Questions about the Atheistic Worldview
Post Reply
 
Thread Rating:
  • 0 Votes - 0 Average
  • 1
  • 2
  • 3
  • 4
  • 5
08-02-2015, 06:18 PM
RE: Questions about the Atheistic Worldview
It's very simple....

The answer to all your questions - is 42......

Unfortunately, you're not quite clear on the questions.....

..

.......................................

The difference between prayer and masturbation - is when a guy is through masturbating - he has something to show for his efforts.
Find all posts by this user
Like Post Quote this message in a reply
[+] 6 users Like onlinebiker's post
08-02-2015, 06:43 PM
RE: Questions about the Atheistic Worldview
(08-02-2015 06:10 PM)GirlyMan Wrote:  
(08-02-2015 05:07 PM)NotAnAtheist Wrote:  1. How did we get here?




Also applies to "Am I right, Am I wrong?", "How do I work this?" and "My god, what have I done?!" Big Grin
Find all posts by this user
Like Post Quote this message in a reply
[+] 2 users Like pablo's post
08-02-2015, 06:46 PM
RE: Questions about the Atheistic Worldview
very briefly...

(08-02-2015 05:07 PM)NotAnAtheist Wrote:  1. How did we get here? (Origin) How do you explain the existence of human beings on this planet? How do explain the existence of the planet itself?

Humans evolved from earlier primates, etc. The details of abiogensis are still being worked on but the evidence all points to purely natural processes. The planet also formed through natural processes.

Quote:2. Why are we here? (Purpose) What are humans supposed to do with their lives? What is our purpose?

Your purpose is whatever you decide to make it. I see no reason to believe that there is any externally imposed purpose.

Quote:3. How do we know what is true and what's not? (Truth) How do you verify the truth of a statement or claim? What sources do you seek for wisdom, knowledge and information?

The scientific method; observation, hypothesizing, investigating, testing, repeat.

Quote:4. Where does evil come from? (Morality) How do you explain the existence of evil in the world?

Morality is derived from having evolved as a social species which provided a basic sense of empathy. Evil is a label we place on actions that we judge as harming the individual and/or the group.

Quote:5. How do we overcome evil? How can humanity improve and better itself? How can we achieve happiness? Is there a way to conquer the evil in this world?

Education, and rewarding the pursuit of demonstrable evidence about how the universe works instead of superstition, fear, and ignorance.

Quote:6. What happens when we die? (Destiny) Is there an afterlife? What is it like? How does one get there?

I see no reason to believe that anything happens. Dead is, from all the available evidence, dead. That is why it is important to do what you can now to make the life that you know you have and share with others as good as you can for everybody.

Atheism: it's not just for communists any more!
America July 4 1776 - November 8 2016 RIP
Find all posts by this user
Like Post Quote this message in a reply
[+] 6 users Like unfogged's post
08-02-2015, 06:54 PM
RE: Questions about the Atheistic Worldview
(08-02-2015 05:07 PM)NotAnAtheist Wrote:  I have a project for school for which I am to interview someone outside of the Christian faith.

Funny. We get those a lot.

1. How did we get here? (Origin)

My parents fu... Right! School project. Sorry. Does it help that my parents were school teachers?

How do you explain the existence of human beings on this planet?

See the signature line.

How do explain the existence of the planet itself?

The short version? Star goes boom, makes nebula, nebula collapses, planets form in the disc around the star. Happens all the time. Turns out the galaxy's littered with the filthy things.

2. Why are we here? (Purpose) What are humans supposed to do with their lives? What is our purpose?

Our lives have no intrinsic purpose. Purpose is something that humans make up. So our purpose is to give our lives purpose.

3. How do we know what is true and what's not? (Truth) How do you verify the truth of a statement or claim? What sources do you seek for wisdom, knowledge and information?

Reason and critical thinking. Any unexamined faith is not worth maintaining.

4. Where does evil come from? (Morality) How do you explain the existence of evil in the world?

No such thing. Stick with right and wrong and you won't need good and evil. Right and wrong are simply the result of how well your choices work in our society.

5. How do we overcome evil? How can humanity improve and better itself? How can we achieve happiness? Is there a way to conquer the evil in this world?

Don't do things that hurt people. Try to fix things that do.

6. What happens when we die? (Destiny) Is there an afterlife? What is it like? How does one get there?

Nobody knows. None of our exploratory parties have reported back yet so it must be a blast. My guess is that the answer is stranger than any of us suspect.

OK, my turn.

(1) Why do you believe in God?

(2) Why should I believe in God?

(3) Why should I ignore all the evidence that suggests that there is no God?

(4) If I don't believe in God will I go to Hell?

(5) Why should I worship a God that would send me to Hell if I don't believe in him?

(6) Does it bother you to worship a God that sends people to Hell?

That should be easy. My questions were short.

---
Flesh and blood of a dead star, slain in the apocalypse of supernova, resurrected by four billion years of continuous autocatalytic reaction and crowned with the emergent property of sentience in the dream that the universe might one day understand itself.
Find all posts by this user
Like Post Quote this message in a reply
[+] 2 users Like Paleophyte's post
08-02-2015, 06:58 PM
RE: Questions about the Atheistic Worldview
(08-02-2015 05:07 PM)NotAnAtheist Wrote:  Hello members of TheThinkingAtheist,

I have a project for school for which I am to interview someone outside of the Christian faith. I figured this website would be a good place to look. If anyone could take the time to answer the following questions, it would be greatly appreciated. Keep in mind that I am not here to argue with you. Instead, I am offering you a constructive platform to present your worldview. As such, I ask that you please try to keep your answers in an objective tone and abstain from profanity as much as possible (this is a school project). Thanks again for your help.

1. How did we get here? (Origin) How do you explain the existence of human beings on this planet? How do explain the existence of the planet itself?

2. Why are we here? (Purpose) What are humans supposed to do with their lives? What is our purpose?

3. How do we know what is true and what's not? (Truth) How do you verify the truth of a statement or claim? What sources do you seek for wisdom, knowledge and information?

4. Where does evil come from? (Morality) How do you explain the existence of evil in the world?

5. How do we overcome evil? How can humanity improve and better itself? How can we achieve happiness? Is there a way to conquer the evil in this world?

6. What happens when we die? (Destiny) Is there an afterlife? What is it like? How does one get there?

"1. How did we get here? (Origin) How do you explain the existence of human beings on this planet? How do explain the existence of the planet itself?"

We as in humans? Life in general? Or the universe?

Humans descended from an ape-like ancestor ~2 million years ago. We distributed across the globe after our radiation out of Africa ~200,000 years ago.

Life is basically redox chemistry. We descend from ancient ocean chemistry.

The universe exists, nonexistence may not be possible.

The planet assembled from the accretion of planetismals ~4.6 billion years ago as the Sun formed.

"2. Why are we here? (Purpose) What are humans supposed to do with their lives? What is our purpose?"

We make our own purpose. As the Cajun in Waterboy says "home is where you make it." Well, so is life.

"3. How do we know what is true and what's not? (Truth) How do you verify the truth of a statement or claim? What sources do you seek for wisdom, knowledge and information?"

Logic is axiomatic.

"4. Where does evil come from? (Morality) How do you explain the existence of evil in the world?"

Evil isn't morality. Evil is an immoral action done intentionally or with flawed/bigoted logic used to justify it.

Morality is subjective (the fact that slavery was once considered okay and is no longer, is a demonstration of how morals change in society over time).

Morality is a set of behaviors that are a subset of altruistic behaviors. These behaviors exist because they produce a benefit on a species that has them, which produces an increased rate of survival and thus they are maintained in the population.

"5. How do we overcome evil? How can humanity improve and better itself? How can we achieve happiness? Is there a way to conquer the evil in this world?"

We stop pretending we have all of the answers and access to all of the answers. We hold ourselves accountable for our actions and past actions. We judge ourselves and one another.

We also accept that evil is something that is intimately tied to ignorance, but that there are some people born predisposed to violence, and that we may not be able to do anything about that.

Or to put it another way, we accept that we are humans and that we are never going to rid ourselves of evil, but we can reduce and mitigate its influence and role in society.

Also, we stop protecting institutions that protect evil and we stop trying to justify it or make excuses for it.

"6. What happens when we die? (Destiny) Is there an afterlife? What is it like? How does one get there?"

It is the same as before you are born, you stop existing.

There is no evidence of any existence for you before you are born or after you are dead.

In a more literal way, when we die there is a lot that happens but none of it involves you or I.

Being nice is something stupid people do to hedge their bets
-Rick
Find all posts by this user
Like Post Quote this message in a reply
[+] 2 users Like TheBeardedDude's post
08-02-2015, 07:08 PM (This post was last modified: 08-02-2015 07:24 PM by Reltzik.)
RE: Questions about the Atheistic Worldview
(08-02-2015 05:07 PM)NotAnAtheist Wrote:  Hello members of TheThinkingAtheist,

I have a project for school for which I am to interview someone outside of the Christian faith. I figured this website would be a good place to look. If anyone could take the time to answer the following questions, it would be greatly appreciated. Keep in mind that I am not here to argue with you. Instead, I am offering you a constructive platform to present your worldview. As such, I ask that you please try to keep your answers in an objective tone and abstain from profanity as much as possible (this is a school project). Thanks again for your help.

1. How did we get here? (Origin) How do you explain the existence of human beings on this planet? How do explain the existence of the planet itself?

2. Why are we here? (Purpose) What are humans supposed to do with their lives? What is our purpose?

3. How do we know what is true and what's not? (Truth) How do you verify the truth of a statement or claim? What sources do you seek for wisdom, knowledge and information?

4. Where does evil come from? (Morality) How do you explain the existence of evil in the world?

5. How do we overcome evil? How can humanity improve and better itself? How can we achieve happiness? Is there a way to conquer the evil in this world?

6. What happens when we die? (Destiny) Is there an afterlife? What is it like? How does one get there?

Well let's start with a basic definition of atheism, which will allow me to point out some flaws in your core notion of an atheist world view. Then I'll go on to answer your 6 questions.

Atheism is, roughly speaking, an absence of a belief that a god exists. Atheists include people that are not convinced of a god's existence and are unwilling to take a firm position one way or another (often called agnostic atheists), as well as those who take a firm position that no type of god exists (gnostic or strong atheists), and wide variety of others besides. Some gray area exists, depending on what concepts we define as being a god or not. There are also competing definitions of the word out there; this is the definition that includes most people who use the word "atheist" to identify themselves.

Asking about an atheist world view is a bit like asking about a non-Christianity's world view. The pool of non-Christianity will include Muslims, Jews, Wiccans, Buddhists, Taoists, Shinto, various native religions, Scientologists, Dudists, and on and on. We can't ask about the world view of this group, because there are countless world views in it, and to ask about "the" world view of this collection of disparate groups makes the false assumption that there is only one. It's a similar case with atheism. Atheists are an disparate group of united -- conceptually united, since we are not united in fact -- by our not accepting a single point of theistic doctrine. On any other question, perspective, dogma, ideology, or belief we can and often do diverge. There are some tendencies among atheists, but they are ONLY tendencies, and should not be regarded as representative of every atheist.

Okay, caveats in place, let's move on to questions. I'll answer first for myself, and then I'll answer what the general trends seem (to me) to be among first world atheists, and finally (again my perception) how important these questions are to atheists.

1) (Origin) I, and I think most atheists in the developed world, find the current scientific explanations of the Big Bang, stellar evolution, planetary accretion, abiogenesis, and evolution of species to be fairly convincing. I personally regard them as "interesting trivia", and I get the sense that most atheists don't contemplate them with anything more than a "hey that's cool" or "I wonder why that is" attitude, unless they work in a field relevant to these subjects. I'd personally mark evolution as somewhat more interesting and important for two reasons: first, it's an ongoing process, rather than something that's past; and second, the model of evolution through replication, variation, and selection provides a useful way of understanding a surprisingly large number of problems and puzzles. But overall, I'd say the significance of these things to atheists AS atheists is largely in that they provide yet one more alternative to "God Did It", and also highlight the... hastiness of those who declare God to be the only explanation. We might care as curious individuals or devoted scientists, but that's the only relative feature that would make us care as atheists.

2) (Purpose) When you ask why are we here, I could take you to mean what process or chain of events led to our presence. In this context, though, I take it that you are supposing and seeking some intent motivating our presence here; some goal that we are supposed to achieve, some piece of a plan that we accomplish through our presence, or so on. Speaking for myself, I reject this entire idea; I don't believe there's some higher goal or plan, and wouldn't know how to identify it or understand it even if I did think it was there. Nor do I particularly care about that, because... well, why would I? It wouldn't be MY plan, would it?

But on another level -- and these two often get wrongly conflated -- this can be taken to be a question about our personal purpose. What motivates us? What goals do we strive for? And the answer is... whatever stirs our passions. Whatever we think is worth our time or energy. Whatever excites us. This could be anything from our families, to our careers, to our hobbies, to exploring the world around us, to having a blast, to helping others... whatever.

It should be important to understand that the two need not be the same. If a hypothetical God had the purpose of putting me on Earth to cure ebola, that doesn't mean I can't make my purpose mastery of the cello, with my hypothetical job as a research doctor being nothing more to me than a way that I pay the bills. It is possible to have (if one imagines a god) a divine purpose but no personal purpose, or a personal purpose but no divine purpose, or both in accordance, or both NOT in accordance, or neither.

As a larger question of, what is the purpose of humanity in general? Again, I don't think there's some grand plan or scheme we fit into. To the extent that we can get together to define a purpose for ourselves, that's what our purpose is. And to the extent that we don't (and we pretty much don't), then we have no unified purpose.

Again, these are me-responses, which I sense conform to what most atheists think in the developed world. However, this is far from a universally-held opinion.

3) (Truth) This is actually a question for epistemology. Atheists will diverge greatly upon it, with a strong but far-from-universal trend towards pointing to the scientific method or personal verification. Here is my take on it.

The human mind excels at inventing things -- explanations, narratives, accounts, causes. It is much better at doing this than at discerning which of these are true and false. We can directly sense some things, and can regard the presence of their sensation as being true. However, we diverge greatly at identifying what is behind this sensory experience. Proper identification of the truth requires a good method for doing this.

There is no perfect method, but there are several BAD methods. One very common one is to get locked into a self-reinforcing set of explanations that discourages, or outright prevents, an examination of other explanations. Religious dogmatism is a good example of this, and the fact that it is a bad methodology can be easily established by observing the large number of contradictory religious beliefs out there. Not all of them can be right. Most of them, perhaps all of them, must be wrong. Religious dogmatism, as an epistemology, can therefore be observed to lead most of its practitioners into erroneous positions, and keep them there. You only have to be wrong once, and then dogmatism will keep you wrong forever.

With this bad example in mind, what would a good epistemology look like? We might think that ideally it would be one that would lead us, unerringly, to the truth. But lead us there from where? We're not exactly starting with blank slates, here, and even if we were it's been shown we're bad at identifying fundamental axioms. So let's assume that we already have several pre-existant beliefs (which we do), and that some or all of these are in error (and they likely are). A good epistemology will be one that corrects these errors. We need expend no great epistemological discipline seeking out new truths. Our neighbors, and our own great urge to curiosity will do this with little discipline at all. The theories purporting to explain what we sense and perceive will form almost unbidden in our imaginations. The challenge isn't building a true model of reality, but in burning back all the FALSE models.

So the key to a good epistemology is one that always questions what is currently "known". This is the only way to eliminate false beliefs. No new belief should be accepted without good evidence, and none should ever be permanently accepted even with good evidence. All accepted beliefs are only provisionally accepted, subject to review in light of future experiences.

With this in mind, I verify the truth of a statement by looking for every possible way it might be proven false (if it were in fact false), and then trying to prove it false. The more it stands up to this level of scrutiny, the more checks I can perform on it and have it pass, the more it can be considered proven. If it succumbs to these tests, it can be considered disproven. And if there are no such tests to be performed, then it smacks of a vacuous, self-reinforcing delusion, and should be distrusted in the same way we distrust quicksand.

This kind of questioning skepticism is a strong trend among atheists, but is far, far, far from universal. However, they're pretty strongly linked here in the U.S. A great many of our atheists tend to become atheists or remain atheists because they engage in this type of questioning epistemology.

4) (Morality) In asking this question, you make several false assumptions. First, you presume that there IS such a thing as evil... and that it is a clearly defined thing, where we will all clearly understand and agree upon what is meant by the word. To the contrary, I think that clarity is absent, and also that evil is more an interpretive category than an entity or force in and of itself. You tag this question with the term "morality", which I think only points to a narrow subissue rather than the question of evil at large.

I think that correctly understanding this question requires deconstructing it -- breaking it down and examining what we really mean by it. Once clarity on what the question means is achieved, the answer will present itself. I shall specifically start by defining what I mean by evil, because I consider it to be what I call a "dead word". It has had too many differing and divergent meanings attached to it for us to ever be able to use it to clearly and cleanly convey a specific notion which we might wish to convey.

By and large, we wish to control the outcomes of our experiences, and have them be desirous for ourselves. This means we wish to lead a pleasant experience, largely devoid of suffering. To the extent that something causes us suffering, it we will tend to regard it as an ill... even if there is no moral component to its presence or the suffering it causes us. (Example: Mosquitos.) Because we are social, empathetic creatures by nature, we care about our family, friends, and larger community. We can experience suffering and pleasure through them by proxy, and most of us seem to be hard-wired by mirror neurons to do so. At this point, our own self-interest in achieving positive outcomes and avoiding negative outcomes extends to desiring the same for those we care about. Our dependence upon more distant members of our societies, even complete strangers within our societies, gives us a stake in the health of the society as a whole, which in turn gives us a similar stake in how our society relates to the societies of others.

If we call identify as evil any idea, behavior, or fact that we think will tend to harm us on any of these levels, by any of these proxies, we actually get a definition that is a pretty good fit for what most people seem to mean by the word evil. This will include things that are not the consequences of moral agents, such as natural disasters, diseases, privation, suffering, and death, both for ourselves and anyone else. It will include personal betrayals, attacks upon our families, and things which undermine society at large, such as murder and theft and perjury. It seems to be a good fit.

What then, is the cause of evil (if this is how evil is to be defined), and why is it present in the world? There is no one cause, because evil arises from a great many sources. As previously mentioned, there is a great deal of evil that arises from purely natural sources such as tectonic faults and viruses, parts of the larger world which we fall prey to. On the level of morality (where people can make decisions), there are still a great many causes. Perhaps there is a mismatch between how we expect people to balance their own self-interest versus the interest of the larger society, and how they actually do. Altruistic people can fail to understand or realistically predict the negative consequences of their actions. People can honestly disagree about what constitutes a good outcome or a bad one. Some people can hate others so strongly that their pleasure requires causing the others grief. In some situations (such as a scarcity of resources), no actions or policy will prevent the privation of a great many people, and evil is inevitable simply because our wants exceed our means. Evil, as defined, can arise from any or all of these sources, and more besides, in ways that are easy to imagine.

... but, of course, all this depends on the definition of evil. If this is not your definition, if this is not what you meant by this question, then what is?

I suspect that most atheists will split on this topic, and the core of that split will be different notions of what is meant by the word evil.


5. Working off my previous definition of evil, there are many ways to lessen it and avoid it, but eliminating it entirely seems impossible. Diseases, of course, can be prevented, cured, and eliminated. World hunger can be reduced. Best practices by which people can get along (everything from manners, to not killing each other, to respecting notions of property, to things like a judicial process that most people will regard as fair, to norms such as standing in and respecting lines at an ATM) can be identified, implemented, and ingrained. Compassion and respect for the joy and suffering people experience can be heightened, and apathy or disrespect for these can be discouraged. But at the end of the day, there will likely always be things like earthquakes, meteors from the heavens, needs outstripping wants, and death. I don't imagine that evil can ever be totally eliminated... but who knows, maybe technology will develop to handle even these issues.

Again, I think atheists will disagree based on differing definitions of the word evil.


6) (Destiny) Based on the epistemology from question 3... there seems no basis for believing we survive death in any but the most prosaic senses. We can leave behind legacies in family, or in good deeds accomplished, or in memories or examples set. But there seems no reason to believe anything beyond that. Evidence of a mind or consciousness separate from the physical brain is weak at best, whereas the models and evidence for a mind that is wholly dependent upon the brain's structure and operation is strong. When we die, our brains decay and fall apart. (Or, you know, get incinerated, or get pulped and splattered.... it kinda depends on how we die. Regardless of the details, the brain's not there any more.) It's like asking what happens to a house if we disassemble it and ship the timbers and nails and wallboard all around the country. The house isn't anywhere. There is no more house. The pieces of it are still there... somewhere... headed off in many directions. But the house is more than just the pieces. It's the pieces assembled in one place in a particular pattern. And that assemblage is just... gone.

This is far from universal among atheists. There are atheists who believe in souls and reincarnation and spirits and ghosts and afterlives without gods. But I'd say it's the most common thing to see an atheist think on the subject. It doesn't seem to be important to atheists AS atheists, though... it doesn't underlie their atheism.
Find all posts by this user
Like Post Quote this message in a reply
[+] 4 users Like Reltzik's post
08-02-2015, 07:08 PM
RE: Questions about the Atheistic Worldview
(08-02-2015 05:07 PM)NotAnAtheist Wrote:  Hello members of TheThinkingAtheist,

I have a project for school for which I am to interview someone outside of the Christian faith. I figured this website would be a good place to look. If anyone could take the time to answer the following questions, it would be greatly appreciated. Keep in mind that I am not here to argue with you. Instead, I am offering you a constructive platform to present your worldview. As such, I ask that you please try to keep your answers in an objective tone and abstain from profanity as much as possible (this is a school project). Thanks again for your help.

1. How did we get here? (Origin) How do you explain the existence of human beings on this planet? How do explain the existence of the planet itself?

2. Why are we here? (Purpose) What are humans supposed to do with their lives? What is our purpose?

3. How do we know what is true and what's not? (Truth) How do you verify the truth of a statement or claim? What sources do you seek for wisdom, knowledge and information?

4. Where does evil come from? (Morality) How do you explain the existence of evil in the world?

5. How do we overcome evil? How can humanity improve and better itself? How can we achieve happiness? Is there a way to conquer the evil in this world?

6. What happens when we die? (Destiny) Is there an afterlife? What is it like? How does one get there?


My foot's in a cast and I have nothin' much else to do so I guess I'll reply.

Let's see here. Ummmmmm.

1. How did we get here?

Evolution which has been proven many times over. How did Earth get here? Big Bang, which has more and more evidence with every passing day.

2. Why are we here? You're presupposing that there needs to be a "why".

The purpose of life is whatever you want to make out of it which doesn't need a deity to give it meaning.

3.Truth? Truth requires evidence from various unbiased sources.

4. Morality?

Morality has evolved from humans living in a society and realizing that passing on their dna works better when people don't kill their own children and getting along with others makes ones own life last longer with less stress.

5. Evil? (That's some sort of religious word, similar to the word "devil", a non-existent, mythological creature. ) People can do really, really bad things to each other because of religious and geographic territorial wars. Some people do bad things because they are born with a psychopathic brain wired in a peculiar fashion. Some people have a mental illness such as schizophrenia in which they lose all sense of reality and listen to the voices in their heads and do horrible things to others. But the word "evil"? Nah. It's a religious word.

6. Death? We didn't have a brain before we existed (before we were born) and after we die we won't have a brain (nor will we exist).

I might add, there is nothing horribly wrong with non existence. I didn't exist for bazillions of years and..... well....it wasn't a big deal.

Shakespeare's Comedy of Errors.... on Donald J. Trump:

He is deformed, crooked, old, and sere,
Ill-fac’d, worse bodied, shapeless every where;
Vicious, ungentle, foolish, blunt, unkind,
Stigmatical in making, worse in mind.
Find all posts by this user
Like Post Quote this message in a reply
08-02-2015, 07:12 PM
RE: Questions about the Atheistic Worldview
The most correct set of answers you've gotten is probably SunnyD1's Bucky's. But I'm going to presume that you need a larger sample size and that this is some kind of non-random survey about the worldviews of people with one common trait. (I know that's probably not the case but it makes me feel better. So don't correct me.)

(08-02-2015 05:07 PM)NotAnAtheist Wrote:  1. How did we get here? (Origin) How do you explain the existence of human beings on this planet? How do explain the existence of the planet itself?

The only explination suported by evidence is that we rose probabilistically/ deterministically from a previous set of conditions.

So we're all here because our parents were here. Our parents were here because their parents were. Going all the way back too our non-human ancestors, then proto-life which rose from the enviroment they were in (Ambiogenisis isn't something I've got the best handle on). That enviroment was in turn created by the elements present on Terra, which formed when gravity pulled together dust and stuff from the accretion disk around Sol. Which was created in the heart of a now extinct star. Which was created by a greater application of same forces that created Terra, which were formed by the boundry conditions of the universe.

Beyond that; in some kind of pre-universe? Funked if I know

(08-02-2015 05:07 PM)NotAnAtheist Wrote:  2. Why are we here? (Purpose) What are humans supposed to do with their lives? What is our purpose?

Bolstered if I know.

(08-02-2015 05:07 PM)NotAnAtheist Wrote:  3. How do we know what is true and what's not? (Truth) How do you verify the truth of a statement or claim? What sources do you seek for wisdom, knowledge and information?

I'm not sure how useful the search for "Truth" is. Not because it's not a worthy goal but because I'm not sure it's attainable.

That's the philosopical answer though and I don't think there are many things more valuable than pragmatism:

-Something is true when it is the best explination for the avaliable evidence.
-Something is wise when it is a useful "Thought Tool" to help determine truth.
-Knowledge is the sum total of the avaliable evidence, the explinations that inform that evidence and their applications.

(08-02-2015 05:07 PM)NotAnAtheist Wrote:  4. Where does evil come from? (Morality) How do you explain the existence of evil in the world?

If I may be pithy: "Mother Nature" is a capricious bint.
People frequently suck.
Therefore evil.

(Evil is here defined as: Something that everybody in the conversation agrees is a really bad thing.)
(08-02-2015 05:07 PM)NotAnAtheist Wrote:  5. How do we overcome evil? How can humanity improve and better itself? How can we achieve happiness? Is there a way to conquer the evil in this world?

Probably. I'm not sure if I can answer that question to anybodies satisfaction.

(08-02-2015 05:07 PM)NotAnAtheist Wrote:  6. What happens when we die? (Destiny) Is there an afterlife? What is it like? How does one get there?

I'm not sure what this question have to do with "Destiny."

What happens when we die?
The atoms that make up our body move into a new configuration. This causes us to cease to exist in any meaningful definition of the term.

The others?
I don't think so. I certainly haven't seen any compelling evidence to support anything like that.

(08-02-2015 06:10 PM)GirlyMan Wrote:  
(08-02-2015 05:07 PM)NotAnAtheist Wrote:  1. How did we get here?




That is wonderfully dorky. Thank yo

Soulless mutants of muscle and intent. There are billions of us; hardy, smart and dangerous. Shaped by millions of years of death. We are the definitive alpha predator. We build monsters of fire and stone. We bottled the sun. We nailed our god to a stick.

In man's struggle against the world, bet on the man.
Find all posts by this user
Like Post Quote this message in a reply
08-02-2015, 07:17 PM
RE: Questions about the Atheistic Worldview
1. The gods sacrificed the Purusha, and from his thousands of dismembered body parts, humans were created.

2. To achieve nirvana, and hopefully not be born as a lesser being in your next life.

3. You think really hard about it, and then pick the answer that will make you feel the least ostracized from your friends and family. That is the only way to know the truth.

4. Is that supposed to be a rhetorical question? Pandora's Jar

5. Umm, you close the jar, obviously. Either that or genocide; The Biblical god is an especially big fan of that one.

6. Candy, and lots of it. In fact, you'll get all the free candy you can eat, without any of those pesky cavities or diabetes. However, if you choose to let your brain become convinced of the the wrong belief, you'll end up in Helheim forever. Forever is a pretty long time, so you'd better stick to only the sources of information that conform to your pre-existing true beliefs. That way, you won't accidentally become convinced of something other than what your parents taught you. Remember, eyes on the prize. Candy.

If we came from dust, then why is there still dust?
Find all posts by this user
Like Post Quote this message in a reply
[+] 3 users Like cactus's post
08-02-2015, 07:20 PM (This post was last modified: 09-02-2015 05:56 AM by Free Thought.)
RE: Questions about the Atheistic Worldview
(08-02-2015 05:07 PM)NotAnAtheist Wrote:  Hello members of TheThinkingAtheist,

I have a project for school for which I am to interview someone outside of the Christian faith. I figured this website would be a good place to look. If anyone could take the time to answer the following questions, it would be greatly appreciated. Keep in mind that I am not here to argue with you. Instead, I am offering you a constructive platform to present your worldview. As such, I ask that you please try to keep your answers in an objective tone and abstain from profanity as much as possible (this is a school project). Thanks again for your help.

1. How did we get here? (Origin) How do you explain the existence of human beings on this planet? How do explain the existence of the planet itself?

Human origins are well known and explained through the fossil record and evolutionary theory.
I fail to see a reason why humans need be specified however; there is no evidence to suggest that we are in any way fundamentally different than any other species on Earth.
The planet itself is a trivial matter: the sun formed from a hydrogen cloud gathering and growing more dense due to gravity until fusion began occurring. Due to the sun's mass (and thus it's gravity), other matter was drawn in from space which formed rings of debris, which under their own gravitational influence gathered over time and formed planets.

Quote:2. Why are we here? (Purpose) What are humans supposed to do with their lives? What is our purpose?

I have no reason to believe that there is a purpose as to our existence; as with everything else in the universe, humanity is just another localisation of relative order among the entropy, which arose from the fundamental behaviours of the universe.
Humans are supposed to do what they decide with their lives: ultimately every human creates his and her own purpose to life: some select the pursuit of a family, others choose the pursuit of a deity, some decide none at all.

Quote:3. How do we know what is true and what's not? (Truth) How do you verify the truth of a statement or claim? What sources do you seek for wisdom, knowledge and information?

We can know that which is true via testing and inspection: What he test and find to be accurate is true, that which does not live up to examination is not.
We can verify the truth of a claim or statement through experimentation and investigation.
For 'wisdom' I seek myself and the words of others in order to find clarity. For knowledge and information I look to scientific sources.

Quote:4. Where does evil come from? (Morality) How do you explain the existence of evil in the world?

The devil does not exist. It is nothing more than a construct designed to give an explanation for that which is labelled 'evil'.
I explain the existence of evil in much the same way as good; they are simply terms used to describe events or thing which benefit or harm us or those around us.

Quote:5. How do we overcome evil? How can humanity improve and better itself? How can we achieve happiness? Is there a way to conquer the evil in this
world?

Strictly speaking, there is no way to 'conquer evil'; even if you did manage to remove all malice from humanity, you will never annihilate the random likelihood of nature bringing that which brings us misfortune.
Humanity can improve upon itself most often through genuine, careful thought and scientific investigation.
We can achieve happiness by doing what makes us happy: for some, raising a family will bring uncountable joy. I am happiest when I am learning and speaking with those whom I am comfortable.

Quote:6. What happens when we die? (Destiny) Is there an afterlife? What is it like? How does one get there?

When we die, our body shuts down; all of our neurological activity ceases irrevocably. At that point, all the memories, hopes and dreams which made you you stop existing and so do you. All that remains if the dormant corpse that you left. It will eventually be broken down by various creatures and its materials will be recycled to the immediate universe.
There is no evidence to suggest an afterlife, nor is there a plausible mechanism which would allow or explain it.

The people closely associated with the namesake of female canines are suffering from a nondescript form of lunacy.
"Anti-environmentalism is like standing in front of a forest and going 'quick kill them they're coming right for us!'" - Jake Farr-Wharton, The Imaginary Friend Show.
Find all posts by this user
Like Post Quote this message in a reply
[+] 1 user Likes Free Thought's post
Post Reply
Forum Jump: