+ Post New Thread
Page 5 of 15 FirstFirst 123456789 ... LastLast
Results 61 to 75 of 225
General Chat Thread, Atheism will eat itself in General; Originally Posted by Andrew_C They ARE mainstream! Have you just ignored what has been going on in America? That is ...
  1. #61
    mark's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2005
    Posts
    3,987
    Thank Post
    271
    Thanked 52 Times in 46 Posts
    Blog Entries
    2
    Rep Power
    48
    Quote Originally Posted by Andrew_C View Post
    They ARE mainstream! Have you just ignored what has been going on in America? That is where Christianity is taking the world, as opposed to the evil done in Islam's name.

    I quite fancy moving to Mars.
    Go argue with yourself then - I was referring to your quote of a 'significant minority'.

    & Christianity ISN'T everything done in it's name.

  2. #62
    mark's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2005
    Posts
    3,987
    Thank Post
    271
    Thanked 52 Times in 46 Posts
    Blog Entries
    2
    Rep Power
    48
    Quote Originally Posted by gwendes View Post
    No it didn't. Christianity happened to be around when science was being done - it may have facilitated science but it did not give rise to science. Islam contributed to science too - the money and power was in the hands of the religious leaders - in most parts of the world religion and 'government' were inseparable.

    Christianity didn't contribute - people that were Christian did. Christianity enabled, in some cases, people to do science (as long as it fitted the knowledge that Christianity wanted to find)
    Once again I think you're splitting hairs. The underlying concept is that Christianity allows for freedom of thought.. as much as some episodes in history went against it.

    Quote Originally Posted by gwendes View Post
    Again, no. Freethinking was not viewed as being in contradiction to religion - when it was that was actively fought - however much science was achieved it remains an unscientific method.
    I disagree. And there is evidence of that not being the case.

    Quote Originally Posted by gwendes View Post
    people make mistakes - fine. You can't claim that religion is the positive and people are the negative.
    It's the aim and destination thing again. Religion is the aim, not the destination. You can never arrive. Yes, religion IS that people make mistakes, and the aim is perfect. Dawkins shrieks 'word salad', thinking people do just that..

  3. #63
    mark's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2005
    Posts
    3,987
    Thank Post
    271
    Thanked 52 Times in 46 Posts
    Blog Entries
    2
    Rep Power
    48
    Quote Originally Posted by gwendes View Post

    Quote Originally Posted by mark
    You're assuming religion seeks empirical evidence, when such pursuit is idiotic. I believe in the Big Bang and a personal God. for you that is impossible. I say you're missing half of human experience.
    But if the evidence was available you think it wouldn't be accepted? Revelation is the current method for proof isn't it?
    A. (empirical) Evidence cannot exist because it contradicts the concept.
    B. Is it? Not to me it isn't

    Quote Originally Posted by gwendes View Post
    Your personal god is untouchable - I think it exists soley in your mind - for better or worse. We can't really discuss that god.
    We can because it's a widely accepted concept. To you, my God is god... in that he isn't your personal God, is all.

    Quote Originally Posted by gwendes View Post
    The God we can make unlikely is the all-everything super-being that fuels most religion. We can look at the 'proof' in texts. We can combine attributes. We can define God out of existence. Not god. That one is yours.
    We can do a hell of a lot better than that. You think it's so thinly defined, and you are mistaken. I think you (again,) sorely misunderstand faith and religion, if you can't understand that all Christians, for example, believe in the same God, even though they will all have a unique personal understanding of that relationship.

    Are you saying that you can belittle my opinion because you can't know 'my' God?

  4. #64
    mark's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2005
    Posts
    3,987
    Thank Post
    271
    Thanked 52 Times in 46 Posts
    Blog Entries
    2
    Rep Power
    48
    Quote Originally Posted by gwendes View Post
    Or Sweden
    I'm with you!

    Quote Originally Posted by gwendes View Post
    It's very difficult to be anti-fundamentalist without being attacked for being annti-religious.
    But then Andrew_C is saying, for example, that all religion is bad because of fundamentalist opinions.

  5. #65

    witch's Avatar
    Join Date
    Nov 2005
    Location
    Dorset
    Posts
    11,371
    Thank Post
    1,499
    Thanked 2,579 Times in 1,795 Posts
    Rep Power
    775
    Quote Originally Posted by mark View Post
    And with that justified prejudice in hand, on route to burning the witches (ie me).

    !!!! do I run, now?!!

    Seriously, and I'm sorry to backtrack a bit but I would like an answer and I have only just caught up with this thread:

    mark, are you saying that there was NO science of ANY kind before Christianity?
    What do you mean by science? Didn't the Romans (pre Christian) and other civilisations have any science?

  6. #66
    mark's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2005
    Posts
    3,987
    Thank Post
    271
    Thanked 52 Times in 46 Posts
    Blog Entries
    2
    Rep Power
    48
    Quote Originally Posted by witch View Post
    !!!! do I run, now?!!

    Seriously, and I'm sorry to backtrack a bit but I would like an answer and I have only just caught up with this thread:

    mark, are you saying that there was NO science of ANY kind before Christianity?
    What do you mean by science? Didn't the Romans (pre Christian) and other civilisations have any science?
    No not at all. It's been on TV recently about the once major influence of the Christian Church funding scientific study. Universities, I think it was saying, were established by the church as the first of their kind. Of course eastern cultures were far in advance of the west in many respects, a huge amount lost to civilization when Christians destroyed the Greek libraries, for example. It was a lot later that the transfer of some of that knowledge to western academics happened. Like I've heard say, we'd possibly have landed on the moon a century earlier.

    SYNACK mentioned more that I'd also agree with. I don't think I'm saying anything outside general understanding on the subject.
    Last edited by mark; 10th January 2009 at 04:00 PM. Reason: 'foe example' & 'some of that(knowlegde)' added

  7. #67
    mark's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2005
    Posts
    3,987
    Thank Post
    271
    Thanked 52 Times in 46 Posts
    Blog Entries
    2
    Rep Power
    48
    Sorry gwendes, post blindness!

    Quote Originally Posted by gwendes View Post
    But you've been proven wrong. I can say 'Christians believe in God' and it is 100% true - you cannot, by definition, be a Christian without accepting that.

    You cannot say that atheists know something is true based on faith because they don't - I know that because even if the majority did (and I don't believe they do) I don't and I am one.

    I think it's quite simple.

    I don't know that there is no God. (agnostic)

    I don't think that it's likely.

    I live my life as if there is no God. (atheist in real terms)
    I wholly disagree here. The common, very prevalent definition of atheism is a belief that there is no God. That's a very definite statement.. As it's not possible to know that fact, it is a position of faith. You have to have faith somehow (perhaps through accepting some other postulation) that God doesn't exist.

    You say that I have a unique belief..

    Quote Originally Posted by gwendes View Post
    (although there are qualifying characteristics: it reflects and justifies the zeitgeist, it has prominent evangelists making a living from it..)

    Not really because it's not a useful similarity and we can't learn anything from it. You might as well be saying that both are concepts that humans partake in.
    Looking at it from that perspective is very revealing to me. Modern atheistic diatribe forms a nice parallel with what has gone before. The similarities go on and on. (Not to say current ideas in our experience are not valid.)


    Quote Originally Posted by gwendes View Post
    I was just trying to get you on-side. I don't agree with everything that Dawkins says either. I do think that the important thing that he stands for is not anti-religion but anti-irrationality.

    Liberal religion is not a problem - I understand he is good friends with the Bishop Of Oxford.
    Dawkins to me tries to trash religion with some pretty thin reasoning based on his own misunderstandings. I'd join him being anti irrational.

    I also like conservative religion. Nothing wrong with someone with guts. Ann Coulter is awesome.

  8. #68
    kesomir's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2008
    Location
    London
    Posts
    288
    Thank Post
    15
    Thanked 28 Times in 23 Posts
    Rep Power
    18
    Quote Originally Posted by mark View Post
    I wholly disagree here. The common, very prevalent definition of atheism is a belief that there is no God.
    there are three prevalent definitions of atheism

    1. Affirmation that gods do not exist.
    2. Rejection of theism.
    3. Absence of belief in gods.

    Affirmation that gods do not exist can be made on the basis of the most probable likelihood as much as the reverse of that can (belief in anything), and really is down to the subjective experiences of the individual.

    It's the third, and to a lesser extent second which make the crossover with agnosticism as mentioned earlier by another poster.

    That's a very definite statement.. As it's not possible to know that fact, it is a position of faith. You have to have faith somehow (perhaps through accepting some other postulation) that God doesn't exist.
    Everything is a position of faith. I believe that everything I interact with exists.

    However, since it functions in exactly the same generally predictable manner whether it does exist or not makes the point moot. The same is true for gods. Since they have no interaction in my existant (or non-existant) world, whether they exist or not is equally moot and irrelevant.

    The same is not true for people who believe in such things, who can and do impact the world of others.

    So, what's your point?

  9. #69
    mark's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2005
    Posts
    3,987
    Thank Post
    271
    Thanked 52 Times in 46 Posts
    Blog Entries
    2
    Rep Power
    48
    Quote Originally Posted by kesomir View Post
    there are three prevalent definitions of atheism

    1. Affirmation that gods do not exist.
    2. Rejection of theism.
    3. Absence of belief in gods.

    Affirmation that gods do not exist can be made on the basis of the most probable likelihood as much as the reverse of that can (belief in anything), and really is down to the subjective experiences of the individual.

    It's the third, and to a lesser extent second which make the crossover with agnosticism as mentioned earlier by another poster.
    The standard dictionaries elevate one, and so do 'most people'. I'll stick with that thanks

    Quote Originally Posted by kesomir View Post
    Everything is a position of faith. I believe that everything I interact with exists.
    Bunkhum

    You don't 'believe' the sink exists, you have further proof. Like you said. My point is that 'atheism' (being a belief in no God) requires faith.

    Quote Originally Posted by kesomir View Post
    However, since it functions in exactly the same generally predictable manner whether it does exist or not makes the point moot. The same is true for gods. Since they have no interaction in my existant (or non-existant) world, whether they exist or not is equally moot and irrelevant.

    The same is not true for people who believe in such things, who can and do impact the world of others.

    So, what's your point?
    Gods have no empirically provable intervention in your world because to do so would be contrary to the logic of them existing. Chocolate teapot anyone?

  10. #70

    localzuk's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2006
    Location
    Minehead
    Posts
    18,366
    Thank Post
    525
    Thanked 2,611 Times in 2,019 Posts
    Blog Entries
    24
    Rep Power
    890
    Quote Originally Posted by mark View Post
    The standard dictionaries elevate one, and so do 'most people'. I'll stick with that thanks
    Not from what I've seen. The definition you are citing is the original one as coined by the Greeks. The modern world uses the latter ones just as commonly now.


    You don't 'believe' the sink exists, you have further proof. Like you said. My point is that 'atheism' (being a belief in no God) requires faith.
    You do need faith that 'the sink exists', you believe that you are not in an hallucinagenic dream, that you are actually alive etc... These are all what could be taken as 'faith'. 'Proof' as you put it also requires some level of faith. But as the previous poster said, they are moot points. Atheism is the same - it isn't an active belief that god doesn't exist. It is just a lack of belief, that is all.

    Gods have no empirically provable intervention in your world because to do so would be contrary to the logic of them existing. Chocolate teapot anyone?
    And that is precisely why most atheists can't and don't believe in god. Working purely off 'faith' and with no empirical evidence seems naive to me (yes, I know that could be a sign of arrogance but that's just how I feel about it).
    Last edited by localzuk; 9th January 2009 at 09:17 AM.

  11. #71

    Join Date
    Nov 2006
    Posts
    998
    Thank Post
    132
    Thanked 58 Times in 51 Posts
    Rep Power
    25
    Quote Originally Posted by localzuk View Post
    And that is precisely why most atheists can't and don't believe in god. Working purely off 'faith' and with no empirical evidence seems naive to me (yes, I know that could be a sign of arrogance but that's just how I feel about it).
    It's not arrogance, it's being realistic. In any other discourse, wanting proof of something would be seen as wholly acceptable. It's like when Jack swaps his cow for the magic beans. Granted, in the fable it pays off, but in reality nobody gets golden eggs.

  12. #72


    Join Date
    Mar 2008
    Location
    Surrey
    Posts
    2,286
    Thank Post
    123
    Thanked 347 Times in 286 Posts
    Blog Entries
    4
    Rep Power
    140
    Quote Originally Posted by fafster View Post
    It's not arrogance, it's being realistic. In any other discourse, wanting proof of something would be seen as wholly acceptable. It's like when Jack swaps his cow for the magic beans. Granted, in the fable it pays off, but in reality nobody gets golden eggs.
    Damn! I'll have to see if I can get a refund on that goose...

  13. #73
    gwendes's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2007
    Location
    London
    Posts
    1,495
    Thank Post
    161
    Thanked 30 Times in 29 Posts
    Rep Power
    27
    Quote Originally Posted by mark View Post
    Christianity ISN'T everything done in it's name.
    Equally Atheism is not responsible for Dawkins actions!

    Quote Originally Posted by mark
    Once again I think you're splitting hairs. The underlying concept is that Christianity allows for freedom of thought.. as much as some episodes in history went against it.
    Don't think I am. I just see Christianity as a reflection of some parts of society but a part that must be closed to certain ideas - for example, multiple gods. The rest of us are free to use and information from any source without a bias towards the Bible.

    Quote Originally Posted by mark
    Quote Originally Posted by gwendes
    Again, no. Freethinking was not viewed as being in contradiction to religion - when it was that was actively fought - however much science was achieved it remains an unscientific method.
    I disagree. And there is evidence of that not being the case.
    There is also evidence that it was.

    I don't believe Christianity was a soley negative influence on science and knowledge - it had many positive influences infact. I just don't think Christianity deserves the credit anymore that Atheism deserves the credit if an atheist makes a discovery. In every case it is the people we should thank.

    Quote Originally Posted by mark
    (empirical) Evidence cannot exist because it contradicts the concept.
    Personally 'knowing' God isn't empirical? I think it is. You experience God - don't you?


    Also, isn't that a little closed-minded? What if the Bible got it wrong at there is a visible, all powerful creator and he pops back to Earth to see how we're getting on? I'm not being facetious!

    Quote Originally Posted by mark
    To you, my God is god... in that he isn't your personal God, is all.
    Quick clarification of definitions.

    God is the one true God. The Judao-Christian trinity. All-everything. Timeless. Personal. Creator. Here and now.

    god(s) is any deity. Can be a personal god if you don't agree that it fits the definition of Him, the one true God.

    Quote Originally Posted by mark
    You think it's so thinly defined, and you are mistaken. I think you (again,) sorely misunderstand faith and religion, if you can't understand that all Christians, for example, believe in the same God, even though they will all have a unique personal understanding of that relationship.

    Are you saying that you can belittle my opinion because you can't know 'my' God?
    NO!

    I don't think it's thinely defined, I think God's attributes are very well defined but that definition isn't helpful. Every desirable human quality was simply made perfect or infinite and it has made them all meaningless.

    Does God have freewill?

    Can omniscient God, who
    Knows the future, find
    The omnipotence to
    Change His future mind?
    - Karen Ownens

    No.

    I think that your personal god is a very different creature than God - I think that makes it much greater than the God of Genesis since it was defined and created (in my opinion) by you for you.

    Quote Originally Posted by mark
    But then Andrew_C is saying, for example, that all religion is bad because of fundamentalist opinions.
    I wouldn't agree. I can certainly give examples where it is doing good and negative things. That's evidence enough for me that it isn't special.

    If I do something good do we credit atheism? Religion should have no claim over the good works of followers.

    It is responsible for things like discouraging the use of condoms in AIDS-ridden Africa - because it could change it's stance (I blame the C Church btw).

    Religion is an insult to human dignity. With or without it, you'd have good people doing good things and evil people doing bad things, but for good people to do bad things, it takes religion. - Steven Weinberg

    Quote Originally Posted by mark
    I wholly disagree here. The common, very prevalent definition of atheism is a belief that there is no God. That's a very definite statement.
    Quote Originally Posted by mark
    The standard dictionaries elevate one, and so do 'most people'. I'll stick with that thanks
    Nope. In practical terms I am without-god (a-theist) as well as being unable to prove either way that He exists. Interestingly God would find himself having the same problem. In 'Old Harry's Game' (Radio 4 comedy) 'The Professor' asks God, "How can a god be certain He is the one true God, it's a fascinating question" (which it is)

    I'm not comparing myself or anything...

    Philosophy of language is very interesting.

    I will cite Russell and Dawkins to answer this.

    "If I were to suggest that between the Earth and Mars there is a china teapot revolving about the sun in an elliptical orbit, nobody would be able to disprove my assertion provided I were careful to add that the teapot is too small to be revealed even by our most powerful telescopes. But if I were to go on to say that, since my assertion cannot be disproved, it is intolerable presumption on the part of human reason to doubt it, I should rightly be thought to be talking nonsense. If, however, the existence of such a teapot were affirmed in ancient books, taught as the sacred truth every Sunday, and instilled into the minds of children at school, hesitation to believe in its existence would become a mark of eccentricity and entitle the doubter to the attentions of the psychiatrist in an enlightened age or of the Inquisitor in an earlier time."

    - Bertrand Russell

    "Nobody but a lunatic would say "Well, I'm prepared to believe in the teapot because I cannot disprove it" Maybe we have to be technically and strictly agnostic but in practice we are all teapot-atheists" - Richard Dawkins


    Quote Originally Posted by mark

    Chocolate teapot anyone?
    Belgian? Do I have to put hot tea in it?


    Quote Originally Posted by mark
    Dawkins to me tries to trash religion with some pretty thin reasoning based on his own misunderstandings. I'd join him being anti irrational.
    Dawkins first book explicitly about religion is "The God Delusion" - shock title but very calm and considered writing. I think if you flick through it you'd actually enjoy it and find that you agree with him about most things.

    He thinks that religion is a product of belief based on faith and that this is dangerous. Personal gods do not give people the conviction to do evil things in the name of religion - Dawkins, like me, is frustrated when he looks around the world by the damage that can be done when large numbers believe, 100%, that they have all the truth. I don't need to give examples.

  14. #74
    mark's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2005
    Posts
    3,987
    Thank Post
    271
    Thanked 52 Times in 46 Posts
    Blog Entries
    2
    Rep Power
    48
    Nice post (as usual) Localz

    Quote Originally Posted by localzuk View Post
    (Gods have no empirically provable intervention in your world because to do so would be contrary to the logic of them existing.)

    And that is precisely why most atheists can't and don't believe in god. Working purely off 'faith' and with no empirical evidence seems naive to me (yes, I know that could be a sign of arrogance but that's just how I feel about it).
    And that's like saying you could accept nothing intellectually proven because you haven't any hard facts. Seems a bit of an over simplistic position to hold, denying a great deal of human accomplishment.

  15. #75
    mark's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2005
    Posts
    3,987
    Thank Post
    271
    Thanked 52 Times in 46 Posts
    Blog Entries
    2
    Rep Power
    48
    Quote Originally Posted by fafster View Post
    It's not arrogance, it's being realistic. In any other discourse, wanting proof of something would be seen as wholly acceptable. It's like when Jack swaps his cow for the magic beans. Granted, in the fable it pays off, but in reality nobody gets golden eggs.
    You're talking about those fairy tale promises like living forever etc. I presume?



SHARE:
+ Post New Thread
Page 5 of 15 FirstFirst 123456789 ... LastLast

Similar Threads

  1. 20K and all the chicken you can eat?
    By ITWombat in forum General Chat
    Replies: 7
    Last Post: 3rd March 2007, 08:51 PM

Thread Information

Users Browsing this Thread

There are currently 1 users browsing this thread. (0 members and 1 guests)

Tags for this Thread

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •