Questions for atheists
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24-09-2013, 12:29 AM
RE: Questions for atheists
(24-09-2013 12:05 AM)morondog Wrote:  Nah, it's not supposed to be. It's supposed to be that subset of sense which is so fucking basic there's no two interpretations. Things like "patting big ugly as fuck doggies who're growling at you is a bad idea"... yeah... not so common... Weeping

When my big dog growls at me, it's because he's threatening to rip my throat out for not performing my ear-scratching duties.

.... Actually, I have to question the "my" part. I'm not really clear who owns whom.

"If I ignore the alternatives, the only option is God; I ignore them; therefore God." -- The Syllogism of Fail
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24-09-2013, 08:04 AM
RE: Questions for atheists
1) what is prime reality? (the thing from which everything else comes)
How am I supposed to know?
2) what is the nature of external reality?
Can this be answered in a sentence or two? Not sure so I'm not even going to try.
3) what is a human being?
Hopefully you are, but we can't be certain.
4) what happens at death?
You die.
5) why is it possible to know anything at all?
Because we have brains.
6) how do we know what is right and what is wrong?
We don't, not fully.
7) what is the meaning of human history?
Human history has a meaning? I don't think so.
8) what person, life orienting core commitments are consistent with your worldview?
I often analyze my thoughts and actions against what I perceive to be acceptable or even tolerable societal norms. If my preferences do not match I then weigh the repercussions of continuing along the same path or tweaking my character so as not to be a hindrance to society. Is all rather subjective, but much of life seems to be that way.

Mostly I believe in letting others live as they wish just as long as their freedom to be themselves does not intrude on my freedom from them.
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25-09-2013, 10:56 PM (This post was last modified: 25-09-2013 11:01 PM by EvolutionKills.)
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

Why didn't I answer this earlier? Blink



1. I would not presume to claim to know, but all the available evidence points to a naturalistic universe with natural causes. So in light of no other information, I imagine that our universe had a natural cause (just one that we do not yet understand, or may never understand).


2. I take 'external reality' to mean the world I perceive, as opposed to the 'internal reality' of my thoughts and consciousness; in which case it's nature is whatever we can perceive it to be to the extent of our understanding and perception, while also acknowledging that our perceptions and intuitions are often frighteningly wrong.


3. A member of the species Homo Sapien Sapien. However a 'person' may be expanded to include other sufficiently sentient beings if we were ever to meet any.


4. The cessation of all chemical reactions in our body that constitute life. Presumably it's the end of 'us' as well, as there is no evidence for a mechanism that would allow us to rise off of our function-less bodies and continue to exist as ourselves. There is every reason to believe that the 13.7 billion year old atoms that constitute us and were once at the core of a star, will one day return to the universe as stardust; we are merely borrowing them for a shockingly brief time in a form that just happens to be able to recognize it'self and ask these questions. Perhaps we are the universe's means of knowing itself?


5. We have evolved through natural selection, incredibly advanced (relatively speaking) brains with capacity above pure instinct. Our large and energy intensive brains allow us reason, form complex social groups, entertain abstract thinking and art, as well as imagination. It's possible because we have an incredible hardware and software combination operating in our heads, one that is incredibly flawed in many ways, but also one of the best our planet's environment has been able to cultivate.


6. Right and wrong are labels we subjectively apply to our reality. In some instances things can be subjectively right or wrong (as is often the case in ethics), while other things can be objectively right or wrong (such as with logical axioms). Generally speaking the best way to determine what is right and wrong (either subjectively or objectively) is with logic, reasoning, and evidence.


7. History is the recording of our past, and it can it's meaning is subjective; it can easily mean different things to different people at different times. Sometimes it's a recording of our mistakes, so that we hopefully won't repeat them. Other times it can be a means of hope or inspiration. At base, history is just information concerning events of the past. If you go looking for a god, you'll very likely find things that conform to that desire. But are you also unbiased enough to notice all of the historical information, including that which would shed doubt on your belief? That is the trick, is it not?


8. I'm not terribly sure what you mean by this, so I'll assume that you're asking whether there is someone whom I admire for their worldview? In that case I appreciate Neil degrasse Tyson and Bill Nye for their commitment to science education. I admire Sam Harris for his ability to condense a 10,000 word idea into a single succinct paragraph, and his uncanny ability to get me to question my own presuppositions. I admire Carl Sagan for his poetic eloquence. Charles Darwin for his insight and dedication to a supremely powerful explanative framework, regardless of how unpopular it was among his peers. I admire great thinkers of that past that have had profound positive influence on our lives, such as Faraday, Newton, Pasteur, Tesla, Hume, Kepler, Franklin, Einstein, Mendeleev, Hypatia, Salk, Hawking, Heisenberg, Turing, etc. Are any of them consistent with my world view? I imagine that some are in some ways, but I prefer to build my own view rather than just have it handed to me.

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26-09-2013, 04:57 AM
Re: Questions for atheists
Some atheists say nothing happens after you die. I disagree, some of us will be throwing a party.

Being nice is something stupid people do to hedge their bets
-Rick
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26-09-2013, 05:15 AM
RE: Questions for atheists
(24-09-2013 12:29 AM)Reltzik Wrote:  
(24-09-2013 12:05 AM)morondog Wrote:  Nah, it's not supposed to be. It's supposed to be that subset of sense which is so fucking basic there's no two interpretations. Things like "patting big ugly as fuck doggies who're growling at you is a bad idea"... yeah... not so common... Weeping

When my big dog growls at me, it's because he's threatening to rip my throat out for not performing my ear-scratching duties.

.... Actually, I have to question the "my" part. I'm not really clear who owns whom.

When my big dog growls at me, it's because he needs a kick in the ass. Big Grin

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26-09-2013, 06:44 AM
RE: Questions for atheists
Megan - many theists come here out of curiosity and encounter rational thought for the first time. It's a shock to their system.

Have you learned anything from our responses ?

Insanity - doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results
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26-09-2013, 06:54 AM
RE: Questions for atheists
1) what is prime reality? (the thing from which everything else comes) Is there a "thing from which everything else comes"?
2) what is the nature of external reality? I don't understand the question. Define "external reality".
3) what is a human being? A member of the species at the top of the food chain on planet Earth.
4) what happens at death? Life ends.
5) why is it possible to know anything at all? It is impossible to know anything with 100% certainty.
6) how do we know what is right and what is wrong? In the final analysis we don't. We simply evolved to behave altruistically.
7) what is the meaning of human history? It has no meaning. It simply happened.
8) what person, life orienting core commitments are consistent with your worldview? I don't understand the question. Clarify.

Sapere aude
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26-09-2013, 11:31 AM
RE: Questions for atheists
(26-09-2013 06:44 AM)Rahn127 Wrote:  Megan - many theists come here out of curiosity and encounter rational thought for the first time. It's a shock to their system.

Have you learned anything from our responses ?

I think she's gotten what she needs for her paper and moved on.

Which is fair enough.

"If I ignore the alternatives, the only option is God; I ignore them; therefore God." -- The Syllogism of Fail
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26-09-2013, 11:40 AM
RE: Questions for atheists
It looks like she has come back each evening to the site but just hasn't posted. She is probably still working on it and using it to help but has more than enough to use.

Being nice is something stupid people do to hedge their bets
-Rick
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26-09-2013, 11:49 AM (This post was last modified: 26-09-2013 06:49 PM by Bucky Ball.)
RE: Questions for atheists
(26-09-2013 11:31 AM)Reltzik Wrote:  
(26-09-2013 06:44 AM)Rahn127 Wrote:  Megan - many theists come here out of curiosity and encounter rational thought for the first time. It's a shock to their system.

Have you learned anything from our responses ?

I think she's gotten what she needs for her paper and moved on.

Which is fair enough.

She was quite gracious, and very nice about it, and perfectly honest, at least. Students who have to work, are busier than we realize. She may be back. Maybe just busy writing. Too early to tell. It was very embarrassing to be singled out, as everyone's answers were great, some far better than mine. I wish I had frankiej's humor ability. He's awesome. I wish he lived in the the US. If I thought *one* would be picked, I might have not responded at all. Now all we have to do is get Muffs, and frankiej, to move to San Diego, and the world as we know it would come to an end.

Insufferable know-it-all.Einstein God has a plan for us. Please stop screwing it up with your prayers.
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