Why you choose to not believe?
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30-10-2014, 02:09 AM
RE: Why you choose to not believe?
I don't wanna sound like a broken record and maybe I'm being paranoid but this just stinks of reformatted and regurgitated MozartLink.

Anyway...

(29-10-2014 06:06 PM)Switz5678 Wrote:  I feel that its rational to do so because I don't feel like we can come up with a probability for/against, and by this choice of belief it makes me happier.

Which belief? Your statements are so vague as to be worthless. Christan afterlife? Muslim afterlife? Hindu afterlife? Which one? How did you determine which of these equally unknowable probabilities was the most probable?

The problem with your way of thinking, asides from being utterly irrational, is that the criteria you have laid out leads to the problem that if you want to believe in something with no evidence then to be internally and intellectually consistent then you have to believe in EVERYTHING that has no evidence otherwise your just special pleading and cheery picking out your ass. A further problem is you end up having mutually exclusive and waring beliefs and a world view that at best is severally handicapped and at worst out and out delusional.
"I'm gonna believe what I wanna believe cause there is no way to know it's NOT true." is a demonstrably inferior way of thinking then mapping ones views to correspond with reality.

Honestly your entire argument can be dismissed with Hitchen's Razor: That which can be asserted without evidence, can be dismissed without evidence. You have zero evidence to justify your your beliefs to anyone else and none to yourself in so far as I can see. They are irrational because rational views are arrived at for clearly demonstrable reasons of which you have none.

Also, and believe me I could go on you use soooo many fallacies, the statement I quoted above is entirely an argument from personal incredulity. Without a legitimate and demonstrable reason to believe something it is, and will continue to remain, irrational to hold that view.

Finally we CAN determine that an afterlife is less probable then there being no afterlife and your inability to figure out how has no value what so ever. We know from the study of the brain that the consciousness, the identity, of a person can be damaged by damaging the brain. The idea that consciousness cant survive unscathed from damage to the brain but TOTALLY will survive unscathed from the COMPLETE AND UTTER destruction of the brain is the height of ignorant absurdity. Combined with the fact almost every promised afterlife given by any religion is often silly, simplistic, or contradictory compounded by the fact that the only thing in existence it shares any properties with is that of something imaginary.....then yes it is MUCH more probable that it is unlikely than likely.
At best you have an afterlife that is indistinguishable from the outside as not existing (the definition of imaginary), which has never been talked about by any religion, and in no way features anything that could be identified with you, such as your thoughts, consciousness, or identity. An afterlife which, I again remind you, you have ZERO evidence or rational reason to believe in.

What you have is at best blind faith and at worst is a tendency to view delusion as beneficial. Neither are rational and neither is your view in an afterlife.

It is held that valour is the chiefest virtue and most dignifies the haver.
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30-10-2014, 02:29 AM
RE: Why you choose to not believe?
(29-10-2014 11:21 PM)Switz5678 Wrote:  I have no evidence to prove the existence of an afterlife. I don't know if this is what I'd call I a belief, its more of an entertainment of a scenario. I had felt at the time of the OP that the entertainment of this scenario could be reasonable. I wasn't certain when I posted it, and to be honest I'm less sure now.

There are questions that have been haunting me lately. Having anxiety/panic disorder just magnifies this.

...when I wrote the OP I felt that there is very little that could be said in terms of the probability of an afterlife. I realize now that there is very little that could be said about the probability of a lot of things. So any application of this reasoning on an afterlife could also be applied to a french fry farting unicorn. All I was trying to state was when there is very little that could be said, why not entertain the scenario which pleases you most? Never would I suggest that entertaining this idea would make it more likely to be true.. Nor ignoring evidence to the contrary.

I see my wife who is catholic, and she seems so much happier then I am. I rarely try to confront or debate her believes because I feel like exposing the flaws could make her feel unsure, and she would become a less happy person permanently. So I brought this here to be critiqued because I knew you guys would sense the chum, and not feel less happy if I changed your views.

In the end I just feel like there is so much to learn.. I feel like I'm certain of nothing. I find this disheartening even though I can use the Socratic method to show that I should not. I just feel lost my man.. lost

Switz,

I feel your frustration, I've been there. Raised Catholic, parents uber religious to this day. Luckily my wife isn't religious and this makes the question superfluous for us. We are very happy and knowing this is our one chance we strive to make each other happy every day. We strive to make our friends feel loved and we strive to treat strangers with dignity and respect.

We only have so many days on this rock, make the best of it. Worrying about what may happen after you die (there's that dualism again) is wasted time and energy.

A thousand generations of your forefathers have come and gone and now here you are, the next step in the continuum of life.

Go love your wife and kids if you have any, care for your family and friends. Rest easy that you have made a difference in their lives. What else could you ask for?

PS We have to deal with a lot of insincere trolls on this forum, if you stick around most everyone will warm up to you. Some are a bit less patient than others as you've already seen, don't let that keep you away. If you are sincere, and I think you are, this is a good place to learn, vent and laugh. Stick around.

“I am quite sure now that often, very often, in matters concerning religion and politics a man’s reasoning powers are not above the monkey’s.”~Mark Twain
“Ocean: A body of water occupying about two-thirds of a world made for man - who has no gills.”~ Ambrose Bierce
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30-10-2014, 04:22 AM
RE: Why you choose to not believe?
(29-10-2014 06:42 PM)Switz5678 Wrote:  Ok chas. You tell me which is more likely

Person A (believes in evolution)
The chances must be astronomical for the constituents (to arrive at this location in space) required for the complex chemistry to turn into biology, and then go through selective processing to end with us humans.

Person B (mental illness)
I have a mental illness, and evolution is just some kind of mental projection distorting what I perceive to be reality.. I'm crazy

You are now repeating yourself.

http://www.thethinkingatheist.com/forum/...#pid674694

In case you didn't understand my post the first time, your understanding of the theory of evolution is flawed.
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30-10-2014, 04:25 AM (This post was last modified: 30-10-2014 04:29 AM by Mathilda.)
RE: Why you choose to not believe?
(29-10-2014 07:27 PM)Switz5678 Wrote:  Person A (believes in evolution)
The chances must be astronomical for the constituents (to arrive at this location in space) required for the complex chemistry to turn into biology, and then go through selective processing to end up with a being capable of recognizing this chance.

Your understanding of the theory of Darwinian evolution is flawed.

This has since been explained to you but you are repeating yourself.

(29-10-2014 07:01 PM)Chas Wrote:  'A' is not well formed so it is not worth considering. It presupposes that humans were a target - they aren't.
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30-10-2014, 04:46 AM
RE: Why you choose to not believe?
(29-10-2014 07:41 PM)Switz5678 Wrote:  
(29-10-2014 07:08 PM)Rahn127 Wrote:  Your coin is real.
It has a side we call heads (This is real)
It has a side we call tails (This is real)
Flipping the coin can have two real conclusions (heads or tails)

What you are talking about is flipping a coin with your eyes closed and choosing to believe that a million dollars teleported next to your coin.
In your mind, you are now RICH and the thought of that makes you happy.

Why not believe this if it makes you happy ?
The thought of a god isn't the other side of the coin. It's not any side of the coin.
The coin toss isn't one side god exists and the other it doesn't.
The coin toss is that the universe is real and physics can cause coins to land on one side or the other. That's it. Both sides of the coin represent REALITY.
You can't have one side be real and the other side be a fantasy.
Real objects can't do that.

The answer is simple. There is no evidence that a million dollars has teleported next to your coin and believing that is has serves no useful purpose other than to put a false sense of delusion into your mind so you can have a momentary smile on your face.

How about you find REAL things in life that make you smile instead of mental figments of your imagination.

I'm not knowingly choosing to not look at the coin. I cant look at this time, but prefer it to be heads. The thought of it being heads makes me happier so I entertain that scenario(my lifetime).I know this has no effect on what happened. If someone were to show me it to be tails during my lifetime, I would accept it. When I die, and nothing happens oh well. Why shouldn't I entertain the idea of heads without a means to ascertain heads/tails? I would be happier. This wouldn't be a delusion because I'm not refuting evidence to the contrary, and this my lifetime would be this momentary smile

You are refusing to look. You can do what makes you happier - that fantasy is your choice.

Skepticism is not a position; it is an approach to claims.
Science is not a subject, but a method.
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30-10-2014, 04:47 AM
RE: Why you choose to not believe?
Let's say there is a super powered person who has killed a lot of innocent people and currently has a prison at an unknown location where he locks people up for the rest of their lives without cause.

No humans on the planet can stop him from doing anything he desires. From rape to murder to torture, but along the way there are some humans who worship him.

Would you rather believe that a super powered person like this existed when there was no evidence for it or live your life normally without giving this kind of Bullshit a second thought ?

Which thought would truly make you happier ?
Inventing delusions ? Or enjoying a good life free from delusion ?

Insanity - doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results
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30-10-2014, 04:48 AM
RE: Why you choose to not believe?
(29-10-2014 07:54 PM)Switz5678 Wrote:  
(29-10-2014 07:36 PM)GirlyMan Wrote:  You'd be happiest by willfully accepting and even inducing delusion for the sake of ... dunno, something?
...

I would be delusional if I had evidence to the contrary. What I'm saying my man is that there is No/None/Zilch/zero means to confront the likelihood of said scenarios. When that situation arises why not choose to entertain the scenario which makes you happiest? I'm not saying that this scenario is the choice all people would make. Perhaps since you have no evidence for the scenario I would choose, you choose the other, and that makes you happy. Then I think that is perfectly reasonable.

I'm not contemplating a 6000 year old world, and entertaining that idea because it makes me happy. I know thats bullshit. I'm saying that when something is 50/50 truly, and at this time you can't possibly know, it is reasonable to entertain what makes you happiest.

It's not 50/50. You are refusing to look at the evidence that would allow a reasoned choice.

Skepticism is not a position; it is an approach to claims.
Science is not a subject, but a method.
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30-10-2014, 05:12 AM
RE: Why you choose to not believe?
(29-10-2014 11:21 PM)Switz5678 Wrote:  I have no evidence to prove the existence of an afterlife. I don't know if this is what I'd call I a belief, its more of an entertainment of a scenario. I had felt at the time of the OP that the entertainment of this scenario could be reasonable. I wasn't certain when I posted it, and to be honest I'm less sure now.

It is a fantasy that you are entertaining.

Quote:There are questions that have been haunting me lately. Having anxiety/panic disorder just magnifies this.

Probability and Time, what are they really?

Take for example when a weather man says there is a 60 percent chance of rain. Are we only able to predict with that certainty because we are unable to recognize all the factor that summed would mean its going to rain, or is there actually a 60 percent chance? I, at this time, side with the former explanation. From there my thoughts start to wonder if probability actually has any meaning outside of mathematics, and if it does how much merit should I give it? I guess it depends on the situation

When people talk about probabilities, what they really mean are estimates of probability. Even the weather man is making an estimate, though he bases it on the historical accuracy of several weather models.
That is generally what we all do. We base our estimates on our knowledge and experience, which means that estimates made from little knowledge or experience should not be trusted. More knowledge increases the accuracy. Probably.Consider

Quote:Time.. I'm sure everyone here has thought about time.

With that said, when I wrote the OP I felt that there is very little that could be said in terms of the probability of an afterlife. I realize now that there is very little that could be said about the probability of a lot of things. So any application of this reasoning on an afterlife could also be applied to a french fry farting unicorn. All I was trying to state was when there is very little that could be said, why not entertain the scenario which pleases you most? Never would I suggest that entertaining this idea would make it more likely to be true.. Nor ignoring evidence to the contrary.

But as I and others have pointed out, scenario A of your OP is just wrong.

Quote:I see my wife who is catholic, and she seems so much happier then I am. I rarely try to confront or debate her believes because I feel like exposing the flaws could make her feel unsure, and she would become a less happy person permanently. So I brought this here to be critiqued because I knew you guys would sense the chum, and not feel less happy if I changed your views.

You see your wife who is a woman, and she seems so much happier than you are. Should you entertain the thought of being or becoming a woman?

Maybe her Catholicism is not the cause of her happiness; maybe if she were atheist she'd be even happier.

Quote:In the end I just feel like there is so much to learn.. I feel like I'm certain of nothing. I find this disheartening even though I can use the Socratic method to show that I should not. I just feel lost my man.. lost

Yes. There is so very much to learn and there is joy in the learning.

Skepticism is not a position; it is an approach to claims.
Science is not a subject, but a method.
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30-10-2014, 05:18 AM
RE: Why you choose to not believe?
Everyone should be free to believe whatever they want as long as it doesn't damage others, so I understand it makes you happier but... Why rely on something that you have no reason to believe it's real to make you feel happy?

There are things we wish to be true and things we ignore because we don't like them. But who said life was fair? It isn't. We are the result of millions and millions of years of evolution. Not just biological evolution but any kind of change that affected the Universe, the Earth and us.

As far as we know, life lasts until you die. Who knows what happens afterwards? We try to be realistic and think that nothing happens, you just cease to exist. That may be disheartening to some, but you have to cope with this reality. That's what you have to deal with, whether you want it or not. I personally don't like the idea of ceasing to exist, I like to live. I like to think, to learn, to love, even hurting is better than not existing. But you know what? The Universe doesn't give a damn about what I want. It doesn't owe you anything. I can wish a unicorn in my bedroom, but this won't magically create a unicorn.

So whatever I wish, it all comes down to reality. Nobody denies you from hoping in a different outcome. But hoping and believing in it are very different choices. Cherish the love in this life, enjoy it, because it just might be your only shot at ever existing. Ever.

I'll leave you with this quote, which is pretty daunting, but I really like it:
Life is flash of light between two eternities of darkness.

孤独 - The Out Crowd
Life is a flash of light between two eternities of darkness.
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30-10-2014, 07:39 AM (This post was last modified: 30-10-2014 07:50 AM by TreeSapNest.)
RE: Why you choose to not believe?
(29-10-2014 04:28 PM)Switz5678 Wrote:  What I can't understand is why the choice to believe in a Godless universe without the chance of afterlife? or even an afterlife without a God entity?

I believe because that is my take on the world: Consciousness begins and ends with a brain; Gods and afterlives are flights of fancy. Mortality is hard to accept, but accept it I must and make the most out of what I have. There isn't just loss and pain in life and life isn't always easy, but there is joy and happiness and sometimes we even have to fight for it.

Imagine yourself standing at the door of a nice car. You have the keys. The tank is full of gas. Ahead of the car there is a road you have never travelled before. You could decide that the car is just going to run out of gas eventually anyway, so why bother. Or you could get in the car and live. Having that moment or not is up to you.
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