Atheist Threat

Oct 10th, 2008, in IM Posts, by

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1,311 Comments on “Atheist Threat”

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  1. avatar Lairedion says:
    October 28th, 2008 at 2:05 pm

    jami said:

    I dont believe in destiny. There is only cause and effect. To believe that there is a “master of destiny” would make life pointless to me anyway, I would just be going though the motions since everything was already planned out. Why do you guys pray? If what is destined to happen is going to happen no matter what?

    Agree. If there is something holy or divine then it must be right action and goodness, not the amount of church/mosque attendance or praying. What you decide to do every day will determine you will be a good man – or not. In other words, karma.

    Janma said:

    All I know is that religions are idealogies and idealogies when adhered to fanatically tend to encourage polarities and separation between people and even Mao and Stalin had idealogies that enabled them to kill or order to kill, doesn’t matter to me whether it was religion or not, it was based on the same way of thinking.

    Agree. My view is that humans and nature have rights but ideologies not. Ideologies (including religions) must prove their quality over and over again. The Buddha once said:

    “Do not believe in anything simply because you have heard it. Do not believe in anything simply because it is spoken and rumored by many. Do not believe in anything simply because it is found written in your religious books. Do not believe in anything merely on the authority of your teachers and elders. Do not believe in traditions because they have been handed down for many generations. But after observation and analysis, when you find that anything agrees with reason and is conducive to the good and benefit of one and all, then accept it and live up to it.”

    Oigal said:

    Belief in mystical beings or not has nothing to do with a persons moral and ethical behaviour and it is santimonous claptrap to suggets otherwise. Just as it just plain illogical to suggest proof of GOD is by volume of text..if anything it just proves the insecurity of man himself in accepting responsibility for his own actions

    Agree. There are millions of non-religious people living just, meaningful and ethical lives.

  2. avatar Patrick says:
    October 28th, 2008 at 4:46 pm

    @ Oigal – If I may ask how does an atheist judge himself to be good moral person in the first place? By what standard(s) are applied? When you answer we will begin our discussion and I know already your style and you do mine so perhaps this will be an epic battle and I have not had one of those since Shloka but it is time again so begin please.

  3. avatar Barry Prima says:
    October 28th, 2008 at 9:42 pm

    Congratulations Lareidon for getting to the first level of the Islamic sahadah ie : there is no god.
    Maybe after several incarnations you might get to the second and third part (but Allah) and Muhammad is his messenger.
    You might do well to take the Buddha’s advice on understanding the latter stages ie: not referring to hearsay, or more accurately your own prejudices.
    You reject the concept of god, because it doesn’t correspond to the way he ought to be according to your own conditioning and the expectation that has emerged out of it. The limitation is your own, now be a good atheist and objective thinker and get out of it!

    What you decide to do every day will determine you will be a good man – or not. In other words, karma.

    First of all karma acknowledges there is a principle of justice, which works in a way that is absolute and thus not visible by a superficial look at the world or the lives of people, especially not by the limited capacity of the mind which can only perceive a little of the totality of things.?Right, so what difference is there between your concept of karma and god? Karma works in a way that is not evident to a person in an ordinary mode of existence, and certainly not by logic, which is no different from saying god works in mysterious ways.
    You might say Karma is impersonal and abstract, but god is personal and anthropomorphic.
    Brahman is atman, god is personal and impersonal, and how can he be god if he cannot manifest both these possibilities? Reducing god to an abstraction denies humanity, including your own, denies the personal nature of the world, what can be more illogical and less humane than that?
    God has to be both at once if he does exist, you can’t have one and not the other can you?
    If god doesn’t exist in your belief system, don’t blame him for the evils of the world. The more you say god doesn’t exist, the more you are proving he does.
    You do not even have the courage (or more accurately, the foolishness) to be a true atheist (recognising Karma, invalidates Atheism).True Atheism is not only spiritually but intellectually ridiculous.
    Also you concept of Karma(evolving as it does from a religious view of the world, based on faith, even if is arguably non theistic on occasion)Is fundamentally flawed .Karma is based not only on actions, it is based on thought as well, hence the importance of god or an acknowledgment of the absolute principle,. If your actions to do no establish a relationship with that principle, they are as the bible says like filthy rags. To break free from the grip of karma, requires(in the abscence of grace) wisdom not good works, ie recognising reality for what it is. Good actions and bad actions are still in the realm of duality, and attract each other. Good leads to Bad, in a circle of karma for eg you might love someone, but that love can turn to hate. You have to know the nature of self, and thus your actions before you can really step outside Karma.
    Release from Karma bandana requires an understanding , actually an embracing of a reality outside the opposites.
    The reason why the faith of Christianity exist is out of gods RAHMA(love/mercy) for humanity,ie god will liberate you out of love/ devotion to him not just by self enlightenment. You find this principle in Hinduism (devotion to Krishna for example),in Buddhism(devotion to Kwan Im) or merely by reciting the nembutsu (Pure land Buddhism).
    Lareidon you really should learn the basics before talking about Karma or quoting the Buddha and using them as an atheistic argument, when it is not even really one.

    But after observation and analysis, when you find that anything agrees with reason and is conducive to the good and benefit of one and all, then accept it and live up to it.
    What kind of observation and analysis was the Buddha referring to? It was primarily spiritual not intellectual.How do you tranascend the illusions of the mind,by activating the absoulte and transcendental within,ie that which is beyond the mind.If youre understanding of the world and religions is not based on the level of cultivation,you have no business quoting th Buddha.

  4. avatar Lairedion says:
    October 28th, 2008 at 11:48 pm

    Hello BP, how’s your Allah AKA the Metaphor doing?

    I can quote whoever I want here unless the webmaster says I can’t. If you can’t stand that I suggest you crawl back under your stone you appeared from.

  5. avatar jami says:
    October 29th, 2008 at 5:41 am

    @Barry, I also dont believe in karma.

    I think I am the “true athiest” you are talking about.
    However, I dont really like labels, I simply have no religion and believe that Gods, Magic, angels, after lifes, and so forth are very highly unlikely and that is all. I guess you could say I’m a a full-blown realist.

    I dont think I have all the answers, but I take all available information, and determine what is more likely and what is highly unlikely. I also accept that in a universe of infinite possiablities even The Smurfs could be real….However, It would be super extremely highly unlikely.

    There is another important thing to remember when discussing atheism.
    The burden of proof is not on the non believer to prove a religion false. I make no claims, the burden is on you to prove it true, else there is no reason for me to accept it as truth.
    Much like how you could not prove that there is no superman, however that is not reason enough to believe in superman.

    I hope this makes sense, I cant think of a better way to express what I mean at the moment.

    “True Atheism is not only spiritually but intellectually ridiculous.”

    Ok, Well I’ll have to give you the “spiritually” part…because I dont believe in spirits…….
    but how is it intellectually ridiculous?

    anyway, to the point. Why cant I have the right to live a free, open, and honest life of no religion, without persecution and without being slandered?
    Heck, lets start with the right to NOT have to put a religion label on at all.

    Fact is, I have as much ability to prove that there are no magical gods (cant prove a negative), as you do to prove that there are….so why is it even a big deal? A Non Understandable and Improvable Concept seems like a silly thing to cause so much division and animosity.

    Seriously.

  6. avatar Patrick says:
    October 29th, 2008 at 9:33 am

    OK Jami – You can have any life that you want including atheism as that is the meaning of free will. That by the way is a God concept! However, if other people choose (through free will) to harm you because of your beliefs than that is there choice as well. You see through this concept God is not at fault but we human beings are responsible for our own choices.

    You say we cannot prove the existence of God? Thomas Aquinas presented argument in the 13th century that many would say refute that assertion. His first argument (of 5) is based on a concept known as primum movens immobile or proving God through the way of motion. That basically means that everyting that exists in the universe changes with the exception of the unmoveable mover (God). This argument was developed from the Greek philosopher Aristotle who said that planetary motion which caused the seasons to change required an unmoved mover or otherwise a stationary force that could keep everything in allignment as the planets moved around it. Back to Thomas, he says that all things are in movement and are changing but there had to be one movement to start the chain reaction of movements that followed and that is the unmoveable mover or God.

    Albert Eistein who did not believe in a personal God like Thomas did believe that natural order could not keep the universe consistent through time so there must be some super natural being behind the order that science could not explain.

  7. avatar Ziad says:
    October 29th, 2008 at 12:02 pm

    Here is what Bertrand Russell had to say about religion:
    As a philosopher, if I were speaking to a purely philosophic audience I should say that I ought to describe myself as an Agnostic, because I do not think that there is a conclusive argument by which one can prove that there is not a God. On the other hand, if I am to convey the right impression to the ordinary man in the street I think that I ought to say that I am an Atheist, because, when I say that I cannot prove that there is not a God, I ought to add equally that I cannot prove that there are not the Homeric gods.
    Religion is based, I think, primarily and mainly upon fear. It is partly the terror of the unknown and partly, as I have said, the wish to feel that you have a kind of elder brother who will stand by you in all your troubles and disputes. […] A good world needs knowledge, kindliness, and courage; it does not need a regretful hankering after the past or a fettering of the free intelligence by the words uttered long ago by ignorant men.
    I have to add that I am in full agreement with what is mentioned above.

  8. avatar janma says:
    October 29th, 2008 at 12:22 pm

    You reject the concept of god, because it doesn’t correspond to the way he ought to be according to your own conditioning and the expectation that has emerged out of it. The limitation is your own, now be a good atheist and objective thinker and get out of it!

    yeah… and you accept the concept of god because it does correspond to the way he ought to be according to your own conditioning, and he has emerged out of that expectation….. The limitation is in god……and people like you put it there…. why on earth should we accept a concept of god that doesn’t correspond to the way we think it should be?

    If I may ask how does an atheist judge himself to be good moral person in the first place? By what standard(s) are applied?

    By the standards of humanity! Do you think human rights grew out of religion? Mankind has standards of decency without religion….! For example, I, as an atheist consider it wrong to kill people for not believing in god…. i know that is wrong. to hurt another is wrong…. anyone who isn’t psychopathic and has a modicum of empathy can tell you they know that…. Faithfulness, loyalty, friendship, generosity, hope…. you really think mankind would not have these qualities without religion?????????

    Back to Thomas, he says that all things are in movement and are changing but there had to be one movement to start the chain reaction of movements that followed and that is the unmoveable mover or God.

    wonderful reasoning…. truly… so god could (by your own definition) be a simple chemical reaction? Or a serendipitous crash of an asteroid? and even if somehow the above argument could be construed to prove the existence of an original unmovable don’t you find it a bit of a stretch to consider that to be proof of a personal god who sorts out the chaff from the hay in our obscure societies and sends the ones he likes to “heaven” and the ones he doesn’t to ‘hell”?

    so there must be some super natural being behind the order that science could not explain.

    simplistic in the extreme….. that there is something behind the order that science can’t yet explain, or that humans cannot yet conceive of does not mean that there is a ‘being’ behind it, nor does it mean that the concept that primitive men thousands of years ago cooked up to explain what they can’t know is true!
    who you telling to be objective?????????
    and don’t even let me start on your nose in the air rhetoric on karma! It’s one thing to hold forth on something you know almost nothing about, quite another to tell someone else

    Lareidon you really should learn the basics before talking about Karma or quoting the Buddha and using them as an atheistic argument, when it is not even really one.

    sheesh!

  9. avatar Oigal says:
    October 29th, 2008 at 12:53 pm

    If god doesn’t exist in your belief system, don’t blame him for the evils of the world. The more you say god doesn’t exist, the more you are proving he does.
    You do not even have the courage (or more accurately, the foolishness) to be a true atheist (recognising Karma, invalidates Atheism).True Atheism is not only spiritually but intellectually ridiculous.

    Laugh..Classic strawman logic..

    So if the more I say vampires don’t exist the more they do? intellectually ridiculous..besides the quaint little “angels on a pin” points of “proof” what do you have?

    Meanwhile..please proove to us that vampires don’t exist..after all there is reams of text declaring they do…As an aside, suggesting that standards of ethical and moral behaviour can only be drawn from the (I gather this is the case here despite the rather vapid dismissal of other beliefs/dogmas) Bible and/or Koran is bizarre to say the least..if anything secular thought and science has at least toned down some of the more inhumane and morally bankrupt behaviours contained within the mythologies.

    Patrick..whats the point..

    With or without religion, you would have good people doing good things and evil people doing evil things. But for good people to do evil things, that takes religion.

  10. avatar Patrick says:
    October 29th, 2008 at 3:47 pm

    @ Jamna – Saw this and had to share it with you. To bad George Carlin is in an empty void now or I am sure he would have great laugh about this as well. Happy reading and dare we hope enlightenment?

    Prominent Atheist “Discovers” Aquinas’ Proof for the Existence of “a god”
    Only 750 years behind the times

    December 13, 2004 – Professor Antony Flew, a leading proponent of atheism and defender of Darwinian Evolution, has re-invented the philosophical wheel and announced that he has come to believe in God, or more precisely, in the existence of a god, based on evidence of creation. Flew told the Associated Press in an interview that he has concluded that some sort of intelligence or first cause must have created the universe.

    Flew said of his newly discovered god, that it was the god of deism, an Enlightenment notion of a divine “watchmaker” who, after creating the universe and winding it up and setting it going, had nothing further to do with it. “It could be a person in the sense of a being that has intelligence and a purpose, I suppose,” said Flew.

    Flew spent several years at Toronto’s York University after retiring from full time professorships in England in 1982. His Deism has been growing for the last several months. He wrote in the August-September issue of Britain’s Philosophy Now magazine, “It has become inordinately difficult even to begin to think about constructing a naturalistic theory of the evolution of that first reproducing organism.”

    Flew’s explanation, that a god, or divine intelligence of some kind must exist because of the existence of extremely complex biological systems such as the DNA molecule, leaves him just over 700 years behind the times.

    St Thomas Aquinas, in his book for beginners, the Summa Theologica, called Flew’s “discovery” the “Argument from Design,” and added four more logical proofs for the existence of God. Most modern philosophers, firmly wedded to the materialist philosophies originating in the 18th century, instead of refuting or attempting to disprove St. Thomas’ proofs, have simply ignored them.

    Flew has written about his ‘conversion’ in a new edition of his 1966 book, “God and Philosophy,” to be published next year by Prometheus Books. He said, “My whole life has been guided by the principle of Plato’s Socrates: Follow the evidence, wherever it leads.”

  11. avatar jami says:
    October 29th, 2008 at 6:58 pm

    Patrick: You can have any life that you want including atheism as that is the meaning of free will. That by the way is a God concept! However, if other people choose (through free will) to harm you because of your beliefs than that is there choice as well. You see through this concept God is not at fault but we human beings are responsible for our own choices.

    Uhmmm, I’m not sure what this is supposed to mean.
    I dont blame god…because I dont think such a thing is real.
    Are you saying that it is ok or justified , in your book, to hate and harm someone because of their lack of beliefs? Why not use our free will to live decent,loving, and tolerant lives where we treat all people with respect and dignity? The world would be much better to hang out in. Personally, I would never oppress you because of your beliefs, and I would fight for your freedom of thought. Would you extend that same respect to people who dont share your faiths in god/gods?

    ————————————————————————————————
    On the topic of Thomas Aquinas, I have read the 5 proofs, and I did not find them convincing of a god. For one, they leave open questions, such as:
    “Nothing can be the cause of itself (nothing can create itself.)”, therefor, what caused god?

    I find them to have unsupported premises, and be undefined or poorly defined concepts.
    In general, none of the proofs point towards any kind of conscious all knowing all powerful judge/creator. They could just as easily describe natural events as could supernatural, as the “5 proofs” paint a picture of an extremely vague “god”, which would not have to even be supernatural.

    proof 4, I disagree with. Things like goodness, beauty, ect. are subjective and not totally universal to begin with. These are human constructs. Look at how our definitions of some of these things have changed over time and culture.
    In general, our religions are reflections of morals and norms that we have created, as we have evolved in civilization.

    I find proof 5 to be clap trap. “all physical laws and the order of nature and life were designed and ordered by God”. I dont see that. Who says they were, and they dont have to be. The whole argument is a logical fallacy. physical laws and orders of nature are not creatred, they just are. In other words: The way stuff happens is due to that fact that that is how stuff happens. What we call “physical laws” are simply the observation of how stuff is.

    I could write a 7 page paper about all this, but I dont really feel like it.
    I just wanted you to know, that I am aware of the “5 proofs”, but I didnt come to a conclusion that they prove anything.

  12. avatar peace says:
    October 29th, 2008 at 11:32 pm

    @patrick

    God is a word, and can be interpreted differently, but if it is defined as a power which human can’t yet explain, then atheists may believe in God.

    All those scientist’s books or theories that you quoted are just proving that they believe in the great power, not stating that they believe in religion.

    I am sorry because I haven’t read from the beginning. But are you trying to prove that God is exist in religion context which describe that God is merciful, forgives, almighty, etc. I think it is too underestimating and simplifying God itself.

  13. avatar Patrick says:
    October 30th, 2008 at 12:41 am

    Free will does not say it’s OK nor does it imply that it’s OK to harm other people but it must be recognized that people are free to make that choice. Thank you for not wanting to oppress me or my beliefs and odd enough I have no wish or desire to oppress you or your beliefs in any way. In fact it is good you make known your objections to God as we can discuss your objections and God’s truths may be revealed and realized, if not by you, then perhaps someone else reading IM. And I am aware that it may also have the opposite effect but by faith I think not!

    According to Thomas Aquinas only those things that will one day cease to exist are bound by the laws of physics and motion. Since God is eternal and therefor He has always existed and always will be, He (God) by definition, is not bound to our sense of time or the constraints of the universe.

    I asked the question “How does an atheist judge himself or others to be moral people”?

    Janma answered….”By the standards of humanity! Do you think human rights grew out of religion? Mankind has standards of decency without religion….! For example, I, as an atheist consider it wrong to kill people for not believing in god…. i know that is wrong. to hurt another is wrong…. anyone who isn’t psychopathic and has a modicum of empathy can tell you they know that…. Faithfulness, loyalty, friendship, generosity, hope…. you really think mankind would not have these”

    Now ask yourself how do we intuitively know for instance that murder is wrong? And its considered wrong in every nation and society. How did our conscious mind develop that reason universally? If there is no God and we have hundreds of nation and societies and we are by definition, “masters of our own destinies”, would not at least some of these societies consider murder OK all the time? After all, if we don’t like someone and there are no after life consequences to be concerned with, is it not just as likely, that murder would be perfectly permissible in our society?

    We should look at another dilemma of modern society and that is abortion. Is abortion justified murder? What! You say abortion is not murder? Then I say depends on your definition of murder. My morality says it is because a fetus is breathing and has a functioning heart so by definition it is a life force within itself and separated from its mother except for the biological constraints shared until birth or abortion separates them. You will argue that the mother has the right to make up her own mind and I will argue back no the mother doesn’t have that right and that society must defend the fetus’ right to exist and be born. On and on we could go and neither of us would be right nor wrong because we are like gods with no higher authority to answer for our choices. So again, WHAT ARE THE STANDARDS OF HUMANITY?

    And if we have no greater moral force than man himself would that moral force be always consistent? The answer of course is a resounding NO! As Thomas Aquinas explained all objects are in a state of motion and therefore are always changing and only the unmoveable mover, God is unchanging and He is the force that keeps things consistent and from spiraling out of control. God is perfect and always good! Sadly man is neither perfect nor always good.

    Someone had brought up Bertrand Russell, among his theories was that the Universe had no controls and that things happened by chance? His arguments have been easily refuted by applying Thomas Aquinas’ 5 proofs. But even if we look beyond those 5 proofs we know that science is repeatable through experimentation and that there are consistent laws found in the Universe so that in itself proves Russell’s thesis wrong! Science being repeatable and predictable more than suggest Intelligent design is responsible for our universe and in fact, it screams it out loud!

    OK Oigal – please do attempt to prove Thomas Aquinas absolutely wrong as many attempts have been made, over the centuries, but none have done so with total success, although some have alluded to a few weaknesses within his 5 reasons.

  14. avatar pramino says:
    October 30th, 2008 at 3:21 am

    Thomas Aquinas lives at the time when people thought the earth is flat and is the centre of the universe. He lived in a Europe in the abyss of its Dark Age.

    In fact it would be many centuries before Galileo presented his case of sun centred system and be condemned by the Church and Newton measured gravity and light. So how did Aquinas made reference to the laws of physics and motion (I always thought the law of motion is a physics subject) when the two fathers of classical physics weren’t even born yet.

    Many religious people have been using the Big Bang theory to support the existence of God. FYI, one of the earliest proponents of the Big Bang theory was a Belgian church father by the name of Georges Lemaitre. Evidence of this theory started to slowly trickle in when Edwin Hubble discovered redshifting of light from stars which means galaxies are moving apart and hence the universe is probably expanding, the Pope quickly proclaimed that the Big Bang theory is true which shows that God must exist as the Creator. This had embarassed Lemaitre so much and thought that it would discredit this theory in the scientific community that he asked one of the Cardinals to request the Pope to refrain from speaking on Big Bang subject again. He was a scientist and a church father who said that the two are spearate realms. He said that science shows how heaven works and religion shows the way to heavens. I don’t completely agree with that but at least he does not mix science with religion.

    So please try not to discredit science as being predictable and that Intelligent Design is responsible for it all. This is a very old and tired argument. Further, Einstein never implied that a Creator must have created this universe. Also, when he said that God does not play with dice (another religious favorite) he was not making reference to God existence at all. He was referring to the uncertainty principle and the wave-particle duality of nature. Nothing to do with God but everything to do with the quantum theory.

  15. avatar barry prima says:
    October 30th, 2008 at 5:08 am

    The limitation is in god……and people like you put it there….

    The fact he can be rejected is part of the confirmation that he is not limited.
    The whole point of religion is to emerge out of conditioning, which is based on the faith it is actually possible. That means cultivating yourself through certain rituals,mantras and asectic practices etc which allow man to transcend the lower forces and recognize that which is pure and absolute within him.
    You don’t have to accept anything, but accepting that you can’t know god or the absolute, is a limitation that will only logically limit you. You need faith to accomplish anything in life,same with your relationship to religion/god. If you don’t have faith, you can’t achieve, or achieve very little.
    The proof of god is within yourself, or he who knows himself (as a totality not only as an intellect)knows his lord.!

    And people like you put it there

    I didn’t create this universe, nor did I create you.

    why on earth should we accept a concept of god that doesn’t correspond to the way we think it should be?

    It might have something to with the fact that you’re not using 95 % of your brain and are incapable of actually knowing squat with the other 5 percent.
    The brain isn’t capable of even knowing itself or the world, let alone god, who is beyond the brain even in its optimum capacity to conceive of. God can be experienced, not intellectually verified, so you have to rely on other aspects of the self.If you fail to acknowledge those parts of the self you’re not really going to move to the next step are you?

    A person who doesn’t believe the truth (or a certain level of truth) is knowable or more accurately experienced, is not going to learn anything a priori: he is outside the grace of god and in a way damned!

    Janma: Assuming a worldly cynicism about everything is so obviously a mask put on by someone who doesn’t really want to face the big questions of life with a true heart. You are apparent as you try to hide, a cliché.

    As for the rest of your 5 year old child arguments,(they sound like a childish tantrum in playschool)

    what they can’t know is true! know that is wrong (killing). to hurt another is wrong

    If man was so good at actually not just knowing but practising these basic truths, then god would not have sent the prophets would he. Maybe you need to start at the very beginning and understand what the story of the fall of adam was all about.!

    nor does it mean that the concept that primitive men thousands of years ago cooked up to explain what they can’t know is true!

    So you have an objective and scientific way of establishing that man could not know something hundreds/thousands of years ago?

    or that humans cannot yet conceive of does not mean that there is a ‘being’ behind it

    So what does it mean? Many humans have conceived, because you haven’t personally doesn’t mean squat as an argument. IF someone has tasted ice cream, maybe even bought you a sample of it and it tasted delicous, are you going to believe what they have to say about it, or someone who has never tasted ice cream??

    me start on your nose in the air rhetoric on karma!

    If that was addressed to me please enlighten!

    Laugh..Classic strawman logic..haha,

    Classic don’t get it but ill laugh in a mocking tone, in an attempt to convince myself and others that it was ridiculous anyway..
    You obviously failed to read between the lines of that statement… i was referring to the way Lareidon was using a religious logic which is based on the belief in a transcendental reality to prove there wasn’t one.

    but how is it intellectually ridiculous?

    It doesn’t explain the order of the universe, or actually explain anything that appeals to that which essentially defines a human being. God doesn’t have to be proved to be existing as the universe exist. That is the proof. Now the atheist has to prove that it was created by something else, not god, which they cant

    Why cant I have the right to live a free, open, and honest life of no religion, without persecution and without being slandered?

    You do and are exercising that right now, god haven’t struck you down yet. Society might have a problem with that, as no man is an island, you will naturally share that idea with others and that will lead to certain developments in society that will affect others. Ideas lead to practise, to the creation of a certain type of society, and naturally people will fight for their right to shape society according to their own understanding, I think that is evident in this forum. Religion creates a balance between different forces, or purports to,that why it panders both to the finer and coarser instincts in man ie it is based on reality, not sentimentalism or moral relativism, which is the basis for a lot of atheistic arguments, even though they fail to recognise the morality they are using is religious.

  16. avatar Patrick says:
    October 30th, 2008 at 8:22 am

    @ Pramino – You give the ancients too little credit and yourself too much! What was it that our professor taught us during my Frehman year literature class? Ah yes! A little knowledge is a dangerous thing! Actually when it comes to astronomey Aristotle thought the earth was a shere, and not flat as you stated, like the stars that he observed or the reason why a lunar eclipse appeared curved when observed.

    I dont support the Big Bang Theory myself and popes are only infalliable when it comes to Catholic Dogna so they are allowed to be wrong about a great many other things! Still it just a theory not proven completely and not unproven completely.

    Concerning Albert Einstein -Top atheist, Anthony Flew, has changed his mind about God. He said that Albert Einstein was right when he felt that there must be intelligence behind the integrated complexities in the natural world. In simple English, that means that Einstein said that dead things like rocks, metal, plastic, light, and air are made up of such complicated systems that depend on each other to exist, that there must be some intelligent being that put them together.

  17. avatar Janma says:
    October 30th, 2008 at 9:30 am

    People knew it was wrong to murder, and people understood morals long before they came up with the concept of god.

    I dont support the Big Bang Theory myself

    no, patrick supports the big hand job theory…

  18. avatar Patrick says:
    October 30th, 2008 at 9:49 am

    @ Janma – Does that come with a traditional massage as well?

  19. avatar Janma says:
    October 30th, 2008 at 10:08 am

    Patrick! I’m shocked!!!

    I meant hand job as in the renaissance version of god creating the world with his finger… so much more believable than the big bang…

  20. avatar barry prima says:
    October 30th, 2008 at 11:57 pm

    People knew it was wrong to murder, and people understood morals long before they came up with the concept of god.

    So did how did you establish this solid fact or establish a time when the concept of god was actually created? In fact your whole statement is a complete contradiction of aetheistic, evolutionary theory.

    In fact what you are espousing is a religious view, man was perfect before the fall, out of the fall emerged morality and right and wrong. The reason religion was revealed was to remind people of things they instinctively know ie remind man of his true nature which he is prone to forget as he under the sway of the 5 elements.

    Man only created the concept of god, after he was separated from him so you are accurate in a sense that god is a creation of man, but not in the way you think!

    What is morality anyway? Is it wrong to murder, someone who poses a threat to your family or someone who is serial rapist/murderer? You are saying on one hand that there is an absolute morality that is inherent in human beings (buddha nature or fitra in Islam, which again is a religious view point) but then denying on the other hand their is anything that is absolute in a human being or creation?

    Really, your arguments are pure adolescent angst style teenage crisis of faith type, with not a whiff of intellectual merit to them!

  21. avatar janma says:
    October 31st, 2008 at 8:29 am

    So did how did you establish this solid fact or establish a time when the concept of god was actually created? In fact your whole statement is a complete contradiction of aetheistic, evolutionary theory.

    I’m not trying to present any theory atheistic, evolutionary or otherwise!WTF!!!??? I don’t know much about ‘atheistic theory’ as you put it. I didn’t even know there was one…. I don’t care about such things. I know what my opinions are on the matter.
    And yes the concept of God as a singlular judgemental person started with the monotheists, of course we can put a time frame on it…. it’s only been in the last 3 or 4 thousand years men have seen god in that way… so before that? we have thousands of years of humanity living and dying without him just fine…. I am fairly doubtful that before that they were especially immoral or murderous…. you say it as though men without god would somehow be immoral murderous creatures with no control over their base instincts….

  22. avatar jami says:
    October 31st, 2008 at 8:29 pm

    @Patrick,

    Thank you, I was more interested in the topic that the article really brought up, which was about freedom and tolerance of disbelief.

    I don’t really like debating “god”, religion is another thing all together, but when debating “god” in the deity sense, it is an impossible exercise.
    As I said earlier, arguing a non understandable and untestable concept with infinite variables…well, it is an exercise in futility on both sides. The argument becomes more philosophical than anything else. Like I said before, is a god possible? Ya sure, however, I personally don’t think there is one, based on the way I see things. If there was one, I also doubt it would care one way or another about what I think, so I don’t really spend too much time dwelling on it.

    My concern is simply that I would like to live in a world where athiesm and skeptism was not oppressed, as some would like. I am glad we all seem on the same page with that.

  23. avatar Patrick says:
    November 1st, 2008 at 12:20 am

    @ Jami – That’s right I am discussing God and in philosophical terms as what Thomas Aquinas say in his 5 proofs is aimed at man’s ability to reason. Also, we are exploring God in scientific terms as the universe is so complex that it more than suggest intelligent design to keep order.

    Jami just the fact that you can acknowledge the very possibility that God exist is good as it means you are still searching for meaning in your life. Einstein also rejected the notion of a personable God in favor of some kind of super intelligence that was only interested in providing order through the Universe and he saw organized religion as silly and juvenile. Personally, I think Einstein was being a bit arrogant and sounded more as if he above all knew the mind of God. Somehow I think God thought Einstein to be silly and juvenile to declare such a statement.

    You do live in a world where atheism and skepticism are not always suppressed and in fact often they the atheist are the suppressors! What I am saying it’s always dangerous to force people to think as you do or as I do. Free will as PN pointed out in a different thread is among the greatest gifts that God has given us so we should all make an effort to understand what it means and be more tolerant of opposing viewpoints because of it.

    Keep searching Jami and it is you who one day will be found!

  24. avatar Janma says:
    November 1st, 2008 at 5:57 pm

    Jami just the fact that you can acknowledge the very possibility that God exist is good as it means you are still searching for meaning in your life.

    See I have no trouble acknowledging the possibility that god might exist. I don’t however think that means I’m searching for meaning in my life… it’s more like curiosity… like I acknowledge the possiblity that alien lifeforms exist, I wonder about it every now and then….but I don’t ever have the urge to actually try and find out for real… or sometimes I wonder if there is a plot to bring down the government from within using a combination of black magic and bad economic policy… and then my favorite song comes on the radio and before you can say ‘ngurah rai’ I’ve forgotten all about it.
    Definitely no life changing consequences from wondering if these things are true or not…
    But then, I suppose I’m dead inside….

  25. avatar Patrick says:
    November 1st, 2008 at 11:16 pm

    @ Jamna – Why do you enjoy so much being the cynic among us? Anyway, below are 2 quotes from Jami and you can see by them that in only a matter of a few days she has gone from outright rejection of a God or any supernatural being to acknowledging a possibility that God may indeed exist though she remains skeptical. Come on Jamna, you can do better than that to entrap me.

    Jami quotes 10/26/08 “I just dont believe in any religions or super natural”.
    Jami quote 10/31/08 “Like I said before, is a god possible? Ya sure, however, I personally don’t think there is one, based on the way I see things. ”

  26. avatar jami says:
    November 2nd, 2008 at 2:22 am

    Patrick, I’m sorry if you misunderstood.

    I have NEVER outright rejected the possibility of god/gods, however, I have always maintained that it is highly unlikely.
    Because I find them highly unlikely, I do not believe in them. Sorry, to get hung up on semantics

  27. avatar Patrick says:
    November 2nd, 2008 at 5:11 am

    @ Jami – Its not about semantics dear as I am able to quote you rather accurately. This is about you now either changing your mind or not being careful about what you say when you post. Ridiculous is the only word that comes to mind to describe your last post.

  28. avatar Janma says:
    November 2nd, 2008 at 10:57 am

    Patrick, I don’t enjoy being a cynic…. I just can’t help it. I’m religiously challenged…. and I think there is a huge difference in believing that a ‘god’ like energy or being is possible and believing in religion. I really don’t see the connection.

  29. avatar Patrick says:
    November 2nd, 2008 at 11:46 am

    OK Janma I can understand your skepticism concerning organized religion. Are you saying you believe God is an energy force only? I am a little confused about what you are telling me so could you please clarifying this for me. Thanks!

  30. avatar Janma says:
    November 2nd, 2008 at 12:22 pm

    Are you saying you believe God is an energy force only? I am a little confused about what you are telling me so could you please clarifying this for me. Thanks!

    I’m not saying I believe anything actually. I’m still solid in my ‘I don’t knowness’. All I’m saying is there are various possiblities…. I have no wish to be convinced of any of them really, much less to ‘believe’ in one of them!
    If, as you and other religionists believe, this universe couldn’t have come into being without intelligent design…. (I actually don’t think that is a solid or logical argument… but there you go, hence the word ‘if’) then why, oh why does that intelligence suddenly seem to take on this ‘image’ in mens minds of a being like them, with petty concerns and judgements like them?

    It dazzles me that intelligent people, who in day to day life would not easily be swindled… say by a salesman turning up at their door, or by a ‘friend’ who wants to borrow money… can place so much of their faith and integrity in a remote person or persons who lived in a far distant past, amongst a far more easily impressed populace than we have today. You could have shown them a lava lamp and they’d follow you around with palm leaves!
    Prophets and seers were a dime a dozen back then…. it is totally possible that these religious machinations are nothing more than a contrivance aimed at controlling a simple minded populace without having to resort to killing them all.

    I’m sorry, I just don’t get it at all….. I hate control with a vengenence! That’s all relligion says to me…. control. And the methods they use are elementary! Any anthropologist or human behaviour specialist (don’t know what they should be called…) should be able to see that!

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