Theists don't ask questions

Argue for and against Christianity

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Blastcat
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Theists don't ask questions

Post #1

Post by Blastcat »

Hi

I ask a lot of questions.. and SOMETIMES ( but not always ) get answers.

One of the reasons that I do ask a lot of questions, is that I don't actually learn anything new by proselytizing atheism. I do that a bit, of course, I think it's important that people get to know an atheist and what he thinks about the "big questions" and so on, but I am ALSO here to learn what OTHER people think.

So, the questions.

It just occurred to me that I RARELY get any questions from the theists.
Isn't that odd?

____________

Question for debate:


  • Why is it that theists don't seem very curious as to what outsiders to their beliefs think?

____________


:)

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Re: Moved to this thread

Post #161

Post by Blastcat »

[Replying to William]




[center]
Ok, theists, listen up !!

Here is a STERLING example of a theist asking an atheist challenging questions !!
Bravo, William !![/center]

William wrote:
So it is for you. Other atheist believe this to be the other way around. That everyone naturally starts off from the default position of 'Atheist'.
Well, if you mean that babies don't have any god beliefs?
I guess that's true.

We all start off being agnostics and atheists, ignorant of rocket science and political theories.

And we start off with very little math.

But most people in the world are religious.. so most people start off with parents with a god belief of some sort... not all.. but most, I think.

I was raised in a very religious family.... and schools and neighborhoods... and friends, and so on... I was "expected" to believe.

William wrote:
Based on that I would have to conclude that you are the type of atheist who believes one has to be exposed to ideas of GOD(s) and then reject those, before you can declare yourself as an 'atheist.'
Not at all.
That's just how it happened to me.

I've met a few atheists who never believed at all... they were born into an atheist family. My kids, for example were brought up in a family where the idea of "God" was almost never mentioned. I was an atheist by the time they were born.

They asked me if I believed in God, and I said "No", and that was about all there was to that. Parents have a HUGE influence on their kids.

William wrote:
Obviously then you are the type of atheist who believes that;

IF;
any GOD existed
THEN;
That GOD should easily be able to be scientifically verified. The existence of the GOD should be able to be shown to exist through scientifically verifiable evidence.
Yeah.
Well, science is the best we got to verify claims about our universe.

SO far, right?

William wrote:
Q: Am I correct about this position you presently retain?
Thanks for asking.
I think you are, yes.

If we can't say that something exists by way of science... we should hold off on believing it.

William wrote:
It appears that you rejst theism on account of any and all ideas of GOD, and in learning to 'think well' as you put it, meant that any ideas of GOD were classified as something which comes about through people who have not learned to 'think well.

Q: Would this be correct?
I can't speak for other people.

But when VERY smart people end up conclusions that don't stand up to scrutiny, something is going on. It's just that for me, learning how to think has led me AWAY from religion, not closer.

I've since made my own secular kind of "religion" of one... It works for me.
I've never thought of promoting it for someone else, though.

I mention it from time to time in here because I think it's a fine example of how people can be creative. I have a creative kind of "religion".

Hey, it's a "way". :)

William wrote:
Again, this doesn't seem to really fully answer my question so I will attempt to re-frame that question.
Ok, thanks.
It's sometimes really difficult to be understood immediately.

William wrote:
But first, perhaps it would be better to find out from you whether your whole anti theist position is focused upon the rejection of any idea of GOD or does it also involve rejecting the bad things you might see coming through theism - through organised religions for example.
No, my anti-theism has to do with the whole idea of the god concept. My anti-religious attitude has to do with the harm that some religious practices cause or promote.

William wrote:
Q: Do those bad things concern you and help support your particular type of atheist position, or is the focus solely on rejecting all ideas of GOD?
Atheism is only about the non belief in gods or goddesses.
Anti-religionism would be something else.

I think I have both, but they are different.

William wrote:
Q: Do those bad things concern you and help support your particular type of atheist position, or is the focus solely on rejecting all ideas of GOD?
I think you are repeating the same question...

Anti-theism ( atheism ) isn't the same as anti-religionism

William wrote:
Q: As an atheist you hate that an idea of GOD can be used not only to promote peace but also to incite war?

Hate?
No.
I just think it's about time that we take a hard look at the benefits of religion.
It's not a panacea, and it never has been.

William wrote:
Q: Do you consider yourself an atheist in terms of the political branch of human society, or is atheism not applicable in the political arena?
I don't think that religion should have a place in politics. I'm for the separation of church and state... And yes, in a way, I have to be politicized because the CHRISTIANS are politicized.

In other countries, other religions want to muscle into politics. I think that a theocracy is a terrible thing. I'm for forms of democracies, instead.

But these are political positions.. atheism is JUST about one issue.. the belief of gods or goddesses, right?

William wrote:
Q: Does atheism have any part to play in politics?
Not at all in a perfect world, where religion has no part to play in politics. But alas, the world isn't perfect. We actually have to FIGHT to keep religion out of politics, not the other way around.

In a perfect world, religion or the lack of it would never come up.

William wrote:
Q: Is there a branch of atheism where war is also promoted?
No.

William wrote:
Q: What do you think the seeds of war are sown through?
Hate, greed, power, fear.
Or as I call it "Human Frailty".

William wrote:
For example, are people born to hate or do they learn to hate?
Some religious thinkers say that we are "sinners" from birth, and that humans are mostly evil if not controlled. I am skeptical of the claim.

From my experience, people have to learn how to hate.
But that's not an atheist position.. just my own.

I've had two kids... I watched them grow up from babies.
When they were little, they didn't "hate" anything at all.

I can't love them enough... and it's mutual...

We are all crazy in love with each other... to the point of tears.
So, I "get" how people are lovers...

Hate is ... so sad.

William wrote:
Q: Would you consider that argument which isn't resolved between two individuals or parties could sow the seeds for eventual war?
It could, yes.
And I think that war is the WORST possible outcome of a dispute.

We should debate the ideas that separate us.
We are all human... I don't think we have to be separated at all.

I think we can love one another.

William wrote:
Q: Do you consider war to be anything at all which results in physical violence or do you think it can apply to anything which is not at peace with everything else?
You are asking me to define what the word war means, and if it can be used metaphorically?

War 1.
a conflict carried on by force of arms, as between nations or between parties within a nation; warfare, as by land, sea, or air.
http://www.dictionary.com/browse/war

And yes, most nouns can be used metaphorically.

William wrote:
Q: What, if anything, can atheism help to do in the way of contributing to peace?
Nothing at all by itself.
We need peaceful people to do that.

William wrote:
2. Facts. We just gotta have facts.
Q: Atheists have to have facts? Is this another understanding of atheism? The fact that there is no obvious scientific evidence of any GOD=atheism?
No, not just the atheists.
If we want to have any kind of rational conversation, we need to have facts.

William wrote:
Q: What about those atheists who claim that everyone starts out as an atheist? That all human babies are atheists? Atheists without facts, as it were.
Yes, I never had a theological discussion with a baby.
If I want to engage in a rational discussion with someone, I will insist on facts, and not fantasy.

William wrote:
Q: If you believe something to be fictional, then why would you demand facts?

It seems illogical.
I only bother when others are insisting that what they believe is true. Otherwise, I don't really bother. If someone believes something but cannot demonstrate that it is true, then it's most likely fiction, or as I put it... fantasy.

There's a big difference between reality and fantasy.

William wrote:
Q: Are you perhaps hoping some evidence for GOD would surface somehow through someone?
Sure, but I'm not exactly holding my breath, either. People have been claiming the "truth" of Christianity for over 2000 years now.

William wrote:
Q: Do you think your opinions are facts?
Of course not.

William wrote:
It appears to me that you base you position of lack of facts.
Good.
You are being skeptical of my claim.

I wonder what your next step will be?

William wrote:
Q: Does the fact that there is no obvious scientific evidence for the existence of GODs
mean that GOD therefore does not exist?
No, but it makes it WAY less likely that any gods or goddesses DO exist.

William wrote:
Q: In demanding burden of proof for the existence of GOD, what facts would you expect to be shown?
That's up to the ones who claim that gods or goddesses exist.

William wrote:
Obviously from what you have said re 'why you are an atheist' you are the type who rejects all ideas of GODs.
Yes, the conclusion that I've drawn from the total lack of evidence for any God Hypothesis is that there aren't any.

Evidence FOR any god or goddess would change my mind, of course.
A skeptic has an open mind about evidence.

William wrote:
Q: Do you understand that some ideas of GODs are beyond the reach of present day scientific ability to investigate?
Yes.

And that's a HUGE strike against the possibility of any god or goddess existing.
Science is the best method of research that we have.

William wrote:
Q: In instances where this is the case, do you think it is logical to assume the position of atheism in the way that you justify doing so regardless of whether facts can actually be presented or not?
Yes.
If there is no phenomenon observed, it is rational to assume it's not happening.

William wrote:
Q: If so, then why?
That's how skeptics and scientists deal with any claim.

William wrote:
Q: Is morality important to you? Is atheism about morality or simply about lacking belief in GODs?
Atheism is simply lack beliefs in gods or goddesses.
Morality is extremely important.

I respond to the moral claims of theists. I do so by way of my skepticism, not atheism. Atheism is NOT a method of inquiry. Skepticism is a great one.

William wrote:
Q: Are ALL bible stories about insane evil psychopath ideas of GOD? Obviously you are making the claim, but is it truthful?
It's my opinion.

I can back it up by NUMEROUS Bible passages. Almost every time the God of the Bible interacts with humans, it's very bad news for the humans. Starting with Genesis... We have the second encounter.. After ordering Adam and Eve around like children, he kicks them out of the Garden of Eden.... And it just gets worse from there.

Think of the flood.

William wrote:
Perhaps it is more just a case of association and even for the purpose of strengthening ones position in relation to the idea you are endorsing here.
Perhaps.
I applaud your skepticism.

You should demand for evidence.

William wrote:
How do you explain those good thing which have come into the world through Abrahamic organised religions influences?
People are generally good.

It doesn't matter WHAT religion, or if they HAVE a religion.
People all over the world are mostly good.

With exceptions, of course.

William wrote:
You claim that the use of skepticism allows you to 'tell the difference' but it certainly appears in your expression that there ARE no differences in relation to theism, and obviously especially in relation to Abrahamic theists.
I'm sorry, but I don't understand that.

But using skepticism, I don't simply accept any claim.
I QUESTION the claim first.

And that would be ANY claim, not just religious ones.

William wrote:
Perhaps in certain cases you are leaving skepticism at the door when in attack mode re these specific types of theism?
You might be mistaking "attack mode" for doubt. Skepticism starts off with doubt.
Not belief.

William wrote:
Q: Do you think this is a fair observation on my part, re your position?
I think you have a way to go before you understand what skepticism means and how it works.

Here is a fun place to start:

http://www.skeptic.com/

William wrote:
There is a saying that theism should stay out of politics.
I agree with that.

Otherwise, we could end up having a theocracy.
There are few operating as we speak:

http://www.worldatlas.com/articles/coun ... today.html

William wrote:
Q: Do you think that atheism should also refrain from being involved with politics?
Atheism has nothing to do with politics.


:)

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Re: Questions, Questions...

Post #162

Post by Blastcat »

[Replying to post 159 by William]



[center]

More great questions
[/center]

William wrote:
It has been said that you are the only one who truly knows your thoughts.

Q: Do you therefore allow this to be the case for everyone?
Until such a time as we get a mind reading machine, yes.

William wrote:
It has been implied that Jesus was a puppet of a god who is an 'insane evil psychopath' therefore Jesus is an accomplice tin relation to this idea.

Q: Assuming Jesus too, 'knew his own mind' does this imply that his agenda is evil?
It might.
I can't read minds.

Some victims of evil psychopaths are perfectly innocent, though.

William wrote:
Q: What do you think that Jesus' agenda was?
Obey, I think, the boss god.

William wrote:
Q: Why would you reject following/supporting Jesus' agenda?
I think it's the agenda of his "father", the evil psycho.

William wrote:
Q: What do you think would be the major changes which would occur for the world IF theism ceased to exist and everyone became an atheist?
We would no longer have these debates, and then, we would have to replace all of those religious institutions with secular ones.

I think the world would be more peaceful if there were no religious disputes.

William wrote:
Q: Would atheism even be valid if this were the case?
If there is no theism at all.. then atheism is quite useless, but still valid if the question of a god would come up. But if nobody believes in any gods or goddesses, I wonder why it would.

William wrote:
Q: As a position, do you think that atheism is purposeful in that it affords any policies on how the world would best be run?
No.
Atheism is just ONE position on ONE subject.

William wrote:
Q: If not, then how is it that atheism appears to be at war with theism in relation to how the world should be run?
You have to be careful here.
Atheism isn't the same as the people who hold that position.

Atheism is just ONE position on ONE subject.
People can and do disagree with other people on many other subjects.

William wrote:
Q: Does morality have anything to do with how the world should be run?
Only if you think that we should run the world morally.

William wrote:
Q: Is atheism even about morality? Does the lack of belief in GOD=morality?
No.


:)

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Re: Questions, Questions...

Post #163

Post by Hector Barbosa »

[Replying to post 162 by Blastcat]
Well, if you mean that babies don't have any god beliefs?
I guess that's true.

We all start off being agnostics and atheists, ignorant of rocket science and political theories.
How can you start being an atheist, if being an atheist is to REJECT a belief in God?
How can you reject a argument you have not heard?

The fact that children exist is one of many evidences against the argument that you are either a theists or atheist. For it is total nonsense to say that children are naturally theists or atheists. Children are naturally children, they have not been offered either position. In fact many Christians would argue that children are naturally theists rather than atheist, because children have a natural trust in the unseen, and indeed many children
come to naturally believe in God quite fast if they are not taught against that belief.

I disagree with either argument. Anyone who has ever known a child should know that it is quite obvious that children are neither theists or atheists, for if they were then they would not be "innocent". Innocence comes from being unaware, and if you are unaware you can not be deeply convinced of a position.

You answer to William that you believe that if God exists then God should easily be able to be scientifically verified. Would you care to explain how that would be if God is a "spirit" or "immaterial" or if God is all powerful and does not WISH to be discovered?

Can you really not think of any way that a God could exist without the knowledge of scientists on the small spect in the universe called earth? If so I don't think you have much grasp of how big the universe actually is.
Atheism is only about the non belief in gods or goddesses.
Anti-religionism would be something else.

I think I have both, but they are different.
I agree that they are different, and wouldn't that be evidence that you can be religious and a atheist? I mean are Buddhist really theists? I think you could argue either way.
It is very clear to me that atheists can be at least as dogmatic as religious people :)
I just think it's about time that we take a hard look at the benefits of religion.
Benefit of religion to you? or to everyone? If it is about benefits to just you, what relevance does it have what others believe? If its about benefits to others, does this mean that you believe in ONE objective truth? Wouldn't that be evidence that you then also believe in objective morals? And if so what source is this objective truth or morals?
I don't think that religion should have a place in politics.
So you don't believe in freedom of speech and free right to practice religion?
Can you separate a belief in religion from politics, or atheistic views in politics?
How would you deside objectively on right to practice free religion, or on what curriculum should be taught in school if you have made your mind up to believe in God or not to?
If religion should not have a place in politics, why should atheism?

You say there is no atheistic branch which promote war, but if that is the truth how can you argue that there is a religious branch who does? How many religions do you know which teach its members to fight physical wars?
Maybe you can argue that Islam and Catholicism does though many in those religions are opposed to war and most of their religious text is too.
But is Jehovah Witnesses, Mormons, Baptists, Buddhists and Taoists really promoting war?
Did Jesus?

If you can claim that they did, couldn't it then also be said that communism is a atheistic branch which promote war? For communism is very strongly opposed to religion and the belief in God. You might even argue that fascism and national socialist (nazis) were too.

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Re: Questions, Questions...

Post #164

Post by Divine Insight »

Hector Barbosa wrote: [Replying to post 162 by Blastcat]
Well, if you mean that babies don't have any god beliefs?
I guess that's true.

We all start off being agnostics and atheists, ignorant of rocket science and political theories.
How can you start being an atheist, if being an atheist is to REJECT a belief in God?
How can you reject a argument you have not heard?
Since when does an atheist need to REJECT a belief in a God?

Theism - to have a belief in a God.
Atheism - to not have a belief in a God.

No rejection required to be an atheist. If you never heard of the concept of gods you'd be a valid atheist.
[center]Image
Spiritual Growth - A person's continual assessment
of how well they believe they are doing
relative to what they believe a personal God expects of them.
[/center]

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Re: Questions, Questions...

Post #165

Post by Hector Barbosa »

[Replying to post 164 by Divine Insight]

Atheism by definition is : disbelief or lack of belief in the existence of God or gods.

You can not disbelieve something you have not been introduced to. A disbelief is a form of REJECTION.

The same goes for a lack of belief in something. You can not have a lack of belief in something you have never even heard of.

To have a belief or lack of belief in something, the concept has to be familiar to you.
Is this not simple logic?

So the moment a idea is know to you, you can either accept it-believe it or reject it-disbelieve it.

Before the idea is know to you, you can neither believe it, reject it or have a lack of belief in it, it does not even occur in your consciousness so you can not have an opinion or belief/disbelief about it.

Hence a child CAN NOT by definition and this obvious logic be an atheist or atheist.

Just like you can not be a Wobblegook or a anti-wobblegook when you have no idea what a wobblegook is.

Is this not common sense?

To believe or disbelieve something, you have to be aware of a case for the argument or you can not have a position on it.

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Re: Questions, Questions...

Post #166

Post by Zzyzx »

.
Hector Barbosa wrote: How can you start being an atheist, if being an atheist is to REJECT a belief in God?
A rational start toward reasoned discussion would be to understand that Atheism means "without belief in gods", NOT 'rejection of belief'.

Unless people are born believing in gods, they are born "without belief in gods" and are later TAUGHT to believe.
Hector Barbosa wrote: Atheism by definition is : disbelief or lack of belief in the existence of God or gods.]/b]

You can not disbelieve something you have not been introduced to. A disbelief is a form of REJECTION.

The same goes for a lack of belief in something. You can not have a lack of belief in something you have never even heard of.

Bold added

Lack of belief does NOT require having been introduced to something under consideration.

Do you believe in QKMELZTXES? You have not been 'introduced to them' but have simply been asked if you believe in them. You know nothing about them, never heard of them, have not been asked to believe or to not believe.

If you don't believe in QKMELZTXES, you lack a belief in QKMELZTXES. You are not a believer. .
.
Non-Theist

If you stop claiming knowledge of invisible, undetectable unicorns, I will stop challenging your claim. Same goes for gods

ANY of the thousands of "gods" proposed, imagined, worshiped, loved, feared, and/or fought over by humans MAY exist -- awaiting verifiable evidence

For a quick tutorial on science vs. religion, compare modern internet weather radar to ancient religious beliefs and superstitions about weather

"Demand money with the threat of violence and you'll get arrested. Do it with the threat of eternal damnation and it's tax deductible"

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Re: Moved to this thread

Post #167

Post by William »

Questions Questions
Blastcat wrote: [Replying to William]



[center]
Ok, theists, listen up !!

Here is a STERLING example of a theist asking an atheist challenging questions !!
Bravo, William !![/center]
Ummm...I don't think I have ever claimed to be a 'theist' Blastcat. I simply have questions to ask and since you put it out there that you - as an atheist - would like to be questioned, I took the opportunity to do so.

:)

Q: Do you think I am a theist?
Q: How do you know this is the case?



So it is for you. Other atheist believe this to be the other way around. That everyone naturally starts off from the default position of 'Atheist'.


Well, if you mean that babies don't have any god beliefs?
I guess that's true.

We all start off being agnostics and atheists, ignorant of rocket science and political theories.

And we start off with very little math.

But most people in the world are religious.. so most people start off with parents with a god belief of some sort... not all.. but most, I think.

I was raised in a very religious family.... and schools and neighborhoods... and friends, and so on... I was "expected" to believe.
Not sure if that is 'yes' or 'no'. Specifically I was speaking about babies in relation to being fully ignorant of anything...pre-learning anything from anyone.




Based on that I would have to conclude that you are the type of atheist who believes one has to be exposed to ideas of GOD(s) and then reject those, before you can declare yourself as an 'atheist.'


Not at all.
That's just how it happened to me.
So then yes you are the type of atheist who believes one has to be exposed to ideas of GOD(s) and then reject those, before you can declare yourself as an 'atheist.'

Q: Do you agree?
I've met a few atheists who never believed at all... they were born into an atheist family. My kids, for example were brought up in a family where the idea of "God" was almost never mentioned. I was an atheist by the time they were born.

They asked me if I believed in God, and I said "No", and that was about all there was to that. Parents have a HUGE influence on their kids.
Sure they do. That is why I think Jesus said;

John 3:1-8 English Standard Version (ESV)

You Must Be Born Again
Now there was a man of the Pharisees named Nicodemus, a ruler of the Jews.
2 This man came to Jesus by night and said to him, “Rabbi, we know that you are a teacher come from God, for no one can do these signs that you do unless God is with him.�
3 Jesus answered him, “Truly, truly, I say to you, unless one is born again he cannot see the kingdom of God.�
4 Nicodemus said to him, “How can a man be born when he is old? Can he enter a second time into his mother's womb and be born?�
5 Jesus answered, “Truly, truly, I say to you, unless one is born of water and the Spirit, he cannot enter the kingdom of God.
6 That which is born of the flesh is flesh, and that which is born of the Spirit is spirit.
7 Do not marvel that I said to you, ‘You must be born again.’
8 The wind blows where it wishes, and you hear its sound, but you do not know where it comes from or where it goes. So it is with everyone who is born of the Spirit.�




Obviously then you are the type of atheist who believes that;

IF;
any GOD existed
THEN;
That GOD should easily be able to be scientifically verified. The existence of the GOD should be able to be shown to exist through scientifically verifiable evidence.



Yeah.
Well, science is the best we got to verify claims about our universe.

SO far, right?
Physical claims, for sure. Faith based claims, no.

Q:What is your position on this?




Q: Am I correct about this position you presently retain?

Thanks for asking.
I think you are, yes.

If we can't say that something exists by way of science... we should hold off on believing it.
Q: To be clear here, do you mean believing it as possible, or believing it in faith?
Can you clarify and give your reason for this please.




It appears that you rejst theism on account of any and all ideas of GOD, and in learning to 'think well' as you put it, meant that any ideas of GOD were classified as something which comes about through people who have not learned to 'think well.

Q: Would this be correct?



I can't speak for other people.
Good for I am not assuming your answers are anyone else's but your own. I acknowledge that you are not speaking for any other atheists, only for yourself.
But when VERY smart people end up conclusions that don't stand up to scrutiny, something is going on. It's just that for me, learning how to think has led me AWAY from religion, not closer.
Q: Can you give an example of something which you see as "conclusions that don't stand up to scrutiny," in relation to any idea of GOD? (you choose which one you would like to make an example of here.)
I've since made my own secular kind of "religion" of one... It works for me.
I've never thought of promoting it for someone else, though.

I mention it from time to time in here because I think it's a fine example of how people can be creative. I have a creative kind of "religion".

Hey, it's a "way". :)
I am unclear as to what you are saying here.




Again, this doesn't seem to really fully answer my question so I will attempt to re-frame that question.


Ok, thanks.
It's sometimes really difficult to be understood immediately.
Q: Do you think this is the case with everyone and that we should all understand this in relation to how we each interact with others, by taking it into consideration?



But first, perhaps it would be better to find out from you whether your whole anti theist position is focused upon the rejection of any idea of GOD or does it also involve rejecting the bad things you might see coming through theism - through organised religions for example.


No, my anti-theism has to do with the whole idea of the god concept. My anti-religious attitude has to do with the harm that some religious practices cause or promote.
Q: Are you saying then that your anti GOD position has nothing to do with good or evil perpetuated in the name of any idea of GOD?




Q: Do those bad things concern you and help support your particular type of atheist position, or is the focus solely on rejecting all ideas of GOD?


Atheism is only about the non belief in gods or goddesses.
Anti-religionism would be something else.

I think I have both, but they are different.
Well it is good that this has now been established.

Q: Can you answer the question then?



Q: Do those bad things concern you and help support your particular type of atheist position, or is the focus solely on rejecting all ideas of GOD?


I think you are repeating the same question...
True...
Anti-theism ( atheism ) isn't the same as anti-religionism
Q: But you admit to 'having' both, so will you answer that question?



Q: As an atheist you hate that an idea of GOD can be used not only to promote peace but also to incite war?


No.
I just think it's about time that we take a hard look at the benefits of religion.

Okay. It is always a good thing to approach such things intelligently as possible.
It's not a panacea, and it never has been.
Q: Specific to the subject of the reality of warfare, do you think that a potential panacea exists?
Is so, where?



Q: Do you consider yourself an atheist in terms of the political branch of human society, or is atheism not applicable in the political arena?


I don't think that religion should have a place in politics. I'm for the separation of church and state... And yes, in a way, I have to be politicized because the CHRISTIANS are politicized.
Q: So atheism is politically applicable 'because' theism shouldn't be?

Q: What logical reason do you have for believing that theism should not be concerned or concern itself with politics?
In other countries, other religions want to muscle into politics. I think that a theocracy is a terrible thing. I'm for forms of democracies, instead.
You have said already that the majority of human beings are theists.
Q: In regard to that, if it is fact - then do you think democracy should not be an option for anyone who is a theist to partake in?
Q: What do you mean by "forms of democracies"
But these are political positions.. atheism is JUST about one issue.. the belief of gods or goddesses, right?
Yes obviously, but we are specifically speaking about the reality that there are many types of atheists.

Essentially I am asking "should atheists be involved with politics, if indeed theists should not be?"



Q: Does atheism have any part to play in politics?


Not at all in a perfect world, where religion has no part to play in politics.
In part you have answered some of the above questions but in doing so you have opened Pandora's box.

Q: Do you feel like going there and having a look into it?
But alas, the world isn't perfect. We actually have to FIGHT to keep religion out of politics, not the other way around.
I think the verifiable evidence shows that this is a concern for theists as well, and a democratic one at that.
They too do not want atheism mingling with social law and order.

My personal 'ideally run world' would be that of a benevolent dictatorship', but dreams are free right? I acknowledge that this is wishful thinking but don't apologize for it.
In a perfect world, religion or the lack of it would never come up.
Q: What do you mean by 'perfect world'?

Q: Why do you assume that this world is not already perfect?

It appears that you are blaming the existence of theists and ultimately the idea of GOD for human beings not being 'perfect' (whatever you mean by that) and 'if only' people would stop beliving in any ideas of GOD, everything therefore WOULD be perfect.

Q: Is this what you are saying?

Q: If so, would you consider that to being a claim?


]

Q: Is there a branch of atheism where war is also promoted?


No.
Q: So atheism isn't about politics at all then?

Q: Does this indicate that because politics is involved with warfare, (your taxes support that), that it would not be the case IF theism kept out of politics, that you would be forced to contribute to acts of war?

Q: Do you think you are engaged in warfare with theists because you have no choice?

Q: Do you have a better way in which would bring and end to warfare other than suggesting that theist stay out of politics?

The reason I am asking is because it appears to me that you think theists are controlling how you personally have to live your life, against your will, against what you would personally rather be doing and that they make the world less perfect than you may envision in your minds eye as to what you see as a perfect world.

Q: Is that a fair commentary on your position Blastcat?



Q: What do you think the seeds of war are sown through?


Hate, greed, power, fear.
Or as I call it "Human Frailty".
Q: Any idea how this might be fixed Other then 'get rid of theism from politics'?




For example, are people born to hate or do they learn to hate?


Some religious thinkers say that we are "sinners" from birth, and that humans are mostly evil if not controlled. I am skeptical of the claim.
I think we come from evil and are growing into the light, as a species.
From my experience, people have to learn how to hate.
But that's not an atheist position.. just my own.
Q: Do you know if there is an 'atheist position' about that, in any of the sub-sets of atheism?
I've had two kids... I watched them grow up from babies.
When they were little, they didn't "hate" anything at all.
I consider this to be the default attribute of a human being quintessence. I consider it also to be the default attribute of First Source
I can't love them enough... and it's mutual...

We are all crazy in love with each other... to the point of tears.
So, I "get" how people are lovers...

Hate is ... so sad.
Q: Do you think your children could never be shown love through theism?

Q: Is atheism concerned with love?

Q: Was it the seed from your loins which helped to bring your children into the world?

(IF 'yes' THEN)

Q: Do you love your children even though you helped bring them into the world which isn't perfect for them?

Q: If so, why is that?




Q: Would you consider that argument which isn't resolved between two individuals or parties could sow the seeds for eventual war?


It could, yes.
And I think that war is the WORST possible outcome of a dispute.

We should debate the ideas that separate us.
We are all human... I don't think we have to be separated at all.
Q: Do you think any form of argument should be regarded as an act of war?

I say that if we thought so then we might want to find other ways of trying to communicate.
I think we can love one another.
Well I love you.

Q: Does that help?

Q: Do you love me too?




Q: Do you consider war to be anything at all which results in physical violence or do you think it can apply to anything which is not at peace with everything else?


You are asking me to define what the word war means, and if it can be used metaphorically?
Yes...
And yes, most nouns can be used metaphorically.
Q: Shall you and I thus develop an alternative to argument, if indeed we agree that arguing is a kind of warfare?




Q: What, if anything, can atheism help to do in the way of contributing to peace?


Nothing at all by itself.
We need peaceful people to do that.
Q: Okay - so atheism isn't about peace. People don't need to be atheists in order to be peaceful?


2. Facts. We just gotta have facts.
Q: Atheists have to have facts? Is this another understanding of atheism? The fact that there is no obvious scientific evidence of any GOD=atheism?


No, not just the atheists.
If we want to have any kind of rational conversation, we need to have facts.
I think before even that, we need to have agree-to-rules. Start on the same page, as it were, rather than from positions of polarities.

Q: Do you agree?




Q: What about those atheists who claim that everyone starts out as an atheist? That all human babies are atheists? Atheists without facts, as it were.


Yes, I never had a theological discussion with a baby.
Q: Is atheism about 'theological discussion'?
If I want to engage in a rational discussion with someone, I will insist on facts, and not fantasy.
Q: Are you saying that 'theological discussion' can be 'rational discussion'?

Please clarify.




Q: If you believe something to be fictional, then why would you demand facts?

It seems illogical.



I only bother when others are insisting that what they believe is true. Otherwise, I don't really bother. If someone believes something but cannot demonstrate that it is true, then it's most likely fiction, or as I put it... fantasy.

There's a big difference between reality and fantasy.
Q:What do you mean when you say " it's most likely fiction"?

Q:IF something is 'most likely fiction' what facts have you about that 'something' (whatever it may be) which allows for this assumption?




Q: Are you perhaps hoping some evidence for GOD would surface somehow through someone?


Sure, but I'm not exactly holding my breath, either. People have been claiming the "truth" of Christianity for over 2000 years now.
Q: Are you saying specifically that you are hoping for something from Christianity to prove itself to you, that you might KNOW (by the facts presented in that 'something hoped for') that whatever you would consider to being 'evidence for GOD' would be all that could convince you?

[thought experiment]
Q: If you died tomorrow and discovered you were still existing, would THAT convince you of the existence of GOD?

Q: If Jesus returned tomorrow with his great army and assumed the position of benevolent dictator, would that convince you of the existence of GOD?

(I am specifically asking these questions to try and get a clearer understanding as to what you are saying in your answers so far in relation to belief and what would help you to believe.)





Q: Do you think your opinions are facts?


Of course not.
Q: What don't you have opinions on to which you regard as facts?



It appears to me that you base your position on lack of facts.

Good.
You are being skeptical of my claim.
I am skeptical of your position and of your reasons for assuming it.
I wonder what your next step will be?
:study:



Q: Does the fact that there is no obvious scientific evidence for the existence of GODs
mean that GOD therefore does not exist?



No, but it makes it WAY less likely that any gods or goddesses DO exist.
Q: Are you saying that science makes it way less likely any GOD does exist?

Q: Why do you think that is the case?




Q: In demanding burden of proof for the existence of GOD, what facts would you expect to be shown?

That's up to the ones who claim that gods or goddesses exist.
Q:If their idea of GOD cannot be shown to you to exist because it is not something that can be shown in a way that science can investigate, and they say so...do you think that is acceptable given the truth of it?

Q:If not, why would you still wish to demand for something which has been explained to you cannot be shown to you using science?

Q:As well as that, why would you conclude that they are at fault for believing in something that you cannot see through scientific process? What actually does it matter to you, that you would demand something which you also know cannot be provided by those from whom you demand it?

Please explain your reasoning.


Obviously from what you have said re 'why you are an atheist' you are the type who rejects all ideas of GODs.

Yes, the conclusion that I've drawn from the total lack of evidence for any God Hypothesis is that there aren't any.
Q:Given the facts, why conclude there are none?
Evidence FOR any god or goddess would change my mind, of course.
You say it is up to the theist to provide the facts, and also assume that there must be facts that they can show you.

Q: What do you base your assumption on?
A skeptic has an open mind about evidence.
Even subjective evidence, and especially their own subjective experience.
As a skeptic I do this myself, which is why I remain open-minded to both polarities...atheism and theism...in relation to my personal subjective experiences.



Q: Do you understand that some ideas of GODs are beyond the reach of present day scientific ability to investigate?


Yes.

And that's a HUGE strike against the possibility of any god or goddess existing.
Q: Why do you think this is so?
Science is the best method of research that we have.
Yes and I asked you " Do you understand that some ideas of GODs are beyond the reach of present day scientific ability to investigate?"

And you answered 'yes'.

Q: Do you understand that IF some kind of GOD does actually exist that it exists NOW, regardless of the FACT that our science at present does not have the ability to investigate?



Q: In instances where this is the case, do you think it is logical to assume the position of atheism in the way that you justify doing so regardless of whether facts can actually be presented or not?


Yes.
If there is no phenomenon observed, it is rational to assume it's not happening.
In relation to the idea that it is possible a GOD does exist but that present day science isn't yet able to detect that;

Q: Is it irrational for you to try other ways in which to see if such a GOD can be subjectively verified?

I ask this because it is obvious something is occurring with theists which atheism nor being skeptical cannot do anything about but many atheists would sure like to do something about.



Q:If so, then why?


That's how skeptics and scientists deal with any claim.
Scientists deal with science.

Skepticism deals also with other things and needn't exclusively use science as a yardstick in matters especially related of ideas of GOD.

Q: Do you think it is rational to demand that the idea of GOD should even be a question of science given that you agree that GOD could exist but present scientific capabilities cannot detect GOD?

Q: Do you think science is even useful for looking for GOD?

Q: If so, what exactly do you think science would find which could be called GOD?

Q: Do you understand that theists positions are established without much in the way of science, but are considered through the fact of their subjective experience - to being at the very least, evidence pointing to some idea GOD - at least in relation to what they feel is communion with their idea of GOD?




Q: Is morality important to you? Is atheism about morality or simply about lacking belief in GODs?



Atheism is simply lack beliefs in gods or goddesses.
Therefore atheism is not about morality.
Morality is extremely important.
But not in relation to atheism.
I respond to the moral claims of theists. I do so by way of my skepticism, not atheism. Atheism is NOT a method of inquiry. Skepticism is a great one.
Q: Do you use this skepticism to support your position of atheism rather than theism?

or;

Q: Does it not matter. It can be used to support either?

Q:Are you perhaps wanting theists to asks questions of you as a skeptic?



Q: Are ALL bible stories about insane evil psychopath ideas of GOD? Obviously you are making the claim, but is it truthful?


It's my opinion.
Q: So..not a claim then?
I can back it up by NUMEROUS Bible passages. Almost every time the God of the Bible interacts with humans, it's very bad news for the humans. Starting with Genesis... We have the second encounter.. After ordering Adam and Eve around like children, he kicks them out of the Garden of Eden.... And it just gets worse from there.
The bible is a group of stories which have the appearance of being related. Obviously the story itself is preoccupied with human behavior and I do not argue that there are numerous biblical passages which appear to be 'bad news' for humans - that in itself isn't surprising given the situation humans are in anyway. It is 'bad news' ultimately.

However, I am sure you will agree that it (the human situation) is also 'good news' - and that the polarities of nature are factual for that.

Q: You wouldn't have helped bring children into the world if everything is bad news, would you?

Q: Do you think it is a good practice (even by skeptical standards of practice) to focus ONLY on the NUMEROUS Bible passages which appear to be 'bad news' for humans, when indeed there are also NUMEROUS Bible passages which appear to be 'good news' for humans?
Think of the flood.


Q: Do you take the bible literally then?



Perhaps it is more just a case of association and even for the purpose of strengthening ones position in relation to the idea you are endorsing here.


Perhaps.
I applaud your skepticism.

You should demand for evidence.
I am not that skeptical that I think you would withhold it from me if you had it.



How do you explain those good things which have come into the world through Abrahamic organised religions influences?


People are generally good.
Q: Why would you think this?
It doesn't matter WHAT religion, or if they HAVE a religion.
People all over the world are mostly good.
Q: Then why do you think it is not a perfect world because theists are political and since they are also the majority, that is why the world is not perfect?

IF
People are mostly good
AND
The majority make it that way.
THEN the way theists do things in the world is mostly good because of the majority that are doing it

(which obviously doesn't exclude the non theists either)
With exceptions, of course.
Of course, but since they are the minority, what of that?


You claim that the use of skepticism allows you to 'tell the difference' but it certainly appears in your expression that there ARE no differences in relation to theism, and obviously especially in relation to Abrahamic theists.
I'm sorry, but I don't understand that.
:study:


Perhaps in certain cases you are leaving skepticism at the door when in attack mode re these specific types of theism?


You might be mistaking "attack mode" for doubt. Skepticism starts off with doubt.
Not belief.
I guess that will depend on whether you agree that any argument is something of an act of war.




Q: Do you think this is a fair observation on my part, re your position?


I think you have a way to go before you understand what skepticism means and how it works.

Here is a fun place to start:

http://www.skeptic.com/
Q: Why do you think I do not understand what skepticism is?

Rather, I think we might have different understandings as to where it can apply. I am as skeptical of atheism as I am of theism.

Skepticism to me means 'the jury is still out' and even 'the evidence is not yet all in'.




There is a saying that theism should stay out of politics.


I agree with that.

Otherwise, we could end up having a theocracy.
There are few operating as we speak:

http://www.worldatlas.com/articles/coun ... today.html



Q: Do you think that atheism should also refrain from being involved with politics?


Atheism has nothing to do with politics.


Q: If atheism and theism stayed out of politics, do you believe that the world could be made perfect enough for your children to live in?

Aside from that;

Q: Do you believe it is possible for anyone NOT to stay out of politics regardless of theist or atheist positions?

In that, it seems to me that politics hides behind whatever it can in order to achieve whatever it wants and first up most people are political and support what it is they want to achieve (by believing in the promises made).

And that is exactly what human politics are. Pockets of separate groups in various acts of war with one another.

In conclusion, it appears that it is the skeptic you are which wants to be questioned. Atheism is besides the point, as far as positions go.

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Re: Questions, Questions...

Post #168

Post by William »

Blastcat wrote:

Q: What do you think that Jesus' agenda was?

Obey, I think, the boss god.
Yes.
Q: Do you understand what that involves, related to Jesus specifically?

Q: Why would you reject following/supporting Jesus' agenda?
I think it's the agenda of his "father", the evil psycho.
Q: Do you think Jesus thought that his father was an evil psycho?

Obviously you cannot know what Jesus thought about that other than to examine the stories and the words attributed to Jesus.

Q: Do you know of any words attributed to Jesus which say that the father is an evil psycho?
I think the world would be more peaceful if there were no religious disputes.
Q: Are you suggesting then that disputes would no longer exist?
Q: What do you think of those who manufacture weapons and sell them to people who then use those weapons against other people?
Atheism is just ONE position on ONE subject.
Q: Do you think this is the same regarding theism?
Atheism isn't the same as the people who hold that position.
Q: Why then do you say this in the OP?;
"I think it's important that people get to know an atheist and what he thinks about the "big questions""
Q: Does morality have anything to do with how the world should be run?
Only if you think that we should run the world morally.
Q: Why would it matter to the 'we' what the 'I' thinks?

Q: Do you think morality should have anything to do with how the world should be run?

You have been a member of this forum message board for over 666 days now.
Q: Why are you still not a Site Supporter?

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Re: Questions, Questions...

Post #169

Post by Hector Barbosa »

[Replying to post 166 by Zzyzx]
A rational start toward reasoned discussion would be to understand that Atheism means "without belief in gods", NOT 'rejection of belief'.

Unless people are born believing in gods, they are born "without belief in gods" and are later TAUGHT to believe.
You are not the authority on what is "rational" so that subjective opinion is a irrelevant argument against anything I said unless you can provide evidence for your claims to be more "rational".

As far as atheism goes, I have already proved my point about the meaning of Atheism and why it can not both cover a meaning of anything that is not theist, and opposition to theist at the same time without contradiction, so I am not interested in doing that again here since there are better threads for that debate where I can avoid having to repeat myself.

So go read the debate I had with blastcat on this issue, and argue my points from that or accept that you do not have any evidence to prove that children born or I am a atheist just because we are not convinced by or is aware of there being a God.

Regardless, I will ignore any further point you make about that here, if you wish to debate the definition of atheism with me, then read what I have already posted and we can debate it on another thread.

All your points relates to this topic, and I don't want to have to repeat my argument every single time a new atheists comes along here who don't understand why I truly do KNOW that I am neither a atheist or theist by any definition I have read including the one you stated.

For what you seem to fail to understand, is what the word "belief" means and how you get it, just like blastcat and so many other atheists I have debated, just like most atheists I have debated struggle with understanding the word "faith" and even "truth".

see http://debatingchristianity.com/forum/v ... &start=140 especially post 144

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Re: Theists don't ask questions

Post #170

Post by Kapyong »

Gday Hector Barbosa and all :)
Hector Barbosa wrote: Well the scientific approach is certainly NOT "hey I heard this nonsense from this atheist in a suit with a degree so it must be true, lets go sing kumbaya and slaughter anyone who questions it"
So,
you think that's the basis for support of evolution do you ?
That we heard this nonsense from this atheist in a suit with a degree so it must be true, lets go sing kumbaya and slaughter anyone who questions it ?

Can you give any actual examples of people who heard this nonsense from this atheist in a suit with a degree so it must be true, lets go sing kumbaya and slaughter anyone who questions it ?
Hector Barbosa wrote: I am beginning to think I need to leave this site, for there are far too many dogmatic atheists even here, that it makes it very tough not to be biased against atheists.
Do you think anyone who disagrees with you is an atheist ?
That would be a mistake.
e.g. I am not an atheist, I am a theist, there are others too.

Look -
You burst in to preach Christianity and creationism and debunk 'evolutionism' with the standard high-school level arguments we have seen a zillion times before.

I (a theist, not that it matters) calmly answered your posts with facts and logic, but you disappeared from all of them. Others here have shown your errors too.

Apparently that now risks making you "biased against atheists".

Shouldn't you be biased against falsehoods ?
Hector Barbosa wrote: I want the truth, and I had hoped for a bit more honesty here, but honesty seems like a tough bill to handle for those who has nothing to believe in.
That's what you SAY.
But what we SEE is that you push Christian religious beliefs as if they are equal to established facts. You insist Christian miracles COULD be true (which means they ARE true to you.) You reject the facts about evolution, but know nothing about science at all. The opposite of seeking the truth.

You lied.

And now you insist that we here cannot handle honesty because we have nothing to believe in.

So, you are calling us atheists who lie ?
Hector Barbosa wrote: And I find it quite disgusting that the ancestors of people who used to be victims of "witch trials" has now become the "witch hunters".
So, we are witch-hunters who disgust you ?


Do you often find this sort of approach to debate succesful ?


Kapyong

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