Questions for atheists
Post Reply
 
Thread Rating:
  • 1 Votes - 5 Average
  • 1
  • 2
  • 3
  • 4
  • 5
22-09-2013, 09:30 PM
RE: Questions for atheists
(22-09-2013 09:24 PM)Megan Wrote:  Wow, guys, thank you so much! I really don't mind any of the "hostile" comments thrown my way..I completely understand! I AM the black sheep that decided to join this forum in the first place Tongue and I especially appreciate all of the kind comments about me as well; they actually made me smile Smile

I just want to put it out there, I know there can be a large chasm between theists and atheists, but I don't believe that is necessary. I hate it when people (unfortunately, many people who profess to be Christians) pull the "holier than thou" thing. I am extremely against this. No one is better or 'holier' than anyone else. I know that we are all made in the image of God and we are all equal, all sinners. And I know for a FACT that I am a sinner... DEFINITELY no better than anyone, that's for sure!

Thank you so much for welcoming me to this community! I will say before anything else that I am very, very strong in my faith and will not be swayed. But I would REALLY love to stay on here and broaden my knowledge. I think it is a great way to grow as a person and as a Christian, and hopefully I can answer some questions or clear up any misconceptions about Christianity as you do the same. Please let me know if I offend anyone or hurt anyone; that is the last thing I ever want to do!

Thank you all again!

Funny, you sound a lot like I did about a year ago! Tongue

Welcome again.

"It's a most distressing affliction to have a sentimental heart and a skeptical mind.”
― نجيب محفوظ, Sugar Street
Find all posts by this user
Like Post Quote this message in a reply
[+] 1 user Likes evenheathen's post
22-09-2013, 09:59 PM
RE: Questions for atheists
(22-09-2013 12:34 PM)Megan Wrote:  Hi everybody! I am new here... I joined because I would really love some answers from you. I am writing a paper on worldviews and I have 8 questions to ask...I would really appreciate it if one of you could take the time to answer these!

1) what is prime reality? (the thing from which everything else comes)
Example: God
2) what is the nature of external reality?
Example: external reality is the universe which God created out of nothing.
3) what is a human being?
4) what happens at death?
5) why is it possible to know anything at all?
6) how do we know what is right and what is wrong?
7) what is the meaning of human history?
Example: history is a meaningful sequence of events that lead to God's will.
8) what person, life orienting core commitments are consistent with your worldview?


Thank you SO much to anyone who takes the time to answer these questions!
Megan Smile

1) The example you give describes nothing. It simply begs the question. So, your question becomes, "What is god," given that example.

By "prime," I'm assuming you mean "rationally irreducible," as prime numbers are. To that, I would say, "That which is comprised of, and emerges from, the properties of the universe, which are natural, and describable."

2) The question assumes a duality that I do not accept. There is "external," to be separated from the "internal."

The "nature" of what is (and please forgive the lingual tautology) what it is. We are humans. Our common, observable environment is one of animals, plants, elements, compounds, and variations thereof. Viewed from a universal standpoint, our skin is an arbitrary border between "this" and "that," "us" and "them."

3) This question feels loaded. For practical, modern, immediate purposes, I will say a human being is that which we classify as Homo sapiens.

4) One dies. Again, tautology. Death is, what it is. We die.

5) "Possible," "know," these words carry subtleties. Experience, context, familiarity, and undeviating events all tell me that I "know" that my birthday happens every 365-366 days. Similarly, I know my address, fire burns my skin, people do right and wrong things with mostly good intentions, and I do not need 78 different pairs of shampoo and conditioner in my supermarket. However, if we are to take on a 0-percent deviance from "knowledge," I know damn little. Maybe I really do need jojoba and apple pectin to groom myself.

6) We do, subject to socialization, know right and wrong. That distinction is subject to environment, nurturing, and the aforementioned socialization. I "know" it is right to open a door for someone, unless they ask me not to do so in the future. I "know" it is wrong to take what isn't given, unless the taking does no harm, and the purpose does good.

7) The "meaning" of human history? This gets into Hermeneutic analysis, declaration of background biases, attempts at ignorance of one's own assumptions... very difficult meta-cognitive work. History is a (nearly) infinite series of events, from which specialists in the field of study you mention select decision points, definitive events, and "important" details to relate. These recountings are subject to the future perspective of additional historians.

If "human," (apart from "natural," an arbitrary distinction) has a meaning, it is that humans attend / focus on certain sets of events as more important that others.

8) Had a little trouble parsing here, my wife helped me. She's good at that. "what... core commitments are consistent with your worldview?"

I am committed to pursing justice for everyone, economic distribution consistent with effort and sacrifice, teaching what I (think I) know, and making the right / ethically correct decision, every time the path I'm on forks in different directions.

WWMWAZSKDTVQHTMJD?
Find all posts by this user
Like Post Quote this message in a reply
22-09-2013, 11:51 PM
RE: Questions for atheists
1) and 2)
These questions assume a priori a dualistic universe with a "natural" and "supernatural" realm. I don't think there is any justification for such a divide. If a "prime reality" does exist, then it is subject to examination and study just as the observable universe is, and is therefore part of the observable universe. If you cannot examine or study it, then that implies that it has no affect on the observable universe, and thus might as well not exist.

3)
A hairless ape with an enlarged cerebral cortex, bipedal locomotion, with strong sexual dimorphism, which constructs elaborate social structures and uses tools.

4)
The acids and organisms living inside of your body eat their way out, while local detritivores eat their way in.

5)
Because information can be encoded in the form of physical states, such as electrical charges, whether this be in something hard and crystalline like semiconductor transistors, or something wet and squishy like biological neurons.

6)
Empathy and societal norms, of course.

7)
History is stuff that other people (mostly dead) have done in the past, usually involving killing other people (slightly more mostly dead). General trend seems to be a cyclically varying upward trend in most things people consider positive since the invention of modern science, although rising religious extremism threatens to cause a larger than normal decline should certain people get their hands on exceptionally large explosives.

8) What? Word salad.

E 2 = (mc 2)2 + (pc )2
614C → 714N + e + ̅νe
2 K(s) + 2 H2O(l) → 2 KOH(aq) + H2 (g) + 196 kJ/mol
It works, bitches.
Find all posts by this user
Like Post Quote this message in a reply
23-09-2013, 12:09 AM
RE: Questions for atheists
Asking questions and discovering the truth in the answers is great, glad you came here Megan.
Find all posts by this user
Like Post Quote this message in a reply
23-09-2013, 01:01 AM
RE: Questions for atheists
(22-09-2013 08:12 PM)Megan Wrote:  Because these questions seem to be causing a bit of confusion in their meaning, I will answer with what I believe. (I have what I need for the paper, but I am genuinely interested in this topic).

1) prime reality is God, revealed in scripture. Everything came from Him and he was before everything else.
2) external reality is the universe God created out of nothing.
3) humans are made in the image of God and possess His values. We are not evolved monkeys. We were made specifically to be the way we are.
4) death is either the gate to God or the gate to eternal separation (heaven and hell, basically)
5) because we are made in the image of God, we possess some of his characteristics, so we have the capacity to know things, which distinguishes us from other living organisms. (not to be confused with "we are exactly like God." no, we are not perfect and He is far, far greater. But we are similar...as in poor reflections of his perfect character).
6) ethics is transcendent and is based upon the character of God.
7) history is a meaningful sequence of events that lead to the will of God.
8) Christians seek the kingdom of God by enjoying him forever



I hope this cleared up an vagueness or confusion about the meaning of the questions!

Would you be willing to answer any questions concerning your beliefs as you presented them here?
Not looking to abuse you or your beliefs, just interested in how much thought is behind your answers.

. . . ................................ ......................................... . [Image: 2dsmnow.gif] Eat at Joe's
Find all posts by this user
Like Post Quote this message in a reply
23-09-2013, 04:09 AM (This post was last modified: 23-09-2013 04:16 AM by Reltzik.)
RE: Questions for atheists
(22-09-2013 12:34 PM)Megan Wrote:  Hi everybody! I am new here... I joined because I would really love some answers from you. I am writing a paper on worldviews and I have 8 questions to ask...I would really appreciate it if one of you could take the time to answer these!

1) what is prime reality? (the thing from which everything else comes)
Example: God
2) what is the nature of external reality?
Example: external reality is the universe which God created out of nothing.
3) what is a human being?
4) what happens at death?
5) why is it possible to know anything at all?
6) how do we know what is right and what is wrong?
7) what is the meaning of human history?
Example: history is a meaningful sequence of events that lead to God's will.
8) what person, life orienting core commitments are consistent with your worldview?


Thank you SO much to anyone who takes the time to answer these questions!
Megan Smile

1) Loaded question. It assumes there actually IS something from which everything comes. (Which raises the question of where that originating something originated from.)

2) "External" reality assumes a dualistic distinction being drawn between something which is internal and something which is external. While it is quite possible to draw many such distinctions, drawing it is ultimately arbitrary, and I cannot tell where you are drawing it. Where are the boundaries between external and internal? The skin? The spinal cord sending signals to the brain? The boundary between sensory input and cognitive process? Is a wave of dizziness brought on by hypotension internal or external? No matter where the line is drawn, there is a lot of crossover between the two, and the high coupling suggests that it is not a valuable distinction to make.

That said, and now I'm guessing at what you mean by external reality, its nature is that it exists, and has a bunch of interesting properties and features. Gravity, tactile sensations, temporal progression, mimes, and pretty rocks OOOH SHINY! In what way and through what means it exists... well, in a way that is less about its nature and more about what's behind its nature.

3) Any member of the species homo sapiens. There's some fuzzy grayness at the edges. For example: Is a corpse a human being? When in the reproductive process is the reproduction considered distinct from the reproducers? Where is the line drawn between primordial ancestor species and this one? But for the most part we've got enough of a working definition to be getting on with.

4) The body ceases to operate and the brain begins to decay, taking with it the neurology that makes up what we would think of as the person -- personality, memories, tendencies, skills, cognitive ability, et cetera. Asking what happens to the consciousness after death would be a bit like asking where a house is after a salvage crew disassembled it down to the planks and nails and shipped them to various reclamation sites across the country. The house isn't anywhere. It doesn't exist any more. Do I dread experiencing this? No. There won't be any me to do the experiencing. ... of course, the minutes or hours or months or whatever leading UP to death are likely to suck.

5) I assume you're asking "why" in the "through what means" sense rather than the "to what end" sense. I'll spare you a long treatise on my epistemological views, and leave it as saying that knowledge is possible only through empirical skepticism. Skepticism, because any means of arriving at knowledge that cannot endure close examination does not deserve the confidence required for us to consider its product to be knowledge. Empiricism, because unless our beliefs are grounded in reality, we might as well be throwing darts at the wall blindfolded -- any correct result will just be a lucky guess, and lucky guesses aren't the same thing as knowledge.

6) I don't subscribe to a notion of objective morality. We arrive (collectively, as societies) through a combination of instinctual taboos, natural empathy, absorbed social mores, and ethical reasoning. Though see above regarding epistemology.

7) I usually have trouble parsing these "meaning" questions. No one's given me a clear notion of what they mean by meaning, no matter how many times I ask. Usually when I encounter them, they seem to be asking about a mix of significance, an absolute interpretation (usually "God's purpose" or somesuch), and so on. That would make me regard it as a loaded question. Something can have personal meaning for me, or you, but I don't even know what an absolute meaning would mean. For me, life has no external meaning. I generate my personal meaning for it by my own actions and interpretations, and the meaning I tend to give it is a mix of exploration, learning, discovery, teaching, and helping of others. I'm pretty sure that my meaning for my life is not shared by everyone else. For my students, for example, the meaning of my life was to torture them with math problems.

8) Even harder to parse. .... nope, I'm not figuring out what this is asking. I could use a rephrase, or perhaps a definition of terms.
Find all posts by this user
Like Post Quote this message in a reply
[+] 1 user Likes Reltzik's post
23-09-2013, 06:57 AM
RE: Questions for atheists
(22-09-2013 12:34 PM)Megan Wrote:  Hi everybody! I am new here... I joined because I would really love some answers from you. I am writing a paper on worldviews and I have 8 questions to ask...I would really appreciate it if one of you could take the time to answer these!

1) what is prime reality? (the thing from which everything else comes)
Example: God
2) what is the nature of external reality?
Example: external reality is the universe which God created out of nothing.
3) what is a human being?
4) what happens at death?
5) why is it possible to know anything at all?
6) how do we know what is right and what is wrong?
7) what is the meaning of human history?
Example: history is a meaningful sequence of events that lead to God's will.
8) what person, life orienting core commitments are consistent with your worldview?


Thank you SO much to anyone who takes the time to answer these questions!
Megan Smile

1) what is prime reality? (the thing from which everything else comes)

The universe.

2) what is the nature of external reality?

No offense here but, there are such things as stupid questions. This is one. I have no idea what this means and your example doesn't help. I don't know how this is different from the first question (which is to say that I don't know why you think reality has multiple parts and multiple definitions).

3) what is a human being?

Homo sapiens. An animal living on Earth for roughly the last 200,000 years that descended from other Homo species that descended from apes, that descended from primates, that descended from mammals, that descended from mammal-like reptiles, that descended from reptiles, that descended from amphibians, that descended from fish, that descended from notochord bearing animals (chordates), that descended from simpler organisms without a notochord, that descended from single-celled eukaryotes, that descended from single-celled bacteria, that descended from single-celled archea, that appear to be as closely related to the common ancestor of all life today as we have found.

All of the above occurred over generations spanning the last 3.8 or so billion years (took the Earth a little while to become habitable it appears) and can be traced via the fossil record, geochemistry, genetics, and phylogenetic relationships.

4) what happens at death?

If you are an animal, respiration ceases and the flow of oxygen to the animals cells ceases. This leads to cell death. Then decay. Once the brain (assuming you are asking specifically for those animals that posses one) has ceased function and has begun to experience cell death, the immaterial mind (memories and knowledge) is gone. The body follows shortly after as bacteria and other organisms break the body down by consuming it. This recycles the nutrients of the body back into the system for use by other organisms or may be mineralized back into the Earth.

For plants, it is photosynthesis that ceases upon death. No brains here for people to get attached to, so maybe this is why we don't typically care about plant death? But these organisms die too, and it is basically the exact same thing as above. Except the organism's death is probably a bit more prolonged. The plant stops taking in CO2 in large enough quantities to sustain itself in producing sugar. Without the energy it needs, it dies too. Then it too decays and gets recycled.

5) why is it possible to know anything at all?

How much do you know? Is it possible to know anything if you don't know everything? Ergo, what you think you know, may be wrong. And you wouldn't be able to figure that out, without knowing everything and thereby knowing that the first set of knowledge is wrong.

Confusing enough (I hadn't intended to write it as such but...yea)? We have ideas and we hang on to those that stand up to question and reasoning. And if evidence or logical arguments are presented that discredit or disprove that, we eventually move on and ditch the old idea as being "true."

I like Stephen Jay Gould here
"In science, fact can only mean confirmed to such a degree that it would be perverse to withhold provisional assent. I suppose that apples might start to rise tomorrow, but the possibility does not merit equal time in physics classrooms." Stephen J. Gould

This was primarily in response to being asked about teaching creationism in schools. But there is a deeper portion of this that addresses your question. I don't know that gravity will still behave tomorrow as it does today. But we have never seen or recorded any evidence that suggests it won't. As such, it is as close to a fact about nature as we could reasonably say we know.


6) how do we know what is right and what is wrong?

Clearly we all don't, or we all have slightly different permutations of that which is morally good and that which is morally bad. Whether you want to look at it geographically and culturally (such as it being morally wrong for a woman to show any skin in some Muslim nations) or if you want to look at it through time (the founding fathers owned slaves and didn't seem to be morally bothered by it in the slightest).

Morality isn't absolute (as far as I can tell). I think morality is subjective, which is to say that in order to figure out if something is moral or not, you have to think about it for yourself.

7) what is the meaning of human history?

I think this is another stupid question or is at least a very significant tangent.

Human history (do I go back to all of human history and include the other species of humans that have existed? Or do you only mean written history which is defined as the writings of the Sumerians around 4,000 BCE?) is the evolutionary story of our species. Even our culture and society are evolved social traits (our morals too it would seem since our morality is clearly not the same as what might be called morality in other animals. At least not completely).


8) what person, life orienting core commitments are consistent with your worldview?

Due unto others as you would have them do unto you.

Which goes all the way back to some of man's earliest writings (like the code of Hammurabi and from the Ancient Egyptians).

I think at its very core, this is about as close as we seem to get to a moral absolute in nature that life seems to abide by. It isn't always true (as some organisms are clearly not conscious, so they would not have thought and could therefore not "do" anything to any other organism) and certainly not always adhered to.

Evolve
Find all posts by this user
Like Post Quote this message in a reply
23-09-2013, 07:15 AM
RE: Questions for atheists
(22-09-2013 09:24 PM)Megan Wrote:  I know there can be a large chasm between theists and atheists

It's not really as large as you might think. Given all the religions and religious denominations that are out there and have ever been, you are 99.9% Atheist.

You lack a belief in over 40,000 different denominations and some 20,000 different religions. We don't believe in those gods and their religious beliefs either, so you and I only differ by .1%

That .1% being your religion

Insanity - doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results
Find all posts by this user
Like Post Quote this message in a reply
[+] 8 users Like Rahn127's post
23-09-2013, 07:25 AM
RE: Questions for atheists
(22-09-2013 09:24 PM)Megan Wrote:  ...or clear up any misconceptions about Christianity...

Dodgy

[Image: 10339580_583235681775606_5139032440228868471_n.jpg]
Visit this user's website Find all posts by this user
Like Post Quote this message in a reply
[+] 2 users Like houseofcantor's post
23-09-2013, 07:29 AM (This post was last modified: 23-09-2013 07:36 AM by Hafnof.)
RE: Questions for atheists
(22-09-2013 12:34 PM)Megan Wrote:  1) what is prime reality? (the thing from which everything else comes)
Example: God
2) what is the nature of external reality?
Example: external reality is the universe which God created out of nothing.
3) what is a human being?
4) what happens at death?
5) why is it possible to know anything at all?
6) how do we know what is right and what is wrong?
7) what is the meaning of human history?
Example: history is a meaningful sequence of events that lead to God's will.
8) what person, life orienting core commitments are consistent with your worldview?

Megan, I wonder if you are interested in the biases I see in the questions here. I suspect you are writing your paper for a theistic program of study and that the questions were put forward by a teacher who follows a "presuppositional" approach to apologetics. I'll go through question by question and perhaps this will shed some light.

1) It seems hard to determine whether a particular reality is a "prime" reality or not. Is our universe the prime reality? Perhaps, but perhaps it exists within a boiling ocean of universes that itself is an external reality to our universe. Is that the prime reality? Perhaps, or perhaps it exists within some other external reality. Without a coherent theory of all the realities that actually exist it is hard to argue that the outer-most known reality is prime. What we think is the prime reality may still exist within another external reality, and so on. Or... this reality might in fact be the prime one.

A highly accurate computer simulation might contain a creature that is able to determine that it exists within a simulation. It might call the simulation "universe" and whoever created the universe "god". Is that creator really a god? If the creator can be considered a god, what's to stop us looking past that creator and finding another external reality containing a greater god? If we were to assume that the Christian god exists, what is to stop us looking past that God to seek another greater creator? To say that God is the prime reality is to go at least one step less than we might (a greater god could exist beyond the god we know), and one step more than we must (our reality might be the prime one).

The bias in this question is the underlying assumption that if you use the term "god" you are justified in saying that God either is or has formed some prime reality. That assumption is unjustified.

2) We know something of the nature of our own reality, but is our reality a simulation? It could be. Is it an artefact of a greater external reality? It could be. What can we know about the greater reality if we assume it does exist? Very little, perhaps nothing... at least until we are able to make reliable observations about that external reality.

The bias here is really the same as in question (1). To say that the nature of the external reality is "god" is insufficient and somewhat meaningless. Which god? What are their properties? Are they involved in the lives of humans on this planet? How? Show me how. If the god you believe in exists, what kind of universe would you expect to find? Does that line up with our actual universe? etc etc.

3) Within our universe, within our reality, a human is a member of our species homo sapien. Our species is part of a tree of life that mostly follows a pattern of evolution through random change which is then filtered through the non-random process of natural selection. Our minds appear to be a product of our meat-brains, which themselves are a product of that evolutionary process.

We are meant to read from the question that humans are spiritual beings, made for eternity - or something along those lines. Anything else sounds dull by comparison. But what matters is what is true. It isn't necessary for a world view to explain origin, meaning of life, morality and destiny. Before we can even address any of those questions isn't it more interesting to ask whether or not the world view is actually true? What if the true world view cannot explain origin, meaning of life, morality and destiny? Would that make the true world view false? No. The criteria for accepting a world view comes down to whether that world view is true or not. If true doesn't fit a neat little box that tells me how I should necessarily live my life that doesn't impact its truthfulness one iota. So I personally focus first on what I can or cannot claim as true, then I consider the impact on my life. I don't decide what I think is true based on how it would or would not impact my life.

4) At death our meat-brain fails, along with the rest of our meat... along with the rest of our cells. The pattern of behaviour expressed by those structures becomes incoherent as those structures fail. Those patterns of behaviour become random to the point that the "we" that they made up is lost and destroyed for all practical purposes. Our raw materials are reused in new configurations that no longer reflect the use we made of them.

This is a continuation of the worldview bias. There is an inherent argument here:
1. I don't want to die
2. People seem to die
3. Therefore, people seem to die but they don't really.
What we want or do not want does not influence reality, nor should it influence which ideas we accept and which we reject.

5) Our universe follows patterns that we are able to understand sufficiently well to feed our population and to build space stations. It is unknown if the universe must follow patterns that allow us to do this or whether those patterns exist by some random chance. Certainly every physical process we care about can be shown to be emergent behaviours of only a small number of particles and forces. Our brains evolved to solve problems of survival and developed skills and techniques that are transferable to a more fundamental understanding of the universe. That is not to say we are well equipped with our meat brains to understand the universe and respond to it appropriately. We are full of logical contradictions that are evidence of our evolutionary past. We judge random chance poorly. We see patterns where there are none. We find it difficult to let go of ideas we hold as true. We are deeply flawed as logical beings, but we get by.

Now we really get into the presuppositional bias, which suggests that if we don't know what the prime reality is then we can't know anything for sure and we can't say anything concrete about our reality. That's false for several reasons. Consider a simulated creature living in a simulated world. That creature learns about its simulated environment and responds appropriately. It learns to take advantage of the rules governing the simulation in order to feed its family and build space stations. Does it matter that this knowledge isn't "real" in any prime sense? Does it matter that the creator could change the rules in the future or turn off the simulation entirely? Not really, or at least not immediately. The creature is well served by learning about its simulated environment, as we are by learning about our own universe. Our scientific knowledge is tentative. It can be made to change and bend as we discover new facts about our reality. Do we "know" that general relativity and quantum mechanics are true? No, but we "know" with enough certainty to feed our population and build space stations. Next time the "knowledge" that comes directly from the "prime" reality god achieves the same, please let me know. To claim that "knowledge" from God trumps scientific knowledge because it comes from a prime reference frame is like saying that knowing that the sky is blue trumps the knowledge behind the curiosity rover.

The argument underlying this question is:
1. If we have a direct link to the prime reality, and
2. If that link is 100% reliable and accurate, then
3. We can know things relative to the prime reality and therefore "really" know them.
Yeah. If.
Assuming we have a link to this God character, is that link 100% reliable and accurate? Christians contradict each other on important matters of theology all the time, so the answer is certainly "no". Even if we did have such a link, again what's to say that this God we know is the "prime" one? Could we be talking to the true god's creation instead of the true god themselves?

6) As a social species we had to live together or see the death first of our social groups and then of our selves. We developed skills and techniques for understanding the inner mind of other individuals and crafting our own responses to what we think others are thinking. Those who worked well together in groups survived well. Our evolved brains produced a basic evolved moral sense whereby we empathise with those within our social group, as well as others who we see ourselves in. This basic evolutionary "conscience" became raw material for systems of ethical and moral behaviour and thought as we came together to form more complex and diverse societies. Moral and ethical ideas themselves went through evolutionary processes, and only societies that were able to work cohesively together survived. This combined with moral and ethical reasoning over the ages has culminated in our modern system of law, morality and ethics. Survival matters, so cohesion matters, so morality matters in an objective sense.

The question behind this question is: "Yeah? Well if you don't believe in God then where do your morals come from?". That's easy enough to turn around: "Yeah? Well, if you don't base your moral reasoning on the suffering and happiness of sentient beings, where does your morality come from?". It can't be the Bible. Slavery? Genocide? Taking virgin girls as slaves to do with what we will? Stone the neighbour's daughter if she isn't a virgin on her wedding night? Don't eat shellfish? Stone the guy picking up sticks on a Saturday? Don't tell me this is really the morality you hold to. You and I hold to the same morality, a secular morality.

7) This question is biased in the assumption that human life or human history needs a meaning. Human life has a meaning determined by the human in question, and human history has a meaning determined by the society in question. This is no more profound than saying that the sport of baseball has a meaning determined by people who play and who are otherwise invested in the game of baseball.

8) This last question is a bit of filler, but it at least gives someone a chance to say "xyz" and for you to gasp at their choice given that you were told "xyz" was evil and should not be trusted.

Overall these questions are intended to mislead, but not to mislead us. These questions are intended to mislead you into thinking you are making an honest enquiry into what other people think, when really the questions are framed to provoke specific responses that fit within the arguments and biases that are being injected into the exercise by the class teacher.

If you are really interested in knowing what atheists think, I suggest tuning into a few episodes of the atheist experience:
* http://www.atheist-experience.com/
Alternatively, stick around for a while and check out some debate and discussion. Also check out the thinking atheist podcast - Seth is an awesome guy and is well worth a listen:
* http://www.thethinkingatheist.com/podcast

Give me your argument in the form of a published paper, and then we can start to talk.
Find all posts by this user
Like Post Quote this message in a reply
[+] 5 users Like Hafnof's post
Post Reply
Forum Jump: