Who come first the theist or the atheist

Discussion in 'Religion Archives' started by arauca, Dec 24, 2011.

  1. Aqueous Id flat Earth skeptic Valued Senior Member

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    @yazata

    After the charges and cross examination, in his closing summary, Socrates addresses the 499 Athenians present, establishing his position as a theist for which he was arraigned and tried as an atheist, i.e., one who rebuked the divinity of the sun and moon. Notice God is "the God", "he" who "commands", etc., quite a departure from the impersonal "it" in reference the sun and moon (demigods).

    Strange, indeed, would be my conduct, O men of Athens, if I who, when I was ordered by the generals whom you chose to command me at Potidaea and Amphipolis and Delium, remained where they placed me, like any other man, facing death; if, I say, now, when, as I conceive and imagine, God orders me to fulfil the philosopher's mission of searching into myself and other men, I were to desert my post through fear of death, or any other fear; that would indeed be strange, and I might justly be arraigned in court for denying the existence of the gods, if I disobeyed the oracle because I was afraid of death: then I should be fancying that I was wise when I was not wise. For this fear of death is indeed the pretence of wisdom, and not real wisdom, being the appearance of knowing the unknown; since no one knows whether death, which they in their fear apprehend to be the greatest evil, may not be the greatest good. Is there not here conceit of knowledge, which is a disgraceful sort of ignorance? And this is the point in which, as I think, I am superior to men in general, and in which I might perhaps fancy myself wiser than other men, - that whereas I know but little of the world below, I do not suppose that I know: but I do know that injustice and disobedience to a better, whether God or man, is evil and dishonorable, and I will never fear or avoid a possible good rather than a certain evil. And therefore if you let me go now, and reject the counsels of Anytus, who said that if I were not put to death I ought not to have been prosecuted, and that if I escape now, your sons will all be utterly ruined by listening to my words - if you say to me, Socrates, this time we will not mind Anytus, and will let you off, but upon one condition, that are to inquire and speculate in this way any more, and that if you are caught doing this again you shall die; - if this was the condition on which you let me go, I should reply: Men of Athens, I honor and love you; but I shall obey God rather than you, and while I have life and strength I shall never cease from the practice and teaching of philosophy, exhorting anyone whom I meet after my manner, and convincing him, saying: O my friend, why do you who are a citizen of the great and mighty and wise city of Athens, care so much about laying up the greatest amount of money and honor and reputation, and so little about wisdom and truth and the greatest improvement of the soul, which you never regard or heed at all? Are you not ashamed of this? And if the person with whom I am arguing says: Yes, but I do care; I do not depart or let him go at once; I interrogate and examine and cross-examine him, and if I think that he has no virtue, but only says that he has, I reproach him with undervaluing the greater, and overvaluing the less. And this I should say to everyone whom I meet, young and old, citizen and alien, but especially to the citizens, inasmuch as they are my brethren. For this is the command of God, as I would have you know; and I believe that to this day no greater good has ever happened in the state than my service to the God. For I do nothing but go about persuading you all, old and young alike, not to take thought for your persons and your properties, but first and chiefly to care about the greatest improvement of the soul. I tell you that virtue is not given by money, but that from virtue come money and every other good of man, public as well as private. This is my teaching, and if this is the doctrine which corrupts the youth, my influence is ruinous indeed. But if anyone says that this is not my teaching, he is speaking an untruth. Wherefore, O men of Athens, I say to you, do as Anytus bids or not as Anytus bids, and either acquit me or not; but whatever you do, know that I shall never alter my ways, not even if I have to die many times.

    Men of Athens, do not interrupt, but hear me; there was an agreement between us that you should hear me out. And I think that what I am going to say will do you good: for I have something more to say, at which you may be inclined to cry out; but I beg that you will not do this. I would have you know that, if you kill such a one as I am, you will injure yourselves more than you will injure me. Meletus and Anytus will not injure me: they cannot; for it is not in the nature of things that a bad man should injure a better than himself. I do not deny that he may, perhaps, kill him, or drive him into exile, or deprive him of civil rights; and he may imagine, and others may imagine, that he is doing him a great injury: but in that I do not agree with him; for the evil of doing as Anytus is doing - of unjustly taking away another man's life - is greater far. And now, Athenians, I am not going to argue for my own sake, as you may think, but for yours, that you may not sin against the God, or lightly reject his boon by condemning me. For if you kill me you will not easily find another like me, who, if I may use such a ludicrous figure of speech, am a sort of gadfly, given to the state by the God; and the state is like a great and noble steed who is tardy in his motions owing to his very size, and requires to be stirred into life. I am that gadfly which God has given the state and all day long and in all places am always fastening upon you, arousing and persuading and reproaching you. And as you will not easily find another like me, I would advise you to spare me. I dare say that you may feel irritated at being suddenly awakened when you are caught napping; and you may think that if you were to strike me dead, as Anytus advises, which you easily might, then you would sleep on for the remainder of your lives, unless God in his care of you gives you another gadfly. And that I am given to you by God is proved by this: - that if I had been like other men, I should not have neglected all my own concerns, or patiently seen the neglect of them during all these years, and have been doing yours, coming to you individually, like a father or elder brother, exhorting you to regard virtue; this I say, would not be like human nature. And had I gained anything, or if my exhortations had been paid, there would have been some sense in that: but now, as you will perceive, not even the impudence of my accusers dares to say that I have ever exacted or sought pay of anyone; they have no witness of that. And I have a witness of the truth of what I say; my poverty is a sufficient witness. ​
     
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  3. universaldistress Extravagantly Introverted ... Valued Senior Member

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    Do human babies believe in god? Do human babies who are kept in a religious vacuum believe in god when they grow up, without "inventing"/"conceptualising" the theory? Did the animals that came before humans believe in god?

    Atheism is the default.
     
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  5. Aqueous Id flat Earth skeptic Valued Senior Member

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    Thus atheism precedes theism.

    These people are trying to exploit the form of the word itself. (The a- prefix only makes sense if the root already exists in the language.)

    They fail to understand that atheism meant a-pantheism, this is why I provided the cite from Plato's Apology.

    Besides this little glitch in their minds as to the ancient application of the word, in the context of the pan-animism of ancient Greece, that it is first used to refer to Socrates, the theist among them, as a reprobate--besides all that, the fundamental issue is that, as you say, atheism is the default state for all people who have never been influenced by contact with a religion.
     
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  7. arauca Banned Banned

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    How do you know ? have you asked them ? by default you are a blabber mouth
     
  8. universaldistress Extravagantly Introverted ... Valued Senior Member

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    Hollow troll-like behaviour.

    Ask a baby whether it has spontaneously believed in god without having been groomed; indeed . . .
     
  9. Aqueous Id flat Earth skeptic Valued Senior Member

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    The statement about atheism being the default is correct. A child who is raised in a place that never heard about God will not just wake up one morning and say "I found God!". That child is atheist, without ever knowing it. That is the default condition.

    The folks posting here from the religious camp are refusing to see this.
     
  10. arauca Banned Banned

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    If you go back to the first post . I mentioned "
    In the animal kingdom or later human, they knew their leader. Now among us some know the leader some have lost him "
    Every baby, every pop ( animals ) know their leader,
    So who come first the mother or father ir the child .
     
  11. arauca Banned Banned

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    how is it , if you don't like then it must be troll ?
     
  12. Dywyddyr Penguinaciously duckalicious. Valued Senior Member

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    Which has got what to do with theism?
    Or are you claiming that "god" is this leader?
    If so please show that this is true.
     
  13. universaldistress Extravagantly Introverted ... Valued Senior Member

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    Theism describes man's belief in god. The word (a word that meant) "man" came first I suggest. And in the word "man" is no reference to religion. If it is important which word comes first surely the first EVER word was indeed "man-believes-in-god" . . .

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    oke:
     
    Last edited: Dec 30, 2011
  14. universaldistress Extravagantly Introverted ... Valued Senior Member

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    Nonsense seldom backs-up nonsense. It simply backs-up the system so it don't flow right.

    Calling someone a "blabber mouth" is offensive in anyone's book.
     
  15. river

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    neither

    they came , as thought , at the same moment , at the same time
     
  16. lightgigantic Banned Banned

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    same goes for physics or any of the advanced sciences or mathematics or literature or philosophy.

    IOW saying that atheism is the default is just like saying ignorance is the default

    I guess ignorance does precede knowledge ....
     
  17. river

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    what are you talking about here , it makes no sense , about this " The word ( a word that meant ) " man "
     
  18. universaldistress Extravagantly Introverted ... Valued Senior Member

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    The word "man" as in the word that meant "man" when any word that meant "man" was first used. Get it? I thought it was readable first time. Like ugg=man and uggugg=woman . . . ugg.

    "Man" is a word that describes. "Man believes in god" is a concept. Which has to come first? (I don't think this is useful to any arguement trying to prove or disprove god. I want to point out the BS in the argument offered previously, and to show its irrelevance.)
     
    Last edited: Dec 30, 2011
  19. river

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    13,130



    easy

    insults mean nothing to me now , been down that road , a thousand times , literaly

    oh there is at least a physical god
     
  20. Aqueous Id flat Earth skeptic Valued Senior Member

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    Evidence contradicts you. Consider the Mother of Creation, Tiâmat, in one of the oldest of such writings, from the Enuma Elish epic. Here is a late Babylonian tablet:

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    Relevant Text:

    Ummu-Hubur [Tiamat] who formed all things,
    Made in addition weapons invincible; she spawned monster-serpents,
    Sharp of tooth, and merciless of fang;
    With poison, instead of blood, she filled their bodies.
    Fierce monster-vipers she clothed with terror,
    With splendor she decked them, she made them of lofty stature.
    Whoever beheld them, terror overcame him,
    Their bodies reared up and none could withstand their attack.
    She set up vipers and dragons, and the monster Lahamu,
    And hurricanes, and raging hounds, and scorpion-men,
    And mighty tempests, and fish-men, and rams;
    They bore cruel weapons, without fear of the fight.
    Her commands were mighty, none could resist them;
    After this fashion, huge of stature, she made eleven [kinds of] monsters.
    :
    [Wikipedia commentary:]
    :
    Then they met: Marduk, that cleverest of gods, and Tiamat grappled alone in singled fight.

    The lord shot his net to entangle Tiamat, and the pursuing tumid wind, Imhullu, came from behind and beat in her face. When the mouth gaped open to suck him down he drove Imhullu in, so that the mouth would not shut but wind raged through her belly; her c arcass blown up, tumescent,. She gaped- And now he shot the arrow that split the belly, that pierced the gut and cut the womb.
    :
    :
    He turned back to where Tiamat lay bound, he straddled the legs and smashed her skull ( for the mace was merciless), he severed the arteries and the blood streamed down the north wind to the unknown ends of the world.

    :
    The lord rested; he gazed at the huge body, pondering how to use it, what to create from the dead carcass. He split it apart like a cockle-shell; with the upper half he constructed the arc of sky, he pulled down the bar and set a watch on the waters, so they should never escape.

    He crossed the sky to survey the infinite distance; he station himself above apsu, that apsu built by Nudimmud over the old abyss which now he surveyed, measuring out and marking in.

    He stretched the immensity of the firmament, he made Esharra, the Great Palace, to be its earthly image, and Anu and Enlil and Ea had each their right stations.



    Hi Mom!

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    ...so what were you saying about a leader?

    One more thing: try and cast this into your ideas of theism vs atheism.
     
    Last edited: Dec 30, 2011
  21. wynn ˙ Valued Senior Member

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    If we focus on such change, we have to account for the possibility that in earlier times, people might have had clearer religious ideas than they do today; also for the possibility that religious ideas from geographically or chronologically different cultures cannot be meaningfully compared; also for the possibility that human development may be going in cycles.

    It is typical for pre-Boasian athropology to believe that the development of human culture is 1. linear, 2. takes place in stages, and 3. progressive over time to higher stages, so that each subsequent stage is more advanced.

    This notion is widely spread still.

    Boas and subsequent anthropologists, however, challenged it, believing that each culture must be taken in its particularity, and that cross-cultural generalizations were not possible.


    Many lines of reasoning about of theism/atheism build on a pre-Boasian model of a universal, linear model of the development of human culture.
    We need to reconsider whether such a model really is to be given such full credence.



    Sure.


    Do note that in some major religions, there are concepts like "fingers pointing to the moon" - namely that a particular religion presents itself not as the final answer on everything, but as a roadsign or a raft.

    Because of this, we cannot criticize them they way we could a system that purports to be final.
     
  22. Aqueous Id flat Earth skeptic Valued Senior Member

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    Exactly. Both religion and academics are learned. But before academia existed, people explored the world and made deductions without anything but superstition, myth and fables to guide them. There was no division between what we would call science and religion, or knowledge and superstition. They were initially one and the same. Pick a point in history, say Aristotle, when the split was significant enough to affect subsequent cultures. But it seems like that split never fully completed, as if the the DNA from the common ancestor--knowledge and superstition--is still present today. It is found in the rhetoric of creation science, as if this is a factory for forcing those two species back into one helix. And it is found in some of the ideas posted here.

    If you mean a blank slate, I agree, but wilfull ignorance comes later. I would add that the blank slate comes with a bootstrap program for cognition loaded in the DNA. In the cultural aspect I would say superstition is the default.


    Sentience would seem to come first, then primitive learning, accompanied by the rewards and punishments of nature. Cooperation evolved and early communities formed, with the ability to pool their experiences dealing with nature, to the advantage of the greater good. A common language would be evolving by necessity. They would then communicate their experiences, and explanations would ensue. This could be the foundation for early myths. Stories around the tribal fire is the intuitive model.

    I guess you could pin knowledge just about anywhere into this sequence, since it is gradually incrementing with experience and shared ideas.

    But from the cultural aspect, it seems that superstition precedes knowledge.
     
  23. universaldistress Extravagantly Introverted ... Valued Senior Member

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    1, I fail to see any insult. 2, Making claims like that (that there is definitely a physical god) in a science based subforum isn't scientific. :shh:
     

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