Question to Atheists

Is there a god? What is the meaning of life?
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zzontar
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Re: Question to Atheists

Post by zzontar »

janalta wrote:That could well be one of the worst arguments for the immaculate conception I've heard yet.
Perhaps we've read different bibles because I've never read the one that explains that god ( who apparently must actually be a human if he is made of flesh and blood and produces viable sperm ) actually performed artificial insemination on Mary.
In the version I've read, and the version churches all teach....there was no procedure performed on her, no medical intervention, no straw inserted which contained virtuous semen - just an angel that appeared and told her she was carrying god's son.

If you sit down and explain the science, technology and technique involved in artificial insemination to any primitive person....they would be able to understand the process - even if they couldn't believe it was possible before they had that knowledge.
The same principle can not be applied when trying to explain that a woman became pregnant even though no human male was involved, no semen was used, no procedure performed on her...and that the baby she was carrying was the magical offspring of an invisible being who lived somewhere in a magical kingdom in the sky.

Your comparison is not valid.


You missed the point... look at how more advanced we are than tribespeople in the rainforest... we're talking the same species that evolved on the same planet at the same time. Keep in mind most technology was developed in the last century or two... now picture if we were millions of years more advanced... you really think you can explain how things would work? Give me a break.
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Re: Question to Atheists

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zzontar wrote:
You missed the point... look at how more advanced we are than tribespeople in the rainforest... we're talking the same species that evolved on the same planet at the same time. Keep in mind most technology was developed in the last century or two... now picture if we were millions of years more advanced... you really think you can explain how things would work? Give me a break.


Oh, I know what your point was...it still does absolutely nothing to explain the supposed conception of Jesus.

Since this thread is about why people do not believe in god or the outrageous stories of the bible - examining why primitive people in the rainforest don't understand modern medical procedures has nothing to do with the topic at all.

Unless....are you suggesting that god is actually an alien on a planet that is millions of years more advanced than ours? And that somehow, without her knowledge, he used that technology to inseminate Mary 2,000 years ago without her knowing ?
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zzontar
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Re: Question to Atheists

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I'm suggesting theories but you seem to know the secrets of the universe already so discussion is pretty well pointless.
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Re: Question to Atheists

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How do atheists believe life started? how does life start from inert matter?
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Re: Question to Atheists

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cutter7 wrote:How do atheists believe life started? how does life start from inert matter?


I have heard and read some interesting ideas about how the first amino acids and proteins may have formed, but I don't have a strong opinion or claim to know exactly how it happened. So I really don't have a "belief" in the sense that you might, but that isn't important to me in the slightest, and I don't speak for any other atheist.

Being an atheist simply means that you do not claim to believe in the existence of any gods. Beyond that, you cannot paint all atheists with the same brush. You could get 10 atheists in a room and they could all have different things to say on the subject of abiogenesis, which is what you are referring to. Heck, some of those atheists might believe that aliens did everything, and I would consider that just as crazy as the magical man in the sky myths.
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Re: Question to Atheists

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cutter7 wrote:How do atheists believe life started? how does life start from inert matter?


That's not a matter of atheism at all...atheism has nothing to do with scientific beliefs, theories or anything else.....it is simply the lack of belief in gods. Period.

Religion has not got any more answers as to how things all began than science does.
Sure...gods created all of it....but, that wouldn't have been the beginning at all, would it ? Those gods had to have come from somewhere...where? When ? Who or what created them ?

Religious or spiritual theories don't explain the very beginning any more or any better than the big bang theory.

The only fact on that matter is....none of us have that knowledge. None of us.
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Re: Question to Atheists

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janalta wrote:The only fact on that matter is....none of us have that knowledge. None of us.


Exactly! Whatever a person chooses to believe about the origins of the universe, it is just that, a belief.

Some choose to believe in divine creation, while some believe there is a more scientific explanation. But the bottom line is that neither belief is proven fact. So the constant arguing back and forth between the two camps is totally pointless IMO. Because no-one really knows for sure how the Universe first began. It is all a matter of personal belief.
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Re: Question to Atheists

Post by SmokeOnTheWater »

janalta wrote:Religious or spiritual theories don't explain the very beginning any more or any better than the big bang theory.

The only fact on that matter is....none of us have that knowledge. None of us.


Bingo.
That's why when I asked these 2 questions ( specifically to Hmmm ) no one answered.
What was there before the big bang ?
What was there before the creator ?
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Re: Question to Atheists

Post by Geckonidae »

Merry wrote:Exactly! Whatever a person chooses to believe about the origins of the universe, it is just that, a belief.

Some choose to believe in divine creation, while some believe there is a more scientific explanation. But the bottom line is that neither belief is proven fact. So the constant arguing back and forth between the two camps is totally pointless IMO. Because no-one really knows for sure how the Universe first began. It is all a matter of personal belief.


Ah, I hear this all the time from theists trying to show that being an atheist takes as much faith as being theist.

"I believe A, you believe B, therefore we both have a belief and a faith so what's the difference?"

Here's the thing; words can have different meaning, different definitions based on the context. If I say that I believe the Big Bang theory is the most plausible explanation for the beginning of our universe as we know it, that is absolutely not on the same level as you saying that you believe that Jesus Christ died for your sins.

For one thing, I would never say that I "believe in" the Big Bang theory, instead I believe the general concept is plausible. If science provides us with a new, more plausible explanation, I wouldn't have an issue considering the new evidence. If Christian scholars came forward with evidence that perhaps someone else was the son of God and Jesus was a fraud, how would most Christians react?

What about the meaning that our respective beliefs hold for us? Is my daily life governed by the Big Bang Theory or the Theory of Evolution? No it isn't, and these topics have absolutely no bearing on any decisions I make in my life, period. They are interesting scientific areas, and when I say that I believe them to be plausible, I am making an academic judgement about them and nothing more. Belief in a creator is going to influence the way that you live your life, those beliefs hold a great deal of meaning to you, they are part of your identity, and you would not change those beliefs lightly.

In summary: Same word, vastly different meaning based on the context. I do not believe in anything the way that a Christian believe's in their god. If I say that I have faith in mankind, it is not the same as the religious faith that others profess to have.
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Re: Question to Atheists

Post by cliffy1 »

zzontar wrote:You missed the point... look at how more advanced we are than tribespeople in the rainforest... we're talking the same species that evolved on the same planet at the same time. Keep in mind most technology was developed in the last century or two... now picture if we were millions of years more advanced... you really think you can explain how things would work? Give me a break.

I don't really want to derail this thread but saying that we are more advanced than the people of the rainforest is only your opinion. Would advanced being destroy their life support system to produce billions of tons of useless garbage?
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Re: Question to Atheists

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Geckonidae wrote:If I say that I believe the Big Bang theory is the most plausible explanation for the beginning of our universe as we know it, that is absolutely not on the same level as you saying that you believe that Jesus Christ died for your sins.


I respectfully disagree. A belief in a theory, whether it be the Creation theory or the Big Bang theory, or some other theory, is just that - a BELIEF in a THEORY.
For one thing, I would never say that I "believe in" the Big Bang theory, instead I believe the general concept is plausible.

And there are many who find the Creation theory to be plausible. I'm not saying which group are right, and which group are wrong, because none of us know for sure. Heck, both groups could be wrong for all we know, and there could be some other, totally different explanation for how the Universe began. The point is that no-one really knows, and all we have is a belief in a theory. It's just that different people happen to believe different theories.
If science provides us with a new, more plausible explanation, I wouldn't have an issue considering the new evidence. If Christian scholars came forward with evidence that perhaps someone else was the son of God and Jesus was a fraud, how would most Christians react?
If Christian Scholars came forward with EVIDENCE that Jesus was a fraud I think you'd be surprised at how many Christians would want to see and hear such evidence, and then discuss it. Because if such evidence ever came to light, that wouldn't necessarily shake their belief in God, just the way they view God.

What about the meaning that our respective beliefs hold for us? Is my daily life governed by the Big Bang Theory or the Theory of Evolution? No it isn't, and these topics have absolutely no bearing on any decisions I make in my life, period. They are interesting scientific areas, and when I say that I believe them to be plausible, I am making an academic judgement about them and nothing more. Belief in a creator is going to influence the way that you live your life, those beliefs hold a great deal of meaning to you, they are part of your identity, and you would not change those beliefs lightly.


Whether we like it or not, our entire Western Society is based on the Christian Culture. The foundation of our legal and moral code is based on information contained in the Holy Bible. So, to some degree, even non-Christians who grew up in the West HAVE been influenced by the Christian Culture. It undoubtedly has had a bearing on decisions you have made in your life, whether you realize it or not. That said, you are right when you say that those who believe in a Divine Creator would not change their beliefs lightly. But then neither would those who believe in the Big Bang or some other theory. So I still maintain that when you get right down to it, that it's all a matter of personal belief, and that nobody really knows for sure HOW things first began.
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Re: Question to Atheists

Post by janalta »

Merry wrote:
Exactly! Whatever a person chooses to believe about the origins of the universe, it is just that, a belief.

Some choose to believe in divine creation, while some believe there is a more scientific explanation. But the bottom line is that neither belief is proven fact. So the constant arguing back and forth between the two camps is totally pointless IMO. Because no-one really knows for sure how the Universe first began. It is all a matter of personal belief.


That's why I don't feel that the origins of life on earth have any bearing at all on the topic of 'belief' or 'faith' that there is some sort of god or creator.
It is a separate topic really.

Someone spiritual, or even religious, can believe completely in science.
Someone who believes in no god can believe that there may be a lot more out there than can be easily explained by science - souls, ghosts, spirituality...possibly even some sort of being who had a hand in boosting the evolution of humans along.

Right now there s nothing but speculation....nothing but theories.
Creation is not a proven fact...it is a theory. The only evidence to back it up is a book written nearly 2,000 years ago.
Science has come a long way in the last century in trying to explain how it all began...how mankind, the earth, the universe all came to be....they have some pretty compelling evidence to support many of the theories....but no definitive proof.

Compelling evidence, research, experimentation, archeological finds, anthropology....all a lot easier for me to believe in than one 2,000 year old book. But...none of it tells us for sure how things came to be...not science, not religion.
And...I'm OK with that...it's not something that keeps me awake at night...it's not something that I need an answer to in order to live my life.
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Re: Question to Atheists

Post by Geckonidae »

Merry wrote:
I respectfully disagree. A belief in a theory, whether it be the Creation theory or the Big Bang theory, or some other theory, is just that - a BELIEF in a THEORY.


You missed the point by a country mile. No matter how many words you choose to type in all caps, you cannot assert that you know how I perceive my beliefs. I am telling you, that I absolutely do not hold a belief in The Big Bang Theory in the same way that Christians hold a belief in Jesus Christ being their lord and savior. Again, words can have different meanings based on context. Hey, let's look at the word "theory". There's a common usage; people can have theories about how their favorite show will end or I could tell you my theory about Ogopogo. (I don't actually have any theories about Ogopogo) A scientific theory however...well...that topic has been beaten to death. Suffice to say, you can call it Creation "theory" if you like, but it's just as scientific as my Ogopogo theory.

Could I be wrong? Absolutely I could be wrong, and I'm OK with that. How many Christians will say that? That's the faith element to religious belief. If you say that you might be wrong and maybe Jesus never existed, then you have no faith. Does that help to illustrate just how different this religious concept of belief is from what you are trying to lay on me? I'm not going to tell anyone that the Big Bang Theory is absolutely true, I simply consider it plausible.

And do you honestly think that Christians everywhere would listen to religious scholars claiming that Jesus was a fraud and just change their belief system? Not bloody likely. Just look at how many different denominations have existed throughout history, mostly because one group couldn't agree with how another group interpreted the bible. Religious people are all about confirmation bias. If you present them with evidence that contradicts their beliefs, they will just seek out someone else who will agree with them instead. Go do some reading about how the Seventh Day Adventist church started and you'll see exactly what I mean. How about young earth creationists who firmly hold to a belief despite a mountain of contradictory scientific evidence? Even the Vatican accepts the scientific evidence against a 6000 year old earth and accepts the Theory of Evolution. But hey, every denomination will just continue to believe whatever they find convenient, and if there's a disagreement within the denomination we'll just end up with another new denomination.
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Re: Question to Atheists

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Merry wrote:Whether we like it or not, our entire Western Society is based on the Christian Culture. The foundation of our legal and moral code is based on information contained in the Holy Bible. So, to some degree, even non-Christians who grew up in the West HAVE been influenced by the Christian Culture. It undoubtedly has had a bearing on decisions you have made in your life, whether you realize it or not. That said, you are right when you say that those who believe in a Divine Creator would not change their beliefs lightly. But then neither would those who believe in the Big Bang or some other theory. So I still maintain that when you get right down to it, that it's all a matter of personal belief, and that nobody really knows for sure HOW things first began.


This is not true. Firstly, by western society, do you refer to NA? or Europe as well? if it's NA, then the US for instance was founded by atheists, on science and not religion.

Any laws that overlap with laws in the bible is merely common sense. There are far more laws in the bible which are not reflected in modern law, and vice versa. If we were founding our laws on the bible then all I would need to get married are to trade a couple goats, and if she cheated on me it would be well within my rights to stone her to death.

If you're talking about the basic laws of not stealing, killing, lying etc, all of these "commandments" can be found in earlier works predating the bible, such as pagan stories, the egyptian book of the dead etc, long predating christianity. You could just as easily say that our society is based on the legal and moral codes of Thoth
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Re: Question to Atheists

Post by A_Britishcolumbian »

hey smokeonthewater, i had thought someone may have gotten you an answer by now, but since not, here goes.

the 'universe' is now an antiquated term, still in use only because someone like stephen hawking has not given us a new word to describe the results of the 'big bang', with respect to the fact that other 'bangs' have occurred. we are merely one bang in a neighbourhood of bangs. http://news.nationalgeographic.com/news ... microwave/

with new images from hubble to corroborate, we should see some advancement of this idea soon utilizing all the latest data.
Last edited by A_Britishcolumbian on Jun 7th, 2014, 5:28 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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