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Old 01-26-2011, 10:18 PM   #26 (permalink)
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It's very coincidental you started this thread now, UB, as I've been having some thoughts along these lines lately too. For me, it's more so a realization that being a full on empiricist (i.e. scientist/atheist) has some troubling limitations. Like it or not, rationalism has its place in philosophy - it's a legit epistemological path. So if the existence of God exists beyond the tools of science (i.e. empiricism) then maybe it's not God that's the problem, but the tool I've been using to try and find him.
You haven't really said anything of substance. You stated there are are other ways of "knowledge" and pretty broadly touched a gay little pinky finger on the concept of epistemology to sound smart and open minded, but you really aren't saying anything worth addressing. If you think you can find God outside of empiricism, be my guest -- enjoy your new burden of proof.

Also let's not forget any experiences you may have had that were, say, "mind blowingly sureal."
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Old 01-26-2011, 10:41 PM   #27 (permalink)
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You haven't really said anything of substance. You stated there are are other ways of "knowledge" and pretty broadly touched a gay little pinky finger on the concept of epistemology to sound smart and open minded, but you really aren't saying anything worth addressing. If you think you can find God outside of empiricism, be my guest -- enjoy your new burden of proof.

Also let's not forget any experiences you may have had that were, say, "mind blowingly sureal."
While I agree that the pinky finger was gay... he did touch the shit out of that concept with it. But on this particular topic, I don't think the burden of proof in on a person who's just saying they're willing to venture past strict empiricism and explore the possibility of a god. I think the burden of proof is on you for wanting them to completely disregard it as a complete lie, or as harmful to even pursue. Besides, they're plenty of things we take on faith with no qualms everyday. Prove your family actually loves you. I know, lame example. But dismissing every abstract idea until it's proven to you can be very depressing.
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Old 01-26-2011, 10:56 PM   #28 (permalink)
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But on this particular topic, I don't think the burden of proof in on a person who's just saying they're willing to venture past strict empiricism and explore the possibility of a god. I think the burden of proof is on you for wanting them to completely disregard it as a complete lie, or as harmful to even pursue.
I would agree with you, had Repug been the first person ever in the world to come upon this revolutionary insight. He's more than welcome to further probe philosophy, and I think it's a fine pursuit. I have every reason to expect that he will fail at finding God, though (and am honestly surprised this has ever been an issue for him, given his staunch public rejection of religion in the past), but may eventually convince himself, as has most of the population of the world, without any proof whatsoever.

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Besides, they're plenty of things we take on faith with no qualms everyday. Prove your family actually loves you. I know, lame example. But dismissing every abstract idea until it's proven to you can be very depressing.
Props at least for acknowledging it was a lame example -- as are most faith comparisons. Yes, I have faith that the bus will show up on time, and I have faith that my family loves me -- all based on an enormous amount of evidence. I also don't base my entire life, let alone attempt to dictate the lives of everybody else on the planet based on my faith in the bus schedule or my family's love.
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Old 01-26-2011, 11:01 PM   #29 (permalink)
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My point is you can't blame the ideology for the stupid people that misinterpreted it and did horrible things. In Mao's case, his lack of religion absolutely contributed to his actions. He had no respect for individual human rights, and his policies killed millions of people, all for "the greater good". Does that mean you blame atheism? No. Just like you don't blame Christianity for killing abortion doctors. Or even worse, the Westboro Baptist Church.
I don't blame atheism because atheism is being normal. Everybody is born an atheist.

The religious (who actively believe in something that molds their behavior and actions) dont' get to disown bad people just because they're bad.

"Oh, he murdered someone, he's not a REAL Christian..."

riiiight
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Old 01-26-2011, 11:09 PM   #30 (permalink)
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Everyone is born atheist? What empirical evidence do you have to support that?

If everyone is born atheist how come every culture has a deity?

#YOLO
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Old 01-26-2011, 11:13 PM   #31 (permalink)
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I would agree with you, had Repug been the first person ever in the world to come upon this revolutionary insight. He's more than welcome to further probe philosophy, and I think it's a fine pursuit. I have every reason to expect that he will fail at finding God, though (and am honestly surprised this has ever been an issue for him, given his staunch public rejection of religion in the past), but may eventually convince himself, as has most of the population of the world, without any proof whatsoever.



Props at least for acknowledging it was a lame example -- as are most faith comparisons. Yes, I have faith that the bus will show up on time, and I have faith that my family loves me -- all based on an enormous amount of evidence. I also don't base my entire life, let alone attempt to dictate the lives of everybody else on the planet based on my faith in the bus schedule or my family's love.
I would venture to guess you do base a pretty large portion of your life on your family's love for you. As for dictating others' lives, I think that's where people are getting religion wrong. A lot of religions are about one's own spiritual journey. Even the Christian god gave man free will. There might supposedly be consequences later, but that's between you and him. I think a lot of people in the upper intellectual circles would also say that prayer and a belief in spirituality are very healthy forms of introspection. You seem to be sad that a longtime friend of yours might "fall victim" to this probably beneficial thought process.
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Old 01-26-2011, 11:16 PM   #32 (permalink)
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I need to interject here mr. hurisdick. Mr. Blondes family does not love him. He is a disappointment.

His Mom diagnosed him with Asperger's syndrome.

#YOLO
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Old 01-26-2011, 11:22 PM   #33 (permalink)
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I don't blame atheism because atheism is being normal. Everybody is born an atheist.

The religious (who actively believe in something that molds their behavior and actions) dont' get to disown bad people just because they're bad.

"Oh, he murdered someone, he's not a REAL Christian..."

riiiight
You have to judge the ideology, not the few exceptions that do bad things. People do bad things, that's a part of life. You don't judge everybody or group they were affiliated with. Come up with actual reasons religion leads you to evil, not just examples of bad seeds.
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Old 01-26-2011, 11:22 PM   #34 (permalink)
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Everyone is born atheist? What empirical evidence do you have to support that?

If everyone is born atheist how come every culture has a deity?
I can answer that. Everyone is born an atheist because we're born with a blank slate. Belief in God is something comes later, either through searching it out or being taught.

Every culture has a Deity because when primitive man looked up into the night sky he thought, wtf?

...You know, actually, I disagree with myself. People aren't born Atheists. To be an Atheist is to be able to think critically about the idea of God and come to a decision that you don't believe it exists. This is actually a deeper question than I realized, because to say we're born as anything at all is to ignore the the almost incomprehensible impact society has in shaping us. It would be disregarding the idea of the signifier and the signified. Hmmm. But then you get into Chomsky's whole thing about language being innate, and my mind is officially blown.

I have no answers! No answers!
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Old 01-26-2011, 11:40 PM   #35 (permalink)
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I can answer that. Everyone is born an atheist because we're born with a blank slate. Belief in God is something comes later, either through searching it out or being taught.

Every culture has a Deity because when primitive man looked up into the night sky he thought, wtf?
Dude, wake up. Who taught it first? If we are born with a predisposition to look up at the stars and always come to a conclusion that a higher power is involved then we are born as deity believers. Or if you don't want to use the word "born" it is our innate disposition.

You're saying it takes thought and imagination to end up believing in a God, whether wrong or right. I disagree, I'm saying it takes thinking and imagination to believe that there isn't a God, whether right or wrong.

#YOLO
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Old 01-26-2011, 11:44 PM   #36 (permalink)
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If everyone is born atheist how come every culture has a deity?
Indeed they do. In a quest for knowledge before there was any to be had, someone, or a group of people in every culture, made (drempt, etc.) up deistic explanations to make sense of the world around them. This was passed down generation after generation. Hence, if that knowledge were not forced upon them from birth, they would either:

A. Be an atheist (not believe in a god)

B. Make up their own (false) deity, which would explain why every culture has one. They can't all be right, you know.
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Old 01-26-2011, 11:46 PM   #37 (permalink)
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I need to interject here mr. hurisdick. Mr. Blondes family does not love him. He is a disappointment.

His Mom diagnosed him with Asperger's syndrome.
Now I just feel like an asshole
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Old 01-26-2011, 11:50 PM   #38 (permalink)
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Indeed they do. In a quest for knowledge before there was any to be had, someone, or a group of people in every culture, made (drempt, etc.) up deistic explanations to make sense of the world around them. This was passed down generation after generation. Hence, if that knowledge were not forced upon them from birth, they would either:

A. Be an atheist (not believe in a god)

B. Make up their own (false) deity, which would explain why every culture has one. They can't all be right, you know.
They can all be based on glimpses into the same spiritual world, then go on to fill in the blanks incorrectly.
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Old 01-27-2011, 12:20 AM   #39 (permalink)
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Now I just feel like an asshole
Don't, I'm sure I'm mentally fucked up somehow but my mother watches too much Oprah. Ever year or so she makes sure to mention some new thing she learned about that she thinks I have/had/"survived" to turn into the badass I am today.


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They can all be based on glimpses into the same spiritual world, then go on to fill in the blanks incorrectly.
Maybe/Could/Possibly etc. etc. Splitting hairs.
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Old 01-27-2011, 12:23 AM   #40 (permalink)
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Don't, I'm sure I'm mentally fucked up somehow but my mother watches too much Oprah. Ever year or so she makes sure to mention some new thing she learned about that she thinks I have/had/"survived" to turn into the *bitch nigger* I am today
FYP

#YOLO
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Old 01-27-2011, 01:27 AM   #41 (permalink)
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Come up with actual reasons religion leads you to evil, not just examples of bad seeds.
Faith. Religion, and thus faith, teaches you to do and believe things just because someone told you to. This is good for some things, as I have mentioned elsewhere on the board, as in teaching children how not to die/maim themselves. But for this kind of mindset to continue in adulthood is disgusting.

It's probably the primary reason why things like discrimination, superstition, homeopathy, and general illogical/irrational behavior is so pervasive in modern society.

Faith teaches not to question, not to doubt, not to suggest alternative ways of doing things. It teaches absolute, unquestioning loyalty to something, almost always without any evidence. -- which is why so many people have been brainwashed ( ) into somehow thinking religious "faith" is an admirable or noble quality, when it couldn't be further from the truth.
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Old 01-27-2011, 02:09 AM   #42 (permalink)
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You're saying it takes thought and imagination to end up believing in a God, whether wrong or right. I disagree, I'm saying it takes thinking and imagination to believe that there isn't a God, whether right or wrong.
Very interesting perspective.
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Old 01-27-2011, 02:26 AM   #43 (permalink)
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which is why so many people have been brainwashed into somehow thinking religious "faith" is an admirable or noble quality, when it couldn't be further from the truth.
Now you just sound like Ayn Rand. I may have just Inceptioned you and knocked over that first domino that leads to you being a libertarian... I'm that good
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Old 01-27-2011, 02:44 AM   #44 (permalink)
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What? I've been a registered Libertarian since 2008.
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Old 01-27-2011, 02:58 AM   #45 (permalink)
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What? I've been a registered Libertarian since 2008.
Nice. I was picking up a more liberal democraty vibe from other posts.
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Old 01-27-2011, 03:38 AM   #46 (permalink)
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I'm not a teabagger, I tend to stray away from any talk of "Revolution", -- actual or ideological -- and I would probably classify myself as a Liberal Libertarian if I had the choice to do do.

Back on topic, religious views are very similar, and I can't help but notice that while you do bring an intelligent attempt at debate to the God question, you have never explicitly led on to your personal beliefs.

While we're on classification, you sound to me like an Agnostic Theist.
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Old 01-27-2011, 03:51 AM   #47 (permalink)
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Who taught it first? If we are born with a predisposition to look up at the stars and always come to a conclusion that a higher power is involved then we are born as deity believers. Or if you don't want to use the word "born" it is our innate disposition.
If you believe this yourself, and are not just playing devil's advocate, you are making far more assumptions than I am by claiming that we are very likely born atheists (read: not born as deity believers).

To make the above statement, one would have to assume that they understand the mind of mankind since it's inception, and I suppose in this thread, i'm guilty of this as well. Really, all rational an scientific thinkers should not use terms as "is, was, definitely", etcetera. It really comes down to a question of likelihood.

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: It is likely that at many points during human history, in different epochs, regions and tribes, select humans did one of the following:

-made up campfire stories to entertain people which, over time, turned into legend and in some cases religion taught as truth passed down from generation to generation

-intentionally made up false stories for whatever reason (likely to give credence to power and/or general order for a society) in the form of religion taught as truth passed down from generation to generation

-had ideas that came in either hallucinations or dreams, neither understood at the time, to charismatic individuals throughout history who truly believed they were visited by a deity, which turned into a religion taught as truth passed down from generation to generation


Quote:
: It is likely that at many points during human history, in different epochs, regions and tribes, almost all humans, if not all, after long consideration of their surroundings and in particular natural disasters and celestial events, have all come to the one conclusion without any outside influence whatsoever : There must be a God.
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Old 01-27-2011, 03:51 AM   #48 (permalink)
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I grew up in a Christian family, and was heavily exposed to the creation vs evolution debate. That kind of led me to be really interested in the whole subject of god and the rational arguments for and against it. I've never tried to classify myself, but agnostic theist may be dead on.
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Old 01-27-2011, 04:28 AM   #49 (permalink)
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Do you accept that evolution is a fact, at least? It's really a non-debate these days, so I hope so. I have no problem with religious people who say "God's hand moved evolution", because according to the vast majority of them (who, granted, probably don't understand natural selection anyways) this method is indistinguishable from him not being present at all.

Honestly, most religious people don't bother me that much these days and after one goes through their initial "Angry Atheist" phase, they calm down a lot. I don't usually judge/attack people on their religious beliefs as long as they don't proselytize and don't debate me on silly things like evolution, sexuality and morality.
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Old 01-27-2011, 03:57 PM   #50 (permalink)
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Evolution is pretty much a fact. Charles Darwin's theory of the origin of species I don't believe is a fact. I think it's the best explanation we have. The only reason I think people are so adamant about it being a fact is because they don't want to give bible thumpers fuel to criticize something they don't understand. Nobody would flip out if string theory doesn't turn out to be true. But because evolution involves all these implications about the meaning of life, I think people feel like they have to know for sure. I think there are things that people should be more willing to admit cause problems for the theory. Dawkins addressed irreducible complexity in his latest book, not very adequately in my opinion. I think the example of the bacteria developing the ability to digest citrus actually turned out to be a better argument against the point he was trying to make.
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