Reason To be athiest?

Discussion in 'Religion Archives' started by RoadmapsToThere, Jul 4, 2012.

  1. SciWriter Valued Senior Member

    Morality predates the time of Moses, and it's really no wonder that it gets expressed again.
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  3. Jan Ardena OM!!! Valued Senior Member

    God is the greatest?

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  5. Jan Ardena OM!!! Valued Senior Member


    You know that's not what I meant.
    The claim is God was invented to explain phenomena, meaning there is no actual God.
    Now who in invented God, and when did this invention take place?

    If you don't know just say so, otherewise I'm just going to keep asking this question.

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    So prayer cannot work because God doesn't exist, and you KNOW God doesn't exist, because you KNOW
    God is nothing more than an invention. So again I ask the same question as above.

    Again you've deliberately ignorned my statement.

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  7. wynn ˙ Valued Senior Member

    No, you are projecting.
    It's more complex than what you say.
    More below.

    I still think that feral children simply haven't learned to talk about concepts in a way that an average person (or authors of IQ and similar tests) would understand.

    It took psychologists quite a while to figure out that they can't use the same IQ tests for US people as for, say, African tribal people.
    At first, they classed those Africans as less intelligent, until someone considered that there may be elements to the IQ test that are culture-specific and not directly relevant to IQ.

    I think that something similar is the case with feral children - ie. we might simply not have the right methods to study them, and thus make conclusions about them that don't actually apply.

    I can assure you that there are Christians who experience some highly educated and sophisticated people as no different to feral children when it comes to "God."
    But why should the opinion of those Christians be the alpha and omega of all there is to think and say about "God"?

    No, I think you are projecting here, again.

    Personally, I think that all my education and sophistication on the topic of "God" is worth practically nothing. In effect, I might be in the same situation as the feral children as far as "God" is concerned.

    Again, I think the crucial factor here is the abilities and insight of researches to get through to those children. I think it may very well be the researchers who are lacking, not necessarily the children.

    If you insist on communicating in English with someone who speaks only Chinese, you'll end up classifying them as deficient. But that doesn't mean that they actually are deficient.

    IOW, I think that you are taking the average Western culture and language as an objective, absolute norm, but don't consider that there may be other norms and that the Western one is not absolute.

    For all we know, those feral children do not understand the Abrahamic concept of "God" as explained to them by particular Christian people.
    Perhaps if a Hindu spoke to those children, the results would be significantly different.

    Some theories of language (such as Chomsky's) propose that there is universal grammar, which is a grammar that is innate, not learned, and is basic for language development.

    Perhaps matters concerning "God" are like universal grammar. Ie. all humans have it. The difference is only in the external expression of it - ie. in how sophisticated someone is in talking about "God;" that depends on their formal and informal education. Some people may not be very sophisticated in how they talk about "God", but that doesn't mean that they don't have that innate, universal grammar of "God." It may simply take a very able communicator to meaningfully communicate with those less sophisticated people.

    I'm inclined to think that just as in linguistics, they've worked on discovering the principles of universal grammar (which is independent of an individual language), similar can be done in relation to "God" - ie. we yet need to discover the principles of the universal grammar of "God" (which would be independent of a particular theistic tradition).

    (Note that some tasks, such as speaking, reading and writing are physically very demanding (they require a lot of fine motorics) and require considerable effort to be mastered. Someone who first begins to learn them later in life, may do poorly because of that, but this still isn't an exclusive indication of some internal lack.)

    As I've been saying, there is always the meta-communicative aspect to consider.
    A person may know something, but not be able to talk about it to just anyone who happens to ask them about it.

    No, I do not think that the arguments are neverending.
    I believe that in its proper application, the analytical mind exhausts itself. Ie., there is an end to these arguments, if we manage to do them right.

    Practically, the burden of proof is on the one who wants to understand or become convinced.

    It is only in court (and similar situations) that the burden of proof lies on the claimant/accuser.


    "Understanding a concept" is an extremely relative issue, depending on complex factors.

    Bottomline, I think you have a romantic fascination with the savage, and this fascination can be misleading. I think it is based on a desire for purity though, and that in itself, is pure.
  8. The Marquis Only want the best for Nigel Valued Senior Member

    "Projecting", Wynn, would be someone who is trying to give the appearance that something is there when all evidence suggests it is not.
    That would be you. Not me.

    No, I'm afraid not. The burden of proof always lies with the one seeking to make a point. If someone wants to believe, it only makes that task an easier one.
    And you do want to, in this case, don't you?

    Really? So basically, I'm here saying that all the evidence so far points to feral children not understanding a concept. You are arguing that's only because we can't communicate with them, that these... "savages"... have an underlying belief in god in spite of all evidence to the contrary, and I'm being idealistic?

    You're a strange bird, Wynn, and I believe that I'll leave this right here.
  9. wynn ˙ Valued Senior Member

    That's too bad, just as we begun to be getting somewhere ...
  10. The Marquis Only want the best for Nigel Valued Senior Member

    My beliefs have always been rather transitory.
    Alright. So where are we going? I was of the impression it had hit a wall.
    Take your time. I'm Merlot'd to the eyeballs and currently flying to the top with Angus Young (It's a long way), and rather unlikely to be back here tonight depending entirely on what's up next on the playlist.
  11. Grumpy Curmudgeon of Lucidity Valued Senior Member

    Jan Ardena

    I answered the question you asked. Now it seems you want to move the goalpost to who invented the entire concept. Evolution, at base, invented the meme. We are hardwired to see patterns and seek explanations. Gods are substitutes for answers when we do not understand. Cavemen huddling in caves in fear from a vicious storm were hardwired by evolution to see the storm not as the convergence of natural forces but as a conscious actor in their world, and since they were self centered in their thinking, the storm was seen as a conscious actor who did things because of what those affected did or didn't do. Thus god. The volcano gods of Pacific Islanders is a good example. Pele blows up when the people displease him, so let's appease him by giving him a pretty virgin(that would certainly please any male in our tribe). Thus the god Pele was an invention of fear filled, ignorant people(probably by a particularly clever story teller who then became the shaman and religion was born). Modern examples are the Cargo Cults invented by south Pacific islanders in WW2 when planes dropped great treasures from the air(cargo boxes with parachutes). The islanders thought the plane was a particularly generous god and erected idols of the plane and prayed for it to return. The Cargo Cults actually have more evidence for their beliefs than most religions, they still had the boxes and parachutes! Gods exist because of psychology, not because of reality.

    No, prayer doesn't work because prayer doesn't change anything in reality. There is no statistical difference in outcome between those prayed for and those not prayed for.

    I do not claim no god exists, but I don't think the possibility or the probability of his existence is high enough to even give it much serious thought. I feel the same about Unicorns, for the same reason.

    And we do KNOW that gods get invented, we've seen it happen in the lifetimes of people who are still alive(Cargo Cult, Scientology). That doesn't prove that all gods were invented, but it does prove that such an occurrence can and does happen, and given the stupendous number of different gods it is likely that all but one(in the best case)are inventions of man's intellect(a thought almost all religious people accept, rejecting the reality of all but their own god). I think even that one is likely to also be an invention, but that is just my opinion, but that opinion is backed by logic and the evidence we have of the invention of gods in our lifetimes and the unlikelyhood that all gods throughout history actually existed. I have answered the question above in two different forms now.

    I answered your statement with the best scientific evidence we have that "life can be created purely by the spontaneos coming together of chemicals" and I told you when that occurred. That is exactly what the evidence supports. Are you again engaged in moving the goalpost because you didn't like the straightforward answer?


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  12. spidergoat Liddle' Dick Tater Valued Senior Member

    What is God? What does that word really mean?
  13. KilljoyKlown Whatever Valued Senior Member


    I like the way you think on this subject. I just can't see any point to debating this subject with believers, as it's not much different than trying to debate with a drunk. In any event it's never very satisfying. The endless back and forth and repeating of things already dealt with just annoys the hell out me (pun intended).

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  14. Jan Ardena OM!!! Valued Senior Member


    Stop fibbing! The questions was ''Now who in invented God, and when did this invention take place?

    Seeing as you're too chicken-shit to answer the question, I'll answer it for you.

    You don't know that God was invented or when, and as far as your concerned God has always been.
    Your currnt position is atheist, because you don't believe in God, maybe because of things that happened in your life, and you thought if God was real He wouldn't allow these things to happen.

    Read the question, and then explain how it was me who shifted the goal posts.

    Evolution invented memes?
    How did it construct them

    When did this ''hardwiring'' take place?
    What does ''we are hardwired mean''?
    How does it take place?
    And how exactly do you know this is a fact?

    What made you thnk cavemen huddled in fear?
    Why would a caveman wonder where lightening came from?
    And more importantly, how do you know this as fact?

    Where is the evidence for this?

    So previous to this there was absolutely no religion?

    You've no way of verifying any of that, as you havent been around long enough and you don't know every single person that ever lived.
    You're just kidding yourself if you take that nonsense as gospel. Then again, you don't mind kidding yourslef.

    Blah! Blah! Blah!.....
    You're not fooling anyone.

    Quit the bullshit. As I said you aint fooling anyone.
    As you know, that wasn't my question. Now please answer the actual question.
    Thank you.

    Please show the path of logic that enables you to confidently proclaim that ''God'' IS invented. This is what you claim.
    We already know that there is NO evidence, save that which you have conjured, to show that God does NOT exist.

    You answered like that because you really have no other choice as a modern atheist.
    You have absolutely no way of knowing how life started with the aid of intelligence, you just know that you cannot
    allow a divine foot in the door of materialism because it is absolute. You have no choice but to acknowledge that.

    And please stop claiming I am moving the goalposts in a bid to turn this into a discussion about me, diverting the
    attention away from what can only be described as your extreme genius for KNOWING the things that cannot ever be known with
    any degree of certainty.

  15. Jan Ardena OM!!! Valued Senior Member

    You're repeating bullshit.
    You guys can't answer real questions, so you pretend you cheesed-off.

  16. spidergoat Liddle' Dick Tater Valued Senior Member

    No, he's right. Religion is magical thinking, no different than Voodoo. You think your incantations (prayers) will appease the right God and grant your wish.
  17. SciWriter Valued Senior Member

    Since the universe's creation would necessarily imply the existence of a creator, which must necessarily be more complicated than the universe, this doesn't make any sense. True, no sense, and probably just an extension of the human realm in which we have fathers and our fathers have fathers, many of which were the boss in the old days, making for a Creator based on a strict father figure.

    If one cannot get at the suggested 'truths', there is no evidence for the claims, but self-contradiction can be used for universal negatives that have no positives. If one begins with a notion that has no positives to it, meaning that it cannot be shown in any way, then it is useless to still go on to layer more upon the notion, such as its properties and doings, for those cannot be used as inputs to the notion. Thus, it really is that one can go no further. No one would buy such a bill of goods, for it has no 'goods'.

    Believers don't use sense, but, sometimes, resort to saying that the sense of their sensations from their nervous system shows something, but that is either of the non-apparent substrates beneath the felt states of being, or they just though about things too long, then thinking to feel them as real, such as we can scare ourselves into 'feeling' ghosts.

    'Agency' was attributed to a wild beast, making it to be of danger, which showed true, over any laborious consideration of its constituents, but then some went on to claim agency for the wind and such, and then onto nature spirits, and to 'God'.

    'Like-minded', such as in others wanting the same wishes to be true, or even claiming felt sensation of the nervous system to be from somewhere else, like God's realm, is not evidence of anything but the non-apparentness of the substrates beneath that lead to the felt states of being; so, introspection, feeling, sensation, and imagination can't do it all, for one needs to be informed by science, as to the substrates, and by cognitive science on how the nature of strong belief works and how it can beguile a person to keep on making statements, fiat, declarations, and pronouncements as being 'truth', or still claiming it because there may be undiscovered truths out there.

    The template of life requiring Life behind it is no sooner employed than it is thrown away after just one usage, it suddenly no longer totally applicable as it so much had to be in the first place to start the chain.

    Faith and reasoning can be mutually exclusive, and, actually, they are opposites. That is a kind of a 'problem' with the human condition, but also one for some which has naturally come to be.

    Information on how strong belief and/or strong emotion has a direct pathway into consciousness would be useful. Strong belief often induces 'neglect' to anything contrary. I see it in forums all the time. Also, the brain keeps broadcasting it, in a big way, and so it is ever in the way.

    Closed minds come in all shapes and sizes. Learning can change one's fixed will to a larger but still fixed will, but one having 'choices' based on wider information; however, if the mind is closed then learning can't happen, which is doom, and then we can have compassion for those in this state, but at a debate forum we might have to call a 'bypass', for discussion with back and forth understanding won't happen or won't be effective.
  18. Grumpy Curmudgeon of Lucidity Valued Senior Member

    Jan Ardena

    Which of the many thousands of gods are you asking about? I mentioned a few. Or are you talking about the whole idea? I explained that, too. Maybe the problem is with the questioner, who can't handle the truth or logic, hmmm?

    This is not true of all gods, the Cargo Cult god evidently was invented in ~1943. Scientology was invented by L. Ron Hubbard in the 70s. Judaism about 5000 years ago, Christianity about 2000 years ago, Islam did not exist until about 1500 years ago. All Protestant religions are about 1400 years old. You are going to have to be more specific. And I don't think any god ever existed, the idea, yes, the reality, no..

    Useless blather about which you know nothing. I have always been an Atheist, I was the one my brother and sister came to to check under the bed or in the closet. Gods and the supernatural have always been hogwash, as far as I am concerned. My current position as an Atheist is because I am not stupid or superstitious.

    Reread what I said, my explanation is contained therein, if you are capable of basic reading comprehension.(hint: seeing the tiger that is not there)

    The hardwiring took place over the entire history of the evolution of man. It is in our DNA that our brain will see patterns that may or may not be there(the tiger), it was hardwired because those who reacted to both the tiger and the pattern that the brain sees as a tiger survived better than those who were skeptical of the false patterns(a mistake that was fatal if the tiger really was there). This is really basic stuff, you know. Seeing patterns is a survival advantage and is thus selected for by evolution. Evolution IS a fact, our theories explaining that fact may be less sure and change as understanding and evidence improves, but the fact remains that evolution has occurred throughout the history of life on Earth and is the source for all lifeforms since the first self-replicating molecules came into existence.

    Because the storm presented real danger, and the human instinct when in danger is to seek shelter with those around you and hide from the danger. IE Huddling in fear within shelter. Fear is a universal human emotion because bravado can get you killed, weeding out the foolishly brave.

    For the same reason the worshipers of Thor did. Because of ignorance of the real cause and the human need for answers, even false ones, to explain the events they experience. Ask anyone who has seen a UFO, it is nearly impossible that they are from another planet(the laws of physics precludes it), but that's what many believe to be true.

    I would not call it fact, but it is supported by human psychology. And it fits the logic of what we know of that.

    Don't be obtuse. Many places had no volcano, but sea gods are common, thunder gods(like Thor)are as well, fertility gods are some of the first religious icons, pantheists saw gods and spirits in almost everything. There are gods for every aspect of human existence. I have a copy of The Routledge Dictionary of Gods and Goddesses, Devils and Demons that documents over 1800 of the more important deities, I use it to press leaves as it weights a ton and I'm not going to start listing them all. There have been gods for all of human history, prior to humans there were none we know of.

    Double blind scientific studies have been conducted. It doesn't prove that no prayer has ever been answered, but it does show that no statistical difference exists between outcomes.

    I am overwhelmed by the logic and brilliance of your refutation.

    Good, because fooling people is the work of theists and theism. Fooling people is the last thing I want to do, I want them to see reality as it really is. I'm not fooling.

    I've answered your question in two different ways, straight up answers from our current level of understanding. You just don't like my answers, too logical and factual I guess. If you clarify what, exactly, you are seeking an answer to, I'll try again to inform you. As your question was presented, I have given you my answer.

    And we do KNOW that gods get invented, we've seen it happen in the lifetimes of people who are still alive(Cargo Cult, Scientology). I think even that one is likely to also be an invention, but that is just my opinion, but that opinion is backed by logic and the evidence we have of the invention of gods in our lifetimes and the unlikelyhood that all gods throughout history actually existed.

    I did not claim to know that god was invented, your reading comprehension is atrocious. Even you think all but one god was an invention of man, or is some kind of god relay race underway? So we are all Atheists to thousands of gods, I just disbelieve in one more than you do.

    I answered like that because I have no choice as a scientist, atheism has nothing to say about science, science nothing to say about atheism.

    And you have no way of showing any intelligence was involved. But I do have evidence of when life started, and chemistry is showing how that was possible(not proven, possible). Self-replicating molecules(the simplest definition of life)have been created in the lab, though that doesn't mean that those molecules were the path taken by chemistry to life back then. Nature had 100s of millions of years to create life from chemistry, we've only had a hundred years or so to try to duplicate that feat. Give us time, we'll work on it.

    If we find such footprints, then so be it. But you are claiming there are footprints where none are evident. And there is no evidence of the anything divine that could leave such footprints. Just you incredulity and lack of knowledge of the facts.

    Then post questions that are not so vague. And I have claimed no knowledge of anything but what I can show to be true(I'm pretty good at that, having taught physics and chemistry for over 30 years(yes, I'm old)), taking care to indicate that my answer was opinion when appropriate.


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  19. kx000 Valued Senior Member

    We can't simply call him the greatest. We have to put reason. What in the universe is greatest, exactly? Is there anything that could possibly be beside it the universe? Love.

    A few consistencies between love, and God.

    There is only one Love for each of us, but think of all the things you love besides that one.
    There is one God, but he would have gods, and he has a greatest god.

    To find love you best have faith to look.
    God. Same thing.

    For Catholics:

    Love brings pacifism.
  20. SciWriter Valued Senior Member

  21. James R Just this guy, you know? Staff Member

    Jan Ardena:

    Like the Taliban, you say. Hmm...

    Shall we consider women's rights, just for a start?

    Which modern atheists oppose the education of girls? Which modern atheists advocate that a woman's testimony in court ought be be considered as worth half that of a man's? Which modern atheists demand that women dress a particular way?

    Well, it seems that hoping to get a sane response from you on this was overly optimistic.

    Let's try another tack: what evidence is there that modern atheists control schools and science?

    Not at all. You just seem uninformed about why other believers believe in God. You seem to think that everybody who believes in God does so for the same reasons you do.

    Er... yes. I think we already established that.

    Now, about the question I asked: can you answer it?

    Please give me the exact quote, in context, with reference if you have it. Dawkins tends to be often misquoted by believers such as yourself - sometimes mistakenly, sometimes maliciously.

    Yeah, I have a reasonable idea by now. It's a kind of personal mish-mash of Hinduism and new-agey stuff.

    That's ok. It doesn't surprise me when somebody who knows next to nothing about biology is unconvinced by pop-science descriptions of evolution - especially ones fed to him by his local pastor or equivalent guru.

    I think for our current purposes, we can equate "happiness" and "contentment", since I don't want to confuse you with tricky dictionary definitions unnecessarily.

    Now, let's take a simple example. Suppose I tell you that "1 + 1 = 2". I would call that a "true" statement, but not necessarily a "happy" statement. And suppose I won the lottery yesterday and I feel good as a result. I could say "I feel happy". I would not say "I feel true".

    Are you beginning to see the distinction, or is this a bit hard?

    Now, suppose somebody tells you "You won the lottery yesterday, so you can go out tonight and have a lavish celebration with your new-found wealth!", and suppose that you have NOT in fact won the lottery. Do you think that you would prefer to believe the lie (and act on its content), or would you perhaps prefer to know the truth before you treated yourself to a 5-star meal? Note how what makes you happier NOW and "the truth" are not the same thing in this simple example.

    Too fast? Do we need to take this more slowly?

    The same has been said about religion and belief in God.

    What's nasty about modern atheism, in particular, compared to, say, the Taliban?

    There are all kinds of examples. The supposed creation of the world in 6 days. That there was a global flood. That \(pi=3\). That women have one less rib than men. That people have risen from the dead back to life. Want more examples? These ones are just from the bible.

    So, by "modern atheism" you mean any atheism after the publication of On the Origin of Species, or something along those lines? And this modern atheism differs from ancient atheism in some unspecified way that is nonetheless supposed to be fundamental and important. Ok.

    But religious people far outnumber atheists. How, exactly, is atheism taking over religion?

    From whom/what? Explain.

    Why? In what way? Who benefits?

    Ok. Let's see some evidence of prominent "modern atheists" who advocate the destruction of books, the persecution of people, the killing of "infidels" and the like. Got any examples, Jan?
  22. Jan Ardena OM!!! Valued Senior Member


    Check out the question. It asks about 'God'', as in one God, not gods.
    I seem to remember somewhere you said you know your bible.
    that being said, you should know the one God I speak of, usually with an upper-case G, or upper-case 'L' for Lord as opposed to lord or god.
    So please stop acting like a twat, trying to victimise me with with your idiotic attempt at stereo-typing, and either answer the question put to
    you, or shut up.

    Have a nice day!.

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    Last edited: Jul 21, 2012
  23. Grumpy Curmudgeon of Lucidity Valued Senior Member

    Jan Ardena

    God/gods, they are all the same to me unless you specify which of the tens of thousands that have existed. Even in modern times the god of Judaism, Christianity, Islam and many other "monotheistic" gods and religions are not the same, nor do they have the same inventors. No rational reason exists for accepting any of them as The One True and Only Almighty God(TM). So plainly state what exact concept of god you are asking about or piss off.

    Yeah, sons of Southern Baptist preachers tend to be steeped in it. Don't challenge me on Bible Drills, you'll lose. Knowing a tome and accepting as true what is contained therein are two different things, however.

    Would that be the non-believer-smiting, genocidal, capriciously homicidal asshole in the Old Testament, or the forgiving, caring but still threatening asshole of the New Testament?

    I notice you ignored every other point in my last post that showed just how clueless you are. I'll answer your question when you specify which delusion you want destroyed next.


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