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Index » Radio Paradise/General » General Discussion » Ask an Atheist Page: 1, 2, 3 ... 57, 58, 59  Next
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R_P

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Posted: Apr 25, 2024 - 11:02am


Isabeau

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Posted: Apr 25, 2024 - 9:35am

 oldviolin wrote:
I think until a person is able to take hits to their fundamental belief system or world view and gain strength and understanding from the struggle they can't possibly learn anything about the world or themselves that will help them grow, much less evolve, as related to proto human beings and progenitors of the future..


 It's a big mystery out there and linear ain't the way to find it.
oldviolin

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Posted: Apr 24, 2024 - 10:09pm

 Lazy8 wrote:

If everything everywhere is evidence for a particular explanation ("God did it! QED.") you need to refute other explanations that offer better explanations. You flip a light switch and lights come on. A miracle! Well, the result is explained by the motion of electrons and the principles of electricity, and if you disconnect a wire the miracle stops happening. "God did it" fails to explain this, but electrical theory does. The "God did it" explanation offers no predictive value. God does it when he feels like it, so when the miracle doesn't happen either God decided not to do it and we'd need to know God's mind to be able to actually use the phenomenon in question. Or something else makes it happen. You're free to exclaim that the lights coming on is a miracle beyond human comprehension, but that will not make you an electrician. And by declaring something beyond human comprehension you have spoken strictly for yourself. You can say definitively that you don't understand something, but that doesn't mean nobody understands it. And if you do understand it feel free to keep declaring it a miracle. That costs no one anything, and if it amuses you...well, I'm in no position to convince you otherwise.  I'll just insist it adds nothing to the understanding of the lights coming on.  Historically "God did it" has been both a tacit admission of ignorance and an obstacle to further inquiry. If you declare case closed (and can enforce it, as has happened so often) then anyone who dares try is a blasphemer. Ask Galileo if you can raise him in a seance, but he doesn't get the last word. The universe does. The truth remains for those curious enough to discover it.
I think until a person is able to take hits to their fundamental belief system or world view and gain strength and understanding from the struggle they can't possibly learn anything about the world or themselves that will help them grow, much less evolve, as related to proto human beings and progenitors of the future..
Isabeau

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Location: sou' tex
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Posted: Apr 24, 2024 - 3:12pm

Mum once said, out of the blue "Y'know. I'm not sure what to Believe in. But I believe in the Power of Belief."

We were recovering Catholics then, leaving an abusive household the church did nothing about in the early 70's.
It has resonated with me ever since regarding 'spiritual matters.'  Everything is made of atoms, vibrating at different speeds - right?
The human mind's focus, when disciplined, can manifest incredible things. This quote sums it up perfectly:


If you want to know the secrets of the Universe, think in terms of Energy, Frequency and Vibration.   â€” Nikola Tesla






R_P

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Posted: Apr 19, 2024 - 3:04pm

 Steely_D wrote:
My buddy, the aforementioned planetary scientist and Pluto expert, and I regularly mock NDT. He’s not a dunderhead, but he seems to be not as well versed in topics as he represents himself. I wouldn’t use him as a final authority. It’s easy to find well-publicized instances where he’s asserted something that was factually wrong. And, he refused to have a debate with Alan Stern regarding the nature of Pluto (about which NDT is wrong); that is, he wouldn’t pit his knowledge base against someone who is another expert on the subject.

And, from what I can surmise/guess in my very limited understanding and this is just my nascent idea, it may be that the consequence of black holes might be the creation of our universe. Taking us back to the atheism question… 

I think it was tongue-in-cheek, and possibly atheism-related. Purpose is tricky anyhow.

For a daily dose of universe I'd recommend Anton:

Steely_D

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Location: Biscayne Bay
Gender: Male


Posted: Apr 19, 2024 - 2:43pm

 R_P wrote:

I think it was DeGrasse Tyson who mused that the universe's purpose seems to be the creation of black holes.


My buddy, the aforementioned planetary scientist and Pluto expert, and I regularly mock NDT. He’s not a dunderhead, but he seems to be not as well versed in topics as he represents himself. I wouldn’t use him as a final authority. It’s easy to find well-publicized instances where he’s asserted something that was factually wrong. And, he refused to have a debate with Alan Stern regarding the nature of Pluto (about which NDT is wrong); that is, he wouldn’t pit his knowledge base against someone who is another expert on the subject.

And, from what I can surmise/guess in my very limited understanding and this is just my nascent idea, it may be that the consequence of black holes might be the creation of our universe. Taking us back to the atheism question… 
R_P

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Posted: Apr 19, 2024 - 2:31pm

God of the gaps
oldviolin

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Posted: Apr 19, 2024 - 2:21pm

 Lazy8 wrote:

If everything everywhere is evidence for a particular explanation ("God did it! QED.") you need to refute other explanations that offer better explanations. You flip a light switch and lights come on. A miracle! Well, the result is explained by the motion of electrons and the principles of electricity, and if you disconnect a wire the miracle stops happening. "God did it" fails to explain this, but electrical theory does.

The "God did it" explanation offers no predictive value. God does it when he feels like it, so when the miracle doesn't happen either God decided not to do it and we'd need to know God's mind to be able to actually use the phenomenon in question. Or something else makes it happen.

You're free to exclaim that the lights coming on is a miracle beyond human comprehension, but that will not make you an electrician. And by declaring something beyond human comprehension you have spoken strictly for yourself. You can say definitively that you don't understand something, but that doesn't mean nobody understands it.

And if you do understand it feel free to keep declaring it a miracle. That costs no one anything, and if it amuses you...well, I'm in no position to convince you otherwise.  I'll just insist it adds nothing to the understanding of the lights coming on. 

Historically "God did it" has been both a tacit admission of ignorance and an obstacle to further inquiry. If you declare case closed (and can enforce it, as has happened so often) then anyone who dares try is a blasphemer. Ask Galileo if you can raise him in a seance, but he doesn't get the last word. The universe does. The truth remains for those curious enough to discover it.


Ok. I'm not taking this personally at all, because I'm positive you don't mean it to be. But, setting that aside for a moment, that is a fine examination for someone trying to argue from a religious point of view, certainly as monotheism goes. The flinger of fate and punishment and thunderbolts. Big beards and burning bushes. lol. We need an updated version before the machines get there first!
j/k

It all historically feeds into the now where we find our generations.

I gotta think of a better way of splaining what Ima trying to get at but I'm a slow thinker sometimes and now I gotta go. Talk later.
Lazy8

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Location: The Gallatin Valley of Montana
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Posted: Apr 19, 2024 - 1:39pm

 oldviolin wrote:
If a faithful person claims that the evidence is positively everything and everywhere, what would an undecided or negatively inclined person as to faith accept as evidence? Not being tricky. Literally is there a marker or condition?

If everything everywhere is evidence for a particular explanation ("God did it! QED.") you need to refute other explanations that offer better explanations. You flip a light switch and lights come on. A miracle! Well, the result is explained by the motion of electrons and the principles of electricity, and if you disconnect a wire the miracle stops happening. "God did it" fails to explain this, but electrical theory does.

The "God did it" explanation offers no predictive value. God does it when he feels like it, so when the miracle doesn't happen either God decided not to do it and we'd need to know God's mind to be able to actually use the phenomenon in question. Or something else makes it happen.

You're free to exclaim that the lights coming on is a miracle beyond human comprehension, but that will not make you an electrician. And by declaring something beyond human comprehension you have spoken strictly for yourself. You can say definitively that you don't understand something, but that doesn't mean nobody understands it.

And if you do understand it feel free to keep declaring it a miracle. That costs no one anything, and if it amuses you...well, I'm in no position to convince you otherwise.  I'll just insist it adds nothing to the understanding of the lights coming on. 

Historically "God did it" has been both a tacit admission of ignorance and an obstacle to further inquiry. If you declare case closed (and can enforce it, as has happened so often) then anyone who dares try is a blasphemer. Ask Galileo if you can raise him in a seance, but he doesn't get the last word. The universe does. The truth remains for those curious enough to discover it.
R_P

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Gender: Male


Posted: Apr 19, 2024 - 12:28pm

 Steely_D wrote:
Taken alone, yes. “It’s so complex it must’ve been created.”
That runs up against the other part: that people who really know the universe (better all the time) know its vastness - and emptiness (so far). Matter/Energy, Dark Matter (there is 5x more of that than there is “regular” matter) and the biggest portion: Dark Energy. Is there a Watchmaker responsible for that, too? So the mere existence of us suggests a creator - but the lack of existence of something else Out There - back towards the beginning of time - suggests the opposite.

A bit more about black holes and all that stuff. Fascinating - and frightening in a way.

You'll end up with arguments about "fine-tuning" and the anthropic principle.

It mostly suggests our limitations of observation and knowledge.

I think it was DeGrasse Tyson who mused that the universe's purpose seems to be the creation of black holes.
black321

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Posted: Apr 19, 2024 - 12:12pm

 NoEnzLefttoSplit wrote:

I think it helps to make a distinction here. 
Invoking religion/faith/belief in a higher obtuse power to explain things we don't understand ultimately runs the risk of being pure tautology;

why did this or that happen?
Well, God. 
why didn't this or that happen?
Well, God.

Ultimately, this doesn't help much if you are trying to work out why things happen. Here science really did suddenly shed light on the Dark Ages and in terms of the explanatory power (of chains of causation) it easily trumps religion.

However, if you merely invoke a faith/belief in God as an act of humility, as an acknowledgement of pure wonder at being alive and that not only do we exist, but are aware of the fact and surrounded by a vast universe of being, almost all of which appears to be insentient, then it has a different role and that is something I can acknowledge as valid, for it is an emotional response - a response to the awesomeness of things. Kind of like singing as the sun rises, or Gregorian chants in a monastery. There is something undeniably "ecstatic" about this.. ex-stasis— in the sense of standing outside your customary point of view and sensing the universal flow through you.  

I guess this is the spiritual aspect of religion. But IMO this is completely unrelated to the causative aspect that many religions claim to have a monopoly over, which by nature are exclusive and the absolute opposite of universal ex-stasis. Note also, the spiritual state of being is passive/receptive. You let it happen. It is not programmatic/dogmatic (make it happen).

To go a step further, an emotional/spiritual response to being does not necessarily mean we have to postulate the existence of a God as a causative, explanatory factor. Most birds I know appear to get along quite well without being aware of "God" and still sing gloriously at sunrise. But if someone finds the concept of God as a neat encapsulation as the source of all wonder, I can live with that. Maybe that is where birds are at. This would at least explain all that singing.
 
What I can't live so well with is when some people seem to think their religion gives them some kind of prior knowledge or right to tell others what to do. That is a fatal flaw of many religions and seems rooted in my view in basic tribal instinct than anything remotely spiritual.
Likewise, I also can't live with people who use scientific causative arguments to belittle people whose religious basis is purely spiritual. 

That seems to be what religion should be teaching us...or the purpose of prayer.
To get out of the way and let God, the energy of the universe...whatever you want to call it...flow through you. 
Maybe not so different as to how artists explain their works?
Slay the ego dragon.
If you want to experience, regardless of one's faith, 
sit in a quiet room and ask, what is it that is keeping me from my true self? 
If you are still enough, the answer will come...but i can only from my own experience.

As for those use their religion as some sort of "monopoly"...I probably have less time for these folks than an atheist

Steely_D

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Location: Biscayne Bay
Gender: Male


Posted: Apr 19, 2024 - 12:07pm

 kurtster wrote:
Things that do manifest themselves without any known physical explanations. 


Whupping out my Occam’s Razor I always believe that stuff like that is a problem with data gathering (e.g., we can’t see magnetism so why does that metal move?) or with our logistics (well, we know that the sun revolves around the earth but measuring how Mars moves across the sky with that weird pathway just defies explanation).


Steely_D

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Location: Biscayne Bay
Gender: Male


Posted: Apr 19, 2024 - 11:53am

 R_P wrote:

Usually an argument for Deism, i.e. the watchmaker analogy.



Taken alone, yes. “It’s so complex it must’ve been created.”
That runs up against the other part: that people who really know the universe (better all the time) know its vastness - and emptiness (so far). Matter/Energy, Dark Matter (there is 5x more of that than there is “regular” matter) and the biggest portion: Dark Energy. Is there a Watchmaker responsible for that, too? So the mere existence of us suggests a creator - but the lack of existence of something else Out There - back towards the beginning of time - suggests the opposite.

A bit more about black holes and all that stuff. Fascinating - and frightening in a way.

R_P

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Posted: Apr 19, 2024 - 11:28am

 Steely_D wrote:
I can’t believe in an anthropomorphic god; that makes no sense. But is all of this vastness and complexity really random?

Usually an argument for Deism, i.e. the watchmaker analogy.

oldviolin

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Posted: Apr 19, 2024 - 11:20am

 NoEnzLefttoSplit wrote:

I think it helps to make a distinction here. 
Invoking religion/faith/belief in a higher obtuse power to explain things we don't understand ultimately runs the risk of being pure tautology;

why did this or that happen?
Well, God. 
why didn't this or that happen?
Well, God.


Ultimately, this doesn't help much if you are trying to work out why things happen. Here science really did suddenly shed light on the Dark Ages and in terms of the explanatory power (of chains of causation) it easily trumps religion.

However, if you merely invoke a faith/belief in God as an act of humility, as an acknowledgement of pure wonder at being alive and that not only do we exist, but are aware of the fact and surrounded by a vast universe of being, almost all of which appears to be insentient, then it has a different role and that is something I can acknowledge as valid, for it is an emotional response - a response to the awesomeness of things. Kind of like singing as the sun rises, or Gregorian chants in a monastery. There is something undeniably "ecstatic" about this.. ex-stasis— in the sense of standing outside your customary point of view and sensing the universal flow through you.  

I guess this is the spiritual aspect of religion. But IMO this is completely unrelated to the causative aspect that many religions claim to have a monopoly over, which by nature are exclusive and the absolute opposite of universal ex-stasis. Note also, the spiritual state of being is passive/receptive. You let it happen. It is not programmatic/dogmatic (make it happen).

To go a step further, an emotional/spiritual response to being does not necessarily mean we have to postulate the existence of a God as a causative, explanatory factor. Most birds I know appear to get along quite well without being aware of "God" and still sing gloriously at sunrise. But if someone finds the concept of God as a neat encapsulation as the source of all wonder, I can live with that. Maybe that is where birds are at. This would at least explain all that singing.
 
What I can't live so well with is when some people seem to think their religion gives them some kind of prior knowledge or right to tell others what to do. That is a fatal flaw of many religions and seems rooted in my view in basic tribal instinct than anything remotely spiritual.
Likewise, I also can't live with people who use scientific causative arguments to belittle people whose religious basis is purely spiritual. 

I believe that in most cases man is likely to be a factor.
Yes. Knowledge evolves understanding. Additionally, refines curiosity.


Beautifully stated. 

Just because we might not believe in "God" doesn't necessarily mean that "God" doesn't believe in us.



NoEnzLefttoSplit

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Posted: Apr 19, 2024 - 11:09am

 oldviolin wrote:

If a faithful person claims that the evidence is positively everything and everywhere, what would an undecided or negatively inclined person as to faith accept as evidence? Not being tricky. Literally is there a marker or condition?


I think it helps to make a distinction here. 
Invoking religion/faith/belief in a higher obtuse power to explain things we don't understand ultimately runs the risk of being pure tautology;

why did this or that happen?
Well, God. 
why didn't this or that happen?
Well, God.

Ultimately, this doesn't help much if you are trying to work out why things happen. Here science really did suddenly shed light on the Dark Ages and in terms of the explanatory power (of chains of causation) it easily trumps religion.

However, if you merely invoke a faith/belief in God as an act of humility, as an acknowledgement of pure wonder at being alive and that not only do we exist, but are aware of the fact and surrounded by a vast universe of being, almost all of which appears to be insentient, then it has a different role and that is something I can acknowledge as valid, for it is an emotional response - a response to the awesomeness of things. Kind of like singing as the sun rises, or Gregorian chants in a monastery. There is something undeniably "ecstatic" about this.. ex-stasis— in the sense of standing outside your customary point of view and sensing the universal flow through you.  

I guess this is the spiritual aspect of religion. But IMO this is completely unrelated to the causative aspect that many religions claim to have a monopoly over, which by nature are exclusive and the absolute opposite of universal ex-stasis. Note also, the spiritual state of being is passive/receptive. You let it happen. It is not programmatic/dogmatic (make it happen).

To go a step further, an emotional/spiritual response to being does not necessarily mean we have to postulate the existence of a God as a causative, explanatory factor. Most birds I know appear to get along quite well without being aware of "God" and still sing gloriously at sunrise. But if someone finds the concept of God as a neat encapsulation as the source of all wonder, I can live with that. Maybe that is where birds are at. This would at least explain all that singing.
 
What I can't live so well with is when some people seem to think their religion gives them some kind of prior knowledge or right to tell others what to do. That is a fatal flaw of many religions and seems rooted in my view in basic tribal instinct than anything remotely spiritual.
Likewise, I also can't live with people who use scientific causative arguments to belittle people whose religious basis is purely spiritual. 
Steely_D

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Location: Biscayne Bay
Gender: Male


Posted: Apr 19, 2024 - 10:13am

 Lazy8 wrote:

"I can't explain it" encompasses vast amount of daily life. None of that implies any particular actor or cause being at play.

If you assign some cause (outside of the influence of the physical) to anything you can't explain you have entered the realm of religious belief.



Well, when you believe in things that you don’t understand, and you suffer…
black321

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Location: An earth without maps
Gender: Male


Posted: Apr 19, 2024 - 8:57am

 Lazy8 wrote:

Who's this "we"?

Faith is belief without evidence.


Belief is holding something as a truth
Faith is hoping something is truth...so there should be a nice heaping of doubt in faith.

...and if you hold something of faith (and there are universal things of faith) as a belief, 
then we haven't slayed the dragon of ego...
oldviolin

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Location: esse quam videri
Gender: Male


Posted: Apr 19, 2024 - 8:53am

 Lazy8 wrote:

Who's this "we"?

Faith is belief without evidence.

If a faithful person claims that the evidence is positively everything and everywhere, what would an undecided or negatively inclined person as to faith accept as evidence? Not being tricky. Literally is there a marker or condition?

Lazy8

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Location: The Gallatin Valley of Montana
Gender: Male


Posted: Apr 19, 2024 - 8:43am

 black321 wrote:
Do we understand the difference between "belief" and "faith"?

Who's this "we"?

Faith is belief without evidence.
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