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What Makes People NOT believe In God? (Atheists Come!)

 
 
snood
 
  1  
Reply Wed 24 Nov, 2004 02:38 pm
Not only do I think there's no need to fight, I go the completely opposite way with this subject. I tend to think that it could be treated in a way that would cause the two subjects to enhance each other, and cause students to have more profound learning experiences.

What I mean is - (and I admit this would be a challenge to do, and would take a dedicated and skilled teacher to pull it off) finding a way to not avoid the controversy we've seen here; on the contrary, to show the clash to the students. I think it could be treated in a way that would make the scientists even more profoundly dedicated to precision, and the faithful even more convinced of their faith. It takes all kinds. It's not too hard for me to imagine sitting in a class that, over a period of weeks, shared the essential bodies of knowledge of BOTH schools of thought (belief, mythology, whatever you insist) (and yes, I would prefer the two subjects were taught in proximity), and left them with the understanding that this is a controversy that has raged from the birth of this nation, and that we needn't resolve by the end of the school term.
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edgarblythe
 
  1  
Reply Wed 24 Nov, 2004 02:42 pm
I don't see that, because emotion would almost always rule with that scenario.
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Etruscia
 
  1  
Reply Wed 24 Nov, 2004 07:21 pm
True, as much as i love a heated classroom debate, sometimes it gets way outta hand.
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thethinkfactory
 
  1  
Reply Wed 24 Nov, 2004 08:55 pm
edgarblythe wrote:
People of faith always try to turn the tables on atheists by calling atheistic thought a form of belief. For myself it is simply an application of all I see and learn failing to produce a god. Why anger would have anything to do with it should be an individual, not a group thing. Any anger I have felt toward the faith based sytems of belief had nothing to do with the ultimate conclusion. In fact, some of the best friends I have are members of faith based groups. If anytthing, that would in theory make me more amenable to religion, which it doesn't.


Edgar: I am not trying to turn any tables. Athiests have put the burden of proof on Theism from the beginning of time. Theists only argument against theists is to ask them to proove a negative. This is not an attempt to turn any tables - I think Athiests and Agnostics have enjoyed the 'table' for too long to put up with that.

Here is what I am saying - When I put myself in a situation I attempt to measure the outcome to make sense of a God or not a God. You experience - I guess - no God - but I do. I don't think this is arbitrary data - I think it is subjective. I have experiences that support my thesis that there is a God.

TTF
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timberlandko
 
  1  
Reply Wed 24 Nov, 2004 09:03 pm
At core, theists/religionists are limited to emotion as defense of their proposition. There simply is no empirical evidence, for or against, the existance of a deity or deities. It may be an arguable proposition, but, through established forensic practice and by the currently available empirical evidence, it is unresolvable. Some point to Augustine's "Proof"; its a wonderful excercise, and works well .... so long as there must be a deity consistent with Abrahamic tradition. In their claim that there is no deity, atheists fall to the same flaw ... no one has proven there must be no deity. The current definitive answer to the question is "We don't know". Note the operatives there are "Don't" ... not "Can't" or "Won't" - who is to say one day, one way or the other, the answer will or will not be forthcoming - and "Know", the transitive verb which denotes direct, cognitive, experiential, practical, substantiated perception of a thing or condition. One may Believe whatever, one may Know only that empirically proven to be. Having "Faith", being "Convinced in one's heart", is not argument, it is personal opinion.
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Merry Andrew
 
  1  
Reply Wed 24 Nov, 2004 09:27 pm
TTF, surely you know that under all the laws of logic it is not possible to "proove[sic] a negative."
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edgarblythe
 
  1  
Reply Wed 24 Nov, 2004 09:39 pm
I have posted my reasoning why there cannot be a God several times on a2k. I don't feel like it here at this time.
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snood
 
  1  
Reply Thu 25 Nov, 2004 08:33 am
The thing which I think keeps me from feeling like I have to prove anything to Atheists and Agnostics is that I believe that I have experienced the presence of an all powerful and loving God in my personal circumstance, more than once. To me, that presence is undeniable - beyond argument. Something that always occurs to me when it gets heated with Atheists and Agnostics (most of the time its a barely conscious thought in the back of my mind- but always there's an awareness of this thought) is that if I try to put myself in their shoes, I can't think fo a single good reason why I would try to convince them that their experience of God is false. I don't go around trying to convert anyone to believing in God - these discussions are generally (in my experience) brought up by the Agnostics and Atheists in an attempt to disprove something, and they generally have Theists on the defensive right from the start.
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edgarblythe
 
  1  
Reply Thu 25 Nov, 2004 08:46 am
This thread was started out to allow atheists to express themselves, not to argue with the religious. It is a foregone conclusion that the faithful will not be swayed by what is written here. You may have noted that I have not intruded in the "What Makes Religion True?" thread. I stayed away because I saw no point starting just such an argument as this. As in television, you can always "change the channel" if the atheist thread is not to your liking. I don't say this to be antagonistic, but as simple advice to a person I respect and like.
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shewolfnm
 
  1  
Reply Thu 25 Nov, 2004 08:52 am
timberlandko wrote:
<........>, it is personal opinion.


Sums up my reason to not believe in a christian god, Very simply. Smile
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snood
 
  1  
Reply Thu 25 Nov, 2004 09:14 am
I think that's more than fair, edgar.
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Frank Apisa
 
  1  
Reply Thu 25 Nov, 2004 10:53 am
I don't "believe" in God...and I am not an atheist.

I just don't guess there is a God.

I also don't guess there are no gods.

The reason I do not guess there is a God (or that there are no gods) is because there simply is not enough evidence to make a reasonable guess in either direction. (Although for certain, that doesn't deter otherwise reasonable and intelligent people from doing that.)
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edgarblythe
 
  1  
Reply Thu 25 Nov, 2004 11:01 am
razzberries, Frank.
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timberlandko
 
  1  
Reply Thu 25 Nov, 2004 11:02 am
Laughing
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Frank Apisa
 
  1  
Reply Thu 25 Nov, 2004 11:04 am
edgarblythe wrote:
razzberries, Frank.



Turkey, Edgar...and plenty of it.

Happy Thanksgiving, ole friend.

Happy Thanksgiving to all in the thread.
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Greyfan
 
  1  
Reply Thu 25 Nov, 2004 11:11 am
Okay then, back to the topic...

The following is my reasoning, why I call myself an atheist. Before Frank puts in an oar, and perhaps to Edgar's dismay, I want to stress that I do not believe these ideas constitute proof...they are just the basis of my opinion, or guess. In matters of absolute knowledge, I am an agnostic; if there are universes or dimensions beyond our perception, they are, by definition, unperceivable...and unable to be proved or disproved. Whether or not such universes or dimensions exist and some God or higher power lurks there, I don't know. I am an atheist only in regards to Gods whose existence is asserted, not to Gods who have not shown themselves.

As a child, I believed in the Christian God because I was taught He existed. Prayer was a duty which I performed regularly, and I imagined God as a heavenly father, as advertised, but one with greater powers. He could, for example, deposit me in hell for eternity. And, like Santa Claus, he knew all of my thoughts and actions. So prayers were a balancing act, trying to appear pious and grateful enough to avoid damnation, while exhibiting enough character to get into heaven. Until one day it occured to me in midprayer...you can't fool Him. He already knew my thoughts AND deeds. what was calculated to please versus what was sincere. He could separate genuine thoughts from idle flattery, and the whole exercise was a game I was playing with myself. Prayer, given God's alleged abilites, would be pointless. Something about this insight led me to a startling thought: God was not listening at all, because he would have no need to listen; and I began to entertain the notion He wasn't there at all.

Over the years, alternate explanations for all of the "truths" of religion began to resonate. How, while providing comfort for believers, it could also be used as a tool to stifle dissent, maintain order, and, more dangerously, as a barrier against social and scientific progress, and a justification for hatred and war against non-believers. These, I believe, were unintended consequences, but consequences nonetheless, and a high price to pay for humanity's desire to find a tidy explanation for the world we live in.

Finally there is the question of the eternal reward, capitalizing on our worst fear, the fear of death and the meaninglessness of life to which some on this thread have alluded. My question is this: if there is life eternal, what is the point of that? To merely go on forever? To what end? It is the very fact that we are not immortal which gives life whatever meaning it has. Death is what makes life, life.
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edgarblythe
 
  1  
Reply Thu 25 Nov, 2004 11:20 am
I ain't dismayed. You gotta say it the way ya see it, rightly or wrongly.
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edgarblythe
 
  1  
Reply Thu 25 Nov, 2004 11:39 am
Happy to all.
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au1929
 
  1  
Reply Thu 25 Nov, 2004 12:14 pm
What makes people pay $28,000 for a 10 year old sandwhich with one bite missing and the proported image of the virgin Mary on it. IMO brainwashing.
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edgarblythe
 
  1  
Reply Thu 25 Nov, 2004 04:36 pm
Shhh. That's rubbing it in.
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