atheist or just anti-THAT god
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25-11-2012, 07:52 PM
RE: atheist or just anti-THAT god
(25-11-2012 06:12 PM)amyb Wrote:  I can't prove unicorns don't exist, either, but that doesn't mean I believe in them. Or trolls. Or teacups orbiting Pluto. While absence of evidence is not always evidence of absence, it does make a more compelling case for absence.
Ahhh here is the crux of where we differ... I cannot prove that unicorns exist, but if someone tells me they are friends with a unicorn, I will not call them delusional. Though I might question them closely if I have reason to believe they are not virginal.
It seems to me that there are different levels of reality and one person's experience or lack thereof need not invalidate another person's experience.
I do not think that you should tolerate being told you are an idiot because you do not believe. Neither do I think you should go around calling those who do believe delusional idiots.
While I agree with the general atheist attitude toward bible thumping, I find the generic lumping of all believers into one group and subsequent dismissal out of hand irksome.
That said, I am truly tickled by most of what I read on these forums.
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25-11-2012, 08:00 PM
RE: atheist or just anti-THAT god
(25-11-2012 07:52 PM)chandrashakti Wrote:  
(25-11-2012 06:12 PM)amyb Wrote:  I can't prove unicorns don't exist, either, but that doesn't mean I believe in them. Or trolls. Or teacups orbiting Pluto. While absence of evidence is not always evidence of absence, it does make a more compelling case for absence.
Ahhh here is the crux of where we differ... I cannot prove that unicorns exist, but if someone tells me they are friends with a unicorn, I will not call them delusional. Though I might question them closely if I have reason to believe they are not virginal.
It seems to me that there are different levels of reality and one person's experience or lack thereof need not invalidate another person's experience.
I do not think that you should tolerate being told you are an idiot because you do not believe. Neither do I think you should go around calling those who do believe delusional idiots.
While I agree with the general atheist attitude toward bible thumping, I find the generic lumping of all believers into one group and subsequent dismissal out of hand irksome.
That said, I am truly tickled by most of what I read on these forums.
So considering what we know about unicorns thus far: That they are made up, mythical creatures with no fossil evidence and most definitely no empirical evidence for... does it make more sense to not believe in the magical unicorn? Or do you believe it because your friend is credible and claims to have seen one?
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25-11-2012, 08:07 PM
RE: atheist or just anti-THAT god
(25-11-2012 06:34 PM)chandrashakti Wrote:  So if this is a matter of lack of belief rather than being sure that no god exists isnt that agnosticism rather than atheism?
As to why I believe... I went through a period of agnosticism. Eventually in an unguarded moment I caught myself thinking of god. I realized that, for me, such belief works. I do not claim to have a truth that will work for anyone else however.
I am a Neopagan and have a very different view of the divine than the loudmouths among monotheists. I suppose the labels that fit me best are panentheist and henotheist. I think that everything that exists, everything we can imagine and more are part of god. All the gods and goddesses we can imagine are simply human attempts to approach that infinite reality. They only have power insofar as humans believe in their power.
I am familiar with Occams Razor. I am not in any way arguing against science. My point is that lack of current scientific proof is as often proof of not having the right tools to investigate the question at hand as it is proof of the non-existence of the thing. ...
If you can't show it, then you don't know it.
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25-11-2012, 08:11 PM
RE: atheist or just anti-THAT god
(25-11-2012 07:30 PM)Logisch Wrote:  But in my opinion, worrying about such things takes away from the beauty of reality itself.

"The idea of a divine creator belittles the elegant reality of the universe." ~Richard Dawkins

Drinking Beverage Grab a cuppa' joe; sit-n-read my blog for a spell: www.vaweber.wordpress.com
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25-11-2012, 08:48 PM
RE: atheist or just anti-THAT god
(25-11-2012 07:52 PM)chandrashakti Wrote:  Ahhh here is the crux of where we differ... I cannot prove that unicorns exist, but if someone tells me they are friends with a unicorn, I will not call them delusional. Though I might question them closely if I have reason to believe they are not virginal.
It seems to me that there are different levels of reality and one person's experience or lack thereof need not invalidate another person's experience.
I do not think that you should tolerate being told you are an idiot because you do not believe. Neither do I think you should go around calling those who do believe delusional idiots.
While I agree with the general atheist attitude toward bible thumping, I find the generic lumping of all believers into one group and subsequent dismissal out of hand irksome.
That said, I am truly tickled by most of what I read on these forums.
That is where we differ. For some reason, it's ok to question a person's political views, etc., but not to question their religion, because that would "invalidate that person's experience." I may call people delusional, but I know they aren't all idiots. I believe that many theists really and truly believe there are deities and that things they experience are evidence of these. But in the many times believers have tried to make me believe by presenting their "evidence," I have found it quite lacking an unconvincing. I've known a lot of intelligent theists, but that doesn't mean I don't see them as delusional in that one area. That's just me being honest; I mean, these people actually believe in an invisible skydaddy that grants wishes. How am I supposed to interpret that, if not calling it delusional?

How does it invalidate their experience, anyway, if they really believe it? I mean, theists tell me I'm wrong all the time, and it doesn't invalidate my experience of reality.

Believers are lumped together into one group because they all believe, and are therefore distinct from non-credulous people. I think there is a fundamental difference, at least in the sense that some people value faith without evidence, and other people are only convinced by evidence, and withhold belief until that time when such evidence is presented. But in any case, being an asshole doesn't accomplish much, I'd agree with that. And I've never attempted to deconvert anyone, because I don't give a shit what they believe unless it starts to limit the freedoms of others.

There are different states of consciousness, but I don't know about "levels or reality." People experience things differently, interpret things differently.

It seems to me that theists too often shift the burden of proof. "You can't prove there is no god, therefore god." No, I can't disprove god, but given the absence of evidence convincing to everyone, I have to assume he(they) does not/do not exist because that would be most likely to be true. It just seems sneaky to say "but evidence for god can't be provided by science." Why not? It would seem everything else is subject to the scientific process.
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25-11-2012, 11:09 PM
RE: atheist or just anti-THAT god
(25-11-2012 08:48 PM)amyb Wrote:  How does it invalidate their experience, anyway, if they really believe it? I mean, theists tell me I'm wrong all the time, and it doesn't invalidate my experience of reality.

IMO, it's only people who are not at all convinced themselves who fear a challenge. It's like a runner who claims to be faster than Usain Bolt yet who, every time a race comes around, is always injured. They're not willing to expose their beliefs to test or criticism.
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27-11-2012, 06:04 PM
RE: atheist or just anti-THAT god
I am enjoying this discussion. Unfortunately my net access is through a smartphone and I am finding the limitations of the technology frustrating. There is much on here I would like to answer or otherwise respond to, but organizing on this little screen ... AARGH.
I think my biggest difference from most of you writing to me (thanks) is that for me there is an experiential reality that does not lend itself to scientific investigation. I fully accept scientific explainations but feel that to dismiss out of hand things that do not have a scientific explaination is the equivalent of doctors having told women that their ailments were "all in their heads" because men didn't get those ailments
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27-11-2012, 06:41 PM (This post was last modified: 27-11-2012 06:46 PM by Phaedrus.)
Re: atheist or just anti-THAT god
Try Tapatalk. A bit easier to use on a smartphone. Using it right now in the airport.

Anyway, we don't reject non-scientific answers just because we don't like them. We reject them because they are not answers, just speculation.

Tim Minchin put it well:

In all of history,

The answer to every mystery

that has ever been solved

has turned out to be

Not magic

E 2 = (mc 2)2 + (pc )2
614C → 714N + e + ̅νe
2 K(s) + 2 H2O(l) → 2 KOH(aq) + H2 (g) + 196 kJ/mol
It works, bitches.
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27-11-2012, 11:12 PM
RE: atheist or just anti-THAT god
(27-11-2012 06:41 PM)Phaedrus Wrote:  Try Tapatalk. A bit easier to use on a smartphone. Using it right now in the airport.

Anyway, we don't reject non-scientific answers just because we don't like them. We reject them because they are not answers, just speculation.

Tim Minchin put it well:

In all of history,

The answer to every mystery

that has ever been solved

has turned out to be

Not magic
The Christees would immediately answer:

'That's because every mystery who's solution is Magic, you classify as unsolved.' Dodgy
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28-11-2012, 06:35 AM
RE: atheist or just anti-THAT god
I am trying to figure out how to explain my conception of the divine... let me try it this way... Have you seen Carl Sagan's explaination of the fourth dimension by talking about two dimensional beings that are visited by a three dimensional being? Recall that the three dimensional being was easily able to enter the closed locked two dimensional room. The other 2D beings said "Where is your proof. I don't see any evidence of this thing you are telling me about." My conception of the divine encompasses the entire multiverse plus. Science now recognizes that there are many dimensions. I propose that those theoretical unicorns discussed earlier in the thread are Nth dimensional beings. Therefore they would leave no evidence of their existence in the 3D world. So no my gods are not creators or redeemers. They are my attempts to make something vast and incomprehensive approachable. They're are a lot like a planetarium... it to a limited degree participates in the universe, but more importantly it helps to make the cosmos approachable and comprehensible. Heck in some ways my personal gods might even be like those glow-in-the-dark stars you can put in kids rooms. In some small way they contain the stuff of what they represent but in a much more approachable, domesticated way. If the divine as a whole is a creator, it creates the way we create turds. We are not aware of the making. We may be aware of the excretion, but so long as it doesnt sit around stinking we pay no attention to our creation afterward.
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