A Request Directed to Sciforums' "Atheists"

Discussion in 'Religion' started by Tiassa, Mar 21, 2014.

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  1. Aqueous Id flat Earth skeptic Valued Senior Member

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    Please do. I read you often but we've had little or no dialogue.

    What I am saying is a few shades of gray away from what you're saying. I'm saying that the sciences of anthropology, the museum sciences, the sciences that produce evidence for historians to piece together: these are the sciences in play. They have negated the possibility that the gods were not fabricated out of myths. That is, they have established for us that all the religions we know of are rooted in myth. That makes all of the gods created in those myths human fabrications. The necessary conclusion is that they can not exist, for the reason that they are fictional.

    You may be able to think of a reason for concluding that some other deities remain possible, but once these deities have been shown to have been fabricated, that eliminates them as candidates for this hypothetical pantheon which just might be lurking out there. That covers all the known deities.

    But such reasoning is more contrived than the stories we started with. Imagine, for example, trying to reason that all of this is a smoke screen created by the Easter Bunny, who values his privacy from the complaints of humans. (Like in the Gilgamesh Epic; it was the Mesopotamian reason that their gods sent the flood that wiped the slate clean.) Imagine tryng to convince yourself that "the Easter Bunny works in mysterious ways". There are limits to what we entertain as plausible candidates, right? At some point we read the facts as they are, without embellishment and without cultural bias. And we declare such propositions void. That in my mind is a better description about how any scientific inquiry proceeds. It's all about the preponderance of evidence, not something that allows for ideas that are planted in us by superstitious ancestors. We want to be objective and give full faith and credit to the evidence.

    The more plausible connection with paranoia, as borne out in the artifacts, is that fear of the forces of nature: peals of lightening, earthquakes, eclipses of the sun and moon, furious storms and floods, falling stars, and erratic behavior in animals (swarming locusts/frogs, unexpected migrations, etc) -- are the powers that rule over people, which they must subjugate themselves to. Gods do not appear out of sudden moments of inspiration. They evolve. From the animist to the polytheist to the monotheist. Over thousands, probably tens of thousands of years. Here for example is one of the oldest illustrations of animist anthropomorphism: the crossing of a bull with a human:

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    That's what I'm saying the evidence does. It renders impossible that any of these gods existed, within reason, since they were all fabricated by human myth-makers.

    Well no, not in any reasoned inquiry. This is process of elimination. We reject all the known fabrications and we don't invent any new possibilities. We don't accept that the Elohim (the plurality of Gods who created us in Gen before Yahweh came along and created us in Gen 2) because the Elohim are fabricated in myth and are therefore stricken from the list of possibilities. And we don't spin on this and contrive another avenue of possibility -- that it's all a trick. We reject all such bias before we ever start out because we're trying to be conscientious about applying the scientific method.

    And it does. You will not find one expert on Earth who believes the flying spaghetti monster took form out of the Ocean and went to war with the Mesopotamian god Marduk who slew her and flung her body parts across the sky to create the universe. Nor will you find one who believes that the half-human bull ever roamed the Earth. You may find some who believe that this deity actually descended into the womb of Lord Krishnas virgin mother, creating him. But this will not be a person applying the scientific method:

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    As am I!

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  3. spidergoat Liddle' Dick Tater Valued Senior Member

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    But that's all you can do, right? Ask the question, because actual research into the nature of your hypothesis is inherently impossible.
     
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  5. leopold Valued Senior Member

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    what hypothesis would that be?
    it's unknown whether there is a god or not?
    seems like a valid statement to me.
    i'm not the one saying god exists and i'm not the one saying god doesn't exist, your question should be directed to the atheists and believers, not me.
     
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  7. Sorcerer Put a Spell on you Registered Senior Member

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    Hmm, I should think that most people have a look at the issue, consider the evidence, and then make an informed decision as to whether there is a god, unless they've been indoctrinated as a child, which makes any rational thought about it much more difficult.

    But being as how it is a very important point, and may affect your chances of going to Hell if you get it wrong, it would seem to be a good idea to get it sorted out, in your own mind at least. It's your choice to sit on the fence, but not a very profitable one.
     
  8. Yazata Valued Senior Member

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    There seems to be an implicit assumption in there that gods are unknowable. While I'm strongly inclined to agree, it is a valid area of controversy. There's religious experience (in many forms) and there are no end of purported revelations.

    Not if the scientist was speaking as a scientist. Scientists typically have views on religious matters, just like everyone else. But those views are rarely part of their science.
     
  9. Enmos Valued Senior Member

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    That's not the basis of atheism. Atheism is merely the absence of belief in the existence of god(s).
    Not sharing the belief in the existence of god(s) is not the same as believing they don't exist.

    So, you say you are neither a believer nor a non-believer... What the heck are you then?
     
  10. Yazata Valued Senior Member

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    That's basically how I approach it.

    That ain't my job. I basically go with whatever theists intend the word to mean (something that often isn't clear).

    It does make a difference how we define the word.

    If we are talking about philosophical functions like first cause, sustainer of being, source of logic and the 'laws' of nature, and so on, I have to admit that I don't really have much of a clue what (if anything) corresponds to those. So I take a non-committal agnostic position on that.

    But if we are talking about Yahweh, Allah, Siva, Vishnu or Krishna, I feel reasonably confident in just assuming that they don't exist.
     
  11. Aqueous Id flat Earth skeptic Valued Senior Member

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    Those experiences often are reported as direct hallucinations--hearing voices or seeing things--which are known syndromes for several kinds of disorders. Some people report similar experiences that come to them in their dreams. This is more normal, but it's certainly not normal to believe they actually happened once the person is awake and aware. There are people who believe God picked out this parking spot for them, and will take it as a sign. In fact we could probably compile a pretty extensive list from one of the threads on UFOs, ghosts and monsters.

    Are you saying that, knowing as you do going into this--that even though these are explainable as delusions of one kind or another--that you feel like they are grounds to hold open the idea that even one of them might be an actual case of direct contact with God?

    My contention is that an anthropologist speaking as an anthropologist would be very likely to say "Zeus does not actually exist" or "Thor does not actually exist" without expecting the answer "no scientist in his right mind would make ANY such statement.".

    I get the feeling that folks who are leaning in this direction are thinking anthropologists don't qualify as scientists. That there is a subliminal urge to preserve the religions each person has been exposed to and shelter it in the idea that maybe--just maybe--it's real. To some extent it's not surprising, but it seems rather bizarre.
     
  12. Yazata Valued Senior Member

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    Science often proposes hypotheses about the answers to open questions. And it often kind of ranks those hypotheses in terms of how plausible they seem to be.

    I agree with you that if the answer to a question remains unknown, science can't very well boast of having 'proven' what the answer is.

    In the case of hypothetical supernatural beings like 'god', it isn't even clear how natural science can acquire information about such a thing. Gods would seem to lie outside the scope of natural science.

    About the closest that science can come in these cases is to produce alternative naturalistic explanations for events that have historically been attributed to the operations of supernatural agencies.

    While that might dramatically trim back the supposed conclusive evidences of supernatural interventions in nature that have traditionally been found in natural theology, it doesn't disprove the existence of gods.
     
  13. leopold Valued Senior Member

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    so far, it's been impossible to eradicate god from society.
    and speaking of which, what kind of controls do you have that would indicate what kind of society we would wind up with?
    added to that, god cannot possibly be a fad. fads do not become global in nature and persist for any length of time.
    in my opinion humanity will invent a god if they didn't have one, which probably says something.
    actually the debate isn't about anything biblical.
     
  14. leopold Valued Senior Member

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    given the evidence i currently have, i cannot state with certainty whether god exists or not.
    what do you call that enmos?
     
  15. spidergoat Liddle' Dick Tater Valued Senior Member

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    A non-believer. An agnostic.
     
  16. Sorcerer Put a Spell on you Registered Senior Member

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    Well, that doesn't mean it will never happen.

    Controls? Good question. The same sort that persist in the liberal secular European states, and partially in the US, I suppose.

    God as a fad? I never heard of that before.

    Personally I think all gods are invented, but not everyone agrees.

    Biblical? I'm no expert in religion but I suppose that most sects have a penalty for bad behaviour. Feel free to substitute whichever one grabs your fancy.

    The point I was making was that sitting on the fence is not very useful, but of course that's your choice.
     
  17. Fraggle Rocker Staff Member

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    As I pointed out earlier, God (and all the other images, legends and rituals of religion) are almost surely archetypes, instincts that have been passed down in our DNA and programmed into our synapses. Obviously most instincts are survival traits (such as not stepping off of a cliff), but it's hardly remarkable to suppose that occasionally they sneak through a genetic bottleneck without having passed the test of natural selection.
     
  18. Enmos Valued Senior Member

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    Actually, that says nothing about whether or not you believe.

    Do you positively believe that a god exists? Yes or no.
     
  19. Aqueous Id flat Earth skeptic Valued Senior Member

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    I mean no disrespect either but you just asked me to state the evidence, and I did and you responded as if you were talking to someone else.

    There is no philosophy here Leo. This is hard cold scientific data.

    Science has proven that none of the known gods actually exist.

    The claim is that none of the known gods exist, not that any unknown gods don't exist.

    Sure I'll tell you again leo.

    Discoverer: George Smith
    Publication: The Chaldean Account of Genesis
    Date: 1876
    Site: Library of Ashurbanipal
    Artifact:The Seven Tablets of Creation
    Collection: The British Museum
    Text: http://www.sacred-texts.com/ane/enuma.htm


    Above is the evidence that says there is no Tiamat.

    Ok here we go again:
    Text: http://www.sacred-texts.com/ane/enuma.htm
    Publication: The Chaldean Account of Genesis

    There is no conjecture. These are the oldest religious texts in the world.

    You accused me of using the word 'absurd' when in fact only you used that word.

    I find it absurd that people people deliberately treat myth as historical narrative.

    You don't recognize archaeology as a science? How about Darwin pouring over his specimens, sorting and classifying them? You would count that as science, right? OK here is the principal investigator whose work provided the text I gave you. Listen to him, and tell me if he's doing science:

    This search was a long and heavy work, for there were thousands of fragments to go over, and, while on the one side I had gained as yet only two fragments of the Izdubar legends to judge from, on the other hand, the unsorted fragments were so small, and contained so little of the subject, that it was extremely difficult to ascertain their meaning. My search, however, proved successful. I found a fragment of another copy of the Deluge, containing again the sending forth of the birds, and gradually collected several other portions of this tablet, fitting them in one after another until I had completed the greater part of the second column. Portions of a third copy next turned up, which, when joined together, completed a considerable part of the first and sixth columns. I now had the account of the Deluge in the state in which I published it at the meeting of the Society of Biblical Archaeology, December 3rd, 1872. I had discovered that the Izdubar series contained at least twelve tablets, and I afterwards found this to be their exact number. Of this series the tablet describing the Deluge was the eleventh and K 231, the sixth. Numerous other fragments turned up at the same time; but these, while they increased my knowledge of the legends, could not be arranged in order from want of indication of the particular tablets to which they belonged.

    The birds he speaks of are the birds mentioned at the end of the Flood Myth in Genesis. But this is not Genesis. It's a similar story about a man told by his god to built a boat because a flood was coming. This is only one tiny speck of the evidence. Are you beginning to catch on? This is all myth. But the method is science. Even just this one scientist spends years digging for clues, sorting them, classifying them, translating them . . . to produce this incontrovertible evidence that God does not exist. So you didn't want to read the authoritative document I posted? Since I didn't think you could read Akkadian Cuneiform I gave you English. Do you prefer clay?

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    Look at the title of publication: The Chaldean Account of Genesis. That means the creation of the universe, right?

    I just stated the proof. Again. Speak to the evidence leo. Does this prove that Tiamat does not exist?
     
  20. leopold Valued Senior Member

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    an atheist is a non believer, atheists are not agnostics.
    that's the best position to take when you do not have the evidence you need.
    yes, almost surely . . . almost.
    thanks for reinforcing my position.
    see post 131.
    maybe i missed something.
    how does the evidence you presented negate the possibility of a god the creator of life and the universe?
     
  21. spidergoat Liddle' Dick Tater Valued Senior Member

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    Atheists can be agnostic. Agnostic means you don't know if there is a God. Atheist means you don't believe there is one. I'm an agnostic atheist.
     
  22. Enmos Valued Senior Member

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    That was my reply to that post! Don't be rude man.

    Do you positively believe that a god exists? Yes or no.
     
  23. quinnsong Valued Senior Member

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    So if I believe you don't, know either, would that make me a believer in your quasi nonbelief? Wouldn't I then be an agnostic once removed and therefore if there just per chance was an angry spiteful god you would get spanked harder than I?
     
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