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God Became a Mirage
#21
RE: God Became a Mirage
I personally think Edward has just been watching a load of anti-atheist videos which depict atheism as somewhat of a cult. Being an atheist only means you don't believe in gods. Your atheist doctrines make no sense as they aren't linked to atheism any more than they are linked to theism...

Doctrine 1 - This is just good science. Science doesn't try to do the impossible, and science is a measure of what exists. It cannot tell us what happened before existence. We can make some guesses though.

Doctrine 2 - I believe in consciousness (real consciousness) so I fail to see how it is an atheist doctrine. In fact I reckon most atheists believe in a consciousness. That said, I don't see the "blatant contradiction" you speak of...

Doctrine 3 - Science says everything inevitably tends to chaos in a closed system. There are however many open systems out there, and order is present in them. Order isn't an illusion, but the result of certain universal laws.

Doctrine 4 - Not inherently, but then again I make my own purpose for being there, and I don't see why other people cannot do the same. We are only a bunch of atoms after all.

Doctrine 5 - Not so. If I were to suddenly "find God" tomorrow, I would still accept Evolution and result to theistic evolution. I'm fully aware that if a God did exist, Evolution was the way it decided to create us.

So epic fail on the doctrine front. Sorry.
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#22
RE: God Became a Mirage
(March 21, 2009 at 5:27 pm)EvidenceVsFaith Wrote: I am not dogmatic (at least i hope not!) I doubt everything...

Doubting everything is its own kind of dogma called skepticism. Notice the -ism on the end of the word. Many atheists I have talked to simply refuse to believe in God, no matter what they are shown, or how it is debated. They are dogmatic in their disbelief.

Don't get me wrong. I think I too am an atheist, but I don't need to be an atheist.

Quote:The hypothetical "God" is SUPERnatural and not natural in the sense it is a highly complex intelligent designer that was there right from the start and capable of creating a whole lot of things...by design.. its outside the box and like nothing else. Created from scratch - or from itself...
And it is highly complex simple because it is capable of doing all these things right from the start....this "God" is 'just there' and is capable of 'creating it all'...that's not natural in the sense its like nothing else and was a lot more complex than all 'the natural' stuff and is capable of designing it right from the start.

OK, that's cool. The thing I like about you EvF is that you step up to the plate and define that which you say you don't believe in. I am clear on what you mean when you use the term "God" and I'm clear on what you mean by "supernatural."

Btw, are these dreams you speak of like highly intense lucid dreams or something like that?
I've had them like one or two times in a negative way...can be scary - you don't know what's going on but you are 'there and aware' of it.
I've had more pleasant ones though luckily.

I, too, have had lucid dreams in the past. But I have never had a lucid dream that was "precognitive." The precognitive ones are always like regular dreams. I did have a precognitive episode recently only I was awake. I think it was pretty synchronicitous, at least, albeit not as startling as the one I mentioned.

Dreams are interesting things and they are worth studying, because though the scientific-types often shy away from the subject of consciousness, it is as sure a phenomenon as ever there was one. We prove it here everytime we post to each other. I think any GUT, or TOE, is going to have to include the element of consciousness in the equation.


(March 22, 2009 at 9:41 am)Tiberius Wrote: I personally think Edward has just been watching a load of anti-atheist videos which depict atheism as somewhat of a cult.

I'm sure you are right. My entire experience with atheism/theism has been nothing more than a load of anti-atheist videos from the fundies.


Quote:Being an atheist only means you don't believe in gods.

I agree.

Quote:Your atheist doctrines make no sense as they aren't linked to atheism any more than they are linked to theism...

Doctrine 1 - This is just good science. Science doesn't try to do the impossible, and science is a measure of what exists. It cannot tell us what happened before existence. We can make some guesses though.

What about the airplane? I'm reading an article now in Discover about invisibility. And where does "guessing" fit into good science? My point is that atheism can often be very closed-minded, e.g. stating that it is impossible to know what happened before the big bang. That's something atheists seem to need, not something science or math wouldn't allow us to discover.

Quote:Doctrine 2 - I believe in consciousness (real consciousness) so I fail to see how it is an atheist doctrine. In fact I reckon most atheists believe in a consciousness. That said, I don't see the "blatant contradiction" you speak of...

Fair enough.

Quote:Doctrine 3 - Science says everything inevitably tends to chaos in a closed system. There are however many open systems out there, and order is present in them. Order isn't an illusion, but the result of certain universal laws.

I agree.

Quote:Doctrine 4 - Not inherently, but then again I make my own purpose for being there, and I don't see why other people cannot do the same. We are only a bunch of atoms after all.

I don't think an entity that is contingent can create a purpose for itself. My body and my mind are contingent, so my purpose has to come from before me. We can make an artificial purpose, and I think that would be similar to a psychological defense mechanism perhaps useful to counter existential despair, but we can't really create our purpose. IMO.

Quote:Doctrine 5 - Not so. If I were to suddenly "find God" tomorrow, I would still accept Evolution and result to theistic evolution. I'm fully aware that if a God did exist, Evolution was the way it decided to create us.

I agree.

Quote:So epic fail on the doctrine front. Sorry.

Hardly epic! You should see some of my other failures. Confused
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#23
RE: God Became a Mirage
I think your (Edward's) generalisations about 'atheists' as a group (choosing that label) are true. The similarities with religion fascinates me, & not in a derogatory way.

Yes the definition of atheist is simple, yet people adopting the label can hold an infinite number of ideas, within reason. Much like religion.

I empathise closely on a couple of things. I knew a gay minister, who told me that God made him that way. I believed him when he said that. I often put to theists the question: who are we to judge what God made?

I too am uncomfortable with flirting or being flirted with. I'm pretty single minded about family and relationships. It's just a closed book with me. I don't worry about it.

I have precognitive dreams too. It's not my nature to get so technical with that. It's been hard keeping a level head.

I agree with you that supernatural is nonsensical. If God is other dimensional that would also be natural. Or is supernatural correctly interpreted just what we don't yet understand as natural?

Welcome, by the way Wink
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#24
RE: God Became a Mirage
(March 22, 2009 at 3:04 pm)Edward Wrote: Doubting everything is its own kind of dogma called skepticism. Notice the -ism on the end of the word. Many atheists I have talked to simply refuse to believe in God, no matter what they are shown, or how it is debated. They are dogmatic in their disbelief.

I am not talking about doubt and skepticism as in doubting something once or twice and then being blinded from your doubts from then on - even if the evidence changes.
I am not talking about denying whatever it is...

So I am not talking about doubting something and the dogmatically going all the way with that doubt and ignoring from then on....
Because I am talking about doubting my doubts too. I do not doubt once or twice and then ignore from then on...

I am agnostic about things in the sense I do not claim absolute knowledge - so however certain I am, I am not dogmatic about it because I accept the fact that my certainty could always be wrong...
And if however certain I am, I still accept the possibility that I could be wrong and my own certainty could be wrong - then how exactly is that dogmatic?

If I doubt my doubts and I'm a skeptic in THAT sense...and that's still dogmatic and I am to be labeled as dogmatic because of the 'ISM' in skepticISM - then I am wondering, by your definition, how is it possible to NOT be dogmatic? What isn't dogmaticism is doubting my doubts is dogmatic?

What is the opposite of dogma if doubt and skepticism isn't? And doubting your own doubts - not doubting once anc then ignoring from then on. That's not really skepticism I don't think. One or two doubts lol. Not exactly skeptical.

Quote:Don't get me wrong. I think I too am an atheist, but I don't need to be an atheist.

Nor do I! Although I'm glad I am one because I believe if I wasn't then I'd almost certainly be delusion because I'd believe in a God or gods that almost certainly doesn't/don't exist.

This has got nothing to do with need. I have no choice in my atheism...
This is not a matter of choice or preference - its a matter of defintion.

I could choose not to CALL myself an atheist. But I would still, by definition be an atheist.
And belief is not a matter of policy - never mind NON belief - so not only would simply not calling myself an atheist make me not one (because I am by definition, an atheist) - but I can't choose to not believe or believe something at all...

No matter how much I will myself to believe something that isn't going to make me believe it. I need to be convinced by being influenced accordingly.

IF I 'wanted' to believe in "God" and I went to church or whatever and read the bible....and did affirmations, etc, thinking over and over again "I DO believe in God, I DO, I do I do" That would not make me believe in God if I didn't!

It would be a waste of time and energy AND also I do not remotely desire to believe in God either...no matter how much I try to believe (or not believe) something, it won't change it....

So whether I call myself an atheist or not...or whether I 'need' to be ant atheist or whatever - either way I AM an atheist by definition.
It's not a question of 'need' it's a matter of definition.
I am by definition an atheist.

What's needing got to do with it? If I'm an atheist I'm an atheist. Whether I like it or not, or whether I 'need' to or be one or not....
I don't actually know what that would mean...how CAN I need to be an atheist if I already am one? How could I feel need for disbelief if I already DO disbelieve?

If I don't believe in God then I'm an atheist. Simple as that.

EvF
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#25
RE: God Became a Mirage
@Edward


Welcome.

Umm no offence, ,but is English your second language? Is there something you don't grasp about atheism being a lack of belief in god(s), period"? NOTHING else is implied or may be inferred.


There is no such thing as "an atheist culture" nor can there be by definition. The word "culture" is broad,but simply means "that which is taken for granted". Amongst atheists you will find vastly divergent views, philosophies and ideologies,but no consensus. Not even, it seems, on definitions.

People such as Richard Dawkins write of their world views, which include atheism,but are not representative of all atheists. I'm not overly impressed by Dawkins;he's no Bertram Russell. (one the few thinkers who have knocked my socks off)
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#26
RE: God Became a Mirage
(March 22, 2009 at 4:39 pm)fr0d0 Wrote: I think your (Edward's) generalisations about 'atheists' as a group (choosing that label) are true. The similarities with religion fascinates me, & not in a derogatory way.

As far as I am aware the only generalisation one can make about atheists is that they don't believe in a god or gods.

(March 22, 2009 at 4:39 pm)fr0d0 Wrote: Yes the definition of atheist is simple, yet people adopting the label can hold an infinite number of ideas, within reason. Much like religion.

That depends ... yes that is true for a theist but not as true for a religionist (someone who adopts a specific religion).

(March 22, 2009 at 4:39 pm)fr0d0 Wrote: I empathise closely on a couple of things. I knew a gay minister, who told me that God made him that way. I believed him when he said that. I often put to theists the question: who are we to judge what God made?

It's a good question to put to theists.

(March 22, 2009 at 4:39 pm)fr0d0 Wrote: I too am uncomfortable with flirting or being flirted with. I'm pretty single minded about family and relationships. It's just a closed book with me. I don't worry about it.

Family is a good thing IMO but I think flirting is a complex subject and I suspect (don't know) that we all do it in ways that are more complex and/or subtle than we generally know. An example of this would be sports cars ... to my mind they are essentially shag-wagons (pose mobile) designed aesthetically to pull (members of the opposite sex). I find it hilarious when middle-aged men buy themselves a sports car and make all kinds of justifications except (what I think is) the real one.

(March 22, 2009 at 4:39 pm)fr0d0 Wrote: I have precognitive dreams too. It's not my nature to get so technical with that. It's been hard keeping a level head.

I'd put money on them not being as accurate as you think they are.

(March 22, 2009 at 4:39 pm)fr0d0 Wrote: I agree with you that supernatural is nonsensical. If God is other dimensional that would also be natural. Or is supernatural correctly interpreted just what we don't yet understand as natural?

So your god is part of the universe?

Kyu
Angry Atheism
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Come over to the dark side, we have cookies!

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#27
RE: God Became a Mirage
(March 22, 2009 at 11:39 pm)padraic Wrote: @Edward


Welcome.

Umm no offence, ,but is English your second language? Is there something you don't grasp about atheism being a lack of belief in god(s), period"? NOTHING else is implied or may be inferred.

No offense taken. But you saying, "NOTHING, period," and directly insulting me by indicating that I have a language deficit that limits my understanding is itself proof that you hold a very firm atheistic doctrine. In your doctrine which you apparently hold dogmatically to, atheism = no belief in God (with or without ever defining God/god.) And my guess is, you have other requirements, too, and if I talk to you long enough, I'd find them out. My guess is that you really hold to a very faith-based religion you call atheism. Your god is different, but it's still a god, and your morality stems from serving that god. And the priests of that god act just like any other priest and you accept wholeheartedly their preaching and leadership. Of course, that's just my guess.


Quote:There is no such thing as "an atheist culture" nor can there be by definition. The word "culture" is broad,but simply means "that which is taken for granted".

That's not the definition of culture. Culture is the environment created by a society acting in an accepted way, sharing in accepted rituals, and generally believing in reality in a certain common way. There is an atheist culture. You can say there isn't. You can say anything you want. If there wasn't a culture, there wouldn't be forums and blogs and books like "The Atheist Way."

Quote:Amongst atheists you will find vastly divergent views, philosophies and ideologies,but no consensus. Not even, it seems, on definitions.

I thought you just told me that all atheists believe there is no God? Maybe you're not the best spokesperson for all atheists.


Quote:People such as Richard Dawkins write of their world views, which include atheism,but are not representative of all atheists. I'm not overly impressed by Dawkins;he's no Bertram Russell. (one the few thinkers who have knocked my socks off)

Bertrand Russell died decades ago. The living priests of atheism are Dawkins, Hitchens, etc.

I am an atheist by some standards and not by others. To the religious, I'm an atheist, because I deny the existence of their God. To hardline atheists, I'm a pantheist. To me, I'm a monist. Though you imply that I have limited intelligence because of a language problem, the truth is, I probably fit the definition of "atheist" that you are espousing here more than you do. Thinking
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#28
RE: God Became a Mirage
While I must admit I find some of your comments in the above post annoying Edward, I'll leave them alone as I have no been watching the conversation.

One exeption however, while you seem to have trouble grasping the idea of what atheisim even is (a pointless word that has become a badge because of majority domination) the only thing I want to touch on right now is your comment on the book 'the atheist way' and forums such as this one.

if a bunch of people get bullied because they don't think that the show Transformers is the best thing on TV, and they decide to make a forum to hang out where they won't be bothered by people who want to bother them for not thinking transformers rocks. this does not create some new culture of which they are members. A community yes but, not some new culture. You also can't assume anything about them, odds are they are probably not into shows that involve giant mechs but, to assume that about them is stupid, a smart person would ask the individual.

Like these people atheists have no rituals, we have no common sets of beleif that come as a result of our atheisim, not a single damned one. I'm not even on this forum because most of the people are atheists, I come here because I enjoy researching religion and have found that I like hanging out with the users here.

And before you try to tell me evolution is a staple of atheisim let me get this out first because it's a fundamental minsunderstanding that one has to know before they can dream to even possibly consider that they might know shit about anything in this kind of situation.

first point, theists, better to say members of a religion, have lists of things that they beleive. Christians beleive that a god exists, that he loves them and that he sent his son to earth. Muslims beleive in allah and his teachings. An atheist gets only one thing from his atheisim, and even that is saying it wrong. He gets nothing from his atheisim at all, he does not beleive in a god therefore he is an atheist. Not he is an atheist so he cannot beleive in a god. I can only hope you can see what I am trying to say here, it is not easy to explain with only text.

Now heres the trick, point two. the majority of atheists accept evolution, this must mean that because they are atheist they naturally accept evolution. Oh wait, no that's bullcrap. (/endsarcaim) this statment assumes that it is as a result of ones atheisim that causes them to think in the way that leads them to accept evolution which is 100% backwards. It is because they are, for example a freethinker, maybe they hate establishment, maybe they are solid beleivers in the scientific process and see it as the best way to advance the human race. It is these kinds of things that cause people to example god and not accept bullcrap as an excuse, thus they become atheists. It also causes them to not accept creationisim, to look at the facts and accept evolution as the best current theory.

To help show this, because I know that text is a pitiful method of communication and this is a complicated thing to explain apparently.

cause - effect1
- effect2
- effect3

I may have 'cause', so I have effects 1 2 and 3. So knowing I have 'cause you can figure out that it I have the traits given by effects 1-3. someone else might have a different 'cause' and it produces effects 1 2 and 4 but, not 3. So when you hear I have the traits given by effects 1 and 2 you might think I must also have effect three because it's so common. But you'd be an idiot, because this other guy has causes 1 and 2 but not 3.

atheisim is not a cause, it is an effect. I never chose to be an atheist, I heard theistic claims, thought about it (cause = I think), doubted their claims held any water (cause2 = I question) and eventually saw that there was never a reason to think there was a god (effect = I did not beleive the madman telling me about god. effect = I carry the title atheist.)

I know I'm long winded as hell but, I hope that got some kind of message accross.





Side note:
"Quote:
Amongst atheists you will find vastly divergent views, philosophies and ideologies,but no consensus. Not even, it seems, on definitions.

I thought you just told me that all atheists believe there is no God? Maybe you're not the best spokesperson for all atheists."

No hes pretty correct there, and anyone could have said it. It's an observation that has jack-shit to do with his atheisim. It's easy to see that atheists disagree on just about everything, even definitions. Because you don't have to be right to disagree, an atheist can feel that the word atheist implies some things he is not and will make up his own definition to fit himself personally. you are however right, he is not a good spokesman for atheists, because nobody is. Nobody on this forum speaks for my beleifs but me, nobody on this planet speaks for my beleifs but, me. Not a single person.
http://ca.youtube.com/user/DemonAuraProductions - Check out my videos if you have spare time.
Agnostic
Atheist
I Evolved!
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#29
RE: God Became a Mirage
(March 23, 2009 at 6:12 am)Kyuuketsuki Wrote:
(March 22, 2009 at 4:39 pm)fr0d0 Wrote: I think your (Edward's) generalisations about 'atheists' as a group (choosing that label) are true. The similarities with religion fascinates me, & not in a derogatory way.

As far as I am aware the only generalisation one can make about atheists is that they don't believe in a god or gods.
No, I think that's the only non generalisation.

(March 23, 2009 at 6:12 am)Kyuuketsuki Wrote:
(March 22, 2009 at 4:39 pm)fr0d0 Wrote: Yes the definition of atheist is simple, yet people adopting the label can hold an infinite number of ideas, within reason. Much like religion.

That depends ... yes that is true for a theist but not as true for a religionist (someone who adopts a specific religion).
Theists are limited by interpretation and peer review.

(March 23, 2009 at 6:12 am)Kyuuketsuki Wrote:
(March 22, 2009 at 4:39 pm)fr0d0 Wrote: I too am uncomfortable with flirting or being flirted with. I'm pretty single minded about family and relationships. It's just a closed book with me. I don't worry about it.

Family is a good thing IMO but I think flirting is a complex subject and I suspect (don't know) that we all do it in ways that are more complex and/or subtle than we generally know. An example of this would be sports cars ... to my mind they are essentially shag-wagons (pose mobile) designed aesthetically to pull (members of the opposite sex). I find it hilarious when middle-aged men buy themselves a sports car and make all kinds of justifications except (what I think is) the real one.
Yes, well put.

(March 23, 2009 at 6:12 am)Kyuuketsuki Wrote:
(March 22, 2009 at 4:39 pm)fr0d0 Wrote: I have precognitive dreams too. It's not my nature to get so technical with that. It's been hard keeping a level head.

I'd put money on them not being as accurate as you think they are.
Well mine take the form of me living moments in dreams. I remember sights, sounds, smells, feelings.. Re-living them is like stopping into the movie.. I sometimes realise and have an almost 3rd person perspective watching the events repeat in front of me. Sometimes I'm not so sharp. Sometimes the event will be a long time after the dream, sometimes a very short time after. It's easy to dismiss familiar surroundings but not so unknown ones. I've not really found any use for these dreams.

(March 23, 2009 at 6:12 am)Kyuuketsuki Wrote:
(March 22, 2009 at 4:39 pm)fr0d0 Wrote: I agree with you that supernatural is nonsensical. If God is other dimensional that would also be natural. Or is supernatural correctly interpreted just what we don't yet understand as natural?

So your god is part of the universe?
No, he/she/it's outside it.
Interesting post demonaura. I think atheists (I don't really see that as a hard group identity, but it seems an accepted one) concentrate their identity on aspects shared in places such as this. I've been around atheists long enough for statements to be unsurprising. I like Edward's opinion because I see some uniqueness in it, and some evidence of personal thought and progression of thought leading to conclusions.
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#30
RE: God Became a Mirage
Quote:that which is taken for granted.

Quote:That's not the definition of culture.



Well actually it is A definition. It was given by one of my anthropology professors when I was an undergraduate,as a pithy explanation of the meaning of "culture".I've never found a better one.

I concede there seems be some shared values amongst some groups identifying as "atheist". On reflection, it seems to be the case generally on internet forums. This seems evident in the cliques of regulars which form the backbone of most forums I've visited.

BUT I reject the notion of a general,identifiable atheist culture as a general principle.

That is all I have to say on this matter.
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