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Atheism discussion


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240 replies to this topic

#1 unreality

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Posted 05 September 2008 - 09:45 PM

This is for us Brainden atheists to discuss... stuff ;D

And I mean it when I say that we don't want a theist coming on here, making remarks, etc. This discussion is only for people who would stand up and proudly call themselves an Atheist or Agnostic or similar philosophy. If any theist comes on her saying stuff I'll ask to have their posts deleted (not ALL their posts of course, I meant the ones in this topic :D)

Anyway... some of the stuff I was interested in discussing with you guys is:

* Atheism or Agnosticism? How "sure" can you be?
* Naturalism vs Humanism vs Others?
* Takes on the origin of the universe, if any such origin
* Buddhism and Atheism
* collective intelligence
* positives and negatives of religion
* anything else we want to discuss :P
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#2 dusty_b109

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Posted 05 September 2008 - 10:19 PM

This is for us Brainden atheists to discuss... stuff ;D

And I mean it when I say that we don't want a theist coming on here, making remarks, etc. This discussion is only for people who would stand up and proudly call themselves an Atheist or Agnostic or similar philosophy. If any theist comes on her saying stuff I'll ask to have their posts deleted (not ALL their posts of course, I meant the ones in this topic :D)

Anyway... some of the stuff I was interested in discussing with you guys is:

* Atheism or Agnosticism? How "sure" can you be?
* Naturalism vs Humanism vs Others?
* Takes on the origin of the universe, if any such origin
* Buddhism and Atheism
* collective intelligence
* positives and negatives of religion
* anything else we want to discuss :P


you can be spiritual without being religious. maybe you should add that to your list.
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#3 crazypainter

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Posted 05 September 2008 - 10:49 PM

* Atheism or Agnosticism? How "sure" can you be?
I am not sure of anything except that I have so much more to learn.
I am not sure there is no god and I am fine with that.
I just dont believe there is one.
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#4 Frost

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Posted 05 September 2008 - 11:02 PM

Well, A few years ago I think I was agnostic. That was mainly because I never thought much about it(or cared much). Anyway, after having read the entire religious debate(yes, the entire), I'm pretty much convinced of being atheist. BTW, if you haven't read the religious debate, I highly suggest that you do(theist, athiest, or whatever).
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#5 unreality

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Posted 05 September 2008 - 11:05 PM

good add, dusty ;D

* Atheism or Agnosticism? How "sure" can you be?
* Naturalism vs Humanism vs Others?
* Takes on the origin of the universe, if any such origin
* Buddhism and Atheism
* collective intelligence
* positives and negatives of religion
* non-religious spiritualism

CP: exactly, most atheists are pretty confident there is no god, and know if that there is a god, it wouldn't be one of the many proposed gods seen in today's religons. Agnostics are more on the "not-sure" side, though as AD Parker says there are two kinds of agnostics:
* Agnostic Agnostic - just unsure about whether or not there is a god
* Gnostic Agnostic - do not know whether there is a god and believe that it is IMPOSSIBLE to know whether a god exists or not

on the topic of Humanism and stuff, here are some interesting links

http://www.secularhumanism.org/

http://www.geocities.../humanists.html

In the second link, it says this, with my comments in blue/red:

Ten Core Beliefs of Humanists

1. Humanists believe that the human species has evolved as - and remains as - a part of nature.
Agree. Of course - we are just a species ;D

2. Human consciousness is a function of the activity of the human brain.
Definitely :D

3. Human beings require (to some extent) a system of belief in order to function.
Disagree - I don't have a system of belief and I get along fine :P

4. Humanists believe that in all its forms the supernatural is a myth.
Yep

5. The human species is capable of achieving a great deal using its resources of collaboration and creativity. The results of these endeavours often benefit our species and planet, but we are also capable of using the same abilities in acts of destruction and cruelty.
Pretty obvious, yeah; Agreed

6. Humanists do not believe that the range of human behaviour has been pre-ordained, or that the rules of human conduct have been set by any deity of external intelligence.
Agree 100% ;D

7. Humanists believe that individuals who are aware of the consequences of their actions on other individuals, on the community and on the species are likely to behave in a more considerate, more reasonable and more ethical way.
Yes

8. Humanists believe that equality of opportunity is a fundamental principle on which humankind can base its behaviour.
Maybe not, I'm kind of in the middle on this one. I think "equal opportunity" is a bit of dream and also has bad things at its roots - ie, life is not fair and nor would that be a good thing. So it depends how they define "equality of opportunity" and in what cases, I guess

9. Humanists believe that human life on earth is relatively fragile and requires care and attention to continue.
Possibly, possibly not. I don't think "fragile" is the right word though, maybe "overly strong", "arrogant" (not individual-wise but species-wise) and "inconsiderate", ie of our other species that share the earth.

10. Humankind's destiny is not predetermined or preordained - much of it lies on our own control.
Of coure :D


later (not sure when) I'll look up some stuff on naturalism


edit: Frost, I agree. Atheism is the way to go :P

Edited by unreality, 05 September 2008 - 11:06 PM.

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#6 unreality

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Posted 05 September 2008 - 11:20 PM

naturalism:

http://www.centerfor...escriptions.htm

I have to say I disagree with some of their principles. Obviously everything is effected by the previous state of things and affects the subsequent state of things, but Naturalism seems pretty deterministic to me, seemingly ignoring discoveries in quantum physics, Heinberg's uncertainty principle, etc - that shows us that stuff is probabilistic not deterministic, so if something 'rewound' and happened again, it could be different. Right, or am I misunderstanding the physics? Though I do like the part about "being one with the universe", since we do make up the universe too, though one statement bugs me:

"Seeing that we are fully caused creatures - not self-caused - we can no longer take or assign ultimate credit or blame for what we do."

This seems like kind of a scapegoat to me, lol. "Blame the universe, not me! I was caused!" Not delving into free will, but we do seem capable of making decisions in our minds - our thoughts are made up of chemical and neurological reactions and whatnot, so in a way you could say we're just the self-awareness created by the emergent system, but this still gives us control over the thought processes - or at least apparent control. Whether or not "previous causes" made you think that way, it still means you think that way.... hmm, I'm not sure if anyone is gonna get this, it's kind of jarbled, but you know what I mean, hopefully, lol
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#7 unreality

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Posted 05 September 2008 - 11:40 PM

As an atheist, one thing I can't wrap my head around are laws of physics/chemistry/etc, specifically the numerical constants in them. Why? Why is it this way? Are humans BSing this, and would be a different way in relation to different units if we used different units, number systems, etc? I know that everything is relative to each other and not constant-numerical, so I can see how relative relationships between things grew, but not how exact numbers are assigned. Of course, this doesn't add plausibility to the god-hypothesis, because on top of the "why" questions of nature there are also "why" questions about the nature of the deity and how THAT works without being an emergent system of a physical structure, etc. So it doesn't change what I believe, but it does irk me and my boundless curiosity ;D
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#8 Ploper

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Posted 05 September 2008 - 11:40 PM

Well, A few years ago I think I was agnostic. That was mainly because I never thought much about it(or cared much). Anyway, after having read the entire religious debate(yes, the entire), I'm pretty much convinced of being atheist. BTW, if you haven't read the religious debate, I highly suggest that you do(theist, athiest, or whatever).


The ENTIRE debate?
Wow, I haven't even read the entire debate...

CP: exactly, most atheists are pretty confident there is no god, and know if that there is a god, it wouldn't be one of the many proposed gods seen in today's religons. Agnostics are more on the "not-sure" side, though as AD Parker says there are two kinds of agnostics:
* Agnostic Agnostic - just unsure about whether or not there is a god
* Gnostic Agnostic - do not know whether there is a god and believe that it is IMPOSSIBLE to know whether a god exists or not


is there a Gnostic Atheist? I mean, I firmly believe that there is no God at all.
Yet I aknowledge that it is pretty much impossible to know for sure
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#9 unreality

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Posted 05 September 2008 - 11:44 PM

I firmly believe that there is no God as well, but it's impossible to know FOR SURE in our direction, while it is possible to know for sure in the other direction if there's any empirical evidence (there isn't)

One thing that I think, is that if there was a god, everyone would know. It wouldn't be disputable, it wouldn't be a cause of fighting or war, it wouldn't be a minority opinion (each religion is a minority of the total), it would be kind of like a fact. At least, a mystical truth backed by real-world evidence. The world would be vastly different than it is today. But then of course what is the god? What are they like, what's their mind made of, are they part of a higher-layered universe? The existence of a god brings up so many unanswered problems that are conveniently ignored on the premise of "He is Omnipotent and Omnibeneficial" or something lol, and leave it at that

anyway, anyone have some answers for my post #7? :P
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#10 Frost

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Posted 05 September 2008 - 11:55 PM

As an atheist, one thing I can't wrap my head around are laws of physics/chemistry/etc, specifically the numerical constants in them. Why? Why is it this way? Are humans BSing this, and would be a different way in relation to different units if we used different units, number systems, etc? I know that everything is relative to each other and not constant-numerical, so I can see how relative relationships between things grew, but not how exact numbers are assigned. Of course, this doesn't add plausibility to the god-hypothesis, because on top of the "why" questions of nature there are also "why" questions about the nature of the deity and how THAT works without being an emergent system of a physical structure, etc. So it doesn't change what I believe, but it does irk me and my boundless curiosity ;D


Hehe, I've wondered that myself. I mean, why does pi = 3.141592653589793238462643383279502884... and e = 2.7182818284...? Why not 5.3896476625092854657... or 278.5? They just seem so random, and yet they work out so perfectly in certain situations.
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