Why you choose to not believe?
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30-10-2014, 07:39 AM
RE: Why you choose to not believe?
(29-10-2014 04:28 PM)Switz5678 Wrote:  I can understand the obvious flaws in all the mainstream religious belief systems. 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?
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I guess my basic line of reasoning can be summed up as follows..

-We're unable to discern a method to establish the likelihood of one, or the other.
-I see life/living as preferable to death/nonexisting.
-In the absence of the ability to discern possibility/probability you should choose what makes you most happy.

My end game from this would be that its rational to believe, and not rational to not believe.
---------------------------------------

Anyways, I'm interested in hearing your views
There is no evidence to support theistic claims, therefore I don't believe them.

Trouble rather the tiger in his lair than the sage among his books. For to you kingdoms and their armies are things mighty and enduring, but to him they are but toys of the moment, to be overturned with the flick of a finger.”

― Gordon R. Dickson
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30-10-2014, 07:40 AM
RE: Why you choose to not believe?
(29-10-2014 04:33 PM)Switz5678 Wrote:  
(29-10-2014 04:31 PM)Mathilda Wrote:  Available evidence and probability.

What evidence? How are you ascertaining probability?

Exactly, there is no evidence behind theistic claims.

Trouble rather the tiger in his lair than the sage among his books. For to you kingdoms and their armies are things mighty and enduring, but to him they are but toys of the moment, to be overturned with the flick of a finger.”

― Gordon R. Dickson
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30-10-2014, 08:07 AM
RE: Why you choose to not believe?
(30-10-2014 02:29 AM)Full Circle Wrote:  
(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.

FC that was a really great post. If I could give you more rep points I would.

Everything written in this post is great advice for those who are uncertain or fence sitting.

Cheers

When I want your opinion I'll read your entrails.
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30-10-2014, 08:45 AM
RE: Why you choose to not believe?
(29-10-2014 05:43 PM)Switz5678 Wrote:  I want to make it clear..

I don't think that because it makes me happier means it has to be true

I'm saying that we can't provide any meaningful way of even beginning to ascertain a method of testing this. When you reach that point why not choose to entertain the idea of an afterlife if it does make you most happy? If flipping a coin really is 50/50 why not entertain the idea of it being heads if you like that side better? The thing is that a lot of people here are pointing at probability without bringing any quantitative arguments to the table. How are you through evidence coming up with a probability?

Your whole argument only makes sense if "afterlife" and "no afterlife" are equally probable, and you seem to be assuming that they are. They're not. We have zero evidence that a person's "soul", identity, or whatever you want to call it, survives physical death, and plenty of evidence that it does not. There is no rational reason to believe that there is any afterlife. The only reason to believe it is wishful thinking. Thus I refute your argument. You don't see the preponderance of evidence (in favor of "no afterlife") because you don't want to. It's not a 50/50 proposition. It's more like a gazillion to one.
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30-10-2014, 09:27 AM
RE: Why you choose to not believe?
(29-10-2014 06:12 PM)Switz5678 Wrote:  My argument could be also written as

You prefer heads
You flip a coin, but do/can not look at it
you prefer to entertain the idea that its heads

One problem is you are assuming a 50/50 chance. That is, you assume that an afterlife and no afterlife are equally likely. But they aren't. I base that claim on the fact that there is a mountain of evidence that suggests life ends when we die. One example - studies have shown that thoughts and consciousness are a function of the brain and, when the brain dies, the thoughts and consciousness cease. On the other hand, there is zero evidence that life continues after bodily death. Indeed an afterlife is counter-intuitive. If life were to continue infinitely or even indefinitely, how would this life of very limited time make any sense at all?

No your argument is more like a dodecahedron with heads on 1 side and tails on the other 11 sides and then after rolling it, without looking, you entertain the far less likely idea that heads is on top - and honestly, that example is being generous.

I am not accountable to any God. I am accountable to myself - and not because I think I am God as some theists would try to assert - but because, no matter what actions I take, thoughts I think, or words I utter, I have to be able to live with myself.
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30-10-2014, 09:32 AM
RE: Why you choose to not believe?
(29-10-2014 07:21 PM)Switz5678 Wrote:  no my point was to choose the scenario which makes me most happy during my lifetime

It makes me much happier to believe that Hitler didn't kill millions of people. So are you suggesting I should believe that? Because it does a whole lot more good to realize the truth even if it doesn't make me particularly happy... Consider

I am not accountable to any God. I am accountable to myself - and not because I think I am God as some theists would try to assert - but because, no matter what actions I take, thoughts I think, or words I utter, I have to be able to live with myself.
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30-10-2014, 09:46 AM
RE: Why you choose to not believe?
(29-10-2014 07:54 PM)Switz5678 Wrote:  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.

In a truly 50/50 situation where neither side is known or supported more than the other, what is reasonable is to stay at "I don't know" until such time as one side or the other has at least some evidence that makes it more likely. Randomly picking one because it makes you feel better ONLY makes you feel better but, in reality, could actually do harm if you are wrong. In this context, if you assume you will live for eternity in an afterlife, you will probably not make the most of this life. If you are wrong, then you will give a part of your only life away - for nothing, but a random incorrect guess.

I am not accountable to any God. I am accountable to myself - and not because I think I am God as some theists would try to assert - but because, no matter what actions I take, thoughts I think, or words I utter, I have to be able to live with myself.
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30-10-2014, 09:49 AM
RE: Why you choose to not believe?
(29-10-2014 04:28 PM)Switz5678 Wrote:  I can understand the obvious flaws in all the mainstream religious belief systems. 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 guess my basic line of reasoning can be summed up as follows..

-We're unable to discern a method to establish the likelihood of one, or the other.
-I see life/living as preferable to death/nonexisting.
-In the absence of the ability to discern possibility/probability you should choose what makes you most happy.

My end game from this would be that its rational to believe, and not rational to not believe.
---------------------------------------

Anyways, I'm interested in hearing your views

My view is rather simple.
I have no evidence or reason to believe in god/gods/goddesses, unicorns, cthulhu, afterlife, cold fusion or any other unsubstantiated crap that people have dreamed up.
So I choose not to waste my time on them. Instead I spend my time studying and doing things that are much more interesting and useful. For example, physics, playing tennis, playing with my dog, traveling, fixing my car, chase skirts, and relaxing.
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30-10-2014, 10:43 AM
RE: Why you choose to not believe?
(30-10-2014 09:49 AM)xieulong Wrote:  My view is rather simple.
I have no evidence or reason to believe in god/gods/goddesses, unicorns, cthulhu, afterlife, cold fusion or any other unsubstantiated crap that people have dreamed up.
So I choose not to waste my time on them. Instead I spend my time studying and doing things that are much more interesting and useful. For example, physics, playing tennis, playing with my dog, traveling, fixing my car, chase skirts, and relaxing.

Yup, that ⇑.

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, 11:33 AM
RE: Why you choose to not believe?
(29-10-2014 04:28 PM)Switz5678 Wrote:  I can understand the obvious flaws in all the mainstream religious belief systems. 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 guess my basic line of reasoning can be summed up as follows..

-We're unable to discern a method to establish the likelihood of one, or the other.
-I see life/living as preferable to death/nonexisting.
-In the absence of the ability to discern possibility/probability you should choose what makes you most happy.

My end game from this would be that its rational to believe, and not rational to not believe.
---------------------------------------

Anyways, I'm interested in hearing your views

I've said it many times and I'll say it again.
A rational mind does not decide what to believe. It is forced to accept that which is supported by evidence.
By the way I don't know if that mine or if I heard it somewhere. Does anyone here know?
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