Author Topic: What important truth do very few people agree with you on?  (Read 17359 times)

eyesonthehorizon

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Re: What important truth do very few people agree with you on?
« Reply #300 on: January 05, 2021, 10:54:24 PM »
[excerpted]...
1) Religion appears to meet some kind of basic human need (either directly or as a byproduct of our evolution)
2) Religions are made up
3) How can one replicate the benefits knowing this? Having faith for the sake of it's benefits doesn't work (at least for me). Once you reach point (2), I don't think there's a way to be religious without some kind of catch 22.
This is one I've been dealing with most my life as well. Atheist here. The only religions or traditions or faiths that ever held any real calling for me beyond anthropological curiosity were pretty close to animistic. There's also a materialist bent to them, since most were formed out of, & reflect, observation of the natural world.

I think organized religion serves the human need for connection with people through organizational structure that is mostly coincidental to religious purpose; you can get it elsewhere. The thing which distinguishes religion is a sense of connection or relationship to the world outside ourselves, in the broadest possible sense, & where that connection or relationship is perceived is what we deem holy. Whether you personally get that from Sagan's "We are a way for the universe to know itself," or from the notion that we are all dreaming our separateness from the whole, or that some god birthed us or made us of wood or clay, it seems to be the same emotional experience of the sacred.

Combining that emotional experience with social & personal purpose, tribal markers, a couple of beloved narratives, maybe a few symbols for shorthand, & ritual behavior has plenty of neurological basis for something intensely satisfying to the primate brain; the question if you're trying to build that whole capital-R Religion experience from scrap is, are any of those constituent elements mere mental junk food or do they each convey separate benefits? Because if any of them are crap, in absence of some faith (an emotional experience you can't control) in their rightness it degrades the rest of the experience, it won't cohere. (Malcat will perhaps laugh in context of a recent thread when I say that the one part I still find lacking is the community....)

I'd also say that like most emotions, you can practice the experience of perceiving the holy to learn to access it more easily (& thus frequently.) It's a neurological habit you can build. Which things trigger it for you can change or multiply over time, but the more easily you access that state the more opportunities you have to share it with others as they experience it, imho.

(The fact that I'm reasonably inclined to believe this is reducible to molecules zinging around under the influence of a predictable physics is, to me, part of what makes it beautiful, holy, good. The certainty of faith, for me, is in the resonant emotional experience, not the particulars of whether our science is good enough yet or if we're all actually borne on the back of a turtle.)

Elsewhere in the thread, I quite agree with this & think it's related!!
All categories are arbitrary. Observable reality is based on continuous phenomena. Categories vary in their utility and defensibility, but not in their trueness.
But it doesn't have to be true to be real, in human experience. It'd be fairly easy to say that most people's experiences of the holy fall into the experience of accepting, affirming a relationship between self & else: a state of perceived comprehension (even just comprehension of the existence of mystery. ...This is also why drugs do it for some people.) In brief, humans really get a kick out of categorizing, deciding/ discerning things; it's installing handles on otherwise unwieldy experiences.

ChpBstrd

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Re: What important truth do very few people agree with you on?
« Reply #301 on: January 06, 2021, 09:17:58 AM »
[excerpted]...
1) Religion appears to meet some kind of basic human need (either directly or as a byproduct of our evolution)
2) Religions are made up
3) How can one replicate the benefits knowing this? Having faith for the sake of it's benefits doesn't work (at least for me). Once you reach point (2), I don't think there's a way to be religious without some kind of catch 22.
This is one I've been dealing with most my life as well. Atheist here. The only religions or traditions or faiths that ever held any real calling for me beyond anthropological curiosity were pretty close to animistic. There's also a materialist bent to them, since most were formed out of, & reflect, observation of the natural world.

I think organized religion serves the human need for connection with people through organizational structure that is mostly coincidental to religious purpose; you can get it elsewhere. The thing which distinguishes religion is a sense of connection or relationship to the world outside ourselves, in the broadest possible sense, & where that connection or relationship is perceived is what we deem holy. Whether you personally get that from Sagan's "We are a way for the universe to know itself," or from the notion that we are all dreaming our separateness from the whole, or that some god birthed us or made us of wood or clay, it seems to be the same emotional experience of the sacred.

Combining that emotional experience with social & personal purpose, tribal markers, a couple of beloved narratives, maybe a few symbols for shorthand, & ritual behavior has plenty of neurological basis for something intensely satisfying to the primate brain; the question if you're trying to build that whole capital-R Religion experience from scrap is, are any of those constituent elements mere mental junk food or do they each convey separate benefits? Because if any of them are crap, in absence of some faith (an emotional experience you can't control) in their rightness it degrades the rest of the experience, it won't cohere. (Malcat will perhaps laugh in context of a recent thread when I say that the one part I still find lacking is the community....)

I'd also say that like most emotions, you can practice the experience of perceiving the holy to learn to access it more easily (& thus frequently.) It's a neurological habit you can build. Which things trigger it for you can change or multiply over time, but the more easily you access that state the more opportunities you have to share it with others as they experience it, imho.

(The fact that I'm reasonably inclined to believe this is reducible to molecules zinging around under the influence of a predictable physics is, to me, part of what makes it beautiful, holy, good. The certainty of faith, for me, is in the resonant emotional experience, not the particulars of whether our science is good enough yet or if we're all actually borne on the back of a turtle.)

Elsewhere in the thread, I quite agree with this & think it's related!!
All categories are arbitrary. Observable reality is based on continuous phenomena. Categories vary in their utility and defensibility, but not in their trueness.
But it doesn't have to be true to be real, in human experience. It'd be fairly easy to say that most people's experiences of the holy fall into the experience of accepting, affirming a relationship between self & else: a state of perceived comprehension (even just comprehension of the existence of mystery. ...This is also why drugs do it for some people.) In brief, humans really get a kick out of categorizing, deciding/ discerning things; it's installing handles on otherwise unwieldy experiences.

In terms of the basic human needs religion meets - let's keep in mind the 2nd biggest or biggest building on most church campuses functions as a place to play basketball. What *actually happens* in any religious organization is socializing, making of art/music, sexual pairing, childcare, political empowerment of the in-group, identity-creation, mutual aid, and the development of skills like organizing or public speaking. In this way churches/mosques/synagogues/temples are similar to fraternal organizations. You trade the costs for the benefits. There are some mind-blowing books on the economics of religion by authors such as Rodney Stark, Larry Witham, William Bainbridge, and Roger Finke - mind-blowing at least to this nerd.

It's harder to pin down the less tangible benefits. Yes, existential terror is reduced while one is thinking of going to heaven instead of actually dying, but this comes at the cost of tremendous cognitive dissonance and suppressed fears or doubts that expose themselves at times such as when mourning or debating others. Yes, it is easier to determine the meaning and direction of one's life when it is essentially a canned commodity, but this comes at the cost of being a robot for the organization rather than developing oneself or doing a balanced exploration of values. Yes, there's a dopamine rush from singing/chanting/praying together with others and maybe a pleasant sense of awe, but this comes at the cost of a worldview that flattens and simplifies the complexity of the universe, stifling most inquiry, e.g. explanations that "god did it" with no further explanation for why god did it or why god exists. Yes, there's comfort in "knowing" the essence of the universe, but this comes at the cost of making some bad decisions, like praying instead of seeking medical attention, opposing measures that could improve life in one's city or nation, getting ripped off by charlatans and not even knowing it, or disbelieving one's children when they accuse the preacher of molestation.

StashingAway

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Re: What important truth do very few people agree with you on?
« Reply #302 on: January 06, 2021, 09:47:29 AM »
In terms of the basic human needs religion meets - let's keep in mind the 2nd biggest or biggest building on most church campuses functions as a place to play basketball. What *actually happens* in any religious organization is socializing, making of art/music, sexual pairing, childcare, political empowerment of the in-group, identity-creation, mutual aid, and the development of skills like organizing or public speaking. In this way churches/mosques/synagogues/temples are similar to fraternal organizations. You trade the costs for the benefits. There are some mind-blowing books on the economics of religion by authors such as Rodney Stark, Larry Witham, William Bainbridge, and Roger Finke - mind-blowing at least to this nerd.

It's harder to pin down the less tangible benefits. Yes, existential terror is reduced while one is thinking of going to heaven instead of actually dying, but this comes at the cost of tremendous cognitive dissonance and suppressed fears or doubts that expose themselves at times such as when mourning or debating others. Yes, it is easier to determine the meaning and direction of one's life when it is essentially a canned commodity, but this comes at the cost of being a robot for the organization rather than developing oneself or doing a balanced exploration of values. Yes, there's a dopamine rush from singing/chanting/praying together with others and maybe a pleasant sense of awe, but this comes at the cost of a worldview that flattens and simplifies the complexity of the universe, stifling most inquiry, e.g. explanations that "god did it" with no further explanation for why god did it or why god exists. Yes, there's comfort in "knowing" the essence of the universe, but this comes at the cost of making some bad decisions, like praying instead of seeking medical attention, opposing measures that could improve life in one's city or nation, getting ripped off by charlatans and not even knowing it, or disbelieving one's children when they accuse the preacher of molestation.

Go on...

Which books did you prefer? I know first hand the social benefits... One of the biggest questions I can not find an answer to is what to replace Religion with once it has dissolved in personal life.

fpjeepy

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Re: What important truth do very few people agree with you on?
« Reply #303 on: January 06, 2021, 09:48:44 AM »
Promoting the religions of Atheism or Agnosticism should be a violation of the "no religion" rules as would any other religion on forums that have a "no religion" rule.

GuitarStv

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Re: What important truth do very few people agree with you on?
« Reply #304 on: January 06, 2021, 10:02:33 AM »
Promoting the religions of Atheism or Agnosticism should be a violation of the "no religion" rules as would any other religion on forums that have a "no religion" rule.

Your comment indicates a misunderstanding of what agnosticism is.

Agnosticism has it's roots in greek - without knowledge.  If someone says they're an agnostic, then they are arguing is that they don't know if there is/are God/Gods or not.  It's kinda a hard thing to 'promote' . . .

"Hey dude . . . want to convert to my way of thinking about religion?"
"I dunno.  What exactly is it?"
"I don't know what the fuck is going on!"
"So you believe in God?"
"Maybe!"
"You don't believe there's a God?"
"Maybe!"

How exactly does one proselytize that?

RedmondStash

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Re: What important truth do very few people agree with you on?
« Reply #305 on: January 06, 2021, 10:30:03 AM »
Promoting the religions of Atheism or Agnosticism should be a violation of the "no religion" rules as would any other religion on forums that have a "no religion" rule.

There are plenty of threads on this forum that discuss faith, and some that promote specific Christian faiths, in that they talk about how faith and frugality interact.

And there's a difference between mentioning agnosticism and atheism and promoting them. I haven't seen promotion of them, just people discussing their own life experiences, without a positive or negative moral weight. If even that makes you uncomfortable, you might consider examining why.

RetiredAt63

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Re: What important truth do very few people agree with you on?
« Reply #306 on: January 06, 2021, 10:45:32 AM »
I'm an agnostic.  I grew up Christian, but the belief just isn't there.  I don't have the faith to take someone else's unsubstantiated word that some sort of God exists, let alone any particular God.  But I don't know that some sort of God doesn't exist.  So I am not an atheist, because I am not sure that there is no God.  But I am not religious, because I am not sure that there is a God.  So I am an Agnostic.  I will find out when I die (or not, I will be dead).  Agnosticism can't be a religion, because its only characteristic is the not-knowing.  It has no moral principles, or guides for life.  It's simply (for me at least) an acknowledgement that this is something I just can't and won't know about in this life.  There are lots of things I will never know about, this is just one more thing on the list.

fpjeepy

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Re: What important truth do very few people agree with you on?
« Reply #307 on: January 06, 2021, 12:09:50 PM »
Promoting the religions of Atheism or Agnosticism should be a violation of the "no religion" rules as would any other religion on forums that have a "no religion" rule.

Your comment indicates a misunderstanding of what agnosticism is.

Agnosticism has it's roots in greek - without knowledge.  If someone says they're an agnostic, then they are arguing is that they don't know if there is/are God/Gods or not.  It's kinda a hard thing to 'promote' . . .

"Hey dude . . . want to convert to my way of thinking about religion?"
"I dunno.  What exactly is it?"
"I don't know what the fuck is going on!"
"So you believe in God?"
"Maybe!"
"You don't believe there's a God?"
"Maybe!"

How exactly does one proselytize that?

I use the two terms together because I believe most are somewhere in between. Some claim to be an atheist, but if they don't have an answer to questions like "How did the universe start?" then they can't be a true atheist. And some claim to be agnostic because they don't know what is true, but they do know that xyz religion is false or that society will be better without religion. Maybe there is another term I am unaware of? Maybe secularism could be a religion? Or anti-religion?

Some may call me religious because I go to church. But personally, I don't like the term. I don't believe that the traditions are important; They possibly may even have a negative effect. I'm skeptical that any document is infallible. If parts of the book are proven incorrect, it wouldn't change my faith. At the least, it is a book of good stories that teach me things that an imperfect parent didn't. And I guess I was blessed with belief. I didn't make it happen and I couldn't make it go away.

StashingAway

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Re: What important truth do very few people agree with you on?
« Reply #308 on: January 06, 2021, 12:25:38 PM »
Promoting the religions of Atheism or Agnosticism should be a violation of the "no religion" rules as would any other religion on forums that have a "no religion" rule.

Can you please point to the "no religion" rule that appears to be in violation? I was not aware of this rule on this forum.

fpjeepy

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Re: What important truth do very few people agree with you on?
« Reply #309 on: January 06, 2021, 12:35:34 PM »
Promoting the religions of Atheism or Agnosticism should be a violation of the "no religion" rules as would any other religion on forums that have a "no religion" rule.

Can you please point to the "no religion" rule that appears to be in violation? I was not aware of this rule on this forum.

Touché. I guess I just assumed.

markbike528CBX

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Re: What important truth do very few people agree with you on?
« Reply #310 on: January 06, 2021, 02:05:23 PM »
Promoting the religions of Atheism or Agnosticism should be a violation of the "no religion" rules as would any other religion on forums that have a "no religion" rule.

Can you please point to the "no religion" rule that appears to be in violation? I was not aware of this rule on this forum.

Touché. I guess I just assumed.

I agree both with Atheism or Agnosticism being religious beliefs.   On the other hand, this is a semi-private forum and does not have 1st Amendment (US Constitution) protection.
Moderators gotta have _something_ to do -- just kidding, moderators here are great.

That said, religious discussions often (not always or mostly) degrade to Godwin's "Law".
         Mindows vs Mac, Mormon vs Moslem to alliterate awesomely, is absurdly unlikely to end well.

GuitarStv

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Re: What important truth do very few people agree with you on?
« Reply #311 on: January 06, 2021, 02:12:30 PM »
Promoting the religions of Atheism or Agnosticism should be a violation of the "no religion" rules as would any other religion on forums that have a "no religion" rule.

Your comment indicates a misunderstanding of what agnosticism is.

Agnosticism has it's roots in greek - without knowledge.  If someone says they're an agnostic, then they are arguing is that they don't know if there is/are God/Gods or not.  It's kinda a hard thing to 'promote' . . .

"Hey dude . . . want to convert to my way of thinking about religion?"
"I dunno.  What exactly is it?"
"I don't know what the fuck is going on!"
"So you believe in God?"
"Maybe!"
"You don't believe there's a God?"
"Maybe!"

How exactly does one proselytize that?

I use the two terms together because I believe most are somewhere in between. Some claim to be an atheist, but if they don't have an answer to questions like "How did the universe start?" then they can't be a true atheist. And some claim to be agnostic because they don't know what is true, but they do know that xyz religion is false or that society will be better without religion. Maybe there is another term I am unaware of? Maybe secularism could be a religion? Or anti-religion?

Not being able to answer 'How did the universe start' has nothing to do with atheism.  Atheism is the belief that there is no God.  A lack of belief in God doesn't mean you have answers for every question.

I've run into a few pretty militant atheists in my day (usually these are people who have been severely scarred by religion in some way or other and incapable of seeing it as anything other than evil).  I've never run into a militant agnostic, but I suppose it's possible.  Take any group of people and you'll find assholes - this is true for any faith, agnostics, and atheists.


Some may call me religious because I go to church. But personally, I don't like the term. I don't believe that the traditions are important; They possibly may even have a negative effect. I'm skeptical that any document is infallible. If parts of the book are proven incorrect, it wouldn't change my faith. At the least, it is a book of good stories that teach me things that an imperfect parent didn't. And I guess I was blessed with belief. I didn't make it happen and I couldn't make it go away.

There's a fair amount of brain research that shows that humans have evolved psychologically and chemically to tend to want to believe in things with no evidence to support them.  Whether that's a blessing or a curse depends entirely upon your point of view.

Malcat

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Re: What important truth do very few people agree with you on?
« Reply #312 on: January 06, 2021, 02:45:22 PM »
Promoting the religions of Atheism or Agnosticism should be a violation of the "no religion" rules as would any other religion on forums that have a "no religion" rule.

Can you please point to the "no religion" rule that appears to be in violation? I was not aware of this rule on this forum.

Touché. I guess I just assumed.

I agree both with Atheism or Agnosticism being religious beliefs.   On the other hand, this is a semi-private forum and does not have 1st Amendment (US Constitution) protection.
Moderators gotta have _something_ to do -- just kidding, moderators here are great.

That said, religious discussions often (not always or mostly) degrade to Godwin's "Law".
         Mindows vs Mac, Mormon vs Moslem to alliterate awesomely, is absurdly unlikely to end well.

Really? Because we seem to talk about it very respectfully here in general...

fpjeepy

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Re: What important truth do very few people agree with you on?
« Reply #313 on: January 06, 2021, 03:32:00 PM »

Not being able to answer 'How did the universe start' has nothing to do with atheism.  Atheism is the belief that there is no God.  A lack of belief in God doesn't mean you have answers for every question.


It does to me. If one doesn't know then they are agnostic. IMO

dividendman

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Re: What important truth do very few people agree with you on?
« Reply #314 on: January 06, 2021, 03:33:57 PM »
Pineapples don't belong on pizza.

GuitarStv

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Re: What important truth do very few people agree with you on?
« Reply #315 on: January 06, 2021, 03:58:48 PM »

Not being able to answer 'How did the universe start' has nothing to do with atheism.  Atheism is the belief that there is no God.  A lack of belief in God doesn't mean you have answers for every question.


It does to me. If one doesn't know then they are agnostic. IMO

Atheism is the belief that there is no God.  Agnosticism refers to a lack of knowledge of the existence of God.

Neither have anything to do with a claimed understanding of how the universe started.

Malcat

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Re: What important truth do very few people agree with you on?
« Reply #316 on: January 06, 2021, 04:06:14 PM »

Not being able to answer 'How did the universe start' has nothing to do with atheism.  Atheism is the belief that there is no God.  A lack of belief in God doesn't mean you have answers for every question.


It does to me. If one doesn't know then they are agnostic. IMO

Atheism is the belief that there is no God.  Agnosticism refers to a lack of knowledge of the existence of God.

Neither have anything to do with a claimed understanding of how the universe started.

Exactly, by that logic it would mean that any unknown explanation of anything would imply agnosticism and not atheism since the same argument of "if you can't prove it wasn't God, then you don't know God doesn't exist".

I mean, sure, you *could* make a suuuuuper obnoxious argument on that front that atheism doesn't even exist because you can't prove a negative, but yeah, that would be suuuuuuuper obnoxious because it also applies to the Flying Spaghetti Monster.

markbike528CBX

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Re: What important truth do very few people agree with you on?
« Reply #317 on: January 06, 2021, 04:47:46 PM »
Promoting the religions of Atheism or Agnosticism should be a violation of the "no religion" rules as would any other religion on forums that have a "no religion" rule.

Can you please point to the "no religion" rule that appears to be in violation? I was not aware of this rule on this forum.

Touché. I guess I just assumed.

I agree both with Atheism or Agnosticism being religious beliefs.   On the other hand, this is a semi-private forum and does not have 1st Amendment (US Constitution) protection.
Moderators gotta have _something_ to do -- just kidding, moderators here are great.

That said, religious discussions often (not always or mostly) degrade to Godwin's "Law".
         Mindows vs Mac, Mormon vs Moslem to alliterate awesomely, is absurdly unlikely to end well.

Really? Because we seem to talk about it very respectfully here in general...

Malcat:  what you have said is fortunately true here on this forum most often.
Thank [insert your favorite Deity(ies) here]  [insert your favorite non-Deity(ies) here]  !!!

maizefolk

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Re: What important truth do very few people agree with you on?
« Reply #318 on: January 06, 2021, 05:19:45 PM »

Not being able to answer 'How did the universe start' has nothing to do with atheism.  Atheism is the belief that there is no God.  A lack of belief in God doesn't mean you have answers for every question.


It does to me. If one doesn't know then they are agnostic. IMO

This would seem to fit well in the "thing few people agree with you on" thread.

I don't go around telling people who say they are atheists, christians, buddhists, or anything else that they really aren't what they say they are. Think how exhausting it'd be to have to keep track of all the various creeds in the world and come up with my own criteria for who does and doesn't qualify as a member of each instead of letting the people who identify with that creed decide for themselves.

That said, if I were going to have my own criteria for other people's religious affiliations, an atheist being any person who can honestly say they don't believe in the existence of a god or gods seems like one of the most obvious ones.

I mean it's right there in the name.

fpjeepy

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Re: What important truth do very few people agree with you on?
« Reply #319 on: January 06, 2021, 06:02:43 PM »

Not being able to answer 'How did the universe start' has nothing to do with atheism.  Atheism is the belief that there is no God.  A lack of belief in God doesn't mean you have answers for every question.


It does to me. If one doesn't know then they are agnostic. IMO

This would seem to fit well in the "thing few people agree with you on" thread.

I don't go around telling people who say they are atheists, christians, buddhists, or anything else that they really aren't what they say they are. Think how exhausting it'd be to have to keep track of all the various creeds in the world and come up with my own criteria for who does and doesn't qualify as a member of each instead of letting the people who identify with that creed decide for themselves.

That said, if I were going to have my own criteria for other people's religious affiliations, an atheist being any person who can honestly say they don't believe in the existence of a god or gods seems like one of the most obvious ones.

I mean it's right there in the name.

I don't go around telling people what they are. I was just explaining my logic for grouping the two together.

Both atheists and agnostics don't believe in a god.
Agnostics admit they don't know.
But if you don't know how the universe started. How something came from nothing. Why we are here.
Then you don't know that it wasn't God.
And if you don't know it wasn't God then you don't know he doesn't exist.

I don't see how anyone can call themselves an atheist without proposing an alternative to the God theory.

dividendman

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Re: What important truth do very few people agree with you on?
« Reply #320 on: January 06, 2021, 06:06:50 PM »

Not being able to answer 'How did the universe start' has nothing to do with atheism.  Atheism is the belief that there is no God.  A lack of belief in God doesn't mean you have answers for every question.


It does to me. If one doesn't know then they are agnostic. IMO

This would seem to fit well in the "thing few people agree with you on" thread.

I don't go around telling people who say they are atheists, christians, buddhists, or anything else that they really aren't what they say they are. Think how exhausting it'd be to have to keep track of all the various creeds in the world and come up with my own criteria for who does and doesn't qualify as a member of each instead of letting the people who identify with that creed decide for themselves.

That said, if I were going to have my own criteria for other people's religious affiliations, an atheist being any person who can honestly say they don't believe in the existence of a god or gods seems like one of the most obvious ones.

I mean it's right there in the name.

I don't go around telling people what they are. I was just explaining my logic for grouping the two together.

Both atheists and agnostics don't believe in a god.
Agnostics admit they don't know.
But if you don't know how the universe started. How something came from nothing. Why we are here.
Then you don't know that it wasn't God.
And if you don't know it wasn't God then you don't know he doesn't exist.

I don't see how anyone can call themselves an atheist without proposing an alternative to the God theory.

Have you considered that God could exist but didn't create the universe?

fpjeepy

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Re: What important truth do very few people agree with you on?
« Reply #321 on: January 06, 2021, 06:23:09 PM »
Have you considered that God could exist but didn't create the universe?

I have not. But I guess it depends on how you define "God". The monotheistic God "is conceived of as the supreme being, creator, and principal object of faith. God is usually conceived of as being omnipotent (all-powerful), omniscient (all-knowing), omnipresent (all-present), and omnibenevolent (all-good) as well as having an eternal and necessary existence." ... That's Wiki's definition, and I make the same assumption of the word.

maizefolk

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Re: What important truth do very few people agree with you on?
« Reply #322 on: January 06, 2021, 06:58:42 PM »
I don't go around telling people what they are. I was just explaining my logic for grouping the two together.

Yes you did. Right here:

Some claim to be an atheist, but if they don't have an answer to questions like "How did the universe start?" then they can't be a true atheist.

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But if you don't know how the universe started. How something came from nothing. Why we are here.
Then you don't know that it wasn't God.

I think you have a fundamental flaw in your reasoning here.

I don't know how computers are made. I genuinely don't know how it works. Yet at the same time, I can confidently and honestly say that I know computers aren't made by sharks.

By your logic, if I don't know how computers are made, I also cannot rule out that computers are made by sharks.

Malcat

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Re: What important truth do very few people agree with you on?
« Reply #323 on: January 07, 2021, 07:17:22 AM »

Not being able to answer 'How did the universe start' has nothing to do with atheism.  Atheism is the belief that there is no God.  A lack of belief in God doesn't mean you have answers for every question.


It does to me. If one doesn't know then they are agnostic. IMO

This would seem to fit well in the "thing few people agree with you on" thread.

I don't go around telling people who say they are atheists, christians, buddhists, or anything else that they really aren't what they say they are. Think how exhausting it'd be to have to keep track of all the various creeds in the world and come up with my own criteria for who does and doesn't qualify as a member of each instead of letting the people who identify with that creed decide for themselves.

That said, if I were going to have my own criteria for other people's religious affiliations, an atheist being any person who can honestly say they don't believe in the existence of a god or gods seems like one of the most obvious ones.

I mean it's right there in the name.

I don't go around telling people what they are. I was just explaining my logic for grouping the two together.

Both atheists and agnostics don't believe in a god.
Agnostics admit they don't know.
But if you don't know how the universe started. How something came from nothing. Why we are here.
Then you don't know that it wasn't God.
And if you don't know it wasn't God then you don't know he doesn't exist.

I don't see how anyone can call themselves an atheist without proposing an alternative to the God theory.

As I already pointed out though, you could replace God with The Flying Spaghetti Monster and the question remains the same.

Also, why is how the universe started the question. Couldn't any unanswerable question work in your scenario? Why does my cat compulsively meow at the wall at 5am? I have no way to prove it's not because of God, or The Flying Spaghetti Monster, or that it's aliens trying to transmit a signal to humans through my deranged cat.

I get your logic, but it's so expansive because you're basically saying that if you can't prove a negative, you also can't say that you don't believe in the unproven positive. That's such a ridiculous logical argument.

Yes, technically it's correct, we can't know anything doesn't exist because we can't prove negatives. But that's not specific to God and the creation of the universe, that extends to literally everything ever.

So by your logic, no one can ever say that they don't believe in bigfoot, ghosts, the tooth fairy, that 5G can control minds, that aliens are among us, or literally any negative that can't be proven.

So your concept sounds kind of clever on the surface, but under scrutiny is really just you saying "you can't prove a negative, so then by definition, you have to be unsure about any and all negatives".

Poppycock.

GuitarStv

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Re: What important truth do very few people agree with you on?
« Reply #324 on: January 07, 2021, 08:09:23 AM »
But if you don't know how the universe started. How something came from nothing. Why we are here.
Then you don't know that it wasn't God.

You're a teacher in a classroom of 20 unruly elementary students.  One day, while writing at the blackboard you feel a rubber band thwack into the back of your head.

Do you know who did it?  Nope.  Do you know why it happened?  Nope (although you can probably make some guesses).

Does it prove the existence of Flying Spaghetti Monster as the one true God and that you were touched by his noodly appendage?  Why, or why not?


(Hell, if you want to get all existential . . . how do you know that there ever was 'nothing'?  You make the argument that we are here, but that's unprovable.  We think that we're 'here' but it's entirely possible that we're part of a giant and very realistic computer simulation.)

Malcat

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Re: What important truth do very few people agree with you on?
« Reply #325 on: January 07, 2021, 09:27:22 AM »
But if you don't know how the universe started. How something came from nothing. Why we are here.
Then you don't know that it wasn't God.

You're a teacher in a classroom of 20 unruly elementary students.  One day, while writing at the blackboard you feel a rubber band thwack into the back of your head.

Do you know who did it?  Nope.  Do you know why it happened?  Nope (although you can probably make some guesses).

Does it prove the existence of Flying Spaghetti Monster as the one true God and that you were touched by his noodly appendage?  Why, or why not?


(Hell, if you want to get all existential . . . how do you know that there ever was 'nothing'?  You make the argument that we are here, but that's unprovable.  We think that we're 'here' but it's entirely possible that we're part of a giant and very realistic computer simulation.)

That's exactly my point, why is the creation of the universe the definitive question of whether or not God exists?

Why isn't it my cat howling at the wall at 5am? What makes the unknown genesis of the universe such a profound and worthy question to be *the* unknown worth contemplating when contemplating the existence of not of God?

It's as if pp thinks this is, like, the *one* big unanswered esoteric question, when it really isn't. There are countless more profound questions that would prompt one to contemplate the existence or not of God, such as, what happens when we die? That's kind of a big one...y'know, being the very basis of a lot of religion and all...

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