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  • +1 fpr ddraver


    AidanR
    You're quite correct, my argument is a philosophical one, not scientific. I take your point about atheism, but it is a little different from not believing in aliens. It is about having an underlying philosophy of life - what you ultimately believe in. That may or may not include God. You may subscribe to the arguments of a particular philosopher, or even theologian. You may not have thought about it in depth at all. But even if you haven't, you will have subconsciously absorbed beliefs from around you, and you will believe in something. You might not be keen on labelling it, but it still exists.

    This is really the I'm too lazy, distracted or fearful of what others might do to me, theory of religious belief. As soon as people are empowered to actually start to think for themselves what tends to happen is that the need or default position of belief starts to fade because they can overcome the conscious and subconscious conditioning they get subjected to. Works for all sorts of stuff, not just religion, but advertising, politics, too.
    Coffee is not my cup of tea

    Moda Fresco track racer
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    Cannondale Scalpel 3000 (retro-bike in bits)
    Lemond Poprad Disc, now retired pending frame re-paint.
  • MattC59 wrote:
    Whether you believe a god does or does not exist, the bottom line is that there is nothing to support the idea that it does, where as there is a lot to support the idea that it doesn't.
    I definitely agree with you when you say there is no evidence to support that on does exist but not so sure about there being evidence to suggest one doesn't exist. We need to make a distinction between things that disprove god and things that mean god is no longer needed. Evolution and the big bang don't disprove god, they are just naturalistic explanations that used to be 'explained' by god. Science can say nothing about the existence of god because theists have put god outside the physical world.
  • Jez monJez mon Posts: 3,809
    MattC59 wrote:
    Whether you believe a god does or does not exist, the bottom line is that there is nothing to support the idea that it does, where as there is a lot to support the idea that it doesn't.
    I definitely agree with you when you say there is no evidence to support that on does exist but not so sure about there being evidence to suggest one doesn't exist. We need to make a distinction between things that disprove god and things that mean god is no longer needed. Evolution and the big bang don't disprove god, they are just naturalistic explanations that used to be 'explained' by god. Science can say nothing about the existence of god because theists have put god outside the physical world.

    No, but I would argue that there is some evidence that the God of classical theism, does not exist...i.e. that the Bible is just a nice story book. Or in the case of much of the old testament, a not so nice story book.
    You live and learn. At any rate, you live
  • Jez mon wrote:
    MattC59 wrote:
    Whether you believe a god does or does not exist, the bottom line is that there is nothing to support the idea that it does, where as there is a lot to support the idea that it doesn't.
    I definitely agree with you when you say there is no evidence to support that on does exist but not so sure about there being evidence to suggest one doesn't exist. We need to make a distinction between things that disprove god and things that mean god is no longer needed. Evolution and the big bang don't disprove god, they are just naturalistic explanations that used to be 'explained' by god. Science can say nothing about the existence of god because theists have put god outside the physical world.

    No, but I would argue that there is some evidence that the God of classical theism, does not exist...i.e. that the Bible is just a nice story book. Or in the case of much of the old testament, a not so nice story book.
    Good point, forgot to add that. I still can't believe that we have theists in this day and age. Deism I wouldn't have an issue with, but theism which is demonstrably wrong and needs to go!
  • Cleat EastwoodCleat Eastwood Posts: 8,191
    pb21 wrote:

    What does exist then?

    Well if anything does it's essentially unknowable re Kant's uber explosive "How are synthetic a priori judgements possible?"

    For what it's worth I think this debate is faltering around language and misconceptions/failings concerning the nature of belief, the self, otherness.

    I think organised religion is struggling to find a non verbal language to explain 'otherness' (hence the fear of Islam) whereas science is far too concerned is creating an exclusive language to control and manipulate.

    I dare say both have their pros and their cons.

    And talking of Kant.... here he is on the nature of joy.
    The dissenter is every human being at those moments of his life when he resigns
    momentarily from the herd and thinks for himself.
  • Having read Civilisation One and Who Built The Moon I'm definitely believing in alien intervention in our past history more than any recent religion and GOD...

    Anyone got anymore jiggly boobs to post up? :lol:
  • MattC59MattC59 Posts: 5,433
    MattC59 wrote:
    Whether you believe a god does or does not exist, the bottom line is that there is nothing to support the idea that it does, where as there is a lot to support the idea that it doesn't.
    I definitely agree with you when you say there is no evidence to support that on does exist but not so sure about there being evidence to suggest one doesn't exist. We need to make a distinction between things that disprove god and things that mean god is no longer needed. Evolution and the big bang don't disprove god, they are just naturalistic explanations that used to be 'explained' by god. Science can say nothing about the existence of god because theists have put god outside the physical world.

    Fair point. But religions can say less about gods as there is nothing to support it.

    The copmment about whether god is no longer needed could be taken two ways.
    1) Gods were invented to explain the world around us; now that we understand more, we don't need gods for that explaination.
    2) Gods did create the heavens and earth, but we now understand more about the process and no longer think that god was involved in that process.

    This is where religions become so good at moving the goal posts.
    Gods created man; actually, everything points towards evolution.
    OK, gods created evolution; Well that's a handy, funny nothing was mentioned about that before we understood it !

    Gods created the earth; actually, the earth / solar system etc was created millions of years ago as part of a slowly slowing down stella recycling system, which is suspected to have started with the big bang.
    OK, well god created the big bang. Again, that's a handy shift in the goal posts.

    The latest favorite is that God is the reason, not the method. And where does it say that in the bible ? (I'm sure that someone will point it out now).

    The point being is that religion conveniently changes to accomodate scientific discovery.

    Surely the fact that the bible doesn't stack up, and the fact that religions change so often, goes a long way to discredit religion and the existance of gods.
    Science adjusts it’s beliefs based on what’s observed.
    Faith is the denial of observation so that Belief can be preserved
  • CyclingBantamCyclingBantam Posts: 1,299
    Sorry, I have not read the whole thread, however isn't the "does God exist question" an pointless question.

    Once we accept he isn't a chap who lives at number 34, the fact that even one person truely believes in him is enough to in effect create God.

    For truely religious types who follow the bible and live their life according to religion God does exist because he is influencing their every day lives, giving them strength through prayers etc. Sure you can't go and catch him to put him in a zoo but God clearly does exist to people who believe in him. You can't tell them they are wrong.
  • bianchimoonbianchimoon Posts: 3,939
    ddraver wrote:
    AidanR - Sorry but that's not right eiter. That imposes a belief system on the world. Essentiallty t assumes that belief in God is a default posistion and that Atheists have chosen not to believe it or that they believe in nothing - Atheism is the absence of a belief system.

    I think Religious people sometimes struggle to understand that atheists do not have a "god shaped hole" that they are trying to fill with "atheism" or "science". This is not the case, I/We have no hole, I/we are not lessened because we don't believe in god/religion

    very well reasoned comment
    All lies and jest..still a man hears what he wants to hear and disregards the rest....
  • bianchimoonbianchimoon Posts: 3,939
    ddraver wrote:
    AidanR - Sorry but that's not right eiter. That imposes a belief system on the world. Essentiallty t assumes that belief in God is a default posistion and that Atheists have chosen not to believe it or that they believe in nothing - Atheism is the absence of a belief system.

    I think Religious people sometimes struggle to understand that atheists do not have a "god shaped hole" that they are trying to fill with "atheism" or "science". This is not the case, I/We have no hole, I/we are not lessened because we don't believe in god/religion

    very well reasoned comment
    All lies and jest..still a man hears what he wants to hear and disregards the rest....
  • bearfraserbearfraser Posts: 495
    Set ur "Dogma's" on to them. :lol:
  • Toby_WToby_W Posts: 217
    A friend of mine had some JW's living near him who were incredibly nice people, one day the chap was a bit down and he asked him why. He said he had to go out knocking on doors the next day as it is part of their faith and they must do it once a month or so.

    Ever since then I have always taken the time to have a short chat and show some kindness to anyone of faith knocking on my door. So far I have not regretted it and in doing this my world is a slightly better place.

    I save my venon for chuggers (who I am merely forcefully polite to) who are being paid to bother me. Any money I do give via their direct debits goes to them, a bank, and finally after about a year to the charity which they don't really give a toss about.

    Cheers

    Toby
    Dancing on the pedals
  • GalfinnanGalfinnan Posts: 49
    The point is just as he can't prove God exists, neither can you prove that God doesn't. Disproving a hypothesis with no empirical evidence is impossible and considering the different definitions of God, would be impractical to attempt.

    Therefore stating God doesnt exist is a belief not knowledge if you really want to be pedantic about it.

    Evolution is a tricky subject, the key term in the above link is "almost certainly", Dawkins is a man I have lot of respect for but even he cannot say definetly there is no God as he cannot prove categorically that he does not exist despite his intelligent and considered arguments as to why this is the case. A lot of religious people actually use the intelligent design concept to hijack evolution as evidence of God existing and misquote Darwin to take him as one of their own.
    False facts are highly injurious to the progress of science, for they often endure long; but false views, if supported by some evidence, do little harm, for every one takes a salutary pleasure in proving their falseness.

    Darwin
  • MattC59MattC59 Posts: 5,433
    Sorry, I have not read the whole thread, however isn't the "does God exist question" an pointless question.

    Once we accept he isn't a chap who lives at number 34, the fact that even one person truely believes in him is enough to in effect create God.

    For truely religious types who follow the bible and live their life according to religion God does exist because he is influencing their every day lives, giving them strength through prayers etc. Sure you can't go and catch him to put him in a zoo but God clearly does exist to people who believe in him. You can't tell them they are wrong.

    I see what you're saying, but just because someone believes in God, doesn't mean he exists. All that exists is the notion of god, not god.

    It's the same as saying that, although I've not tried it, I believe I can fly. If everyone also believes I can fly, then I can fly. I'm pretty damn sure that if I tried it I'd be unsuccessful !

    As for God influencing people's everday lives and giving them strength through prayers. God doesn't influence people, religious teachings do, and it's the individual giving themself strength through prayer with the belief that god is listening / helping, not god.

    Just believing in something doesn't create something.

    Still, in 2000 years time, who knows, as the origins of the stroy get distorted over the years, perhaps Harry Potter will be the new Messiah (if he's not a very naughty boy !), the story is just as credible as the Bible.
    Science adjusts it’s beliefs based on what’s observed.
    Faith is the denial of observation so that Belief can be preserved
  • ddraverddraver Posts: 19,637
    Sorry, I have not read the whole thread,

    Well we ve dealt with this point above so go and read the replies there...
    We're in danger of confusing passion with incompetence
    - @ddraver
  • Galfinnan wrote:
    Evolution is a tricky subject
    Not it's not, evolution is as close to a fact as you can get in science.

    If there's something I can't stand it's when people give credit to god for something they've done, for example winning a sporting event or kicking a drug addiction. In sports it's highly arrogant to assume that god would favour you over all the other athletes and if they actually believe god had something to do with it then why do they train?! Getting off drugs and thanking god is cheapening something you achieved, not god. It was your strength that did it. Even if believing in god gave you comfort it was still an achievement of yours.
  • AidanRAidanR Posts: 1,142
    ddraver wrote:
    AidanR - Sorry but that's not right eiter. That imposes a belief system on the world. Essentiallty t assumes that belief in God is a default posistion and that Atheists have chosen not to believe it or that they believe in nothing - Atheism is the absence of a belief system.

    I think Religious people sometimes struggle to understand that atheists do not have a "god shaped hole" that they are trying to fill with "atheism" or "science". This is not the case, I/We have no hole, I/we are not lessened because we don't believe in god/religion

    Forgive me, but I cannot see how I am imposing any belief system on the world. I am not starting from the assumption that a belief in God is the default position. For a start, it wasn't my default position - most of my life I was an atheist.

    My point is that atheists have a belief system. I confused the argument earlier by saying atheism *is* a belief system, and although I do stand by that it is not necessary for my point to be valid...

    As an example, would you say that atheists have no ideas on morality and ethics? Of course not, that would be absurd and insulting. Everyone has views on what is right and wrong and put them into practice every day. Now, where do these ideas on morals come from? Some may be residual from religion, some may have come from secular philosophers. Some may come from evolutionary imperatives. My point is that none of these are solid knowledge - there is a mixture of opinion, assumptions and conjecture in all of these, even evolutionary psychology (some might say especially evolutionary psychology!). And if you don't have complete knowledge of something, then belief creeps in.

    Atheists seem to think that theirs is a position of utter reason - the ultimate triumph of human thinking. But human reason and thinking is pretty limited, and even water-tight logic is built on a foundation of assumptions akin to a belief. One could build an infallibly logical argument based on the assumption that there is a spaghetti monster god. I'm sure many atheists are of the opinion that this perfectly describes the field of theology. But atheists have their own underlying assumptions which may or may not be right. If these are (currently) unprovable (as in my earlier example of the cosmological principle) then they are beliefs. Maybe they will one day become absolute truth (if you believe in such a thing) but for the moment they are not, and are therefore something one must believe in.
    Bike lover and part-time cyclist.
  • AidanR wrote:
    My point is that atheists have a belief system. I confused the argument earlier by saying atheism *is* a belief system, and although I do stand by that it is not necessary for my point to be valid...
    Of course atheists believe in things like ethics and morals (though I don't believe in an objective morality) but these fall under humanistic believes rather than atheistic.
  • GalfinnanGalfinnan Posts: 49
    Sorry, I wasn't referring to evolution itself as a tricky concept, it is indeed pretty clear cut, I referring to evolution in the context of religion and its use as a tool to debunk believing in God. Sorry if that wasn't clear. :)
    False facts are highly injurious to the progress of science, for they often endure long; but false views, if supported by some evidence, do little harm, for every one takes a salutary pleasure in proving their falseness.

    Darwin
  • -spider--spider- Posts: 2,548
    ol\'gregg wrote:
    IT'S SCIENCE it has been proven correct. That is all

    HHhmmm...

    Sadly it is not as simple as that. There is a lot of science that has been proved correct - and then later, with more evidence, hit as been proved to be not quite correct - or even wrong.

    -Spider-
  • AidanRAidanR Posts: 1,142
    AidanR wrote:
    My point is that atheists have a belief system. I confused the argument earlier by saying atheism *is* a belief system, and although I do stand by that it is not necessary for my point to be valid...
    Of course atheists believe in things like ethics and morals (though I don't believe in an objective morality) but these fall under humanistic believes rather than atheistic.

    There's a fairly strong argument that humanism is a type of atheism, i.e. (virtually all) humanists believe that there is no God.

    Basically I disagree with the idea that atheism is a lack of a belief in a God, as if belief is a horrible, weak-minded thing. We all have beliefs; it's nothing to be ashamed of. Rejecting the notion of belief or faith is nonsensical. Atheists reject the idea that there's a God. This is a perfectly reasonable and logical thing to do based on their interpretation of the world around them. However, though many atheists embrace the scientific method, the view that there is no God is not a scientific one, it is a philosophical one. It is not provable, any more so than the theists' position, and is thus every bit as much a belief.
    Bike lover and part-time cyclist.
  • ddraverddraver Posts: 19,637
    So because the entirety of science is rarely proven by each individual human being, they have to believe in god? Seriously? Do you relearn to ride your bike every ride or do you remember what happened last time and apply it again? That is what science does and how it advances. That the scientific model of the universe is incomplete is plus point because we can find it out - it doesn't mean that there must be a god!

    We re back to you can't disprove god therefore he exists mixed with a little bit of the origins of ethics...

    There are plenty of biological, sociological and psychological explanations for ethics that do not require a god
    We're in danger of confusing passion with incompetence
    - @ddraver
  • pb21pb21 Posts: 2,168
    If a god or whatever doesn’t exist where does everything come from?
    Mañana
  • AidanRAidanR Posts: 1,142
    ddraver wrote:
    So because the entirety of science is rarely proven by each individual human being, they have to believe in god? Seriously? Do you relearn to ride your bike every ride or do you remember what happened last time and apply it again? That is what science does and how it advances. That the scientific model of the universe is incomplete is plus point because we can find it out - it doesn't mean that there must be a god!

    We re back to you can't disprove god therefore he exists mixed with a little bit of the origins of ethics...

    There are plenty of biological, sociological and psychological explanations for ethics that do not require a god

    Why does everyone assume that just because I believe in God I'm trying to prove his existence? None of my arguments have been for that, or even about that.

    My point is that everyone's philosophical position is a belief. There is a tendency amongst atheists to reject the notion of belief entirely, arguing that theirs is a position of logic and reason vs. a religious person's position of belief and superstition. I'm merely saying that this is a simplistic and ultimately false position, and that there is faith on both sides. And I am using faith in the broad sense of the word.
    Bike lover and part-time cyclist.
  • ddraverddraver Posts: 19,637
    Aidan, I do not believe that you seriously think that 'belief' based on sound, testable scientific reasoning and principles is the same as a belief in god.

    The word may be the same but the thought process is totally totally different. The thought process behind god eventually winds up back at the can't disprove god argument as there is nowhere else for it to go and, as discussed this is a non argument
    We're in danger of confusing passion with incompetence
    - @ddraver
  • AidanRAidanR Posts: 1,142
    The scientific method simply does not apply to the essentially philosophical question of whether their is or isn't a God.

    Note please, I am not rejecting scientific ideas here, such as the Big Bang. I think the scientific method is a wonderful thing, and I am a big believer in it. I am not a creationist and I don't agree with a lot of mainstream theology. However, great as the scientific method is, it is merely one tool in the quest for truth and not one that's appropriate for all questions.

    I don't think in terms of science vs. religion as I think they should be addressing mutually exclusive issues. It's fairly self-evident that when religion encroaches on scientific turf it generally gets a bloody nose. I think Islam has it right when it teaches that religion should embrace scientific thinking as truth is truth, no matter the method used to find it. Equally, though I think that when people try and use science in matters of religion they come up short. As I said, the scientific method doesn't apply to the question of whether there's a God or not. For that, philosophical methods are needed.
    Bike lover and part-time cyclist.
  • ddraverddraver Posts: 19,637
    Why can't the scientific method be applied? Because it's difficult or inconvenient?

    This is MattC59's point about moving the goalposts.
    We're in danger of confusing passion with incompetence
    - @ddraver
  • rhextrhext Posts: 1,639
    I'm kind of with Aidan. At the end of the day, I don't see how it's possible to prove the non-existance of god(s), so believing that there are none is ultimately a leap of faith, albeit a much smaller one than the opposing belief.

    I'd sum up my attitude to faith as 'if god(s) do exist then they hide themselves well"

    I'd sum up my attitude to religion as 'we can argue all day about whether they're a force for good/evil or simply a channel for behaviours which would surface anyway, but there's little doubt they're a force for ignorance.'
  • AidanRAidanR Posts: 1,142
    edited July 2011
    ddraver wrote:
    Why can't the scientific method be applied? Because it's difficult or inconvenient?

    This is MattC59's point about moving the goalposts.

    Let's boil this down to the bare essentials. Forget for a moment any notion of religion, organised or otherwise, and focus solely on the question of whether there is a God or not.

    The scientific method requires that we create a hypothesis, make predictions based on this hypothesis, construct objective quantifiable tests for these predictions, and then analyse whether the results support or disprove the hypothesis.

    How exactly does this apply to such an existential question?
    Bike lover and part-time cyclist.
  • RichN95.RichN95. Posts: 22,971
    pb21 wrote:
    If a god or whatever doesn’t exist where does everything come from?

    Tesco
    Twitter: @RichN95
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