Author Topic: Is atheism the default position?  (Read 23609 times)

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Offline Omen

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Re: Is atheism the default position?
« Reply #116 on: August 04, 2011, 11:51:57 AM »
I am no longer in my emotional stage, I just read Jetson's comment "Humans become theists by force, guilt, shame, fear, or just plain old social coercion.  The ones who claim to arrive at their "beliefs" by choice, are actually deluded."
To me it sounded like bunch of personal opinion without any evidence. that's all.

Actually, we can examine this claim by easily examining the reasons you claim to believe.  We can also examine the apologia surrounding religious belief and quite conclusively say that barely any of it is devoted to actually arguing in the affirmative of belief and is instead concentrated on rationalizing towards preconceived notions of what is presumed true rather than what can be shown to be true.  Which begs the question of how one ever arrived to the belief in the first place as well as the nature of dependencies surrounding why one would do so.

I suspect you don't want to discuss why you believe, because we might actually find what Jetson has concluded upon after examining the religious claims of thousands of individuals.  You're not maintaining plausible deniability by refusing to talk about it nor are you preventing your own premises from being questioned as deluded or arrived to for entirely emotional irrational reasons.  Regardless, summarizing it as someone elses 'opinion' is not a rebuttal and it is disingenuous considering your already evasive behavior with regards to affirming your own claims on this forum.
« Last Edit: August 04, 2011, 12:00:58 PM by Omen »
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Offline jaimehlers

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Re: Is atheism the default position?
« Reply #117 on: August 04, 2011, 12:09:53 PM »
jaimehlers, still has his knickers in a knot(as you can see in his latest respone to me) based on his personal feelings about the topic and has failed to accept the exact meaning of the word atheist and how it is to be applied from a technical standpoint. His objection that "You can't do that to a newborn!! It's inappropriate !!" doesn't change the facts about the meaning of the word and how it is, and can be, applied.
Maybe you should check to make sure your own personal feelings aren't getting in the way before you start trying to attribute them to me.  So far, in order of posting, you've:
  • Told me to get thinking straight.
  • Told me to get over it.
  • Made a facetious reference to my mother dropping me on my head.
  • Suggested that I couldn't understand the argument going on here.
  • Accused me of playing word games, and of being willfully stubborn and dogmatic about my opinions.
  • Suggested that I may not have the guts or intelligence to assign newborns the label of 'atheist'.
  • Made another facetious reference suggesting that I might have been dropped on my head many times.
  • Stated that I was "hopelessly lost in the abyss that is my argument" without supporting your statement.
  • Told me to stop whining and to get serious.
  • Told me to "toughen up" because I criticized you for using an ad hominem/personal attack.
  • Told me that I was 'hopeless'.
  • Accused me of using "petty rubbish arguments" without supporting your accusation.
  • Suggested that I have my "knickers in a knot" because of my personal feelings about the topic.

There's more than a dozen items on this list, all of which are comments about me personally.  So kindly examine your own motives for posting, instead of continuing to deride my arguments and position based on personal comments about me.  I didn't even mention the way you've completely blown off my argument each and every time I posted, without bothering to address the points I actually made so that you could instead address the points you wanted to claim I made.

As a matter of fact, all newborns are in the agnostic position as well. Not only are they without god beliefs, but they are also without the knowledge of god concepts, and therefore could be said to be in the agnostic/atheist position at birth as well.
As I mentioned two pages ago, I'm willing to accept the argument that newborns are agnostic because they lack the knowledge needed in order to understand the concept at all.  But Emergence's post is a better rebuttal to your entire position than any I have made:  "When someone says that babies are "atheists" it is of course clear that this is an instance of the broadest possible use of the word.  [snip]  The word "atheism" is neither needed, nor the only possible word to be used to indicate that babies have no concept of and thus no belief in god(s)."  In fact, my comments have largely been directed at the point that 'atheism' is not a particularly correct term to use to describe a newborn, with no conception whatsoever of the concept of deities.  You have persistently ignored this so that you could use semantics to 'prove' your point, while criticizing me for using semantics to prove my point.

jaimehlers was, by default, born a male with a penis. He had no choice in the matter. He doesn't know at that point he's a male with a penis. As a matter of fact he has no idea of what he is and what that thing is between his legs. But it doesn't matter, as he has been assigned a definition of what he is with a word that matches and best describes that fact that he has a penis and is definitely.."without a vagina", which of course makes him a male. We can't change that fact and try to avoid labeling him what, by default, he truly is. We can't say "Hold on now !! we can't call him a male until he decides to call himself a male first!!" It doesn't work that way, but that about sums up what jaimehlers is trying to do here.
The biological sex of a newborn can be independently determined by an observer without any input at all from the newborn.  For that matter, it can be determined before birth via ultrasound or something similar, and one can take a cell sample and do a chromosomal analysis if one is so inclined.  The point is, a newborn's sex is a purely biological trait, subject to a simple physical observation of a newborn.  I do not think you, or anyone, can legitimately claim that atheism or theism (both of which are fundamentally mental in nature) is a purely biological trait that can be determined by a simple physical examination of the newborn.  Yet by trying to use the analogy of the biological sex of a newborn to prove your point, you are effectively arguing precisely that.

I'm not about to walk into a birthing room and say "My what a lovely baby! And isn't it fabulous that it's an atheist to boot !!"...That's not my style  ;)

However, jaimehlers OP not only deserved addressing, but needed addressing, as I could see the direction that he was more than likely to take it in. Which of course he did, and that direction needed to be challenged.
Challenged...by using pure semantics, deriding the person you are arguing with, and using a completely inappropriate analogy?

I can see why you might have thought I was trying to argue that newborns were theists ("However, that suggests that theism may be the default position for humans, albeit not any specific kind of theism") based on the original post, but I was using this to make a rhetorical point.  My very next post acknowledged that this position was flawed ("A newborn is neither atheist nor theist, as those terms both imply a conscious decision; they are instead credulous, because all they can go on is the evidence of their senses." and "That's why I don't think one can say that the default position of humans is atheism based on the fact that newborns don't have a religious belief (note that this also means that it isn't theism of any stripe).").

I hope this illuminates things for you.

Offline John 3 16

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Re: Is atheism the default position?
« Reply #118 on: August 04, 2011, 12:18:59 PM »
So all that just came from your "examination"
Or perhaps "imagination"
because when I examine your mumbo jumbos, it just leads me to one conclusion.

You are saying "I examine the world, because the world revolves around me"
When are you going to learn anything?
You gotta stop examining, and start listening.
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Offline Omen

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Re: Is atheism the default position?
« Reply #119 on: August 04, 2011, 12:26:24 PM »
You gotta stop examining, and start listening.

This is a blatant contradiction delivered as a platitude.

I can't stop analysis and observation of reality, this is the mechanism I use to exist and interact with reality.  Telling me to stop this while at the same time implying that I should do something that requires me to do exactly what you just said stop doing, is a contradiction.

1. Do X.
2. Don't do X.

Again, I'm at a loss as to the information you're trying to convey, because you offer no explanation and again make no argument for anything to be understood.  It is more likely that this is an exercise of tit for tat emotional exchanges with people you perceive in an antagonistic polemical manner.

If you want to engage in others about the examination and analysis of your own claims, as well as the potential irrational attributes of your claims please return here:

http://whywontgodhealamputees.com/forums/index.php/topic,18209.msg436015.html#msg436015

or here

http://whywontgodhealamputees.com/forums/index.php/topic,18209.msg434731.html#msg434731
« Last Edit: August 04, 2011, 12:29:13 PM by Omen »
"Religious faith is the antithesis to knowledge, it is the opposition to education, and it has to act in animosity against the free exchange of ideas.  Why? Because those things are what cause harm to a religions place in society most." - Me

Offline John 3 16

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Re: Is atheism the default position?
« Reply #120 on: August 04, 2011, 01:08:55 PM »
OK never mind on my advice "Do's and don'ts"

But after examining your posts "You have become atheists by force, guilt, shame, fear, or just plain old social coercion. Your belief is actually deluded."
How's that sound?
Are you a hatheist?  (hey-thee-ist)

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Offline Omen

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Re: Is atheism the default position?
« Reply #121 on: August 04, 2011, 01:11:59 PM »
But after examining your posts "You have become atheists by force, guilt, shame, fear, or just plain old social coercion. Your belief is actually deluded."
How's that sound?

Perfect, which posts?

How did you reach this conclusion?

See, its as easy as just asking the question that is begged.  The problem is that we are very forthcoming on our reasons to not believe, you are not forthcoming on your reasons you claim to believe.  I don't have to beg or plead a qualification about your post in order to dismiss your post out of hand, I can simply ask you to explain and we can go together on a trip to wonderland to examine how you arrived to your claim.

I even gave you links to a post doing exactly that as part of claims you've already made:

http://whywontgodhealamputees.com/forums/index.php/topic,18209.msg436015.html#msg436015

or here

http://whywontgodhealamputees.com/forums/index.php/topic,18209.msg434731.html#msg434731

All it takes is you to be involved, openly and honestly.  Instead of this, you're trying to dismiss everything any atheist says or claims, based on how nebulous or misleading you can make them appear to be or imagine them to be.  Often without regards to the subject matter of the thread or anything to do with the discussion going on.
« Last Edit: August 04, 2011, 01:17:35 PM by Omen »
"Religious faith is the antithesis to knowledge, it is the opposition to education, and it has to act in animosity against the free exchange of ideas.  Why? Because those things are what cause harm to a religions place in society most." - Me

Offline Graybeard

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Re: Is atheism the default position?
« Reply #122 on: August 04, 2011, 02:56:57 PM »
jaimehlers, still has his knickers in a knot(as you can see in his latest respone to me)
doesn't change the facts about the meaning of the word and how it is, and can be, applied.
Maybe you should check to make sure your own personal feelings aren't getting in the way before you start trying to attribute them to me.  So far, in order of posting, you've:
  • Told me to get thinking straight.
  • Told me to get over it.
  • Made a facetious reference to my mother dropping me on my head.
  • Suggested that I couldn't understand the argument going on here.
  • Accused me of playing word games, and of being willfully stubborn and dogmatic about my opinions.
  • Suggested that I may not have the guts or intelligence to assign newborns the label of 'atheist'.
  • Made another facetious reference suggesting that I might have been dropped on my head many times.
  • Stated that I was "hopelessly lost in the abyss that is my argument" without supporting your statement.
  • Told me to stop whining and to get serious.
  • Told me to "toughen up" because I criticized you for using an ad hominem/personal attack.
  • Told me that I was 'hopeless'.
  • Accused me of using "petty rubbish arguments" without supporting your accusation.
  • Suggested that I have my "knickers in a knot" because of my personal feelings about the topic.

I hope this illuminates things for you.
If it helps you at all jaimehlers, I for one appreciated your argument, your line of thought and the way you address questions.
Nobody says “There are many things that we thought were natural processes, but now know that a god did them.”

Offline Emergence

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Re: Is atheism the default position?
« Reply #123 on: August 04, 2011, 04:00:39 PM »
However, jaimehlers OP not only deserved addressing, but needed addressing, as I could see the direction that he was more than likely to take it in. Which of course he did, and that direction needed to be challenged.

I don't disagree with this. Still it could easily have been addressed by stating that "default position" in this case simply means "natural developmental starting point" nothing more nothing less. "Non-belief" in basically everything is just a universally human initial point, while all "belief" is acquired later. But what can anybody possibly learn from that, regarding the validity or invalidity of a certain worldview?

To me it is the same thing as arguments about "natural" and "artificial". It boils down to an argument from emotion. "Natural" is by no means in every case superior to "artificial", still many people equate "natural" with "good". So when an atheist brings the argument that "atheism is the default" to the table, it is - consciously or not - in order to point out that it is ok, because - Hey! - babies are in the default state, and there can't possibly be anything wrong with what babies are or represent, can it? The theist who argues against that on the other hand falls for just this emotional argumentation bs and tries to turn the tables somehow or simply deny what in reality is a trivial fact. Again this happens not necessarily conscious. It is possibly just the vague but nagging feeling in the back of ones head that a human default can only be justifiably assumed for newborns or babies, and that it somehow would be "wrong" to attribute a default that one rejects as an adult to a baby. Babies can't be atheists, because that would make baby Jesus cry (and an atheist). ;)

So the debate, discussion and exchange of arguments goes round and round in circles while every party basically accepts that - yes - babies do not have beliefs, and that therefore a lack of belief (and knowledge and reasoning) is indeed a universal human default.  :)

So why drag this out? One question and one answer does suffice to end all debating, in my opinion:

Q: Is belief a universal default for newborns and thus all humans?
A: No, without any ifs and buts.

Thank you very much for your attention.

A point i do think warrants further discussion is the following though:

My very next post acknowledged that this position was flawed ("A newborn is neither atheist nor theist, as those terms both imply a conscious decision;

[snip...]

My atheism doesn't involve a conscious decision and my young age theism didn't either. Both were and are simply the result of experience and perception. I do not have any ability to decide on or choose my beliefs or non-beliefs. Decision and choice only work in the realm of "action" not in the realm of "belief". To use a modified version of a Schopenhauer quote[1]: "Man can choose according to his beliefs but he can not choose his belief."
 1. Original:"Der Mensch kann tun was er will; er kann aber nicht wollen was er will." translated:  "Man can do what he wants but he cannot want what he wants."
Change alone is eternal, perpetual, immortal.
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Offline Mr. Blackwell

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Re: Is atheism the default position?
« Reply #124 on: August 04, 2011, 05:57:54 PM »
jaimehlers was, by default, born a male with a penis. He had no choice in the matter. He doesn't know at that point he's a male with a penis. As a matter of fact he has no idea of what he is and what that thing is between his legs. But it doesn't matter, as he has been assigned a definition of what he is with a word that matches and best describes that fact that he has a penis and is definitely.."without a vagina", which of course makes him a male. We can't change that fact and try to avoid labeling him what, by default, he truly is. We can't say "Hold on now !! we can't call him a male until he decides to call himself a male first!!" It doesn't work that way, but that about sums up what jaimehlers is trying to do here.

Well that all depends on how progressive you are  ;)

When Kathy and David had there third child they decided not to share Storm's sex for now--a tribute to freedom and choice in place of limitation, a stand up to what the world could become in Storm's lifetime.

Quote
At best the theistic state of the little human is undefined, not even blank because it is possible that the genes of the infant may predetermine a tendency towards theism or whatever.

Oooops, that an assumption mate. Not applicable to the discussion

Not really that big of an assumption according to Roger Trigg who says "We tend to see purpose in the world, We see agency. We think that something is there even if you can't see it. ... All this tends to build up to a religious way of thinking." Now, I realize Jetson didn't much like this article...it is poorly written but the what the research suggests makes perfect sense. Especially when you take into consideration other studies like this one from sciencedaily which states that
Quote
Believing in God can help block anxiety and minimize stress, according to new University of Toronto research that shows distinct brain differences between believers and non-believers.

In two studies led by Assistant Psychology Professor Michael Inzlicht, participants performed a Stroop task – a well-known test of cognitive control – while hooked up to electrodes that measured their brain activity.

Compared to non-believers, the religious participants showed significantly less activity in the anterior cingulate cortex (ACC), a portion of the brain that helps modify behavior by signaling when attention and control are needed, usually as a result of some anxiety-producing event like making a mistake. The stronger their religious zeal and the more they believed in God, the less their ACC fired in response to their own errors, and the fewer errors they made.

It may seem sacrilegious and presumptuous to reduce God to a few ornery synapses, but modern neuroscience isn't shy about defining our most sacred notions - love, joy, altruism, pity - as nothing more than static from our impressively large cerebrums. Persinger goes one step further. His work practically constitutes a Grand Unified Theory of the Otherworldly: He believes cerebral fritzing is responsible for almost anything one might describe as paranormal - aliens, heavenly apparitions, past-life sensations, near-death experiences, awareness of the soul, you name it.

There have been numerous studies of the human brain[1][2]. Apple products[3], for example, seem to trigger the same areas of the brain in their brand loyalists as religious images do for the faithful[4]

So, the growing consensus is that there is a fundamental difference not only in brain structure and function but also our subjective perceptions of how we individually interpret what our brains tell us. Is the default position for newborns atheism? That depends on their genetic inheritance. The only thing we can say with any certainty about what babies think is that they don't have the vocabulary to tell us. But I just bet that using some of the techniques of brain mapping available we would discover that their tiny little walnuts fire off in much the same way our adult brains do to the same stimulus. Who knows what babies believe?



 1. http://abcnews.go.com/Health/MindMoodNews/god-brain-tumor-surgery-points-brains-religious-center/story?id=9796634
 2. http://health.howstuffworks.com/mental-health/human-nature/behavior/brain-religion.htm
 3. and other superbrands
 4. http://news.cnet.com/8301-17852_3-20064577-71.html
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Offline Historicity

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Re: Is atheism the default position?
« Reply #125 on: August 04, 2011, 06:33:50 PM »
This is a blatant contradiction delivered as a platitude.

The fallacy of the Argumentum ad Captandum Vulgus is the use of a sound bite or slogan to replace actual thinking.

Most are clichés.  I compliment John 3:16 on making a new one.  It sounds good but

     "You gotta stop examining, and start listening." 

means the same as

      Who are you going to believe?  Me or your lying eyes?

Offline jetson

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Re: Is atheism the default position?
« Reply #126 on: August 04, 2011, 07:53:15 PM »
Emergence - I can see where you are coming from, and it does make sense.  In my concession regarding a decision to be atheist, I was thinking about my own very conscious decision to call myself atheist.  I like the word, I like what it stands for, and I truly like how it makes many people feel these days.  It conjures emotions from some people that are ripe for discussion.  It causes others to get angry.

In my case, if I examine my life carefully, it is easy to see that I was never a believer.  I always had heavy doubts and skepticism when I was young.  I even remember learning about the Greek and Roman gods, and realizing that I was attending Catholic masses where all of the adults were dutifully worshiping a mythological god.  I concluded that it was something you just don't question (especially in the Roman Catholic ritualistic ceremonies.) 

Anyway, I believe we each have to consider what we believe, and decide to believe it, if we want to be truly honest.  But I can see that it is highly likely that most people don't get to choose their beliefs.  I'm reminded of many atheists, including myself, who would not hesitate to say that they could never "decide" to believe.  At least not without suspending the more rational approach to understanding something. 

The distinctions in this discussion are: is a newborn technically atheist, or does a newborn have to consciously call itself atheist.

To the newborn, it is pointless.  To me, it is more technically correct to state that newborns default to being non-religious, and unaware of any gods, thus - not theists.  Jaimehlers is trying to argue that one must decide to be atheist.  Well, I decided to call myself atheist, but I have never actually been a theist.  So I have always been atheist, but I only recently decided to label myself that way.

I think it is important to note that using the label atheist is similar to using the label homosexual (the label that carries baggage that is difficult for many to handle, be they homophobic, or homosexual.)  It is not easy to live in a society with either label - so most people keep it to themselves.  It took me over 40 years to discover who I really am, and to stand firmly behind it, with no apologies. 

John 3 16 - I don't want to deny people their personal beliefs.  But I will not give those beliefs credibility when they are patently and conclusively wrong.  There are no real gods, anywhere, nor at any time in human history.  All gods are imaginary, it really is that simple.  I am an atheist that knows that there are no absolutes, so I am aware that I can never prove that there are no gods.  But in the end, every single made up god - and you know that most are made up - has died over time.  The one you currently believe is real, is also made up.  That's why there are atheists.  I have said many times that if there was a real god, there would be no atheists.  There might be people who do not worship that god, and there might be a fringe group who deny it's existence - just like people today who still deny that the earth is not flat (google it).  But none of that would dictate the realness of the god - any more than denying the existence of a mountain, or the pacific ocean.

Apparently, it is harmless for children to be lied to about the existence of Santa, because everyone knows that Santa is not real, and that he does not hold the key to eternal salvation.  But God, well, as the story goes, he MUST be real because he DOES hold the key to eternal salvation.  And how do we know God is real?  We read it in a book!  So, there you go.  God is real, because people wrote it down a very long time ago, and they mentioned that your eternal salvation is dependent on your faith and belief in God.  I cannot imagine why people are afraid to grow up and drop their delusion.  Scared shitless.

Jetson



Offline Ivellios

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Re: Is atheism the default position?
« Reply #127 on: August 04, 2011, 08:04:41 PM »
But after examining your posts "You have become atheists by force, guilt, shame, fear, or just plain old social coercion. Your belief is actually deluded."
How's that sound?

Perfect, which posts?

How did you reach this conclusion?

Considering he already admitted the only reason he believes in God... because his parents told him to.

Beings that have no evidence that parents tell their kids to believe in, with Blind Faith:
1) Santa Claus: You can sit on his lap and get presents every year. Stories, Songs, Tracked on Radar! Everone knows you cannot track something imaginary on Radar!
2) Easter Bunny: You get 1 basket of Goodies per year.
3) Tooth Fairy: You loose a tooth, money appears! Through pain/suffering/annoyance, you get Rewarded!
4) God/Jesus/Allah/Vishnu/etc. : After you pay 10% of your income for your life, be PR person/recruiter for your church, do all kinds of stuff for the glory of your Church ... err God, blah blah.. and when you die you might get to go to the happy land[1] up above the Sky Dome[2].

You grow up and find these are imaginary: Tooth Fairy, no big loss, Easter Bunny, talking rabbit[3] and basket of candy, Santa Claus... but but but BUT!1! You sat on his lap, heard stories and sang songs about his home, his reindeer, his family and his love for children... tracked on Radar! There's NO WAY Society would perpetuate something Imaginary upon an unsuspecting, ignorant, innocent, lacking critical thinking skills populace, would they? To control the child's hopes and fears so they can control the child, would they? WOULD THEY!?

In a flipping Heartbeat! And they feel Absolutely Justified in doing so as well.

Then there's God... the 'Ultimate Santa Claus' ....  nah... your parents have to be right about something, right? It's not like they're batting 0/3 up till this point, right? Realizing that your parents knowingly and willfully LIED to you, to CONTROL you. No one could do the same to them, right? They're Adults after all! No Adult has ever been fooled, right? The seeds of fantasies have been planted then forcibly removed, by the very people who planted them. It hurts, even if you're not conscious of it... of it's true origins... this "God shaped hole" in your heart.
 1. aka Heaven
 2. aka Firmament.
 3. yeah right
« Last Edit: August 04, 2011, 08:11:52 PM by TruthSeeker »

Offline John 3 16

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Re: Is atheism the default position?
« Reply #128 on: August 04, 2011, 08:17:16 PM »
Omen.
You said "The problem is that we are very forthcoming on our reasons to not believe, you are not forthcoming on your reasons you claim to believe"
"Man can choose according to his beliefs but he can not choose his belief."
Schopenhauer said it first. and Emergence said it next. and then me?  I don't know ;D

I met Jesus Christ in spirit and his words.
Holy spirit lives in me and I live in the faith of Jesus Christ.
Unfortunately, my experience can not be described, I even tried, but I really could not.
Maybe I did not want to believe, but I could not stop believing because of my experience.
My everyday life, every moment, in the words and in the Spirit.

How was my experience? here is one of them.
"Trying to understand God" is...
to me counting stars in the universe, each and everyone of them with my own fingers, if I run out fingers, I have my toes, I can keep trying, analyzing it, discussing it, I am not there yet, but eventually, I will be done.  Wait! are you telling me there is another universe with infinite numbers of stars? and another one, and another one?

I think I am going to stop counting, and listen to God's words.

hopefully, that made sense, if not don't blame me you asked for it! :)
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Offline JeffPT

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Re: Is atheism the default position?
« Reply #129 on: August 04, 2011, 09:43:05 PM »
I met Jesus Christ in spirit and his words.
Holy spirit lives in me and I live in the faith of Jesus Christ.
Unfortunately, my experience can not be described, I even tried, but I really could not.
Maybe I did not want to believe, but I could not stop believing because of my experience.
My everyday life, every moment, in the words and in the Spirit.

I copied this from a Muslim site..

Quote
Allah is the one and only Lord, whom the hearts and souls reverence and long for. All creation depends on Him at every moment. He is the Creator, the Sustainer upon which everything and everyone depends. All creatures, without exception, senses that Allah is the one who provides for them and for their needs, and from whom all blessings emanate. They all have a sense of his greatness, generosity, and beneficence. This is why it suits the human heart to glorify Him and extol His greatness.

If one stupid human says this stuff, and you say your stupid stuff, and neither of you are talking about the same God, then how do we decide which stupid person is right?  Couldn't it be that you're just both stupid for the same reasons? 


How was my experience? here is one of them.
"Trying to understand God" is...
to me counting stars in the universe, each and everyone of them with my own fingers, if I run out fingers, I have my toes, I can keep trying, analyzing it, discussing it, I am not there yet, but eventually, I will be done.  Wait! are you telling me there is another universe with infinite numbers of stars? and another one, and another one?

... Perhaps this is the thing you do not understand.  There are other people in this world who, upon coming up against a difficult question, continue to push forward and try to answer it.  The notion that you long ago gave up that process in favor of simply not knowing anything and just trusting in something for which you have ZERO evidence, is the cop out of all cop outs.  In other words, when things got hard for you to understand, you punted.  You didn't go the extra mile to understand the universe.  Other people have.  And the truth that comes out is that there is no reason to believe that the Christian God is real.  None.  Zero. 

I think I am going to stop counting, and listen to God's words.

That's right.  Stop trying to learn.  Take the easy route and bury your head in the sand when faced with the vast, VAST quantities of information that we actually do know about the universe.  Gah, man.  That's just so awful.  You don't belong in this world anymore.  Your kind holds the rest of us back. 

hopefully, that made sense, if not don't blame me you asked for it! :)

I have to wonder, with all your smiley faces and such...  Do you sit there after you hit the post button and feel proud of yourself for what you say?  Are you waiting to see the responses as if some of us are going to say... "Gee, maybe this guy has a point"?  I will give you some advice.  STOP doing that.  You're a fool.  Honestly, it's nothing more than sad comedy at this point.  All your mumbo jumbo about the holy spirit is nothing.  It's useless.  You're God is fiction.  There's no such thing as the holy spirit.  Keep counting your fingers and toes while the rest of bust our ass to do the work to progress humanity forward. 

The scariest thing in the world is that you probably teach your garbage to other people.  That's the thing about you religious people.  Anyone can get a black robe and a microphone and suddenly they have opinions that are to be respected.  It doesn't even matter if they're a complete idiot, the sheep will listen.   
Whenever events that are purported to occur in our best interest are as numerous as the events that will just as soon kill us, then intent is hard, if not impossible to assert. NDT

Offline Astreja

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Re: Is atheism the default position?
« Reply #130 on: August 04, 2011, 10:58:07 PM »
Maybe I did not want to believe, but I could not stop believing because of my experience.
John, I'm going to say this as gently as possible.

I know many people who *did* want to believe, but stopped believing because of their experiences.  Yet you want us to uncritically accept your subjective experience, even as you push other peoples' contrary experiences aside and insist that they try again... And again...

I wish there was a way to explain or to show you what to do in order to show you God... There is a way to see God, but you have to set your foot on the flooded river first, then you will see.  Rather, God will show you the way.
Make a decision now, open your mind, accept Christ as your saviour, believe the word of God.

And if they still don't want to play, you are not averse to making threats:

Well astro. There is no condemnation in the grave. You got that right!
just wait until you wake up. surprise is waiting for you ;D ;D ;D ;D ;D

I agree with Jeff -- This is sad comedy.  You are doing more damage to your own faith than you could ever possibly imagine.
« Last Edit: August 04, 2011, 11:01:45 PM by Astreja »
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Offline John 3 16

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Re: Is atheism the default position?
« Reply #131 on: August 04, 2011, 11:41:42 PM »
Jeff and Astreja.

Are you still mad?
Omen said "I do not have an ideological belief system that defines people who do not believe as I do the enemy."
But you guys probably don't have same ideological belief system?
Whatever you say, I can stay here as long as I want.  (Pony said that? Do I remember it right?)
I am going to keep the forum rules as much as possible too.
If you don't like me, just don't read my forum. Why are you wasting your time on my post, you are wasting energy (when your face turn red because of anger).
I am just telling my story. No threat, no pushing.

Astreja, you are manipulating the orders of my comments just to make it look bad(see 2nd quote's date is later than the 3rd?)
Jeff, you just keep counting, maybe someday you will know.

irunssibballnomushikiduajookojapeenyaa?
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Offline Mr. Blackwell

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Re: Is atheism the default position?
« Reply #132 on: August 04, 2011, 11:46:17 PM »
@ John 3 16

I was always told that we are all gods children but the verse of your screen name says otherwise "for god so loved the world that he gave his only begotten son". which is it? Also, did God have any begotten daughters? How would we know?
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Offline Astreja

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Re: Is atheism the default position?
« Reply #133 on: August 05, 2011, 12:00:28 AM »
Jeff and Astreja... Are you still mad?

Not so much 'mad' as 'not willing to tolerate unsubstantiated nonsense that tries to pretend it's Truth.'

Quote
If you don't like me, just don't read my forum. Why are you wasting your time on my post, you are wasting energy (when your face turn red because of anger).

John, I write rebuttals to posts such as yours because I sincerely believe that toxic mythology is egregious psychological abuse and a net detriment to the future of humanity.  If it prevents even one child from crying in the night because some thoughtless @sshole scared her with tales of hell, I will continue doing this to the very end of My days.

I shall not be silenced.

Quote
I am just telling my story. No threat, no pushing.

Too late for that now, John.  You have threatened and pushed.  You can't undo that.

Quote
Astreja, you are manipulating the orders of my comments just to make it look bad(see 2nd quote's date is later than the 3rd?)

Irrelevant.  You have indeed made threats, and I re-quoted that particular threat to illustrate two points:

A.  Your religious beliefs clearly include a belief in an evil torturer-god.
B.  You are not averse to using verbal terrorism against different-minded people.
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Offline Mr. Blackwell

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Re: Is atheism the default position?
« Reply #134 on: August 05, 2011, 12:07:25 AM »
John, I know you are in the middle of a conversation with Astreja at the moment and I understand that you have a lot on your plate but would you take a moment to answer my question? I'm about to go to bed and would like to see a response before I do. Thanks.
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Offline Emergence

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Re: Is atheism the default position?
« Reply #135 on: August 05, 2011, 02:51:12 AM »
Emergence - I can see where you are coming from, and it does make sense.  In my concession regarding a decision to be atheist, I was thinking about my own very conscious decision to call myself atheist.

Hey Jetson! I know what you are saying, and i can agree that the decision to call yourself an atheist is a conscious one. That is - in my view - an action based on your beliefs (or non-belief, respectively). The belief itself is the result of a lot of processing, some conscious, most involuntary. I think  - similar to what you wrote further - that most people tend to "kind of believe" without further examination.

However: If you'd like to talk about this further, i'd be glad to try and elaborate, but i from my side don't see that much disagreement worth discussing.
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Offline John 3 16

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Re: Is atheism the default position?
« Reply #136 on: August 05, 2011, 07:56:30 AM »
@ John 3 16

I was always told that we are all gods children but the verse of your screen name says otherwise "for god so loved the world that he gave his only begotten son". which is it? Also, did God have any begotten daughters? How would we know?
I am sorry jaybwell32.
I went to bed early last night before I read your post.
His only son is Jesus Christ.  We were in fallen state (you know the original sin) no one was able to get out of God's wrath.

*preaching deleted*

Hopefully that answers your question.
« Last Edit: August 05, 2011, 08:22:12 AM by Ambassador Pony »
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Offline Omen

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Re: Is atheism the default position?
« Reply #137 on: August 05, 2011, 08:03:15 AM »
Unfortunately, my experience can not be described

So you've immediately discounted any possibility that you have a mental illness and concluded upon something that renders it impossible for you to convey to others, how did you ever possess the cognitive ability to identify it in the first place?

Quote
How was my experience? here is one of them.

You didn't describe anything, you made another platitude.

Quote
hopefully, that made sense, if not don't blame me you asked for it! :)

No, what I asked for was a honest response and accountability for your actions.  Not a rambling bit of sophistry that isn't honest nor accountable.  You chastised jetson for coming to the conclusion that individuals like you are deluded, while at the same time you make posts so incoherent that it leaves us with little recourse but to believe you to be deluded.  Even if you were given the benefit of the doubt, that a magical sky daddy 'gifted' you with knowledge of its existence, it apparently didn't gift you with the knowledge to correct contradictions regarding its existence.  So what is a more likely proposition here, you suffer from a mental illness along with a poor education or you were given special knowledge by an invisible supernatural being of its existence but not the knowledge to actually account for the many contradictions within that belief system.

Case in point:

I even gave you links to a post doing exactly that as part of claims you've already made:

http://whywontgodhealamputees.com/forums/index.php/topic,18209.msg436015.html#msg436015

or here

http://whywontgodhealamputees.com/forums/index.php/topic,18209.msg434731.html#msg434731

All it takes is you to be involved, openly and honestly.  Instead of this, you're trying to dismiss everything any atheist says or claims, based on how nebulous or misleading you can make them appear to be or imagine them to be.  Often without regards to the subject matter of the thread or anything to do with the discussion going on.


I've posted this several times now, trying to get you to return to your posts in this thread.  The concerns in this thread pertain to the consistency ( or lack there of ) of your religious belief system.  A major contradiction is presented about the Judaic Messianic prophecy vs the christian claims of a messianic prophecy, a problem that highlights the arbitrary and seemingly random nature in which christian notions of messianic prophecy are literally created versus the actual Judaic messianic prophecy.

Now, why didn't your supernatural god give you the knowledge, education, and intellect to answer the contradiction?
"Religious faith is the antithesis to knowledge, it is the opposition to education, and it has to act in animosity against the free exchange of ideas.  Why? Because those things are what cause harm to a religions place in society most." - Me

Offline John 3 16

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Re: Is atheism the default position?
« Reply #138 on: August 05, 2011, 08:34:28 AM »
Astreja.

Sorry if my comments were scaring you. (It wasn't even mine it's in the bible.)
Like you said it's already done so I cannot undo it.
But at the same time I am wondering, if someone here tells me "You are going to hell if you believe God"
I wouldn't be scared, I would be scoffing.

"For since the creation of the world God's invisible qualities his eternal power and divine nature have been clearly seen, being understood from what has been made, so that men are without excuse."
(Romans 1:20).

Take your palm up, try to cover the sky with it.
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Offline Omen

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Re: Is atheism the default position?
« Reply #139 on: August 05, 2011, 08:43:37 AM »
Astreja.

Sorry if my comments were scaring you. (It wasn't even mine it's in the bible.)

They were threats, more importantly they were a type of language used to dismiss other human beings by devaluing their existence against a facade of a superstitious belief system.  Your insinuation, as you say with a smiley face, is that you will get yours in the end and it will be what you deserve.

Its a conceited thing to do and say, delivered at a point where you don't want to respond to the criticism others are offering and instead want to dismiss them.  So with a complete lack of empathy, you made an underhanded insult tied to a dehumanizing portion of your belief system in order to not be accountable in a discussion.

Worse still, you try to use it as pandering to another part of your belief system, claiming that us being insulted by your clear insulting tone is somehow a tautological validation that we actually know and believe already.  No one is afraid john, they are hurt and angry, because you sought to cause that harm.
« Last Edit: August 05, 2011, 08:47:00 AM by Omen »
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Offline John 3 16

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Re: Is atheism the default position?
« Reply #140 on: August 05, 2011, 08:52:14 AM »
Omen.
OK OK OK Just for you, I will lie for you.
"there is no hell, there is no heaven, there is no judgement, there is nothing"
"After we all die, there is nothing"

Are you happy now?
Live a long happy life, because there is nothing after that. :)
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Offline Omen

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Re: Is atheism the default position?
« Reply #141 on: August 05, 2011, 08:55:09 AM »
OK OK OK Just for you, I will lie for you.
"there is ..

You don't possess the means to convey that you know this as true, before you can actually claim that you yourself are lying.  Nor would it be relevant to people who don't believe, but when its delivered in a way to dismiss people who don't believe you at face value because you're too stupid to argue in the affirmative of your claims.. it is exactly as it appears to be.. an arrogant hateful dehumanizing insult.  It is exactly what you meant it to be and people responded accordingly.

Why couldn't your magical sky daddy gift you with a better intellect and education, in order to logically answer for the contradictions of belief or to argue logically for the existence of that god?
« Last Edit: August 05, 2011, 08:58:48 AM by Omen »
"Religious faith is the antithesis to knowledge, it is the opposition to education, and it has to act in animosity against the free exchange of ideas.  Why? Because those things are what cause harm to a religions place in society most." - Me

Offline Ambassador Pony

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Re: Is atheism the default position?
« Reply #142 on: August 05, 2011, 09:01:43 AM »
I think there is a whole wack of societal, psychological and cultural elements at play in such behaviour as John's.

An emotional bond to manufactured unassailable superiority might be expected in a life otherwise characterized by failure. If he doesn't have this belief, what does he have? It seems natural, to me, for an individual to hold steadfastly to an irrational belief, in the absence of any other possible perceived avenue for happiness or contentment. The flaunting of irrational behaviour, lashing out with threats and parroting of perceived mockery all reinforce the belief, give it a crucial element of reality.

It's good having folk like John around, for learning about delusion and providing some entertainment (for those who's thing that is), but he needs the paradoxical validation we provide much more.

I'd like to workshop some ideas for helping such a person, or even ideas concerning whether such a thing is possible or desired in the first place. In my view, at this point, it would be worth doing, but is not feasable in this context. It would involve effecting all sorts of tangible, timely changes to John's life. Counselling, economic support, family therapy, various educational interventions focused on character building, self-esteem, and possibly career training. Does the investment outweigh the possible benefits and/or probability of success?   
« Last Edit: August 05, 2011, 09:04:26 AM by Ambassador Pony »
You believe evolution and there is no evidence for that. Where is the fossil record of a half man half ape. I've only ever heard about it in reading.

Offline Omen

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Re: Is atheism the default position?
« Reply #143 on: August 05, 2011, 09:10:19 AM »
Cognitive behavioral therapy; address the emotional underpinnings of the destructive or negative behavior, but any therapy is going to be limited to the goals and desires of the patient.  I often like to go after the emotional dysfunction, such as john's reliance upon hateful dehumanizing characterizations, it at least forces him to have to deal with the real impact of his own behavior upon others in order to judge what little empathy he might possess if at all.
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Offline John 3 16

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Re: Is atheism the default position?
« Reply #144 on: August 05, 2011, 09:18:03 AM »
Maybe it's your tradition here. (scratching each others @ss)
Your hands are not long enough?

Now feel better?

I didn't know you guys worry about me that much.
Send me some money so I can go help myself.

Go ahead you say what you want to say after all it's internet.
My feelings are COOOOL.
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