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MikeGinnyGOLD Member
HOP Mad Doctor
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Location: San Francisco, CA, USA


Posted:
Originally Posted By: cnnAmerica is a less Christian nation than it was 20 years ago, and Christianity is not losing out to other religions, but primarily to a rejection of religion altogether, a survey published Monday found.

...

The survey also found that "born-again" or "evangelical" Christianity is on the rise, while the percentage who belong to "mainline" congregations such as the Episcopal or Lutheran churches has fallen.

One in three Americans consider themselves evangelical, and the number of people associated with mega-churches has skyrocketed from less than 200,000 in 1990 to more than 8 million in the latest survey. Video Watch CNN report on new study

The rise in evangelical Christianity is contributing to the rejection of religion altogether by some Americans, said Mark Silk of Trinity College.

"In the 1990s, it really sunk in on the American public generally that there was a long-lasting 'religious right' connected to a political party, and that turned a lot of people the other way," he said of the link between the Republican Party and groups such as the Moral Majority and Focus on the Family.

What do you think?

I think the drop in religion is good, but the rise in fundamentalism to be very alarming. How is this going to polarize society?

-Mike

Certified Mad Doctor and HoP High Priest of Nutella



A buckuht n a hooze! -Valura


MynciBRONZE Member
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Posted:
According to that, agnosticism has no religious stance at all.
no may or may not, only that the existance cannot be proved or disproved.

If that's a true definition 99% of atheists are agnostics too and I apologies for what I've said. I went on the principle from agnostics I have spoken to who say they are not sure if a god exists, not that there can be no proof either way. And going by that definition agnosticism is a viewpoint on religion NOT a religious belief meaning agnostics are still either religious or atheist tending towards the atheist viewpoint as religious people are certain a god exists.

A couple of balls short of a full cascade... or maybe a few cards short of a deck... we'll see how this all fans out.


simtaBRONZE Member
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Posted:
Originally Posted By: Mother_Natures_SonWell usually Atheism is taken to mean a belief that there is no deity...

Which is why we have Agnosticism to describe an in between...

But I think TECHNICALLY Atheism is actually having no belief in one god.

So you can be a deist and believe in several deities, as with the Greeks...

But in order to keep things more clear how about we use the dictionary definitions?

Originally Posted By: Dictionary.com
a-the-ism
noun
1. the doctrine or belief that there is no God.
2. disbelief in the existence of a supreme being or beings.

agnosticism

1. The doctrine that certainty about first principles or absolute truth is unattainable and that only perceptual phenomena are objects of exact knowledge.
2. The belief that there can be no proof either that God exists or that God does not exist.


And I think we can leave theism and deism in one category.

ok if you want to play the dictionary game

Originally Posted By: dictionary.combelief
noun
1. something believed; an opinion or conviction: a belief that the earth is flat.
2. confidence in the truth or existence of something not immediately susceptible to rigorous proof: a statement unworthy of belief.
3. confidence; faith; trust: a child's belief in his parents.
4. a religious tenet or tenets; religious creed or faith: the Christian belief.

i do not have a belief in the non-existence of god, my lack of belief is not opinion. it is something that does stand up to testing i.e there has been no evidence to prove god therefore the lack of existence of god can be held to be true (with the evidence that has been presented to date).

dictionary definitions are susceptible to problems. atheism is NOT a belief system, it is a lack of one. there are many people who don't understand the difference, hence the argued point that atheism needs a counter-belief to religion. it does not, it requires no need for faith.

"the geeks have got you" - Gayle


Mother_Natures_SonSILVER Member
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Posted:
You still can't test whether there is or is not a god. So your atheism is still a conviction.

A lack of evidence to suggest one thing does not mean the opposite is true, it states nothing more than there is no evidence to support the theory.

There is no evidence for either side. Any piece of evidence you are likely to pick up is evidence of both and the only evidence I can think of are plants, animals, rocks, metals and other objects that prove that at some point everything was created by... something.

hug


MynciBRONZE Member
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Posted:
no.
Don't take the view of athewism if you think there is a god
Don't take the view of religion if you don't think there is a god
your definition of agnosticsm states no religious belief only a scientific viewpoint on the theory ie.
an atheist who thinks no proof will ever come,
a believer who thinks no proof will ever come.
by that stance I think 90% of people would be agnostic. creation isn't evidence of a god it's the evidence of processes that result in creation of something different from the original.
doesn't mean someone created it that's Paleys watch theory which I believe has been disproved.

A couple of balls short of a full cascade... or maybe a few cards short of a deck... we'll see how this all fans out.


Mother_Natures_SonSILVER Member
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Posted:
What are the processes that result in creation???

This is viably either a divine or a non-divine source. You can't realistically prove it wasnt divine just as much as you can't realistically prove it was!

hug


MynciBRONZE Member
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Posted:
Yes it's a conviction
convinced there is no God because there is no evidence or proof.

if you like I amend my earlier statement (like I said could be done)
I'm an agnostic atheist
I believe there is no god but there will never be proof.
I don't believe there could or could not be a god just that it won't be proved.
If god is proved to exist I will admit I was wrong and go about my day.

A couple of balls short of a full cascade... or maybe a few cards short of a deck... we'll see how this all fans out.


MynciBRONZE Member
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Posted:
creation of what? there are lots of things.

Stars - triggered star formation process
Life - sexual or asexual reproduction (budding)
Planets - gravity and pressure

if you mean the start of the universe I admit I don't know or I'd be in a bigger house. possibilities include the collapse of a previous universe, the change of state of energy which can neither be created nor destroyed from potential energy to another form, light, heat etc. and numerous others. the fact is scientists are trying to disprove them all so we get a better idea. just because we don't know yet doesn't mean some deity did it. because our universe runs on set rules if a deity DID do it HOW did they do it? maniuplating such a vast amount seems too much for 1 consciouness to me no matter how great.

A deity seems an exraneous step to the universe as what created the deity? if the universe had to be created so did the creator.

as you can see the polarizsation of the world laugh3 no agreement will ever be reached because it's unprovable. Atheist won't believe without proof, religions don't want or need proof and the circle goes on, i apologies if I gave the impression I said pick a side I don't want to push views on anyone (I do like a good discussion though) I was aiming to point out the flaws I see in agnosticism.

I'm aware of my ignorance on many topics and am not afraid to not know something, religions I see as a comforter for those who are afraid to not know.

A couple of balls short of a full cascade... or maybe a few cards short of a deck... we'll see how this all fans out.


simtaBRONZE Member
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Posted:
Originally Posted By: Mother_Natures_Son
A lack of evidence to suggest one thing does not mean the opposite is true

a lack of evidence for the existence of god coupled with explanations for development of life without a divine hand do point towards no god.

previously the creation of life argument was used to support existence of god, now we understand more about origins of life we can suppose that there is likely no god because there is no proof of god.

"the geeks have got you" - Gayle


Mother_Natures_SonSILVER Member
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Posted:
I was speaking of tracing it back to the beginnings of the universe...

But the issue I see is that even if we prove scientifically EXACTLY how the universe and the life sustained within it came into being that you still couldn't prove that it wasnt an act of god! Who is to say that the laws of physics and mathematics arent part of some 'grand design'?

And say there was a creator... who is to say there is only one, what if the "God" of this universe was not alone? What if he was smaller than the others of his race? What if this universe was his playground where he could live out his fantasies of power as a child might have an ant farm?

Might explain why the God of the old testament was so vengeful and the god of the new testament is nothing but benevolent... and even might go so far to explain why there seems to be no indication of god, despite the fact that there was apparently a lot of activity from him in the days of the bible..

(I refer to a mischievous childhood, a more level headed approach as he reached what we would refer to as our 20s or so and then finally lost the time to play in his little kingdom...)

This being may well ponder its own existence and whether or not there is an afterlife for it, perhaps its part of an immortal race?

But no matter what you do you can't disprove the notion of a higher power... evolution would be a GENIUS invention for a god, your creatures can adapt and change on their own... means you no longer have to interfere, less work for you and you get to watch what happens. Who has ever been fascinated by sea monkeys?

The "Big bang" may well have been the snap of this beings fingers. It may well have been a watermelon that was convinced to alter its own form to create an entire universe... Point is... no matter what you can prove with empirical evidence, you cant prove that which is to be taken as spiritual.

I understand that you are pointing out the errors you see in agnosticism... and I am just pointing out the fundamental flaws in atheism.

hug


simtaBRONZE Member
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Posted:
Originally Posted By: Mother_Natures_Son Who is to say that the laws of physics and mathematics arent part of some 'grand design'?

the appendix and the cuckoo say they aren't part of a grand design.

"the geeks have got you" - Gayle


hamamelisBRONZE Member
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Posted:

You can't prove I didn't create the universe.

It's a theoretical possiblity that the form I choose to manifest myself in (that of a rather inept performer) is purely a front, and I only pretend to a date of birth because I like getting presents, while my actual age is unmeasurable.


It's utterly stupid, but, as you can't prove it to be incorrect, surely it should be given equal weight to every other theory out there, regardless of evidence.. right?

Go Pastafarians wink

THE MEEK WILL INHERIT THE EARTH!


If that's okay with you?


MynciBRONZE Member
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Posted:
if there was a benevolent god and a vengeful god as described or many gods like some religions they wouldn't be divine beings they would be a super intelligent race a species apart they themselves would need a creator. which is the problem with the creator paradigm. there always needs to be a creator of the creator.

also I think the very fact that god changed so drastically was more church doctrine than a complete personality change of a divine being, they thought a nice god would get more followers than a nasty one so man decided god would change to fit his followers. the only evidence of god is religious texts which seem to contradict themselves in many places a deity would be more consistant i would have thought.

I could never give "equal weight" to the 2 sides because there is no "weight" to religious arguments it's supposition and heresay and as you say it's the teapot theory. to give equal weight you have to be able to say that if jesus lived today he would get the same following. rubbish. Religion is given weight for one reason only - it's old - like bronze age pottery it is given value above it's actual worth, it's just poorly made pottery not up to todays standards of design. (I'm not having a go at archeology or things like that I'm just making a point)

Religion doesn't want a provable theory they know if Jesus stepped out today and announced himself he'd be locked up in an institution, not 1 member of his supposed believers would back him because in the deep corners of their mind they all know their belief is false. The religious theory will never be proved not because it can't be but because religion doesn't WANT it to be proved. if scientists found evidence the first people to shoot it down would be the church. scared that they would be put out of a job if the divine ultimate said "hey I didn't say that, don't listen to them" you can't judge the church of today too badly they have some morals but back in the day, Religion was the way to vast sums of money and influential power with doctrine which propagated the myth.


EDITED_BY: Mynci (1237381764)
EDIT_REASON: addition

A couple of balls short of a full cascade... or maybe a few cards short of a deck... we'll see how this all fans out.


Mother_Natures_SonSILVER Member
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Location: Geelong, Victoria, Australia!


Posted:
Depends on your definition of a race or of a divine being...

A divine being as far as I understand is something from beyond this world.

If you were to take a spiritual buddhist view of the world in which there are many different planes of existence then a divine being is anything that comes from a plane above this one and it is technically possible for the plane above to have created the plane below... or even for the plane below to create the plane above, depending on the rules and powers of the beings in that realm.


And anyway... your argument works the same way... you said that this universe might have been created by the collapse of an old one.

As humans understand it nothing can't react with nothing, you can't have the creation of a random particle when there was nothing and by our system of understanding there isnt anything that can just have been around forever... everything including time must have a beginning as far as our understanding goes... but how this ABSOLUTE beginning can happen or whether or not there even really is an absolute beginning we cannot prove, it is beyond our fundamental understanding of how things work.... and you can't empirically test something forming from nothing because you can't get a lab with a perfect vacuum, there isnt even one in space.

hug


MynciBRONZE Member
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Posted:
I never said nothing from nothing wink

Before everything there was potential

potential has energy and energy can neither be created nor destroyed. therefore energy the source of everything cannot by definition have a creator. ergo no god.

A being from beyond this world I would class as an extra terrestrial, so are religion and belief in aliens interposable?

Stars create heavy metals from hydrogen, all god would have needed to create was hydrogen I'm sure nature could come up with a way to do that.

To get back on topic laugh3 you could say this discussion involves me as a fundamentalist atheist as I adhere to a strict set of beliefs, the polarization of beliefs I think is more likely as new religions are far inbetween. over time it's possible to surmise religions dying out but without new ones to replace them the views would surely reduce until the possible reduction to 2 views. I would prefer many, I don't agree with religion but the world is a richer place for differing beliefs. the question is wouold you get greater discord from the polarisation of Atheism and christianity or between 2 differing religions i.e Christianity and Islam? I think a world of 2 religions would be worse than the polarisation between religion and atheism, as they are so opposite they would balance out to some extent. As I would rather have a lot of different religions with their panopoly of deities than just 1 which assumed itself correct.

Edit

apparently you can create something from nothing laugh3
transformation of energy into mass
if the above link is true (although NOT the same as the beginning of time)

at the beginning there was nothing but potential
potential has energy
energy can form mass (it is possible to believe that if mass can be destroyed resulting in energy then things may be able to go the other way)

I admit I'm not a physicist so forgive me if I'm not right, I'll accept corrections.
the machine for this process is obviously the doubt over the origins of the universe.
EDITED_BY: Mynci (1237384595)
EDIT_REASON: link addition

A couple of balls short of a full cascade... or maybe a few cards short of a deck... we'll see how this all fans out.


simtaBRONZE Member
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Posted:
i'd rather have no religion at all, so then we can fight about important things like which n00b needs to STFU tongue2

"the geeks have got you" - Gayle


MynciBRONZE Member
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Posted:
to reference another thread, this is all supposition and I declare none of my previous posts as fact wink rather my opinion apart from the facts I have stated inadvertantly.

A couple of balls short of a full cascade... or maybe a few cards short of a deck... we'll see how this all fans out.


MRCSILVER Member
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Posted:
Nathaniel:
I agree that it is an assumption that god does not exist.

The issue I have though is that there doesn't seem to be any concise logical path that accommodates the existence of a god. Not without creating a homunculus logical fallacy anyway.

Largely I am relatively certain there is no god. However, if there is a god it plays such a minuscule or non-existent role in out lives that any degree of worship or concern is a waste of time and effort. It'd be more worth your while to pray to math or Joe Pesci.
EDITED_BY: MRC (1237390532)

burningoftheclaveySILVER Member
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Posted:
Originally Posted By: MynciI never said nothing from nothing wink

Before everything there was potential

potential has energy and energy can neither be created nor destroyed. therefore energy the source of everything cannot by definition have a creator. ergo no god.

A being from beyond this world I would class as an extra terrestrial, so are religion and belief in aliens interposable?


Edit

apparently you can create something from nothing laugh3
transformation of energy into mass
if the above link is true (although NOT the same as the beginning of time)

at the beginning there was nothing but potential
potential has energy
energy can form mass (it is possible to believe that if mass can be destroyed resulting in energy then things may be able to go the other way)

But what if energy is 'God'? Not a divine being but rather the interlinking thing that makes us work? Hypothetically, if 'God' created everything, and everything is created from energy, including ourselves, and we create our own morals to which we live by but perhaps need to put a face to the giver of these morals to provide authority.. (thou shalt not kill, the Big Man says so and if you do you're going to hell(or other punishment)..)

P.S. cheers for vid simta grin
EDITED_BY: burningoftheclavey (1237392244)
EDIT_REASON: spelling and P.S.

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simtaBRONZE Member
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Posted:
Originally Posted By: burningoftheclavey
But what if energy is 'God

its still just energy and not a god.

"the geeks have got you" - Gayle


MynciBRONZE Member
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Posted:
Energy is not sentient as far as we can tell or prove, therefore I imagine it cannot be a divine being by not being a being, it couldn't consciously create. and it couldn't tell us thou shall not kill laugh3 making the churches of the world fibbers.
all this started when Jacob or whoever it was in ye olde times decided there MUST be something bigger because there was so much they didn't understand, decided to give a name, to anthropomorphise this force they imagined the same as other religions anthropomorphed the sun, moon, fire, etc.

therefore if man created god, would this make us Divine? the creator of the creator? and ultimately the destroyer.

or little green men could have come sneezed on a lifeless planet left and those bacteria developed into us the earth infection and birds and fish and mimes, would that make the little green man god? (obviously mr green would have to have come from somewhere too) but again well off topic (sorry Doc)

the question here is really whether these arguments are the reason for the changes in religious beliefs or are people changing for another reason? is there a change in religious stance in the world since recent troubles have highlighted religious differences where narrow minded people have blamed islam instead of terrorists. I think socio-economic factors are possibly more a reason for change than all the arguments we've just had even though those arguments are more scientifically biased than any time in the past.

A couple of balls short of a full cascade... or maybe a few cards short of a deck... we'll see how this all fans out.


simtaBRONZE Member
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Posted:
it would be interesting to see the money generated by evangelical christianity, if there was some way of stopping that flow then i don't think they would be able to keep such a hold on people.

"the geeks have got you" - Gayle


MRCSILVER Member
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215 posts
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Posted:
I think tax exemption should be removed from all churches. I mean just because they do their thing doesn't mean they aren't utilizing public services. That alone would probably stem a bit of it. Imagine superchurches if they had taxes...

Mother_Natures_SonSILVER Member
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Posted:
2012 would be the reason... those that DO believe are being given an end date to the world...

Christ comes again in 3 years... if you aren't a good christian you are gonna be in trouble!!

hug


simtaBRONZE Member
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Posted:
Originally Posted By: MRCI think tax exemption should be removed from all churches.

+1000000

like they are somehow special, plus this would remove the right of scientologists to dodge tax.

@mns - the whole 2012 thing is a bunch of crap.

"the geeks have got you" - Gayle


Mother_Natures_SonSILVER Member
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Posted:
Originally Posted By: simta
@mns - the whole 2012 thing is a bunch of crap.

I agree. I think maybe in this thread my original contention has been lost.

I do not believe in the bible, I do not believe in god. My belief is that even if there is a higher power that almost everything we know about this higher power is absolute rubbish.

My comment on 2012 was assuming the mindset of those new evangelists.

hug


NathanielEveristSILVER Member
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Posted:
Wow, this thread really exploded. Good to see! Few things get people's passions fired up like a debate about the existence of God. But man, I knew I shouldn't have gotten involved, because now I'm going to have to devote a lot of my time to defending my beliefs. Ok, I'm going to address everything one step at a time to make it easy.

Originally Posted By: MynciAgnosticism annoys me, it's a cop out. believe or don't believe you can always change your mind. I see it as weak willed.


I choose to believe that I don't know. I think it's incorrect to say "you must believe something, choose your side and stick to it", especially on this issue, and I'll go into why in more detail later.


Originally Posted By: MynciAtheists in my mind are VERY logical they have no proof so they don't believe.

That would be logical, but there is a difference between not believing and believing that something doesn't exist, as atheists do.

Originally Posted By: Simtano it isn't. atheism is a position attained through lack of evidence presented for the existence of god...atheism is simply stating there is no proof.

Sorry to put it bluntly, but I have to, as it's essential to clarity in this discussion... you're wrong. Atheism is the belief that GOD DOES NOT EXIST. The term itself is Greek, "A" being a prefix meaning "without" and "theos" meaning God. I'll clarify again, Atheism isn't a lack of belief in God, it goes further in the fact that it is a belief that there is no God.

Originally Posted By: MynciHumans ability to strive for answer is what drives us. Believing there is no god because there is no proof is the most logical thing in the world.

I agree, we as Humans strive for answers to questions we don't know the answer to. We don't know if there is a God or not. To say that there isn't is conclusive, when there it hasn't been disproven yet. It's like saying we've found the answer when really, we haven't, and if people believe it, they'll stop looking for the answer to that question, which is arguably one of the most important questions, and start looking for the answers to other questions, which would be a shame.

Originally Posted By: Myncithe problem with his statement is that science rarely PROVES anything, all it does is Disprove enough theories that those left are given more weight.

Exactly, you disprove theories to give more weight to other ones. The God theory hasn't been disproven yet, so why give more weight to Atheism?

Originally Posted By: Mynciwe will never prove god exists, god would have to show themself.

You may yet eat your own words. I wouldn't underestimate what Humans are capable of discovering if I were you. And God wouldn't have to show himself, obviously he hasn't much interest in that at present, maybe he's waiting for us, maybe he just doesn't care. I mean, it's not like the various creatures, nations, planets, molecules etc etc show themselves to us. We have to go looking for them.

Originally Posted By: Myncithere is no proof of god so the scientific method states that for something to be so there needs to be evidence, religious belief is that believe and once your dead you will be proved right, which doesn't help the living.

You misunderstand the scientific method. And by your own statement, because you can't disprove religious theory, you shouldn't give more weight to the alternatives yet.

Originally Posted By: Mynciyou cannot prove gods existance

...yet.

Originally Posted By: MynciThe problem I have with agnosticism again is that in most other instances of life you have people who believe something or don't

I disagree, you don't have to commit yourself to one belief or another in barely any aspects of life. Voting, career, relationships and pretty much any aspect of life in a liberally based society. You said yourself earlier "people should have the stones to change their minds", what about people who haven't yet made up their minds, or need more evidence before they conclude rather than rushing into it. You've got an entire lifetime, maybe more to decide, and even if you don't, what are the consequences going to be if you haven't by the time you die? Does it matter?

Originally Posted By: MynciIt's not going to be proved / disproved so why sit on the fence?

You answered your own question there... but I'll ask you another one. Why chose a side?

Originally Posted By: MynciAtheist believe there is no God because there is no Evidence, no proof no founding for the belief there is other than peoples word

By the belief in God, the evidence is all around us. You're right, there's no proof, but it's only through your belief system (assuming you're an atheist) that you don't see evidence, you've closed your eyes to it.

Originally Posted By: Mynciwhereas everything religious people state as a proof of god can be disproved in some form

Not everything, there are many things that may seem unlikely, but can't be completely disproven. There are counter-theories, but nothing has been disproven yet.

Originally Posted By: MynciI have no problem with agnostics just agnosticism, it seems another name for atheism with no strength of belief or character. they have enough belief to not be atheist but not enough to stand up as religious, where does the maybe god does exist come from? only word of mouth.

You have no problem with agnostics? What a cop out... That really annoys me. Either say you love them, or say you hate them. There isn't any grey area, do you like us, or do you dislike us? Don't sit on the fence like that, it's really weak-willed.

Agnosticism is not another name for atheism but with no "strength" (you've got a very power-oriented mind, with all this talk of "weak" and "strong"), agnosticism is the belief that we don't know. It's not about believing or disbelieving as you put it, it's about the facts "we don't know". The "maybe god exists" comes from true reason.

Originally Posted By: Simtaatheism is NOT a belief system, it is a lack of one. there are many people who don't understand the difference, hence the argued point that atheism needs a counter-belief to religion. it does not, it requires no need for faith.

Atheism is a belief system, it irritates me the confusion around the definition of Atheism, as many people don't truly understand it but are quick to preach it, which doesn't help it's cloudiness.

Originally Posted By: Mynci
I'm an agnostic atheist

No such thing. That's like saying "I'm an atheist Jew".

Originally Posted By: Mynci
I believe there is no god but there will never be proof.
I don't believe there could or could not be a god just that it won't be proved.

Contradictions. "I believe there is no god" and "I don't believe there could or could not be a god". To be honest, you're starting to sound more and more agnostic.

Originally Posted By: Mynci
if you mean the start of the universe I admit I don't know

See what I mean?

Originally Posted By: Mynci
creation of what? there are lots of things.

Stars - triggered star formation process
Life - sexual or asexual reproduction (budding)
Planets - gravity and pressure


Perhaps those things you listed are the methods by which God creates. Perhaps he made the laws of physics to make the universe work as it does. On that topic, why are the laws of physics the way they are? If you say "I don't know", you know what I'm going to say...

Originally Posted By: Mynci
A deity seems an exraneous step to the universe as what created the deity? if the universe had to be created so did the creator.


Good question, but you're making an assumption in saying "if the universe had to be created so did the creator"; says who?

Originally Posted By: Mynci
i apologies if I gave the impression I said pick a side I don't want to push views on anyone

Originally Posted By: Mynci
Agnosticism annoys me, it's a cop out. believe or don't believe you can always change your mind. I see it as weak willed.

Not so much giving an impression as outright stating it. But apology accepted, no offense taken here, and I too love a good discussion. smile


Originally Posted By: MNSMight explain why the God of the old testament was so vengeful and the god of the new testament is nothing but benevolent... and even might go so far to explain why there seems to be no indication of god, despite the fact that there was apparently a lot of activity from him in the days of the bible..

(I refer to a mischievous childhood, a more level headed approach as he reached what we would refer to as our 20s or so and then finally lost the time to play in his little kingdom...)

I like that a lot, it makes sense...

Originally Posted By: Hamamelisas you can't prove it to be incorrect, surely it should be given equal weight to every other theory out there, regardless of evidence.. right?

Not equal weight, as I like to operate my beliefs on probability, and what you stated, while not impossible, seems highly unlikely. And your theory CAN be proven or disproven, although I don't want to go to jail... so I'll leave you alone like the schizos I've heard calling themselves God. Proving them wrong isn't worth it...

Originally Posted By: Myncithere is no "weight" to religious arguments it's supposition and heresay

I agree, I don't follow religious doctrine because as I stated above, it's correctness seems "improbable", especially when many aspects of their texts are a little... well, I don't want to say silly, but... I will. They're silly.

Originally Posted By: Mynciyou have to be able to say that if jesus lived today he would get the same following. rubbish

If he was the same Jesus they talk about in the new Testament, I'd have to say I'd follow him. So, providing he can actually perform miracles and is truly the Son of God and our Lord and Saviour, I would follow him. However, we're far more scrupulous in our standards of belief these days, so were he just a man we preached but couldn't perform miracles, he'd probably be labeled a lunatic or a cult leader.

Originally Posted By: MynciReligion is given weight for one reason only - it's old

I disagree, there are many reasons Religion is given weight. It's chosing a side, providing a sense of belonging, giving answers to important questions, comfort an afterlife, liberates you from straining your own mind over questions of morality and such. And for the small price of following their doctrine, which for some sects isn't that hard. In fact, from a true believer's point of view, it's a pretty sweet deal, I may've taken them up on it myself, but it's too late now, once you start to think logically, it's pretty hard to willingly give that up.


GOD DAMN that took some of my time, but I feel better now. I can't let these things slide, which is why I was hesitant to get involved, but I'm happy now.

Great discussion guys, keep it up. And MNS, keep hitting those nails on the head, glad to have another agnostic here.

MynciBRONZE Member
Macaque of all trades
8,738 posts
Location: wombling free..., United Kingdom


Posted:
I'll answewr a couple of those

God hasn't been disproved so why give more weight to atheism?

Because so much thought to be divine has been disproved, the creation of man, stars, planets animals, the age of the earth etc etc.

the quotes on agnosticism are out of context as I was refering to a given quote on the meaning of agnosticism. the definition given was:

agnosticism

1. The doctrine that certainty about first principles or absolute truth is unattainable and that only perceptual phenomena are objects of exact knowledge.
2. The belief that there can be no proof either that God exists or that God does not exist.

that statement does NOT say agnostics are not sure if god exists only that proof will not be found. therefore it has NO religious standpoint, there is no belief and no disbelief, therefore it is entirely plausable to say someone does or doesn't believe in god but ALSO doesn't believe the theory can be proven as it is based on the findings NOT the outcome.

To quote you

"Good question, but you're making an assumption in saying "if the universe had to be created so did the creator"; says who?"

Creationalism - if something as simple as the earth and stars and life HAD to be created something complex enough to create those things would by extension need creation. Creationalism and religion starts with the most complex thing imaginable a divine being whereas science believes the beginning was simple. In my experience most things start simple and get more complex - evolution simple to complex, life = simple to complex the universe is growing meaning it's getting more complex nothing is getting simpler.

your statement regarding Jesus coming again is laughable.

you would follow a man who claims to be jesus and can turn water into wine? I know a guy, Kasrani, he can do that it's called magic / slight of hand there's no proof Jesus ever performed a real miracle simple magic would have sufficed to wow 2000 years ago.

and to quote your scariest phrase

"I disagree, there are many reasons Religion is given weight. It's chosing a side, providing a sense of belonging, giving answers to important questions, comfort an afterlife, liberates you from straining your own mind over questions of morality and such"
the answers it gives are mostly proven false (bible statements, it promises something after death and stops you having to think about morality! I can't think of anything worse
and if it's all the word of God how come doctrine changes in line with political thought? Morals that change with the times seems a way to propagate a fiscally viable option.

Was a good discussion but I don't want to highjack this thread more than it has been discussing the existance of god people rarely change their minds on this topi over discussion and HoP is littered with defunct god related threads. hug

I do like the thought of removing tax exemptions from Churches although to be fair they do do some good work, but that tax could all be earmarked for charities so it would still be spent in much need areas.

And if jesus is coming in 2012 will he be born or will he be fully grown? I may like the role where do you apply? the vatican?

A couple of balls short of a full cascade... or maybe a few cards short of a deck... we'll see how this all fans out.


Mother_Natures_SonSILVER Member
Rampant whirler.
2,418 posts
Location: Geelong, Victoria, Australia!


Posted:
Originally Posted By: Mynci
"Good question, but you're making an assumption in saying "if the universe had to be created so did the creator"; says who?"

Creationalism - if something as simple as the earth and stars and life HAD to be created something complex enough to create those things would by extension need creation. Creationalism and religion starts with the most complex thing imaginable a divine being whereas science believes the beginning was simple. In my experience most things start simple and get more complex - evolution simple to complex, life = simple to complex the universe is growing meaning it's getting more complex nothing is getting simpler.

Scientists can only test things within this realm by probing things inside this realm with our models of understanding and examining the results. Examining something will require us to use our perception.

The problem with using our perception is this... our perception is limited to this realm.

Scientists have the idea that in the beginning things were simple.. and this may well have been the case, if I were going to start building a model city out of clay I would probably start with a slab of clay... pretty simple, eh? But that doesnt mean I am simple... and afterwards if I do the job perfectly with my beyond human capabilities who is to say it was made by a being or made by a machine (The machine being the processes defined by physics) or even to take that to a more likely conclusion, someone creating a machine to create a model.



I couldnt find a different thread that would be relevant enough... so Mynci, would you mind going over this point for me in a new thread or an old but applicable thread for me??

Originally Posted By: Mynci
Because so much thought to be divine has been disproved, the creation of man, stars, planets animals, the age of the earth etc etc.

But take this into account... I don't believe in the bible and yet by my system of understanding the way the world works I cannot realistically rule out a divine creator.

I will let agnosticism lie, I am not going to get caught up in a battle of definition.

hug


Mr_JoePart-time genius
59 posts
Location: Netherlands


Posted:
Just consider the ramifications of your position here. By this logic it's also a lot more sensible to be agnostic about dragons or unicorns. Here though, for most people absence of evidence is sufficient evidence of absence. If somewhere were to find a unicorn or a dragon and show me, I'd believe it existed; of course I would, but it would be totally insane of me to worship one when it's so drastically unlikely that it does actually exist. Despite this, it's impossible to disprove their existence. The fact that you can't disprove the existence of a god or anything else is not a good reason to believe in it. The general problem here is that people equate the impossibility of disproof with the equal probabilities of existence or non-existence.

Bertrand Russell had a nice thought experiment to highlight this, called 'Russell's Teapot'. He proposed that just beyond the edge of visible space there is a teapot floating around. Obviously this seems an unlikely claim and the burden of proof would fall quite rightly of Mr. Russell to prove that this teapot did, in fact, exist. There is of course no possible way to disprove the existence of this teapot, but that doesn't mean it's anything like a 50/50 case of existence/existence.

All knowledge is relative, only in the case of logical axioms can we know anything for certain. Everything else falls on a probabalistic scale. We cannot for instance know definitely that when we drop an apple it will fall downwards and not up, but to claim that it would fall up is absurd. So it is with the existence of a God (particularly a specific one eg Yahweh or Allah), it's just so unlikely and unnecessary as to be rightly disregarded.

If any of this sounds has bothered anybody who believes in a specific god or gods, please consider this. You reject the gods of Greek and Roman mythology out of hand, there's simply no reason to believe they exist. I (and many other here by the sound of it) reject belief in your god on exactly the same basis.

So while you might technically call me agnostic about god, it is only in the same way I am agnostic about unicorns or celestial teapots. I don't believe they exist. To say that I believe they do not exist is just restructuring the sentence, it means the same thing. I'm atheist because I don't believe in god, because I doubt his existence. There's a very good case for calling all agnostics atheists, anyway. If you're not sure that god exists you don't believe it, ergo atheist.

My musings smile

Mother_Natures_SonSILVER Member
Rampant whirler.
2,418 posts
Location: Geelong, Victoria, Australia!


Posted:
But there IS evidence of a divine creator while there isnt one of the great celestial teapot... existence itself combined with the logical limitations of perception to explain the way in which it all came into being.

hug


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