Atheism is a Religion - but a very good one
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01-12-2013, 08:30 PM
RE: Atheism is a Religion - but a very good one
(01-12-2013 03:12 PM)Buddhist Alternative Wrote:  I had to preface this article with the above quotes because, although I am a Buddhist and believe in a Supreme Being,

WaitWHAT? What sort of buddhist believes in in a "supreme being"????

I call Bullshit.


Quote: I am a great admirer of the above people. My two B.A.’s are not in Philosophy or Physics, so feel free to tell me that I don’t know what I’m talking about. You may be right.

You have two BA's? Wow, can I have your autograph? Rolleyes


Quote:But I would like to open a discourse with my Atheist friends who have a Philosophy that I also admire. That philosophy is: ‘Your Heart should not accept what your Mind rejects’.

Funny, I haven't ever heard an atheist claim such a "philosophy".


Quote:One of the tenants of Buddhism is that you should not accept anything without thinking.

Actually, that is somewhat of a bastardization of a well-known quote from the Buddha.


Quote: But, I do have a rebuttal for at least two of the statements by some well known, highly intelligent, Atheists:

“If God did not require being created, logic dictates that the Universe did not require being created either” – Michael Shermer. My rebuttal is that the Universe is composed of Matter, Energy, Gravity, Time and Space; all of which require being created.

Your assertion is ad hoc and unsupported.


Quote:Consciousness however is still a mystery.

CONSCIOUSNESS????? You claim to be a Buddhist, and yet you seem unaware that the Buddha described the different forms of "consciousness" as AWARENESS of sensory data from the various corresponding senses?


Quote:In fact, if you’re a follower of the Niels Bohr Copenhagen Interpretation of Quantum Mechanics, it is Consciousness that creates Matter.

Oh, for crying out fucking loud. So prove it and use your "consciousness" to make a Ferrari materialize in my driveway. Rolleyes

Quote: A Supreme Consciousness may very well indeed not have required being created.

Deepak-Speak woo.


Quote:To those whose explanation of Consciousness is that the Human Brain is so complex that Consciousness ‘somehow’ evolved;

Strawman much?


Quote:you should know that using the word ‘somehow’ poses a lot of philosophical problems and questions. For example, Immanuel Kant in ‘The Critique Of Pure Reason’ surmised that Space and Time are only the relationship of one object to another; but, if we did not have the concept of Space and Time ‘A Priori’ in our Minds before we were born, we would not have been able to relate one sense impression to another. There would be no Awareness or Consciousness.

Good thing you set up your own straw man using the word "somehow". Rolleyes


Quote:“Quantum Mechanics allows for a Universe to come into existence out of Nothing” – Lawrence Krauss. I have several rebuttals for this. First, Quantum Mechanics has become all things to all people. Physicist Fred Alan Wolfe in ‘The Spiritual Universe’ claims that Quantum Physics proves the existence of the Human Soul. John Wheeler believes that the strange results in QP experiments suggest that someone is observing the Universe. Secondly, when Dr. Krauss (if I understand him correctly) talks of something coming from nothing – He is talking about Gravity affecting Negative Energy is such a way that virtual particles ‘pop’ into existence which then become real particles. The problem with this, as even physicists who are atheists have pointed out, is that this occurs in Space and in Time within the Universe. The Big Bang occurred in a no-when, no-place, no-gravity. Krauss’s reply is that a true Nothing (no space, no time, no gravity) is unstable. And like all unstable systems, it will eventually collapse in on itself and produce something. I’m not sure how to answer that. In a no-time, how does nothing ‘eventually’ collapse. It should be noted that by the year 2017, there may be satellites in place (according to the Science Channel – ‘How The Universe Works’) that might be able to detect Gravity Waves from a Universe that existed before the Big Bang. One theory is that a part of 2 separate Universes (each as a wave-like membrane) in a Multi-verse, collided, causing the Big Bang. If these Gravity Waves from a previous Universe are detected, that would obliterate Stephen Hawkings and Lawrence Krauss’s assertion that the Big Bang came from nothing. Of course, that still leaves the question: ‘What caused the first Big Bang ?’. And if the continuous Big Bangs go back in Infinite Regression – the question is: ‘Why is there something instead of nothing ?’

Why don't you argue with Krauss?


Quote:When I talk with some of my Atheist friends, who I highly regard, I always assert that both positions on the existence of God require a Leap of Faith.

And they don't buy that shit, do they.

Quote: Whenever I state that I always get what I call ‘The tooth-fairy’ rebuttal. My friends will state that they cannot prove or disprove the existence of the tooth fairy. However, they are still not going to believe in the existence of the tooth fairy until there is substantive scientific evidence.
And you refuse to get it.


Quote:My answer to that is: If you want to stay up all night outside your kid’s bedroom after one of them loses a tooth; and the tooth fairy never shows up – you can reasonably assert that there is no tooth fairy. What you can’t do is to go back in Time to the Big Bang and from a position outside the Universe observe the Big Bang and then state: ‘I was there at the Big Bang and I can tell you that there was no Supreme Consciousness.

WAITWHAT? You just MOVED THE GOALPOSTS. That is DISINGENUOUS.

You started out saying your friends "are still not going to believe",and now you are switching statements with "there [is] no...". AND you are arguing from ignorance, assuming that if the "Big Bang" is not how the universe supposedly came into existence, it MUST be the work of a "supreme being". It's bullshit.



Quote:The whole thing was a product of Spontaneous Creation’.


I have NEVER seen anyone say ANYTHING about a "Spontaneous Creation". Ever.

Quote:Since you can’t do that, comparing the question of God with the question of the tooth fairy or the spaghetti monster, or whatever, is quite disingenuous.

BULLSHIT. Your moving the goalposts and strawmanning atheists' statements is disingenuous.


Quote:This is why Issac Asimov preferred Rationalism over Atheism

I doubt Asimov pulled the shit you just did. I call bullshit.


Quote:and why Buddhists, although they believe in God, assert that the Nature of God is unknowable.

WHAT Buddhists believe in "god"? I call bullshit.


Quote:The bottom line is that if you are an Atheist and you state that you don’t belive in God; that is absolutely and perfectly fine.

YOU JUST SAID IT WASN'T.


Quote: However, if you state, as a matter of fact, that there is no God, you are taking a Leap of Faith and crossing over into the world of Religious Dogma.

Bullshit. One who says that may be SLIGHTLY overstating what they can prove, but it is NOT a "leap of faith", nor is it "religious dogma". You are full of shit.


Quote: If you state that a God-belief is stupid, you are a religious fanatic.

Bullshit. Just because you vomit some banal and incoherent nonsense doesn't make it true.

Quote:If the Question of God or the Nature of God is unknowable, then why do I believe in God ?

Because you, unlike us, believe the bullshit you spout.

Quote:Well, for me, God is not something I believe in, God is a Supreme Being...

Really? Show it to me.

Quote:....that my Consciousness is aware of.

Since you claim to be a Buddhist, what Buddhist definition of "consciousness" are you using here? (Hint: it ain't a Buddhist one)




Quote:Of course, what I think I am aware of is not Scientific Proof.

Nor is it anything more than nonsensical rambling woo,

Quote:So, as a Rationalist,

I see no evidence whatsoever that you are a "Rationalist".


Quote:I am willing to place this ‘Awareness’ down as a Belief and put it down in the category of Faith.

in other words, WOO. And you are NOT a Rationalist.

It's Special Pleadings all the way down!


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01-12-2013, 09:27 PM
RE: Atheism is a Religion - but a very good one
(01-12-2013 03:08 PM)Buddhist Alternative Wrote:  This is why Issac Asimov preferred Rationalism over Atheism and why Buddhists, although they believe in God, assert that the Nature of God is unknowable.

Buddhism for the most part, does not address god. Some sects do, but basic Buddhism as taught by the Buddha does not. I think you might just be referring to your own brand of Buddhism and interjecting your own belief of a god into it.

(01-12-2013 03:08 PM)Buddhist Alternative Wrote:  If the Question of God or the Nature of God is unknowable, then why do I believe in God ?

You probably just want to. The mind usually gives us what we want. Humans always want. Shy

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01-12-2013, 09:38 PM
RE: Atheism is a Religion - but a very good one
(01-12-2013 05:38 PM)cjlr Wrote:  
(01-12-2013 03:08 PM)Buddhist Alternative Wrote:  “If God did not require being created, logic dictates that the Universe did not require being created either” – Michael Shermer. My rebuttal is that the Universe is composed of Matter, Energy, Gravity, Time and Space; all of which require being created.

Citation needed.

No, seriously. You can't just say that.

(01-12-2013 03:08 PM)Buddhist Alternative Wrote:  Consciousness however is still a mystery. In fact, if you’re a follower of the Niels Bohr Copenhagen Interpretation of Quantum Mechanics, it is Consciousness that creates Matter.

... not even a little bit. At all.
(why the Bizarre capitalisation of certain Words?)

(01-12-2013 03:08 PM)Buddhist Alternative Wrote:  A Supreme Consciousness may very well indeed not have required being created. To those whose explanation of Consciousness is that the Human Brain is so complex that Consciousness ‘somehow’ evolved; you should know that using the word ‘somehow’ poses a lot of philosophical problems and questions.

And saying you do know is supposed to present fewer problems, apparently?

(01-12-2013 03:08 PM)Buddhist Alternative Wrote:  For example, Immanuel Kant in ‘The Critique Of Pure Reason’ surmised that Space and Time are only the relationship of one object to another; but, if we did not have the concept of Space and Time ‘A Priori’ in our Minds before we were born, we would not have been able to relate one sense impression to another. There would be no Awareness or Consciousness.

Citation needed.

(01-12-2013 03:08 PM)Buddhist Alternative Wrote:  “Quantum Mechanics allows for a Universe to come into existence out of Nothing” – Lawrence Krauss. I have several rebuttals for this. First, Quantum Mechanics has become all things to all people.

That's not a rebuttal.

(01-12-2013 03:08 PM)Buddhist Alternative Wrote:  Physicist Fred Alan Wolfe in ‘The Spiritual Universe’ claims that Quantum Physics proves the existence of the Human Soul. John Wheeler believes that the strange results in QP experiments suggest that someone is observing the Universe.

And those aren't consensus views. If they have greater explicative and predictive validity and utility they will trend so. I'm not holding my breath.

(01-12-2013 03:08 PM)Buddhist Alternative Wrote:  Secondly, when Dr. Krauss (if I understand him correctly) talks of something coming from nothing – He is talking about Gravity affecting Negative Energy is such a way that virtual particles ‘pop’ into existence which then become real particles.

Virtual particles are a real, demonstrable thing. Quantum field theories are the present theoretical frameworks which account for such observation. Gravity has nothing to do with it...

(01-12-2013 03:08 PM)Buddhist Alternative Wrote:  The problem with this, as even physicists who are atheists have pointed out, is that this occurs in Space and in Time within the Universe. The Big Bang occurred in a no-when, no-place, no-gravity.

Yes.

The point being that "nothing" can lead to "something" (poorly defined though those terms are) in ways which we can understand and observe.

Therefore - this being the induction - we suppose similar behaviour may be possible in generalised circumstances.

(01-12-2013 03:08 PM)Buddhist Alternative Wrote:  Krauss’s reply is that a true Nothing (no space, no time, no gravity) is unstable. And like all unstable systems, it will eventually collapse in on itself and produce something. I’m not sure how to answer that. In a no-time, how does nothing ‘eventually’ collapse. It should be noted that by the year 2017, there may be satellites in place (according to the Science Channel – ‘How The Universe Works’) that might be able to detect Gravity Waves from a Universe that existed before the Big Bang. One theory is that a part of 2 separate Universes (each as a wave-like membrane) in a Multi-verse, collided, causing the Big Bang. If these Gravity Waves from a previous Universe are detected, that would obliterate Stephen Hawkings and Lawrence Krauss’s assertion that the Big Bang came from nothing. Of course, that still leaves the question: ‘What caused the first Big Bang ?’. And if the continuous Big Bangs go back in Infinite Regression – the question is: ‘Why is there something instead of nothing ?’

Then you have a very simple answer: because it's possible for there to be something.

You may also note that at any point you instead wish to answer "God" instead of "don't know", you are failing very hard at making any sort of explanation whatsoever.

(01-12-2013 03:08 PM)Buddhist Alternative Wrote:  When I talk with some of my Atheist friends, who I highly regard, I always assert that both positions on the existence of God require a Leap of Faith. Whenever I state that I always get what I call ‘The tooth-fairy’ rebuttal. My friends will state that they cannot prove or disprove the existence of the tooth fairy. However, they are still not going to believe in the existence of the tooth fairy until there is substantive scientific evidence.

Yes. This makes them sane.

(01-12-2013 03:08 PM)Buddhist Alternative Wrote:  My answer to that is: If you want to stay up all night outside your kid’s bedroom after one of them loses a tooth; and the tooth fairy never shows up – you can reasonably assert that there is no tooth fairy. What you can’t do is to go back in Time to the Big Bang and from a position outside the Universe observe the Big Bang and then state: ‘I was there at the Big Bang and I can tell you that there was no Supreme Consciousness. The whole thing was a product of Spontaneous Creation’. Since you can’t do that, comparing the question of God with the question of the tooth fairy or the spaghetti monster, or whatever, is quite disingenuous. This is why Issac Asimov preferred Rationalism over Atheism and why Buddhists, although they believe in God, assert that the Nature of God is unknowable.

...

Problem is, that's stupid.

If you are positing an undefined Supreme Consciousness that is, indeed, unknowable then that's as useful as used diapers in a cook-off, so far as providing explanation and prediction go.

Notwithstanding that Buddhists explicitly do claim knowledge of how the universe behaves in a supernatural manner.

To ascribe any specific qualities to your putative "unknowable Supreme Consciousness" is to make tragically unwarranted claims of special knowledge based on nothing whatsoever.
(I mean, it's a nice trick to try to make positive claims, then attack those denying them as requiring "special knowledge", when you yourself have done the impossible and created something from nothing to state them in the first place...)

An Atheist who says, "God does not exist", is relying on definitions of God which have already been made by other people. It is a rejection of specific claims. This eludes you.

What is not meant is, "Something indescribable which may or may not ever be knowable or even itself exist doesn't exist". Because that's also stupid.

(01-12-2013 03:08 PM)Buddhist Alternative Wrote:  The bottom line is that if you are an Atheist and you state that you don’t belive in God; that is absolutely and perfectly fine. However, if you state, as a matter of fact, that there is no God, you are taking a Leap of Faith and crossing over into the world of Religious Dogma. If you state that a God-belief is stupid, you are a religious fanatic.

Discounting unsubstantiated unverifiable incoherent inconsistent positive claims as to specific existence of purportedly testable (though inerrantly failing) personal supernatural entities is rather the precise opposite of stupid or fanatic.

(01-12-2013 03:08 PM)Buddhist Alternative Wrote:  If the Question of God or the Nature of God is unknowable, then why do I believe in God ?

Good freaking question.

(01-12-2013 03:08 PM)Buddhist Alternative Wrote:  Well, for me, God is not something I believe in, God is a Supreme Being that my Consciousness is aware of. Of course, what I think I am aware of is not Scientific Proof. So, as a Rationalist, I am willing to place this ‘Awareness’ down as a Belief and put it down in the category of Faith.

So why didn't you just say so in the first place, before misunderstanding a great many other people, and judging them on said misunderstanding?

Well fuck, thanks for not leaving me anything to do at work tonight... Dodgy





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01-12-2013, 09:56 PM
RE: Atheism is a Religion - but a very good one
(01-12-2013 05:38 PM)cjlr Wrote:  Notwithstanding that Buddhists explicitly do claim knowledge of how the universe behaves in a supernatural manner.
Not originally. But that's another story....

It's Special Pleadings all the way down!


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02-12-2013, 12:48 AM
RE: Atheism is a Religion - but a very good one
Taq's Tourette Quoting was useful for once. i'll assume there is no need to read the OP.

Theism is to believe what other people claim, Atheism is to ask "why should I".
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02-12-2013, 01:03 AM
RE: Atheism is a Religion - but a very good one
*sigh* ...just *sigh*

I prefer fantasy, but I have to live in reality.
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02-12-2013, 10:50 AM
RE: Atheism is a Religion - but a very good one
(01-12-2013 03:08 PM)Buddhist Alternative Wrote:  The bottom line is that if you are an Atheist and you state that you don’t belive in God; that is absolutely and perfectly fine. However, if you state, as a matter of fact, that there is no God, you are taking a Leap of Faith and crossing over into the world of Religious Dogma. If you state that a God-belief is stupid, you are a religious fanatic.

It's like every thread you post can be countered with this one infographic:

[Image: Fm0yK.jpg]

Stop talking about gnostic atheists like they are the only type of atheist. It's intellectually dishonest.

/thread.
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02-12-2013, 12:25 PM
RE: Atheism is a Religion - but a very good one
(01-12-2013 09:56 PM)Taqiyya Mockingbird Wrote:  
(01-12-2013 05:38 PM)cjlr Wrote:  Notwithstanding that Buddhists explicitly do claim knowledge of how the universe behaves in a supernatural manner.
Not originally. But that's another story....

Originally it's very hard to say, since no documents exist from the first couple centuries. But, indeed, so far as is possible to infer, it was much more in line with (what we'd now call) philosophy than (what we'd now call) religion, the line between the two being however rather open to debate (especially in pre-Classical times).

Being disconnected from traditional religious practices was part of the reason why the establishment hated it so much, in 5th-C BCE India... Tongue

Buddhism as presented by basically any and all modern organisations does make such claims.

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02-12-2013, 12:38 PM
RE: Atheism is a Religion - but a very good one
(01-12-2013 03:08 PM)Buddhist Alternative Wrote:  In fact, if you’re a follower of the Niels Bohr Copenhagen Interpretation of Quantum Mechanics, it is Consciousness that creates Matter.
Well, I'll be a monkey's uncle. I never knew that.
Wow.

I possess consciousness.
Does this mean that I can create Matter?

How much matter can I create? Can I create gold and diamonds and stuff or am I limited to sub atomic particles? Do the matter-antimatter instantly annihilate each other or am I able to create stuff that lasts forever?

I'm very keen to know. Please explain further.
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02-12-2013, 01:08 PM
RE: Atheism is a Religion - but a very good one
(02-12-2013 12:25 PM)cjlr Wrote:  
(01-12-2013 09:56 PM)Taqiyya Mockingbird Wrote:  Not originally. But that's another story....

Originally it's very hard to say, since no documents exist from the first couple centuries. But, indeed, so far as is possible to infer, it was much more in line with (what we'd now call) philosophy than (what we'd now call) religion, the line between the two being however rather open to debate (especially in pre-Classical times).

Being disconnected from traditional religious practices was part of the reason why the establishment hated it so much, in 5th-C BCE India... Tongue

Buddhism as presented by basically any and all modern organisations does make such claims.

True. Modern exceptions include some of the Thai Forest tradition, especially as expressed by Buddhadasa and some others, who put emphasis on the original Nikayas. The Buddha as represented in the Nikayas, despite the torrent of spin that most put on them and him, clearly "came to destroy "supernatural" superstition rather than praise it".

It's Special Pleadings all the way down!


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You can't have your special pleading and eat it too. -- WillHop
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