The defining line between belief and unbelief
Post Reply
 
Thread Rating:
  • 0 Votes - 0 Average
  • 1
  • 2
  • 3
  • 4
  • 5
04-04-2015, 06:51 AM
RE: The defining line between belief and unbelief
(01-04-2015 06:52 PM)Free Wrote:  
(01-04-2015 06:35 PM)SunnyD1 Wrote:  I often contemplate what makes a believer believe, and an unbeliever not. There are numerous factors, with indoctrination probably the most common. Although, I do think that there is a common factor that makes human beings susceptible to faith, rendering the seemingly irrational completely rational in the eyes of the believer.

I've just got Sartre's Nausea and had been reading up on it first, as I have exams and another essay before I break up for the summer and can actually ENJOY some reading.

Hayden Carruth (at first quoting Karl Jaspers) writes about something summing up my thoughts on the subject. He says, ""The non-rational is found in the opacity of the here and now, ... in the actual empirical existence which is just as it is and not otherwise." Why is it not otherwise? Why is it at all? What is this is-ness? Isn't it simply nothing, or rather Nothingness, the unknowable, indispensable Void What could be more absurd, "non-rational," meaningless? The mind of man, which he did not ask to be given, demands a reason and a meaning—this is its self-defining cause— and yet it finds itself in the midst of a radically meaningless existence. The result: impasse. And nausea".

It's quite the paradox (if I understand what a paradox is)? It is reasonable to assume all humans at some point in their life are met with some kind of existential self awareness. The outcome depends on how somebody deals with this "nausea". Whether it be with reason, emotion or lack of.

I think Hitchens referred to these kind of paradoxes as "universal irony" and he was a believer in a universal irony being something being completely possible without having to take a leap of faith in order to explain an outcome. I.E We have no choice whether or not the have free will.

Although, this itself becomes paradoxical does it not?


P.S Not sure whether to post in the theism/atheism or philosophy section.

Just one word:

"Fear."

Nobody wants to see the end of life. When you have lost your life, you have lost everything.

Fear of the end of life is what compels people to believe in the concept of an extended life after physical death. Therefore, all religious ideologies which teach of an afterlife are peddling hope upon the fear factor, resulting in many of those who live in fear of death dying with false hopes.

This fear comes from our innate quality to preserve ourselves in life. All sentient life will take any means available to preserve its life, and because humans have higher intelligence and a creative imagination, the innate quality to preserve ourselves compels us to imagine and propagate the concept of an afterlife, despite the fact that our intelligence knows that there is no evidence to support the concept.

Therefore, our innate quality for self preservation generates the emotion of fear, which in turn forces many to believe that life will continue after our physical death.

At least, that's my humble opinion.

I agree that "fear" is a prime motivator for belief in a sky daddy, but that still doesn't explain why some people are driven into belief while others are not. All people have to face the fact that, at some point, we are going to die--if "survival" is our goal, at some point we are going to lose the battle. Some people are able to accept this fact as an element of our existence and some aren't.

I think what really determines our outlook on life (and death) has to do with two factors. Our beliefs, and thus, our actions, are wholly determined by our physical make-up (nature) and how we have been conditioned throughout our lives (nurture). These two factors account for the differences in people.

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.
Find all posts by this user
Like Post Quote this message in a reply
04-04-2015, 07:22 AM
RE: The defining line between belief and unbelief
(01-04-2015 08:55 PM)Bucky Ball Wrote:  In fact, what Evolution may tell us, is that individuals are NOT important.

Not so if you look at societal evolution. Which is faster and just as important as physical evolution.

For myself, I do feel that my life has influenced society. The vocal protests I took part in in my youth have had a huge impact over the decades - the rights for gays and women have come very close to the ideals we envisioned back then.

Each of us has the potential to contribute to societal change. By doing so you become an important part of human evolution - societal evolution.

Making noise about social ills causes people who agree to become vocal too. Eventually enough people will have spoken up so that most people will know someone with that opinion. That is when it becomes part of social evolution. And we are a real part of it.

When I was vocal, it did seem like it was useless and I was unimportant in the scheme of things. Over the decades , as improvements were implemented, I came to realize that the noise we made was pivotal for society.

We are important in that way, we are one of the building blocks of evolution. We are part of what determines the future of humanity.

[Image: dobie.png]Science is the process we've designed to be responsible for generating our best guess as to what the fuck is going on. Girly Man
Find all posts by this user
Like Post Quote this message in a reply
04-04-2015, 07:40 AM
RE: The defining line between belief and unbelief
(03-04-2015 12:51 PM)dancefortwo Wrote:  
(03-04-2015 12:22 PM)SunnyD1 Wrote:  No such thing as over-thinking... you almost sound religious Wink


Over thinking doesn't mean NOT thinking. Overthinking is coming to the same conclusion endlessly and splitting hairs on that same conclusion time and time again and still ending up with the same conclusion.

Religion is stupid shit. Nothing else to add.

Just a joke friend.

Saints live in flames; wise men, next to them.
Find all posts by this user
Like Post Quote this message in a reply
04-04-2015, 08:54 AM
RE: The defining line between belief and unbelief
The entire premise of atheism, should you be imbued with it, is to give none of this any thought. This site should not exist under the banner of atheism.

You see, all the works by all the authors of all time regarding a certain declaration of atheism hasn't been truthfully solvent, now has it? Certainly not if they insist on further, highly efforted abuse of theism. It's all largely an auto-admonition of lingering doubt.

I think the time has come to begin the same abusive antagonism of atheism. It has become exactly what it should not have become - a new religion - and it's very frustrating to read text upon text of questionable atheists seeking support for their hesitant claims on such a declaration.

Just give it up and return quietly to your lives of non-thought towards theism or atheism. Dwelling on atheism is nothing more than displaying a hesitancy towards it. Either truthfully claim it and shut up, or admit you are unsure. The latter is not atheism.
Find all posts by this user
Like Post Quote this message in a reply
04-04-2015, 09:01 AM
RE: The defining line between belief and unbelief
(04-04-2015 08:54 AM)pitar Wrote:  The entire premise of atheism, should you be imbued with it, is to give none of this any thought. This site should not exist under the banner of atheism.

You see, all the works by all the authors of all time regarding a certain declaration of atheism hasn't been truthfully solvent, now has it? Certainly not if they insist on further, highly efforted abuse of theism. It's all largely an auto-admonition of lingering doubt.

I think the time has come to begin the same abusive antagonism of atheism. It has become exactly what it should not have become - a new religion - and it's very frustrating to read text upon text of questionable atheists seeking support for their hesitant claims on such a declaration.

Just give it up and return quietly to your lives of non-thought towards theism or atheism. Dwelling on atheism is nothing more than displaying a hesitancy towards it. Either truthfully claim it and shut up, or admit you are unsure. The latter is not atheism.

Being unsure can either lead to atheism OR theism. Being unsure and so lacking belief = atheism. Being unsure and so placing faith in a divinity = theism.

The rest of your post needs no addressing as I suspect most people will probably laugh at you.

Saints live in flames; wise men, next to them.
Find all posts by this user
Like Post Quote this message in a reply
04-04-2015, 09:10 AM
RE: The defining line between belief and unbelief
(04-04-2015 08:54 AM)pitar Wrote:  The entire premise of atheism, should you be imbued with it, is to give none of this any thought. This site should not exist under the banner of atheism.

You see, all the works by all the authors of all time regarding a certain declaration of atheism hasn't been truthfully solvent, now has it? Certainly not if they insist on further, highly efforted abuse of theism. It's all largely an auto-admonition of lingering doubt.

I think the time has come to begin the same abusive antagonism of atheism. It has become exactly what it should not have become - a new religion - and it's very frustrating to read text upon text of questionable atheists seeking support for their hesitant claims on such a declaration.

Just give it up and return quietly to your lives of non-thought towards theism or atheism. Dwelling on atheism is nothing more than displaying a hesitancy towards it. Either truthfully claim it and shut up, or admit you are unsure. The latter is not atheism.

Oh, do fuck off. Drinking Beverage

N.B. Atheism is not a religion.

Skepticism is not a position; it is an approach to claims.
Science is not a subject, but a method.
[Image: flagstiny%206.gif]
Visit this user's website Find all posts by this user
Like Post Quote this message in a reply
[+] 2 users Like Chas's post
04-04-2015, 10:36 AM
RE: The defining line between belief and unbelief
(04-04-2015 08:54 AM)pitar Wrote:  Just give it up and return quietly to your lives of non-thought towards theism or atheism. Dwelling on atheism is nothing more than displaying a hesitancy towards it. Either truthfully claim it and shut up, or admit you are unsure. The latter is not atheism.

I'll 'shut up' when I feel like it. And I don't feel like it, so, there's that.

There's no need do dwell on atheism if people stop claiming the existence of gods. In fact, atheism only exists as an alternative to the god claims. It sounds like a simple fix is to stop shoving myth and superstition down everyone's throats. In fact, I cannot respond to a theist's post unless they post it here. Seems you're contributing to your perceived problem.

You can be an atheist and be unsure, just like you can be a theist and be unsure. But thank you for being yet another person attempting to redefine the meaning of atheism. It's a cute trick and one we never tire of.

If Jesus died for our sins, why is there still sin? If man was created from dust, why is there still dust? If Americans came from Europe, why are there still Europeans?
Find all posts by this user
Like Post Quote this message in a reply
04-04-2015, 10:40 AM
RE: The defining line between belief and unbelief
(04-04-2015 10:36 AM)guitar_nut Wrote:  
(04-04-2015 08:54 AM)pitar Wrote:  Just give it up and return quietly to your lives of non-thought towards theism or atheism. Dwelling on atheism is nothing more than displaying a hesitancy towards it. Either truthfully claim it and shut up, or admit you are unsure. The latter is not atheism.

I'll 'shut up' when I feel like it. And I don't feel like it, so, there's that.

There's no need do dwell on atheism if people stop claiming the existence of gods. In fact, atheism only exists as an alternative to the god claims. It sounds like a simple fix is to stop shoving myth and superstition down everyone's throats. In fact, I cannot respond to a theist's post unless they post it here. Seems you're contributing to your perceived problem.

You can be an atheist and be unsure, just like you can be a theist and be unsure. But thank you for being yet another person attempting to redefine the meaning of atheism. It's a cute trick and one we never tire of.

It's a pathetic attempt at trying to look passive and neutral when it comes to the discussion of religion. Psuedo-liberal atheist students nowadays do this thing where they say "I'm an atheist, but you can't say that about religion! Atheism itself is even a religion! all religions are peaceful! leave them alone!" It's this kind of masochistic behaviour that insults the history of atheism and its struggle to become accepted in society.

Saints live in flames; wise men, next to them.
Find all posts by this user
Like Post Quote this message in a reply
04-04-2015, 11:33 AM (This post was last modified: 04-04-2015 12:19 PM by Free.)
RE: The defining line between belief and unbelief
(04-04-2015 08:54 AM)pitar Wrote:  The entire premise of atheism, should you be imbued with it, is to give none of this any thought. This site should not exist under the banner of atheism.

You see, all the works by all the authors of all time regarding a certain declaration of atheism hasn't been truthfully solvent, now has it? Certainly not if they insist on further, highly efforted abuse of theism. It's all largely an auto-admonition of lingering doubt.

I think the time has come to begin the same abusive antagonism of atheism. It has become exactly what it should not have become - a new religion - and it's very frustrating to read text upon text of questionable atheists seeking support for their hesitant claims on such a declaration.

Just give it up and return quietly to your lives of non-thought towards theism or atheism. Dwelling on atheism is nothing more than displaying a hesitancy towards it. Either truthfully claim it and shut up, or admit you are unsure. The latter is not atheism.

Since atheism does not promote any kind of a set system of beliefs in any way, how then can it be some kind of religion?

Do you understand what a religion actually is?

religion

noun

1. a set of beliefs concerning the cause, nature, and purpose of the universe, especially when considered as the creation of a superhuman agency or agencies, usually involving devotional and ritual observances, and often containing a moral code governing the conduct of human affairs

http://dictionary.reference.com/browse/religion

Atheists are diverse in what they believe in in regards to how the existence of things came to be. Hence, atheists are distinguished from those who follow religion due to the fact that we do not accept a "superhuman/supernatural" cause for existence.

How can anyone become an atheist when we are all born with no beliefs in the first place? We are atheists because we were born this way.
Find all posts by this user
Like Post Quote this message in a reply
23-04-2015, 11:56 AM
RE: The defining line between belief and unbelief
(04-04-2015 07:22 AM)Dom Wrote:  
(01-04-2015 08:55 PM)Bucky Ball Wrote:  In fact, what Evolution may tell us, is that individuals are NOT important.

Not so if you look at societal evolution. Which is faster and just as important as physical evolution.

For myself, I do feel that my life has influenced society. The vocal protests I took part in in my youth have had a huge impact over the decades - the rights for gays and women have come very close to the ideals we envisioned back then.

Each of us has the potential to contribute to societal change. By doing so you become an important part of human evolution - societal evolution.

Making noise about social ills causes people who agree to become vocal too. Eventually enough people will have spoken up so that most people will know someone with that opinion. That is when it becomes part of social evolution. And we are a real part of it.

When I was vocal, it did seem like it was useless and I was unimportant in the scheme of things. Over the decades , as improvements were implemented, I came to realize that the noise we made was pivotal for society.

We are important in that way, we are one of the building blocks of evolution. We are part of what determines the future of humanity.

This is an amazing summation and very much reflects my own take. Thank you!

In fact, I happen to emphatically take it that evolution -- both biological and cultural -- is always ongoing. There is no "completion" in evolution, in my view. Consequently, each of us is a bit player in forming the shape of the future, both short-term and long-term, both biological and cultural. Sometimes the line between biological and cultural can even be blurred (can beavers' dams, for instance, be viewed as reflecting their biology or their culture? or ant hills or bee hives?).

Going back to Dom's excellent points, no one, sfaik, has yet attempted a stringent and thorough multi-volume analysis of all the cultural/social reformers for whom we have any records at all. Clearly, that would be a gargantuan task requiring two or three generations, much like the New Oxford English Dictionary, for example. But it would be a worthwhile project, in my view, especially today, when we appear to have perfect-storm conditions for achieving the extinction of the human species in pretty short order.

Somehow or other, throughout humanity's checkered past, certain cultural/social reformers have (sometimes) rescued certain societies here and there from falling over a cliff driven over it by sheer callousness and thoughtlessness. It often appears that, without such reformers, some of these societies could well collapse from sheer anarchy and self-centeredness. Many have. It's the reformers that often pull such societies back from the brink by breathing new life into certain notions that are often on life support, like selflessness, simple fairness, inclusiveness, empathy, altruism, equal opportunity, and the like. How have such reformers pulled this off in the past, and are there common ingredients that a mega-research project such as I describe might ferret out?

I plead guilty to having speculated along these lines on previous occasions on other boards, yes. But I'm very aware that one individual's perspective -- and time on this planet -- is woefully limited. So one would need positively institutional resources, of prodigious proportions, to jumpstart a project of this kind that would have any semblance of being comprehensive or generally useful.

Where I stub my toe is on what I myself have discerned in the history of such egalitarian reformers. I think I have, in fact, discerned a recurring pattern of some kind, but it points to certain answers that go very much against the grain of how I grew up. This is why I've learned (the hard way) not to go off half-cocked and "proclaim" the common features that I (think I) have discerned. Instead, I very, very, very much desire that other scholars and readers (here and elsewhere) instead, much, much more qualified than me, evaluate the same data (and much more than just that data, since I've only studied a pitiful fraction of world history) and generate any common features that may be there in a much more stringent and thorough way than I ever could.

I will "show my hand", though, in one respect: The more I read, the more it emerges that there are certain basic principles among all historic reformers going back millennia. In addition, these basic principles regularly involve a "living out" of both a selflessness and a universal empathy of some kind, often counter-cultural to the callous societies from which these reformers emerge. In addition, these basic principles are recycled constantly. So many reformers throughout time are merely standing on others' shoulders in what they do and think. Still, it is possible, despite all the recycling, for one to trace these basic principles back to their starting point -- their first "light-bulb" moment, that is. It is not very easy doing that, of course(!), but it can be done -- if one is persistent and scholarly enough with the huge written record.

I freely admit I've barely scratched the surface in doing that myself, and that is why a mega-research project is so essential in doing that properly and thoroughly. One individual just can't do this alone. Both limited time and one's unavoidably biased perspective (biased for whatever reason, conscious or unconscious) invariably stand in the way. This is why a whole phalanx of experts, of necessarily varied perspectives and experience, is essential to such a project being done properly. Everyone would need to look over everyone else's shoulders. The needed rigor here would be extremely daunting, even unfriendly, researcher to researcher -- but utterly essential.

The most important goal in such a project is not just to determine common features among all the reformers -- which is huge enough as a proposition in itself! The even more important goal is to determine the common features present among that select subset of reformers, specifically, who first apply these principles at their very inception point, at their first "light-bulb" moment. That is where Dom's brilliant concept of societal evolution comes in. The first "light-bulb" moment is the juncture which punctuates that evolution. The collective nub of the kind of huge project that's needed would be those specific factors common to all the deduced "light-bulb" moments in our earliest history, as duly extracted from our earliest history by the multiple researchers in such a gigantic project. Then we would understand, much more clearly, just what goes into the most essential building blocks of societal evolution. Right now, humanity's "understanding" of these biological and cultural essentials is simply pathetic, beyond useless, in fact, if not downright counter-productive.

A mega-research project of this kind could change all that -- and not a moment too soon! Complacency is not an option. Extinction, anyone?

Stein
Find all posts by this user
Like Post Quote this message in a reply
Post Reply
Forum Jump: