult time letting go of that figurative blanket, and confusing it with something else?


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heel13 wrote:I don't want to

heel13 wrote:

I don't want to ride the fence on what my beliefs are anymore. I'm a super-opinionated university guy who does not believe in grey areas in any manners of interest I have, whether it be politics, ethics, reason, etc.

 

Unfortunately, I can't make such a claim on theistic/atheistic beliefs. I've heard arguments supporting both but this seems like a virtual melting pot of intellectual atheists, so I want to see what it is you can say. I'd like to point out I'm a very logical person, so, if you don't mind me asking, show me logically why atheism makes sense. This is not a demand, it's a plea. Convince me that atheism is the way to go. I would just up and believe it but I can't consciously accept something until I have logical proof of it.

 

No proof of the thing theists call 'god' has been presented. In fact, theists have not even presented any evidence of the thing they call 'god'. Furthermore, every definition ascribed to 'god' is either incoherent or actually belongs to something else, (examples: "god is love" and "god is everything" ). If you look up "god" in the dictionary, the definitions litererally beg the question.

Quote:
god - a supreme being

Quote:
supreme being - a supernatural being

Quote:
supernatural - pertaining to, or being above or beyond what is natural; unexplainable by natural law

But there is nothing known that is "above or beyond" nature.

 

People who think there is something they refer to as god don't ask enough questions.


aiia
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heel13 wrote:  No,

heel13 wrote:
 
No, logically coherent position would to be to take an impartial approach to any hypothesis involved. When it comes to the origin of the Universe, you, nor any other naturalist have any clue as to where it came from. For all we know the origin of the Universe might be something unscientific, it may not be theological, but for all we know it could've just randomly exploded into chance, or maybe matter actually defied the conservation law and created itself. We don't think that's probable because we've never witnessed matter nor energy created or destroyed, but we have no way of proving that it never happened, because there's no way to test that law.

You are making a presupposition here.
There is no scientific position that the universe began. There is, however, a scientific theory that the Big Bang occurred. The Big Bang is not considered as being the beginning of the universe.

The definition of universe is literally everything that exists. Something existed before the Big Bang, otherwise the Big Bang could not have occurred.
Hence the universe existed before the Big Bang.

Something cannot come from nothing.

Since something cannot come from nothing the idea that the universe is infinite is actually a sound concept. What that 'something' is/was before the Big Bang is unknown.

Time cannot have a begining. Time is simply the measure of movement through space. To make the claim that something started time would beg the question because whatever is claimed to have started time would be moving through space and hence would, itself, have time.

People who think there is something they refer to as god don't ask enough questions.


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heel13 wrote: Convince me

heel13 wrote:

Convince me that atheism is the way to go.

Because flies are fucking stupid.