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A Few Questions For The Atheists


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#21 Guest_martemius_*

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Posted 02 January 2010 - 07:25 PM

That's my bad martemius, I apologize, I thought you were just being sarcastic.
But this does pose a bigger problem (though not for the theist, regardless of stripe); Are you actually saying that you don't understand my questioning the foundations of atheism? Because the thread is set up in such a way as to go to the heart of atheism, and it does so in a succinct and cogent manner. So now I have to ask why you don't understand it!

If that is the case, then you may be correct; maybe this thread isn't for you.

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I just want to know which aspect of origins you're talking about -- or, moreover, which type of supposed "something from nothing" you're getting at -- whether you're talking of matter from nothing (big bang) or life from non-life (abiogenesis).

#22 Adam Nagy

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Posted 02 January 2010 - 07:36 PM

Silence is just silence Adam,  not confirmation.

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Agreed, for the most part, but I have noticed the silence as more about the foundations of atheism, or the lack thereof...

#23 Javabean

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Posted 02 January 2010 - 10:09 PM

From where did we come (what are our Origins)?


Atheism has nothing to say on this. How can it. The only tenant to follow to be an Atheist is to have no belief/to believe that there is no God(s).

After that its up to the individual Atheist to follow up on what-ever questions they decide to answer about life and the universe.

I like the answer 42 to any questions about life, universe, everything. ;) (if no one gets this reference I will die a little today)


What are the atheistic foundations to support the atheistic worldview and philosophy of our origins?

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42

but seriously I don't think you can form a philosophy on the origins with Atheism.

#24 jason78

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Posted 02 January 2010 - 11:43 PM

I like the answer 42 to any questions about life, universe, everything. ;)

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42 is the answer to the Great Question of Life. The Universe and Everything :)

(sorry for nit picking)

#25 Adam Nagy

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Posted 03 January 2010 - 06:51 AM

SO…. If, according to the atheist, we go to nothing when we die; from where did we come, to get here?

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I also had to re-post Ron's question now that the answer '42' has come into play. It's amazing how relevantly atheists believe they can speak to the truth of life and how 'truth' pertains to us religious folk. However, when examined closely the atheist exposes the philosophically empty reservoir from whence they judge other worldviews.

...but there is hope but it will require a shift to a new thread because the atheists here have passed a test, recognizing that atheism has no power for actually discerning truth (but '42' does ;) )

After that its up to the individual Atheist to follow up on what-ever questions they decide to answer about life and the universe.

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I have noticed a consistent trend among the secular people who rightly come to this conclusion as they acknowledge that atheism must be abandoned, as a belief system, and something else must fill this void (or remain intellectually lazy and pretend that there is no need... eat, drink and be merry, for tomorrow we die...). The trend is this; a sudden case of bashfulness and/or derisive diversion to avoid having to actually deal with the epistemological mess in their own philosophical closet. It seems that many atheists forget to put their own house in order because they are preoccupied with criticizing others.

#26 Ron

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Posted 03 January 2010 - 07:23 AM

Agreed, for the most part, but I have noticed the silence as more about the foundations of atheism, or the lack thereof...

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Silence is not just silence. Silence is, in the context of these questions:

1- I’m thinking about an answer
2- I don’t have an answer, therefore I’m not going to get in involved
3- I realize that if I answer I will show that I don’t have an answer
4- I realize that if I answer I will show that atheism has no foundation
5- I have an answer and don’t like it (therefore I will not answer).

The above is not all inclusive, but it is concise.

#27 Ron

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Posted 03 January 2010 - 07:25 AM

I just want to know which aspect of origins you're talking about -- or, moreover, which type of supposed "something from nothing" you're getting at -- whether you're talking of matter from nothing (big bang) or life from non-life (abiogenesis).

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That was already answered earlier (I think Adam answered it first). And to keep it succinct, the best answer I have is…. Yes!

BUT!!!! Arguments for both the big bang and abiogenesis can be equivocations. So, make sure you follow the rules of this thread before making those arguments.

#28 Ron

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Posted 03 January 2010 - 07:33 AM

Atheism has nothing to say on this.  How can it. 

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This falls under #3. Therefore anything after it is an equivocation


The only tenant to follow to be an Atheist is to have no belief/to believe that there is no God(s).

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Yes, but this stance only confirms that atheism has no foundation except that of faith in atheism. It is also equivocation in accordance with #’s 2 &4


After that its up to the individual Atheist to follow up on what-ever questions they decide to answer about life and the universe.

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Yes, but this stance only confirms that atheism has no foundation except that of faith in atheism.

I like the answer 42 to any questions about life, universe, everything. ;) (if no one gets this reference I will die a little today)
42

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This is equivocation in accordance with #’s 2, 4 & 5


but seriously I don't think you can form a philosophy on the origins with Atheism.

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Equivocation in accordance with #3

#29 Ron

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Posted 03 January 2010 - 10:54 AM

42 is the answer to the Great Question of Life. The Universe and Everything ;)

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Equivocations in accordance with #’s 2, 3, 5 &6, and therefore, ultimately #1!


(sorry for nit picking)

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Equivocations in accordance with #’s 2, 3, 4, 5 &6, and therefore, ultimately #1!

#30 Ron

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Posted 05 January 2010 - 03:30 AM

SO, with the answer "42" equivocation out of the way, we can move on to other meaningless equivocations. Or we can have meaningful and honest conversation on the topic.

#31 jason78

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Posted 05 January 2010 - 05:35 AM

SO, with the answer "42" equivocation out of the way,

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Ron, did you honestly not get the reference there?

we can move on to other meaningless equivocations.

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I predict that every answer that you don't like will be chalked up as an equivocation.

Or we can have meaningful and honest conversation on the topic.

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We're 30 posts in Ron and I still don't understand what you are asking for. Can you be more explicit?

#32 Ron

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Posted 05 January 2010 - 05:56 AM

Ron, did you honestly not get the reference there?

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Jason, the “The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy” is originally from the era I grew up in, of course I got the reference. That doesn’t keep it from being an equivocation of the OP. Further, you seem no to get the irony that "42", according to Douglas Adams, was nothing more than a joke... "42 will do". He also stated in another interview that "it should be something that made no sense whatsoever"... Basically like the foundations of atheism.

I predict that every answer that you don't like will be chalked up as an equivocation.

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I predict if you adhere to the premise, you won’t have a problem. But, thus far you have failed to do so, thus creating your dilemma.

We're 30 posts in Ron and I still don't understand what you are asking for.   Can you be more explicit?

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Go back and re-read the Op, and see if you can come up with some meaningful answers... It’s not that hard. I kept it simple for that reason… Remember, no wiggle room!

#33 jason78

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Posted 05 January 2010 - 07:04 AM

From where did we come (what are our Origins)?

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This question is open to such a wide interpretation I don't know where to start. Can you be more specific?

What are the atheistic foundations to support the atheistic worldview and philosophy of our origins?

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An atheist is a person that does not believe in gods or deities. Atheism has nothing to say whatsoever on the subject of origins. I would say that the foundation of an atheists world view would be a lack of any hard evidence of any gods.

#34 Ron

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Posted 05 January 2010 - 10:18 AM

This question is open to such a wide interpretation I don't know where to start.  Can you be more specific?

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It is only open to interpretation if there is no foundational basis for where we are now, with what we now have, from the atheist viewpoint. If, according to the atheist world view, we came from nothing and we are going to nothing, the atheist is in a real epistemological bind; philosophically, logically and scientifically.

Why? Because we have existence right now… We can prove “said existence” inductively, by (but not limited to): Interacting with each other both physically and intellectually. Interacting with the world both physically and intellectually.

We’ve had existence in the past… We can prove “said existence” inductively, by (but not limited to): Reading the historical documentation left to us from the authors of said antiquities (i.e. recorded data) interacting with each other both physically and intellectually. Researching the archeological evidences left to us from the lives of those who lived in antiquity. Reconciling the evidences of historical documentation and archeological evidences to test and validate each.
Therefore; from where did we come (what are our Origins)? What are the atheistic foundations to support the atheistic worldview and philosophy of our origins?

An atheist is a person that does not believe in gods or deities.  Atheism has nothing to say whatsoever on the subject of origins.  I would say that the foundation of an atheists world view would be a lack of any hard evidence of any gods.

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Then, from what you’re saying, the best answer is “I don’t know” (#3)?

If that is the case, then you are saying you have no foundations to support your atheistic worldview and philosophy of atheistic origins? AND you have no idea of our origins according to the atheistic worldview.

In other words; you are living your atheistic life on faith that “, we came from nothing and we are going to nothing”, because you have no logical or empirical scientific evidence for said philosophy.

#35 Guest_martemius_*

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Posted 05 January 2010 - 10:10 PM

Therefore; from where did we come (what are our Origins)? What are the atheistic foundations to support the atheistic worldview and philosophy of our origins?

Well, as others have pointed out, atheism, in and of itself, doesn't present any ideas on where we're from or where we're going, other than that it says that "god something something something" isn't a valid idea. So there aren't really any formal "atheistic foundations" except each atheist's own personal ideas -- an atheist could just as well buy into intelligent design (not by the hand of a supernatural creator, obviously) as they could into evolution or abiogenesis. Obviously, there seems to be some sort of correlation between atheists and belief in evolution, but that doesn't make it part of the philosophy of atheism. Having said that, I'm happy to talk about my own beliefs on origins - while being careful to maintain the difference between my own beliefs and atheism in general as a system of beliefs [or lack of beliefs, depending on how you want to phrase the atheistic worldview].

By point of note, I was slightly mistaken in my earlier posts here, because I interpreted your question as asking for my own beliefs on the matter, when in actuality you were asking for atheism's beliefs on the matter -- which, as I've just said, I don't believe to really exist.

#36 Ron

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Posted 06 January 2010 - 06:07 AM

Well, as others have pointed out, atheism, in and of itself, doesn't present any ideas on where we're from or where we're going, other than that it says that "god something something something" isn't a valid idea.  So there aren't really any formal "atheistic foundations" except each atheist's own personal ideas -- an atheist could just as well buy into intelligent design (not by the hand of a supernatural creator, obviously) as they could into evolution or abiogenesis.  Obviously, there seems to be some sort of correlation between atheists and belief in evolution, but that doesn't make it part of the philosophy of atheism.  Having said that, I'm happy to talk about my own beliefs on origins - while being careful to maintain the difference between my own beliefs and atheism in general as a system of beliefs [or lack of beliefs, depending on how you want to phrase the atheistic worldview].

By point of note, I was slightly mistaken in my earlier posts here, because I interpreted your question as asking for my own beliefs on the matter, when in actuality you were asking for atheism's beliefs on the matter -- which, as I've just said, I don't believe to really exist.

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That’s fine autobiographical dialogue martimus, and I appreciate it, because I believe we can have meaningful philosophical discussions on such. I really mean this, because I enjoy conversations on practical logic and philosophy greatly. Maybe a separate thread should be set up for such.
So, I am not attempting to detract from your above post when I say that it doesn’t address the OP. The Op isn’t asking for mere opinion, beliefs and faith, but provable data on atheistic origins! Again; we know for a fact, using the empirical scientific method, that we have (and have had) existence. This existence is substantive, and yet there are metaphysical and ethereal aspects to our existence that we use to drive the rational of said existence (Thoughts, the “Laws of Logic”, altruistic Love, the “Laws of Mathematics” etc… to name a few). Because we are here, we know we came from somewhere because there is absolutely no evidence of something coming from nothing.
Therefore; Where did we come from (what are our Origins)? What are the atheistic foundations to support the atheistic worldview and philosophy of our origins?
In order for the atheist to have foundation, the atheists have to answer these questions. Otherwise they are basing their entire worldview on faith. To say the atheist doesn’t need an answer, or the atheist has nothing to say whatsoever on the subject of origins, further exacerbates their situation.

#37 falcone

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Posted 06 January 2010 - 08:36 AM

The foundation for atheism is that, for whatever reason, a person doesn't believe in God. In fact, that's all there is to it - it doesn't go beyond a foundation. So, as far as atheism as a worldview goes, I don't think there's much to discuss. Atheism itself is the foundation for worldviews.

If we are to consider worldviews, then we have to extend this basic premise of 'no gods'. For example, Humanism, Rationalism, Postmodernism, and Secularism can all be considered worldviews with an atheistic foundation. Noteably, you don't even have to be an atheist to be a Rationalist or Postmoderinist, but it's probably true to say that most people who subscribe to these worldviews are.

Martimius' autobiography, as you describe it, is actually quite pertinent. I suspect atheism is a rather personal thing. Lots of people share this basic notion of 'no gods', but the worldview they choose to adopt based on it varies greatly. There is no such thing as an all encompasing atheistic worldview.

As far as your question on origins goes, I too can only answer from a personal perspective. And you're going to love this...I have no idea!! However, the Rationalist in me says that it probably wasn't any of the gods I've read about. Please note, I recognise that the Rationalist in you says something different.

Ron, I'm very conscious of what you said in your last post:

The Op isn’t asking for mere opinion, beliefs and faith, but provable data on atheistic origins!.....Because we are here, we know we came from somewhere because there is absolutely no evidence of something coming from nothing.

Remembering that atheism is simply 'no gods', then I think you're asking for empirical, proveable data that our origins did indeed have nothing to do with any gods. Is that right? If so, then I don't think anyone can show that to you.

You are correct to say that there is no evidence of something coming from nothing. All we can say as athiests is that there is that we see no evidence that the "something" things come from has to be any particular god.

Note: I've probably broken all your rules in the OP here. Ah well... :)

#38 Ron

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Posted 06 January 2010 - 11:09 AM

The foundation for atheism is that, for whatever reason, a person doesn't believe in God.

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That is not a foundation falcone, it’s an opinion. A foundation is the basis for an opinion or opinions. Therefore, the above is a non sequitur. And, an opinion without substantiation is nothing more than words.

In fact, that's all there is to it - it doesn't go beyond a foundation.

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If that is all there is, in your opinion, then you are basing your atheism on “faith alone, in nothing alone” due to its lack of a foundation. I’m not saying this to be obstinate, mean or simply argumentative. I am basing this on your above hypothesis, and its own logical, philosophical and scientific base-less-ness (or lack of foundation. Not to be confused with the lack of foundation posited, thus far, for atheism).

So, as far as atheism as a worldview goes, I don't think there's much to discuss. Atheism itself is the foundation for worldviews.

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Again, I don’t think you realize the actual lack of forethought in the above statement. Not only for its tautological circular reasoning of the first three sentences, but their lack of logical, philosophical and scientific cogency as well. But I do agree that, thus far, there hasn’t been much to discuss in substantiation for a foundation of atheism.
Something isn’t something, simply because someone says it’s so. In other words, atheism isn’t the foundation for atheism, simply because someone says it is.

If we are to consider worldviews, then we have to extend this basic premise of 'no gods'. For example, Humanism, Rationalism, Postmodernism, and Secularism can all be considered worldviews with an atheistic foundation. Noteably, you don't even have to be an atheist to be a Rationalist or Postmoderinist, but it's probably true to say that most people who subscribe to these worldviews are.

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If you want to posit considerations for the foundations of Humanism, Rationalism, Postmodernism, and Secularism, open another thread, go ahead. But further sidetracking of this thread with time wasting and side tracking tactics to divert from the questions (i.e. tangents, or rabbit trails) will be removed.

Martimius' autobiography, as you describe it, is actually quite pertinent. I suspect atheism is a rather personal thing. Lots of people share this basic notion of 'no gods', but the worldview they choose to adopt based on it varies greatly. There is no such thing as an all encompasing atheistic worldview.

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Actually, it isn’t “actually quite pertinent” for the very reasoning I gave. Not to mention the many diversions it made from the Op, just as your above statement does. And, I didn’t ask for an “all encompassing atheistic worldview”. You may want to review the OP once more prior to coming to make an argument.

As far as your question on origins goes, I too can only answer from a personal perspective. And you're going to love this...I have no idea!!

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A personal perspective without evidentiary relevance has no validity when addressing the questions of this Op (as per this OP). But, I appreciate your candor and honesty. Plus, it kind of makes my point on the faith based foundation of atheism.

However, the Rationalist in me says that it probably wasn't any of the gods I've read about. Please note, I recognise that the Rationalist in you says something different.

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And I recognize that the “Rationalist” in you says something different as well. And I would never tell you that you have to believe what I do (and I’m in no way saying that you are saying that you are saying that either). The point here is in providing evidences to see where we end up. But, at the end of the day, we all have to make up our own minds.

Ron, I'm very conscious of what you said in your last post:
Remembering that atheism is simply 'no gods', then I think you're asking for empirical, proveable data that our origins did indeed have nothing to do with any gods. Is that right? If so, then I don't think anyone can show that to you.

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If you are saying that atheism is simply 'no gods', you are again making my point. Because if that is all atheism is; then atheism has no foundation at all. Because; without a shred of evidentiary substantiation, the statement “atheism is simply 'no gods'” is simply a statement, and nothing more than an unfounded (and therefore) faith based opinion. And, on that point, I totally agree “I don't think anyone can show that” either. Why? Because there is, thus far, no evidence for a foundation for atheism.

You are correct to say that there is no evidence of something coming from nothing. All we can say as athiests is that there is that we see no evidence that the "something" things come from has to be any particular god.

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Ahhh, but, since something cannot come from nothing, it had to come from something. And, if you have no idea where it (or who it) came from; “And you're going to love this...I have no idea!!” then you have no principled objection (or refutation) to it being God. And from that point alone, you have to concede that it is a possibility. But, there again, I don’t expect you to agree to this.

Note: I've probably broken all your rules in the OP here. Ah well... :)

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That is true, and any further sidetracking of the OP on your behalf will be removed.

#39 menes777

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Posted 06 January 2010 - 04:26 PM

Ok I will bite...

From where did we come (what are our Origins)?


We came from the Big Bang (or something similar to it) and the resulting defined forces (electromagnetism, strong interaction, weak interaction (also known as "strong" and "weak nuclear force") and gravitation) of the universe.

And your next question of course will be "What happened before the big bang?" (or what caused it)

What are the atheistic foundations to support the atheistic worldview and philosophy of our origins?


You can't measure Atheism by the same yardstick you use on Xianity. There is no bible for atheism, there is no dogma that atheism follows by. Even if every human on the planet suddenly became atheist there would be no atheist church. All I can tell you is what I believe as a person to be true to me. Personally I don't need to know where I was before I was born (did not exist) or where I will be after I die (I will cease to exist). I don't need a book to tell me that it's wrong to steal, kill or rape (or any number of horrible things). My morals come to me as a functioning member of society and as a friend to others.

Also since this is evolution board, how are these question even valid? Wouldn't it be more valid to ask what an evolutionist and not an atheist thinks about these things? :)

#40 scott

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Posted 06 January 2010 - 04:46 PM

Ok I will bite...
We came from the Big Bang (or something similar to it) and the resulting defined forces (electromagnetism, strong interaction, weak interaction (also known as "strong" and "weak nuclear force") and gravitation) of the universe.

And your next question of course will be "What happened before the big bang?" (or what caused it)
You can't measure Atheism by the same yardstick you use on Xianity.  There is no bible for atheism, there is no dogma that atheism follows by.  Even if every human on the planet suddenly became atheist there would be no atheist church.  All I can tell you is what I believe as a person to be true to me.  Personally I don't need to know where I was before I was born (did not exist) or where I will be after I die (I will cease to exist).  I don't need a book to tell me that it's wrong to steal, kill or rape (or any number of horrible things).  My morals come to me as a functioning member of society and as a friend to others. 

Also since this is evolution board, how are these question even valid?  Wouldn't it be more valid to ask what an evolutionist and not an atheist thinks about these things?  :)

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But society and your friends got these morals from the Bible. That fact cannot be avoided, because you nor they did such on their very own.




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