Denial? Is this as much a religion as Belief?
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08-11-2013, 05:37 AM
RE: Denial? Is this as much a religion as Belief?
(08-11-2013 04:51 AM)EvolutionKills Wrote:  
(08-11-2013 03:19 AM)PursuingTruth Wrote:  The hysterical atheist are the ones saying "God does not exist as there is no evidence" which is equally as fallacious.

Except that if gods existed, as posited by many theists, there is certain evidence that we would expect to find. In this case, the lack of evidence we should expect to find if gods existed, is evidence of absence.

The evidence we expect is suggested by the theists, which is routinely proven as false..
Consider

1. All organised religion is wrong
2. All organised religion say god exists
3. So God doesn't exist

Which is a fallacy of the converse.

Evidence of God may be something that we have yet to fathom, such as consciousness, dark matter dark energy or how the big bang started.

tbh we have no real evidence for the theory of relativity (many things show that it applies) yet we have no real solid evidence to prove it. So it remains a theory.. not a Law.
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08-11-2013, 06:56 AM
RE: Denial? Is this as much a religion as Belief?
(08-11-2013 05:37 AM)PursuingTruth Wrote:  So it remains a theory.. not a Law.

What? You bumped yer head. And what is this "going backwards" shit? A theology postulates certain properties of a certain being; where those postulates are invalid, that being does not exist. If you start putting your own interpretation into speculative existences pondered by the clueless, you're not an agnostic, you're a theist. Tongue

This going backwards shit is like pondering a space elevator made of hyperdiamond and spinning up the equations where scripture reads there's an aluminum ladder to heaven in my backyard; and agreeing with the theists that it is evidence for god. Know what? It ain't.

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08-11-2013, 07:05 AM
RE: Denial? Is this as much a religion as Belief?
(08-11-2013 05:37 AM)PursuingTruth Wrote:  tbh we have no real evidence for the theory of relativity (many things show that it applies) yet we have no real solid evidence to prove it. So it remains a theory.. not a Law.
I'm starting to doubt that you're a scientist. The following quote from the geologist Steve Schafersman illustrates where the error in your terminology lies.

"A theory in science is not a guess, speculation, or suggestion, which is the popular definition of the word "theory." A scientific theory is a unifying and self-consistent explanation of fundamental natural processes or phenomena that is totally constructed of corroborated hypotheses. A theory, therefore, is built of reliable knowledge--built of scientific facts--and its purpose is to explain major natural processes or phenomena. Scientific theories explain nature by unifying many once-unrelated facts or corroborated hypotheses; they are the strongest and most truthful explanations of how the universe, nature, and life came to be, how they work, what they are made of, and what will become of them. Since humans are living organisms and are part of the universe, science explains all of these things about ourselves.

These scientific theories--such as the theories of relativity, quantum mechanics, thermodynamics, evolution, genetics, plate tectonics, and big bang cosmology--are the most reliable, most rigorous, and most comprehensive form of knowledge that humans possess. Thus, it is important for every educated person to understand where scientific knowledge comes from, and how to emulate this method of gaining knowledge. Scientific knowledge comes from the practice of scientific thinking--using the scientific method--and this mode of discovering and validating knowledge can be duplicated and achieved by anyone who practices critical thinking." [1]

[1] http://www.geo.sunysb.edu/esp/files/scie...ethod.html

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08-11-2013, 07:07 AM
RE: Denial? Is this as much a religion as Belief?
(08-11-2013 07:05 AM)Vosur Wrote:  I'm starting to doubt that you're a scientist.

You and me both. Maybe he's a political scientist. Tongue

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08-11-2013, 04:33 PM (This post was last modified: 08-11-2013 04:44 PM by Yasmin.)
RE: Denial? Is this as much a religion as Belief?
This is in part a reply to Chas (page 1). For some reason every time I try to do the quote box the entire post isn't showing up in the thread- anyone know why that would be?

'The absence of evidence that should be there is evidence of absence.'

'No, I have no belief in any gods because there is no evidence of them.
This is not the same as believing there are no gods. That would be a faith claim.'

'Please provide some evidence for atheism being a 'belief system'. Because it's not.'


What evidence should there be? Isn't it a bit too conclusive to say that if the evidence as we expect to find it isn't currently seen then it's completely absent?

Seeing as you make a distinction between belief and faith, I don't think the word 'belief' is necessarily a dirty one when applied to atheists. While I wouldn't say it's practised the same as a religious one, the 'church of atheism' hasn't helped make things any clearer, and there seems to be a lot more variation, I think there are similarities. Beliefs are things you define and hold up to be true in contrast to something else. They are things that shape your world view. For example, my belief in God will shape how I see the world around me, my relationships with others, and how I live my everyday life, as well as how my perceptions of how moral systems are created and lived out. Whether you're a theist, hedonist, communist, atheist, etc, you will also hold certain views about yourself and the world around that shape how you see and relate to it. Even having a 'personal philosophy' is a belief system. While an atheist position on God might officially be 'neutral', that still means it's contributing to an atheist's personal system of belief.

So I can see why you'd want to say that atheism isn't a belief system and I understand your argument in rejecting it being equivalent to a religious belief system. At the same time I don't think that rules out an individual atheist's having system of belief that could be brought up on a one-to-one discussion basis.

In case I've by any chance misunderstood how atheists use the word 'belief' (after all that Smile) I'll just say that I've never thought that a belief/ unbelief in God's existence is a separate issue to any other moral/relationship belief held in someone's life. But I'd like to know why there's such an objection to atheism being labelled as a belief system. Is it because, as I mentioned, there's so many variations or is there an objection to being likened to a religious system?
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08-11-2013, 05:16 PM
RE: Denial? Is this as much a religion as Belief?
(08-11-2013 04:33 PM)Yasmin Wrote:  This is in part a reply to Chas (page 1). For some reason every time I try to do the quote box the entire post isn't showing up in the thread- anyone know why that would be?

'The absence of evidence that should be there is evidence of absence.'

'No, I have no belief in any gods because there is no evidence of them.
This is not the same as believing there are no gods. That would be a faith claim.'

'Please provide some evidence for atheism being a 'belief system'. Because it's not.'


What evidence should there be? Isn't it a bit too conclusive to say that if the evidence as we expect to find it isn't currently seen then it's completely absent?

Seeing as you make a distinction between belief and faith, I don't think the word 'belief' is necessarily a dirty one when applied to atheists. While I wouldn't say it's practised the same as a religious one, the 'church of atheism' hasn't helped make things any clearer, and there seems to be a lot more variation, I think there are similarities. Beliefs are things you define and hold up to be true in contrast to something else. They are things that shape your world view. For example, my belief in God will shape how I see the world around me, my relationships with others, and how I live my everyday life, as well as how my perceptions of how moral systems are created and lived out. Whether you're a theist, hedonist, communist, atheist, etc, you will also hold certain views about yourself and the world around that shape how you see and relate to it. Even having a 'personal philosophy' is a belief system. While an atheist position on God might officially be 'neutral', that still means it's contributing to an atheist's personal system of belief.

So I can see why you'd want to say that atheism isn't a belief system and I understand your argument in rejecting it being equivalent to a religious belief system. At the same time I don't think that rules out an individual atheist's having system of belief that could be brought up on a one-to-one discussion basis.

In case I've by any chance misunderstood how atheists use the word 'belief' (after all that Smile) I'll just say that I've never thought that a belief/ unbelief in God's existence is a separate issue to any other moral/relationship belief held in someone's life. But I'd like to know why there's such an objection to atheism being labelled as a belief system. Is it because, as I mentioned, there's so many variations or is there an objection to being likened to a religious system?


A faith claim is a claim to a set of facts without having any evidence, just belief.
One can have a belief based on evidence, that is not a faith claim.

If there is a god as described by Islam, Christianity, or Mormonism we would expect see the effects in the world - we don't.

Atheism is simply the lack of belief in any gods. That is not a belief system.

Yes, not believing in gods will inform and form part of my world view. But so does not believing in homeopathy or faeries.

My world view is naturalism, my ethics are humanism, my politics are pragmatism.

There are all kinds of atheists and there is certainly no church of atheism.

Skepticism is not a position; it is an approach to claims.
Science is not a subject, but a method.
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08-11-2013, 07:57 PM
RE: Denial? Is this as much a religion as Belief?
I don't see how this isn't simple. If I make a massively outlandish claim which could effect the entire human race, on a level where it dictates how we live, what we teach our children, whether people have/don't have certain rights. The 'burden of proof' would quite rightly fall squarely upon my shoulders. To paraphrase Hitch, extraordinary claims demand extraordinary evidence. I comfortably dismiss God without feeling intellectually dishonest. I'll try my best to explain why.

Instead of looking at the bible as a book of 'Scripture', treat it like a collection of hypotheses from iron age people.
Lets look at the account of the 6 day creation. ... The big bang disproves this.
Adam is given all of the animals and names them ... Evolution disproves this.

We could look at The Qu'ran, flying/talking donkeys etc etc.

To me, all but Einstein's deist God have been disproven. I comfortably dismiss this as a poetical metaphor. It's still an extraordinary claim if not meant metaphorically and again demands extraordinary evidence, not from me to disprove as I have not offered the hypothesis.

On the subject of the hysteria of atheism. I can see where you're coming from in a way. I'm English and try to keep myself aware of what's happening globally. My perception of tbe U.S.A has significantly changed over the years. For the better I hasten to add. The noise from the crazy creationist religious right over the last 10/15 years has terrified a lot of Europeans. The ONLY super power left in the world on the brink of being ran by fundamentalist maniacs! ... But in the last 5 years (bare in mind this whole rant is just my perception) there has been a VERY welcome and growing hysteria, from genuinely and justifiably hysterical people. The bottom line of this hysteria has been along the lines of please shut the fuck up you utter fucking maniacs. Stop destroying our children's education, our constitution and our international reputation.

Agreed, a lot of atheists make the same noises. The reasons seem straight forward enough to me. The only thing that unifies us significantly is our rejection of the supernatural and the belief systems it has generated. When you're looking for answers, we often share similar sources, Dawkins, Hitchens, Harris etc, us non sciency types also stumble in to the more introspective stuff like Seth Andrews. I personally found certain people able to say things in a much more succinct way. Things I already thought but couldn't necessarily word as well as they could. I'm sure a lot of people here will back me up equally I welcome disagreement but the point is, for me, I make the same noises as a lot of atheists, I paraphrase and quote from the same places but most significantly, it's because I end up having the same worn out argument day in day out, contesting the same points that have been debunked years ago, the only thing that changes is the particular dick head I'm arguing with! Smile ... So yes. On some fronts we have became uniform. Until the arguments put to us change, our rebuttals don't need to change! I don't doubt some people do take the opposing stance of their parents for rebellion. People are people but I don't mind that, it doesn't matter how the process of self discovery starts IMO, just so long as people arrive at their conclusions at their own merit! If after that they wish to align themselves with like minded people and paraphrase/quote directly people from the same movement who said what they've been trying to say but brilliantly! Smile more power to them!

Waffle waffle waffle Tongue

A man blames his bad childhood on leprechauns. He claims they don't exist, but yet still says without a doubt that they stole all his money and then killed his parents. That's why he became Leprechaun-Man

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08-11-2013, 07:59 PM
RE: Denial? Is this as much a religion as Belief?
(07-11-2013 05:30 AM)PursuingTruth Wrote:  I see where you are coming from though, but you miss where I am coming from.. the people I talk about 'flocking' to the declaration of atheism, are those that have not thought about it, have done it to annoy their parents, have done it to rebel against their idea of society.. They would not be able to fit themselves in any of your groups as they have done it for another reason. They are 'rebellion' atheists. Believing it just for the sake of rebellion. (Hell thats why some go to satanism, which is doubly ridiculous)

Agree completely. What you describe are the the so-called "village atheists" are they not? A good chunk of them are part of hipster douchebag culture of the Anglophone world. If the USA were majority atheistic they would adopt Christianity or Islam just to be different. I have nothing but contempt for their kind and there are a few of them here on this forum.
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08-11-2013, 08:11 PM
RE: Denial? Is this as much a religion as Belief?
Thanks for saving the world with your original, approachable method there, chip. The world breathlessly awaits your fabulous insight. Turns out you're not just another stinky ape just like the rest of us. Thumbsup

But now I have come to believe that the whole world is an enigma, a harmless enigma that is made terrible by our own mad attempt to interpret it as though it had an underlying truth.

~ Umberto Eco
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08-11-2013, 08:18 PM
RE: Denial? Is this as much a religion as Belief?
Instead of looking at the bible as a book of 'Scripture', treat it like a collection of hypotheses from iron age people.
Lets look at the account of the 6 day creation. ... The big bang disproves this.
Adam is given all of the animals and names them ... Evolution disproves this.
[/quote]

I'm about to defend religion. Ugh.

This statement is untrue. BLATANTLY so. Not that science explains these events, but that these were hypotheses in the way we think of that term today. They simply didn't think that way. Indeed the idea of history and truth as we see it today is an incredibly modern concept. These were never meant to be read literally. What stuns me most is that so few people of faith understand how these texts composed and used v
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