Your reasoning behind atheism
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11-05-2012, 12:07 AM
RE: Your reasoning behind atheism
(10-05-2012 11:02 PM)lightninlives Wrote:  
(10-05-2012 08:55 PM)Mr Woof Wrote:  Why are ideas foolish because they are untestable?
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Because we have a preponderance of evidence and historical record that shows just how foolish (and dangerous) untestable ideas can be.

And on the flipside, we have a preponderance of evidence and historical record that shows how effective it is to posit ideas that are testable and then test them to see if they work and/or reflect objective physical reality.
Scientific testing does not always come up with the goods.
Remember thalidomide?
I am not suggesting that people do foolish things;rather, my contention
is that 'irrationality',just because it doesn't meet scientific criteria, need not be stupid.
Stupid is too strong a word, I prefer 'questionable' in varying degree in accordance with
the probability data.
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11-05-2012, 01:36 AM
RE: Your reasoning behind atheism
(10-05-2012 08:55 PM)Mr Woof Wrote:  
(07-05-2012 09:00 AM)angry-santa Wrote:  Until sufficent, Non anecdotal, Tesable evidence comes foward for the existance of any gods I can not and will not believe in such foolish ideas.
Why are ideas foolish because they are untestable?


Science is very good at pragmatic things, but no real panacea.
Wink

If we go beyond the confines of secular boxes (and this doesn't mean accepting any religion)
we can open many newer doors while needing to be very careful.

I was more referring to religions claims, But yes I understand their are a multitude of currently untested hypothesis that might lead to great things.

The difference being if said idea doesn't pan out, We make a note of it and try it again in a different way with different variables.

Compare this to the religious method: Test, Failed test, Ignore results, Test proves god, yay!
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11-05-2012, 06:22 AM
RE: Your reasoning behind atheism
I don't think it is necessary to base your beliefs on rationalism. In fact, science would crumble if crazy youths didn't keep coming up with peculiar new ideas that are occasionally correct. What we should generally try to avoid is a reverence for and a worship of irrationality. It isn't necessary for science to be perfectly good in order to point out that the myths that claim knowledge in contradiction of science have all the substance of a wind bag.

It's usually better to believe something that you can prove for a fact is true, or for which you can rely on a strong body of reliable expertise. It's usually better not to believe things that on a rational inspection are both unlikely to be correct and potentially harmful to individuals and to society. There are plenty of ideas between these two extremes that are not able to be rationally accepted or dismissed. The joy of rationalism and specifically science is that we often have the tools to find out which of a number of alternative ideas are actually correct. Not always, but often enough to be enthusiastic about what we can know.

Give me your argument in the form of a published paper, and then we can start to talk.
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11-05-2012, 09:45 AM
RE: Your reasoning behind atheism
(11-05-2012 06:22 AM)Hafnof Wrote:  I don't think it is necessary to base your beliefs on rationalism. In fact, science would crumble if crazy youths didn't keep coming up with peculiar new ideas that are occasionally correct. What we should generally try to avoid is a reverence for and a worship of irrationality. It isn't necessary for science to be perfectly good in order to point out that the myths that claim knowledge in contradiction of science have all the substance of a wind bag.

It's usually better to believe something that you can prove for a fact is true, or for which you can rely on a strong body of reliable expertise. It's usually better not to believe things that on a rational inspection are both unlikely to be correct and potentially harmful to individuals and to society. There are plenty of ideas between these two extremes that are not able to be rationally accepted or dismissed. The joy of rationalism and specifically science is that we often have the tools to find out which of a number of alternative ideas are actually correct. Not always, but often enough to be enthusiastic about what we can know.

The crazy scientific ideas are not revelation.
Scientific theory is not dogma.
It is not just "better" to believe something that is provable and testable, it is a basic requirement.
You can believe a work-in-progress as: "may be true, but we're still working on it."
Darwin didn't say, "I am the truth, the word and the light. All who follow me will be saved".
String theory is an interesting idea. It is also completely untestable considering current technology. Therefore, it is not a serious theory of how the universe is constructed. Quantum theory is testable. We don't actually understand it, but we can replicate experiements. It's predictable and therefore accepted. If someone can proove quantum theory is bogus, and this is a possibility, they will win the Nobel Prize. They will not be fired from their university post and put under house arrest for speaking against revealed quantum dogma.

The old gods are dead, let's invent some new ones before something really bad happens.
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12-05-2012, 03:32 AM
RE: Your reasoning behind atheism
(09-05-2012 04:55 PM)Bucky Ball Wrote:  Not so fast there.

1. You are not now, nor ever will be a "blank slate". You will always have countless unexamined assumptions, which it might be wise to examine. A "blank slate" is impossible. If you were a "blank slate" you would not even be thinking about the question. Why is the question important enough to waste time over ? Blank slates go to the mall, instead.

2. Why a "fork". Just by defining the question in those terms, you have already determined the outcome, (more or less).

3. How did you come to the conclusion they are "equal paths". What if they aren't ? What if there IS a god ? Then they certainly are NOT equal. How did you decide, if there was a god, you would want to "please" him. Why not "side with devil" ?

4. Why is "picking the path that makes sense" the best path ? If the universe is not intuitive, (Relativity), maybe things that "make sense" are not to be trusted ?

5. Reasoning about the absurdity of religion is not arrogant. Why do you have an anti-intellectual bias. THAT'S not a "blank slate".

6. There is no "core logic" in religion. Lots of "core ignorance". Faith is not about logic. Why is logic even valuable ? The MOST a believer can do or say, is "I know faith is illogical, but I choose to stand in the "Cloud of the Unknowing", http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Cloud_of_Unknowing , or The Dark Night of the Soul , http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dark_Night_of_the_Soul , (John of the Cross). The only question which remains, is why is that choice made ? I could never make it, but have the utmost respect for those that do, AFTER they make an informed decision. Almost no one does.
1. The "blank slate" thing was not supposed to be literally defined. Of course the literal idea is impossible but then what is the point of the term. I meant to try to remove all my beliefs about a deity and start anew like when we were kids.

2. A fork meaning a situation where the two options are to believe or not believe. There isn't much of a middle ground.

3. Would you not basically say all statistics are bogus and that only one option is 100%. If no then please apply that concept here. I have very little knowledge about the truth therefore the two choices are equal like a flip of a coin. I am aware that logical reasoning with the facts we currently know would push the equilibrium to atheism and that is why i picked that path. It's not by pure chance (contrary to what I said originally. I don't want to explain what I meant by it and would rather take it back, even though it wasn't really a mistake).

4. The path that makes sense is the best path for me. But the problem with the thing that makes sense is it's all relative. What we know about the world today wouldn't make sense in the past when they believed the Earth was flat right?

5. People seem to misunderstand what I mean with the word "arrogant" and "absurdity". I mean, with my lack of knowledge (I don't know as much about the Bible/Quran/etc. as the most of you), I will not assume that Christianity is absurd and it's arrogant to think this without knowledge. I don't want to have a strong ethnocentric attitude.

6. What is your answer to the origins of all matter? Science does not have an answer to that so therefore, applying the same judgment, why wouldn't you say to 'believe' in the idea that it just showed up out of nowhere just as illogical? If that's the case then we cant assume the law of conservation of mass is true.

Again, what I am trying to get across is that, although I am an atheist, I will not talk as though my beliefs are obvious facts. I will be open minded to the idea that I am wrong.
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12-05-2012, 05:46 AM
RE: Your reasoning behind atheism
(11-05-2012 09:45 AM)Thomas Wrote:  
(11-05-2012 06:22 AM)Hafnof Wrote:  I don't think it is necessary to base your beliefs on rationalism. In fact, science would crumble if crazy youths didn't keep coming up with peculiar new ideas that are occasionally correct. What we should generally try to avoid is a reverence for and a worship of irrationality. It isn't necessary for science to be perfectly good in order to point out that the myths that claim knowledge in contradiction of science have all the substance of a wind bag.
...
The crazy scientific ideas are not revelation.
Scientific theory is not dogma.
It is not just "better" to believe something that is provable and testable, it is a basic requirement.
You can believe a work-in-progress as: "may be true, but we're still working on it."
Darwin didn't say, "I am the truth, the word and the light. All who follow me will be saved".
String theory is an interesting idea. It is also completely untestable considering current technology. Therefore, it is not a serious theory of how the universe is constructed. Quantum theory is testable. We don't actually understand it, but we can replicate experiements. It's predictable and therefore accepted. If someone can proove quantum theory is bogus, and this is a possibility, they will win the Nobel Prize. They will not be fired from their university post and put under house arrest for speaking against revealed quantum dogma.

I think you read a different post to the one I posted and you quoted Smile I'll just focus on the falsehood I think you're stating here, which is that you should only believe things that are proven. Well, that's good advice generally but if we taught that to our young scientists they would rely on the current state of scientific knowledge and not advance much further.

Science is advanced not through believing only things that are rationally supported, but also things for which there is not necessarily good rational support as yet. We need young scientists to consider the alternatives, and ultimately to pick one based on their best hunch to promote and defend against the others. Without all of the good alternatives being staked out we would not get the work done to either prove or disprove each one. In order for this to occur we need people who are prepared to believe things that are not yet confirmed to be true. We need these people to creatively defend their positions. We need them to look at ways of refining their positions and their arguments in response to new evidence as it comes in. In the end we also need them to either fold to the position that actually has the evidence to support it or otherwise to die out and let the next generation accept the new paradigm, but this is the end of the process. If we don't have a basic level of irrational belief in place we never get to that point.

We should disregard ignorant belief. We can also demand that lay people who are not prepared to do the necessary research and defence should bow to the accepted science lest they be lumped in with the ignorant. However, for anyone actually willing to do the research and to experiment and to publish - for those people we must demand a level of argument for and defence of irrational beliefs - beliefs not yet proven to be true.

Give me your argument in the form of a published paper, and then we can start to talk.
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12-05-2012, 08:45 AM
RE: Your reasoning behind atheism
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- I don't for one minute think you are an atheist. You don't seem to have the slightest idea what the word means.
Atheism isn't a set of beliefs that you can adopt at your fork in the road. It's not a counter belief system. Simply put, it's non-belief.

People of a religious faith make a claim about the nature of reality. Those in the religion believe this claim to be true without the support of any evidence.
Having faith that something is true without any evidence is the worst thing you can do in decision making. Gullibility is not something one should strive for.
We call ourselves atheist because we don't believe that sufficient evidence has been presented to show that this claim about a god is true.

If there was a word for people who don't believe in bigfoot or pink unicorns or general outlandish bullshit, then I suppose SKEPTIC would do nicely.

There could be a bigfoot community hiding out in the forests and mountains of the Rockies.
Lots of footprint casts have been made, a few blurry pics and videos, but as far as I know, not one hair sample, not one dead body or skeletal remains have ever been discovered. I'm not saying that bigfoot isn't real. I'm saying that until sufficient evidence is presented, I'm not going to believe it. I'm not going to waste my time with it. Not going to waste my time thinking about it or praying to some bigfoot altar with someone collecting 10% of my yearly income that will go toward some bigfoot charity fund that helps displaced bigfeet find a new home.

The same applies to a believe in a god or gods.
Until a time comes when sufficient evidence is presented that such a being exists, I'm going to go on living my life with the morals and ethics instilled in me by my parents and from my own conscious consideration of the consequences of my actions.

Did you come to the same fork in the road when it comes to pink unicorns ? or was that one not much of a brain teaser ?

One last thing - The law of the conservation of matter is a LAW and thus has tons of supporting evidence to back it up. You know that sciencey stuff.

Insanity - doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results
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12-05-2012, 10:00 AM (This post was last modified: 12-05-2012 10:06 AM by kim.)
RE: Your reasoning behind atheism
Halfnof said:
Quote: It's usually better not to believe things.

There. I edited that for you.

No, no... no need to thank me. Thumbsup

A new type of thinking is essential if mankind is to survive and move to higher levels. ~ Albert Einstein
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12-05-2012, 10:13 AM
RE: Your reasoning behind atheism
I have always been an atheist. Tis just the way I am. I wouldn't be able to get my head to accept that a god exists... just doesn't sit right in my mind.

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13-05-2012, 11:12 AM
RE: Your reasoning behind atheism
(12-05-2012 05:46 AM)Hafnof Wrote:  
(11-05-2012 09:45 AM)Thomas Wrote:  The crazy scientific ideas are not revelation.
Scientific theory is not dogma.
It is not just "better" to believe something that is provable and testable, it is a basic requirement.
You can believe a work-in-progress as: "may be true, but we're still working on it."
Darwin didn't say, "I am the truth, the word and the light. All who follow me will be saved".
String theory is an interesting idea. It is also completely untestable considering current technology. Therefore, it is not a serious theory of how the universe is constructed. Quantum theory is testable. We don't actually understand it, but we can replicate experiements. It's predictable and therefore accepted. If someone can proove quantum theory is bogus, and this is a possibility, they will win the Nobel Prize. They will not be fired from their university post and put under house arrest for speaking against revealed quantum dogma.

I think you read a different post to the one I posted and you quoted Smile I'll just focus on the falsehood I think you're stating here, which is that you should only believe things that are proven. Well, that's good advice generally but if we taught that to our young scientists they would rely on the current state of scientific knowledge and not advance much further.

Science is advanced not through believing only things that are rationally supported, but also things for which there is not necessarily good rational support as yet. We need young scientists to consider the alternatives, and ultimately to pick one based on their best hunch to promote and defend against the others. Without all of the good alternatives being staked out we would not get the work done to either prove or disprove each one. In order for this to occur we need people who are prepared to believe things that are not yet confirmed to be true. We need these people to creatively defend their positions. We need them to look at ways of refining their positions and their arguments in response to new evidence as it comes in. In the end we also need them to either fold to the position that actually has the evidence to support it or otherwise to die out and let the next generation accept the new paradigm, but this is the end of the process. If we don't have a basic level of irrational belief in place we never get to that point.

We should disregard ignorant belief. We can also demand that lay people who are not prepared to do the necessary research and defence should bow to the accepted science lest they be lumped in with the ignorant. However, for anyone actually willing to do the research and to experiment and to publish - for those people we must demand a level of argument for and defence of irrational beliefs - beliefs not yet proven to be true.
I mostly agree with what you are saying and I'll add this.
Science does one simple thing very well. FAIL.
We fail constantly and through failure learn to succeed. Trial and error.
Let's mix these two chemicals and see what happens. Bang!!!! So, we won't do that again.
BUT, if experiments do not produce understandable findings we move on.
We don't say that our hypothesis is X and as our experiments could not prove X untrue; X must be true, because it's reasonable that X should be true. X is simple not accepted.

The old gods are dead, let's invent some new ones before something really bad happens.
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