The voice of reason and/or the voice of faith
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08-04-2016, 06:23 AM
RE: The voice of reason and/or the voice of faith
(07-04-2016 09:20 PM)evenheathen Wrote:  Hold on Bucky, I actually read what he wrote as saying that when we stop being skeptical, we become susceptible to the danger of faith based thinking. I'm not seeing what you seem to be in what he wrote.

Unless I'm missing something? I haven't read anything posted by A=t that I really disagree with. Consider

As I was reading his last couple of posts I was thinking that he seems to be conflating atheism with skepticism.Consider

A=T, perhaps you could define what you mean by 'atheism' and 'agnosticism' as I think your usage may be different than the way I use the terms.

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09-04-2016, 04:03 AM
RE: The voice of reason and/or the voice of faith
(08-04-2016 12:53 AM)Rahn127 Wrote:  Faith can cause injury.
Reason can prevent injury or help to minimize it.

Anything designed to protect your child or you was put into place because people got hurt and people wanted to prevent future injury.

Here is the evidence of people getting injured and now we use reason to help prevent future injury.

Faith doesn't do that.
Faith remains consistent in spite of injury.
"All you have to do is believe and god will protect you.
If you are injured, then this is gods will."

Ignoring the consequences of an action in favor of your own mental delusion can cause injury.

So yes, reason is much more useful than faith.

I could not agree more. I come from a devote southern Baptist family and I struggled for years to reconcile my desire to be 'a good Christian girl' with my hunger for knowledge which clearly opposed the religious institution. But once I allowed myself to be uncomfortable and truthfully a little afraid of the idea that this short time I have on this earth is all there will be. Pro-religious groups argue that faith is above ridicule. My belief in science, logic and reason could not reconcile the idea that belief in something that refuses to allow itself to be open to the scientific community. I decided I would not be a sheep. My family of course sees my view as immoral. This isn't a surprise to me given your response that 'ignoring the consequences of an action in favor of your own mental delusion can cause injury.'

Science is the only way we can ever truly hope to understand the universe and maybe, as many scholars have suggested, our purpose is for the universe to have a way of understanding itself.


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10-04-2016, 05:31 PM
RE: The voice of reason and/or the voice of faith
(08-04-2016 01:27 AM)EvolutionKills Wrote:  If we're just going to post sappy pictures with quotes on them, I'm going to start linking to images of Lisa Frank folders; because that shit is trippy.

[Image: 980x.jpg]

Slap whatever fucking quote you want on that shit, and you'll still be trippin' balls.

That was a cute image. I understand that the images and quotes I use are sometimes sappy but if you are referring the one I attached to a recent post (I believe it had a tree in it surrounded by stars but it doesn't really matter). The quote was by Carl Sagan and I happen to be a huge fan. Again, not for everyone, but I just wanted to clarify why I chose to attach that image. Thanks for the feedback though.

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10-04-2016, 05:37 PM
Thumbs Up RE: The voice of reason and/or the voice of faith
(08-04-2016 02:31 AM)Banjo Wrote:  "Truth" is a human concept. That's all. An idea.

"Ideas are a dime a dozen".
Jack Kerouac.

PS. I was off my tree last night. Ignore my curt responses.

No apologies necessary. I honestly want constructive criticism (to me that's the whole point of scientific reasoning - to always doubt ourselves and what others say to come to come to our conclusions about, as you said, our own 'truth') and I was being defensive. Thank you for your sincere yet unnecessary compliment. Cheers, mate!

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10-04-2016, 10:15 PM
RE: The voice of reason and/or the voice of faith
(08-04-2016 06:23 AM)unfogged Wrote:  
(07-04-2016 09:20 PM)evenheathen Wrote:  Hold on Bucky, I actually read what he wrote as saying that when we stop being skeptical, we become susceptible to the danger of faith based thinking. I'm not seeing what you seem to be in what he wrote.

Unless I'm missing something? I haven't read anything posted by A=t that I really disagree with. Consider

As I was reading his last couple of posts I was thinking that he seems to be conflating atheism with skepticism.Consider

A=T, perhaps you could define what you mean by 'atheism' and 'agnosticism' as I think your usage may be different than the way I use the terms.

I apologize for my delayed response but I was eager to sit down and respond to your question (unfogged) regarding the way I define atheism and agnosticism. I will stop myself from 'standing on my soapbox' and rambling about my beliefs regarding how language is an arbitrary system of communication but I think it's important to point out that since words are simply a collection of random letters that when put together form a socially accepted representation of an object, an idea, et cetera, so my disclaimer is that I fully expect that you and many others will have different understandings of the terms atheist and agnostic based on their own development, culture and language.

Based on my understanding, theists, atheists and agnostics have one thing in common - they have ideologies and beliefs related to whether or not the proposition that 'God Exists' is true or false. I may be oversimplifying here but I believe: 1) You are a theist if and only if you say that the proposition that 'God Exists' is true or probably true; 2) You are an atheist if and only if you say that it is false or probably false and 3) You are an agnostic if and only if you understand what the proposition is, but resist giving an opinion one way or the other. If asked, an agnostic might say 'The evidence that God exists is insufficient' but they claim to be neutral as to whether God exists or not.

I define myself as an atheist because I believe that even though no one, including myself, can disprove the idea that 'God' exists, I firmly believe that it is irrelevant whether or not such a being exists at all - the universe contains everything that there is and it was not created by anything else other than what already exists in the universe. Therefore, asking whether or not 'God' exists is a silly and unnecessary question - logic, reason and science by definition answer reasonable questions by utilizing non-biased hypotheses, ridicule and doubting of what we thought we knew and the systematic collection of data all of which is done without an emotional agenda. Science and logic provide us with the unique opportunity to make up our own minds about what is true and what is not without allowing our judgement to be clouded by myth and imagination.

Agnostic, on the other hand, was a word first coined by Thomas Henry (T.H.) Huxley (although we now know it may have been an ideology that goes back as far as Socrates but Huxley merely coined a term for the same idea). Historical records show that at the opening party for the Metaphysical Society in London, Huxley used the word 'agnostic' for the first time and explained to other party-goers that he took the idea for the word agnostic from a Bible verse (believe it or not) which was the verse Acts 17:23 that states:
Quote:"For as I walked around and looked carefully at your objects of worship, I even found an altar with this inscription: TO AN UNKNOWN GOD. So you are ignorant of the very thing you worship - and this is what I am going to proclaim to you."
He described agnostic in 1863 as
Quote:"...when I began to ask myself whether I was an atheist, a theist, or a pantheist; a materialist or an idealist; Christian or a freethinker; I found that the more I learned and reflected, the less ready was the answer; until, at last, I came to the conclusion that I had neither art nor part with any of these denominations, except the last. The one thing in which most of these good people were agreed was the one thing in which I differed from them. They were quite sure they had attained a certain "gnosis"–had, more or less successfully, solved the problem of existence; while I was quite sure I had not, and had a pretty strong conviction that the problem was insoluble. And, with Hume and Kant on my side, I could not think myself presumptuous in holding fast by that opinion ... So I took thought, and invented what I conceived to be the appropriate title of "agnostic". It came into my head as suggestively antithetic to the "gnostic" of Church history, who professed to know so much about the very things of which I was ignorant. ... To my great satisfaction the term took."


Later, in 1889, Huxley wrote
Quote:"Therefore, although it be, as I believe, demonstrable that we have no real knowledge of the authorship, or of the date of composition of the Gospels, as they have come down to us, and that nothing better than more or less probable guesses can be arrived at on that subject."

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11-04-2016, 05:44 AM
RE: The voice of reason and/or the voice of faith
(10-04-2016 10:15 PM)Atheism=truth Wrote:  Based on my understanding, theists, atheists and agnostics have one thing in common - they have ideologies and beliefs related to whether or not the proposition that 'God Exists' is true or false.

Beliefs, yes, ideologies, not so much. My atheism isn't what I base my views on. Atheism is the result of applying skepticism (or rationalism or even materialism depending on exactly how those terms are meant) so my atheism doesn't define how I approach questions, my skepticism does.

Quote:I may be oversimplifying here but I believe: 1) You are a theist if and only if you say that the proposition that 'God Exists' is true or probably true; 2) You are an atheist if and only if you say that it is false or probably false and 3) You are an agnostic if and only if you understand what the proposition is, but resist giving an opinion one way or the other. If asked, an agnostic might say 'The evidence that God exists is insufficient' but they claim to be neutral as to whether God exists or not.

That's certainly one way of defining the terms but it isn't the most useful way in my experience. While I would agree with your definition of a theist, I would say
2) You are an atheist if you believe that there is insufficient justification to accept the claim "god exists"
3) You are an agnostic if you accept that your belief about the claim "god exists" fall short of being knowledge

Note: I am not saying that your definition is wrong, just clarifying that when you use the terms you are implying something a bit different than when I use them. Others here are somewhat split on how they use the terms so it helps to clarify (we can be a damned pedantic bunch).

I have found that it makes things clearest when theism/atheism is used to address what somebody believes is true (or at least probably true) and gnosticism/agnosticism is used to address what somebody claims to know. Under those guidelines I am an agnostic atheist; I do not accept any claims I have heard so far regarding the existence of gods but I am open to evidence that there is a claim that I should accept.

Quote:I define myself as an atheist because I believe that even though no one, including myself, can disprove the idea that 'God' exists, I firmly believe that it is irrelevant whether or not such a being exists at all

I agree with that, at least to the extent that all the evidence show a universe that runs by natural laws without needing any god to manage things so god is quite irrelevant to living or to learning about the universe.

Quote: - the universe contains everything that there is and it was not created by anything else other than what already exists in the universe.

I think that's an overreach. I see no reason to believe any such thing exists or could exist but it depends on what you mean by "universe". If that includes any potential multiverse then I think you are probably correct but this all quickly dives into an argument from ignorance since we simply do not know. I try not to have firm beliefs about things that I don't know about.

Quote:Therefore, asking whether or not 'God' exists is a silly and unnecessary question - logic, reason and science by definition answer reasonable questions by utilizing non-biased hypotheses, ridicule and doubting of what we thought we knew and the systematic collection of data all of which is done without an emotional agenda. Science and logic provide us with the unique opportunity to make up our own minds about what is true and what is not without allowing our judgement to be clouded by myth and imagination.

Yep

Quote:Agnostic, on the other hand, was a word first coined by Thomas Henry (T.H.) Huxley (although we now know it may have been an ideology that goes back as far as Socrates but Huxley merely coined a term for the same idea). ...

I'm familiar with Huxley's use of the term, it just isn't the most useful definition. It can mean somebody who claims that we can't know or claims that we don't know. The latter is just a more useful definition in my opinion.

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11-04-2016, 12:55 PM
RE: The voice of reason and/or the voice of faith
(11-04-2016 05:44 AM)unfogged Wrote:  
(10-04-2016 10:15 PM)Atheism=truth Wrote:  Based on my understanding, theists, atheists and agnostics have one thing in common - they have ideologies and beliefs related to whether or not the proposition that 'God Exists' is true or false.

Beliefs, yes, ideologies, not so much. My atheism isn't what I base my views on. Atheism is the result of applying skepticism (or rationalism or even materialism depending on exactly how those terms are meant) so my atheism doesn't define how I approach questions, my skepticism does.

Quote:I may be oversimplifying here but I believe: 1) You are a theist if and only if you say that the proposition that 'God Exists' is true or probably true; 2) You are an atheist if and only if you say that it is false or probably false and 3) You are an agnostic if and only if you understand what the proposition is, but resist giving an opinion one way or the other. If asked, an agnostic might say 'The evidence that God exists is insufficient' but they claim to be neutral as to whether God exists or not.

That's certainly one way of defining the terms but it isn't the most useful way in my experience. While I would agree with your definition of a theist, I would say
2) You are an atheist if you believe that there is insufficient justification to accept the claim "god exists"
3) You are an agnostic if you accept that your belief about the claim "god exists" fall short of being knowledge

Note: I am not saying that your definition is wrong, just clarifying that when you use the terms you are implying something a bit different than when I use them. Others here are somewhat split on how they use the terms so it helps to clarify (we can be a damned pedantic bunch).

I have found that it makes things clearest when theism/atheism is used to address what somebody believes is true (or at least probably true) and gnosticism/agnosticism is used to address what somebody claims to know. Under those guidelines I am an agnostic atheist; I do not accept any claims I have heard so far regarding the existence of gods but I am open to evidence that there is a claim that I should accept.

Quote:I define myself as an atheist because I believe that even though no one, including myself, can disprove the idea that 'God' exists, I firmly believe that it is irrelevant whether or not such a being exists at all

I agree with that, at least to the extent that all the evidence show a universe that runs by natural laws without needing any god to manage things so god is quite irrelevant to living or to learning about the universe.

Quote: - the universe contains everything that there is and it was not created by anything else other than what already exists in the universe.

I think that's an overreach. I see no reason to believe any such thing exists or could exist but it depends on what you mean by "universe". If that includes any potential multiverse then I think you are probably correct but this all quickly dives into an argument from ignorance since we simply do not know. I try not to have firm beliefs about things that I don't know about.

Quote:Therefore, asking whether or not 'God' exists is a silly and unnecessary question - logic, reason and science by definition answer reasonable questions by utilizing non-biased hypotheses, ridicule and doubting of what we thought we knew and the systematic collection of data all of which is done without an emotional agenda. Science and logic provide us with the unique opportunity to make up our own minds about what is true and what is not without allowing our judgement to be clouded by myth and imagination.

Yep

Quote:Agnostic, on the other hand, was a word first coined by Thomas Henry (T.H.) Huxley (although we now know it may have been an ideology that goes back as far as Socrates but Huxley merely coined a term for the same idea). ...

I'm familiar with Huxley's use of the term, it just isn't the most useful definition. It can mean somebody who claims that we can't know or claims that we don't know. The latter is just a more useful definition in my opinion.

You are not the first person I have interacted with who defines atheism and agnosticism in a similar way to your understanding of the terms. I know there are a lot of philosophers who have debated syntax in relation to defining an individual or group of individuals perspective on the existence of God proposition.

I found your responses to be thought-provoking and you make very valid arguments about which vernacular I should become accustomed to when discussing such topics on this site. I did disagree with one response you had to my comment
Quote:"the universe contains everything that there is and it was not created by anything else other than what already exists in the universe."
I don't disagree with your response so much as I disagree with what you appear to have thought I meant. I don't know if the multiverse theory or string theory are true. I do believe that if I use rational and logical thinking, these theories are probable and at some point may even be proved or disproved as our understanding of the cosmos and technology continues to grow. I have tried desperately in the past to find a rational argument that convinced me of the probability that a supreme being exists. So it's not so much ignorance of the laws of physics and all of the theories that exist to help us make sense of the universe as we know it that led me to such an extreme view. It was (again) science that allowed me to discern what is a comfortable, non-threatening but mythical belief in a supreme being from a theory that is not only probably given what we know about the universe at this point, but that someday scientists will either prove or disprove it - and that is what science is all about.

Thanks again unfogged for the wlecome feedback. Smile

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11-04-2016, 01:09 PM
RE: The voice of reason and/or the voice of faith
I don't see how "thats what it's all about" in anyway. The attempting searches for scientific proof is about seeking answers to scary questions. About finding the epistemological details in the natural sciences as well as one can. The other details are mainly side effects.

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11-04-2016, 03:04 PM
RE: The voice of reason and/or the voice of faith
(11-04-2016 12:55 PM)Atheism=truth Wrote:  I don't know if the multiverse theory or string theory are true. I do believe that if I use rational and logical thinking, these theories are probable and at some point may even be proved or disproved as our understanding of the cosmos and technology continues to grow.

Being pedantic again, I'm not sure how you calculate probability given what we don't know.

The way I look at it, everything we've figured out so far has a natural explanation and nothing supernatural has ever been demonstrated (or even coherently defined). I would be very surprised if the universe as we see it didn't also have a natural explanation. In the meantime, I've learned to accept "I don't know" as the best answer and am content to wait for science to advance without needing to pick a favorite immediately.

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11-04-2016, 03:22 PM
RE: The voice of reason and/or the voice of faith
(06-04-2016 10:29 PM)Atheism=truth Wrote:  open to all who wish to share their thoughts and opinions about whether the search for scientific proof is truly a search to destroy religion.
The scientific method is a proven formula/method for discovering reliable and objective knowledge about the natural world.

It makes the assumption of a natural world, because there hasn't yet been found a reliable method of objective discovery for supernatural causes. If one were to be found then there would be little reason to exclude it from science. Science is merely a reliable method of discovery.

This being said, science does no presuppose religious beliefs, science does not consider religious beliefs. Science is an objective method of discovery, tailored to find out objective facts and inductions despite the person wishes, beliefs and biases of the scientist. If there were no religion, science would continue on as it does today. It is completely independent of religion.

On the other hand, many religious beliefs conflict with scientific knowledge. Those believers are sometimes hell bent on attacking science "The Wedge". Scientists don't care if religious beliefs conflict with scientific knowledge, the religious beliefs don't need to be addressed as they are presented only as assertions. Science doesn't address assertions, they address evidence.


(06-04-2016 10:29 PM)Atheism=truth Wrote:  I often use quotes by significant figures because, let's face it, I may be educated and some may say I'm even intelligent, but I don't disillusion myself with the notion that what I have to say is more important than the great intellectuals of our time.
This is where I think you are going astray. Don't believe what other people say, just because they have a high profile, or a pesky edukashun. Instead, try to understand for yourself, why they came to their conclusions.
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