Any atheists here who were once believers?

Discussion in 'Religion' started by wegs, Sep 18, 2013.

  1. wynn ˙ Valued Senior Member

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    The world will become hell, people will be miserable, and God will destroy the whole thing, make a new world, and give people another chance.
    And so over and over and over again ...
     
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  3. Billy T Use Sugar Cane Alcohol car Fuel Valued Senior Member

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    I am, as often stated, an agnostic about the existence of a god (or soul, as that is usually understood), but curious why you are so active in this thread, if unwilling to state your beliefs more than: "I am a theist."

    Despite many requests, you still have not given a simple, clear answer to the question I asked: I.e. do public things, like "Ode to Joy" have a non-material existence or not? Certainly they can have embodied forms, like musical notes on sheet of paper, but when a time varying voltage fields like the radio wave from my ISP to my modem, they are non-material, as evidence by passing thru vacuum, even to distant stars.

    In general, I believe that pure information does not need to be embodied materially as you seem to think everything, not due to God (our souls) is, but for reasons known only to you, you refuse to answer my question, even in the one case of information set, called "Ode to Joy." I think this an important question about information as if all "mental information" is embodied in the brain, and neural discharges (action potentials traveling down axons) are material and you have no "non-material" soul, then free will does not exist - is just a nearly universal illusion.

    I wish you would give a simple, Yes/no answer to my question about on that (Ode to Joy) quite public information set. Your "All music are constructs of the mind. It is purely materialistic." is not a clear answer for me, as I also believe "mind" may be non-material - that "free will" may not necessarily be just illusion even if god & souls do not exist. (But here I am agnostic too - Free will may be illusion, or if it exists it is due to either your postulated soul or my postulated RTS - more on that at links now given.):

    http://www.sciforums.com/showthread...Nonexistence&p=2899438&viewfull=1#post2899438 - a short incomplete comment on the RTS but here:
    http://www.sciforums.com/showthread...t-an-illusion&p=905778&viewfull=1#post905778 is longer more complete discussion, that happens to be focused on the Free Will exists or not question, but none-the-less, describes the RTS and gives a great deal of supporting evidence for the RTS, instead of the vague and clearly false, but accepted POV of most cognitive scientists about perception "emerging" from neural processing of sensory input data, etc.
     
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  5. Beer w/Straw Transcendental Ignorance! Valued Senior Member

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    Whoa. WTF did you two post? I don't want to take it out of context so could you expound please.

    By itself it seems like metaphysics squared.
     
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  7. Balerion Banned Banned

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    There is no conflict, as I've stated. The Church has modified its position so as to allow for evolution to be accepted as a whole. The only difference is that Catholics ignore the godless implications, and posit that God was the cause and the course of it.

    I've seen you share this sentiment in others posts, even going so far as to credit fundamentalism. I assure you this is a bad idea. Fundamentalism is dangerous and stupid.
     
  8. Jan Ardena OM!!! Valued Senior Member

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    Hi Billy T, you seem to have a load of information, that keeps going round and round, and back and forth. Information that is set within your mind. I'm not going to get into that.

    However I will say this, and start a fresh discussion with you: Everything you percieve comes from the mind. The question is... who are you? What is the part that cannot observe itself?

    jan.
     
  9. wegs Matter & Pixie Dust Valued Senior Member

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    From Wikipedia:
    In the 1950 encyclical Humani generis, Pope Pius XII confirmed that there is no intrinsic conflict between Christianity and the theory of evolution, provided that Christians believe that the individual soul is a direct creation by God and not the product of purely material forces.

    As long as Christians support the idea of God creating souls, and human beings evolving as ‘special beings,’ then I guess they support evolution. And… you think this is somehow representative of the RCC accepting TOE, ‘’as a whole?’’ Guess we’ll have to agree to disagree on this point.

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  10. Aqueous Id flat Earth skeptic Valued Senior Member

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    That's why folks like you and me are so outspoken against it. Nearly all of the best posters here have attacked religion in one way or another, and I would go so far as to say that their fear and loathing of religion at large was probably unanimously instigated by fundamentalist attacks on academia and science, and by fundamentalist intrusion into the bedrooms and personal choices of free individuals who resent the sanctimony that inspires social conservatism and all its trappings. Add to this the opportunistic exploitation of the gullible minds of fundies by Big Money, and the mere potential for effectuating that intrusion escalates from yellow alert status to one of "clear and present danger". In a purely objective world, fundamentalism as we know it would be designated a threat to national security, and effective counter measures would be in place to prevent its infection of vulnerable young minds. Subsequent generations would be grateful for that and it would be celebrated as the end of a dark era in human history, one in which the yoke of primitive superstition was finally shaken off--the advent of a new dawn in civilization, one which actually moves through space and time by detecting and eliminating threats to peace and well-being of all humans, with a collateral focus on mitigating human impact on the natural systems needed to support future generations.

    Stupidity fights back hard, though, and it's loaded with a galvanizing meanness that attacks all ideals that are fairly labeled "atheist" regardless of their humanizing effect, based on a return to more salient principles best characterized as "sacred": truth, transparency, objectivity, fairness, evidence and the pursuit of knowledge. All of these idealized goals serve to promote human welfare in the most direct and productive ways conceivable. Stupidity wages war on all such ideals. After all, knowledge does trump stupidity. But stupidity fights under protection of a cloaking device. It's not a tangible enemy but a virtual construct, one which invades and infects vulnerable minds rapaciously.

    I suppose stupidity has to run its course like any other infection, and the individual autoimmune systems of believers has to develop to the point of throwing it off without external intervention. Only then, I believe, will that new day come when we can get up and look in the mirror and truly appreciate the world that is looking back at us.

    I would love to wake up in such a world. I know you would too. Hell, I would elect you Supreme Commander of Good Vibes, just to repay all the angst you've paid at this site alone.

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    I would envision that as a job like the guy who drives an ice cream truck, only all of the ice cream is on the house. You have to give it out before it melts, and as soon as one crate is gone, another is loaded by the likes of -- well, how about me? I'd be glad to pay it forward as well. Good Vibes Ice Cream("a taste of atheist heaven by the scoop") would not only be a zero carb, zero fat replica of the real thing, it would taste better and last a long time. It would restore the sense of longing or incompleteness that accompanies the thirst and hunger for more and better information, without dulling the impetus to keep chipping away at the next layer of truth that awaits discovery. This I suppose is an analogous ideal to the one that led to the invention of Christian communion, but completely dissociated from primitive cult ritual roots and instead plugged into the living world. It would actually recharge us and sustain us, and, for once, without simultaneously trying to contain us and blind us.

    If not for stupidity I imagine we would be there today, or at least well on our way. Now back to bashing fundies

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    . . . Where were we?

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  11. Billy T Use Sugar Cane Alcohol car Fuel Valued Senior Member

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    I agree with the part of your post I made bold, but not that the "mind" is material. If it were and one does not believe, with zero evidence, that they have an immaterial soul, then free will does not exist - it is just a nearly universal illusion as ALL matter moves in accord with the physical law,* which for object the size and mass of nerves, are deterministic, not QM chance - I am thankful that QM indeterminacy does not apply to aggregates of millions of atoms, like nerve cells. I.e. would rather be a deterministic creature, that evolution has perfected to make "beneficial deterministic behaviors" most of the time.

    I always try to answer direct questions (Your "Who are you?"): I am part of a larger complex information process, I call the RTS (Real Time Simulation) but unlike most of the RTS, which is generated in parietal cortex when one is not in deep sleep, much of the information that is "me" is sent to the parietal cortex from the frontal lobes. The old, now fortunately rarely used, "ice pick" operations that dramatically changed destructive (or otherwise socially undesirable) behavior provide strong evidence that "our psychological self", some of our morals, etc. are stored (or at least first processed) in the frontal lobes.

    "I" am not observing the RTS, but a created part of it. I don't "observe" my pain or happiness, etc. I experience them, just as I experience a usually quite accurate version of the physical world, but their are some "errors" - parts of the experienced world that we have reasons to believe are "false experiences" or illusions. Some of these errors can persist for years, like a very real experience of a phantom limb.

    I put errors and false in quotes as the things in the RTS they refer to conflict with what reason tells me is the probable nature of things / events in the physical world; But they are DIRECTLY and undeniably my real experiences and the so called "real world" may not even exist - I infer it does from my direct experiences. Bishop Berkeley with impeccable logic more than 300 years ago argued that the "real world" was illusion God, the "greater spirit" gave his "lesser spirit." I especially like the good Bishop's argument as to why the "real world" seems to follow the physical laws with rare exceptions, called "miracles." I.e. he noted that by definition, miracles are violations of the physical laws - if they did not exist, then God could not occasionally "work miracles."

    PS - I again note that when I put words like I, me, myself, etc in quotes, that is to make it clear that I am speaking or refering to my psychological self component of the RTS, not my a physical body. My RTS point of view, unlike your soul POV, explains why "I" don't exist when in deep sleep or without consciousness on the operating table etc.

    * Even the influx of Na+ ion into the interior of a nerve's axon that send a signal from one nerve to others.
     
  12. wegs Matter & Pixie Dust Valued Senior Member

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    Oh my! Would you like some cheese with your...whine?

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    It is because Fundamentalists reject evolution in its entirety due to their religious views, that you feel is stupid. And that is your choice to feel that way. My point in bringing up Fundamentalism and comparing it to Catholicism in the context of TOE, is that for a Fundamentalist to accept evolution, it simply can't conflict with their religious views. Catholicism looks at evolution, cherry picks the parts it agrees with and discards those it disagrees with, tacks on its own religious dogma and touts that it supports and accepts it. So, to me, Fundamentalists take the all or nothing approach while the RCC redefines evolution so it doesn't have to choose between its teachings and science.

    I don't agree with Fundamentalists, but they seem quite definitive on this issue. The RCC seems to accept evolution "as a whole," but it doesn't.

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    (I don't care what it states, it doesn't accept evolution at face value )

    While it might seem like I’m defending Fundamentalism, I’m not—I’m just wondering why it is ridiculed simply for adhering to its religious beliefs. Yet, Catholicism gets a ‘high five’ from the science community for modifying how it defines evolution to fit its dogma? What am I missing?
     
  13. Balerion Banned Banned

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    The point was that they don't dispute the science, which is ultimately all that matters.
     
  14. Balerion Banned Banned

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    I don't know what you mean by "face value," or even "as a whole," but evolution is a scientific theory. It does not state that there cannot be some mystical presence at the head of the change, who directs that change or even formulates the world in such a way that the path of change is inevitable.
     
  15. Balerion Banned Banned

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    I'm going to print this out and frame this. An excerpt will be found etched into the lid of the freezer of the Good Vibes Ice Cream truck.
     
  16. wegs Matter & Pixie Dust Valued Senior Member

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    But a Catholic cannot accept all of this. Even if a Catholic wants to accept that things have evolved in some way (whether through macro or microevolution) a Catholic cannot say that this process is simply random, chance, blind, or with no purpose. We believe that God alone created all things, and that he sustains all things. Neither do we confess some sort of “deist” God who merely started things off and then lets them take their own course. Rather, God sustains and carries out every detail.

    The Book of Genesis depicts God as being personally involved in every stage of creation. “In the beginning, God created the heavens and the Earth” (Genesis 1:1). The text says further ”God made the wild animals, each, according to their kinds (Gen 1:25). In other words, God specifically created each animal and person that is in an intentional way. The text of Genesis, while not scientific, states a truth that we cannot set aside: That God created (and sustains) all that we see. That what is, cannot MERELY be explained (as most evolutionists state) by blind, random natural selection. The Genesis text is clear to state that God alone creates and in doing so he is present at every stage, is personal, purposeful and acts with intelligence and goal in mind. He creates everything according to its kind.

    This is our faith and we cannot simply accept evolutionary theory without some distinctions. Evolutionary theory proposes itself as a complete and closed explanation for the biodiversity of this planet. Catholics ought to be sober about who and what we are dealing with here. This theory sets aside important things we believe about creation and God, which are described in Genesis and believed by the Church. The theory sets aside God. Things are not the result of a rational, orderly and directed processes, they result from a process that is merely random, blind and tending to no purpose or end. We cannot accept such a theory merely on these terms. If we accept aspects of the theory, such as that things gradually evolved, we have to carefully distinguish this from mainstream evolutionary theory. But a simple, uncritical acceptance of evolutionary theory is for a Catholic untenable.


    http://blog.adw.org/2010/10/can-a-catholic-accept-evolutionary-theory-uncritically/
     
  17. wegs Matter & Pixie Dust Valued Senior Member

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    lol :roflmao:
     
  18. Balerion Banned Banned

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    I'm talking about the position of the Catholic Church. If individual Catholics want to decide on their own that evolution conflicts with their own personal interpretation of scripture, that's on them.
     
  19. Medicine*Woman Jesus: Mythstory--Not History! Valued Senior Member

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    ************
    M*W: While your theory could be true, I don't see the need for a god to be a part of it. We are quite capable of doing this ourselves.
     
  20. billvon Valued Senior Member

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    Keep in mind that people's opinions vary on this even within the Church. Recently even Popes have been accepting evolution, and I know a lot of Catholics who are 100% on board with evolution. The times they are a-changing.
     
  21. wegs Matter & Pixie Dust Valued Senior Member

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    Evolution does conflict with Scripture, and I find it disingenuous of the Catholic Church to say otherwise. That's the problem I'm attempting to point out.

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    See my answer to Balerion. Lol
     
  22. Jan Ardena OM!!! Valued Senior Member

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    Billy T,

    Why not?
    If we can observe our minds, and other minds, change ours and others minds, then who and what are we?

    To believe that one has an immortal soul does not mean anything. The series of questions I asked you is not dependent upon what you believe or don't.
    Belief in anything doesn't mean much. It's just a window of oppotunity one can use to gain more understanding. Knowledge is king, and experience is the gateway to knowledge.

    Who and what is ''I am''?

    If you are not observing the RTS then what does '' I am part of a larger complex information process, I call the RTS (Real Time Simulation) but unlike most of the RTS, which is generated in parietal cortex when one is not in deep sleep, much of the information that is "me" is sent to the parietal cortex from the frontal lobes'' mean?

    Who is me?

    You are ''you'', ''me'', ''I'', and ''I am''.
    ''You'' observe everything else.
    When ''you'' refer to ''my'', or ''mine'', ''you'' mean they belong to ''you''.
    ''You'' remain aloof to everything.

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    jan.
     
  23. Seattle Valued Senior Member

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    You're missing that it's better to be flexible than to be dogmatic when the subject is religion. It is all "man made" so to not change after 2,000 years would be absurd (which is what the fundamentalists are doing).

    You can "admire" them for seeing everything in black and white. They are consistent but consistent with what? They are consistently as ignorant (by modern standards) as a 2,000 year old man.
     

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