12 Reasons Why I'm an Atheist - Page 4 - VeggieBoards
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#91 Old 07-26-2004, 12:29 AM
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>>Science is a way of generating new knowledge by using inferenece (large numbers of examples) to test theories>>



but how do these theories apply to the structure of the universe, i.e. ontologically? To the extent that we neglect metaphysics, we either

1. Concede that science is merely a useful tool and has little to do with "truth

or

2. Fall back on some culturally inhereted, implicit metaphysics that is assumed to be true.



>>ebola, i gotta ask, have you learned how to use the quote button???>>



I think I have before. I like goin' old-skewl.



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#92 Old 07-26-2004, 06:14 AM
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Most of you know I believe in a personal relationship with God. But I also know we can not hold others up to our little judgement stick. We just can not expect everyone to believe like we believe. People develop their belief systems from their life experiences. Being a non believer doesn't make a person less than a believer, just different. Not inferior. To believe otherwise would be the ultimate example of arrogance. There are proclaimed athiests on this board I would trust with anything I had or will ever have because they are people of honor, ethics, and hold themselves to a high level of personal integrity. You can find people like that in every walk of life, in every culture, in every belief system. This "We have more than they have." attitude is the perfect way to convince people that Christianity is undesirable. That is sooo judgemental. Sales pitch is every thing whether it is athiesm, Christianity, or cars.
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#93 Old 07-26-2004, 06:39 AM
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Where exactly is the current discussion at? I don't want to jump in with something irrelevant, but I do have a lot to discuss on this subject.
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#94 Old 07-26-2004, 06:40 AM
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I suggest reading the whole thread.
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#95 Old 07-26-2004, 08:46 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sweetashoney View Post

I am actually glad you posted your reasons for becoming an atheist. I have always wondered how people get to a point in their lives when they feel no need to have faith. Personally, I feel those people are consciously or unconsciously very lonely and sad. I mean thats fine if you want to believe in science, and thats fine if you choose not to participate in christianity, but I just can't imagine not having any sort of faith. Religous or not- Searching for you higher self, the universe creator, whatever you want to call it. Even if you don't view an afterlife or a God outside of yourself, don't you feel a little empty not believing in any more than science? It not only sounds sad, but boring. Are you a boring person? (Just a joke to lighten the mood here)

(warning...my jabber) It has been scientifically proven that people who live faith filled lives are not only healthier people, but happier people... Did you know that?

Just because you don't feel you fit into any sort of structured religion doesn't mean you have to give up on having faith all together. Search yourself with an open mind and open heart and learn to listen to your intuition, meditate, read books on different faiths and peoples own trials and tribulations regarding the same matter. When you align your body and soul everything follows so smoothly and so harmoniously. You will feel so much stronger and more confident. Like a new-complete person. Who cares what anybody else thinks... Follow your own spiritual path- listen to your heart, not your mind. The most intelligent person in the world is the one that is authentically enpowered, not the one with the most education, or the one who makes the most money, or the one who outranks another, or eloquently speaks and spells every word correctly. All of that is so five-sensory and so petty and material. It really doesn't matter one bit. What matters is you and your life right now-afterlife or not being intune with yourself completely helps you to grow as a person. And I think that is what we should all be striving for. Don't you? ~Amanda







I also feel the need to have faith but because of who I am and the way I think of things, that's impossible. Sad and lonely...hmm...not exactly but I do feel separate from a lot of society in the way I look at things. Religious people are somewhat lucky because there's always something out there for them to look forward to, no matter how shi**y life becomes. I tend to look at that through a microscope and shake my head. I just cannot understand faith and complete devotion to a God. On one hand, people would be better off without a belief in religion because things and people wouldn't be getting blown up in the name of God. (or whatever) One the other hand, a lot of people would go nuts without something to believe in. So, religion has a definite function. Faith is interesting to me in that I don't think my brain is capable of experiencing it. Not that I'm atheist either....too many sites about it that seem ridiculous too--I'm just me with my microscope.
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#96 Old 07-26-2004, 08:51 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ebola View Post

but how do these theories apply to the structure of the universe, i.e. ontologically? To the extent that we neglect metaphysics, we either

1. Concede that science is merely a useful tool and has little to do with "truth

or

2. Fall back on some culturally inhereted, implicit metaphysics that is assumed to be true.



Well, this can be a big huge topic in itself. There is quite a bit of philosophy of science out there. Personally, I'm more in the pragmatic camp which argues that some sort of a fixed trancendental ultimate truth is probably unreachable, but that science produces knowledge that is "true enough" for our purposes.



Most people in science will agree that every theory is provisional to some degree. Even basic assumptions (like gravity) can be questioned if there is evidence to support questioning.



ETA (on a mostly unrelated subject): It's really not the case that atheists believe in nothing. If you read Dewey, Russell, or Epicurian philosophy they have some strong beliefs. If you read Asimov and Sagan you find that much more of their work expresses wonder at the beauty of the universe than addresses religious faith.



The primary reason why atheists have a reputation for being negative is because we only get recognized as atheists when we are forced into conflict with religion. I'd much rather talk about the universe, about human societies, family, food, and art. But recognition that I'm a moral person is evidently tied to my answer to the god question. I'm forced to defend how my atheism is reasonable, and why I don't waste my days in a hedonistic haze of sex, food and drugs. I'm forced to explain that my overabundance of angst is a state that has not changed no matter what religion I've practiced. And on occasion I'm asked to point out that existing religions are not as moral in their positions as they'd like to claim.
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#97 Old 07-26-2004, 08:57 AM
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I can't resist, I'm diving into this.



There are many reasons why I've chosen to believe the way that I do. Other than the philosophical debates against existence of a god, there is one primary reason why I've chosen to live my life the way that I have. That is something no person can overlook, it doesn't matter which side you stand on.

That is the fact that religion divides humanity more than anything else ever has or will.

The people that ignore this are blind.





I mean no offense to anyone and I do not hate theists. I am always more than happy to have a civilized argument, or "debate."
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#98 Old 07-26-2004, 09:08 AM
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Thats it...I am becoming a strict consequentialist.
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#99 Old 07-26-2004, 11:56 AM
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>>Well, this can be a big huge topic in itself. There is quite a bit of philosophy of science out there. Personally, I'm more in the pragmatic camp which argues that some sort of a fixed trancendental ultimate truth is probably unreachable, but that science produces knowledge that is "true enough" for our purposes.>>



I'm actually very sympathetic with the pragamtists (e.g., Dewey) and am inclined to agree.



>>Most people in science will agree that every theory is provisional to some degree. Even basic assumptions (like gravity) can be questioned if there is evidence to support questioning.>>



How about assumptions like the principle of excluded middle?



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#100 Old 07-26-2004, 01:47 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ebola View Post

To the extent that we neglect metaphysics, we either

1. Concede that science is merely a useful tool and has little to do with "truth



Could you elaborate? To me, there isn't necessarily a dependence between metaphysics and e.g. physics, so not answering to the questions of the former doesn't have to lead to a failure (in terms of reaching a truth or something resembling it) in answering the questions of the latter.

"and I stand

upon a mountain

made of weak and useless men"

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#101 Old 07-26-2004, 02:20 PM
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Justin- i read a quote somewhere that said " God has killed more men than anything else the world has ever known."
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#102 Old 07-26-2004, 03:21 PM
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I disagree. Money and power, occasionally calling themselves God, has killed more people then anything or anyone else.
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#103 Old 07-26-2004, 03:32 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kristadb View Post

I disagree. Money and power, occasionally calling themselves God, has killed more people then anything or anyone else.



I disagree. Look at the current situation in Israel. If that land wasn't "holy land" this wouldn't be as big a problem. Look at the Crusades. Look at Christianity itself in the middle ages(witch hunting, etc..). There has been some kind of religious conflict for almost our entire history.
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#104 Old 07-26-2004, 03:35 PM
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I suppose you think the discovery of the new world was also firmly religious based?
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#105 Old 07-26-2004, 03:50 PM
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I didn't say every conflict was religion based. Greed causes tons as well.
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#106 Old 07-26-2004, 03:53 PM
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The crusades were greed-based far more then religious. Sure, some people no doubt were misguided in their beliefs, but many were interested in the money, land, and women they would get.



And then there is the entire Roman and Greek empires, which were for a lust of expansion and power. Greed didn't hurt, either.



I also believe the Israel conflict goes well beyond religion and it's only used as a scapegoat.
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#107 Old 07-26-2004, 03:56 PM
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Certainly, the European colonization was driven by commercial interests. However, there probably is a legitimate argument to be made that the unholy trinity of commercial interests, the evangelical streak of Christian theology that demanded conversion before the emminent doomsday, and good, old-fashoned, pre-Chistian Roman ethnocentrism made things quite a bit worse than they might have been.
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#108 Old 07-26-2004, 03:57 PM
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What about African tribal wars? Or Chinese expansion? Or middle eastern conflicts?
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#109 Old 07-26-2004, 04:01 PM
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I remember some countries in the Middle East after 911. They're citizens took to the streets in celebration for the murders in the name of Allah. If God does exist, the creation of man is probably at the top of his "uh oh" list.
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#110 Old 07-26-2004, 04:09 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kristadb View Post

What about African tribal wars? Or Chinese expansion? Or middle eastern conflicts?



More examples that expand the point. Don't know much about pre-colonial Africa or China. However not all religions are created equal. Islam during its golden age treated people in its occupied territories much better than the Spanish and English treated Native Americans.



Commercialism is only half the story. In order to really commit atrocities you need an ideology that treats the colonized as culturally and physically inferior. Most of the time that ideology has come from Chistianity.
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#111 Old 07-26-2004, 04:28 PM
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I highly recommend you check this site out, which lists all the current religious conflicts/wars.



http://www.religioustolerance.org/curr_war.htm
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#112 Old 07-26-2004, 05:39 PM
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>>Could you elaborate? To me, there isn't necessarily a dependence between metaphysics and e.g. physics, so not answering to the questions of the former doesn't have to lead to a failure (in terms of reaching a truth or something resembling it) in answering the questions of the latter.

>>



to the extent that physics engages ontology rather than mere "practical applications", some sort of metaphysical assumptions are necessary. Traditionally, we have fallen back on various causal, atomistic materialisms, but things are changing. The ontology falling out of quantum mechanics appears to be a sort of idealism where the multiverse is composed of all possibilities.



And I guess I should have been clear that this line of reasoning only applies to 1 kind of truth, one that engages ontology. Practical truths are still true, in some way.



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