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Old 09-11-2012, 01:46 AM   #1701
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Default Re: God doesn't exist... agree or disagree?

Quote:
Originally Posted by JLI2infinity View Post
In the 21st century a large majority of arguments for God have become personal experience and testimony.

"God did X, Y, or Z for me
God gives my life meaning
I wouldn't have gotten through _______ without God
I can't imagine a world where God doesn't exist
Believing in God makes me a better person"

I am honestly under the impression that except among high level philosophers and theologians the "God debate" among the general public is pretty much over. Agnostic atheists have won. However, even with all the basic philosophical arguments laid out in our favor there is so much emotional stigma attached to the existence of God that pure reason isn't going to cut it. It's hard to fight emotion with logic, because for most people, emotion is more poignant.

This thread has been 85 pages of the same arguments and sentiments, when those five quotes I just mentioned basically summarize the whole thing. People will come to their own conclusions when they're ready for the most part we just have to be patient. I'm guessing it's extremely rare for someone to be converted over the internet.
even there is 0.01% chance, nothing impossible.
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Old 09-11-2012, 09:10 AM   #1702
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Default Re: God doesn't exist... agree or disagree?

I kind of believe that, as humans, we each have our own realities. It shouldn't matter if God could be proven or disproven, because everybody has their own sense of why they're here. They can believe they were placed here by a creator, or not. The world is full of mysteries.

Personally though, I believe there is only one God. ^^
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Old 09-11-2012, 09:23 AM   #1703
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Default Re: God doesn't exist... agree or disagree?

Quote:
Originally Posted by JLI2infinity View Post
In the 21st century a large majority of arguments for God have become personal experience and testimony.

"God did X, Y, or Z for me
God gives my life meaning
I wouldn't have gotten through _______ without God
I can't imagine a world where God doesn't exist
Believing in God makes me a better person"

I am honestly under the impression that except among high level philosophers and theologians the "God debate" among the general public is pretty much over. Agnostic atheists have won. However, even with all the basic philosophical arguments laid out in our favor there is so much emotional stigma attached to the existence of God that pure reason isn't going to cut it. It's hard to fight emotion with logic, because for most people, emotion is more poignant.

This thread has been 85 pages of the same arguments and sentiments, when those five quotes I just mentioned basically summarize the whole thing. People will come to their own conclusions when they're ready for the most part we just have to be patient. I'm guessing it's extremely rare for someone to be converted over the internet.
There is no such thing as winning in a debate where things cannot be proven. Why should anyone be trying to convert people who believe in God away from him? Let's assume that God does exist for a minute. Sure, most of these believers are major hypocrites, but true people who believe in God are securing their place in Heaven. Whereas the others cannot be sure what will happen to them. If it is a case of 'belief' vs. 'belief', there is no winner. It's all merely a theory. Which in the words of scientists means, 'It cannot be 100% proven either way'. There's no reason to try to tear away people from their God with this 'logic'. At least the good ones are trying to do something good and pure with their life. Of course, I do find that a lot of non-religious people are more pleasant than the religious ones.

If God were to not exist, what's the point of living anyways? If he or something similar doesn't exist, everything we do is pretty much meaningless.
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Old 09-11-2012, 09:35 AM   #1704
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Default Re: God doesn't exist... agree or disagree?

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Originally Posted by Maikeru D. Shinigami View Post
If God were to not exist, what's the point of living anyways? If he or something similar doesn't exist, everything we do is pretty much meaningless.
Everyone's point to living is not the same. You decide what the point of your life is even if you don't know that you're doing it.

In the grand scheme of the Universe, yes, everything we do is meaningless. That is why you have to bring meaning to your own life.

Why am I alive? Because I enjoy living and there are things I want to accomplish and experience. And when I accomplish everything I want to and stop enjoying life then I will off myself, but I'll most likely die of old age before that happens.

I hate people who claim that God brought meaning to their life.

I love people who say that Music, or art, or books, or children, or family, or roller coasters, etc brought meaning to their life.
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Old 09-11-2012, 01:04 PM   #1705
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Default Re: God doesn't exist... agree or disagree?

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Originally Posted by Larry01239 View Post
Everyone's point to living is not the same. You decide what the point of your life is even if you don't know that you're doing it.

In the grand scheme of the Universe, yes, everything we do is meaningless. That is why you have to bring meaning to your own life.

Why am I alive? Because I enjoy living and there are things I want to accomplish and experience. And when I accomplish everything I want to and stop enjoying life then I will off myself, but I'll most likely die of old age before that happens.

I hate people who claim that God brought meaning to their life.

I love people who say that Music, or art, or books, or children, or family, or roller coasters, etc brought meaning to their life.
Actually, art is a huge meaning to my life, but that's when I'm looking at life in more of a 'right now' meaning. I am greatly inspired by works of art, especially when I'm writing. When I view or read things, I'm not just reading or watching. I'm looking at the overall brilliance and imagination of that artistic piece. I am thrilled by the way the human mind works. Psychology and Critical Thinking are like a drug to me. I can't get enough of it, and it gives me the ultimate high. That is what I look at right now, that is what meaning I put to my life, in the right here and now.

When I say 'meaningless', I mean more in the 'grand scheme' of things. If God doesn't exist, is there any point in my love for art beside what I think up myself? If God doesn't exist, is there any point to who wins or loses in a debate? If God doesn't exist, is there any point in the ideas of 'right' and 'wrong'? If God doesn't exist, what is the result of life on Earth? If he doesn't exist, does it just end? Would everything we do, no matter how much we enjoy it be 'meaningless'? I'm not going to actually go out and say I believe 'God' as people define him exists. I will say I believe in a higher power though. An ultimate judge that judges based on the overall purity of an individual human spirit. It's just, what comes after this life? I live my life the way I feel I should, for two reasons. One, that makes me happy. Two, I want my eternal spirit to be as pure as I can make it.

God and Art are two different kinds of meanings as far as I'm concerned. Art, Psychology and Critical Thinking are my 'right here, right now' meaning to life. While 'God' is my 'overall, long-term' meaning to life.
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Old 09-11-2012, 01:17 PM   #1706
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Default Re: God doesn't exist... agree or disagree?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Maikeru D. Shinigami View Post
There's no reason to try to tear away people from their God with this 'logic'.
You want a reason......

Quote:
If God were to not exist, what's the point of living anyways? If he or something similar doesn't exist, everything we do is pretty much meaningless.
There it is. It's that exact kind of thinking why some people do need to realize the alternative. I'm sure deep down there's some part of you that understands that if God doesn't exist it's not the end of the world. I have a feeling that if somehow tomorrow there was a major discovery that demonstrated the religion of your choice isn't accurate you'd find a way to move on with your life. But I can't tell you how many times I've heard this, and it's scary, forget the philosophical implications of only having meaning in your life because of God and think of the practical ones, it's still scary, not to mention dangerous. It's actually hilarious that you said this considering it was one of the five reasons I quoted for people believing in God.

Humans assign meaning to things not God. I'm not sure when mankind will ever as a whole realize this but it should be self-evident whether you are religious or non-religious. Even if you do believe God is created everything of value that would mean he gave you the tools to assess and comprehend that value. Moreover, giving something "meaning" isn't a good argument for it's existence or believing in it's existence.

Quote:
There is no such thing as winning in a debate where things cannot be proven. Why should anyone be trying to convert people who believe in God away from him? Let's assume that God does exist for a minute. Sure, most of these believers are major hypocrites, but true people who believe in God are securing their place in Heaven. Whereas the others cannot be sure what will happen to them. If it is a case of 'belief' vs. 'belief', there is no winner. It's all merely a theory. Which in the words of scientists means, 'It cannot be 100% proven either way'. At least the good ones are trying to do something good and pure with their life. Of course, I do find that a lot of non-religious people are more pleasant than the religious ones.
Why should people try to convert people away from God? Well there are a few reasons ...

1) Because many people were converted toward God without hearing both sides

2) It's not active conversion like many evangelical institutions practice, for most atheists it's presentation of an alternative to the norm where 80+% of the world believe that the universe has experienced some form of divine influence and intervention.

3.) Many times when religion becomes a debate it's because religious background is informing public opinion, decisions, and policy. Many people say they wouldn't mind religious practices if they were kept private but the fact is, that's very hard to do. The major world religions have specific mandates that affect the public sphere. Religion also has a different approach to a fundamental view of reality. It's not like liking different flavors of ice cream or having different tastes in music. The two views (atheism vs. theism) are incompatible and therefore bound to clash at one point or another.

I do not go around preaching atheism, trying to convert those I meet. And there are plenty of religious people I know who don't do that either. The problem is my atheism doesn't come with a set of guidelines. Both the Bible and the Qu'ran teach active evangelism. It's just one of the many aspects of religion people choose to ignore when it's at odds with their own secular interactions and lifestyles.

You are correct that there is no way to prove God doesn't exist but that's why I specifically mentioned agnostic atheists. Religion makes a positive claim that a God, gods, spirits, or some other metaphysical entities exist. In these debates, agnostic atheists point out how these religions that make positive claims can't be viewed as anything more than glorified superstitions and how a world without God is possible and that the typical arguments for God aren't substantial enough to count as proof. That is why I say they "won." Their goal was to never disprove God, just to point out that no one can prove him and therefore holy texts cannot be held as ultimate books of truth about the universe.
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Old 09-11-2012, 01:26 PM   #1707
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Default Re: God doesn't exist... agree or disagree?

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Originally Posted by Maikeru D. Shinigami View Post

When I say 'meaningless', I mean more in the 'grand scheme' of things. If God doesn't exist, is there any point in my love for art beside what I think up myself? The point in you liking art is because you like art.

If God doesn't exist, is there any point to who wins or loses in a debate? To find out who is right

If God doesn't exist, is there any point in the ideas of 'right' and 'wrong'?
Yes. God never dictated to me what is right and wrong. I determined those things myself.

If God doesn't exist, what is the result of life on Earth?
...that you live on earth.

If he doesn't exist, does it just end?
yes, or you might become a ghost or you might be reincarnated or you might awaken in a parallel universe.

Would everything we do, no matter how much we enjoy it be 'meaningless'?
In the grand scheme of things? Yes. For the time that you are alive? It has meaning if you think it has meaning. You are the one who determines that.

I'm not going to actually go out and say I believe 'God' as people define him exists. I will say I believe in a higher power though. An ultimate judge that judges based on the overall purity of an individual human spirit.

Purity of human spirit? yeah i have no idea what that means.

It's just, what comes after this life?

Why does anything need to come after this life? Why can't you just be grateful you're alive? If something does come after, then hey it is a bonus.

I live my life the way I feel I should, for two reasons. One, that makes me happy.

That is how everyone should live their life.

Two, I want my eternal spirit to be as pure as I can make it.

Yeah, still not getting the purity thing. Like you want to eternally be a virgin or something?
I'm confident there is a higher power out there somewhere. I'm also confident it doesn't give two craps about us or what we do. And that is why it is irrelevant in our lives and should be ignored. Live your life for yourself, not for some mystical entity.
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Old 09-11-2012, 01:30 PM   #1708
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Default Re: God doesn't exist... agree or disagree?

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Originally Posted by JLI2infinity View Post
You want a reason......



There it is. It's that exact kind of thinking why some people do need to realize the alternative. I'm sure deep down there's some part of you that understands that if God doesn't exist it's not the end of the world. I have a feeling that if somehow tomorrow there was a major discovery that demonstrated the religion of your choice isn't accurate you'd find a way to move on with your life. But I can't tell you how many times I've heard this, and it's scary, forget the philosophical implications of only having meaning in your life because of God and think of the practical ones, it's still scary, not to mention dangerous. It's actually hilarious that you said this considering it was one of the five reasons I quoted for people believing in God.

Humans assign meaning to things not God. I'm not sure when mankind will ever as a whole realize this but it should be self-evident whether you are religious or non-religious. Even if you do believe God is created everything of value that would mean he gave you the tools to assess and comprehend that value. Moreover, giving something "meaning" isn't a good argument for it's existence or believing in it's existence.



Why should people try to convert people away from God? Well there are a few reasons ...

1) Because many people were converted toward God without hearing both sides

2) It's not active conversion like many evangelical institutions practice, for most atheists it's presentation of an alternative to the norm where 80+% of the world believe that the universe has experienced some form of divine influence and intervention.

3.) Many times when religion becomes a debate it's because religious background is informing public opinion, decisions, and policy. Many people say they wouldn't mind religious practices if they were kept private but the fact is, that's very hard to do. The major world religions have specific mandates that affect the public sphere. Religion also has a different approach to a fundamental view of reality. It's not like liking different flavors of ice cream or having different tastes in music. The two views (atheism vs. theism) are incompatible and therefore bound to clash at one point or another.

I do not go around preaching atheism, trying to convert those I meet. And there are plenty of religious people I know who don't do that either. The problem is my atheism doesn't come with a set of guidelines. Both the Bible and the Qu'ran teach active evangelism. It's just one of the many aspects of religion people choose to ignore when it's at odds with their own secular interactions and lifestyles.

You are correct that there is no way to prove God doesn't exist but that's why I specifically mentioned agnostic atheists. Religion makes a positive claim that a God, gods, spirits, or some other metaphysical entities exist. In these debates, agnostic atheists point out how these religions that make positive claims can't be viewed as anything more than glorified superstitions and how a world without God is possible and that the typical arguments for God aren't substantial enough to count as proof. That is why I say they "won." Their goal was to never disprove God, just to point out that no one can prove him and therefore holy texts cannot be held as ultimate books of truth about the universe.
I can understand your viewpoint, but I still don't agree with trying to tear people away from the protection of their eternal soul. Of course, if they really are that strong about their beliefs, then they shouldn't be able to be pulled away anyways. I think it's totally good to have opinions that oppose religion, and I honestly think religious people can learn from these debates.

So many of them base their life so much around God that they forget to live in the here and now. They forget to make themselves a unique person. Others go against their beliefs when they should be following what they believe. Hell, they might be better off accepting themselves as agnostic/atheist. As far as I'm concerned, there is a reason for living and a reason for life. Two totally different things.

The reason for life basically centering around what you believe in and/or where you want to be if the afterlife comes. The way I see it though, even if you have that reason, you should still have a reason for living. I don't believe that just basing all your reason on beliefs is a good way to go. I believe that your reasons should be based on a combination of beliefs and interests.

For an example, see the reply I made to Larry.
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Old 09-11-2012, 01:38 PM   #1709
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Default Re: God doesn't exist... agree or disagree?

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Originally Posted by Larry01239 View Post
Live your life for yourself, not for some mystical entity.
I actually don't spend my life living for some 'mythical entity'. I don't go to church every week, and I feel that organized religion does as much harm and good. I don't even think about those questions that I asked you very often. They were just a way of me asking 'what comes after this'? I mean, we may be temporarily here for 50-100 years, but if there's an eternal afterlife I want mine to be the best it can be.

For me, that basically doing what I love, being inspired by what I love and basically just living my life. For me, it means not going outside of the lines of what I feel is 'right' or 'wrong'. But I really don't put much thought into that. I would much rather spend my time enjoying life and appreciating the minds of the people that inspire me.
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Old 09-11-2012, 01:54 PM   #1710
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Default Re: God doesn't exist... agree or disagree?

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For me, that basically doing what I love, being inspired by what I love and basically just living my life. For me, it means not going outside of the lines of what I feel is 'right' or 'wrong'. But I really don't put much thought into that. I would much rather spend my time enjoying life and appreciating the minds of the people that inspire me.
See this is where you are throwing me off. You say great stuff like this, but then in the previous paragraph you're also like "oh, but I also don't want to piss off God and screw up my afterlife" They are kinda contradicting each other.
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Old 09-11-2012, 02:00 PM   #1711
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Default Re: God doesn't exist... agree or disagree?

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Originally Posted by Larry01239 View Post
See this is where you are throwing me off. You say great stuff like this, but then in the previous paragraph you're also like "oh, but I also don't want to piss off God and screw up my afterlife" They are kinda contradicting each other.
I'm a very complicated person. The whole idea of me pissing God is basically revolved around what I feel is 'right' or 'wrong'. Not what some book or other people tell me. I have used the bible sometimes as a way to give myself things to think about with my own life. Man still did write the bible, so I'm not going to define my life by what some other man tells me to do. I come up with my own beliefs and follow them while enjoying the life I'm already living. I want to live my life for the joy of it, but I want to be prepared for what comes after as well. My idea of fun basically overlaps with my idea of enjoyment and what I perceive as 'right' and 'wrong'.
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Old 09-11-2012, 07:24 PM   #1712
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Default Re: God doesn't exist... agree or disagree?

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Originally Posted by Maikeru D. Shinigami View Post
I'm a very complicated person. The whole idea of me pissing God is basically revolved around what I feel is 'right' or 'wrong'. Not what some book or other people tell me. I have used the bible sometimes as a way to give myself things to think about with my own life. Man still did write the bible, so I'm not going to define my life by what some other man tells me to do. I come up with my own beliefs and follow them while enjoying the life I'm already living. I want to live my life for the joy of it, but I want to be prepared for what comes after as well. My idea of fun basically overlaps with my idea of enjoyment and what I perceive as 'right' and 'wrong'.
What you're practicing is a modern day form of religion I mentioned earlier where you ignore major tenets of your religion but still cling to some of its ideas depending on whether or not it suits your view of the world...

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It's just one of the many aspects of religion people choose to ignore when it's at odds with their own secular interactions and lifestyles.
All of this stuff about your current life and the afterlife. Your perception of 'right' and 'wrong' etc. is all fine and dandy, but if you just want to cherry pick the Bible there's no point in believing in the Abrahaimic God, you might as well believe in any god. You're developing your morality by secular means, not spiritual ones which is why Larry is saying you contradict yourself when you start claiming that God is your ultimate caregiver and moral compass.

You're compartmentalizing religion as this one isolated part of your life you will use when it's time to ascend to the next plane. It just sounds like an off shoot of Pascal's Wager to me. You're living your life in fear of the afterlife. Therefore you disregard scripture or spiritual teachings that you don't see as necessary or even right for a good moral backbone, but accept scripture that uses fear tactics like eternal damnation.

"Oh those parts over there about homophobia, slavery, killing, disrespect for women, all of that is man made I won't listen to that, but these archaic desert tribes preaching about the nature of the cosmos, all that is divinely inspired there's no way they could be making that up."

And then perhaps you focus on things like the golden rule, or the commandments (not even all of of them since three are just about worshipping God and the last one degrades women) and say now that's the part of religion I learn from and live life by. And to that I'd say there are a number of philosophy books that expound on those ideas in greater detail (some of them even older than the Bible) and most Americans today could probably draft a set of moral guidelines that match the Bible's but don't have all the reprehensible stories and teachings...you know like no rape, no child abuse, etc.
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Old 09-13-2012, 12:35 AM   #1713
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Default Re: God doesn't exist... agree or disagree?

I just thought I'd like to throw in a brain-twister in this argument for people to kick around. We percieve everything in our world through our senses. I see my computer in front of me because I can see it. Well, what if I was blind? I wouldn't know where it is, or if I even had one unless someone told me that is was there. If no one told me, for all I know it doesn't exist. Our perceptions make up our reality. We know we have a president because he can see and hear him. So, using the blind example, don't you think it's possible that religious people have developed a sixth sense that the can feel the presence of a higher power, and those that don't believe just wasn't born with it or lost it? Or, perhaps all religious people could suffer from some kind of schizophrenia and have a delusion that there is a greater power. I mean, schizos hallucinate and see things that we don't see. Maybe the things that they see are truly real, and we just don't have the ability to? Reality relies within the brain, and as one stated above, reality is what we make it. Could it be possible that everything we believe exist is just a belief and none of it is real? Maybe you're actually the only one "real" and everything around you was created from your brain? Everything you know could be a lie. We learned laws of gravity and motion because we were TAUGHT them who had came up with it. Doesn't that sound familiar? Is it possible everything Albert Einstein or Isaac Newton came up was just total bs? I could put a random equation together and present it to the world and it's possible they'd believe me. What we know and believe is all from what people taught us and told us, and so we percieve it as that, which makes up our reality. This is just something for you to kick around and think about. Hell, maybe we're all in the Matrix!
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Old 09-13-2012, 02:10 AM   #1714
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Default Re: God doesn't exist... agree or disagree?

I don't believe that there is a god. I did once, but I was little and no one tried to make me believe the contrary.
If there is a god then this life is meaningless. I can't accept this. I gave this life a meaning and religion can't take it away from me. It's like all we lived was just a test and nothing of what we did had any importance.
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Old 09-13-2012, 05:53 AM   #1715
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Default Re: God doesn't exist... agree or disagree?

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I just thought I'd like to throw in a brain-twister in this argument for people to kick around. We percieve everything in our world through our senses. I see my computer in front of me because I can see it. Well, what if I was blind? I wouldn't know where it is, or if I even had one unless someone told me that is was there. If no one told me, for all I know it doesn't exist.
Blind people still have hands you know. They would know it was there because they can reach out and touch it.

This is like the Air argument. You can't see air, but you know it is there otherwise you wouldn't be able to breathe.
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Old 09-13-2012, 01:21 PM   #1716
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Default Re: God doesn't exist... agree or disagree?

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Blind people still have hands you know. They would know it was there because they can reach out and touch it.

This is like the Air argument. You can't see air, but you know it is there otherwise you wouldn't be able to breathe.
So, if you can feel a chair, then it's real?
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Old 09-13-2012, 06:39 PM   #1717
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Default Re: God doesn't exist... agree or disagree?

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I just thought I'd like to throw in a brain-twister in this argument for people to kick around. We percieve everything in our world through our senses. I see my computer in front of me because I can see it. Well, what if I was blind? I wouldn't know where it is, or if I even had one unless someone told me that is was there. If no one told me, for all I know it doesn't exist. Our perceptions make up our reality. We know we have a president because he can see and hear him. So, using the blind example, don't you think it's possible that religious people have developed a sixth sense that the can feel the presence of a higher power, and those that don't believe just wasn't born with it or lost it? Or, perhaps all religious people could suffer from some kind of schizophrenia and have a delusion that there is a greater power. I mean, schizos hallucinate and see things that we don't see. Maybe the things that they see are truly real, and we just don't have the ability to? Reality relies within the brain, and as one stated above, reality is what we make it. Could it be possible that everything we believe exist is just a belief and none of it is real? Maybe you're actually the only one "real" and everything around you was created from your brain? Everything you know could be a lie. We learned laws of gravity and motion because we were TAUGHT them who had came up with it. Doesn't that sound familiar? Is it possible everything Albert Einstein or Isaac Newton came up was just total bs? I could put a random equation together and present it to the world and it's possible they'd believe me. What we know and believe is all from what people taught us and told us, and so we percieve it as that, which makes up our reality. This is just something for you to kick around and think about. Hell, maybe we're all in the Matrix!
*Thinking to myself* "How to not sound like a condescending jackass?"

Look....

You're making a very rudimentary stab at solipsism here. It is an interesting subject that I am not too well read on but there are a number of fallacies in your examples.

If it were a sixth sense then you can't hold people accountable for not having it or force them to get it and why does it have no basis in physical reality or any scientific background. We gave a mountains of work detailing the mechanisms behind the five senses but none for this sixth one.

As for the whole, you only know it because you've been taught thing, the purpose of science is to detail the observable patterns in this world, in theory you should be able to recreate many of these scientific experiments on your own and that is what science teachers try to help kids do. You know those labs we did weren't entirely pointless. There's a reason certain things interact the way they do and these laws that we were taught help explain and predict those interactions. If you were to come up with some random equation tomorrow and present it to the public no matter how much media pushing you did it wouldn't explain sh*t and would be rejected. The teaching is just a shortcut scientists had to make the discoveries on their own first, and with their knowledge we try to make new discoveries.
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Old 09-13-2012, 08:06 PM   #1718
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Default Re: God doesn't exist... agree or disagree?

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*Thinking to myself* "How to not sound like a condescending jackass?"

Look....

You're making a very rudimentary stab at solipsism here. It is an interesting subject that I am not too well read on but there are a number of fallacies in your examples.

If it were a sixth sense then you can't hold people accountable for not having it or force them to get it and why does it have no basis in physical reality or any scientific background. We gave a mountains of work detailing the mechanisms behind the five senses but none for this sixth one.
I'm not holding anyone accountable. Is it possible we haven't understood it yet? Cavemen didn't know how electricity worked, thus couldn't harness it. I believe the same could be said for the sixth sense. There are an infinite number of things we have yet to discover, we just don't know what they are.

As for the whole, you only know it because you've been taught thing, the purpose of science is to detail the observable patterns in this world, in theory you should be able to recreate many of these scientific experiments on your own and that is what science teachers try to help kids do. You know those labs we did weren't entirely pointless. There's a reason certain things interact the way they do and these laws that we were taught help explain and predict those interactions. If you were to come up with some random equation tomorrow and present it to the public no matter how much media pushing you did it wouldn't explain sh*t and would be rejected. The teaching is just a shortcut scientists had to make the discoveries on their own first, and with their knowledge we try to make new discoveries.
I suppose you have a point there, or I could just be too lazy to really think right now. Either way, I still stand by statement that everything we know is because we've been taught it. We know what a tree is because we were told that it was a tree, because someone told them, and so on. So, who told the first person that it was a tree? I'm not being totally serious about this, I'm just throwing in things to think about.
From the way you posted, it seems like you got annoyed that someone tried to challenge your beliefs. So, how do you think religious people feel about you challenging theirs? Whether they're right or not, it's what makes them happy. Why take that away from them? For logic? Why is logic SO important? Take a moment, and wonder if science just happened to be a lie, put aside the reasons that it won't happen, and just imagine that it DID. How would you end up feeling? I'm not trying to challenge you, or science, I'm just trying to get you to put yourself in their shoes.
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Old 09-14-2012, 04:45 AM   #1719
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Default Re: God doesn't exist... agree or disagree?

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From the way you posted, it seems like you got annoyed that someone tried to challenge your beliefs. So, how do you think religious people feel about you challenging theirs? Whether they're right or not, it's what makes them happy. Why take that away from them? For logic? Why is logic SO important? Take a moment, and wonder if science just happened to be a lie, put aside the reasons that it won't happen, and just imagine that it DID. How would you end up feeling? I'm not trying to challenge you, or science, I'm just trying to get you to put yourself in their shoes.
I did sound a little irritated, sorry. It's not that I'm annoyed by someone challenging my beliefs, trust me, that doesn't bother me in the least, it's just that I've been in / witnessed so many of these debates that a lot of the arguments I see or considerations people say I should make are all repeats and a lot of times they aren't particularly sound examples. What you're saying in particular is what I've heard plenty of times. Why take away a belief that makes someone happy?

I'd like to preface this with a, don't take my comparison to Santa Claus as an attack on your religion or me demeaning or trivializing the importance of God in people's lives, it just so happens that Santa is a figure that fulfills a lot of the roles God does but on a smaller scale in a child's imagination which is why he's used so much.

Let's say we followed that logic, don't tell someone Santa's not real because it makes them happy and it's harmless. In theory that's fine but in practice that affects their outlook on reality. If a child (and I mean older children not very young ones) is unappreciative of their toys why should they care that it hurts the feelings of their parents or that their are children less fortunate than them, Santa's the one who did all the work and he brings every child who isn't naughty presents so in their minds everyone is fortunate and those who didn't receive their gifts just aren't living according to the rules Santa dictates.

Like I said before even if it's compartmentalized and privatized God affects someone's views on the world. Now many people live life with their religion in such a small box that these views have a very minimal effect on their actions, and many people use it as a positive force shaping their behavior and values. I definitely believe there are plenty of people who live an otherwise secular lifestyle but still believe in a personal, interventionist, higher power. To those individuals I wouldn't bother trying to change them. I mean I might bring up in conversation why I don't think that belief is necessary or how I think it's created from an emotional and psychological desire, but I won't actively debate or even pursue the subject.

I don't know if you've noticed but I haven't seen too many atheists going in the churches or people's private residences trying to convert believers, I haven't even seen atheists on television trying to convert people (except maybe Dr.House). Have you? Whenever I've seen atheism debated or secular agenda pushed it's when it affects the public sphere: Under God being in the Pledge of Allegiance, In God We Trust being on our dollar bill, prayer and religious symbols or practices in our political or public forums, OR when a scholarly debate is happening at a neutral location for any curious individual to watch.
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Old 09-14-2012, 05:45 AM   #1720
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Default Re: God doesn't exist... agree or disagree?

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So, if you can feel a chair, then it's real?
Is this a serious question?
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