Why I became an atheist: Why did you not?

Discussion in 'Comparative Religion' started by Dinosaur, Jul 5, 2013.

  1. kwhilborn Banned Banned

    @ Trippy,

    I am not using god to explain anything our scientific knowledge does not comprehend yet, mainly because it is the entity of "god" that is the subject matter that is not being comprehended by science.

    I see a line between the arguments.

    If man witnessed a solar eclipse and it was attributed to god because their science at the time could not comprehend an eclipse, then that would be a better example for what you are arguing.

    You could say I think there is a gap in scientific knowledge ( I do ) regarding scientific knowledge vs telepathy, however I also think this would mean a mass consciousness must exist and that it would be a part of what god is. I think god is everything plus a bit more.

    I would argue that the meaning is meant for other things, but I will not formally debate it here as the point is moot.

    You say I am using god to fill some sort of gap in our understanding, and I am saying our gap in understanding is the inability to measure god.

    I see a line between those positions, but will not waste time trying to explain it further. I'd buy that argument if you applied it to something else in nature like ball lightning (caused by lightning hitting copper), volcano's, or solar eclipses. I also doubt many here would even say psychic phenomenon exists at all, never mind calling it a gap in our scientific knowledge. Calling it a gap in our scientific knowledge I would herald as an improved stance of many here if they concurred. You either grasp it or not as it stands.

    My argument is (from post 117). If people argued the existence of radio waves 1000 years ago there would be no way to measure because science had not advanced far enough to measure them. This does NOT mean radio waves did not exist.

    Their inability to prove radio waves does not equal proof that they do not exist.

    Think on that for a minute.

    Their inability to prove radio waves does not equal proof that they do not exist.

    Now again I point to the words under my name, "Finally we know everything!"

    It is a good thing we do know everything now, because otherwise no rational person would ever ask for proof of god, psi, clairvoyance, telepathy, etc.

    Arguing "extraordinary claims require extraordinary proof" is fine. That is about belief and unrelated to science. That statement should not even be allowed on a science forum.

    Imagine again those folks arguing that radio waves must exist 1000 years ago (unreal example for argument). They had no extraordinary proof for the extraordinary claim. Did that make radio waves unscientific? Does this make radio waves unreal? Does this make radio waves unbelievable at the time? Yes; it would have been unbelievable at the time. Nothing more, nothing less.

    There is no tool to prove god exists. There is no tool that disproves gods existence. There is no valid argument for either (except god is real).

    This thread and ones like it have 2 sides.

    Side a - They stick out their tongues at side b and say god is fake.
    Side b - They stick out their tongues at side a and say god is real.

    I have shown AGAIN (for those not comprehending great explanation in post 117), that this argument has no solution and is ridiculous in nature.
    It is like watching bickering children from my viewpoint. I can understand debating religions or their arguments as they themselves are often a joke in my eyes.

    Simply look here...

    If you want to argue ancient religions are a joke then sign me up... That has NOTHING to do with how I have come to view this Universal consciousness/all that is/god.

    I'm side b so.... :blbl: God is real.
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  3. Trippy ALEA IACTA EST Staff Member


    Didn't say you were. My point was that, according to your hypothesis, the lack of scientific evidence in favour of god is because we can not measure the right things or look in the right places yet. God, as you describe him, exists in the gaps of what we are able to measure and see, and the proof of his existence lies in the gaps between where we can prove he isn't. Hence, god of the gaps.

    No it wouldn't.

    Proof of god is in (what you perceive as) the gaps in what can be repeatedly measured and observed by science as it stands at this point. Hence, god of the gaps.

    Don't really care.

    The concept, although not the exact wording, goes back to Henry Drummond, a 19th-century evangelist lecturer, from his Lowell Lectures on The Ascent of Man. He chastises those Christians who point to the things that science can not yet explain—"gaps which they will fill up with God"—and urges them to embrace all nature as God's, as the work of "... an immanent God, which is the God of Evolution, is infinitely grander than the occasional wonder-worker, who is the God of an old theology."
    God of the gaps on Wikipedia

    I really don't care what would make the argument more palpatable. You have stated, more than once now that:
    1) Telepathy is something that is real, but can not be measured by science because we do not have the right tools or can-not look in the right places.
    2) Telepathy is part of (therefore proof of) the existence of a singular god, irrespective of whether it conforms with abrahamist expectations.

    In other words, you consider that something you consider is real, and something that you do not consider is, or can be explained by science is, by mechanism of your hypothesis of the neccessity of a mass consciousness, is proof of the existence of some kind of being that is, by definition, supernatural, that you refer to as god. You postulate an act of god to explain what you consider to be a phenomena for which science has no explanation.

    I'm fairly sure there's a name for this kind of fallacy. It's also, I believe, something of a strawman.

    Proving that dogs have hair and cats have hair does not prove that all cats are dogs.

    There's a lot of things in existance today that would be supernatural to Pope Benedict VIII and Henry II, Holy Roman Emperor

    Your whole spiel is an argument from ignorance. You do not consider that telepathy (and god) have been proven to be false, so you assert that they are therefore true. This is precisely why I mentioned Russell's Teapot

    Prove to me that there isn't a pink floral teapot orbiting the sun in space between earth and mars. You can't, and if you try I can always argue that the Teapot is simply smaller than the resolution of your study, or that your study looked in the wrong place - much like you claim science is with Telepathy (and god).
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  5. wegs Matter & Pixie Dust Valued Senior Member

    I believe in God, and there are things I too wrestle with, but that is where faith steps in. God can't really be "measured" ...and to offer irrefutable "proof" from a scientific perspective, would be a challenge (on a human level)

    The bible I do believe is more than some "feel good" stories. I believe there is a lot of true history there. Again, is that faith that tells me this? I guess.

    But I do question and seek answers. I think we are not meant to know "everything"

    But my faith comes from a place deep within after years of asking questions and experiencing things that I felt God had a hand in.
    I believe God is in the details.

    But it isn't something I can "prove" to you.
    Just my ramblings.

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    I appreciate the openness on here to share this.
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  7. wegs Matter & Pixie Dust Valued Senior Member

    Further to add, someone not believing as I do doesn't change anything in my life.
    I have friends who beat ppl over the head with scripture.
    I ask why do this?

    Faith is not something that once you get enough proof ...then voila! You believe in God.
    It is faith in things not yet seen.
    It's not a feeling, but it is something inside you that moves you in a direction beyond the here and now.

    I can't and won't and never will argue why someone should believe because it really is a personal experience.
    And a beautiful one.
    Of course, I am bias.

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    I have a friend who was an atheist and now she believes in God.
    She had a personal life/death experience and said she felt something that she can't explain.

    That is it.
    You can't quite explain it.

    The bible wont make someone believe either.
    I think in order to believe the bible, faith already has to be present to some degree.
  8. Gorlitz Iron Man Registered Senior Member

    Well I would rather be a theist and believe in God, they all seem happier. But I can't suspend disbelief long enough.
    Also then I'd have to find some sort of religion that seemed credible and that would be no easy task. Perhaps if I really had to make a choice then I might choose a happy clappy church as they really do seem to have fun there, but no chance of one of the fire and brimstone preaching "you'll end up in in hell if you don't do..." types, can't see what any folks could get out of these types of churches.
  9. wegs Matter & Pixie Dust Valued Senior Member

    Interesting thoughts and happy clappy made me giggle.

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    Truth is...church is really more about "fellowship"...praying in togetherness.
    But, God is everywhere. You could be in a remote hut somewhere in the middle if nowhere and speak your thoughts to him, pray, meditate, etc...

    Many Christians are legalistic in nature. I sometimes wonder if they are really experiencing their faith or follow a laundry list of supposed "rules" set forth by their church or the bible or whatever.

    Truth is this. If you follow God...you will NATURALLY wish to do good unto others.
    The commandments are not options or suggestions for believers but they should come naturally if u love God.

    But the commandments are more than what u see.

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    God sometimes is a tough task master lol but it is out of love to strengthen our character. If we are never tested, we will not grow.
    Again...my belief.

    I listened to a sermon one day about how for example...."thou shalt not steal" transcends to stealing ideas from fellow coworkers and such.

    It's pretty fascinating. I will post some more on that later.

    Just makes you if nothing else examine your conscience. Always a good thing to do, I think.
  10. wegs Matter & Pixie Dust Valued Senior Member

    I've had a mad crush on Bill Gates for a long time and you want to hear some interesting points about religion and his views, take a listen to him sometime.

    As always, he's classy and smart in his views.

    I am not a fan of labels but I would "classify" him as an agnostic. Think he likes proof of things but he also believes that "religion" has positive merits. He admits to "not knowing" if there is a God or not. Without proof, he's just not sure. The fact he would keep an open mind made me respect him even more.
  11. Gorlitz Iron Man Registered Senior Member

    Bill Gates hey, I bet there have been more than a few people attracted to him, given his influence and also now his charity work, not even mentioning his vast wealth. I perhaps would be a little suprised if anyone found him attractive because of religious view's though lol

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    , no but I don't think that many would disagree that religion does certainly have it positives, for example it offers togetherness, friendship and comfort for many, it also gives them something to look forward to after their time on Earth has passed. So yes definately many positives, but it's also filled with contradictions and can make it difficult to learn the truth about things when people already believe they have the answers.

    I find it difficult to understand the things done in the name of religion or how or why it can sometimes inspire hostility towards others, these things to me are the negative side of religion and I guess possibily something that would make think very seriously before considering adopting any.

    The moral values that many religious people seek to live by, many seemingly based upon God's commandments, seem a worthy goal to aspire to, here again I think if these values are being promoted by religion this is also a very possitive aspect. But I would possibly question if it was really necessary to have religion promoting such moral values and ask, arn't each of us already capable of knowing the difference between right and wrong? I would at least like to feel that most of the people I know personally are moral people.

    I'm not nor have I ever been entirely convinced that God can't exist, but I have seem many things and listened to many people that make me think it is unlikely. Because of this I think it would probarbly be hard for me to now become religious, certainly I can understand the difficulties others may have.
    I think also I can understand how others who once believed to now turn to atheism, perhaps though with this comes a price, such that their clarity and certainty no longer exist.
    But for me perhaps it's this clarity and certainty, understanding and hope for an afterlife that really makes me a little envious of the belief that theiests enjoy.
  12. spidergoat Valued Senior Member

    OP didn't assert there is no god. He was appalled by the story of Abraham being asked to sacrifice his son.

    I hear your argument all the time, but lack of knowledge is no excuse for believing in something without evidence. The burden of proof is still on those who assert the supernatural, since natural causes are all around and can be validated with experiment.
  13. kwhilborn Banned Banned

    @ Trippy,
    First of all. You say here that telepathy has been proven false.
    If I misunderstand the meaning of this then you can at least see the confusion. It seems to be written wrong. Unless you actually think mankind has the ability to prove telepathy as false, in which case it is your thinking that is flawed.

    How and when has telepathy been proven false?

    That might be comparable to people proving radio waves false a thousand years ago (analogy not fact). The fact that they could not build a radio must prove radio waves do not exist. Your argument is completely ridiculous if that was your intended claim, and honestly I gave you more credit than that. I'm thinking you need to rethink that stance.

    Exactly. I cannot disprove this. There could in fact be a pink floral teapot orbiting the sun between earth and mars.

    I could actually say however that this is always true as any teapot on the mars side of earth is in fact a floral teapot orbiting the sun between earth and mars, and given the likelihood that a pink floral teapot exists in most countries I could say this is a real fact.

    I think your intent however is that this teapot was freely floating in space between the planets, and I could not disprove this. Does this mean it is real? I do not know. I do not know is an honest answer, as opposed to me saying "We know a teapot does not exist" using your gut feeling as the proof.

    In 1992 during a presentation at Caltech, skeptic James Randi uses the phrase "you can't prove a negative". He claims that he cannot prove a negative (such that telepathy does not exist).

    Your argument is called "Evidence of absence". It is again dealing with belief and not science.

    Now my beliefs in telepathy are based on evidence I have experienced and seen by myself and also with others. My experiences have involved at least several people in the instances I speaking of so cannot be ascribed to mental illness as would be the preferred explanation by many here. I have also developed a method of getting information from our subconscious that I think works better than Pendulums, Ouija boards, automated writing, etc., in that I have eliminated the ideomotor responses.

    Try to perceive what a loved one is doing. Imagine things through their eyes. Telepathy can be as simple as that or can influence, although I might as well argue to a stone here.


    I can BELIEVE no floral teapots are orbiting (in space) the sun, but I honestly cannot prove or disprove that claim. In fact; this entire thread would be as valid if we were discussing the existence of that teapot.

    As valid or as ridiculous.
  14. wegs Matter & Pixie Dust Valued Senior Member

    But I don't feel "burdened" to do so. I am a live and let live type. Share my beliefs but to continuously try to "convince" someone of said beliefs...it isn't my place.

    But just looking at it from my view...why doesn't an atheist have to "disprove" what I believe to get me to believe him/her?

    Same thing can be said if u flip the table.

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    You know?

    Why is the "burden of proof" on the person who believes in God?
  15. Gorlitz Iron Man Registered Senior Member

    Ok a couple of points here I can't see why a 'burden of proof' should be put on anyone unless they appreaching or knocking on people's doors trying to convert them. But more than that why is there such pressure to prove the existence of God, when as yet there is no demonstatably provable explanation for existence, time or the laws of physics.

    The simplen fact is nobody knows for 100% certain, we are all just speculating, so everybody's beliefs or opinions are just as valid as everyone else's until such time as definitive proof exists either way.
  16. wegs Matter & Pixie Dust Valued Senior Member

    At the end of the day, I can't prove that God exists. An atheist cannot prove that He doesn't exist.
    How can I prove that something exists out of time and space? How can an atheist prove something does not or COULD not exist, outside of time and space? He or she can't.

    We don't know, what we don't know, sometimes.

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  17. wegs Matter & Pixie Dust Valued Senior Member

    Holy cow, I just read this after posting my thoughts. Lol
    I really like what u say here. Well said.

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  18. spidergoat Valued Senior Member

    No, that's not how it works. There are degrees of evidence, degrees of certainty. The laws of physics prove themselves every time we launch a rocket into space, set off a nuclear explosion, or make use of a chemical reaction in a laboratory. Very little in science is proven with 100% certainty, but this doesn't mean that supernatural explanations are just as valid. I'm not looking for proof of god, just some valid evidence, of which there is none. In other words, lack of complete knowledge doesn't invalidate partial knowledge.
  19. spidergoat Valued Senior Member

    How do you even know it's outside of time and space? Being an atheist doesn't depend on absolute knowledge of the non-existence of god. I simply don't believe it to be the case due to lack of evidence. I don't claim that there isn't a god, I'm agnostic about that.
  20. Trippy ALEA IACTA EST Staff Member

    No I didn't. I stated your position, not mine. I have not stated my position on the matter, nor will I.

    It's not my writing that is flawed.

    You're being absurd, and bordering on insulting. On the other hand, point me to a peer reviewed double blind study that demonstrates the existence of telepathy...

    Try addressing what I actually say, instead of reacting emotionally to what you think I am saying.
  21. Gorlitz Iron Man Registered Senior Member

    Ok so you can freely admit nothing is 100% certain, good this is a start. From here we can say that different people accept different things as evidence and certainly may dispute any assessments of what may or may not constitute proof. If I ask you for a specific percentage for what you may feel the evidence points against the existence of God this is bound to be a different percentage from what 10, 20 or 100 other people may come up with, they might be more or less convinced, so what makes your opinion more valid than any of theirs?
  22. wegs Matter & Pixie Dust Valued Senior Member

    I see; I didn't know your belief.
    I'm sorry, I'm not following what you're saying.

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    What does it depend on?
  23. spidergoat Valued Senior Member

    Atheism is not believing that there is a god. This is different than knowing there isn't a god. This makes be an agnostic atheist. I don't know if there is a god or not, but I certainly don't believe there is one.

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