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Old 07-04-2017, 10:46 PM   #61
Joe's Nemesis
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An atheist that doesn't classify the existance of a fantasy friend as a lie.
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They're not lies simply because you don't believe them, but that doesn't mean they aren't lies.

And I would say I'd consider it immoral to teach someone something that I think is a lie.
From Merriam Websters Dictionary:
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Definition of lie
lied; lyingplay \ˈlī-iŋ\
intransitive verb
1 to make an untrue statement with intent to deceive She was lying when she said she didn't break the vase. He lied about his past experience.
2 to create a false or misleading impression Statistics sometimes lie. The mirror never lies.
If an atheist tried to teach his child God exists, he would be lying because he would be attempting to deceive.

If a theist tried to teach his child God did not exist, he would be lying because he would be attempting to deceive.

A "lie" is determined by intent, not by objective truth. There are several instances where people have lied about something only to find out later that what they said was absolute truth. However, their intent was still to deceive and as such, it was still a lie.
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Old 07-05-2017, 12:10 AM   #62
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Religion is the greatest deception in the history of mankind. I consider it lies, all of it.
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Old 07-05-2017, 12:50 AM   #63
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Religion is the greatest deception in the history of mankind. I consider it lies, all of it.
And? That does not mean the person who espouses faith is lying. To assume that is to assume the person truly believes his or her faith is false but espouses it anyway.

To believe something such as that (what i've written) is extreme arrogance because that person is presuming to know someone else at the deepest levels without ever saying one word to them.

Personally, I think the belief that man (or other terrestrial being) is the ultimate judge of all there is in the world to be the ultimate deception. It's the height of egocentrism. And thus, we have two opposing viewpoints neither of which can be proven. As such, what we both have is a belief system.
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Old 07-05-2017, 01:09 AM   #64
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Religion is the greatest deception in the history of mankind. I consider it lies, all of it.
Just because you consider it to be a lie doesn't mean that it actually is a lie. We can neither prove nor disprove the doctrines of religion. It's up to the individual to decide whether he will accept or reject religion.

Personally, I'm agnostic. I believe that there is a supreme Creator. I just believe that that Creator is beyond our level of understanding, and that's why all the confusion about whether God exists (or not) comes from. God is simply a being beyond our mortal plane of existence and understanding.

On the plus side, this makes it easy for me to understand where atheists come from. It's a jagged pill to swallow when you wonder where God came from. It's a known fact that everything had an origin; a starting point. Hence, it's only logical that God had a starting point too, right?

And that's the crux of the issue. God isn't bound by our brand of logic. And until we're able to successfully accept that, we'll never learn anything about God. We'll never learn why God lets us die. We'll never learn why God created us. We'll never learn why God has let the situation become as untenable as it is now.

It sounds callous, I know. But that's why I consider myself agnostic. There isn't a religion wherein satisfactory, comprehensible explanations are provided. And that's why the individual is entitled to his beliefs.
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Old 07-05-2017, 03:03 AM   #65
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Personally, I'm agnostic. I believe that there is a supreme Creator. I just believe that that Creator is beyond our level of understanding, and that's why all the confusion about whether God exists (or not) comes from. God is simply a being beyond our mortal plane of existence and understanding.
If you believe that, then you are not agnostic. Agnostic is somewhere who does not believe he or she knows enough to know whether God or a god or gods exist or not. The position you describe is that of modern day deist. God is the clock-winder. He created and wound it up like a clock so it would continue to tick on its own without his interference (hence, you're "other plain").
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Old 07-05-2017, 05:58 AM   #66
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Joe's Nemesis View Post
If you believe that, then you are not agnostic. Agnostic is somewhere who does not believe he or she knows enough to know whether God or a god or gods exist or not. The position you describe is that of modern day deist. God is the clock-winder. He created and wound it up like a clock so it would continue to tick on its own without his interference (hence, you're "other plain").
Technically I believe the term for him is Agnostic theism.

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Agnostic theism is the philosophical view that encompasses both theism and agnosticism. An agnostic theist believes in the existence of a god or God, but regards the basis of this proposition as unknown or inherently unknowable. It can also mean that there is one high ruler, but it is unknowable or unknown who or what it is.[1] The agnostic theist may also or alternatively be agnostic regarding the properties of God.
I am the opposite in this sense, an Agnostic atheist.

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Agnostic atheism is a philosophical position that encompasses both atheism and agnosticism.

Agnostic atheists are atheistic because they do not hold a belief in the existence of any deity and agnostic because they claim that the existence of a deity is either unknowable in principle or currently unknown in fact.
I personally do not believe that God, or a god, exists, but I also don't think we know enough to be able to say for certain.
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Old 07-05-2017, 06:23 AM   #67
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It's a known fact that everything had an origin; a starting point. Hence, it's only logical that God had a starting point too, right?
Eh, no, there are several objections to the cosmological argument:

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cosmological_argument
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Old 07-05-2017, 09:37 AM   #68
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Technically I believe the term for him is Agnostic theism.
This. This all the way.


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I personally do not believe that God, or a god, exists, but I also don't think we know enough to be able to say for certain.
Might I ask why?

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Eh, no, there are several objections to the cosmological argument:

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cosmological_argument
But that's just the point, isn't it? There are objections to everything to do with theism.

Hell, I specifically went on to say that it's only logical that God (cause of the universe) had to have a starting point. It's one of the objections to the cosmological argument that I specifically pointed out.

But I went on to explain why I believe that it's impossible to learn anything about God (hence me being an agnostic theist). We know that all things needed a cause to exist, but God didn't need any cause to come into existence. God's always been around. At least, that's what I believe.

In the end, it's all up to the individual to decide, like I said before.
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Old 07-05-2017, 11:35 AM   #69
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But I went on to explain why I believe that it's impossible to learn anything about God (hence me being an agnostic theist). We know that all things needed a cause to exist, but God didn't need any cause to come into existence. God's always been around. At least, that's what I believe.
It depends on what you conceptualize as God, since you could also say that the Universe has always been around, and there is no need of God or Creation for it to exist.

The causality argument is based on the assumption that Time exists outside of the Universe, instead of being an intrinsic property of it. Neither proposition seems likely to be proved.

If there is no Time without Universe, then questions like "what was before?" or "when was the instant of Creation?" have no real meaning, like the question "what's north of the North Pole" Wikipedia mentions, so they cannot be the basis for any logic reasoning or any causal chain.

Same can be said about Space. "Where is the Universe, exactly?"

Yup, cosmological stuff makes one shit bricks.
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Old 07-05-2017, 11:42 AM   #70
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Yup, cosmological stuff makes one shit bricks.
QFT.

On another, unrelated note, I've noticed that 80.3% (of the 173 persons who responded at the time of this post) don't believe God exists. I'm curious about why. Does anyone care to share?
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Old 07-05-2017, 11:49 AM   #71
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On another, unrelated note, I've noticed that 80.3% (of the 173 persons who responded at the time of this post) don't believe God exists. I'm curious about why. Does anyone care to share?
I see no reason to accept a god as an answer just because we don't yet know. There are no actual proof for the existance of a god, merely a god of the gaps supported by linguistic circles and inane watchmaker comparisons.
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Old 07-05-2017, 12:15 PM   #72
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Quoting Laplace, "Je n'ai pas eu besoin de cette hypothèse."

About the usual reasons to believe, I don't feel a real need to justify my existence, I find the notion of a supernatural policeman rather conflicting with experience and I don't think eventually ceasing to exist is necessarily a bad thing.

On the other hand, believing in a Semitic God or in any of the exotic Pantheons out there would create me a lot of cognitive inconsistencies which I have no use for.

I feel genuine wonder about the Universe, about human genius... I feel curiosity about why we perceive time and space the way we do, about Physics, about Math as an abstract construct and as a representation of reality... If you want to call all of that "God" in a pantheist fashion, knock yourself out. But I don't have time for prayers, rituals or anything like that, so why bother? Unless you consider studying Science, reading great books, listening to JS Bach or contributing as a citizen to a safe society religious rituals, in which case I'm all for it.
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Old 07-05-2017, 03:03 PM   #73
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QFT.

On another, unrelated note, I've noticed that 80.3% (of the 173 persons who responded at the time of this post) don't believe God exists. I'm curious about why. Does anyone care to share?
Because the world makes sense to me without a god in the picture. But mostly, I don't give a damn because I have better things to think about. Really, laziness is a large part of my atheism. I like being atheist because it takes so little of my time.
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Old 07-05-2017, 03:09 PM   #74
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Because the world makes sense to me without a god in the picture.
Same here. I don't really see any questions too big that I don't think we'll eventually figure it out.
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Old 07-05-2017, 03:11 PM   #75
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I see no reason to accept a god as an answer just because we don't yet know. There are no actual proof for the existance of a god, merely a god of the gaps supported by linguistic circles and inane watchmaker comparisons.
Interesting perspective.

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On the other hand, believing in a Semitic God or in any of the exotic Pantheons out there would create me a lot of cognitive inconsistencies which I have no use for.
I share a similar perspective. The whole conflict with religion is just ridiculous to me (I was raised Baptist, with a decent blend of Adventism thrown in and I've explored other denominations too). I tried to get a good grasp on all the various denominational tenets when I was younger and just got confused.

And to complicate things further, there are so many denominations in Christianity (not sure about other religions) with conflicting doctrines that I just abandoned the whole thing. Since then, I've tried to form my own beliefs based on my understanding and observations. It's much simpler and prevents any headaches arguing with religious fanatics.

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Because the world makes sense to me without a god in the picture. But mostly, I don't give a damn because I have better things to think about. Really, laziness is a large part of my atheism. I like being atheist because it takes so little of my time.
This made me laugh for no good reason.
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Old 07-05-2017, 04:00 PM   #76
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QFT.

On another, unrelated note, I've noticed that 80.3% (of the 173 persons who responded at the time of this post) don't believe God exists. I'm curious about why. Does anyone care to share?
I remember the turning point involving an uncomfortable question with my very religious, baptist mother. I had broached these topics with her before, but my faith was largely still in tact before this point.

Her beliefs follow more in line with creationist theory. I had more of an idea that involved belief in God and acceptance of scientific theory at the time.

I did some questioning on my own and just grew less and less religious the more I looked into her idea of Christianity and my own beliefs.

Now I just see no need for an existence of a god in how I understand the world.
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Old 07-05-2017, 09:13 PM   #77
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On another, unrelated note, I've noticed that 80.3% (of the 173 persons who responded at the time of this post) don't believe God exists. I'm curious about why. Does anyone care to share?
So, speaking personally, I was raised Catholic (a legacy of my father; my mother is English, and the Church of England is basically a bunch of agnostics who like traditions, so they keep they church around because of the history). Growing up, I didn't think much about it until middle and high school. By the time I was in college, I was firmly in the atheist camp.

My feeling on the matter is based on a series of precepts which I will outline:

1. Man invented Gods because he was afraid of things he couldn't understand. Why do storms happen? Why did famine hit? Where do disease and pestilence come from? What will help the crops and animals grow? Why does lightning strike? Hence Poseidon, Anubis, Ceres, Thor. Now that we know why those things happen, it seems foolish that our ancestors believed what they did.

Yet the major Abrahamic faiths (Judaism, Christianity, Islam), who account for the vast majority of the world's faithful, exist primarily because we're still afraid that our existence is pointless and what happens when we die. Those are the most fundamental questions, and ones we can't answer beyond any doubt, so they endure. But if it was foolish to believe that Ceres would make your crops grow, why is it not foolish to believe that God will make sure you get petty favors in your daily life?

2. Man made the gods in his image. If an all-powerful super-being who created the Universe did exist, why the hell does it make any sense that it's a bipedal old bearded man in human clothes? It doesn't. Man made the gods to look like himself, because he couldn't imagine what a powerful being would be if not a more powerful version of himself.

3. One god is just as believable as any other. That is to say, they're all equally unbelievable. If you believe in one, why should you not believe in all of the others? If you disbelieve in all of the others, why does it make sense to believe in yours? You're an atheist about 1000 gods, I'm just an atheist about yours, too.

4. The multiplicity of gods is proof there are no gods. This is basically the idea that if god(s) existed and were interested in the daily affairs of mankind, it only makes sense that they would be sure everyone knew about them, and everyone would agree about their reality. The fact that no one does or ever did can only suggest that their provincial quality means they belong to those provinces only. That is to say, only you know about your local god, because only you believe in them, because you were the one that invented it.

The fact that the Abrahamic God stamped most others out only proves that worship is a popularity contest. We live under the illusion of God's ubiquity because we no longer live in a time where that subject was genuinely up for debate.

Now we head decidedly in a more Abrahamic-specific direction:

5. The iterative nature of the Abrahamic religions undermines their credibility. Jews, Christians, Muslims, and Mormons all believe in the same God (not that they will admit it, most of the time), and that's internally inconsistent. If Judaism is correct, then it makes sense that everyone would be Jewish. If Christianity is correct, then it makes sense that everyone would convert, and anyone who remained Jewish is wrong. If Islam is correct, then it makes sense that everyone would convert, and anyone who remained Christian or Jewish is wrong. Etc. If you believe in the scripture of one, then the fact that you suddenly doubt the teachings of the subsequent prophet simply indicates that your own faith is equally worthy of doubt.

6. Sectarianism is an expression of religion's absurdity. People insist that not only is their version of God the correct one, but their version of their version of God is correct. Put simply, the fact that you're all wrong is more convincing than that only your specific sect is correct and everyone else is wrong. Add to that the fact that the splinter arcs of both Christianity and Islam were all based on political and policy differences rather than anything else suggests to me that their divine veracity is highly suspect. That doctrinal differences can be regarded as holy writ after having occurred in the first place because Luther nailed an essay to a door, or that no one could agree on who was to follow after Mohammed died just suggests that the doctrine itself is bogus.

The flip side of this is that splinter groups having more authority on a subject than the ones who 'got there first' feels inherently ridiculous to me. (This may be a latent bit of Catholicism surfacing, but I find it eye-roll-worthy that any sect should have more authority on Christianity than the people who founded the faith in the first place. If it was legit and anyone was in a position to know, it would be them.)


TL;DR: The long and short of it all is that when viewed holistically, the concept itself is laughable at best.

Occam's Razor states that the simplest explanation often has the highest level of truth.

Well, the simplest explanation is that existence exists because it exists, and not for any other reason. The simplest explanation is that the only things that exist are the things you can prove exist. The simplest explanation is that you exist by an accident of chance, not because there is a grand plan. The simplest explanation is that when you die, you cease to exist.

The simplest explanation is that things don't need a reason to be the way they are.

They just are.

The simplest explanation is that an omnipotent, omnipresent, omniscient being taking interest in the minute details of your life is a stupid idea.

So get on with your life.
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Old 07-05-2017, 09:52 PM   #78
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~snip
This is the most accurate summation of all the lingering doubts I've got as it pertains to religion. Humans are inherently logical, curious creatures that seek to explain everything. Why does it rain? Why do we age? What happens after death, if anything?

That there are theists that claim that a God (or gods) is an actual thing; a being that isn't bound by our logic and cannot be explained, is something that's very hard to accept. The part about God being created by mankind especially makes sense in a very twisted sort of way (I've got strong religious roots).

Still, there isn't much that I can do about it. Pondering all the propositions and oppositions just gives me a headache. So, I'll just stick to my beliefs (though I will admit they are tenuous) and get on with my life. Hopefully there'll be some irrefutable evidence discovered before I die that puts my mind at ease. Not crossing my fingers though.
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Old 07-06-2017, 04:23 AM   #79
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I wouldn't say religion is exactly laughable, even if I am not religious personally. Not everything is rational in the human mind.

For many people a transcendent meaning of existence provides consolation, direction, inspiration for humanist behaviour or for glorious art.

And I can certainly see how, for those people, belief in supernatural entities can be an acceptable solution to some to the Big Questions, rather than shrug them off or deconstruct them as false problems.

As long as Human Rights (some of which have known their first prescription as part of religious creeds) are respected, live and let live.
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Old 07-06-2017, 08:11 AM   #80
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For many people a transcendent meaning of existence provides consolation, direction, inspiration for humanist behaviour or for glorious art.

And I can certainly see how, for those people, belief in supernatural entities can be an acceptable solution to some to the Big Questions, rather than shrug them off or deconstruct them as false problems.
Just because the deluded people are happy doesn't mean they aren't deluded.

Besides that, religion, at least in the United States, is the root cause of a good deal of cultural and political problems, so those delusions are actively harming society.
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