A question for atheists.
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06-06-2011, 08:39 AM
RE: A question for atheists.
(04-06-2011 10:32 AM)Spectre Wrote:  On part of my book, I wanted to discuss what some atheists believe. Aside from the fact that you all lack a belief in any sort of deity whatsoever, do you guys have any beliefs outside of what science theorizes so far? Do you believe that there are different dimensions or anything like that? Or do some of you choose to reject anything that you may consider supernatural all together?

I will answer your question, but I think it needs to be pointed out that this really has nothing to do with the evolution-creation "controversy". It's like writing a cookbook and having an entire chapter dedicated to zombie-proofing your house. It's simply not relevant. It would likely improve your book to remove this planned chapter entirely, as the only thing it will do is get you criticized for trying to muddy the issue with irrelevant stories about atheists who believe in ghosts.

This isn't a shot at you. It's honestly an attempt to help you improve your book. I don't mind you writing something about creationism. It's just that this particular idea doesn't belong in that book.

Now, as for your question, no, I don't believe in anything beyond what "science theorizes so far" (by which I assume you mean "what we have already established as scientific fact", because "science" is a process, not a monolithic entity). But this isn't because I have decided to follow science to the exclusion of everything else. It's because I'm a skeptic.

A skeptic, contrary to popular conception, is not someone who just naysays everything because they refuse to believe anything that they don't like. Skepticism is simply the idea that we should believe only the things which are supported by the evidence. For example, if someone says "I have a baseball in my pocket", you don't need to believe that unless they can produce the baseball.

So I don't believe in any gods, I don't believe in ghosts, I don't believe in faith healing or homeopathy or Bigfoot or the 9/11 conspiracies or Planet X or reptilian shapeshifters or the Moon Matrix or the Tooth Fairy or Lucky the Leprechaun or the existence of a soul or free will, because none of these ideas have any supporting evidence. If such evidence becomes apparent later, I will happily change my position.

"Owl," said Rabbit shortly, "you and I have brains. The others have fluff. If there is any thinking to be done in this Forest - and when I say thinking I mean thinking - you and I must do it."
- A. A. Milne, The House at Pooh Corner
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06-06-2011, 08:42 AM
RE: A question for atheists.
(06-06-2011 12:53 AM)Spectre Wrote:  
(05-06-2011 11:26 PM)myst32 Wrote:  Why does what atheists think matter to you? Atheists are not scientist, it just happens that most scientist are atheists. You should probably visit a college biology department.
There are some atheists("Militant atheists" are usually the most ignorant ones, the passive atheists tend to be more informed.) out there that need to be informed if they want to engage a Creationist in a debate. You can pretend there is no controversy but the multiple news articles that are released every day say otherwise. To say anything to the contrary is just attempting to ignore the issue. Militant atheists who march around trying to harass Creationists don't help the cause of "ignore the problem and it will go away" either.

This is true. However, the problem is that many creationists mistake controversy among the scientifically uninformed and/or willfully ignorant to mean that the theory has not been proven.

DISCLAIMER: Above paragraph is meant to be blunt, but not insulting. Please don't take it personally.

"Owl," said Rabbit shortly, "you and I have brains. The others have fluff. If there is any thinking to be done in this Forest - and when I say thinking I mean thinking - you and I must do it."
- A. A. Milne, The House at Pooh Corner
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06-06-2011, 09:48 AM (This post was last modified: 06-06-2011 09:52 AM by Spectre.)
RE: A question for atheists.
(06-06-2011 08:39 AM)Unbeliever Wrote:  I will answer your question, but I think it needs to be pointed out that this really has nothing to do with the evolution-creation "controversy". It's like writing a cookbook and having an entire chapter dedicated to zombie-proofing your house. It's simply not relevant. It would likely improve your book to remove this planned chapter entirely, as the only thing it will do is get you criticized for trying to muddy the issue with irrelevant stories about atheists who believe in ghosts.
You would be right but the chapter isn't dedicated to all of the "super natural" things that atheists believe. What it would mainly focus on is that atheists lack a belief in God, and to say that not believing in God requires faith thus makes atheism a religion is a fallacious argument. The underlined point of the book is to show people how to debate each other on this argument without getting involved in stupid arguments such as "atheist can't be moral"(Asking them how they decide between right or wrong though is fine.) or "evolution is not a fact." And on the atheist side, if any atheists do choose to read the book I am going to mention fallacious arguments on their side such as "God needs a creator" or "Christianity is evil." Sorry if I unintentionally gave you the wrong of idea of my intention.
(06-06-2011 08:42 AM)Unbeliever Wrote:  
(06-06-2011 12:53 AM)Spectre Wrote:  
(05-06-2011 11:26 PM)myst32 Wrote:  Why does what atheists think matter to you? Atheists are not scientist, it just happens that most scientist are atheists. You should probably visit a college biology department.
There are some atheists("Militant atheists" are usually the most ignorant ones, the passive atheists tend to be more informed.) out there that need to be informed if they want to engage a Creationist in a debate. You can pretend there is no controversy but the multiple news articles that are released every day say otherwise. To say anything to the contrary is just attempting to ignore the issue. Militant atheists who march around trying to harass Creationists don't help the cause of "ignore the problem and it will go away" either.

This is true. However, the problem is that many creationists mistake controversy among the scientifically uninformed and/or willfully ignorant to mean that the theory has not been proven.

DISCLAIMER: Above paragraph is meant to be blunt, but not insulting. Please don't take it personally.
I'm going to take some heat from other Creationists about this, but Creationists who argue against evolution happening on any level is undermining Christianity. Where the dispute happens between The Bible and secular origin theories is common descent.


(06-06-2011 04:17 AM)Diederick Wrote:  Creationism (especially young earth creationism) is out there with the alien conspiracy theorists and homoeopaths. Writing a book on an issue which is only still pushed by the Creationists themselves, does nothing but keep those same Creationists comfortably ignorant about reality - in which there really is no controversy.
I disagree, despite what you have been told there are valid reasons to believe the Earth is young. I don't want to turn this into a debate thread though. You can have the last word on this if you wish.

(06-06-2011 04:17 AM)Diederick Wrote:  Militant atheists are simply atheists who are a bit more aggressive than the "passive atheists". I think the group you mean is the young/new atheists whose passion to get involved stands above digging deeply into the established knowledge and customs.
Can you elaborate further? I never thought there was a difference between a militant atheist and a new atheist. This is exactly why I came to this website. Big Grin I really don't want to end up giving people the wrong ideas about you guys because it would only hurt us both.

"But sanctify the Lord God in your hearts: and [be] ready always to [give] an answer to every man that asketh you a reason of the hope that is in you with meekness and fear:" Peter 3:15

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06-06-2011, 10:09 AM
RE: A question for atheists.
(06-06-2011 12:53 AM)Spectre Wrote:  
(05-06-2011 11:26 PM)myst32 Wrote:  Why does what atheists think matter to you? Atheists are not scientist, it just happens that most scientist are atheists. You should probably visit a college biology department.
There are some atheists("Militant atheists" are usually the most ignorant ones, the passive atheists tend to be more informed.) out there that need to be informed if they want to engage a Creationist in a debate. You can pretend there is no controversy but the multiple news articles that are released every day say otherwise. To say anything to the contrary is just attempting to ignore the issue. Militant atheists who march around trying to harass Creationists don't help the cause of "ignore the problem and it will go away" either.

There are also some Christian arguments floating around that are being used against atheists that are not Biblically sound and quite frankly, are fallacious in their logic. I intend to help set those straight. If I keep even some Christians from using fallacious arguments then I saved both sides some trouble.

I appreciate that you at least answered the question. Supernatural is typically a force that is beyond scientific understanding. Currently a different dimension would probably be considered super natural, until one is found that is. Based on my understanding of The Bible, I predict that we will indeed discover another dimension at some point in time.

As for the rest of your post, your statements about Christians was an ad hominem attack on Christianity and is just a logical fallacy.

Once again... why does it matter? This is not an Atheist vs Creationism argument. It is a Creationism vs Science argument. To write a book about what Atheist think on the subject is intellectuality dishonest and irrelevant. You are using Sampling bias as most Atheist are not trained in biology.

News articles about anything carry no weight whatsoever. News articles are not peer reviewed, they contain biased information and in most cases don't even give references to the information they do contain. Assertions given without evidence are discarded just as easily. Show me a real peer reviewed paper by a respectable Journal that claims as you say. Certainly there are lots of scientific attacks on evolution, this is healthy and how it should be, but I have never seen one that attacks and then props up creationism as a superior theory. Even if evolution was proven false tomorrow, creationism would NOT even be considered as a possible replacement.

Your claim of ad hominem (its not... its an over generalization) is itself a red herring. However, thats not really important. The real question is will you be using informal logic in your book as fervently as you have in this thread? Or can we expect the standard logical fallacies so often attributed to the ignorant militant Creationist? <-thats an ad hominem ;-)
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06-06-2011, 10:16 AM
 
RE: A question for atheists.
Myst32 you said: "Based on my understanding of The Bible, I predict that we will indeed discover another dimension at some point in time". Can you provide me with the scripture reference/s you refer to in your bible that resulted in you making this prediction and, if these aren't specific about the presence of another dimension, the thought processes you engaged in to arrive at this understanding. After all according to the Mirrium-Webster dictionary the word dimension didn't enter language until the 14th century and did so as a latin word "Dimiteri", or (translated to English) "to measure".
I myself don't recall mention of other dimensions being predicted in the bible, but I could be wrong as I haven't read it in a while. Forgive my ignorance but I thought theologians preached that our planet was flat and covered by a mantle held up by the mountains from which god released the waters to create the oceans and the flood. The geocentric view of biblical scripture was also enforced despite earlier works by Philolaus 480-385 BCE, Heraclidies Ponticus 387-312 BCE and Aristarchus of Samos 310-230 BCE (who was also later quoted by Copernicus in a draft of his later published famous theory, although omitted from final publication) postulating a heliocentric view. This view was later built on by Copernicus who used primitive instruments to make astronomical observations whiich resulted in his famous published work On Revolutions of Celestial Spheres in 1543. The church at the time was more predisposed to scientific investigation and were not as upset by this new heliocentric view as Copernicous suspected, a reason given for why he delayed publication of the work for 11 years until the year of his death at age 70. Interestingly he was right as the church had begun to move against him but were prevented by his illness and death. The book was later suspended by the church in 1633 so it could be corrected. As you would know Galileo was not so lucky as the church had become more defensive due to the explosion of science that was taking place. Galileo with his improved equipment, the telescope, was able to make more accurate astronomical observations and as a result supported Caperinicus' Heliocentric theory. His published work supporting the Copernicus' Heliocentric theory: Dialogue Concerning The Two Chief World Systems, published in 1632, resulted in him being tried by the Inquisition and being placed under house arrest until he died 10 years later.
So by now you must see my confusion about how you came to predict that another dimension will be found at some point given your understanding of the bible. It seems earlier scholars had trouble convincing the church over a period of almost one hundred years that the earth rotated the sun instead of the other way around. And that time frame discounts the earlier works carried out before christ's birth that god forgot to tell the authors of the bible about.
Please help me understand if you can as I am always willing to have my views challenged and my knowledge expanded.
Thanks for listening ;-)
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06-06-2011, 10:24 AM
RE: A question for atheists.
It's gotta bother you somewhat that these are leading voices on the opponent's side:

[Image: ScienceResearch.jpg]


While the voice of your side is the voice of soccer moms, rednecks, and Kirk Cameron.

[Image: redneck_1.jpg]



That's of course a generalization, but then again, there's a reason that the only schools pushing to teach creationism are located in the south.

Why is it that people trust the scientific community in every aspect of their lives (medicine, the universe, the laws of nature) but when it comes to the origin of life, they go:

"You know, I think I may just be smarter than you on this one, Mr Scientist."
"Really, why's that?"
"Cause I read a book."

"Ain't got no last words to say, yellow streak right up my spine. The gun in my mouth was real and the taste blew my mind."

"We see you cry. We turn your head. Then we slap your face. We see you try. We see you fail. Some things never change."
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06-06-2011, 10:53 AM (This post was last modified: 06-06-2011 11:08 AM by myst32.)
RE: A question for atheists.
(06-06-2011 10:16 AM)Roxee Wrote:  Myst32 you said: "Based on my understanding of The Bible, I predict that we will indeed discover another dimension at some point in time". Can you provide me with the scripture reference/s you refer to in your bible that resulted in you making this prediction and, if these aren't specific about the presence of another dimension, the thought processes you engaged in to arrive at this understanding. After all according to the Mirrium-Webster dictionary the word dimension didn't enter language until the 14th century and did so as a latin word "Dimiteri", or (translated to English) "to measure".
I myself don't recall mention of other dimensions being predicted in the bible, but I could be wrong as I haven't read it in a while. Forgive my ignorance but I thought theologians preached that our planet was flat and covered by a mantle held up by the mountains from which god released the waters to create the oceans and the flood. The geocentric view of biblical scripture was also enforced despite earlier works by Philolaus 480-385 BCE, Heraclidies Ponticus 387-312 BCE and Aristarchus of Samos 310-230 BCE (who was also later quoted by Copernicus in a draft of his later published famous theory, although omitted from final publication) postulating a heliocentric view. This view was later built on by Copernicus who used primitive instruments to make astronomical observations whiich resulted in his famous published work On Revolutions of Celestial Spheres in 1543. The church at the time was more predisposed to scientific investigation and were not as upset by this new heliocentric view as Copernicous suspected, a reason given for why he delayed publication of the work for 11 years until the year of his death at age 70. Interestingly he was right as the church had begun to move against him but were prevented by his illness and death. The book was later suspended by the church in 1633 so it could be corrected. As you would know Galileo was not so lucky as the church had become more defensive due to the explosion of science that was taking place. Galileo with his improved equipment, the telescope, was able to make more accurate astronomical observations and as a result supported Caperinicus' Heliocentric theory. His published work supporting the Copernicus' Heliocentric theory: Dialogue Concerning The Two Chief World Systems, published in 1632, resulted in him being tried by the Inquisition and being placed under house arrest until he died 10 years later.
So by now you must see my confusion about how you came to predict that another dimension will be found at some point given your understanding of the bible. It seems earlier scholars had trouble convincing the church over a period of almost one hundred years that the earth rotated the sun instead of the other way around. And that time frame discounts the earlier works carried out before christ's birth that god forgot to tell the authors of the bible about.
Please help me understand if you can as I am always willing to have my views challenged and my knowledge expanded.
Thanks for listening ;-)

There is no biblical prediction of other dimensions. I said I would only "believe" in other dimensions when science could show them. Currently string theory places us in 11 different dimensions (unproven). The "many worlds" theory of quantum mechanics places us in an infinite amount of dimensions (unproven). At this time the only machine that might prove any of this is the LHC and a large part of the scientific community is uncertain if it is powerful enough to probe that small.
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06-06-2011, 11:02 AM
RE: A question for atheists.
Roxee, myst32 was quoting Spectre's post...

The God excuse: the last refuge of a man with no answers and no argument. "God did it." Anything we can't describe must have come from God. - George Carlin

Whenever I'm asked "What if you're wrong?", I always show the asker this video: http://youtu.be/iClejS8vWjo Screw Pascal's wager.
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06-06-2011, 12:02 PM
 
RE: A question for atheists.
Sorry Myst32, my lengthy post wasn't meant for you is was meant for Spector. Thanks Efrx86 for pointing out my stupid error.
I guess I didn't pay enough attention to how the quotes are laid out when I joined and started posting. Either that or Alzheimers is creeping in!
And i thought it was such a good reply too, shame.
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06-06-2011, 12:21 PM
RE: A question for atheists.
(06-06-2011 12:02 PM)Roxee Wrote:  Sorry Myst32, my lengthy post wasn't meant for you is was meant for Spector. Thanks Efrx86 for pointing out my stupid error.
I guess I didn't pay enough attention to how the quotes are laid out when I joined and started posting. Either that or Alzheimers is creeping in!
And i thought it was such a good reply too, shame.

hehehe no problem
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