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Atheism (Do you believe in God? If yes, then why?)

Discussion in 'The Philosopher' started by Seditious, Oct 12, 2006.

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  1. Demilich

    Demilich Member

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    I'm sure it has been mentioned dozens of times in this thread, but my most common frustration with atheists is that some of them presume that their belief that no higher power exists can somehow be validated by science, as if the very nature of the concept of such a being would preclude observation by contemporary scientific parameters.
     
  2. Blowtus

    Blowtus Member

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    It can't be validated by science, but a rational (scientific) view of the universe wouldn't include fanciful, untestable, constructs that play no part in the observable actions occurring in the universe. So the rigid belief of 'there is no God' cannot be 'proven' by science, but a scientific view of the universe should lead to that conclusion, until such time as other conclusions become rationally viable.
     
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  3. Seditious

    Seditious GodSlayer

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    in your definitions, an Agnostic lacks a belief in a God or Gods. This is because they believe it is impossible to know, but why they lack a belief is besides the point.

    An Agnostic then is an Atheist (in your all inclusive definitions), so you don't need to use the word Agnostic... or to use half a brain, since Agnostic means what the second Atheist in your definition means, you should take the second part away from Atheist to avoid confusion and leave it in the word Agnostic which already means what that is, and Atheist can stay with its first meaning and only mean belief that none exist

    stop with the foreplay.
     
  4. Koseydon

    Koseydon New Metal Member

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    ups sorry for bad english
    and ty to Silver Incubus for edit
     
  5. Silver Incubus

    Silver Incubus Dead Hands Justin

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    I only did that to show you that, the relationship that people seek with the God of the bible is the same as one with a parent.

    For me, expecting unconditional love from a being that I have no experience of in any of my senses is a worthless and delusional approach to peace of mind. I think it would be better to see an emphasis on unconditional love for the fellow human, so that in one way you can create a god, out of everyone.
     
  6. Έρεβος

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    That made no sense. :zombie:
     
  7. Seditious

    Seditious GodSlayer

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    here's a summary, maybe read it again.

    You give Agnostics two words for themselves by robbing Atheists of theirs. That is pointless.
     
  8. Έρεβος

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    You already said that, then I said why you are wrong, and then you spouted some jibberish that made no sense.
     
  9. Seditious

    Seditious GodSlayer

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    you say an agnostic doesn't know

    you say an atheist doesn't know or does know, so some atheists are agnostics and some are actually atheists.

    you for some reason think that makes more sense than saying those who don't know are agnostic and those who know there is no god are atheists, so why you use the word agnostic at all is just perplexing.
     
  10. Blowtus

    Blowtus Member

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    perhaps it could be seen as
    agnostic = doesn't know and is open to the possibility
    'soft' atheist = doesn't know and thinks it a highly unlikely fabrication
     
  11. Seditious

    Seditious GodSlayer

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    yeh but my point is why you believe what you do isn't important, it's what you believe which merits the title. thus whether or not you'll ever be an atheist doesn't matter, if you're agnostic because you're unsure, or because you think everyone should always be forever unsure, you're still agnostic. just as we don't measure someones faith and say 'just how much of a Christian you really are' there's no point in doing so here either.
     
  12. Korona

    Korona Shadow Creator

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    Many people would say that Atheism and Theism aren't incompatible with Agnosticism.

    Agnosticism can be a basis for Atheism, as the impossiblity of knowing a thing is generally a reason to not treat it seriously. (i.e. the inpercievable Pink Unicorn standing next to me).

    However I would regard myself as Agnostic, and I think metaphysical questions like "does God exist?" are incapable of being answered. Indeed I think that anyone who considered it seriously would reach an agnostic viewpoint - except those who are seriously unstable or traumatised.
    But I have experiences that I would want to call religious. Does that make me Theistic? Yes, God is important to me. I don't think that requires an ability to forumulate a response to the metaphysics of his existience.
     
  13. Έρεβος

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    Ah, I see why it made no sense: I didn't say an agnostic "doesn't know."

    I said an agnostic is one would knows it is not possible to be certain of the existence of "God," or the nonexistence of "God." Agnosticism often also encompases the belief that is doesn't matter if god exists or not, so it should not be a determining factor in ones life.

    And then of course there is the "sitting on the fence" sort of agnostic, that is uncertain as to what to believe, or just "believes in something" but doesn't know what. That is a variation of the core agnosticism.

    An atheist is one who does not believe in god, or is "not a theist" (a - theist). Obviously this can encompase one of two things, which have been labeled weak and strong atheism. Strong: Belief that there is no god, including certainty. Weak: Lack of belief in god, or belief that there is no god without certainly.

    Weak atheism CAN also be agnostic (accepting that the existence of god can neither be proven or disproven, that there can be no certainty), and usually is, but agnosticism is by no means usually atheistic.
     
  14. Arthyron

    Arthyron YHVH's Golem

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    I do believe in God (particularly YHVH, God of Jews and Christians, as the two other facets of his entity, namely the Son, Christ, and the manifestation of His power, the Spirit which are pertinent only to Christians, at least until the Judaic Messiah comes).

    How and why? After taking in the sum of all knowledge, insight, discovery, reason, and experience that I have amassed in my 21 years of life, I come to the conclusion that God (specifically YHVH) exists. I do not deny the possibility of other gods or no God at all, they remain logical possibilities until we know more about the universe we reside in, but due to the things I have learned, witnessed, and experienced, I find that the existence of God seems more likely than that, and that the Christian God seems the most reasonable and accurate to me of all dieties/faiths due to my experiences.

    I'm fond of the great Christian Apologist and Author C.S. Lewis' take on this infamous question:

    "I believe in Christianity as I believe that the sun has risen: not only because I see it, but because by it I see everything else."
     
  15. Seditious

    Seditious GodSlayer

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    yea, and people also use that out of a religious context, saying 'I'm agnostic about that' meaning indifferent or undecided.

    my point is, as you've said there are different types of belief which fall into agnostic, there's no reason to say 'well lets say there are a couple types of atheists instead of a couple types of agnostics' and rob agnosticism of one of its meaning so that that group of people can proclaim themselves atheists.



    sure, what you're saying here is the etymological question, should we regard the 'a-' as a term of privation meaning 'without,' or should we regard it as a term of negation meaning 'no'? This is why the etymological crap gets us nowhere and we should apply common sense regarding definitions instead since we do happen to have the functioning word 'Agnostic' in our society to help remove such confusion.

    my point is that those who sit on the fence are 'without God' until they are with god or against god. You have already said you accept that that is a type of Agnostic, so I don't see why that which is surely agnostic (in the common sense) should be called Atheist rather than Agnostic in the religious context, as it is surely the same thing still.


    personally it makes a lot more sense to lose the 'weak/strong' thing and to say 'anyone agnostic is a part of agnosticism' rather than trying to sneak them into the camp of those who affirm there is no god (which suggests they have some argument they can convince others with, or that they are not fence-sitting and able to be swayed), and anyone who lacks this does not deserve to live with them.

    Since 'agnostic' means 'without---for whatever reason' as you've detailed, we can accept 'Atheist' to mean 'no' rather than 'without' (since that etymological mystery will never be solved), and in having two separate words to cover both bases (no and without) we need never worry about some sort of equivocation.
     
  16. Seditious

    Seditious GodSlayer

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    unless you think you know there is no pink unicorn then you're just agnostic about it.

    I think that a pink unicorn is possible. If we look at a certain quantum physics which removes the concept of time as we know it, suggesting the future already exists, or even one in which there are infinite parallel universes where every alternate possibility is played out, we can imagine some child in 3030 goes to Design-A-Pet and their genemachine gathers basic organic matter and brews up a cute pink unicorn for her birthday present, thus a pink unicorn 'does' exist (not in existence as we know it, but it certainly could exist, and thus we cannot say one could not exist so we are pretty much just deserving the status agnostic). or maybe aliens created earth in its imagine and on their alien planet pink unicorns exist and are the model of todays horse, thus they truely do exist as we know it. All we can be is agnostic on it, and I don't think we need to see that as a bad thing and envy the title atheist.
     
  17. Seditious

    Seditious GodSlayer

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    hey bro, two questions.

    how you do accept Yahweh, the supreme God etc. etc. without denying all others, isn't that sort of necessary (if not, why did they need to destroy the pagan beliefs if they were not contradictory).

    and why do you believe in the trinity idea rather than just Yahweh. wasn't that a sort of attempted explanation by a later church, long after Yahweh handed down the commandments and the like? Do you also believe in 'original sin' or other ideas which are attemptedly invented by the church in trying to make sense of something? if so, why were these not covered from the beginning?
     
  18. Arthyron

    Arthyron YHVH's Golem

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    I accept the possibilities of all dieties that are possible (as it would be illogical to categorically deny possibilities for which there is no method of falsification). I accept and believe in Yahweh because of my personal experiences and my studies of history, philosophy, and theology.

    Of the gods whose existence are possible (there exists the possibility of gods that no one has ever thought of or identified, but they don't really matter to me, as I apparently don't matter enough to them for them to make any attempt to contact humanity, unless you've been reading too much Lovecraft, in which case that's a good thing), I believe that one of the pantheons is correct or at least on the right track toward the being/consciousness/entity/existence who is responsible for the universe in which we reside (as I believe, through my studies and experiences, that our universe is not a cosmic accident that worked out in our favor, but was the result of a conscious and intentional action).

    From the large number of supposed dieties that are reputed to have interacted with or influenced mankind, I believe that Yahweh is indeed the one responsible for our universe, as "His" tale makes the most sense to me and seems the most credible and substantiated.

    Now of course that doesn't really answer your question but I felt it was neccesary background and clarification to continue my explanation.. The reason I can acknowledge the possibility of other gods being "real" while still claiming to be a follower of Yahweh and His Christ is because of the concept of Faith. Faith is a belief, but because it is a belief that is not founded on absolute knowledge (faith is non-axiomatic), but on a personally determined value of likelihood or trust in the accuracy and legitimacy of the data one DOES possess (meaning it may take more or less data to convince someone, depending on the individual). I'm not a proponent of the "blind faith" or the "Sola Fide" ("by faith alone") doctrine that is pervasive amongst the teachings of my fellow brothers and sisters (particularly Calvinist Protestants, but has seeped into most other Protestant denominations) in Christ, because Scripture never called for blind faith, but the use of reason and intellect (if you doubt me, I can dig up the Scriptural references for you).

    I have Faith that God exists, and that Faith is grounded in data which is sufficient to convince me, as well as experiential knowledge which contributes to my convictions. Personal experience can, in part, be objective. However, it's objective value only extends to the one who experiences, so my personal experiences aren't of much objective value to you, as you cannot verify their veracity. If I have a "spiritual" experience, let's say, I can acknowledge that I experienced SOMETHING, and do so objectively. Now it could be due to a variety of factors (chemical imbalance, nerve problems, intoxication, or even possibly spiritual intervention, etc), and the cause I attribute to them will probably be ultimately subjective, but having the "experience" is objective data. I can make my interpretation of that experiential knowledge more objective by falsifying testable explanations, but ultimately it will come down to a matter of subjectivity, if I rule out all known explanations.

    All my experiential knowledge, coupled with my historical knowledge, my philosophical knowledge, my scientific knowledge, and my theological/mythological knowledge culminates in the ultimate conclusion that I have experienced what I believe to be God, that God is Yahweh, Christ was who he claimed to be and therefore a facet of Yahweh, and all the claims that Yahweh makes through His Word are either literally, metaphorically, or allegorically true.

    As for the destruction of Pagan beliefs by those who claimed to follow Christ, I honestly don't know. It's arrogant for me to assume I know why other people do what they do. But as for me, I don't fear Pagan beliefs, as I believe my God to be supreme. And after all, they could be correct, it's a possibility. I would guess that they had too little faith in their own God and thus felt it neccesary to remove competitors. I see no need for such things. I find other faiths interesting and have studied most world mythologies and religions extensively. You'll have to ask a fundamentalist, I guess. I try to follow Christ as Christ commanded, I care not for the teachings or false authorities of modern men.

    There are many passages in the Old Testament which suggest a coming Messiah. The Jews, of course, deny that Christ was He, but by my understanding, Christ fulfilled every aspect and attribute of the Messiah foretold. There's also several instances of historical evidence which suggest Christ's miraculous nature. Several non-Christian sources (such as the Jewish document "Talmud") found it neccesary to invent a story which explains why Christ could work Miracles. Other non-Christian documents refer to him as a sorceror. No documents referencing him ever call him a fake. Even within the Christian texts, when Christ performed seemingly miraculous acts, the Pharisees (the Jewish teachers of the Law, basically the rulers of the Jews under the Roman Empire) never accused him of being a fake or a charlatan. They accused him of being demon-possessed, of working miracles through demonic magic. Then there's the matter of He and His Disciples. I find it hard to believe that so many men would willingly die (despite numerous attempts to recant, escape, or be set free on denial of their claims) for a cause they knew was false, from which they would never recieve any benefit.

    There's no record or indication that suggest Christ nor his Disciples ever benefitted in any way from their ministry. Which brings me to the Trilemma Argument, as proposed by Mr. Lewis (I'm right fond of his philosophy and theology, you'll find):

    "I am trying here to prevent anyone saying the really foolish thing that people often say about Him: 'I'm ready to accept Jesus as a great moral teacher, but I don't accept His claim to be God.' That is the one thing we must not say. A man who was merely a man and said the sort of things Jesus said would not be a great moral teacher. He would be either a lunatic — on a level with the man who says he is a poached egg — or else he would be the Devil of Hell. You must make your choice. Either this man was, and is, the Son of God: or else a madman or something worse. You can shut Him up for a fool, you can spit at Him and kill Him as a demon; or you can fall at His feet and call Him Lord and God. But let us not come with any patronising nonsense about His being a great human teacher. He has not left that open to us. He did not intend to."

    So basically, it's a system of logical progression. I believe that a God exists. I believe Scripture has the best and most accurate explanation of who God is. Scripture refers to and gives definition to Yahweh, the apparent true name of God. Scripture tells of a Messiah to come. Christ fulfills all the known OT teachings regarding the coming Messiah. There is a lot of ancient controversy surrounding the historical figure of Jesus of Nazareth. Christ makes some claims regarding his nature. I'm inclined to believe Him, based on all the aforementioned reasons, and other evidences (such as it's unlikely that so many men would die for something they believed or knew to be false without having anything to gain from it), as well as the amazing historicity of Scripture.

    Princeston did a study on the New Testament. They've found that there are over 25,000 copies, editions, fragments, and pieces of the New Testament that have been unearthed from various regions, languages, and time periods. The next most prodigious ancient document is the Illiad, coming in at less than 700. So it's the most prodigious ancient document, and therefore the most readily studied and most easily verifiable/falsifiable based on the number of comparisons. Their studies revealed that between the 25,000+ copies, there was a 99.5% agreement between the different texts, and the 0.5% was only a matter of grammer and punctuation, and did not affect the actual contents of the message. So basically, the New Testament is among the most historically accurate documents (meaning it's veracity and legitimacy as far as it's passage through time and its lack of changes and alterations) in existence.

    So these and many other reasons lead me to the conclusion that Christ is who He said He is. And if Scripture is correct, and Christ is who He says He is, then that must mean that the Holy Spirit (the third facet of the trinity) is also likely to be what Christ claims it to be. Hence, my belief in the Trinity. The New Testament is laced with Christ's admissions and other people's admissions that He was the Messiah, and therefore essentially the Avatar of Yahweh. I'm sure any google search will yield a plethora of verses detailing this. I don't believe it to be an explanation by a later church, as the teachings of the Messiah to come were written long before Christ's coming. Furthermore, the New Testament, as I said, is full of such Messianic implications. By the time this doctrine was finalized by the Council of Nicea, it was pretty much unanimous that Christ was indeed not only a part of God, but on equal standing with the Father in his share of the Godhead. After all, the vote was well over 300 to 2. But there's even earlier evidence in the writings of the early church fathers such as Irenaeus that the doctrine of the Trinity and the Divinity of Christ was widespread and well-known.

    As for concepts such as Original Sin, it depends on the individual concept. There are many of teachings in Scripture that are not explicitly, literally stated, but are implicit, and copiously present throughout the texts. I'm not a Biblical literalist. I believe that much of Scripture is literal, and much of it is figurative (metaphoric, allegorical, etc). The Christian life is not one that can nor should be lived lightly. If you want to understand the Word of God in all its facets you have to delve into it. Simply skimming it like the afternoon paper will not yield you anything of worth or merit. Like any philosophical or theological text you really have to engrain yourself in it and meditate on it and its implications. So yes, I believe there are some teachings and concepts that are not explicitly stated but are of the same importance as the explicit teachings, and that they can only be gleaned through careful study and revelation through the Spirit. I'm also a fan of using Hermeneutics to ensure that you don't let your Scriptural interpretations run wild. Helps keep things in perspective.

    As for Original Sin itself, no I don't believe in Original Sin. I believe in the inherited ability to distinguish right from wrong passed down from Adam, and therefore the burden of our sins being upon our own shoulders, but not that we are inherently sinful. I believe we are inherently flawed, as we were not created with the ability to distinguish, nor were we meant to have such an ability, and by taking on something too great for us, we have been deformed spiritually. But I do not believe, nor do I see scriptural evidence for the teaching of Original Sin.

    Sorry about all the rambling, Christian theology is a lot more complex than most people realize, and I wanted to be sure I was fully explaining myself. Hopefully that will answer your questions, if not let me know. :)
     
  19. N_I_A

    N_I_A pagan

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    hail all:)i believe in pagan gods.i think that,there is no jesus,or jehowah...
    its really stupid to think,that jehowah (with white beard) is sitting in the clouds..llloooool:))))
    so,my (europian) relligion is pagan,i am and will always be a pagan:))
    valhalla---next to odin:headbang:
     
  20. Arthyron

    Arthyron YHVH's Golem

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    Erm...I see. Sorry to burst your bubble, but there is more evidence for the historical existence of Jesus of Nazareth than of many kings of that era. Whether or not you believe in his Divinity is another matter, but I don't know of any credible modern scholars which deny his existence.

    Secondly, the term "Jehova" comes from a translator's misunderstanding of the third incarnation of the Hebrew language.

    Originally, Hebrew writing contained only the consonant sounds. Later, when the Jews began to introduce the vowel characters into their writings (I think around the third incarnation). However, the Jews had great reverence for the true name of God (which was written YHVH), and did not want to write out the true name of God with vowels and all. So instead, they wrote in the vowels from the word "Adonai," which means "Lord." So what you get is essentially "YaHoVaHi," which, when converted from Hebrew to English, roughly translates to "Jehovah." So Jehovah isn't actually the name of the Judeo-Christian God, that's just a misunderstanding.

    I wonder why you forsake one "white bearded man above the clouds" ("Jehowah") only to swear your allegiance to another (Odin). Doesn't that seem just a tad disingenuous?
     
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