atheist or just anti-THAT god
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29-11-2012, 01:09 AM
RE: atheist or just anti-THAT god
Vosur and Phaedrus, let me get this straight... Science has a continually expanding front of what can be proved. Yet, if a concept has not been 100% proved by the current state of scientific understanding it is irrelevant (to you). Therefore I must justify my acceptance of the possibilities that theoretical physics and that holy grail unified field theory both seem to necessitate simply because they are not CURRENTLY proved!?!??
There is no cognative dissonence for me in accepting those currently theoretical explainations of otherwise inexplicable experiences.
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29-11-2012, 01:11 AM
RE: atheist or just anti-THAT god
It's not unsubstantiated belief, it's unsubstantiated belief which people then turn around and say 'it's unreasonable for you *not* to believe this,' or 'look, you've got to admit that this is as reasonable as your belief even though totally unsubstantiated, and I've got a right to insist that schools teach it to your kids'. I'm not gonna let that go Smile People who believe woo are causing chaos in science education throughout the world. It almost amounts to a crime against humanity, that so many bright young minds are being taught that *received* wisdom is best and any test of their ideas is blasphemy.
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29-11-2012, 07:19 AM
RE: atheist or just anti-THAT god
(28-11-2012 02:03 PM)chandrashakti Wrote:  I realize that the only information you will accept is verifiable, proveable, documentable information. I am not trying to convince you of my stance. I am trying to understand yours and explain mine. Unfortunately not everything in my stance is proveable. Unlike you I do not need it to work for anyone but me. Unlike most human beings I do not need outside validation. If you want to understand what I believe I will try to explain. If you want me to justify then sorry I will not. I cannot. And that fact does nothing to weaken my comfort with my beliefs. I have deliberately challenged my beliefs for the last three decades. I cannot prove a bit of it, but that does not bother me.
If you will explain to me the shape if your atheism, I am interested in learning. If you want to learn something about the shape of my belief I will try to explain. If you want me to convince you of the validity of my beliefs, TOUGH.
I'm not sure what you mean by the shape.

I'm a skeptic and an atheist. It isn't that I need things to work for "everyone else" but it is that I need to ensure that the things that I'm verifying are true. That's pretty much all.

I started out as a Christian. I was a YEC for a long time (Young earth creationist, believed the world was only 6000-9000yrs or so) because I was raised that way. During my school years I got interested in space, planets, the universe, black holes, those sorts of things. The kinds of things that as a kid you look up at the night sky and you're simply curious about it all.

I read "A brief history of time" in high school and became ridiculously curious. But then I started reading things that contradicted what I knew. The age of the universe, the size of the universe, time itself. I asked my parents and of course I got the indoctrination answer of, "Well sometimes even scientists don't know everything."

One day I was in class talking to a friend about it and he said something that I found profoundly interesting. "What if god used the big bang to create the universe?" and instantly a semi-rational thought fucked my brain. Of course I didn't want to tell my parents about this because largely they wouldn't agree with me. I got into reading more on it anyway.

By the time I graduated high school I was getting into computer science, headed to college and became vastly interested in cosmology. The more I read and understood science the more beliefs began to drop. The more the doubt kicked in. I realized that as I progressed in this stuff, the old stories of the bible I had been fond of, the ideas of creation and everything else were slowly falling apart. I came up with excuses, cherry picked and I eventually came to the conclusion that I cared more about what was definitely true, than my beliefs that sounded good to me.

The hardest part was when I finally started asking harder questions. "Does god exist? What is a god? Where does morality come from? How does evolution work? How did the big bang work? Where did we come from originally? Does or can life exist elsewhere? Why do good things happen to bad people? Does god give a shit if he does exist? How would I know?" and the questions just popped into my head one after another.

When I finally dropped belief altogether and finally admitted to myself I did not believe, that I was an atheist I had to research and relearn everything. I felt angry, upset, betrayed, pissed off because I felt like I was lied to my whole life. You get this sense when you're indoctrinated that everything is perfect and that you can just excuse away all the things. But when you finally look at reality itself and realize it isn't always as happy as you want it to be. Or that reality doesn't always provide the same comfort that religion does, for a moment you almost want to go back.

That was when I realized religion was such a crutch. A coping mechanism.

Atheism in itself isn't much of a "shape" - it's nothing more than whether or not I believe in a god or many gods. It in itself provides me with no way to live my life, provides me with no code of ethics. Those were up to me to find for myself, to decide and rethink all the things I had thought about prior. Some of them have stayed largely the same, others vastly different.

But my approach to things is skepticism. If someone can be indoctrinated so easily from the beginning of their life, it can be just as easy to believe other things once you drop them, perhaps as a support structure, perhaps as a coping mechanism.

But when you can approach things skeptically and look at them rationally and justify them, then I think that is a good start. This is why I like Occam's Razor, it's why I approach things with a hint of salt and a dash of pessimism and a skeptic fork and knife. You end up with the flavor of cutting things to pieces in your mind and can take it with a hint of salt, perhaps try a taste and if it tastes like bullshit, you can spit it out and say, "well... tried that, tasted like it was missing a bit of logic and reason." Other times you're amazed and surprised when you learn something new.

Hope that clarifies, at least a bit of my own position. Do not expect everyone to be the same, even as atheists.
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29-11-2012, 08:57 AM
RE: atheist or just anti-THAT god
(29-11-2012 01:09 AM)chandrashakti Wrote:  Vosur and Phaedrus, let me get this straight... Science has a continually expanding front of what can be proved. Yet, if a concept has not been 100% proved by the current state of scientific understanding it is irrelevant (to you). Therefore I must justify my acceptance of the possibilities that theoretical physics and that holy grail unified field theory both seem to necessitate simply because they are not CURRENTLY proved!?!??
Great, another straw man. Never have I said that a concept that has not fully been proven by science is irrelevant. Do you know what a hypothesis is? Exactly. What I'm doing is criticizing you for claiming that science supports your absurd belief. I have challenged you to provide evidence for this claim and what you did was the exact opposite, because your own source says that there is no observational or experimental evidence pointing towards the existence of many other dimensions. I respect your right to believe whatever nonsense you want, but don't expect me to keep quiet when you assert that it is supported by science when it clearly isn't.

(29-11-2012 01:09 AM)chandrashakti Wrote:  There is no cognative dissonence for me in accepting those currently theoretical explainations of otherwise inexplicable experiences.
What are these "inexplicable experiences" supposed to be? And what makes you think that the only explanation for them is the existence higher dimensions?

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29-11-2012, 08:59 AM
RE: atheist or just anti-THAT god
(29-11-2012 12:53 AM)chandrashakti Wrote:  Ok, I am noticing three distinct strains of atheism. The first is "Whatever, just keep your god out of our politics." This strain is one I greatly respect and can work side by side with.
The second is "Wow that's odd, let me poke and prod that and see if I can figure that out." This is the strain I have the most in common with. Thus my starting this thread in the first place.
The third seems to regard any unsubstantiated belief as a mental illness to be stamped out. I think of that strain as fundamentalist atheism, because they share a very obnoxious trait with fundamentalists of other stripes. ie: "you all do not see things the way I do, therefore what the **** is wrong with you people."
Then again I see two distinctly different Christian gods. The first I will refer to as Yahweh. He is the kind, loving, gentle father. He would never send anyone much short of Jeffrey Dahmer or Timothy MacVeigh to hell. This is the god I was raised with.
The other, Jehovah, is the target rich bastard many atheists are fond of skewering, and rightly so. This is the god which will send anyone who puts one toe out of line straight to hell.
Arguing against that god using logic will never work, as many people have already concluded. One needs to use their "literal" interpretation of their holy book against them. But remember the KISS principle. Just ask them WHICH creation they believe in. There are two distinct creations in Genesis, with different orders of creation. They cannot both be believed literally.


The first is not atheism, it is secularism.
The fourth is "There is no evidence for any gods, therefore I don't believe any exist". No anger, no angst, no anti anything.

Skepticism is not a position; it is an approach to claims.
Science is not a subject, but a method.
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29-11-2012, 09:01 AM
RE: atheist or just anti-THAT god
(29-11-2012 01:09 AM)chandrashakti Wrote:  Vosur and Phaedrus, let me get this straight... Science has a continually expanding front of what can be proved. Yet, if a concept has not been 100% proved by the current state of scientific understanding it is irrelevant (to you). Therefore I must justify my acceptance of the possibilities that theoretical physics and that holy grail unified field theory both seem to necessitate simply because they are not CURRENTLY proved!?!??
There is no cognative dissonence for me in accepting those currently theoretical explainations of otherwise inexplicable experiences.
You seem to misunderstand science. It is not about proof, it is about evidence.

Skepticism is not a position; it is an approach to claims.
Science is not a subject, but a method.
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