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I don’t believe in atheists
Posted: 18 December 2010 11:08 AM   [ Ignore ]
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Hello there

I thought I would just choose a title to my first post that might get some attention.

I learned about this forum from the bus campaigns….and also my son is an avid raving atheist.

My father was a scientist who later in his life became a deeply spiritual man (not religious….spiritual).......in my youth I believed in a lot of “woo woo” stuff….and my son through intelligent and rational conversation got me to change some of my beliefs.

So here I am in the middle of my life, with lots of background in rational thought…..but also I still believe in the unseen and the unknown.

Now some of the atheists go around dis-proving a big daddy in the sky type God…..I think that is kind of like picking on the littlest kid in the school ground to some extent.

I am very glad this debate is rising .....I do believe that much of the problems in the world are caused by insane beliefs…..radical Islam…..radical Christianity…......but I am not sure if I want to totally throw out all belief…...when I looked at my children for the first time…..when I look up at the vastness of the Universe…..when I see how the love of my wife has saved me from a life of lonliness…..when I look at how lucky and blessed I am…....I tend to believe in something….I don’t know what it is….but I sense it is more than me…..I sense something magical and divine within me and everyone.

I think being agnostic is more intelligent than being atheist…...how can one KNOW .....really KNOW that there is not something more going on here than a bunch of human apes playing about on a planet….

....anyways…...Merry Christmas you bunch of atheists…...I am looking forward to engaging with you.


PGPB

[ Edited: 18 December 2010 11:13 AM by pgpb ]
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Posted: 18 December 2010 11:39 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 1 ]
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pgpb - 18 December 2010 11:08 AM

I think being agnostic is more intelligent than being atheist…...how can one KNOW .....really KNOW that there is not something more going on here than a bunch of human apes playing about on a planet….

To be frank, I find the first part of this to be insulting. You’re essentially saying that viewing life’s questions as having black and white answers, and not taking either side, is the smart choice. You say, “How can one know,” but that can be applied to MANY things. How can one absolutely know there’s no Flying Spaghetti monster? Know there’s no pink, invisible elephant following me around? Know there’s no Loch Ness Monster?

Well, when was the last time you felt FSM’s cold, wet, noodly appendage on your shoulder? When was the last time you heard your elephant trumpet at you? When was the last time you saw Nessie?

My point is that the agnostic stance of “It’s 50/50 on whether or not God exists” is plain naive, and ignoring what we actually do know when discussing what we don’t is pure foolishness. That is why the agnostic stance is, not necessarily less intelligent, but less logical than an atheistic view. It’s like a scientist re-doing every experiment that was ever done until he had the knowledge to create a new experiment for something nobody else has figured out yet.

I hear what you’re saying about feeling like there’s something else. I do feel a sense of awe and wonder when I look around, or when I hear things like how a chunk of neutron star the size of a sugar cube has a mass greater than humankind as a whole, for example. But I have the sense to realize that it’s a function of my curiosity, of the fundamental brain processes that make us human, and not of any external, divine source.

Anyway, enough ranting. I sincerely do hope you have a happy holiday!

P.S. What’s with the gratuitous use of the period? Just curious…

[ Edited: 18 December 2010 11:45 AM by cmbf117 ]
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Posted: 18 December 2010 12:20 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 2 ]
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pgpb - 18 December 2010 11:08 AM

Hello there

Hello, pgpb.  Welcome.

Now some of the atheists go around dis-proving a big daddy in the sky type God…..I think that is kind of like picking on the littlest kid in the school ground to some extent.

Do you have a different god claim that you would see criticized?

...So here I am in the middle of my life, with lots of background in rational thought…..but also I still believe in the unseen and the unknown.

...

I tend to believe in something….I don’t know what it is….but I sense it is more than me…..

This isn’t much to go on, is it?  Not sure why you would choose to call this God, or a god.

I sense something magical and divine within me and everyone.

Ah, can you tell us why you chose these words to describe this thing you don’t know what it is?

I think being agnostic is more intelligent than being atheist…...how can one KNOW

There’s an ongoing and unproductive battle for what these labels mean and how they differ.  However, being an atheist is not always taken as claim to knowledge.  It is often used to mean roughly and simply not a theist or without theistic beliefs.  So in this sense, I am both an atheist and an agnostic.

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Posted: 18 December 2010 12:28 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 3 ]
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I think being agnostic is more intelligent than being atheist…...how can one KNOW .....really KNOW that there is not something more going on here than a bunch of human apes playing about on a planet….

but also I still believe in the unseen and the unknown.

You seem to find it acceptable for a person to take a position of believing something, unless of course, if your an Atheist. How can you believe in the unknown and unseen? Isn’t it better by your own logic to just say you don’t know?

I am an Atheist, and I BELIEVE that no God exists. I’m also an Agnostic, because I accept the fact that I may be wrong and that other possibilities may exist. I think you’ll find that many Atheist think this way.

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Posted: 18 December 2010 01:21 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 4 ]
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Great responses Apeman and CMBF. Ex-Machina-I hope most atheists don’t feel that way..otherwise they aren’t atheists(in my book).
Agnostics are folks who wan’t to play both sides of the table. They are really deists at heart.
Otherwise why would they place the possibility of some unknown power as an option?
An unknown power that..let’s face it..was ingrained into them from childhood. A “deity concept”!  They can’t shake that inculcation!
It was ingrained into me…I reasoned it away! I’m an atheist.
Just like CMBF said about the FSM. There’s no agnostics about FSM’s!
It’s inculcation. It’s childhood reinforcement..period! And really as we age, it becomes a fear/wonder of the unknown. Or death. That’s the power of living on a mystical planet. A humanity that evolved with fears/wonderment/faiths in the unknown. Then these were syndicated/and mythisized. Documented and passed down from generation to generation.
Funny if you look at the belief systems that are still being promulgated today, you can see that they stultify and don’t evolve well. After all, modern people are still having faith in “baby jesus” “resurrections” “burning bushes” “slaughtered first borns” “winged horses” “8 armed blue people” “demons” etc…
This is evidence that their very foundations are rotten and ancient. Evidence that they come from a time when people didn’t have science. Evidence that people could be tricked by “magicians” and prophets.
But also evidence that we are all psychologically susceptible to this inculcation..to this wonder of the beyond.
No children are born into a world of the Flying spaghetti monster myth…hence no flying spaghetti monster agnostics!
Agnostics can’t let go! Period! They have some of the reasoning, they have the logic skills, they have the arguments! They just can’t shake off the childhood inculcation….it’s not their fault. It’s how the brain works. It’s how the brain is set-up. The brain is built to wonder about the beyond..and when this brain is born into a world of mysticism….that’s it!

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Posted: 18 December 2010 02:44 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 5 ]
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Ex-Machina-I hope most atheists don’t feel that way..otherwise they aren’t atheists(in my book).

I’d hope that Atheists do think this way. It’s wrong to hold a definitive standpoint that a deity does or does not exist. Any Atheist who acts like he know 100% that there is no God, is just as delusion as any creationist (imo).

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Posted: 18 December 2010 04:26 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 6 ]
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IMO the one single fundamental disagreement I have with theists is the assumption of God as an “intentional, intelligent” being. I can well imagine a fundamental universal “condition” or “construct” which was and is causal to the formation and evolution of the universe as we know it, but that need not automatically imply intelligence and purpose. This added aspect is unnecessary and in fact complicates matters beyond any possible consideration in a scientific sense.
Thus, in this sense I am atheist. But I don’t believe I am an agnostic either (unknowable intelligent god). I consider myself to be scientifically neutral as to the possibility of the existence of “a fundamental condition” (TOE) which is almost certainly not intelligent (with all the bells and whistles attached to that).

[ Edited: 18 December 2010 04:34 PM by Write4U ]
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Posted: 18 December 2010 05:08 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 7 ]
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I agree with ExMachina.  I’m a strong atheist in that I have what I feel are strong logical reasons for assuming the non-existence of any god, but I have no definitive proof so my belief is ultimately by faith.  That would fit me in E-M’s category of agnostic, although I don’t see other possibilities as at all likely. 

I understand what Pgpb is describing, however, I don’t see those emotional feelings of awe, love, joy, etc. as being separate from me so I don’t think they need any outside phenomenon to cause them.

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Posted: 18 December 2010 07:07 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 8 ]
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I am a strong atheist. I don’t see any more proof for the existence of a deity, than I see for unicorns, big foot, Nessie or a teacup orbiting Mars. I don’t consider myself agnostic towards those things. I see no reason to be agnostic toward every flight of fantasy dreamed up by someone. I am, however, open to changing my mind if solid proof is provided that I am wrong, but I don’t consider that as being agnostic.

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Posted: 18 December 2010 07:40 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 9 ]
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What percentage are you?

I find that in this type of discussion, the God that atheists seem to want to disprove is the God up in the sky who has a Book of who has been naughty or nice, the type of God that will smite ones enemies and grant favors to who ever prays the hardest.
This view of God is very childlike, and this is why I say that disproving this type of God is like picking on the smallest kid in the school ground.

In discussion with my favorite atheist (my son) he tells me that my definition of god is not the standard definition of god.

We can not know what god is without first understanding what we ourselves are.

“What a piece of work is man! how noble in reason! how infinite in faculty! in form and moving how express and admirable! in action how like an angel! in apprehension how like a god! the beauty of the world, the paragon of animals! “. (Willy S)

Are we just intelligent apes…..or are we something more?

Is there possibly something within us….some spark that is more than just animal.

The statement ...“I am a strong atheist”...makes me wonder…..are you 100% atheist…...99%......maybe 97%...(of course what anyone believes does not really affect how things are)
...so we can all believe things to be this way or that way….but how things **are**......is up for debate.

Of course I hope that none of us has to face any terrible, terrible thing…..but if you did…...would you maybe call out for help.

In Laura Hillenbrand book ‘Unbroken’, Louis Zamperini is faced with terrible hardship and he called out for help from something more than himself…....are you so sure you would not?

Perhaps a better question would be how rational are you….....I would say for myself…...I am 90% rational….but there is still 10% where I wonder…..why is life unfolding this way…....why when I hear a peice of music do I shudder with a pleasure beyond understanding, why is it that there in not one snow flake that is the same, why did my wife, my mother and myself all have the same dream last night.


....don’t get me wrong….I really like atheists…....if I was forced to be stuck in room…..I think I would choose atheists over rabid beleivers of any religion…......BUT….....as soon as someone tells me they are 100% atheist….well….it seems almost dogmatic.


Respectfully,

PGPB

PS. cmbf117, regarding the “gratuitous use of the period”.....they are not periods they are magic fairy poops.  LOL

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Posted: 18 December 2010 08:23 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 10 ]
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I have had horrible things happen to me in my life, I have barely escaped death, my husband died 5 years ago, as did my mother, I developed a debilitation illness. One of my sons nearly died on a number of occasions. And, no, I never plead to a deity to change anything. There is no one there. As far as the definition of a deity, I find that there are as many definitions as there are theists.

My brother (who has Down Syndrome) strongly believes that there is a dragon who lives in our attic. Sometimes it is in the basement. There is just one, but he can describe it (“it has fire”), and I cannot convince him it is not there. I am not agnostic to its existence, and do not treat it as even a remote possibility. Should I see evidence of a dragon, even a small one, I would reconsider. But it is up to the dragon to prove to me that it is there.

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Posted: 18 December 2010 09:15 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 11 ]
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pgpb
Are we just intelligent apes…..or are we something more?
Is there possibly something within us….some spark that is more than just animal

What makes you think that human intelligence is that far removed from other higher animals.
Do apes have ability to use tools and learn language, feel and express emotions? Yes.
Do whales have the ability to communicate information over long distances? Yes.
Do octopi have problem solving abilities? Yes.
Do lions and wild boars have the ability to hunt in coordinated packs? Yes.

Do humans have animal instincts? Yes.

The point is that each species developed specific abilities (intelligence) sufficient for their natural needs and where those abilities are not sufficient the species dies out, unless we have an accidental mutation that helps the species to adapt and continue their existence. Don’t forget, we once were scavengers, living on the leftovers from predators. As we are physically inferior to almost all animals of the same size, the only way for us to survive was to develop an ability to plan ahead.

IMO, any living thing which has evolved into a succesful species is an expression of the infinite variety (spark) which is Nature. If it were different, where would you place the early hominids which reached extinction. Was that from a lack of “spark” or was it just natural selection?

I have a real problem with the expression “just animal”. It speaks of disrespect for anything but humans. All of Nature is the Spark which drives our evolution and existence. To disregard the essential ingredients which makes all life possible to begin with is hubris and may well contribute to the extinction of the spark of evolution for many lower and higher animals and of our environment as a whole.

[ Edited: 18 December 2010 09:59 PM by Write4U ]
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Posted: 18 December 2010 10:00 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 12 ]
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Write4U - 18 December 2010 09:15 PM

I have a real problem with the expression “just animal”. It speaks of disrespect for anything but humans. All of Nature is the Spark which drives our evolution and existence. To disregard the essential ingredients which makes all life possible to begin with is hubris and may well contribute to the extinction of the spark of evolution for many lower and higher animals and continuation of our survival on the planet as a whole.

I am convinced that upon the demise of the human species, the octopus will inherit the earth…er…seas! They just need to get past the problem of their short lifespan.

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Church; where sheep congregate to worship a zombie on a stick that turns into a cracker on Sundays…

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Posted: 18 December 2010 10:08 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 13 ]
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asanta - 18 December 2010 10:00 PM
Write4U - 18 December 2010 09:15 PM

I have a real problem with the expression “just animal”. It speaks of disrespect for anything but humans. All of Nature is the Spark which drives our evolution and existence. To disregard the essential ingredients which makes all life possible to begin with is hubris and may well contribute to the extinction of the spark of evolution for many lower and higher animals and continuation of our survival on the planet as a whole.

I am convinced that upon the demise of the human species, the octopus will inherit the earth…er…seas! They just need to get past the problem of their short lifespan.

Upon the demise of humans, the food supply in the oceans would increase drastically, contributing to longer lifespan, communal sharing, moral behavior….I can see a bright future for the octopus even as they do not require sunlight to survive.. cheese .

[ Edited: 18 December 2010 10:25 PM by Write4U ]
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Posted: 18 December 2010 10:10 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 14 ]
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They just need to get past the problem of their short lifespan.

This is where the Jellyfish will inherit the seas. They lack that death problem.

http://green.yahoo.com/blog/guest_bloggers/26/the-world-s-only-immortal-animal.html

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Posted: 18 December 2010 10:13 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 15 ]
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ExMachina - 18 December 2010 10:10 PM

They just need to get past the problem of their short lifespan.

This is where the Jellyfish will inherit the seas. They lack that death problem.

http://green.yahoo.com/blog/guest_bloggers/26/the-world-s-only-immortal-animal.html

Astounding!!!!  Thanks for the link.

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