Author Topic: Probabilities of God's existence debate  (Read 73440 times)

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Re: Probabilities of God's existence debate
« Reply #1653 on: April 04, 2015, 02:41:35 PM »
Anyone knows. How does life exist by itself. I think there is a relationship with the existence of God.

Welcome MAS

As schnozzola said, no one knows. Science is finding out all sorts of things about life that seem to indicate that it could be spontaneously generated, but we don't know for sure.

Which means that there may be an answer. We just don't know it yet.

However, theists tend to give themselves a free pass when it comes to saying the a god did it (and it is always their god, not one of the otherss). Because how is a god coming in to being less mysterious than life coming in to being?. Life at least follows the rules. It It acts within the limitations of the universe. Living things are subject to the physical realities of the universe, and hence limited as to where it can survive. While god is given all sorts of superpowers and  seems immune to all of the fires and explosions and vacuums, and in fact it is claimed that he controls all of it.

So while you and other believers often claim doubt about the ability of life to be created from non-living matter, you don't seem at all confused about the possibility of some infinite being.

In other words, it is cheating to say that everything else has to have a cause, but not your god.

In any case, this is a situation where believers try to take the easy way out, as the simultaneously demand absolute proof from science that life could spontaneously generate, even as casually assume the infinity of their god, with no proof whatsoever.
It isn't true that non-existent gods can't do anything. For instance, they were able to make me into an atheist.

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Re: Probabilities of God's existence debate
« Reply #1654 on: April 04, 2015, 02:58:54 PM »
My own view is that no God of any kind has ever existed.  Whether the Christian God, or Vishnu, Greek gods, Roman gods, or Allah, etc.  When you say god is closer than our jugular vein, it must be either a physical part of each body, maybe each cell, or as a spirit.  I do not believe either exists.  If as you say - some good, some ugly, some bad, but yet god is closer than our jugular vein in each good, ugly, and bad - that doesn't make sense to me. 

All gods get credit for everything, correct?  Even killing?  Or are there also demons that god can not control?
Okay.. I partly agree with you.

Anyone knows. How does life exist by itself. I think there is a relationship with the existence of God.

So, given that many here do not accept that there is any evidence for the existence of any god, what is this god you are talking about and why do you think it might exist?
No testimony is sufficient to establish a miracle, unless the testimony be of such that its falshood would be more miraculous than the facts it endeavours to establish. (David Hume)

Offline shnozzola

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Re: Probabilities of God's existence debate
« Reply #1655 on: April 04, 2015, 03:23:28 PM »
MAS,
   Here is the section on creation/ evolution.  If you pick threads with more pages, it is usually good discussions.
http://whywontgodhealamputees.com/forums/index.php/board,41.0.html

Here is one science link:

http://rationalwiki.org/wiki/Abiogenesis
            from the article:              (of course lipids are the fats that surround living cells)
       
   
Quote
                Lipid Magic
In 1965, Alec Bangham was the first to discover the autocatalytic properties of phospholipids.[8] How you can prove this aspect of nature and disprove the creationist version of the second law:
1.   Get a glass of water.
2.   Get a yolk of an egg.
3.   Put the egg yolk in the water.
4.    ????
5.   Profit!!!!
What actually is happening: the amphipathic lipids arrange themselves based on their interaction with water molecules. It may not be the most extravagant example, but it does show spontaneous order.
Pier Luigi Luisi has shown that vesicles made of these lipids can grow by incorporating new lipids, and can make new vesicles leading to a primitive replication.   

Here's another link ( alot of chemistry):
http://phys.org/news/2015-03-chemists-riddle-life-began-earth.html

I'm sure others can give better links.
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Offline Nam

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Re: Probabilities of God's existence debate
« Reply #1656 on: April 04, 2015, 04:07:07 PM »
Closer than our jugular vein?  Which religious teaching is this statement from?

Crazy.

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Offline eh!

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Re: Probabilities of God's existence debate
« Reply #1657 on: April 04, 2015, 04:25:35 PM »
if god existed forever than it is unaware of how it came to exist, therefore not omniscient.


further it is not aware of the forces that created it or it's purpose, it does not know right from wrong, where would this knowledge come from to said deity?

in summary, an infinite god;

does not know how it came to be

does not know what forces govern it's creation

does not know why it exists

does not know right from wrong

can not be aware of it's own existence.

it could not even be self-aware.



some god, pffft, sounds more like an amoeba.
« Last Edit: April 04, 2015, 04:30:16 PM by eh! »
some skepisms,
1. "I have not seen God. I have felt the invisible presence"
2. What if there is a rock in the middle of a road, a blind person is speeding towards it, ...they say that they can't see it.   Would you recommend him to keep speeding?

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Re: Probabilities of God's existence debate
« Reply #1658 on: April 04, 2015, 04:53:26 PM »
Closer than our jugular vein?  Which religious teaching is this statement from?

Crazy.

Bit of a redundant statement, wouldn't you say? ;)

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Offline Defiance

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Re: Probabilities of God's existence debate
« Reply #1659 on: April 04, 2015, 05:23:54 PM »
MAS, so your question is how does life come about? What's your level of education? What's the highest biology class that you have taken?
Q: Why are quantum physicists bad lovers? A: Because when they find the position, they can't find the momentum, and when they have the momentum, they can't find the position.

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Re: Probabilities of God's existence debate
« Reply #1660 on: April 04, 2015, 08:45:17 PM »
I believe that life always exists and is everywhere. Life form that has a power of its own. He was able to turn something which we thought inanimate objects can not be revived. What I mean is, with distinctive He was able to turn on and off individually.

I do not believe in the existence of God, but I believe that something exists is called 'attributes of life" or something 'supernatural' that I do not know what it's called..

Offline Nam

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Re: Probabilities of God's existence debate
« Reply #1661 on: April 04, 2015, 09:01:34 PM »
Closer than our jugular vein?  Which religious teaching is this statement from?

Crazy.

Bit of a redundant statement, wouldn't you say? ;)

Your point?

;)

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Offline Nam

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Re: Probabilities of God's existence debate
« Reply #1662 on: April 04, 2015, 09:07:29 PM »
What's your level of education? What's the highest biology class that you have taken?

I never graduated high school. Do not even have a GED. I never went to college. I know shit about science unless it has to do with astronomy.

I really wish people would cease using this as a stipulation of intelligence.

What if he's like me? Does that make him beneath your intelligence?

Ignorance is the battlefield not one's educational[1] standing.

-Nam
 1. in the sense of school, not knowledge.
Things I've said here:

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I only have a filter for people who do not consistently beg to be belittled, ridiculed, insulted, and demeaned.

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I may believe people, as a whole, should be treated fairly but I also believe those same people are idiots.

Offline nogodsforme

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Re: Probabilities of God's existence debate
« Reply #1663 on: April 04, 2015, 10:52:59 PM »
I don't think the question about education level or biology classes is meant to ascertain intelligence. Just to know some sort of baseline in terms of were to start discussing stuff like evolution. If someone has zero knowledge of biology, you start at a different place than someone who has high school or even college level biology information. And it does not matter where or how you learned it, if you have the information.[1]

All this time, hundreds of posts in this thread, and yet not a single god has been produced. Still waiting.
 1. And, yeah, high school achievement level has nothing to do with later life success, or intelligence, or knowledge. Due to our sucky family life, only one of the four kids in my family graduated from high school in the usual four years, and he only got a two-year college degree after that. He was probably the brightest of us and became a computer programming whiz. I dropped out of two high schools before graduating from a third. Now I have a doctorate. My sister has a genius IQ level and dropped out of high school as well, later getting her GED and going on to earn a master's degree.
Extraordinary claims of the bible don't even have ordinary evidence.

Kids aren't paying attention most of the time in science classes so it seems silly to get worked up over ID being taught in schools.

Offline Nam

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Re: Probabilities of God's existence debate
« Reply #1664 on: April 04, 2015, 11:51:22 PM »
I was going to post this as a separate topic but it relates to this one:

http://www.rawstory.com/rs/2015/04/6-unlikely-developments-that-could-convince-this-atheist-to-believe-in-god/

nogodsforme,

I would agree with you if everyone[1] didn't assume I knew science because I am an atheist. Just like everyone probably does the same with those who are not atheists. That's the ignorance of both sides: the religious assume atheist's religion is science, and atheists assume the religious are incompetent on science[2]. And while either side may have some truth to it, neither one defines either one. It's ignorance, plain and simple.

However, I didn't stop believing because of science. It had nothing to do, at all, with science. I was a mentally and physically violent child[3] and I went to church, by myself[4] and started reading the Bible and found that it made me worse because it was teaching me to hate those not like me, or those around me[5] and those were the people treating me like shit all the time. Adults, children, almost everyone.

I feel as people here want to take the cigarettes away from the theists all at once, and not gradually take them away a little at a time. Yes, people like to drag out debates here but that's more for their pleasure rather than an honest attempt to show them something else.  At least I'm honest about it but that's because I don't care about them being or not being who they are. They want to be a Christian, or a Muslim, or a Jew, or Hindu etc., I don't give a shit. That's their business, not mine. All I care about is them trying to force it on me, and on others.

They come here to convert, those here try to deconvert and both sides are missing the bigger picture: commonality. And it's there. No one sees it.

I'd say 95% of the theists who come here are like me and know shit about science and yet that seems to be the atheist's here main card. It's science dyslexia[6]. You're saying a lot of intelligent things that mean absolutely nothing to them. And what do most of them do, in the end? Sink deeper into ignorance because most atheists here do not have the knowledge to properly debate theists.

And that's why it's a circle: you have the highly educated trying to teach the uneducated.

How's that working for y'all?

-Nam
 1. that doesn't know me
 2. well, maybe not Catholics
 3. caused by the society beating the shit out of me figuratively and literally for around a decade
 4. my parents worked fulltime, and took care of three kids on crap income
 5. excluding immediate family
 6. for them
« Last Edit: April 04, 2015, 11:54:57 PM by Nam »
Things I've said here:

Quote
I only have a filter for people who do not consistently beg to be belittled, ridiculed, insulted, and demeaned.

Quote
I may believe people, as a whole, should be treated fairly but I also believe those same people are idiots.

Offline eh!

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Re: Probabilities of God's existence debate
« Reply #1665 on: April 05, 2015, 01:14:30 AM »

What if he's like me[/b]? Does that make him beneath your intelligence?



most definitely, that has nothing to do with his educational standard tho.
some skepisms,
1. "I have not seen God. I have felt the invisible presence"
2. What if there is a rock in the middle of a road, a blind person is speeding towards it, ...they say that they can't see it.   Would you recommend him to keep speeding?

Offline Nam

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Re: Probabilities of God's existence debate
« Reply #1666 on: April 05, 2015, 02:44:58 AM »
most definitely, that has nothing to do with his educational standard tho.

And that's why you'll always be inching your way to nowhereville. It's like putting a 1 year old baby, and throwing it into advanced math: all it sees are pictures that make it cry, and trying to explain what they mean to it just makes it cry more.

You start by either purposely insulting them or unknowingly insulting them because, as an example: like the Aasgard from Stargate SG-1: you are incapable of thinking less than you already do.

You'll always fail. The masses should be the target yet no one here with advanced degrees knows how to talk "stupid".

-Nam

Things I've said here:

Quote
I only have a filter for people who do not consistently beg to be belittled, ridiculed, insulted, and demeaned.

Quote
I may believe people, as a whole, should be treated fairly but I also believe those same people are idiots.

Offline Graybeard

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Re: Probabilities of God's existence debate
« Reply #1667 on: April 05, 2015, 03:12:08 AM »
... He was able to turn something which we thought inanimate objects can not be revived. What I mean is, with distinctive He was able to turn on and off individually.
How does that work?

Is this magic?

Quote
I do not believe in the existence of God, but I believe that something exists is called 'attributes of life" or something 'supernatural' that I do not know what it's called..
I think it would be better if it were not supernatural.
Nobody says “There are many things that we thought were natural processes, but now know that a god did them.”

Offline Defiance

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Re: Probabilities of God's existence debate
« Reply #1668 on: April 05, 2015, 10:31:52 AM »
What's your level of education? What's the highest biology class that you have taken?

I never graduated high school. Do not even have a GED. I never went to college. I know shit about science unless it has to do with astronomy.

I really wish people would cease using this as a stipulation of intelligence.

What if he's like me? Does that make him beneath your intelligence?

Ignorance is the battlefield not one's educational[1] standing.

-Nam
 1. in the sense of school, not knowledge.

Nam,

I didn't ask it to insult him. I asked, like NGFM said, to set a baseline. If he doesn't know how DNA polymerizes in the first place, what allows him to say "oh you need a god to do it; nature would never do that randomly."

Maybe I should have asked "How much do you know about biology?"

I can't link him to a scientific paper that discusses the Miller Urey experiment if he doesn't know what an amino acid does.

You, however, know what you're talking about. You've demonstrated that before, regardless of what your education level is. I have no such information on him, so I asked him.

No insults.
Q: Why are quantum physicists bad lovers? A: Because when they find the position, they can't find the momentum, and when they have the momentum, they can't find the position.

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Re: Probabilities of God's existence debate
« Reply #1669 on: April 05, 2015, 11:45:29 AM »
How does that work?

Is this magic?
No. I don't think so. I guess something like power adapter with On / Off Switch, which turns on and off.

Quote
I think it would be better if it were not supernatural.
There is something that exists, that press the button to turn off and then turn it on.

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Re: Probabilities of God's existence debate
« Reply #1670 on: April 05, 2015, 01:01:59 PM »
MAS

Has it occurred to you that you might be imagining what reality is like and then accepting your answer as the truth? That no matter how wrong you might be, that you are trusting in your instincts rather than in feedback from other sources? That there "has to be something" is neither rational nor based upon a sound foundation of knowledge.

It isn't that you are automatically wrong. It is that you are guessing, and you have nothing to base your guesses on other than, um, guesses. And that doesn't even work all the time when trying to figure out what is in christmas packages before opening them.

I am an ardent atheist. I am as convinced as humanly possible that there are no gods nor god-like powers out there. But I may be wrong. I understand that. And even though I make claims about there being no gods, I don't use that same assumption to describe the universe in detail. I trust that science is looking, I understand that science has, at best, only the most basic understanding of things, and I understand that new discoveries, still on the basic level, are being made every day that negate or modify yesterdays ideas. At times I casually wonder about the true nature of the universe and reality. But what I don't do is make up an answer and decide that it is obviously the truth.

So I can't say that you are wrong. I can't say that I am right. But what I can say is that if you are right, it is a lucky guess. And until you know it is the right lucky guess, you would be well advised to consider other guesses as well.

Better yet, be a bit more rational. Instead of guessing, just wonder about such things and enjoy the many possibilities, without choosing a favorite one. I find that approach much more interesting. It keeps one out of ruts.
It isn't true that non-existent gods can't do anything. For instance, they were able to make me into an atheist.

Offline MAS

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Re: Probabilities of God's existence debate
« Reply #1671 on: April 05, 2015, 02:08:20 PM »
MAS

Has it occurred to you that you might be imagining what reality is like and then accepting your answer as the truth? That no matter how wrong you might be, that you are trusting in your instincts rather than in feedback from other sources? That there "has to be something" is neither rational nor based upon a sound foundation of knowledge.

It isn't that you are automatically wrong. It is that you are guessing, and you have nothing to base your guesses on other than, um, guesses. And that doesn't even work all the time when trying to figure out what is in christmas packages before opening them.

I am an ardent atheist. I am as convinced as humanly possible that there are no gods nor god-like powers out there. But I may be wrong. I understand that. And even though I make claims about there being no gods, I don't use that same assumption to describe the universe in detail. I trust that science is looking, I understand that science has, at best, only the most basic understanding of things, and I understand that new discoveries, still on the basic level, are being made every day that negate or modify yesterdays ideas. At times I casually wonder about the true nature of the universe and reality. But what I don't do is make up an answer and decide that it is obviously the truth.

So I can't say that you are wrong. I can't say that I am right. But what I can say is that if you are right, it is a lucky guess. And until you know it is the right lucky guess, you would be well advised to consider other guesses as well.

Better yet, be a bit more rational. Instead of guessing, just wonder about such things and enjoy the many possibilities, without choosing a favorite one. I find that approach much more interesting. It keeps one out of ruts.
I agree with things you say where there is some truth.

That there "has to be something".. it was the human imagination which they puzzle that they do not quite understand what it is, then they conclude it is the Lord or Supreme Being.

Offline frank callaway

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Re: Probabilities of God's existence debate
« Reply #1672 on: April 17, 2015, 11:31:03 AM »
I am an ardent atheist. I am as convinced as humanly possible that there are no gods nor god-like powers out there. But I may be wrong. I understand that. And even though I make claims about there being no gods, I don't use that same assumption to describe the universe in detail. I trust that science is looking, I understand that science has, at best, only the most basic understanding of things, and I understand that new discoveries, still on the basic level, are being made every day that negate or modify yesterdays ideas. At times I casually wonder about the true nature of the universe and reality. But what I don't do is make up an answer and decide that it is obviously the truth.

o.k. ready... let's try this:

"I am an ardent xtian. I am as convinced as humanly possible that there is a god out there. But I may be wrong. I understand that. And even though I make claims about there being a god, I don't use that same assumption to describe the universe in detail. I trust that science is looking, I understand that science has, at best, only the most basic understanding of things, and I understand that new discoveries, still on the basic level, are being made every day that negate or modify yesterdays ideas. At times I casually wonder about the true nature of the universe and reality. But what I don't do is make up an answer and decide that it is obviously the truth."

you see... part of the problem is - if someone were to have posted my modified version of what ParkingPlaces wrote on this form; they would immediately be labeled as delusional, uneducated, bronze age fairy tale believers, anti-science, anti-women, tea baggin, homophobic, racist supporters of the evil 1% people corporations who also h8 kittens... and probably voted for the koch brothers a.k.a. bu$hCo.

get it...?  people like to put people in neat little boxes, when the truth is - we're all the same, deep down inside we all deal with uncertainty and we all know, that we don't really know...  oh, but what about crazy xtians who make truth claims about their "god"...?  i say, who fucking cares, let 'em.  because everyone has their own special lens in which they view reality, everyone has their own effed up ideas, that for whatever reason, they feel it necessary to bludgeon other people over the head with (an example would be what you're reading now... or any other post on this site, or the entire www for that matter) - but when it's all said and done, it's all said and done, and there's not a goddamn thing you or anyone else can do about it.
When a great genius appears in the world you may know him by this sign; that the dunces are all in confederacy against him.

-Jonathan Swift

Offline jaimehlers

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Re: Probabilities of God's existence debate
« Reply #1673 on: April 17, 2015, 11:54:32 AM »
The problem isn't a person having a belief.  The problem is when people use those beliefs to try to restrict what other people can do, if not trying to make them believe the same thing.

Offline frank callaway

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Re: Probabilities of God's existence debate
« Reply #1674 on: April 17, 2015, 12:11:55 PM »
The problem isn't a person having a belief.  The problem is when people use those beliefs to try to restrict what other people can do, if not trying to make them believe the same thing.

yabut... all belief is restricting.  everyone uses their own belief to restrict and manipulate.
When a great genius appears in the world you may know him by this sign; that the dunces are all in confederacy against him.

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Re: Probabilities of God's existence debate
« Reply #1675 on: April 17, 2015, 12:19:43 PM »
The problem isn't a person having a belief.  The problem is when people use those beliefs to try to restrict what other people can do, if not trying to make them believe the same thing.

yabut... all belief is restricting.  everyone uses their own belief to restrict and manipulate.

Really? Such as...? Actually, let's just jump to the obvious conclusion:
"Restricting" people's ability to restrict is not a restriction in itself.
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Offline jdawg70

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Re: Probabilities of God's existence debate
« Reply #1676 on: April 17, 2015, 12:21:43 PM »
The problem isn't a person having a belief.  The problem is when people use those beliefs to try to restrict what other people can do, if not trying to make them believe the same thing.

yabut... all belief is restricting.  everyone uses their own belief to restrict and manipulate.

You act as if that is universally bad.  Yes, I use beliefs to restrict my actions and responses to things in reality.  I use my beliefs to manipulate the reality around me.  For example, I use beliefs like 'there is an external reality' and 'getting hit by a car will suck' to manipulate my legs, restricting my walking to only crossing the street when an SUV is not speeding down the road.

What's your point?
"When we landed on the moon, that was the point where god should have come up and said 'hello'. Because if you invent some creatures, put them on the blue one and they make it to the grey one, you f**king turn up and say 'well done'."

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Re: Probabilities of God's existence debate
« Reply #1677 on: April 17, 2015, 12:27:47 PM »
i say, who fucking cares, let 'em.  because everyone has their own special lens in which they view reality, everyone has their own effed up ideas, that for whatever reason, they feel it necessary to bludgeon other people over the head with (an example would be what you're reading now... or any other post on this site, or the entire www for that matter) - but when it's all said and done, it's all said and done, and there's not a goddamn thing you or anyone else can do about it.
  my bold

Frank,
          Is that your plan for ISIS?
« Last Edit: April 17, 2015, 12:29:28 PM by shnozzola »
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Re: Probabilities of God's existence debate
« Reply #1678 on: April 17, 2015, 01:01:24 PM »
I am an ardent atheist. I am as convinced as humanly possible that there are no gods nor god-like powers out there. But I may be wrong. I understand that. And even though I make claims about there being no gods, I don't use that same assumption to describe the universe in detail. I trust that science is looking, I understand that science has, at best, only the most basic understanding of things, and I understand that new discoveries, still on the basic level, are being made every day that negate or modify yesterdays ideas. At times I casually wonder about the true nature of the universe and reality. But what I don't do is make up an answer and decide that it is obviously the truth.

o.k. ready... let's try this:

"I am an ardent xtian. I am as convinced as humanly possible that there is a god out there. But I may be wrong. I understand that. And even though I make claims about there being a god, I don't use that same assumption to describe the universe in detail. I trust that science is looking, I understand that science has, at best, only the most basic understanding of things, and I understand that new discoveries, still on the basic level, are being made every day that negate or modify yesterdays ideas. At times I casually wonder about the true nature of the universe and reality. But what I don't do is make up an answer and decide that it is obviously the truth."

you see... part of the problem is - if someone were to have posted my modified version of what ParkingPlaces wrote on this form; they would immediately be labeled as delusional, uneducated, bronze age fairy tale believers, anti-science, anti-women, tea baggin, homophobic, racist supporters of the evil 1% people corporations who also h8 kittens... and probably voted for the koch brothers a.k.a. bu$hCo.

get it...?  people like to put people in neat little boxes, when the truth is - we're all the same, deep down inside we all deal with uncertainty and we all know, that we don't really know...  oh, but what about crazy xtians who make truth claims about their "god"...?  i say, who fucking cares, let 'em.  because everyone has their own special lens in which they view reality, everyone has their own effed up ideas, that for whatever reason, they feel it necessary to bludgeon other people over the head with (an example would be what you're reading now... or any other post on this site, or the entire www for that matter) - but when it's all said and done, it's all said and done, and there's not a goddamn thing you or anyone else can do about it.

Ah, but, Frank, you miss the point that PP has failed to find any useful evidence that there is a god and that after 2,000 years since Jesus was supposed to have walked the earth and whose supposed accounts have been pored over for all that time. I suppose you would not claim to believe in Allah would you, Frank, oh, and his prophet Mo? No, I thought not. Well how about buying into the stories of L Ron Hubbard and his gods and so forth - would you believe those is told to you? No, I thought not again, yet there is nothing that distinguishes the evidence for any of these religions.

Obviously you are as entitled as anyone else to believe just what you like ti isn't going to cut any ice here just to proclaim it here or to claim we all have similar beliefs. You see, religious beliefs are of a different sort from the sort of things atheists believe.

Believers, or all sorts, claim to know some god or other on the basis of ancient writings and some sort of happy glow inside. They never get anything that really shows there is a god but, after praying a lot and practising a lot, they get to believe it is so anyway.

Atheists, on the whole, settle for science to  help them understand the world. Now don't, Frank, start on the 'it takes beliefs to do science' tack. The reason people go with science is that it matches reality. It explains why people get ill, it finds ways to communicate with  each other, it finds ways to travel without walking all the way (tough if you are going from Edinburgh to New York!) and so on. It allows us to understand the way the world - even the universe - works in intricate detail. Of course it isn't always right and it gets corrected as time goes on - hardly what happens with religions I would suggest.

So we are, really, discussion quite different things when it comes to beliefs and you would do well not to forget that!
No testimony is sufficient to establish a miracle, unless the testimony be of such that its falshood would be more miraculous than the facts it endeavours to establish. (David Hume)

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Re: Probabilities of God's existence debate
« Reply #1679 on: April 17, 2015, 01:26:47 PM »
Frank

You have a point in one sense of the word, and you are exaggerating in another.

I'm an atheist who doesn't care if people are theists. But, I don't want them to demand that I act like them. Otherwise, I'm normally accepting of their various beliefs. It is when they step over the line, either as individuals or a group, that I start caring about what they are trying to do to me and/or society in general. It is when they want their rules to apply to everyone that I speak out.

A minister running around tending to his congregation, consoling the newly divorced, comforting the dying, trying to write inspirational sermons for the next Sunday; I have no problem with that sort of religious person. But the TV minister who every single day succeeds in convincing little old ladies with very little money to send in everything they've got because god is broke pisses me off. The people who run around claiming that jc will be back on October 9th or December 5th or whatever, causing something between discomfort and panic in those that believe him piss me off. The fact that people let their children die of preventable or treatable diseases because of their belief system pisses me off. The women who kill their children so they won't grow up to be sinners and have to go to hell piss me off. And of course, once you move into ISIS territory, being pissed off is an understatement.

But note this. I do not have an alternative that I want to shove down peoples throats. That is, I don't want little old ladies to send me money instead of that asshole preacher. I don't want to try to do the healing for those sick kids. I don't want to give the woman drowning her children a different excuse to do the same thing. I don't want to propose my own date for the end of the world. My goal is to bring a semblance of sanity to planet earth. I don't want to do that by telling people what they should do. I want to do that by telling people to stop being harmful asses.

If someone wants to be stupid and cut their own toes off for jesus, that's their problem. When they want to cut someone else's toes off, that's where I have to draw the line. Or if the are Boko Harem and they kidnap 200 girls for sex and claim allah told them to do it or whatever, that's where I have to draw the line. Again, I don't have an equally insensitive and violent alternative to offer to the kidnappers or the toe cutters. Instead, I suggest that they look for kinder, gentler alternatives to being idiots.

Of course, human stupidity is much further ranging that just religion. Politics, crime and economic problems have at least equal billing. And I wander around complaining about the injustices and inequalities and selfishness there as well.

People who can't take a long view of life on this planet. Too many think only short term and selfishly. But on top of the problem of stupidity and narrow-mindness is another problem that we all suffer from. None of us has enough information. We can't have. Accurate and consistent sources do not exist. And even if they did, our brains couldn't take it all in. So we humans spend an inordinate amount of time most of jumping to conclusions, because we don't have enough information to decide otherwise.

So what I do when I've decided that something is wrong is this. I ask myself a simple question. For the world to be the way I want it to be, do I have to run around killing, kidnapping, destroying, enslaving, bribing and/or dictating?

If I decide yes, then I know I'm doing it wrong. And I take the time to reassess my position until I reach one that doesn't require that I buy bullets or take flying lessons.

Sadly, that's just me.
It isn't true that non-existent gods can't do anything. For instance, they were able to make me into an atheist.