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Definition of Atheist
Posted: 03 June 2013 06:37 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 31 ]
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mid atlantic - 03 June 2013 03:06 AM
brmckay - 02 June 2013 06:59 AM

  What level of precision might be required for everyday living?

The level of precision would be zero.

Is there value in having a sense of the sacred?

There can be completely subjective value.

I would say there is evidence for objective value for religions themselves.  That evidence is the ubiquitous survival of religions throughout the ages.  Whether there is positive value for society as a whole is not so clear.

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As a fabrication of our own consciousness, our assignations of meaning are no less “real”, but since humans and the fabrications of our consciousness are routinely fraught with error, it makes sense, to me, to, sometimes, question such fabrications.

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Posted: 03 June 2013 11:09 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 32 ]
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TimB
I would say there is evidence for objective value for religions themselves.  That evidence is the ubiquitous survival of religions throughout the ages.  Whether there is positive value for society as a whole is not so clear.

***

It is clear to me that there is a very positive value in religion. Just go to any small town America and every Sunday all the people gather in a building and sing. They comfort their neighbors in times of sorrow and rejoice together in times of happiness in this same building.

The pagans were ten times better at gathering people in happy celebration than the Christians are. And the Egyptians and Romans took this type of togetherness to great heights that were ten times better than the Pagans.

Over all Christianity is a very sad religion. But it is better than no religion for many societies.

I think that most of the members here could get along just fine without religion and without Christmas too. But do you not want your children not to enjoy Christmas?

To me it would be OK, if we replaced it with a better holiday and the same with Christianity.

As you know TimB I am a researcher. And what I have found is that the Egyptians had the happiest society in history so far. And the pyramid building was designed to keep parts of the social structure in balance.

America could not handle the level of happiness that the Egyptians enjoyed. Though it would be nice to think we could.


Now with that said, do you think that happier religions had better gods? I mean just look at the god of Abraham, what a sad mess. If Jesus went to Egypt as a child and then returned to Judah, who wouldn’t try and change it’s god.

If Jesus had taught Paul and John and the rest in Egypt we would have a different world today. Thomas and Mary obviously had spent time in Egypt and therefore understood Jesus teachings in a Gnostic way.

[ Edited: 03 June 2013 11:49 AM by MikeYohe ]
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Posted: 03 June 2013 12:52 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 33 ]
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Mike, Sure, some religious groups do objectively good things, and some people take comfort in their religion.  What I think is questionable is whether there is a net value for society of religion, an overall value when taking into consideration the harm it does and has done historically.

I understand your premise, I think, that the “right kind” of religion could make the world a better place.  But I have 2 main problems with that premise.  1) It is a virtual impossibility that the world will be converted to and believe in and follow one certain idealistic religion.  and 2) I think that any religion is subject to inflicting harm.  e.g., religions tend to have elements of superstition, and superstition can be harmful. Also, all religions tend to become inundated with dogma, and dogma can be harmful.

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As a fabrication of our own consciousness, our assignations of meaning are no less “real”, but since humans and the fabrications of our consciousness are routinely fraught with error, it makes sense, to me, to, sometimes, question such fabrications.

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Posted: 03 June 2013 01:46 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 34 ]
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Sr. Member,
“An atheist is one who LACKS a belief in any god or gods.”

That’s good.
And I have always seen and understand what you are saying.

But,

In ten thousand years of religion, we have had atheist for what, a couple hundred years.

I am just saying, mankind created gods. History shows us that man needed gods before he need pottery.

Your post is a verbose exercise on grotesquely…and I do me grotesquely overthinking the problem.

It is of no relevance how long atheists have existed. It is of no relevance how long religions existed or what their their belief systems and creeds were.

An atheist is one who lacks a belief in any god or gods.

That’s all there is to it.

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Posted: 03 June 2013 01:48 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 35 ]
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FinallyDecided - 03 June 2013 05:51 AM

I believe things are as they are and it makes my life much easier. smile

This seems good, but by “things” do you include hopes and aspirations?

Why live life thinking there is some entity watching me and keeping score on my life? So basically, I have no “faith” I would say.

Where did you get the idea that this was how it worked?  Why impose somebody elses neurosis on your own contemplation of the “Big Picture”?

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Posted: 03 June 2013 01:48 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 36 ]
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Mike Yohe - 03 June 2013 05:39 AM

Mid atlantic

What possibilities? Why are red ochre burials spiritually significant?


A couple of things, they covered a long period of time. Some say they go back as far as 100K years, one of the members on this forum said he found they went back 300K years. And they have been found on every continent except Antarctica. That would mean that man
had the same religion system around the world for a long time. And many experts think the reason for the red ochre was after life.

How about using red ochre to imitate the colors they saw in other animals. Of all species, we are the plainest, and we do still use make-up to look “pretty”. Many primitive tribes today use feathers, colors, and any animal parts (feathers) to “dress up” for celebrations.

Nature itself dresses animals in the most astounding colors and plumages. Anything divine about that or a survival technique? Was it any wonder we should not use pretty colors or scary masks also?

Below is a link which describes the earliest humans.

Primitive humans who inhabited the coast of South Africa 165,000 years ago and lived on a diet rich in shellfish could be the original ancestors of everyone alive today, a study suggests.

The people who lived in high caves at Pinnacle Point, overlooking the Indian Ocean near Mossel Bay, harvested and cooked mussels, used red pigment from ground rocks as a form of make-up and made tiny, bladed tools. Experts say they are very likely to be the ancestors of Homo sapiens, the anatomically modern human species which migrated across the world.

It is known that Homo sapiens evolved in Africa between 200,000 and 150,000 years ago but scientists are not sure where on the continent they first arose as a distinct species. The latest evidence points to the southern tip of Africa. Archaeologists working at Pinnacle Point identified stone tools and a red pigment used in ritualistic ceremonies which they believe could only have been used by humans showing “modern behaviour”.

http://www.independent.co.uk/news/science/first-humans-lived-at-southern-tip-of-africa-397161.html

Note, the 300,000 years I mentioned was an estimation from even the earliest hominids, before they split.

Note these people used red paint and apparently it was a “ritualized custom”, but how you can leap from that to the actual existence of a god is speculative at best.

As I explained before, today (looking back in history) Chimpanzees show signs of belief in an “unseen power”. How could they not. Later, they discovered fire ( and fire gods) and their language probably consisted of grunts for “food, home, danger”.  Hardly a reliable source for deep insight into the nature of the universe.

Early man invented gods to make sense of the universe and natural occurrences. But they were wrong in almost all explanations as to “causality” which science has proved over and over again. God is not necessary to the universe, it WAS necessary for mankind at one time, but no longer

[ Edited: 03 June 2013 04:50 PM by Write4U ]
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Posted: 03 June 2013 02:26 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 37 ]
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brmckay - 02 June 2013 12:29 PM
VYAZMA - 02 June 2013 07:41 AM

We’re getting far afield here…Lotta ground for one thread, let alone one post!

Let’s see if there is consensus on this.  In my mind these are very related questions.

Well if they are related, please explain how they are related. And please explain some of those points in more detail. 
Getting a little philosophical.

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Posted: 03 June 2013 02:51 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 38 ]
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Equal Opportunity Curmudgeon
Your post is a verbose exercise on grotesquely…and I do me grotesquely overthinking the problem.
It is of no relevance how long atheists have existed. It is of no relevance how long religions existed or what their their belief systems and creeds were.

An atheist is one who lacks a belief in any god or gods.

That’s all there is to it.
**************************************

Then are all Buddha and Hinduism atheist?
All I was stating is that atheist is one who lacks a belief in god.  So in saying that you must feel that everyone agrees what a god or gods is.
Therefore the meaning is connected to the word god.

Stephen Hawking a true atheist, but he is looking for the God Particle.
God must have a different meaning to Mr. Hawking.

I know over thinking.

Back to the original question.
The Gnostic thinking is not in one superior being, or one god or gods but they still believe in god. Just like the Buddha and Hindus.

So there lies the problem in the definition of god.

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Posted: 03 June 2013 02:58 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 39 ]
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MikeY-Then are all Buddha and Hinduism atheist?
All I was stating is that atheist is one who lacks a belief in god.  So in saying that you must feel that everyone agrees what a god or gods is.
Therefore the meaning is connected to the word god.

I don’t mean to cut in between you and E.O.C. but it doesn’t matter if everyone agrees what a god(s) is.
An atheist knows what everyone’s idea of a god is-and eschews them all.

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Row row row your boat gently down the stream.  Merrily Merrily merrily merrily life is but a dream!

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Posted: 03 June 2013 04:09 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 40 ]
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Write, Check this out:  http://www.cell.com/AJHG/retrieve/pii/S0002929713000736
A human Y chromosome was dated this year to be about 338, 000 years old.  The earliest known fossils of anatomically modern humans are 200,000 years old, but maybe older ones just haven’t been found yet.

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As a fabrication of our own consciousness, our assignations of meaning are no less “real”, but since humans and the fabrications of our consciousness are routinely fraught with error, it makes sense, to me, to, sometimes, question such fabrications.

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Posted: 03 June 2013 04:57 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 41 ]
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TimB     Posted: 03 June 2013 12:52 PM

Myself I would like to get rid of religion altogether.

Which ever way man goes it should be by free choice.

In my view it was in Hitler’s plan to setup a religion based on science. That would have been interesting. But many governments need religion to help rule the people.

Thought, it is my belief that –

Man did not use the term “god”. They only use the names of the god.  The term god was needed to describe stuff like Salem “the city of gods” (Jerusalem).

In Egypt, one temple recorded and logged the gifts of flower arrangements at over 5 million in one month alone. They must have loved their god a lot. Point being that in America we have many new religions. In Egypt the evolution of religions was slow and it really had one main god, Ra. But they all had names.

This forum talks about god in the human mind. But they never talk about the human feeling that god gives. Except you for the first time – “some people take comfort in their religion. “

Example, A local guy that does plumbing and runs a hardware feed store ask me one day what all this Da Vinci Code talk about. He was asking me religious questions so I loaned him a book called the “Holy Blood, Holy Grail” and told him that would be better suited for him.

He called me up to come and get the book latter that day. He had it in the back of the truck. Took it out of the house immediately after starting to read the book.

He was physically destroyed and very upset at some of the first things he read. He wanted to burn the book but since it was loan to him he drove the book away from his house and I met him and took the book. I wanted to drive him home because he was in that bad of physical condition from reading something against his god.
 
Now this forum will never hear from these guys. But there are a lot of people like him. And they feel closeness to god and warmth comes over them when they commutate with their god. 

Now, look at one of the fastest growing religions in America today. Pentecostal, speaking in tongues. Again a physical closeness to god.

You will never get these people away from god.

We may not need religion but they do. Their Christian beliefs come from other believers and they are just digging a big hole to the point they will not fit into regular society.

[ Edited: 03 June 2013 05:37 PM by MikeYohe ]
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Posted: 03 June 2013 04:57 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 42 ]
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TimB - 03 June 2013 04:09 PM

Write, Check this out:  http://www.cell.com/AJHG/retrieve/pii/S0002929713000736
A human Y chromosome was dated this year to be about 338, 000 years old.  The earliest known fossils of anatomically modern humans are 200,000 years old, but maybe older ones just haven’t been found yet.

Thanks for the link, Tim.

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Posted: 03 June 2013 05:18 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 43 ]
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Write4U   Post #36
From one of my files.  Hope this helps. There is to much to post so this is a sample.

Red Ochre
I[size=1]nternet search data from many sites.

The clay used to produce red ochre is thought to be the “red earth” from which the Hebrew’s God created Adam in the Book of Genesis. In fact, the name “Adam,” meaning “man,” is related to the Hebrew word for “red,” or “adom.” Red ochre can be found in great quantities in the mountains rimming the river basin where archaeologists place the biblical Garden of Eden, now in modern day Iraq.

Ochre was one of the first pigments to be used by human beings. Pieces of haematite, worn down as though they had been used as crayons, have been found at 300,000 year old Homo heidelbergensis sites in France and Czechoslovakia. Neanderthal burial sites sometimes include ochre as a grave good. The oldest evidence of mining activity, at the “Lion Cave” in Swaziland, is a 43,000 year old ochre mine. In Germanic rune lore, red ochre was often used in place of blood to redden, or tint, the runes and thereby instilling the spirit of life into the rune, enabling it to be used for magical purposes.

The earliest undisputed human burial dates back 130,000 years. Human skeletal remains stained with red ochre were discovered in the Skhul cave at Qafzeh, Israel. A variety of grave goods were present at the site, including the mandible of a wild boar in the arms of one of the skeletons.

According to Sally McBrearty of the University of Connecticut in Storrs, for example, ocher processing at Qafzeh adds to evidence of “the very great antiquity of the color red as a symbolic category.” Engraved ocher dates to 77,000 years ago in South Africa.

The Red Ocher culture is found in western Ohio and parts of Illinois, Indiana, Michigan, Minnesota, Wisconsin, and Ontario. Red Ocher burials also were placed on natural hills or high spots.

West Coast of the United States
The use of red ocher appears to have been a part of the burial customs here as well. In southern California, graves dating from 6000 to 1000 BC have been found.

Red ocher burial
Found: Mungo National Park, Australia
Dated: about 60,000 years ago
Mesoamerican and Andean center where products from the Maya area and lower Central America were exchanged. Although the spectacular ruins seen today date from the Classic Period (300-900 A.D.), the earliest settlement at the site dates to about 900 B.C. Slightly before that time, about 1000 B.C.,  the Talgua cave ossuary was already being used for burial rituals that included elements possibly borrowed from the Maya area over two hundred miles west. All the bones had been painted red, and a red mineral pigment was sprinkled on the ground below the bones. The use of the red pigment, which was used so liberally that it stains many sections of the cave wall, is unique among the few Honduran cave ossuaries that are known. The pigment was identified as red ocher.[/size]

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Posted: 03 June 2013 05:34 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 44 ]
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TimB   Post #40

Ya, I know, 500 archaeologist finding rocks arguing a timeline.
One guy in a office with a computer time lining DNA proves them all wrong.

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Posted: 03 June 2013 05:53 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 45 ]
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I get the irony.  But in fairness, the Y chromosome finding doesn’t necessarily prove archeologists (who assume no anatomically modern humans were around before 200,000 BC) are wrong.  But it does bring up some interesting questions.

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