Scientists discover that atheists might not exist, and that’s not a joke

Discussion in 'Religion' started by Jan Ardena, Apr 8, 2018.

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  1. Jan Ardena Valued Senior Member

    What a strange thing to say?

    Don't you mean "Evidence is not supposed to be what somebody deems it to be." Bearing in mind that people do interpret the evidence according to their pressups?

    Or your atheism. (meant to say deep-rooted)

    Why? They are completely different.
    But you're an atheist, I am a theist, so it is hardly surprising that we reach our respective conclusions.

    I don't know what a sky-daddy is.

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  3. billvon Valued Senior Member

    That would require him to have an honest discussion about his opinions, something he is (apparently) not able to do.
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  5. Jan Ardena Valued Senior Member

    I know what cosmology is, and there's nothing wrong with wanting to find out how the universe got here. In fact it's great that we have this curiosity, and ability, to do it. Go humans!
    But it isn't necessary for the growth of mankind. It works for advancing societies (if used beneficially ), but not necessarily for individuals .

    God (in context of theism), is distinct from any notion of cosmological knowledge we may imbibe. But I do understand why you may not think so.

    Am I right in saying that, for you, if God exists. There should be evidence of His existence, like we have evidence we have of other people, and things existing?

    Last edited: Apr 17, 2018
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  7. Jan Ardena Valued Senior Member

    Firstly. Opinions about what?
    Secondly. What is untrue about opinions I do post?

  8. iceaura Valued Senior Member

    You claimed that scientists have discovered an innate human propensity toward theism.
    That was false. What they discovered was an innate propensity toward harboring metaphysical beliefs.
    You have not corrected that untrue claim, and in fact made it the title of your thread.
  9. Capracus Valued Senior Member

    Isn’t that ideally how we want to construct our truths as reasonable beings? Whether experientially or theoretically, shouldn’t the exitance of things be based on consistent standards of reasoning?
  10. Jan Ardena Valued Senior Member

    Where have I made this claim?
    Please quote the thread number?

  11. Jan Ardena Valued Senior Member

    2 questions for you.

    What is God?
    And how could God exist?

  12. Gawdzilla Sama Valued Senior Member

    Well, you're not trying hard enough.
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  13. Dinosaur Rational Skeptic Valued Senior Member

    From Jan Post 88
    As an atheist, I consider god to be a mythical supernatural entity. Id est: I do not believe in the existence of any god.

    In the USA, the majority consider God to be the Christian version of god.

    World wide, I am not sure what (if any) god is accepted by a majority.

    Historically, there were thousands of mythical entities called god, with many cultures believing in multiple gods.

    In modern times, there are probably less entities considered to be god or gods, but perhaps they still number in the thousands.
  14. Capracus Valued Senior Member

    A god could simply be an organism of sufficient superiority to be perceived as a god by lower order beings.
    Just like anything else, as a product of universal organization.
  15. Jan Ardena Valued Senior Member

    1 I didn't asked ''what is a god''.
    I asked, what is God.
    If you cannot be bothered to find out what the difference is, then it is pointless carrying on the discussion.

    2 God, would not be God, if this were the case.
    This is why you need to have some comprehension of God. The God that theists accept, and believe in. Otherwise, you can make up anything, like you are doing.
    God may have different names, and people may accept, and/or worship different aspects of God. They may even want to claim that the aspect of God they worship, is the true God, and all the others false.
    But God, by all accounts, and definition is One.

  16. Gawdzilla Sama Valued Senior Member

    All the accounts you like, and all the definitions you approve of.
  17. Capracus Valued Senior Member

    Whatever you conceive is “God,” it is still a god. The general definition I gave would include all possibilities.
    The God that theist accept and believe in is a made up version that they have chosen. Whatever gods that actually do exist will almost certainly not conform to that imagined ideal. Gods or “God” will be what reality allows them to be, not simply what we wish them to be.
  18. Gawdzilla Sama Valued Senior Member

    "Humans have never thought up a god with better manners than their own."
  19. billvon Valued Senior Member

    The answers are effectively the same. There are hundreds of Gods that people on Earth believe in; none are any more provable than the others. Each believer prefers his/her God to be the "real" one but there is no evidence that any one is more real than any of the others.
    Which theists? Christians? Muslims? Hindi? Confucians?
    As have Christians, and Muslims, etc etc.
    Unless he is one God in three parts.
    Or unless he is several different, independent Gods.
  20. Gawdzilla Sama Valued Senior Member

    Jan worships the one true god, just like every other believer.

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  21. iceaura Valued Senior Member

    In the title of the thread, for starters, as you quoted me pointing out.
    Also via most of your posts herein - such as post 20:
    The scientists discovered nothing of the kind, and the report of their discoveries carries no such implication.
    There is no reason to think any theist has any better comprehension of any actual God than anyone else has.
    As far comprehending what theists believe, we have plenty of detailed information from the theists themselves, such as you. So no problem, except for the number and variety of differing beliefs.
    One thing a lot of theists believe is that their deity or deities encompasses or bestows all of metaphysical and spiritual life - that anything metaphysical or spiritual involves their deity or deities. We can see that in the commentary on the discoveries reported in that article.
  22. Musika Last in Space Valued Senior Member

    Are these comments meant to challenge or confirm the notion that atheism establishes itself as a self-serving world view?
  23. Tiassa Let us not launch the boat ... Staff Member

    Whether it is a scare quote or not, the line reflects a conflation of atheism and atheists in the perception of the author. It is pretty easy to see, at least insofar as the article leads with Dawkins.

    Even here at Sciforums we experience a disconnection between atheism and reality. Atheism, as we encounter it here at Sciforums, is nothing more than an identity politic; it is not uncommon in society, and this is the context of atheism most apparently considered.

    Actual atheism, a mere talking point that God does not exist, a metaphysical counterpoint detached from anything it purports to address, is what it is. Atheists exist inasmuch as Christians do; these are identity politics, mere words that have nothing to do with their actual definitions.

    What makes atheism real is the fact of definitions.

    What leads us to the notion that "atheists might not exist", or atheism being "psychologically impossible", also has to do with those definitions. Because this mere talking point, this assertion that there is no such thing as God, this has such a specific and self-alienating definition, we need not doubt that it means what it means.

    That one rejects the proposition of God means only that, and nothing else:

    If we start with a basic question, the whole thing falls apart rather quickly: Why does it matter if God exists?

    Ninety-nine days out of ninety-nine, the problem with discussing atheism is that it's only about atheism, and has nothing to do with anything. I don't mean to be glib on this point, but, to the one, it matters if God exists because otherwise saying God says so about really stupid and illogical stuff is really stupid and illogical. And, to the other, so gee-dee, effity-eff what if God doesn't exist? At some point, it becomes a futile question.

    Once upon a time ... and yes, we are all aware that it is unfair to pin any atheist today with any ostensibly rational thing any atheist in history who isn't them might have said ... part of the argument was that causing harm and calling it necessary because of a faery tale was a really stupid and illogical thing to do.

    There are times when I feel nearly delusional in recalling those days, even if some of them are buried in the archives, here. But this is important, because "Atheism" can easily become, in living practice, just another religion, only even worse because it has no affirmative central principle. The problem is this: We might in this atheism reject the proposition of God as irrational, but that's only because it's "God", and has nothing to do with "irrational".

    The practical effect, compared to once upon a time, is that the problem isn't doing really stupid and illogical things, but, rather, doing them for reasons that do not suit an atheist's personal aesthetics.

    But it's true, we're all aware it's unfair to pin the past on people in the present, but of late even that old bit of intellectual sloth has given way to an identity politic by which atheism is pretty much a rejection of perceived religion in which the identifying partisan doesn't really need to understand their own complaint because the point is simply to complain. It's very nearly to the point of street preachers daring people to say something about God in order to tell them they're wrong.

    Which brings us 'round to Jan bring a blog post from a "writer on the edge" who, in turn, leads with and circles 'round to Dawkins.

    The article is not especially helpful. If we consider identity atheism as a reaction against societal institution, then the problem emerges quite clearly as we go: Vittachi, in reacting to a perceived institutional atheism, concedes the framework as much as so many atheists react within the shape and form of the religion most directly affecting them; e.g., American atheists have long tended to respond to Christianity when describing religion, and this will change as non-Christian religions grow their share of religious Americans.

    One of the hazards of persuasive writing is trying to figure our relationship to rhetorical frameworks. One must acknowledge certain aspects, attributes, or dimensions, but that gets complicated; many atheists describe religious caricatures, and religous people describing atheism generally reminds why we have evangelical atheists. Vittachi is stitching together any number of things various atheists have said, and forgets that none of those statements have any actual relationship to one another.

    It's one thing to try to appeal to an abstract average, but the values added up in order to calculate the average do not have any intrinsic relationship to one another even if they all came from one atheist. Ordinarily, the problem of using one atheist to represent them all would be the obvious fallacy. In this case, we must remember that atheism as an identity politic has no obligation to generate or provide rational results. Vittachi's article is shot through with a mistaken pretense that what he intends to address intends, for its own part, to make any sort of rational sense; in formulating an abstract average, he has assigned values inappropriately, and thus pitches to no one.

    And that last matters: It addresses both, comparative awareness and what these statements of psychological impossibility or nonexistence actually attend.

    Atheists exist. The psychological impossibility has to do with a perception of what the identity politic projects. While Vittachi tries to make some manner of quasi-scientific argument about belief in unreal things or ideas, he is inherently tilting windmills because both his construction and the components from which it is built are fallacious.

    In that once upon a time when the question of God as a rational prospect actually counted as something important in the atheistic discourse, the question of rational outcome was itself a matter of aesthetic and sentiment.

    That is to say, there is actual atheism, a mere talking point that God does not exist, a metaphysical counterpoint detached from anything it purports to address; the identity politic, however, is a mere prejudice or jealousy.

    One might, as such, dispute the existence of God because it is an irrational proposition, but only because one objects to "God", while irrational propositons are, in and of themselves, well enough, and even sometimes desirable.

    And this is the range in which the idea that "atheists might not exist" would start to have some effective meaning. Even still, it's a messy phrasing conceding far too much to atheistic identity discourse.

    In questions of cause, we can keep asking why until we crawl our way back to the Big Bang. In living experience, concepts like fairness, justice, rights, and even nation, only exist because people say so. This is rather quite like God as a human invention.

    The problem with crawling our way back to the Big Bang is that it takes a while, and lots of hard work. If God is the reason why, then we might crawl back to the Big Bang. If there is no God because God is an irrational proposition, then what is the reason why? Well, we don't ask that because it has nothing to do with atheism. The objection that religion causes wars, or disrupts medical research, become nearly meaningless insofar as they don't object to irrationality as justification, but, rather, this particular irrationality as justification.

    The statement that "atheists might not exist", such as it comes to us, is thus flawed. Atheists exist. It is, rather, an implied, perceived, or projected merit of rationality that does not exist, as such, within atheism.

    Atheism, as such, is disconnected, which brings us to something about awareness. Vittachi's concession to the pretense of atheism as symbol of meritorious rationality glares. The implication that "theists are somehow 'more aware' than atheists" has to do with the state of discourse; if religion is a communal expression of mysterium, at least its flawed expressions address something; if we turn to Vittachi's early paragraph about pattern-seeking, the emerging pretense would be that theists, at the very least, are addressing the patterns while atheists are not or cannot. If we seek the certain way in which Vittachi is right, we also find the way in which he is wrong; he is responding to inaccurate presuppositions. We don't actually know, as such, what atheists think on these points because they will not, or cannot, tell anyone, as that has nothing to do with atheism.

    We might recall my recent criticism of atheists who seem to know nothing about what they criticize; this ignorance becomes especially important because at some point various implications depend on what we mean when we say God. Vittachi seems to have conceded balbutive, as if pandering to an atheistic projection of God, which seems about right given the Dawkins guideposts. He is, essentially, pitching against a weird nihilism symptomatic of uneducated atheism, and doing so in a patronizing, needling manner rather quite familiar to evangelical atheists.

    The interesting thing about "pro-theism bias" is that, well, okay, first, duh; still, though, this is all fundamentally a religious discussion, taking place in a manner by which atheism is just another religion. It's all a complete mess, but also squarely within the range of evangelical atheism such as we see from Dawkins and, if we read closely, Maher.
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