"Atheists believe there is no God"

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Talishi
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"Atheists believe there is no God"

Post #1

Post by Talishi »

Many Christians like to say, "Atheists believe there is no God." But atheism is not a belief there is no God because to have a belief is to hold a proposition. There are thousands of other things that Christians, like atheists, do not have a belief in, from Sasquatch to elves. If the mechanism is correct that the non-existence of God is a proposition held by atheists, then both Christians and atheists must also have matching propositions for the non-existence of all other imaginary things, which clearly we do not, since we can only name a few.

So for the record:

Christians believe in the existence of Yahweh and they do not believe in the existence of Zeus.

Atheists do not believe in the existence of Yahweh and they also do not believe in the existence of Zeus.


Perhaps the underlying motivation for some Christians to say atheists believe there is no God is a suspicion they have that believing in something is inferior to understanding something. And perhaps it is enabled by the same sloppy reasoning that results in some Christians saying evolution is “only a theory� as if that were a bad thing.
Thank you for playing Debating Christianity & Religion!

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Post #71

Post by Blastcat »

[Replying to post 70 by Kenisaw]



[center]
A pig emoticon would be so cool right here
[/center]

Kenisaw wrote:
I suppose you could have presented evidence for your god being at this point instead....oh, wait, no you can't. There isn't any. I forgot we get the pearls and swine thing from you because there isn't anything else to offer...
OR, it could be that all outsiders to the faith are like swines before the pearls.

Such pretty pearls, too !
Not that I have a clue what to do with them... snort snort.

( By "snort snort" I mean a human pretending to be a cat pretending to be imitating the sound of a swine before some pearls )


:dizzy:
Last edited by Blastcat on Tue Jan 10, 2017 11:45 am, edited 1 time in total.

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Post #72

Post by Kenisaw »

William wrote:
Data: "facts and statistics collected together for reference or analysis."
Evidence: "data that confirms or supports a statement, theory, or finding; confirmation."
Empirical: "based on, concerned with, or verifiable by observation of evidence rather than theory or pure logic."
This is what I have been arguing. Generally ideas of GOD cannot be supported by such as they fall outside the domain of science/sceintific evidence.

Scientific evidence = Empirical evidence.
Except that god claims throughout human history are riddled with interactions with the universe, which leave evidence. So they can, in fact, be examined by science. And yet, there isn't even one shred of data from any god being, ever.

The silence is deafening...
A fingerprint.


The nature of the universe is such that all things within it are individually unique. Fingerprints remind me of this.
Assuming any GOD has fingerprints, how is such obtained and if such could be obtained, how are any able to verify such as an actual fingerprint of an actual god?
First off, not all things in the universe are individually unique. Not sure why you would think that. Show me a unique hydrogen atom.

Why wouldn't a god have fingerprints? People are supposedly made in the image of such creatures. These fingerprints should be all over the place. All that saving people from tornadoes and winning lottery tickets and so forth. Someone needs to dust the Powerballs LOL...
Some DNA.


Same problem.
Yes, the problem is it should be all over the place and it isn't.
A fossilized footprint from Mt Sinai.
Supposing such exists and is discovered. What about the footprint would convince any scientist that it must have been made by the god of the Hebrews?
Why suppose it? There isn't anything there that anyone has found. There isn't anything anywhere. Hence the problem...
A godly fart.


Define 'godly fart'.
Since it came from a god, I suppose it would be perfect in every way. Got any perfect farts in a jar? A fart that is fully human and fully not human...
In other words, as I wrote in my last post, literally anything. Any empirical data will do. Got any?
See? As my above answers verify, the demand for empirical evidence (that which can be scientifically verified) is fallacy. It is a false demand and meaningless for that.
Incorrect. You can attempt to nitpick particular types of evidence all you want, the point is that there is nothing that exists, especially as it relates to some kind of sentient super being, that supports the claim that there is one. There should be data all over the place based on the claims that this god creature is constantly interfering with the known universe. So where is it?
Your mistake here is that atheism does not exist in a vacuum. You should have asked yourself why someone lacks a belief in the supernatural. The answer, from everything I've ever read/discussed/heard from atheists, is that there is no evidence for such a claim. It's the lack of evidence that leads to the position of atheism.
This is an interesting argument which reminds me of an argument I had in a skeptical forum some years ago.

I too argued the position that atheism was a product of theism in that it exists because of theism, as a reaction against theism. Pretty much as you are doing here with your argument.

In response, I was informed by atheists that atheism is the default position of a human being, because a human baby lacked belief in god(s).

It was also explained to me that atheism as that default position had subsets which were the various responses to theism and theist belief systems.

So that is why I have said here in this thread that Atheism if simply the lack of belief in the existence of any god(s) and that any other position of argument (including your own here) is coming from the position of a subset of atheism.
I'd have to see that argument to be able to comment on it. Sounds very interesting though.

On a side note, I don't know that babies are technically born atheist. I read an article a few years ago concerning infants and concepts of "god". I don't have the bookmark anymore or I'd post it, but it was an interesting read. So is some of the stuff in Psychology that notes how humans may have evolved the concept of god as a safety mechanism against stress. Also interesting reading if you feel like searching for it.
Separately, the request for evidence is usually made not because an atheist does NOT believe, but because a cultist makes the claim that the supernatural DOES exist. As the claimant, it is the responsibility of that person to support their claim. The inability of such claimants to provide this support is of no surprise to a person that has already tried to find such evidence and could not...
Could not because no evidence was shown by the claimant in regard to the claim?

Is the claim of the atheist that any claim of an idea of GOD comes from cultists?
Could not because the atheist found no data or evidence supporting the claim of the supernatural in their own search previously (please note this is a generalized statement that may exclude certain individuals).

Second question - Well, I would say it takes a human to formulate the concept into something that can be shared with others. Whether or not is an evolutionary sourced concept or just the product of human imagination I'm not sure.
Quite chilly I'm afraid. Why would you think anything "extraordinary" is required, hmm? Every single one of the vast number of god creatures that humans have been infatuated with interact with the universe on a regular basis. Most gods have become human or possessed a human. They send floods, locusts, tornadoes, earthquakes. They speak to people all the time. All these interactions, in a universe proven time and again to exist with conversation laws, means evidence must have been produced. For every action there is an equal and opposite reaction. According to Christians for example, there are miracles happening on a daily basis. If these divine critters are doing things in this universe, there HAS to be data and information produced as a result. Tens of thousands of different supernatural beings, doing all manner of things on Earth, and you guys can't find even one little old scrap of empirical data to support the claim that this stuff is real? Surely there has to be something....got any?
I am not arguing the possible existence of a GOD aka Intelligent designer, from the position of Christianity or indeed any religion.

My position is that IF is there is a First Source to all of existence, then all consciousness (whatever form or universe it is experiencing) can be traced back to that (at least philosophically/as a thought experiment) and that this would signify that we are all aspects of GOD (rather than separate from) so essentially, if that is the case, we are GOD experiencing human form in a physical universe which can be observed as being designed for a particular purpose in relation to the properties of the universe and consciousness within it, experiencing it.

I do not deny that aspects of Hebrew and Christian ideas of god are incorporated into this notion, but this in itself does not make me a Christian or a Judaist.
Understood. However I would take the position that even the most generic formulation of such things contain inherent logical paradoxes. I would agree that the LESS detail given about such a supernatural thing the easier it is to defend.
In relation to miraculous claims of healing (as an example) the requirement for empirical evidence could be demanded depending on the circumstance but this is problematic as I have already explained in a prior post.
Such claims come from those who experience them through faith-based positions and since no scientists or science are usually present in relation to the events, it is difficult to establish any empirical evidence.
It is not difficult to establish evidence, it is difficult to explain the complete lack of it, per my previous posts as well.
But as explained, the individual in their subjective experience of life has no need for empirical evidence as they are simply convinced through their experience and in this it is practically impossible for atheists to talk them out of what they themselves know they have experienced.

Problematic for the atheist (depending on the position of their subset), but not so much for the theist.
"Know" is a pretty subjective word given what we've discovered about the workings of the brain.

Over and above that though, it is important to point out the logical inconsistencies to believers. Everything we do has real world costs associated with it. Someone who is sure there is a being that actually exists and sourced the universe is making decisions that could impact their maximum potential for happiness. If they decide that they are already maximizing that potential then so be it, but it doesn't hurt to give them as many points of view as possible. Information is never a bad thing.

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Post #73

Post by Kenisaw »

Monta wrote: [Replying to William]


"But as explained, the individual in their subjective experience of life has no need for empirical evidence as they are simply convinced through their experience and in this it is practically impossible for atheists to talk them out of what they themselves know they have experienced. "

Exactly. Once you've been in love no one can tell you it is not.
We go back to Jesus' words - my words are spirit and they are life*
Unless you realize at a later date that what you thought was love was really something else instead. That realization always happens when more information is acquired too, not less. Go figure...

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Post #74

Post by William »

Blastcat wrote:



[center]
Talking them out of it
[/center]


I don't agree that it's "practically impossible" for atheists to "talk them out of it".

I used to be "in love" with my religious beliefs. Atheist talked me out of it, but of course, it took many years of talking. In discussions with ex-theists, it seems that deconversion usually takes a while. When we believe something so strongly, it almost seems impossible that we can be SO wrong. And that's especially true when so many people around us believe so much, too.

At first, it almost seems a little bit crazy that all of these people are wrong. Most believers seems so confident in their beliefs, after all !!

But, theists do become atheists. It happens all the time.
Since most people in the world are raised to be religious, it's not surprising that most atheists used to be religious. So, somehow, ex-theists managed to find atheist arguments convincing.

For me, it was stumbling upon the works of Bertrand Russell, I admired his rational approach to things, and I could not for the life of me find any flaw in his atheist arguments. I still can't, and I don't know anyone who has, really.

And then that opened the door to the restof secular philosophy. When I compare that to theology, I have to say... theology loses every time. Any theology, from any religion is "let's play pretend" to me. I like to play like everyone else, but when I want to get serious for a minute, theology just wont do anymore.

I didn't know I was an atheist for a long long while, until I argued for months against some people on YouTube ... and I have to say, they convinced me that I was wrong about atheism and agnosticism. So, yeah, I really do believe that these discussions are very important. We never know who we are going to help.

It's probably true, though, that the people we are debating in here wont deconvert any time soon. I don't expect them to.


:)
While I understand your personal witness to the deconversion process, I was specifically speaking about theists (or those who might be seen as theists) who have experienced things which convince them that there is more than meets the eye in relation - at least - to their own experiences.

I would count myself as one such individual. I don't self identify as a 'theist' mind you, but understand why people might think of my position as being one of a theist.

I am not saying that atheists convincing theists to drop their beliefs doesn't happen. I am saying it isn't something which is effective enough overall, to make any difference.

The idea of GOD isn't going away just because atheists might focus their efforts on deconverting theists, any more than the idea of no GOD isn't going away simply because theists might focus their efforts on converting atheists.

To me, that whole approach has historically been proven to be a pointless, futile exercise in egocentric dynamics.

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Post #75

Post by Blastcat »

[Replying to post 74 by William]



[center]
Making a difference
[/center]

William wrote:
While I understand your personal witness to the deconversion process, I was specifically speaking about theists (or those who might be seen as theists) who have experienced things which convince them that there is more than meets the eye in relation - at least - to their own experiences.
To some, strange experiences = God.

William wrote:
I would count myself as one such individual. I don't self identify as a 'theist' mind you, but understand why people might think of my position as being one of a theist.
If you don't believe in any god you are an atheist.

William wrote:
I am not saying that atheists convincing theists to drop their beliefs doesn't happen. I am saying it isn't something which is effective enough overall, to make any difference.
Not effective overall to make WHAT kind of difference?

William wrote:
The idea of GOD isn't going away just because atheists might focus their efforts on deconverting theists, any more than the idea of no GOD isn't going away simply because theists might focus their efforts on converting atheists.
Why would you think that atheists are trying to get rid of a concept?

William wrote:
To me, that whole approach has historically been proven to be a pointless, futile exercise in egocentric dynamics.

Historically proven.
Cool.
Pointless, futile exercise in egocentric dynamics.
Nifty.


So, how about we try to find out which ideas hold water and those that don't?


Do you have any interest in these debates?


:)

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Post #76

Post by Kenisaw »

William wrote:
Blastcat wrote:



[center]
Talking them out of it
[/center]


I don't agree that it's "practically impossible" for atheists to "talk them out of it".

I used to be "in love" with my religious beliefs. Atheist talked me out of it, but of course, it took many years of talking. In discussions with ex-theists, it seems that deconversion usually takes a while. When we believe something so strongly, it almost seems impossible that we can be SO wrong. And that's especially true when so many people around us believe so much, too.

At first, it almost seems a little bit crazy that all of these people are wrong. Most believers seems so confident in their beliefs, after all !!

But, theists do become atheists. It happens all the time.
Since most people in the world are raised to be religious, it's not surprising that most atheists used to be religious. So, somehow, ex-theists managed to find atheist arguments convincing.

For me, it was stumbling upon the works of Bertrand Russell, I admired his rational approach to things, and I could not for the life of me find any flaw in his atheist arguments. I still can't, and I don't know anyone who has, really.

And then that opened the door to the restof secular philosophy. When I compare that to theology, I have to say... theology loses every time. Any theology, from any religion is "let's play pretend" to me. I like to play like everyone else, but when I want to get serious for a minute, theology just wont do anymore.

I didn't know I was an atheist for a long long while, until I argued for months against some people on YouTube ... and I have to say, they convinced me that I was wrong about atheism and agnosticism. So, yeah, I really do believe that these discussions are very important. We never know who we are going to help.

It's probably true, though, that the people we are debating in here wont deconvert any time soon. I don't expect them to.


:)
While I understand your personal witness to the deconversion process, I was specifically speaking about theists (or those who might be seen as theists) who have experienced things which convince them that there is more than meets the eye in relation - at least - to their own experiences.

I would count myself as one such individual. I don't self identify as a 'theist' mind you, but understand why people might think of my position as being one of a theist.

I am not saying that atheists convincing theists to drop their beliefs doesn't happen. I am saying it isn't something which is effective enough overall, to make any difference.

The idea of GOD isn't going away just because atheists might focus their efforts on deconverting theists, any more than the idea of no GOD isn't going away simply because theists might focus their efforts on converting atheists.

To me, that whole approach has historically been proven to be a pointless, futile exercise in egocentric dynamics.
I apologize for commenting on something I wasn't involved in, but I'd like to point out that the great majority of atheists are former theists, and it is the pointing out of theistic principles and ideas that are illogical and paradoxical that often started the process of analysis in their mind that led to their eventual rejection of the supernatural as plausible.

The idea of god is going away in today's world. Whether it completely disappears I cannot say.

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Post #77

Post by Blastcat »

[Replying to post 76 by Kenisaw]




[center]
Quiver me timbers[/center]

Kenisaw wrote:
The idea of god is going away in today's world. Whether it completely disappears I cannot say.
I'm not sure that it's going away any time soon. You know.. that whole "let's have as many babies as we can for Jesus" kind of thing. I think it's a fact that the religious tend to have MORE babies ... and that means more religiously indoctrinated kids.

You know why religions are so very popular?
It's breeding.

You might have heard of the "quiverfull" movement, for example:

http://www.quiverfull.com/

"Dedicated to providing encouragement and practical help to those who are striving to raise a large and growing, godly family in today's world! "


The heathens don't tend to breed so very much.


:)

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Post #78

Post by William »

Monta wrote: [Replying to William]


"But as explained, the individual in their subjective experience of life has no need for empirical evidence as they are simply convinced through their experience and in this it is practically impossible for atheists to talk them out of what they themselves know they have experienced. "

Exactly. Once you've been in love no one can tell you it is not.
We go back to Jesus' words - my words are spirit and they are life*
I have to say that - at least on the surface Monta, I find your statement agreeable enough.

Eventually I chose to depart from all Christian based Churches because I came to see these as conterfiet and not representative of Jesus.

When that decision finally happened, I did not leave my faith, and remember the metaphor I used to describe the event. It went like this:

'When I finally decided to leave the 'Church', Jesus was waiting outside for me asking "What took you so long?!"'

Even the one responsible for 'leading me to Jesus' has since deconverted to atheism although he has never said such to me, he hasn't mentioned Jesus in years and got on with his life as if he no longer had faith in the very thing he helped talk me into.
He is still a nice enough person of course, and I hold no judgement against him for his decisions in relation to my own, and love him as I always have.

Not to say that experiencing that didn't bring with it confusion and a sense of betrayal. But it wasn't about my friend. It was about me.

I had what I came to understand as an advantage. My friend, like so many, was brought up in a church-based environment (as was I - but to a less strict degree) and converted within the context of that environment.

I, on the other hand, converted on a sheep station in a hut with only my friend present. In the 'giving of my life to Jesus' process I remember asking for forgiveness (and being genuinely sorry about things I had done prior to this) I had the feeling of two distinct invisible benevolent presences at the doorway to the hut, at the time.

Because of this, my initial experience through that enabled me to 'find my faith' without the addition of people within churches influencing me in any way.

I read the bible, free from anyone else being involved, or otherwise telling me 'what, meant what'.

My friend would visit the sheep station during his school holiday breaks and any questions I had, I would ask him, and if he had an answer, I would take that away with me and consider it.

I never went to church in the early months after my conversion. I learned to walk my faith alone for that.

I began to have somewhat frightening experiences (sleep paralysis) which I associated with my having converted. By this time I had moved from one end of the country to the other, so sought out the opinion of a pastor of a small church who couldn't help me with any explanation as to what these experiences were about

I returned to the region where I had converted. My friend had since started university and I remember visiting him there and he gave me the advice that I should find a church and start attending regularly.

I took the advice, checking out a few and eventually chose a Pentecostal 'New Life' type one. Through this I came into contact with conspiracy theories (preached as facts) and found the experience to be wholly eye opening in relation to the hypocrisy of double standards and how the bible could be used justify these through the apparent loopholes of contradiction.

I didn't 'fit'. I couldn't stay.

Most of the significant others in the circle of influence I am involved with today, would probably call themselves atheists, but it doesn't seem to matter to any of us what we might self identify as.

Maybe that is more of and age thing? I don't know. We can't experience each others lives, just our own and so the aspects of the objective in relation to the subjective tends to unfold as a thing of mutual respect. We are each a small part of a much bigger story which has been going on and will continue to go on for far longer than our interaction with it has been.










He has done well with his life in the secular world

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Post #79

Post by Kenisaw »

Blastcat wrote: [Replying to post 76 by Kenisaw]




[center]
Quiver me timbers[/center]

Kenisaw wrote:
The idea of god is going away in today's world. Whether it completely disappears I cannot say.
I'm not sure that it's going away any time soon. You know.. that whole "let's have as many babies as we can for Jesus" kind of thing. I think it's a fact that the religious tend to have MORE babies ... and that means more religiously indoctrinated kids.

You know why religions are so very popular?
It's breeding.

You might have heard of the "quiverfull" movement, for example:

http://www.quiverfull.com/

"Dedicated to providing encouragement and practical help to those who are striving to raise a large and growing, godly family in today's world! "


The heathens don't tend to breed so very much.


:)
Well, the numbers are trending towards fewer believers, so there is hope for humanity yet.

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Post #80

Post by William »

Kenisaw wrote:
William wrote:
I am not asserting anything IS the case, only that it might be the case, which is not the same thing.
Semantics.
No. Similar things which are argued as 'different' is semantics
Of course science can answer it. Why would you think otherwise?
Because it hasn't answered anything (in relation to the subject being discussed) . What makes you think that it has?
Which is precisely why it is a useless endeavor to undertake.
Useless for science to explore, indeed.
Not confusion. Pure speculation. Unless, that is, you have some empirical data you want to present to confirm such claims...got any?
What claims are you specifically referring to?
Then there is no reason to consider supernatural claims as a plausible explanation, which I believe is the point being made.
What supernatural claims are those? You don't say.

Experiences are not empirical evidence.
What I said.
If they were then you would consider Big Foot, UFOs, Zeus, Odin, and leprechauns as "possible".
Sure. I would consider the existence of some of these as probable, given the volume of evidence science has made available to us so far.

Do the math. The universe is so vast that the chances of Big Foot, Zeus, Odin, leprechaun, unicorns and fairy-like forms do indeed exist and are indeed experienced consciously.

UFOs? I have witnessed these on occasion myself...not as flying machines, but as non-ordinary lights in the sky.

As to such beings having so-called 'supernatural' powers? Not in this universe, apparently.

As to the existence of GODs? Oh yeah. Only, they are not supernatural. They are quite the natural thing.
You would credit the claim of Vishnu as being on par with the Islamic god for example.
What I credit is that the source of all GODs is the One GOD.
That, related to this neighborhood of the galaxy, amounts to; "there is a source to all of the god-ideas human beings have experienced, given names to and attempted explanations for."

Empirical evidence is the reaction that the universe experiences when a god creature takes an action.
I am aware of this. When a GOD creature takes action in this universe, time is involved. There is plenty of space in which to take action, and plenty of time to do it.
Just like a beach reacts to your walking on it (footprint), a divine critter taking human form, speaking to people, causing natural disasters, making stuff, etc must leave evidence behind. And of course no one has any.
Here you are tending to superimpose concepts on top of each other. To explain...;
Just like a beach reacts to your walking on it (footprint),...
No. A GOD in this universe does not instantly manifest evidence, so the footprint analogy is misrepresenting the action.
The footprint in the sand is the action of GOD through human (or whatever made the footprint) form. That took a long time to manifest.
...a divine critter taking human form, speaking to people, causing natural disasters, making stuff, etc must leave evidence behind. And of course no one has any.
You are speaking about the stories of human beings relaying a witness of supernatural powers coming from 'special' human beings and it is in the very existence of such stories that the 'footprint' has been made.

We can complain that the stories are made up by liars, fools, cheaters, woo-slingers, et al, or we can leave those questions unanswered so's not to make out of them a barrier to any other possibly conclusion being made on the subject of GOD.

GOD does not exist as a supernatural entity? If so, why refer to the idea of such a being as GOD?

Well, how I do it is to understand that if there is a SOURCE for all these experiences which become stories - taking my own subjective experiences into consideration as well, what we may think of as 'supernatural' might have to be redefined a tad for that.
The mind, by the way, is within the physical universe. There is no data that supports any notion that the human mind exists outside of the physical structure of your brain.
There is no data to say that the minds of everyone are connected to the mind of this GOD.
I don't hold much hope in science explaining consciousness in any other way that as you describe. Due to my own experiences I am not convinced. Add that to everyone else who share there experiences, I am even less convinced.

But on that note, I still agree that 'whatever the mind is' it is still within this physical universe, so no - no 'supernatural' there.

Even my understanding of the Astral Realm is that it exists in the mind of the GOD hereabouts in this system of the galaxy. We are about as separate from the goings on of that mind as we are from each other.

Hardly at all. :)
There are several threads in this forum on the topic if you care to peruse them at your leisure...
Oh I have studied the 'brain is god-creator of consciousness' theories enough to know that they explain nothing to my satisfaction. Same goes for supernatural god theories.
Science isn't looking to eradicate anything. Not sure what this comment is supposed to mean.
If one supports getting rid of all ideas of god from the human mind, one can try to convert them with 'reason' and good luck with that. I think it superfluous myself, but each to their own.
If, however, the need was great and the support for it greater still, legalized ways could be explored toward that intent through science. Perhaps the brain could be manipulated enough to make that happen?
Nonsense. What exists in the human mind is not representative of reality.
Depends upon the human.
Watch a show like Brain Games for example. Your brain distorts and changes the data into the perception that you recognize.
To what degree? If it is happening to everyone, how is it that we can still focus in and acknowledge an overall reality we call 'the universe'? The answer has to be that our minds are together experiencing the universe and we then interpret things from that point.
We are taught to see it in 'this' way or in 'that' way. Its existence though, does not in any way mean that it wasn't created by the purpose of Intelligent Design.

Our understanding of consciousness is still very much in its infancy stage. We haven't yet altogether agreed as to what we are and what part we play in this unfolding reality.

We are still trying to understand ourselves in relation to consciousness.

We are consciousness. Why did the brain have any need to invent us? The brain is a mindless organ without 'needs'.

"It was simply an accident of chemical reaction!"

That argument gets circular extremely quickly without GOD in the picture, which is precisely why the idea of GOD is (still) in the picture.

Striping all ideas of gods of their supernatural abilities can still leave us with at least one idea of GOD, as I have already explained.
There's plenty of data on this, as well as gobs of research that shows how the "truth" of a situation varies greatly from person to person. The most famous example is having someone run into a classroom to "steal" something off the teacher's desk. The descriptions given by the students vary greatly, including even the race and gender of the perpetrator. That's why personal experience is useless in discussions such as these. It isn't empirical.
What I said. It is circular. The only way to deal with it which is even remotely 'scientific' is to study all the subjective stories of personal experience and through that, perhaps get a larger appreciation for what might just be be going on here.

As pointed out, subjective experience comes with its own problems. Even alternate experiences (associated with religion/woo) are interpreted by the one who has had the experience, thus different belief systems are created based on other data of experience the individual has - to do with the culturally social over-group that the individual is within.
These will influence the individual and this is why groups are formed as subsets of the over-group.
This is precisely why a more scientific approach to the question has to develop. Not easy, considering the subjectivity involved. We find ourselves in this universe.



William: I am not asserting anything IS the case, only that it might be the case, which is not the same thing.

What it amounts to is that the individual making the demand has to make the effort rather than the 'evidence' being given to the demanding on a silver platter so to speak.
Someone else's experiences are no substitute for your own, and all that can be said is to encourage the demanding to seek for themselves and see what might happen...

That's rather backwards. Someone wants to claim it is true, they get to prove it. If they can't then there is no logical reason to take their claim as plausible.
No it isn't backwards, given the subject being discussed.
I cannot prove GOD to you. All I can say is that GOD is proved to me, at least as a probability, but then again, what I refer to as 'GOD' might not be what YOU think a GOD should be.

:)

But that is a minor point.


William:...Remembering the nature of the subject spoken about. It is something which seems more than willing to prove itself under certain circumstances, none of which stem from the attitude of demand or to directly pamper the purpose of science.I am not asserting anything IS the case, only that it might be the case, which is not the same thing.
Or they could all be lying.


Statistically SOME will be.
You can't possibly know either way.


Exactly. All I have is my own experiences. I acknowledge that YOU cannot have MY experiences, so how are YOU to know I actually have them, or that I am lying about having them or telling the truth, or interpreting them as something supernatural when 'the brain' can explain everything without having to mention ideas of GOD (supernatural or not).

For me, the explanation 'the brain did it' is too inadequate as it presumes too much about the brain as it hand-waves away Intelligent Design in order for the presumption to have affect.

Which is why it is not a standard of evidence. But maybe you believe all those people who swear they've seen Big Foot, who knows...
Big Foot is way down my list of priorities. As a concept it is possibly some creature exists on this planet which would fit the description, but even if that were the case, it does not really change anything in relation to ideas of GOD.

William: Another reason why someone might want to speak of their experiences and subsequent beliefs regarding those experiences is that they wish to test them out in the face of opposition to see if the opposition can come up with reasonable arguments which may, at the very least, separate beliefs that have attached themselves to the experience(s) from the experiences themselves.
Let's hope that is the case. I'd like to think at least some people come in here with an open mind.
You seem to imply that this is not so far the case.
I apologize if I am wrong here, but I have seen this tactic by cultists in the past, but don't know if this is your end game. They want to make their god creature claims but don't want anyone challenging them. That way some wayward person can visit this site and read their unsupported conjecture and possibly think it is true. To let any such speculation go unchallenged, regardless of the topic, is irresponsible of a society. Ideas should always be debated and discussed. Not all ideas are of equal value, and the better ones should win out over the lesser ones. Letting bad ideas go unchecked is itself a really bad idea...
I have no 'end game' that I am aware of. I am propelled by a number of reasons which could be considered agenda, but specifically not really my agenda, or my idea.

One of those reasons is that I see the human potential to transform the present systems of disparity inherited down the line, into a system of parity.

Given the systems of disparity currently honed to near perfection in this day and age, it can be logically argued that they can be sourced at a cult-like initial position and have and thus will continue to have a negative affect on the majority of humanity.
Such systems are taught to be protected, invested in, fought for, and die for by the very population controlled by said systems.

Why? Because it is the result of letting bad ideas go unchecked and thus, yes - a really bad idea overall.
There's a lot in that last statement. I don't think it can all be broken down here as you have opened several new topics. All I will say is that equality is my ideal as well. All individuals have the same value. All individuals deserve the same basic rights. Equality of success, however, is not guaranteed, nor should it be. If you would like to discuss anything in particular I'm sure we can do so in another thread.
From your perspective the topics are separate, From mine they are intricately integrated.

My idea of GOD (through personal subjective experience) has taught me that GOD in action, requires parity. Anything else is a path to disaster.
Said another way, consciousness (to be specific) human consciousness requires parity.
This can be seen in the formation of subsets related to survival, but zoom out and what is found is that these pockets of party rely on systems of disparity to even function as pockets of parity.
This is not to assume therefore that systems of disparity create the opportunity for pockets of parity. These pockets of parity are actually what allow for the systems of disparity to exist - even that their existence is not permanent and subject to the fickle winds of fate.

Survival in a nutshell, but one historically proven to end badly for the majority (losers), time and again.

Rather these pockets of parity have to utilize their positions by seeing the logic in getting together to design a system of parity to replace the systems of disparity currently governing them. (Winners, one and all).

I don't agree that it is anyone's responsibility to build a shared system of parity. You get guaranteed the pursuit of happiness, not the achievement of it.
That's just prison talk.
Which is precisely why there is so much unhappiness. Theism allows for subsets to be happy in unhappy circumstances. To be free to at least that degree, whilst incarcerated.
Atheism allows for subsets to say that happiness is to be found in disparity and too bad if you don't succeed in making it happen for yourself using the materials available, which are governed over by systems of disparity.

However, it is undeniable that without the poor, the rich would not exist. Tell that to the poor and see why they turn to ideas of GOD as a source of happiness, (among other things) when material happiness is beyond their reach, because systems of disparity make it that way.

♪"Give me that Old Time System of Disparity" ♫
*sung it gospel tradition*
I'll fully admit right here and now that I am probably more hardline on this matter than most people in here. Life has winners and losers. It is impossible to create a utopia.
Did I not mention already that utopias are presently being built by those who can afford them? So no - the concept is not only imaginable, it is also possible to make real. The evidence is there to observe in the lifestyles of the rich and famous 'winners'.

Even the losers can acknowledge that the evidence exists.


'Winners and losers" are what make those micro utopias a reality for those who can afford them.

But I hear what you are saying. You like things the way they are, thank you very much.
And furthermore you will continue to live for, invest in, and protect your interests in the present systems of disparity which makes you at least a potential winner.

But at least you are trying, right?

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