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Old May 13th, 2011, 05:12 PM   #51
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Originally Posted by imaginethat' timestamp='1295137967' post='314007

Atheists are hypocrites. They say, God doesn't exist, a negative opinion but stated positively.



They claim to know that God doesn't exist.



They have faith in this belief, which is a characteristic of a religion. It's faith, because they cannot possibly know this.



At this point, someone will bring up: Well, there could be unicorns on Mars, or, the Tooth Fairy could exist. It's a lame argument, because the universe exists, and something is responsible for its existence. It might not be "God" as some envision God, but it's some organizing principle, some initiating force.



I'm OK calling that force God.


It is important do define what is meant by god before you make statements like the on above IT. Just because I don't believe in an intelligent designer that is omniscient and omnipresent doesn't mean I know all the answers.



That is the problem with this debate. I can say I don't know...but I know for sure it is not an "intelligent designer".



Sure ryder, a lot depends on the definition of God. I accept most of the qualities attributed to God in the Bible. However, the exact nature of God to me is a mystery. Even what is meant by God, given that some of the Hebrew terms are feminine and plural is a mystery.



How can you know for sure "God" isn't omniscient, omnipresent, or an intelligent designer? Such "knowing" seems to me to be a belief, and based on faith. Perhaps you can explain how you know what you know.
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Old May 13th, 2011, 05:53 PM   #52
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Originally Posted by imaginethat View Post
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Originally Posted by knowuryder' timestamp='1305331375' post='335697

[quote name='imaginethat' timestamp='1295137967' post='314007']

Atheists are hypocrites. They say, God doesn't exist, a negative opinion but stated positively.



They claim to know that God doesn't exist.



They have faith in this belief, which is a characteristic of a religion. It's faith, because they cannot possibly know this.



At this point, someone will bring up: Well, there could be unicorns on Mars, or, the Tooth Fairy could exist. It's a lame argument, because the universe exists, and something is responsible for its existence. It might not be "God" as some envision God, but it's some organizing principle, some initiating force.



I'm OK calling that force God.


It is important do define what is meant by god before you make statements like the on above IT. Just because I don't believe in an intelligent designer that is omniscient and omnipresent doesn't mean I know all the answers.



That is the problem with this debate. I can say I don't know...but I know for sure it is not an "intelligent designer".



Sure ryder, a lot depends on the definition of God. I accept most of the qualities attributed to God in the Bible. However, the exact nature of God to me is a mystery. Even what is meant by God, given that some of the Hebrew terms are feminine and plural is a mystery.



How can you know for sure "God" isn't omniscient, omnipresent, or an intelligent designer? Such "knowing" seems to me to be a belief, and based on faith. Perhaps you can explain how you know what you know.

[/quote]



I will default to Epicurus on this one. Simply put, I believe the concept of a benevolent all knowing omnipresent god is a paradox.


Is God willing to prevent evil, but not able? Then he is not omnipotent. Is he able, but not willing? Then he is malevolent. Is he both able and willing? Then whence cometh evil? Is he neither able nor willing? Then why call him God?



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Old May 13th, 2011, 06:34 PM   #53
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Originally Posted by imaginethat' timestamp='1305335567' post='335704

[quote name='knowuryder' timestamp='1305331375' post='335697']

[quote name='imaginethat' timestamp='1295137967' post='314007']

Atheists are hypocrites. They say, God doesn't exist, a negative opinion but stated positively.



They claim to know that God doesn't exist.



They have faith in this belief, which is a characteristic of a religion. It's faith, because they cannot possibly know this.



At this point, someone will bring up: Well, there could be unicorns on Mars, or, the Tooth Fairy could exist. It's a lame argument, because the universe exists, and something is responsible for its existence. It might not be "God" as some envision God, but it's some organizing principle, some initiating force.



I'm OK calling that force God.


It is important do define what is meant by god before you make statements like the on above IT. Just because I don't believe in an intelligent designer that is omniscient and omnipresent doesn't mean I know all the answers.



That is the problem with this debate. I can say I don't know...but I know for sure it is not an "intelligent designer".



Sure ryder, a lot depends on the definition of God. I accept most of the qualities attributed to God in the Bible. However, the exact nature of God to me is a mystery. Even what is meant by God, given that some of the Hebrew terms are feminine and plural is a mystery.



How can you know for sure "God" isn't omniscient, omnipresent, or an intelligent designer? Such "knowing" seems to me to be a belief, and based on faith. Perhaps you can explain how you know what you know.

[/quote]



I will default to on this one. Simply put, I believe the concept of a benevolent all knowing omnipresent god is a paradox.


Is God willing to prevent evil, but not able? Then he is not omnipotent. Is he able, but not willing? Then he is malevolent. Is he both able and willing? Then whence cometh evil? Is he neither able nor willing? Then why call him God?



[/quote]



A benevolent God would, first of all, gift his created beings freedom of choice. This will lead to "allowing" evil to exist while being able to prevent it, and not wishing it to be. I think Epicurus could have figured out this. I like this quote of his:



Quote:
It is not the man who denies the gods worshipped by the multitude, who is impious, but he who affirms of the gods what the multitude believes about them.


Putting that in other words, many who believe humans were created in God's image seem to have no trouble remaking God in a human image.
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Old May 16th, 2011, 04:50 AM   #54
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Ancient Greeks are definitely cool. But in this debate, I like this guy and what he says here the most:



"There are more things in heaven and earth, Horatio,

Than are dreamt of in your philosophy."

- William Shakespeare, Hamlet



Nothing can touch Shakespeare. Even when what others might say is better, Shakespeare would say it better, if you gave him the chance!
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Old May 16th, 2011, 05:12 AM   #55
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Ancient Greeks are definitely cool. But in this debate, I like this guy and what he says here the most:



"There are more things in heaven and earth, Horatio,

Than are dreamt of in your philosophy."

- William Shakespeare, Hamlet



Nothing can touch Shakespeare. Even when what others might say is better, Shakespeare would say it better, if you gave him the chance!


It would be interesting to have Shakespeare's flair and aplomb restate this:





"I distrust those people who know so well what God wants them to do because I notice it always coincides with their own desires."

---Susan B. Anthony
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Old May 16th, 2011, 05:22 AM   #56
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Originally Posted by waitingtables' timestamp='1305550259' post='335887

Ancient Greeks are definitely cool. But in this debate, I like this guy and what he says here the most:



"There are more things in heaven and earth, Horatio,

Than are dreamt of in your philosophy."

- William Shakespeare, Hamlet



Nothing can touch Shakespeare. Even when what others might say is better, Shakespeare would say it better, if you gave him the chance!


It would be interesting to have Shakespeare's flair and aplomb restate this:





"I distrust those people who know so well what God wants them to do because I notice it always coincides with their own desires."

---Susan B. Anthony


I wouldn't be surprised if it already exists in one of his works. In fact, I'd call it a safe bet that it does exist in one of his works!
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Old May 18th, 2011, 08:46 PM   #57
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"Everybody's gotta believe in something, so I believe I'll have another beer." (Overheard in Missouri tavern- 1970s)



This string of posts and counter-posts concerning the "beliefs" of the atheist is nothing more than "word-play": I do consider the statement, "I do not hold to the belief that there is a God", to be more accurate an expression of true atheism (many atheists, like believers, are not very proficient at handling words), but if one examines it further, one is always going to find a belief in there, somewhere. As someone said, "Just how does the atheist come to not hold that belief?" The answer would be that the person professing to be an atheist has perhaps read religious claims that are not backed up by facts: if they subscribe to the "This has to backed up by verifiable facts in order for it to be true," belief ("Belief" being defined as, "Mental acceptance of, and conviction in, the truth, actuality, or validity of something"- American Heritage Dictionary), the atheist will "believe", on the weight of what he already believes, that the religious claims are "false".



The mistake lies in the assumption that this has anything to do with a "religion", or that "disbelief" is the "religion" of the atheist. "Religion" is defined as: "Belief and reverence for a supernatural power or powers regarded as creator and governor of the universe."- American Heritage Dictionary. "A set of beliefs concerning the cause, nature, and purpose of the universe, especially when considered as the creation of a superhuman agency or agencies...."- Dictionary.com. If we're actually talking about a group of people who really don't believe in a "supernatural agency", then the label of "religion" is totally inappropriate and inapplicable.



"To consider atheism a religion is the same as considering not collecting stamps a hobby."



The definition of "belief" in Dictionary.com is interesting, as it seems more "religion-oriented": "Confidence in the truth or existence of something not immediately susceptible to rigorous proof." What everyone needs to remember in this is that, technically, nothing is completely verifiable in life. I can say, "I believe that the sun will come up in the East tomorrow morning" (which is actually two beliefs), but I cannot prove that there may not be some as yet unforeseen set of circumstances that would prevent this from happening in the morning. Just because water always seems to boil at 212 degrees Fahrenheit doesn't prove that it always will. Science understands this, which is why what we think of as the "facts" of science actually go through a three-step process of increasing validity: first, a "hypothesis" is formulated (which is actually an educated guess) as to the cause or nature of some phenomenon. Then, if the hypothesis proves accurate through experimentation, it may be upgraded to the status of a "theory". Further challenges to its validity being satisfied, and the theory being shown, over time, to explain the given phenomenon more accurately than any other, it will eventually be regarded as a "law" (the "law" of gravity, the second "law" of thermodynamics, etc.)- science has to allow though, that, at any given point in the future, new information may be discovered that contradicts the theory, or that a previously unanticipated situation could occur in which the theory does not hold true.



It's funny to hear creationists saying evolution is "just" a theory; all the science we have is "just" theories, yet the applications of these theories in the real world have resulted in a standard of living that would have seemed miraculous even a century ago (of course, we've thought up better ways to kill each other, too).



REMEMBER: "Words are not to be entirely trusted, as they can be arranged to form lies."



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Old May 19th, 2011, 05:20 AM   #58
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"Everybody's gotta believe in something, so I believe I'll have another beer." (Overheard in Missouri tavern- 1970s)



This string of posts and counter-posts concerning the "beliefs" of the atheist is nothing more than "word-play": I do consider the statement, "I do not hold to the belief that there is a God", to be more accurate an expression of true atheism (many atheists, like believers, are not very proficient at handling words), but if one examines it further, one is always going to find a belief in there, somewhere. As someone said, "Just how does the atheist come to not hold that belief?" The answer would be that the person professing to be an atheist has perhaps read religious claims that are not backed up by facts: if they subscribe to the "This has to backed up by verifiable facts in order for it to be true," belief ("Belief" being defined as, "Mental acceptance of, and conviction in, the truth, actuality, or validity of something"- American Heritage Dictionary), the atheist will "believe", on the weight of what he already believes, that the religious claims are "false".



The mistake lies in the assumption that this has anything to do with a "religion", or that "disbelief" is the "religion" of the atheist. "Religion" is defined as: "Belief and reverence for a supernatural power or powers regarded as creator and governor of the universe."- American Heritage Dictionary. "A set of beliefs concerning the cause, nature, and purpose of the universe, especially when considered as the creation of a superhuman agency or agencies...."- Dictionary.com. If we're actually talking about a group of people who really don't believe in a "supernatural agency", then the label of "religion" is totally inappropriate and inapplicable.



"To consider atheism a religion is the same as considering not collecting stamps a hobby."



The definition of "belief" in Dictionary.com is interesting, as it seems more "religion-oriented": "Confidence in the truth or existence of something not immediately susceptible to rigorous proof." What everyone needs to remember in this is that, technically, nothing is completely verifiable in life. I can say, "I believe that the sun will come up in the East tomorrow morning" (which is actually two beliefs), but I cannot prove that there may not be some as yet unforeseen set of circumstances that would prevent this from happening in the morning. Just because water always seems to boil at 212 degrees Fahrenheit doesn't prove that it always will. Science understands this, which is why what we think of as the "facts" of science actually go through a three-step process of increasing validity: first, a "hypothesis" is formulated (which is actually an educated guess) as to the cause or nature of some phenomenon. Then, if the hypothesis proves accurate through experimentation, it may be upgraded to the status of a "theory". Further challenges to its validity being satisfied, and the theory being shown, over time, to explain the given phenomenon more accurately than any other, it will eventually be regarded as a "law" (the "law" of gravity, the second "law" of thermodynamics, etc.)- science has to allow though, that, at any given point in the future, new information may be discovered that contradicts the theory, or that a previously unanticipated situation could occur in which the theory does not hold true.



It's funny to hear creationists saying evolution is "just" a theory; all the science we have is "just" theories, yet the applications of these theories in the real world have resulted in a standard of living that would have seemed miraculous even a century ago (of course, we've thought up better ways to kill each other, too).



REMEMBER: "Words are not to be entirely trusted, as they can be arranged to form lies."





Let's apply the three-step process to the reality that the universe exists. What are the possibilities?



• The universe has always existed, the "steady state" hypothesis



• The universe burst into existence approximately 13.7 billion years ago, the Big Bang hypothesis



The experimentation, which in this case is observation, seems to rule out the "steady state" hypothesis. All observational data support an initiating event, thus the Big Bang hypothesis becomes the BB theory. It's possible that the BB is a local event in a greater universe, but no observational data affirms this hypothesis, nor, most likely, will any data ever affirm this hypothesis. So, regarding the BB theory, what are the possibilities?



• The BB is one in a possibly infinite series of Big Bangs and Big Crunches



• The BB is a unique event



A scientific dead end, because what preceded the BB lies outside of the universe that we can observe. However, the universe does exist. Even if data became available to support the steady-state hypothesis, the universe exists and saying, "It always existed," or, the BB is one of a series of Big Bangs and Big Crunches, or the BB was a unique event, not one of these hypotheses accounts for the fact that somehow the universe originated. Regarding the origin of the universe:



• Science has no means to determine the origin of the universe



• The universe was created by a higher intelligence some call "God," however science has no means to affirm or deny this assertion



The "creationist" - though, this term generally assumes to exclude people who accept the BB theory, which is a false assumption - "believes" a higher intelligence some call God created, initiated the series of events that resulted in the universe. The atheist - who accepts the testimony of logic and science - rejects the creationist's "belief" in a creator, based on the lack of scientific or observational evidence to support the existence of a creator. But, the lack of scientific or observational evidence to affirm or deny the existence of a creator isn't a temporary situation for science. The explanation for the origin of the universe will always be outside of the ability of science to observe.



Quote:
"To consider atheism a religion is the same as considering not collecting stamps a hobby."


Logically, that's true.The "creationist" has no problem calling his or her "belief" a religion. The atheist rankles at calling his or her belief a religion. However, the origin of the universe and whether that origin is attributable to a creator is logically outside of the realm of science. So, logically, the "creationist" and the atheist share the attribute of "belief" in a hypothesis that cannot be affirmed or denied through logic, by science.



This is inescapable. The creationist and the atheist hold to a hypothesis that cannot be elevated to a theory. The creationist believes he or she is correct that a creator exists. The atheist believes the creationist is wrong.
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Old May 19th, 2011, 05:28 AM   #59
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I agree with Louis on this. I am not an atheist, but I certainly would not conclude that not believing in a supernatural omniscient creator is a belief in something that can be described as a religion.



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Old May 19th, 2011, 07:15 AM   #60
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I agree with Louis on this. I am not an atheist, but I certainly would not conclude that not believing in a supernatural omniscient creator is a belief in something that can be described as a religion.


"Not believing" and "believing" are willful choices made by an individual. Science can neither affirm nor deny the correctness of a choice made by an individual to believe or not believe in the existence of a supernatural omniscient creator.



An agnostic hasn't made a choice to believe or not believe in a supernatural omniscient creator, but an atheist has made the choice to not believe.



So, what would you call this choice made by an atheist, and if it's not a religion, then how is the choice to believe in a supernatural omniscient creator different from the choice to not believe in a supernatural omniscient creator?
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