Atheism debate

Is there a god? What is the meaning of life?
Big ned
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Atheism debate

Post by Big ned »

Interesting article that responds to some of the atheistic literature.

http://www.meridianmagazine.com/byustud ... ombat.html
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hellomynameis
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Re: Atheism debate

Post by hellomynameis »

Ned I don't have time to read that article right now, but in the meantime, I will leave one very quick observation.

Religion sprouts wherever there is humanity. Though it was used to explain natural phenomena religion isn't just a form of pre-science.

I am an agnostic.
The one concern I would like to see atheists/agnostics address more is if there is not a supernatural aspect then that means religion is purely psychological. Is atheism a simple emancipation of humanity or does it remove a rough but necessary part of our psyche? If so, could there be long term degradation if religion is totally removed, or can it be replaced with something like a more material "inter-dialogue", does it need to be replaced at all?
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JonyDarko
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Re: Atheism debate

Post by JonyDarko »

Wow great questions Hello. I have asked my self a few of those before.

Does religion need to be replaced? I think that if specific dogmas in the world were forgotten over night the world would be a better place "maybe not by a lot but at least a little"...but as much as I hate to admit it I personally think that "spirituality"of some kind is needed for many people to get threw the day and I am totally 100% OK with that. But yes if you honestly think that someone is controlling / watching everything you do and will judge / punish everyone on the planet after they die ...that is some kind of psychosis.


"One unfounded argument atheists insist upon is that their own lack of experience with God proves that God is not there."

I thought this was funny. How about the lack of evidence, or that people from different faiths all over the world visualize and interpret God or God's in completely different ways yet they all seem to be THE ONE TRUE GOD.

My personal proof against the existence of a God is that no one "even of the same religion" seems to know the same God, everyone extends their own personal moral codes and versions of right and wrong upon their God. Even close families often have a different perspective of who they talk to when they clasp their hands together at night. My point is that no ones God is exactly the same, no one shares the same definition of soul, or an after life...they all differ from slightly to dramatically. God is more like a finger print in the mirror of the person who believes in him or her then an actual supernatural being.
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hellomynameis
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Re: Atheism debate

Post by hellomynameis »

JonyDarko wrote:"One unfounded argument atheists insist upon is that their own lack of experience with God proves that God is not there."

I thought this was funny.


Me too. I have spent many years in a relationship with God, in the Christian sense. I have felt the full force of the spirit moving within me but I have moved beyond that now.

I agree very much with what you said Jony, I even posted something very similair in another thread recently. The "proofs" are too contradictorily diverse to be "proofs" beyond that religion is a trait of humanity.
"Books tap the wisdom of our species -- the greatest minds, the best teachers -- from all over the world and from all our history. And they're patient."
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Born_again
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Re: Atheism debate

Post by Born_again »

Hellomynameis wrote:The one concern I would like to see atheists/agnostics address more is if there is not a supernatural aspect then that means religion is purely psychological. Is atheism a simple emancipation of humanity or does it remove a rough but necessary part of our psyche? If so, could there be long term degradation if religion is totally removed, or can it be replaced with something like a more material "inter-dialogue", does it need to be replaced at all?


^^The way I see it, it's not far off a phobia, in as much as the way a phobia can be overcome by modern techniques and understanding. The next step surely must be to overcome the irrational fear of logic.

The reason why I'm posting is to run through a little exchange the GM and I had with the CFO today. For one it was heated, and for others it was a full-on lolathon:

The CFO barged into my office whilst I was chatting with the GM and spurted, "I can prove there is God, and you can't deny it!"
GM: "Interesting, go ahead then."
CFO: "Can you see the air in this room?"

[CHORUS]..... long uncomfortable silence broken only by the knell of a distant bell, and the rustling of a lonesome, wind-blown tumble weed.[/CHORUS]

ME: "Er, no...but we can prove that it is present"
CFO: "Prove it then."
GM: "You sit here whilst we create a vacuum in this room, then tell us how you feel."
CFO: "But I've just proved that; just because you can't see something, it doesn't mean it's not there."

[CHORUS]..... long uncomfortable silence broken only by the knell of a distant bell, and the rustling of a lonesome, wind-blown tumble weed.[/CHORUS]

ME: "Look at my forearm; would you say that it is solid, and that you can see it?"
CFO: "Yes, of course it's solid."
ME: "Then imagine it from the perspective of a quantum particle. It would see my 'solid' arm in much the same way that Halley's Comet is in relation to its surroundings; a mere mote in the vastness of our space-filled solar system. Effectively, it is completely see-through to the particle."
CFO (exiting): "Impossible!"

[CHORUS]..... long uncomfortable silence broken only by the knell of a distant bell, and the rustling of a lonesome, wind-blown tumble weed.[/CHORUS]

GM: LOL...LOL..ROFL...LOL
ME: ROFL..LOL.....LOL...*sigh* "Back to work!"
:sunshine:
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JonyDarko
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Re: Atheism debate

Post by JonyDarko »

lol
dirtrider
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Re: Atheism debate

Post by dirtrider »

Hellowmynameis wrote:"......Is atheism a simple emancipation of humanity or does it remove a rough but necessary part of our psyche?..."


JonnyDarko wrote:"......that people from different faiths all over the world visualize and interpret God or God's in completely different ways yet they all seem to be THE ONE TRUE GOD.

My personal proof against the existence of a God is that no one "even of the same religion" seems to know the same God, everyone extends their own personal moral codes and versions of right and wrong upon their God. Even close families often have a different perspective of who they talk to when they clasp their hands together at night. My point is that no ones God is exactly the same, no one shares the same definition of soul, or an after life...they all differ from slightly to dramatically. God is more like a finger print in the mirror of the person who believes in him or her then an actual supernatural being.


I think you two are saying the same things, as is my belief on the question of "religion". I'm just going to rehash what I said on the good/evil thread.
"......As far as religion goes, I favor Carl Jung's teachings. I don't profess to know most of his teachings but I do like his theory on how various religions came about. In a nutshell, "Carl Jung had a theory about the origin of all religions, he called it the "collective unconscious", "....In short, Jung found that cultures, independent of each other, separated by time and geography, share myths and symbols so much alike that it cannot be mere coincidence. He concluded human beings are all born with the psychological makeup that expresses itself in particular myths and symbols, the collective unconscious. The Jungian interpretation of religion views all religious experience as a psychological phenomenon, and regards the personal experience of God as indistinguishable, for scientific purposes, as a communication with one's own unconscious mind....and from the collective unconscious for each unique culture manifest the various religions in the world. He went on to explain that the collective unconscious is made up of archetypes, a word that literally means "first-type." The archetypes of the collective unconscious are the original experiences of our first ancestors passed down to us through the ages. They show up in the images and symbols of our dreams and myths.The archetype is a symbolic formula which always begins to function when there are no conscious ideas present, or when conscious ideas are inhibited for internal or external reasons. The contents of the collective unconscious are represented in consciousness in the form of pronounced preferences and definite ways of looking at things."

Christianity is merely one vehicle through which to express itself. Buddism and Hinduism in another part of the world. Have you ever wonder why Christianity/Islam (common ancestry) is so aggressive and barbaric?.....and Buddism and Hinduism not. Are Christian's often brutal and heartless because of their religion, or is their religion brutal and heartless because of them? As a Jungian, I would have to conclude the latter, that there is something brutal and heartless within us that expresses itself outwardly, in the mythology and symbolism of our religion. I belive that this is due to cultural differences in how the various religion manifest itself.


As to the article, I'm not sure if I'm qualified to give an opinion as I have not read Dawkins or Walker's books and am only getting, IMO, a "biased" third party dissection of them......then again the title of the article was "Comabating Atheism". It's the same ageless, circular feedback loop between Creationists and Evolutionists :skippingsheep:

..........and yes theistic/evolutionary creationism is another name for Creationism"...." While many who believe in the Bible's account of the creation can simultaneously accept the possibility of evolution, Dawkins believes in the false dilemma that only one or the other can be true............... Because Creationists do not always discount evidence of evolution, but atheists always discount evidence of God....."
Last edited by dirtrider on Aug 31st, 2008, 8:54 am, edited 1 time in total.
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JonyDarko
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Re: Atheism debate

Post by JonyDarko »

No but atheists do not try and give lectures on evolution or argue against the existance of god at revivals and massive evangelical televised god stadiums without first being invited either.

Nor will they knock on your door on the weekends and attempt to explain why it is evil to allow your child or anyone else to get a life saving organ transplant or blood donation. "happened to me last weekend"

There is an old line that goes something like...

Keep your god out of my classroom and I'll keep my thought out of your church.


Basically it goes both ways and since both sides of the debate are made up of humans they will both always have the same personality and social flaws that seem to be prevalent amongst...you guessed it humans.
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Tumult
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Re: Atheism debate

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While religion has and does produce many flawed and contradictory moral/ethical codes of conduct the contrast is that atheism in and of itself provides no path to follow. If we begin our perspectives with an ultimate goal in mind we can perceive other's paths towards that goal as benificial whether or not they contain supernatural elements. It is when people of any system insist there is only one correct perspective that we encounter dogmatic adherance, extremism, etc. This is true for adherants to science and religion. If the goal itself determines your path it becomes much easier to interpret other's views as paralell to your own but through a different perspective.
“A new scientific truth does not triumph by convincing its opponents and making them see the light, but rather because its opponents eventually die, and a new generation grows up that is familiar with it”
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Born_again
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Re: Atheism debate

Post by Born_again »

Tumult wrote:While religion has and does produce many flawed and contradictory moral/ethical codes of conduct the contrast is that atheism in and of itself provides no path to follow.

Why an earth would atheism provide a path to follow? Atheism isn't an 'ology', nor is it an organisation, group or anything contained by rules or guidelines. You see, this is the real beauty of being an atheist; when you do something that is true, kind, loving, bad or evil, YOU did it without being told or guided to do it. To me it is the purest of all endowments nature has afforded us human beings. If I needed a moral rulebook to exist within the framework of a civilised society, I'd seriously have to give my head a shake.
If anyone needs to be told the difference between good and bad, then yes, they probably do need a little extra help.
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fvkasm2x
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Re: Atheism debate

Post by fvkasm2x »

I am an atheist.

I would dare to say that almost all atheists believe that we as individuals create our own fate. We act on our own accord and free will reigns supreme in ALL our decisions.

Whether you are Christian, Muslim, Buddhist or Aztec warrior back in the day... the fundamentals of all relgions are essentially the same. Thus, how can any ONE person claim they are right?

One of my biggest problems with religion (and I have many) is the fact that no matter how pious you are, how many times you pray, etc... nobody is ever safe from bad things happening to your loved ones. Also, you see COUNTLESS "evil" people who rape, murder and steal... yet get away with it. The idea/concept that a lifetime of suffering on Earth is nothign compared to the eternal bliss in heaven just doesnt wash with me.

God doesnt stop me from going out and raping a 5 year old boy right now, just as Satan doesnt make me do it. I dont do it, because I am not a sicko... and even if I wanted to, I am too scared of prison to break the law.
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Mr Danksworth
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Re: Atheism debate

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Excellent replies everyone. The one thing that really bothers me about theists is their hijacking the sense of wonder that we all experience as humans on this planet. The atheist worldview isn't some cold sterile existence, it is warm, and full of wonder and amazement. There just isn't any need to tie the supernatural to it.
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hellomynameis
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Re: Atheism debate

Post by hellomynameis »

I've been bracing for some massive anti-atheist salvo to be launched but really the waters are fairly calm thus far.

I will say this: Dawkins TAP/PAP (or whatever) critique of agnosticism holds about as much water as a sieve.

Oh and later this evening I will reply to the OP's article.
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Tumult
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Re: Atheism debate

Post by Tumult »

Born_again wrote:
Tumult wrote:While religion has and does produce many flawed and contradictory moral/ethical codes of conduct the contrast is that atheism in and of itself provides no path to follow.

Why an earth would atheism provide a path to follow? Atheism isn't an 'ology', nor is it an organisation, group or anything contained by rules or guidelines. You see, this is the real beauty of being an atheist; when you do something that is true, kind, loving, bad or evil, YOU did it without being told or guided to do it. To me it is the purest of all endowments nature has afforded us human beings. If I needed a moral rulebook to exist within the framework of a civilised society, I'd seriously have to give my head a shake.
If anyone needs to be told the difference between good and bad, then yes, they probably do need a little extra help.


That's my point. Atheism is frequently offered as the counterpoint to religious or philosophical practices yet atheism has no intrinsic moral guideline. What we need to benifit the people is a collective motivation, or a law that decides what we should do, rather than lists of what we shouldn't do. People are frequently not good judges when deciding what to do, people willing choose to do bad or evil in the world. I'm not saying our guidelines must be derived from supernatural sources or books of antiquity but that some collective motivation must be present if we are to live as one. Human discovery and potential is utterly astounding and I can only imagine what advances we would make if we had some unifying motivation and everyone was willing to try to see other people's perspectives.
“A new scientific truth does not triumph by convincing its opponents and making them see the light, but rather because its opponents eventually die, and a new generation grows up that is familiar with it”
-Max Planck
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Born_again
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Re: Atheism debate

Post by Born_again »

I agree with you, Tumult. I wished to emphasise your point further as it is one of the standard issue falsehoods flung at atheists in debate. Despite the amount of times 'we' refute the ridiculous claim it still never seems to get through.
Interestingly, it sparked a debate on the Dawkins forums out of the frustration felt. Some argued that maybe there should some sort of unified consensus as to what an atheist 'code' should be. As you can imagine, it was laughed out of the water post-haste! The pro-code people obviously had not yet fully realised the full glory of atheism.
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