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Atheism discussion

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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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Posted · Report post

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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Posted · Report post

* 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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Posted · Report post

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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Posted (edited) · Report post

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.com/rodtamney/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
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Posted · Report post

naturalism:

http://www.centerfornaturalism.org/descriptions.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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Posted · Report post

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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Posted · Report post

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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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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Posted · Report post

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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Posted (edited) · Report post

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

Huh, good point.

This actually reminds me of a youtube video I watched.

It's a satire, the "christian" in there is actually atheist, and although he works in comedy, he doesn't just make stuff up, everything he says is based on logic and reasoning

I live a few blocks away from where the baby mentioned in the video was shot.

It's been my favorite hangout since I was like, seven.

It's sad.....

Edited by Ploper
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Posted · Report post

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 tongue.gif

I think you misunderstand that one. We all have a system of belief be it mythology (religion)

or good vs evil. What do you believe in? Gravity? Science? Darwinism? Logic? Rationality?

Those are strong belief systems.

I believe that there is no God/Godess and that we created the whole concept.

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Posted (edited) · Report post

I am definitely not religious. There are too many contradictions with every faith. I'm, rather, spiritual in the fact that I do believe there is a higher power, which is who every religion worships (have you seen the similarities between all religions?!?). I am also a scientist, and those of you who are scratching your heads trying to figure out how someone can be spiritual AND a scientist, with all the miracles, strange supernatural things, all the stuff we DON'T know, and occurrences that are highly improbable, how can you not.

I am one who hates religious and political debates, because people are often set in their ways and not willing to listen to others. Anything I have said above is not meant to offend anyone or say anyone else is wrong, that's just how I feel. I also don't feel that others should have the power to tell you what to believe. I am VERY anti-evangelical. There's my two-cents. That can buy you a half a piece of gum.

Edit: I cnat splel

Edited by dusty_b109
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Posted · Report post

Ploper: lol @ the vid

CP: Ah I see... I believe in the chaotic nature of the universe and our own part in it. I guess that's a 'belief structure' by that defintion, though it's not 'beliefs', more like... I don't know. I don't act the way I do based on blind faith, in other words... by what I know and what I can learn and see and feel, like all of us, except I do this unbiasedly, as I wasn't raised on either side of the scale (religious or atheist), and instead formed my own opinions which were later hardened and resolved... but they're not beliefs. They're like axioms, I guess. Facts about the universe, etc. I don't know... the rules we all live by, the ones we don't consciously learn until we take Physics class. So if all of that is a 'belief system', than an appreciation of our existence is mine :P

Dusty: Yeah, if such a god or 'presence' exists, any current religion is way off mark. I respect your idea of a higher power, but do you have any insight into its nature? Is it some sort of conscious entity? An infinitely-permeated presence, kind of like an energy field, that affects everything? (like the Force lol). I mean, what kind of higher power are we talking here? The term is so vague. And of course the big question is 'Is it conscious?' and 'What is it made of? / How does it work? / etc'

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Posted · Report post

I think that numbers were made after nature... but pie is just a ratio... however the fibinace sequence occurs in nature many times...

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numbers "made" by what? Thought up by people? Clearly 'numbers' of things exist regardless, so I don't see where you're coming from. And yeah, the Golden Ratio (and heavily related Fibonacci sequence) are definitely integral parts of nature, so I think numbers and nature go hand in hand ;D

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Posted · Report post

numbers "made" by what? Thought up by people? Clearly 'numbers' of things exist regardless, so I don't see where you're coming from. And yeah, the Golden Ratio (and heavily related Fibonacci sequence) are definitely integral parts of nature, so I think numbers and nature go hand in hand ;D

Don't forget e, the most natural number ever. 2.7182818284... :P

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Posted · Report post

phi > e !!!!!

go 1.61803399 and -0.61803399!!! The Golden Ratio is waaay more amazing than e

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phi > e !!!!!

go 1.61803399 and -0.61803399!!! The Golden Ratio is waaay more amazing than e

lol, I know how obsessed you are with phi. Besides, 2.7182818284 > 1.6180339887. :P

Let's not argue over which is better, this is getting off topic anyways, but a few things:

-phi occurs a lot in nature and has a ton of geometrical properties(why?), according to wikipedia

-e is needed for compound interest, and e^x is also the only function that is its derivative(again, why?)

-also, why is it that pi is the ratio of any circle's circumference to its diameter?

And something that I just thought was funny about phi(found it on wikipedia):

sin(666 degrees) + cos(6*6*6 degrees) = -phi

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I think someone in Religious Debate mentioned though that the "real" number (if you can call it that) was 661, but 666 read better or something like that.

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numbers "made" by what? Thought up by people? Clearly 'numbers' of things exist regardless, so I don't see where you're coming from. And yeah, the Golden Ratio (and heavily related Fibonacci sequence) are definitely integral parts of nature, so I think numbers and nature go hand in hand ;D

i meant when humans made teh names and rule for numbers... they used nature to help them decide...

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yeah, I agree... numbers are based off nature, not the other way around ;D

lol, I know how obsessed you are with phi. Besides, 2.7182818284 > 1.6180339887. :P

10 > e, so what? ;D

a few things:

-phi occurs a lot in nature and has a ton of geometrical properties(why?), according to wikipedia

-e is needed for compound interest, and e^x is also the only function that is its derivative(again, why?)

-also, why is it that pi is the ratio of any circle's circumference to its diameter?

phi has the coolest properties ever ;D Way better than e. E is just related to exponents... phi is waaay cooler.

click here

or here, and then keep scrolling down

:P

as to your questions of WHY, phi is that way because it's the same thing as (1 + √5) / 2, based on the quadratic equation. That's why the number of those properties is ~= 1.6180339887...

as for why pi is around 3, check this out

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Huh, good point.

This actually reminds me of a youtube video I watched.

It's a satire, the "christian" in there is actually atheist, and although he works in comedy, he doesn't just make stuff up, everything he says is based on logic and reasoning

I live a few blocks away from where the baby mentioned in the video was shot.

It's been my favorite hangout since I was like, seven.

It's sad.....

wow, this video is hysterical and exactly how I see it. Luckily I haven't gotten any of those txts... too spooky. "Hell is crazy! Be good from now on!" - Hitler

There is proof that God exists though. When Salma Hayek was flat chested, she dipped her hands in holy water and prayed to God for perfect breasts... need I say more?

Let's see... on a more serious note. I have been thinking about my atheism lately in a very downward spiralish way. Not that I am going to believe in God ever, just that atheism kind of sucks and here is why. No matter if I live the greatest life or the worst life, when I die I'm nothing and so is the person whose life was Great or Awful. This essentially means that our generation, whether good, bad, poor, beautiful, prosperous, etc... doesn't amount to anything except a fleeting mix of sensations.

Well now wait a second, we leave behind our collective unconscious. We leave our experience and our deeds to the next generation so they can hopefully prosper from what we've done. So that's a reason to lead a good life, but... they will die just like we did and so on and so on. When a flower dies, no one questions where it's "being" goes. I don't know too many adults who believe in Doggie Heaven, so why should humans be different? We are animals too. Just another species. I believe that when we die, that's it. Game over.

It's very disheartening though to believe that life is utterly so pointless. So maybe there is a generative reason to do good and propel our intelligence... science and space travel. Once we can access and integrate with the other species in our Galaxy and then maybe even the whole universe we will find the meaning to life and perhaps immortality. For what reasons? Who knows... we haven't gotten there yet. But I think that is the only goal we should focus on in respect to our species' distant future.

This goal can be attained faster by making our species more intelligent at an accelerating rate and investing time and resources into space travel and exploration, not war and useless other money-machines. Our species needs to unite under one obligation and destination: space. That is where our answers lie, not in any books written by ourselves.

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exactly - life is fleeting, and I respect your opinion that it's meaningless, but I have to disagree. The universe is a chaotic and beautiful place, and we should appreciate its vast wonder and (etc ;D). But really, live your life to the best because there is nothing after it. This is your shot, no heaven, no hell, just us. So you can live it anyway you want, cuz when you die you're dead. So enjoy life, my friend B))

On another note, having a god doesn't add any further meaning - how does it? In what way? Nothing! The meaning is to what, go to heaven? And then be immortal in the clouds in a constant state of orgasm forever? Know how boring even that would get? And on a higher level, what would god's meaning be then? Nothing! Just like us!

So enjoy life ;D

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Good points Itachi-san....I'm all for discovery and exploration/expedition

What is there to find out in space - extreme cold and extreme heat, plus a whole lot of particles that can be found here on earth, which means if we manage to travel and find aliens, they are either steps ahead, the same or behind. The universe was supposedly created from a small plasma type state that rapidly expanded and eventually larger particles formed. to the point where galaxies, planets etc exist everywhere - so the chances are humans exist elsewhere. Where exactly? Who can say.

Maybe we can share experiences and compare histories - at waht cost? Preheats we find a cheap and simple method eventually; still lots to solve here, how we evolved - I'm still chewing that one over. No way Guy the gorilla was a relative of mine.

"Klaatu barada nikto" - they have remade 'The Day The Earth Stood Still' yeah!!! Hope they do 'Forbidden Planet' as well, or should i say FP II

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