My journey to Atheism

Discussion in 'Religion Archives' started by aaqucnaona, Dec 5, 2011.

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What would u rate ur beilef in God? [Read PS]

  1. 0

    33.3%
  2. 1

    4.8%
  3. 2

    4.8%
  4. 3

    9.5%
  5. 4

    9.5%
  6. 5

    14.3%
  7. 6

    4.8%
  8. 7

    4.8%
  9. 8

    28.6%
  10. 9

    38.1%
Multiple votes are allowed.
  1. aaqucnaona This sentence is a lie Valued Senior Member

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    I would strongly disagree. I was a very, very devout theist indeed - almost practically a weak fundamentalist.
     
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  3. KilljoyKlown Whatever Valued Senior Member

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    I guess we'll have to agree to disagree, as you are giving religion a broader definition than I do. To me a religion implies an organization to teach people how to believe and I don't belong to any of those.
     
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  5. aaqucnaona This sentence is a lie Valued Senior Member

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    This is the basis for that assertion of mine:
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Hj9oB4zpHww

    Btw, the comments show how my discomfort this creates for theists - if science can answer morality, that one less thing for god to do, isn't it?
     
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  7. aaqucnaona This sentence is a lie Valued Senior Member

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    My position exactly.
     
  8. aaqucnaona This sentence is a lie Valued Senior Member

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    Nature need not be simple to be naturalistic. It only needs to have some processes by which simple laws cause the creation of complex systems from simple precursors. How these precursors came about [energy/matter in the big bang], we do not know. We know almost certainly that no god, even no intervention, was required after the big bang. This situtation must not be used, however, for a god of the gaps.
     
  9. aaqucnaona This sentence is a lie Valued Senior Member

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    I chose it because its the only position sustainable with a mindset of scientism,scientific sceptism, absurdism, naturalism, empiricism, sophisticism and xenomorphism [the last two of which will be explained in a new thread soon].

    This is a mindset that naturally follows from that journey and its a mindset which I consider to be worth having, its something I prefer over a mystical, wishful, supernatural, illogical, irrational, anthropocentric worldview which, if not necessarily comes with theism, atleast is the mental niche in which theism can exist. That is, even if a person belongs to the first worldview [which I mentioned in the first para], his theism can only exist under a veil of the second worldview.

    So you see, it was not a simple choice of a belief - it was a choice between two massive paradigms.

    Ps. This post has been made a new thread here:
    http://www.sciforums.com/showthread.php?p=2883629#post2883629

    PPS. My views on sophisticism and xenomorphism:
    http://www.sciforums.com/showthread.php?t=111813
     
    Last edited: Jan 2, 2012
  10. Crunchy Cat F-in' *meow* baby!!! Valued Senior Member

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    8,423
    Why does that sustainability matter to you?

    What's driving that preference for you?
     
  11. aaqucnaona This sentence is a lie Valued Senior Member

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    It does because in its absence, the main [if not the only] alternative is the second view I described, which I dont prefer.

    The practicality and utlitarianism of my prefered view is the primary reason.
    Think about it [View 2 in Italics, View 1 in Bold]:

    Mystical - Its mysterious, not understood, often useless. On the other hand,
    Scientism - Strange and hard to understand, maybe, but it can be understood and helps understand the world. It has real uses, it can get us to the moon, mystics can only tell us the moon doesn't exist when you aren't looking.

    Wishful thinking - dangerous and harmful at worst, useless and wasteful most of the time at the least.
    Scientific Scepticism - difficult, saddening at times, but extremely useful, prevents the harms of wishful thinking, provides a good filter for facts.

    Supernatural - No reason to believe it except that it may help us if true. I sometimes combine it with wishful thinking.
    Absurdism, Naturalism - Builds on Scientism and scepticism, paves the way for empiricism, forms the core of this paradigm.

    Illogical, Irrational thinking - Pretty much in the same line as wishful thinking, but it may help as being soothing, comforting, etc. Its a helpful placebo and isnt entirely rejected.
    Empiricism - Central insistence on reality is extremely helpful, though sometimes difficult. The Scientism of this view ensures it is constanly bombarded with [and survives] scepticism, which is a good indicator of its worth.

    Anthropocentric worldview - Useful personally but totally inapproriate on a grand scale. Colors and baises a large amount of our decisions and causes a lot of mystical, wishful, illogical and irrational thinking. It is the larger cocoon in which the rest of the paradigm resides.
    Sophisticism and Xenomorphism - Its a good alternative, forms the groundwork for the rest of its paradigm.

    So you see, the preference is due to a consideration of its constituent ideologies, rejecting or accepting them on the basis of how much practical use they have.
     
    Last edited: Jan 2, 2012
  12. Crunchy Cat F-in' *meow* baby!!! Valued Senior Member

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    I see, so atheism for you is simply a side effect of your valuing practicality. Is there some reason why you choose to label yourself an atheist as opposed to not-a-theist?
     
  13. Jan Ardena OM!!! Valued Senior Member

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    13,968
    Very interesting.
    What did you regard as devotion to God?
    And, why did you devote your life to God?

    jan.
     
  14. aaqucnaona This sentence is a lie Valued Senior Member

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    Do you mean side effect as in "an unintended or undesired and often harmful condition arising from something else"?
    If so, I beg to differ.

    I consider my atheism to be a part of my paradigm, and like the rest of my views, its a non-permanent, changable, reasoned and informed stance on an important belief. It has no inherent value judgements.

    I actually label myself as a spinozist, a believer in Deus sive Natura, nature is all there is. This is where I part from the rest of the non-theists [with respect to a personal god] - pan/en theists, deists and non-deity faiths.
    not a theist can mean any of those, especially panentheism and deism.

    IMO, atheist is someone without god, someone who does not believe in the existence of a/many supernatural, religious, personal deity/es. Since I fit that definition, or more precisely, I fit the definition of a explict weak athiest, thats what I call myself.

    Btw, what are your views on god, faith, religion, science and the supernatural? Are a a/thiest? What are your ideologies? And what is your opinion on mine?
     
  15. aaqucnaona This sentence is a lie Valued Senior Member

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    1,620
    God was something I learned about when growing up - along with fables, basic studies and philosophical discussions with my parents. I never questioned it because it was a a central belief and had taboos against it.
    However, the 2 year long journey recounted on this thread slowed wore away the taboos just as I was maturing, letting me question, understand and dismiss it.
    But as I have said before, I want to believe, if only someone can convince me. Just like you dont maintain that there is no bigfoot [or a similiar rare great ape] I dont maintain that there is no God. If you can be shown a dead/live bigfoot, or a Hd video of it by the BBC, you would accept a belief in him. The same is true for me and God.

    My devotion to god meant attending religious ceremonies, praying. [Btw, I still pray before going to sleep, only do it as a quick evaluation of the day. Similiarly, I still attend religious ceremonies and institutions as they are good and useful means of socialisation. I dont question or debate all/many theists I meet, I just nod my head. Why not? My atheism need not extent farther than my philosophy and my discussions, especially when doing so can avert harm and even yield some benefits. This is the eclectism I was refering to in our other discussion. Intellectually dishonest, withholding the truth, improper? No, its just practical and useful.]
    I devoted my life to god because I believed in Him and I believed in him because I was raised that way. I dont anymore beacuse I have learned and understood and decided otherwise, for now and tentatively.
     
  16. ZAV Registered Member

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    Killjoy-

    We really didn't disagree did we? After all, implies does nto mean it must be.

    Just ebcause Religion implies orginisation doesnt mean ti requires it. Plenty of peopel who even you woudl say are Religious do not belogn to specific Orginisations, and as I have noted, several "Non-Religious Philosophies" nonetheless possess Orginisational Structures. Secular Humanism has plenty of Orginisations that exist to preach its message and tell us hwo o think, for example. So does objectivism, the Philosophy fo Ayn Rand. They are typicallyt hoguth of as Philosophies rather than Relgiions, and as alternatives to Relgiion, but my question is, how do they differ from Religions, exactly?

    In this case, we look only at orginisation. Both Rand's Objectivism and Secular Humanism are promoted by Institutions whose aim is to produce peopel who have the same thoughts. Why is that any different form, say, the Catholic Church or the Theravda Buddhist Temples?
     
  17. Crunchy Cat F-in' *meow* baby!!! Valued Senior Member

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    I mean side effect as in unintended.

    Why do you find that belief important? Additionally, you stated that your atheistic position is not an unintended side effect of strongly valuing practicality, but rather an intentional part of your personal paradigm. What isn't clear to me is why you have intentionally chosen it? I do understand your preferences stemming from your placing high value on practicality, but what isn't clear yet is why you have put atheism into your paradigm.

    Ok, so you identity with spinozism (a positive belief).

    I understand the accuracy of the description, but why identify with it? Atheism is not a positive belief. It's a non-belief in one particular assertion (i.e. God exists). I am pretty sure that you don't identity with a non-belief in the assertion "The invisible pink unicorn exists", so why identify with atheism?

    My views on God:
    - All human-claimed Gods don't objectively exist.
    - I don't know enough about reality to determine if any life forms with God-like properties exist; however, to date I have seen no evidence that such life forms could exist.

    My views on religion:
    - It's generally a healthy social experience that fosters cooperation, interdependency, relationships, support networking, and psychological satiation. Like any social organization, it is not beyond corruption, manipulation, and destructiveness.

    My views on faith:
    - Unconditional belief limits your ability to understand and / or accept truth. It can also be extremely dangerous when applied to the variables that govern your survival and the survival of others. On the other hand, it can make you feel very confident, happy, and satisfied.
    - Unconditional trust when applied to people can result in very strong and cooperative relationships. It can also lead you to getting burned badly if it is mis-applied to people in situation that is critical to you.

    My views on science:
    - It's the best formal process humans have ever made towards undstanding reality.
    - It takes a strong education to be able to comprehend the knowledge gained from science and correctly practice science.

    My views on the supernatural:
    - All human claims of the supernatural don't exist.
    - I don't know enough about reality to determine if any phenomenon exist that violate the "laws of nature"; however, I have seen no evidence that such phenomenon could exist.

    I am an atheist. I don't intentionally subscribe to any particular set of ideologies so I am not sure where I would fall in the currently known ideology spectrum. My opinion on your ideology is that it is right for you; however, I am still unclear as to why atheism (as opposed to any other negative position) is intentionally included?
     
  18. arfa brane call me arf Valued Senior Member

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    I see that some people think we should "do away" with mythological beliefs--i.e. religions--and accept that science has all the answers we need.

    That just isn't true, we need myths as much as we need rational explanations. In fact, the belief that science and rationality can somehow replace mythology is mythical.

    If you can rationally explain why the OP needs to include a paragraph about an "experiential" god, and how this could be replaced, that would be interesting. But I think it could only possibly amount to a rationalisation of experience, and then: so what?
     
  19. elte Valued Senior Member

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    I've come to the conclusion that our main ethical principle is that competing *against other people involves an attitude of preying on them, which is evil. Self-defense is not included.

    Competing *with other people is different. Eg: Americans compete with the British against H1N1.

    * for emphasis
     
  20. aaqucnaona This sentence is a lie Valued Senior Member

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    Then yes, it was an unintended side effect.

    It was unintended as in it was the natural consiquence that would follow from the rest of my paradigm. It is an intentional part only in that I am now reflecting, reading and thinking about it. The choice to include it was a side effect.

    Its actually a very vague belief, hardly something one would positively assert. I include spinozism only in order to account for the experiencial god {in the OP}.

    In a world without theists, atheists wouldn't be required [whether all or none would be atheists is a different philosophical question]. However, if the invisble pink unicorn had believers numbering in billions and they had to power to change or influence the political and educational system, you too would be an a-unicornist.

    Ok. Btw, theists would not count any 'life-form', however god-like, to be god/s.

    Nice and objective. I now include this in my perspective on religion.

    Agreed.

    So you do share the high value all athiests place on scientism.

    Ergo, your views on the supernatural and the big foot are pretty my symmetrical. Its a good sign of a healthy, objective, disintrested mind.

    I see that you consider atheism to be holding a negative position. Why is this so? A man without god is the same as a man without big foot, but no one could claim the other to have a negative belief about big foot [that it doesn't exist], its simply that he doesn't buy the claim of big foots existence, for now.

    Btw, what is the how and why of your atheism?
     
  21. scifes In withdrawal. Valued Senior Member

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    closed the video after min 17, the speaker claims the taliban are clueless about human well being, which clearly shows his cluelessness about afganistan and taliban and i can bet anywhere outside his little town.
    i'm an american who lives in the middle east, and i tell you sam harris is more clueless about morality than he is about physics. he is too closeminded to speak about the issue and that makes him and his opinions rather dangerous, his view is too pigeonholed i can't see how you even considered it.

    science says i'll disappear after i die.
    if that's so, then why wouldn't i extort others if i can get away with it?
    if i managed to get beyond compassion because others are feeling good, what stops me from evil?
    if i was constantly rejected by my community, why wouldn't i grab a machine gun and shoot as many of them as possible then kill myself?

    science is soooo far from answering the abc's of morality, as much as athiestic figureheads want it to.
     
  22. aaqucnaona This sentence is a lie Valued Senior Member

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    I agree. I only posted to to show that the question of morality is being considered and may be answered without religion or theism. Harris is as far away from a science of morality as deepak chopra is from quantum mechanics. And yes, some people do overcome compassion and do bad things - whether they believe in god or not - of course, variations exist, a theistic extremist jihadist is much more likely to do so than is a devout mormon. So, the point is theism or religion is not the only or the best source of morality. Nothing more than that was intended to be established by that video. Right now, philosophy and religion is all we have, maybe in the future we shall have a science of morality, till then, theist or not, I see no reason why people should not follow the good teachings of world religions.
     
  23. elte Valued Senior Member

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    But it is socially unstable and contradictory for world religions to say that they know God and what God says. That is an implicit condoning of dishonesty which is detrimental to good civilization that we need for our general happiness. So religion ultimately risks doing the very opposite of what it is supposed to do. That is a big reason why Russia has become such a crime haven (no disrespect intended to my Russian readers.), once the straw house of theological religion is torn down, there isn't decent notion of morality based on common sense around to keep society functioning efficiently.
     

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