Questions about the Atheistic Worldview
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09-02-2015, 07:21 AM (This post was last modified: 09-02-2015 07:57 AM by Ace.)
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.


Quote: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?

as for the origin of life, we have a hypothesis called Abiogenesis




evolution already explains how humans came into existence and how we originated, there's a crash course video on it




the planet formed after our sun was formed, basically space rock and dirt collided and stuck together till eventually it got very big this is how the earth was formed, after that comets hit the earth proving us with water

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


there is no purpose, all living things have to ensure their own survival and reproduce to ensure the continued survival of their species
humans are no different, we have no purpose for our existence

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?


these videos address the topic of truth (I recommend you watch all the videos in AntiCitizenX's channel)





















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


here's a video that explains it




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?


there really is no such thing as "evil", its just a word we attach to certain actions based on whether or not we find the outcomes of those actions desirable or not
you have to understand no one goes out into the world doing things because its evil, they see their actions are more than justified
religious extremists (ISIS for example) do evil things but they don't see their actions as evil, they see them as right and justified
they do what they do, we can all agree on what their actions involve them doing, but we don't view the outcomes of those actions the same way

humanity can improve itself only when people put aside their petty misconceptions and egos and biases, people need to empathize with others, to imagine what would you feel like of something were to happen to you and think about what it would be like for them

here's why religion is a big problem




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


there is no afterlife,
what was it like before you were born ? well you didn't exist then and its not gonna be any different after you die
for their to be an afterlife you need to prove that a soul exists, but nothing has even support the existence of a soul
the soul is based on an old concept called substance dualism, the idea where certain things can exist independent of any physical matter... but nothign even remotely hints at that let alone supports it
if you can't verify or distinguish something that actually exists from something thats made up out of fantasy then it can't be considered anything but fantasy
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09-02-2015, 09:28 AM
RE: Questions about the Atheistic Worldview
(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 have put this question to dead people, but they all seem not to want to give me an answer,

If we believe absurdities, we shall commit atrocities.--Voltaire.

"To argue with a man who has renounced the use and authority of reason is like administering medicine to the dead." --Thomas Paine.
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09-02-2015, 12:47 PM
RE: Questions about the Atheistic Worldview
My worldview isn't "atheism." My worldview is Metaphysical Naturalism. Atheism is part of that worldview, but atheism isn't a worldview in and of itself.

(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?
If you’re asking about ultimate origin of everything, we don’t know. Atheists are free to believe whichever of the three commonly posited options (an uncaused cause, something coming from nothing, or an infinite regress), or to withhold belief until more discoveries are made that supports one option over the others. Personally, I think that an uncaused cause is the most likely of the three, but I don’t believe it was (or could be) something like a God.

As far as explaining the existence of humans, we evolved here by an unguided natural process. The Earth was similarly formed by unguided natural processes after the formation of our sun. You should have some familiarity with both of these ideas if you are old enough to post on this forum and are in school, but since some schools intentionally do a horrible job teaching these ideas, I can find some resources to explain them further if needed.

(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?
Our purpose and what we are supposed to do with our lives depends very much on us to answer individually. Even if there was a creator who made us for a specific purpose, it would mean very little to us unless we actually cared about that being’s plan. That being would have to convince us to value its plan, and it could only do that by appealing to values we already have. And since we already have those values, we can use those to find meaning and purpose one our own, choosing from a vast number of things like art or family. Meaning and purpose cannot be imposed on an intelligent being, only accepted by it.

(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?
We build models of reality based on our experience and our reason. We can then test these models against external reality by making predictions and observing how well those predictions hold out. The model is true to the extent that it accurately matches reality. We all do this, animals do this, and even artificially intelligences with the right capabilities do this. I don’t favor either rationalism or empiricism as the sole foundation of knowledge since I think we need both.

Science and philosophy are sources I use to seek knowledge. Science is our best tool for evaluating the natural world, and philosophy helps fill in the gaps where science cannot yet provide answers.

(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?
I use the word evil to describe something that intentionally causes significant harm or suffering. If it was done specifically to bring about a greater that could not have been achieved without the harm, there is some room for debate as to whether or not it qualifies as evil (war is an example of this). Some people would include things like natural disasters as a kind of evil; I don’t since those are not being directed by an intelligent agent.

Most evil, I think, is the result of human ignorance or incorrect reasoning. People don’t know what it is they really should want, or how best to get it, or the unforeseen consequences of their actions. The Nazis, for example, believed that the Jews were the cause of their country’s problems, that the Jews were inferior sub-humans and that Aryans were a superior “master race,” and that an ideal society could be formed by eliminating the Jews and elevating the Aryans. They were factually wrong about each of those things, chose a horrible way to try to bring it about, and wound up destroying not only the society that they hoped to achieve but also any chance of leaving a noble legacy.

There are also various forms of psychopathy that lead to evil, but this is effectively another sort of ignorance or irrationality. Most psychopaths, if they can understand the difference between the life they live and the desire they have vs. living a more normal existence would choose the latter, if they were capable of changing. Many have said as much, but we are unable to fix them. In other cases, they are incapable of even recognizing a better way of living.

(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?
The answer to all of these questions is morality. If we could figure out what it was that humans wanted above all others, what things actually make our live happy, and what actions actually do lead to getting us those things, we would know how to live. No rational or well-informed person would want to live any other way.

However, none of us is perfectly rational or completely informed, so we have to rely on imperfect methods to try to come as close to the answers as we can. Cognitive and social sciences have told us a lot about what it is that people want, which, in a word, is happiness. Not happiness as a fleeting emotion, but a deeper sense of contentment and satisfaction with our existence. If this is what we want, then what we ought to do is whatever increases human happiness (in the deeper sense; I’m not talking about mindless, trivial amusements). There are two ethical systems are explicitly geared toward this end, utilitarianism and Aristotelian virtue ethics, which I think are the most likely places to find our moral guides. I actually think that each theory entails the other, so in some sense they are actually the same theory viewed from two different angles.

(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?

As far as we can tell, everything about our consciousness and personality is dependent on a physical brain. When that brain ceases to function, we simply cease to exist. I don’t think that there is a soul or some sort of energy that preserves our consciousness after death and allows us to continue to exist somewhere else.

I think the only reasonable hope we have for something like an afterlife would be in a technology that copied our brains and stored them in another, longer-lasting form. I keep hearing that there’s a strong possibility that this technology might exist in my lifetime, but even if that were true, it’s not likely that I’d be one of the candidates to have this done. So I don’t have any expectation that I will continue to exist in any way after my death, and I’m largely okay with that.

I'm just thinking out loud.
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10-02-2015, 06:29 AM
RE: Questions about the Atheistic Worldview
NotAnAtheist, good luck with your project! I'm curious, what's the nature of your project? Are you supposed to draw conclusions from all of these answers, are you just presenting them in aggregate, or something else?

In case it matters, I'm an ex-Lutheran who stopped believing four or five years ago.


(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 best explanation for humans I've seen is evolution. I don't know the ins and outs of how the planet formed. Smaller pieces coalescing due to gravity, orbiting around a sun that did the same?

If you're asking what's the origin of the universe (i.e. what caused the big bang), my answer is "I don't know". Admitting what one can or cannot know is a better platform for learning the truth than inserting nonfalsifiable claims.


(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?

I don't think there is any greater, "objective" purpose for people. We are here. We make of our lives what we want to.


(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?

Technically speaking, we don't ever know what's true. We can only know what's true beyond a reasonable doubt. I mean, I can't prove that we're not in the Matrix right now. I can go full out solipsism if I want, but it doesn't seem constructive.

We work with what we can observe and try the best we can to limit our own bias from our decisions. It's the best we can do.


(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?

I don't think evil exists in an objective sense. I don't see any source for objective morality, so I'm not going to assume it exists.

As for why a person might act in a way that most of us subjectively call evil, the reasons are really too numerous to go into. I guess the short (vague) answer would be some combination of selfishness, lack of empathy, and/or lack of thinking through the consequences.


(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?

I'd say better education is the first place to start. Education correlates positively with a lot of good things and negatively with a lot of bad things.

The more people know about other cultures (and see those other people as people), the less myopic they tend to be, and the less hate-filled their responses are when they disagree.

In addition, I'd say, at a minimum, religious people are going to have to learn how to jettison the more atrocious parts of their religions. Every time they make excuses for it, they leave room for extremists to flourish. They need to flat-out, unapologetically condemn the bad parts of their religion rather than explaining it away. Of course, I'd be happy if they got rid of the whole thing, but I honestly don't see that happening, so I'll take what I can get.


(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 doubt there's an afterlife. I've never seen evidence there is one, so I'm not going to assume there is one as some sort of hedge bet.
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10-02-2015, 09:57 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) Why does it matter ? We evolved from an earlier form. Earth formed from the matter surrounding Sol billions of years ago.

2) There is no "HIGHER" purpose. We live...we die. What happens in between is up to the individual.

3) Evidence...verifiable/testable. Science.

4) Evil is a human construct defining an individual disregard for societal norms.

5) We've done it many ways in the past. We're improving on ourselves every day. Happiness is subjective. "Evil" as you define it will always be present.

6) We die. That's it.

The second mouse gets the cheese.
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11-02-2015, 09:15 AM
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?
So I got to thinking and my wife complained about the smell...
This seems a strange project and even more strange is that you have to ask these questions. Aside from the last question the answers are pretty easy to find. Now I know that you have asked about the "atheistic worldview" but as I pointed out earlier some atheists have differing world views. You are essentially asking about the scientific worldview and that's not the same thing. These are things that you should be learning in school and if you are not then it's a crappy one and you should go to a real school.
If you really want to know what atheists think I'll tell you. Atheists reject the claim that a god exists. That's it. All the questions you've asked are irrelevant to the "atheistic worldview." Some believe we were put here by aliens (as I pointed out earlier). Some believe in ghosts. Some believe in an afterlife. Some believe that nothing exists at all. But none of us believe in gods.
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13-02-2015, 12:25 PM
RE: Questions about the Atheistic Worldview
Good question... But unfortunately, you will never get a logical response from them! The reality of their faith-based existence, leaves them in a state of utter meaninglessness!
Their only answer is to escape from reason... Making "The Thinking Atheist", nothing more than an oxymoron.


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?
[/quote]
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13-02-2015, 02:35 PM
RE: Questions about the Atheistic Worldview
(13-02-2015 12:25 PM)Pascal Wrote:  Good question... But unfortunately, you will never get a logical response from them! The reality of their faith-based existence, leaves them in a state of utter meaninglessness!
Their only answer is to escape from reason... Making "The Thinking Atheist", nothing more than an oxymoron.

... Y'know the *actual* Pascal was a whole helluva lot smarter than you seem to be Drinking Beverage Anyway, carry on. Being a judgy little prick counts for righteousness right alongside faith after all Dodgy

OP: You gonna come back and tell us whatcher teacher thinks? You've got a number of detailed responses now.

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If you're perfect -- Alanis Morissette
(06-02-2014 03:47 PM)Momsurroundedbyboys Wrote:  And I'm giving myself a conclusion again from all the facepalming.
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13-02-2015, 03:48 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?

ah another of the "I am doing a project for school and need to ask atheists some questions for it" angle. Well I will entertain you I suppose..

1a Chance and circumstance.Simply a numbers game. The Hubble telescope has identified over 400+ billion planets, so what are the odds a planet would just happen the perfect conditions to encourage and sustain life? Apparently at the minimum 1 in 400 billion.

1b Evolution, may I recommend you take a class in it, it will blow your mind.

1c. I refer you back to number 1a.

2a. Why must there be a reason for life?

2b. Live them.

2c. Why do we have to have a purpose? What purpose does a mosquito have? Looking at how fast we are destroying this planet, I would equate humans to a planetary virus...sucking the life out of its host.

3a. Reason, logic, empirical evidence and the ability to be testable and observable establishes truth...like evolution for example.

3b. Simple. Refer to 3a's answer. I assume you use the failed methodology of faith to discern the real world around you? Faith IS the delusion, belief without evidence. Faith is pretending to know things that you dont know. To say "I have faith in god" really means "I pretend to know things I don't know about god"....THINK about it, you dont know, you HOPE. Faith is an epistemology. It's a method and process people use to understand reality. Faith-based claims are knowledge claims. For example, "I have faith that jesus christ will heal my sickness because it says so in Luke" is a knowledge claim. The utterer of this statement is asserting jesus will heal her. Those who make faith claims are professing to know something about the external world. For example, when someone says "jesus walked on water" (matthew 14:22-33), that person is claiming TO KNOW there was an historical figure names jesus and that he, unaided by technology, literally walked across the surface of the water. This is a knowledge claim...an objective statement of fact.

Your religious beliefs typically depend on the community in which you were raised or lived. The spiritual experiences of people in ancient greece, medieval japan or 21st century saudia arabia do not lead to belief in christianity. It seems, therefore, that religious belief very likely tracks not truth but social conditioning.

Faith is a failed epistemology. Showing why faith fails has been done before and done well. (Bering 2011, Harris 2004, Loftus 2010, 2013, McCormick 2012, Schick & Vaughn 2008, Shermer 1997, 2011, Smith 1979, STenger & Barker 2012, Torres 2012, Wade 2009 etc)

If a belief is based on insufficient evidence, than any further conclusion drawn from the belief will at best be of questionable value. This can not point one to the path of truth. Here are five points believers/non believers should be able to agree upon.

1) There are different faith traditions.
2) Different faith traditions make different truth claims.
3) The truth claims of some faith traditions contradict the truth claims of other faith traditions. For example, Muslims believe muhammad (570-632) was the last prophet (Sura 33:40). Mormons believe Joseph Smith (1805-1844), who lived after muhammad was a prophet.
4) It cannot both be the case that muhammad was the last prophet, and someone who lived after him was also a prophet.
5) Therefore: At LEAST one of these claims must be false....perhaps both....

it is impossible to figure out which of these claims is incorrect if the tool one uses is faith. As a tool, as an epistemology, as a method of reasoning, as a process for knowing the world, faith cannot adjudicate between competing claims. The ONLY way to figure out which claims about the world are likely true, and which are likely false, is through reason and evidence. There is no other way.

3c. How many times you going to ask the same question? Sources; empirical evidence supported by validated falsification.

4a and 4b Our natural state as humans is one of nonconforming...we are taught to confirm to societal standards and expectations by the controls in our lives...like the influence of parents, teachers, and various authority figures. The majority accept these conforming influences due to the human need to be accepted/rewarded for good behavior, and the other reason is due to fear. Fear of repercussions from not conforming. Those who never conform, become criminals as they do not follow societal expectations for behavior, and as non-conformers they violate the "rules" of life...the codes and laws that maintain a overall sense of order. The childish posit that a boogie man, devil, evil spirit etc is the cause of evil in the world is ridiculous.

5. As long as good outweighs the bad amongst us, and we are able to control those who are bad by holding them accountable for their actions, we will maintain order over anarchy.

5b. Education. Once we can overcome the blindfold of religion, society will be safer, and reasonable.

5c. Happiness comes from within.

5d. Only way to conquer evil is to remove it once it is found....define evil though. islamic radicals think stoning a woman who allowed herself to be raped is logical and divinely sanctioned. We view that as evil in america. same situation, two different perspectives of what is considered evil.

6a. afterlife:

[Image: 28cfs5z.jpg]

6b. No one knows, why would there be?

6c. No one knows, including especially those who write fabricated fairy tales to explain things we don't have the answer to.

6d.How does one get where?

"Belief is so often the death of reason" - Qyburn, Game of Thrones

"The Christian community continues to exist because the conclusions of the critical study of the Bible are largely withheld from them." -Hans Conzelmann (1915-1989)
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13-02-2015, 04:02 PM
RE: Questions about the Atheistic Worldview
Why is it that people think up this "atheist world view" - WORLD view, mind you - and they come to a place with a global community of atheists ... and stay one day? Undecided Kid didn't even ask the right questions.

How will the christee world know what my favorite flavor of gelato is today? Dodgy

A new type of thinking is essential if mankind is to survive and move to higher levels. ~ Albert Einstein
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