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Atheism As A Belief


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#21 performedge

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Posted 15 January 2011 - 09:46 AM

Why do you insist that I need faith that you exist? I don't have faith in your existence, I know you exist otherwise I would not be having a discussion with you. I'm not denying that it is possible that a being exists that you consider god (depending on what you consider god of course), lot's of thing are possible but it doesn't mean they are real. And the true nature of other real beings may or may not be what you think it is, it's possible they could deceive you into believing they are what they want you to think they are.

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Interesting argument. I would like to challenge it a little.

You "know' Mike exists rather than you have "faith" that Mike exists. Ok, I "know" Mike exists also, but it is by "faith" that I know this.

I have never met, seen, touched, etc. Mike. The evidence I have that Mike exist is this: I exist, and am intelligent. (somewhat anyway) and I can communicate to others by these words on the screen. These words on the screen are physical. Yet the process of me transmitting my thoughts to you requires both the material and the immaterial. My thoughts get to you through intelligent use of EMR (electro magnetic radiation, i.e. light). now light is physical, yet not material.

So you "know" that Mike exists, because of both material and non-material transmission of Mike's thoughts to you. I agree.

Now lets just examine for a minute how we Christians perceive God. He is intelligent and He is immaterial. You should have no problem understanding the existense of the non-material. Gravity is also non-material. God has chosen to communicate with us just like Mike is doing to you. He does this both in material and non-material ways. He inspired (non-material) the writers (material and non-material) of the Bible to write His words (material scrolls, ink etc.).

Therefore, according to your argument, it appears to me that you "know" Mike in a very similar way as we "know" and have "faith" in God.

#22 Mike Summers

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Posted 15 January 2011 - 11:16 AM

Exactly! :lol:

#23 Mike Summers

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Posted 15 January 2011 - 12:12 PM

HI Again Philosophik

Memory can be a tricky thing, and false memory does indeed pose problems, however it is not hard for the average person to discern the difference between a false memory of a friends existence and a real memory of a friends existence. For example, if you have your mother over for dinner and then she leaves is remembering the experience you just had a false memory or a real one. The moment she leaves your presence do you immediately transition from knowing she exists into believing that she did. I don't, but I guess you can be skeptical about whether or not you really shared that experience with a real person.

There is also amnesia.
Now see I would say that memory is almost completely based on faith.

I beg to differ. Communication whether it be with yourself or others is a learned behavior. And you can't learn how to communicate unless you experience the actual process through observation. Ask yourself how someone who has never learned a language, or experienced any sensation via the five senses would be able to develop a sense of self in which they could actually formulate a meaningful inner monologue. As a biological being, if you don't know what symbols are you can't use them to represent information when you think. Furthermore, if you have never actually experienced incoming information due to sensory deprivation, how would you know what information is?


I don’t disagree with you here. Once a certain level of learning takes place we becom autonomous is what I am saying. We then become able to communicate with ourselves without using code aural or visual. You might try reading this paragraph to yourself without verbalizing it. You would “hear” what I would call “phantom sound” but not detect that sound through the ears.

While I'll agree that not all information comes through the five senses, one needs a solid data base of information collected by the five senses in order to discover information that transcends observation.

100% agreement

As far as truth is concerned, I think the veracity of any truth claim requires more than simply making a decision to create it in your mind. Therefore, truth to me is more complex than me making a decision to create it in my mind.


Ultimately the decision to view anything as truth is a decision you make in your mind. You may form an agreement with others if you “buy” an idea from them or sell it to them. That’s what evos have done with evolution and atheism--formed agreements among themselves as to its truth.


Why do you insist that I need faith that you exist? I don't have faith in your existence, I know you exist otherwise I would not be having a discussion with you. I'm not denying that it is possible that a being exists that you consider god (depending on what you consider god of course), lot's of thing are possible but it doesn't mean they are real. And the true nature of other real beings may or may not be what you think it is, it's possible they could deceive you into believing they are what they want you to think they are.


We have been over this in a manner of speaking. However, let me remind you that, the minute you lose my or any live data stream of me or others coming through the five senses you are going on faith. If you talked or saw me 29 minutes ago, I could have had a heart attack and died since them. As of this writing I am still here. sorry faith is such a "bad" word to you.


We don't observe our thinking emotions, we experience them directly. Excluding CAT scans and other technologies that are used to detect our inner workings of course, which I assume is not what you were alluding to.

Actually we do both. “Boy was I angry!” That’s called thinking about your thinking and observing you had an emotion.

[

Of course I know people die. And observing someone die is not observing non-existence. You are witnessing an actual event that exists. When someone dies their body doesn't just disappear taking everything in existence with it into oblivion eliminating existence altogether allowing you to observe non-existence. That doesn't even make sense. When someone dies it does not change the fact that the only thing you can observe is existence itself. You don't observe the non-existence of George Washington, you observe a world that exists without him therefore deducing that he does not exist.


I call this mental gynastics. You know very well what I mean. This effort is an atempt at political correctness. So what were you doing three hundred years ago? Since you said you were created less than 50 yeas ago—nothing. You have to think to be alive and human. Ok Thinking involves observing .

#24 Bex

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Posted 15 January 2011 - 05:10 PM

YES, finally a christian has the guts to say it. Our existence is not dependent on god.


It's not really about being gutsy, or cool, or telling somebody what they want to hear, it's about being accurate/faithful according to our beliefs. The above statement goes against that completely.

If God brought into existence the entire universe/earth by His word/power, and the laws that govern it, and life upon it, then such is therefore sustained by Him. It makes no sense to imagine we can exist without the source of all existence. It would be like saying "I don't need oxygen". The provider of all that we require to exist, if He were to withdraw completely, all things would likewise fall apart.

#25 Mike Summers

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Posted 15 January 2011 - 06:29 PM

It's not really about being gutsy, or cool, or telling somebody what they want to hear, it's about being accurate/faithful according to our beliefs.   The above statement goes against that completely.

If God brought into existence the entire universe/earth by His word/power, and the laws that govern it, and life upon it, then such is therefore sustained by Him.  It makes no sense to imagine we can exist without the source of all existence.  It would be like saying "I don't need oxygen".  The provider of all that we require to exist, if He were to withdraw completely, all things would likewise fall apart.

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I did not mean it in the sense that Philosophik took it to mean. I meant it in the sense that God makes His sun to shine on the just and unjust. In God we live, exist and have our being. What I meant to do is accept a being that God created whether that being acknowledges God or not. Sorry for any confusion. I noted his quip but basically ignored it until now. I also noticed his disrespect for God by "refusing" to captalize God's name. I think that is a bit tacky too.
Thanks bro for pointin my error out. :lol:

#26 Bex

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Posted 15 January 2011 - 08:02 PM

I did not mean it in the sense that Philosophik took it to mean. I meant it in the sense that God makes His sun to shine on the just and unjust. In God we live, exist and have our being. What I meant to do is accept a being that God created whether that being acknowledges God or not. Sorry for any confusion. I noted his quip but basically ignored it until now. I also noticed his disrespect for God by "refusing"  to captalize God's name. I think that is a bit tacky too.
Thanks bro for pointin my error out. :lol:

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It's ok Mike, I had a feeling you didn't mean it that way. Evidentally your statement was misinterpreted and mistated and I'm sure most people could see that :lol:

And yes, you are right. We exist regardless of whether we acknowledge our maker or not. Indeed, the sun and the rain shine/pour on both the believers and unbelievers alike. Thanks for clarifying further though!

Yes, I noted the ommission of captilising God's name too. But one always hopes that oneday those who don't believe or are anti will have a change of heart and come to know Him.

#27 philosophik

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Posted 18 January 2011 - 12:11 AM

Interesting argument.  I would like to challenge it a little.

You "know' Mike exists rather than you have "faith" that Mike exists.  Ok, I "know" Mike exists also, but it is by "faith" that I know this.

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If you need faith to know that something exists, I have to ask if there is even any meaning in saying that you "know" that the thing exists? My understanding of the two concepts is that once you know something exists, the use of faith is no longer needed when discussing that things existence.

I have never met, seen, touched, etc. Mike.  The evidence I have that Mike exist is this:  I exist, and am intelligent. (somewhat anyway) and I can communicate to others by these words on the screen.  These words on the screen are physical.  Yet the process of me transmitting my thoughts to you requires both the material and the immaterial.  My thoughts get to you through intelligent use of EMR (electro magnetic radiation, i.e. light).  now light is physical, yet not material.

So you "know" that Mike exists, because of both material and non-material transmission of Mike's thoughts to you.  I agree.

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Right, I know Mike exists as a sentient entity outside my own subjective awareness because I am having an intelligent discourse with him. I can't claim , however, to know of any of his qualities as they relate to how he is able to manifest his sentience. He may or may not be what he says he is, and until I personally experience his presence all I know for sure is that he exists as a sentient entity.

Now lets just examine for a minute how we Christians perceive God.  He is intelligent and He is immaterial.  You should have no problem understanding the existense of the non-material.  Gravity is also non-material.  God has chosen to communicate with us just like Mike is doing to you.  He does this both in material and non-material ways.  He inspired (non-material) the writers (material and non-material) of the Bible to write His words (material scrolls, ink etc.). 

Therefore, according to your argument, it appears to me that you "know" Mike in a very similar way as we "know" and have "faith" in  God.

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Sorry but I fail to see the similarities. I know Mike exist because I am communicating with him directly. In order to say that I know Mike in a similar way as Christians know their god, a new scenario would be needed. Now if I was communicating with a person who said he was not Mike, yet was delivering Mike's message to me, then we would be in the same boat concerning our entities in question. In this scenario, I do not know whether or not Mike exists at all, all I know is that there exists someone who says he does. At this point, if I really wanted Mike to exist then I would need faith that he does.

#28 Mike Summers

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Posted 18 January 2011 - 01:09 AM

If you need faith to know that something exists, I have to ask if there is even any meaning in saying that you "know" that the thing exists? My understanding of the two concepts is that once you know something exists, the use of faith is no longer needed when discussing that things existence.
Right, I know Mike exists as a sentient entity outside my own subjective awareness because I am having an intelligent discourse with him. I can't claim , however, to know of any of his qualities as they relate to how he is able to manifest his sentience. He may or may not be what he says he is, and until I personally experience his presence all I know for sure is that he exists as a sentient entity.
Sorry but I fail to see the similarities. I know Mike exist because I am communicating with him directly. In order to say that I know Mike in a similar way as Christians know their god, a new scenario would be needed. Now if I was communicating with a person who said he was not Mike, yet was delivering Mike's message to me, then we would be in the same boat concerning our entities in question. In this scenario, I do not know whether or not Mike exists at all, all I know is that there exists someone who says he does. At this point, if I really wanted Mike to exist then I would need faith that he does.

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To continue to believe I exist after we leave each other’s presence requires faith (memory) as I could currently be dead. All information about me is a memory after we part company. I am being generated by your minds play back capacity. Thanks for that. But then you created me anyway (just like I created you in my mind). Good thing I am not an atheist when it comes to you. Like they used to say in the old days of TV, “Some of today’s programs are mechanically reproduced.” I am a recording. Oh no! :D

#29 philosophik

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Posted 18 January 2011 - 01:44 AM

Ultimately the decision to view anything as truth is a decision you make in your mind. You may form an agreement with others if you “buy” an idea  from them or sell it to  them. That’s what evos have done with evolution  and atheism--formed agreements among themselves  as to its truth.

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In a universe in which a sentient being's (such as ourselves) primary mode of knowing is through dualistic awareness, there exists two types of truth--subjective truth and objective truth. Objective truth is true for everyone and cannot be changed regardless if someone decides to view it as truth or not; whereas subjective truth is true for the individual and does not necessarily carry any truth-value with another being.

Atheism and theism fall into the category of subjective truth. Atheism is true for me while theism is true for you. You might ask how both can be true at the same time? Let me explain. To use an analogy, we both look at the divine like we are both looking at that famous duck-rabbit picture, you know the one where if you look at it one way it is a rabbit, and if you look at it another way it is a duck. You have decided to personify the divine and understand it as existing as a being outside yourself with ultimate power and infinite knowledge, thus creating the notion of a god. Whereas, I look at the divine and have concluded that it is not one being that is in control, but rather the divine is in all beings and things that exist, with no one entity being more divine than the other.

To simplify it, what you call a god, I call reality as consciousness. Reality as consciousness is omnipresent, omnipotent and omniscient but does not have it's own subjective awareness, it is the essence from which everything can exist. Ultimately we are looking at the same thing, you just see a duck and I see a rabbit. So who is right? Paradoxically both of us partially are, yet neither of us truly are. What it is, is beyond any conception that we may have of it, and far more profound than any description we may use to describe it. And the only way to truly know it is by transcending the ego and realizing that you can reconnect with it.

We have been over this in a manner of speaking. However, let me remind you that, the minute you lose my or any live  data stream of me or others coming through the five senses you are going on faith.  If you talked  or saw me 29 minutes ago, I could have had a heart attack and died since them.  As of this writing I am still here. sorry faith is such a "bad" word to you.

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Faith to me means that you have a deep hope and profound yearning that you will have a particular experience that has yet to happen. In that context I don't have faith that you exist once you leave my presence. I think a better word to use in your example is assume. I assume you exist once you leave my presence based on past experiences. To use faith in your example dilutes the meaning of the word and it loses any substance that the word may carry, in my opinion. A better use of the word faith would be as follows; I have faith that a cure for cancer exists. Do I know one exists? No I don't. Do I assume one does? No I don't. But I really hope that one does.

I think the problem here is that you are conflating the epistemological approach to metaphysics with the epistemological approach to physics and claiming that both approaches are the same when determining ontology. I am suggesting that both approaches are not the same.


I call this mental gynastics. You know very well what I mean. This effort is an atempt at political correctness.  So what were you doing three hundred years ago?  Since you said you were created less than 50 yeas ago—nothing. You have to think to be alive and human. Ok  Thinking involves observing .

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I'm not sure what this has to do with your claim that you can observe non-existence. I'm not performing any mental gymnastics here, it's a plain and simple fact that you can't observe non-existence because it doesn't exist for you to be able to observe it. It is not a matter of political correctness, it is a matter of impossibility.

#30 philosophik

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Posted 18 January 2011 - 01:51 AM

I did not mean it in the sense that Philosophik took it to mean. I meant it in the sense that God makes His sun to shine on the just and unjust. In God we live, exist and have our being. What I meant to do is accept a being that God created whether that being acknowledges God or not. Sorry for any confusion. I noted his quip but basically ignored it until now. I also noticed his disrespect for God by "refusing"  to captalize God's name. I think that is a bit tacky too.
Thanks bro for pointin my error out. :D

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Sorry, I did take it the wrong way, but that's because the way you said it. I did not mean any disrespect but you must realize that I don't view the word god as a proper noun. To me the word represents an idea, if you want to personify it and give it a name like Jehova, Allah, Jah, Yaweh, or Elohim then naturally I will capitalize the name. Unless you are suggesting the name of your god is God. In which case I will capitalize it when I discuss your god with you.

#31 Mike Summers

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Posted 18 January 2011 - 03:21 AM

In a universe in which a sentient being's (such as ourselves) primary mode of knowing is through dualistic awareness, there exists two types of truth--subjective truth and objective truth. Objective truth is true for everyone and cannot be changed regardless if someone decides to view it as truth or not; whereas subjective truth is true for the individual and does not necessarily carry any truth-value with another being.           
Atheism and theism fall into the category of subjective truth. Atheism is true for me while theism is true for you. You might ask how both can be true at the same time? Let me explain. To use an analogy, we both look at the divine like we are both looking at that famous duck-rabbit picture, you know the one where if you look at it one way it is a rabbit, and if you look at it another way it is a duck. You have decided to personify the divine and understand it as existing as a being outside yourself with ultimate power and infinite knowledge, thus creating the notion of a god. Whereas, I look at the divine and have concluded that it is not one being that is in control, but rather the divine is in all beings and things that exist, with no one entity being more divine than the other. 


Where did you get these definitions and how have you overlooked the component of time? There is a third position at least. For example in 1965 the cell phone was non falsifiable but in it 2011 is. All I have to do is show you one cell phone. The point is because of the component of time what was not true in the past may be true in the present but may not be true in the future. Therefore, subjective and objective truth fall prey to the time component. They like most things are “true” based upon other conditions—faith among them. There is what we call creativity. Creativity by definition is to bring something into existence that did not exist before. You do believe in creativity? I mean it is generally accepted that Edison created the first practical electrical light bulb as Alexander Bell the phone?

To simplify it, what you call a god, I call reality as consciousness. Reality as consciousness is omnipresent, omnipotent and omniscient but does not have it's own subjective awareness, it is the essence from which everything can exist. Ultimately we are looking at the same thing, you just see a duck and I see a rabbit. So who is right? Paradoxically both of us partially are, yet neither of us truly are. What it is, is beyond any conception that we may have of it, and far more profound than any description we may use to describe it. And the only way to truly know it is by transcending the ego and realizing that you can reconnect with it.


What you have done here is to describe the essence of God without a personality. Since you did have a beginning to assume all entities had a beginning would be infinite regression which seems illogical as it would be infinite and thus qualify as a characteristic of a God being. Most accept a first cause although create whatever you choose. The idea is that something always had to exist.

Faith to me means that you have a deep hope and profound yearning that you will have a particular experience that has yet to happen. In that context I don't have faith that you exist once you leave my presence. I think a better word to use in your example is assume. I assume you exist once you leave my presence based on past experiences. To use faith in your example dilutes the meaning of the word and it loses any substance that the word may carry, in my opinion. A better use of the word faith would be as follows; I have faith that a cure for cancer exists. Do I know one exists? No I don't. Do I assume one does? No I don't. But I really hope that one does.

Oh come on give up the point! Assume is faith by another name. Are you saying you believe in the metaphysical?

I'm not sure what this has to do with your claim that you can observe non-existence. I'm not performing any mental gymnastics here, it's a plain and simple fact that you can't observe non-existence because it doesn't exist for you to be able to observe it. It is not a matter of political correctness, it is a matter of impossibility.


I observe that my mother no longer exists. Or as when your car gets stolen it no longer exists where you want it to and you observe and say, "It's gone!" You know observing that kind of non existence! I believe all things are possible though not always probable. Remember Dawkins’ “ Climbing mount improbable?” Did I assume wrongly that you believe in evolution?

#32 Mike Summers

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Posted 18 January 2011 - 07:37 PM

Sorry, I did take it the wrong way, but that's because the way you said it. I did not mean any disrespect but you must realize that I don't view the word god as a proper noun. To me the word represents an idea, if you want to personify it and give it a name like Jehova, Allah, Jah, Yaweh, or Elohim then naturally I will capitalize the name. Unless you are suggesting the name of your god is God. In which case I will capitalize it when I discuss your god with you.

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You are capable of detecting nuance level meaning and you have observed the usage of the letters God in my post as well as other “Christians” on this site. It does not take a brain surgeon to figure this out. What I would have “appreciated” is that you had been thoughtful enough to catch this slight. I am not going to die on this hill because it’s much ado about nothing.

Here is one thing I wish you to consider. This is not about God or His existence but is about how we individually treat each other over the things we create. Evo science are arrogant from my point of view because they created the idea that we evolved and that’s think it's the truth. I as a Christian created the idea that we were createf because I am creative. But evo science will not acquiesce equality but insist that they do not create like me but observe absolute truth. We evolved and while they claim anything is possible, they claim we could not have been created. That effectively makes them a god they say can’t exist.


The hypocrisy of such a position is untenable to most thinking individual. There is a lot of food for thought in the previous statement. God to Christians is synonymous with ideas that it is wrong to lie steal cheat murder etc. What values is atheism connected to? That’s where the questioning of atheism is aimed. Atheists are among the most mis-trusted groups in our country because of the perception that anything is acceptable when it comes down to survival—which is mostly never an issue today. Your thoughts?

#33 performedge

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Posted 19 January 2011 - 09:36 AM

If you need faith to know that something exists, I have to ask if there is even any meaning in saying that you "know" that the thing exists? My understanding of the two concepts is that once you know something exists, the use of faith is no longer needed when discussing that things existence.

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This is because you falsely believe that faith doesn't require evidence. The TOE has alot of evidence. I disagree with the interpretation of much of it, but the theory says that all living creatures evolved from a common ancestor. If you believe this, or know it to be true, then you believe it on faith. You cannot observe this in the present. You cannot test it in the present. So you must believe it in faith based on the evidence.

Right, I know Mike exists as a sentient entity outside my own subjective awareness because I am having an intelligent discourse with him.


This is exactly how we know and have faith in God. We have intelligent discourse with Him in prayer, and through the revelation of His word to us.

Sorry but I fail to see the similarities. I know Mike exist because I am communicating with him directly. In order to say that I know Mike in a similar way as Christians know their god, a new scenario would be needed.


By directly you mean your brain is processing information delivered to you from Mike via immaterial words on a screen. God communicated to us by His words on the pages of a book. Enlighten me now on the difference.


Now if I was communicating with a person who said he was not Mike, yet was delivering Mike's message to me, then we would be in the same boat concerning our entities in question. In this scenario, I do not know whether or not Mike exists at all, all I know is that there exists someone who says he does. At this point, if I really wanted Mike to exist then I would need faith that he does.


No, because even now you do not know for sure that Mike is delivering those messages to you. You know it by your faith that he indeed is Mike. In both scenarios, you need faith.

#34 Mike Summers

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Posted 19 January 2011 - 03:52 PM

This is because you falsely believe that faith doesn't require evidence.  The TOE has alot of evidence.  I disagree with the interpretation of much of it, but the theory says that all living creatures evolved from a common ancestor.  If you believe this, or know it to be true, then you believe it on faith.  You cannot observe this in the present.  You cannot test it in the present.  So you must believe it in faith based on the evidence.
This is exactly how we know and have faith in God.  We have intelligent discourse with Him in prayer, and through the revelation of His word to us.
By directly you mean your brain is processing information delivered to you from Mike via immaterial words on a screen.  God communicated to us by His words on the pages of a book.  Enlighten me now on the difference.
No, because even now you do not know for sure that Mike is delivering those messages to you.  You know it by your faith that he indeed is Mike.  In both scenarios, you need faith.

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Though Performedge and I are separate beings, I will say this; His logic circuits led him to the same conclusion mine led me to. Even Shakespeare agrees with us—“A rose by any other name would smell the same.”
Faith, assume, belief whatever is still faith at its core meaning. If you don’t accept that, perhaps you may wish to observe someone with Alzheimer’s that is losing their ability to remember and have “faith” in what they and others once did and said. That’s how important “faith” (memory) is to us. It is one reason God says, “The just shall live by faith.”

#35 philosophik

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Posted 20 January 2011 - 12:48 AM

Where did you get these definitions   and  how have you overlooked the component of time?  There is a third position at least. For example in 1965 the cell phone was non falsifiable but in  it 2011 is. All I have to do is show you one cell phone.  The point is because of the component of time what was not true in the past may be true in the present but may not be true in the future. Therefore, subjective and objective truth fall prey to the time component. They like most things are “true”  based upon other conditions—faith among them. There is  what we call creativity.  Creativity by definition is to bring something into existence that did not exist before.  You do believe in creativity? I mean it is generally accepted that Edison created the first practical electrical light bulb as Alexander Bell the phone?

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Where did you get the idea that objective truth must be fixed? Objective truth is simply a claim that accurately reflects the universe's current state of affairs. To use your cell phone example, in 1965 if someone said “cell phones don't exist on this planet“ that claim would be an objective truth. Does that mean that that will always be the case? No, it doesn't. The moment cell phones are invented it is no longer objectively true that they don't exist. If I make the claim today that cell phones exist, that is an objective truth and faith is not needed to substantiate that claim because I own a cell phone.

As for subjective truth, it is true in a similar fashion. For example, if I say “pizza is my favorite food,“ that claim is subjectively true. Does that mean the claim itself is true for everyone? No, it doesn't. Does that mean it will always be true for me? No, it doesn't. But at the time I make the claim it accurately reflects my personal preference and thus is a true statement. No faith needed.

What you have done here is to describe the essence of God without a personality. Since you did have a beginning to assume all entities had a beginning would be infinite regression which seems illogical as it would be infinite and thus qualify as a characteristic of a God being. Most accept a first cause although create whatever you choose. The idea is  that something always had to exist.

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Your right, the idea is that something has always existed and I say that thing is reality. Reality does not have a personality, but it contains all personalities. The qualities which you characterize as god qualities are applicable to reality. Reality is omnipresent because it is everywhere in existence. Reality is omnipotent because it has the capacity to realize all possible states of being with no restrictions. Reality is omniscient because it contains all information, knowledge, and wisdom.

As far as causes and beginnings are concerned, those concepts are applicable to events within the universe but do not necessarily apply to the universe as a whole. Linear causality is a rule that exist within the system of the universe. The larger system in which the universe exists does not have to abide by the same rules; the concepts of causes and beginnings may or may not hold meaning in the larger system. To assume that they do is to deny the fact that one is ignorant to the mechanics of the larger system in which our limited understanding of reality is not sufficient enough to fathom something that is beyond our understanding, which is confined to the knowledge we acquire from within the smaller system. In other words, the universe is a sub-set of a larger super-set, and the super-set cannot be understood from the perspective of the sub-set because there is no way to explain something in which we have absolutely no way of objectively understanding how it exists. So to say the universe had a beginning and thus necessitates a first cause may make sense from a perspective within the universe, however it does not mean that that is the case from a perspective outside the universe within the larger system. We don't know if the universe had a beginning or not, all we know is that from the perspective of a being within the universe, it appears that it does.

Oh come on give up the point!  Assume is faith by another name. Are you saying you believe in the metaphysical?

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Well therein lies the problem, Mike. If you want to claim that the words 'assume' and 'faith' are synonymous, you are free to do so. However, I do not agree and I am pretty sure no English thesaurus will either. If you can find one I would love to see it. And yes, I assume that the metaphysical exists based on deductive reasoning.

I observe that my mother no longer exists. Or as when your car gets stolen it no longer exists where you want it to and you observe and say, "It's gone!" You know observing that kind of non existence! I believe all things are possible though not always probable. Remember Dawkins’ “ Climbing mount improbable?”  Did I assume wrongly that  you believe in evolution?

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To say “I observe my mother's non-existence” is not the same as saying “I don't observe my mother existing.” The first claim is impossible wheres the latter is not. If you can't tell the distinction between the two, then I don't know what else to tell you. And no, you did not assume wrong, I agree with evolution.

#36 philosophik

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Posted 20 January 2011 - 01:22 AM

You are capable of detecting  nuance level meaning and you have observed the usage of the letters God in my post as well as other “Christians” on this site. It does not take a brain surgeon to figure this out.  What I would have “appreciated” is that you had been thoughtful enough to catch this slight. I am not going to die on this hill because it’s much ado about nothing.

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Your right I did notice, however that does not require me to agree. If I decided to start capitalizing atheism because I thought it was a superior view would you follow suit? It makes sense for you and your fellow Christians to capitalize the word because you are talking about your God. It makes sense for me not to capitalize the word because I am not talking about any god in particular. I am speaking in generalities.

Here is one thing I wish you to consider.  This is not about God or His existence but is about how we individually treat each other over the things we create. Evo science are arrogant from my point of view because they created the idea that we evolved and that’s think it's  the truth. I as a Christian created the idea that we were createf because I am creative. But evo science will not acquiesce equality but  insist that they do not create like me but observe absolute truth. We evolved and while they claim anything is possible,  they claim we could not have been created. That effectively makes them a god they say can’t exist.

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If disagreeing with someone makes that person arrogant, then you are equally guilty. Scientist take data and make inferences about phenomenon that can't be observed directly, based on the available information. Scientist and myself have concluded, based on our interpretation of the data, that evolution makes the most sense. Because our idea of what is true conflicts with yours, it doesn't mean anything more than the fact that we just plainly don't agree with you. That doesn't make us think we are a god, as you suggest, it just means we have no need for one to explain why things are the way they are.


The hypocrisy of such a position is untenable to most thinking individual.   There is a lot of food for thought in the previous statement. God to Christians is synonymous with ideas that it is wrong to lie steal cheat murder etc. What values is  atheism connected to? That’s where the questioning of atheism is aimed. Atheists are among the most mis-trusted groups in our country because of the perception that anything is acceptable when it comes down to survival—which is mostly never an issue today.  Your thoughts?

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It baffles me to no end that Christians make this argument. Atheism as an ideology does not purport to contain any moral code of conduct for proper living. Why you attack it on that point makes no sense. It's tantamount to blaming mathematics for not providing any moral code to a mathematician who commits murder. Mathematics and atheism are not meant to be grounds for a moral foundation, so to claim that immorality is a result of atheism is ludicrous.

#37 philosophik

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Posted 20 January 2011 - 01:56 AM

This is because you falsely believe that faith doesn't require evidence.  The TOE has alot of evidence.  I disagree with the interpretation of much of it, but the theory says that all living creatures evolved from a common ancestor.  If you believe this, or know it to be true, then you believe it on faith.  You cannot observe this in the present.  You cannot test it in the present.  So you must believe it in faith based on the evidence.

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I think the crux of our disagreement hinges on our definition of faith and when it's appropriate to use the word. It appears that our understanding of the word is fundamentally different, and until we reconcile the meaning of the word I don't see us getting anywhere with this discussion.

This is exactly how we know and have faith in God.  We have intelligent discourse with Him in prayer, and through the revelation of His word to us.

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I don't deny that you communicate with something that you believe to be a god. However, because a being says he is a god, it doesn't mean it is so. I have no doubt that many beings exist who consider themselves a god, and in doing so have convinced others that it is true.


By directly you mean your brain is processing information delivered to you from Mike via immaterial words on a screen.  God communicated to us by His words on the pages of a book.  Enlighten me now on the difference.

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The difference is Mike as a sentient entity is speaking with me in the first person. That is to say Mike is not delivering another beings message, but is delivering his own. Whereas, authors of the bible are delivering the message of another being who they claim is using them as an intermediate. All I can be sure of in both cases is that there exists a being who claims to be Mike and is delivering his own message, and there existed beings that claim not to be God, but are delivering His message. Whether the particular being that they call God exists or not, can not be verified in the same manner in which I can verify Mikes existence, and the existence of the authors of the bible.

No, because even now you do not know for sure that Mike is delivering those messages to you.  You know it by your faith that he indeed is Mike.  In both scenarios, you need faith.

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I know an intelligent entity exists which claims to be Mike, no faith is needed to determine that this entity is real. Whether or not he is indeed Mike, is of little consequence when determining that a sentient being in which I am communicating with does indeed exist. If I had a profound hope that this being is indeed called Mike, and his true identity is not that of some other name, then I would need faith he is really Mike. But I don't care what his name really is, so I don't need faith regarding anything about Mike.

#38 Mike Summers

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Posted 20 January 2011 - 02:22 AM

Your right I did notice, however that does not require me to agree. If I decided to start capitalizing atheism because I thought it was a superior view would you follow suit? It makes sense for you and your fellow Christians to capitalize the word because you are talking about your God. It makes sense for me not to capitalize the word because I am not talking about any god in particular. I am speaking in generalities.

Touche

If disagreeing with someone makes that person arrogant, then you are equally guilty. Scientist take data and make inferences about phenomenon that can't be observed directly, based on the available information. Scientist and myself have concluded, based on our interpretation of the data, that evolution makes the most sense. Because our idea of what is true conflicts with yours, it doesn't mean anything more than the fact that we just plainly don't agree with you. That doesn't make us think we are a god, as you suggest, it just means we have no need for one to explain why things are the way they are.


What you are saying would be right were it not for evo science’s desire to make it enforceable that they alone have the right to the concept of science and exclude by force and law any other opinion. Sure you have the right to believe what you want. It becomes arrogant when evo science think they have to become the thought police and force their ways on others. We had one dark ages we don’t need another. All of us are capable of deciding for ourselves what “truth” is. My idea is to present both sides and let people decide.

It baffles me to no end that Christians make this argument. Atheism as an ideology does not purport to contain any moral code of conduct for proper living. Why you attack it on that point makes no sense. It's tantamount to blaming mathematics for not providing any moral code to a mathematician who commits murder. Mathematics and atheism are not meant to be grounds for a moral foundation, so to claim that immorality is a result of atheism is ludicrous.


The fact is I live in Detroit which is not the worse city in the world but crime is high. I have had five cars stone since I have been here. This is as about as close as I wish to get to survival of the fittest. I do not expect morality of atheists that’s the point. Some people believe they have to steal to survive. 96% of people in jail are there because they felt that moral laws applied to others but not them. In a sense their acts were atheistic certainly not theistic. Maybe you would be better off just describing yourself as a human and skip the label atheist. Since you do not believe in God there is no reason for you to have to be the repository of truth.

#39 philosophik

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Posted 20 January 2011 - 03:24 AM

Touche

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Thank you.

What you are saying would be right were it not for evo science’s desire to make it enforceable that they alone have the right to the concept of science and exclude by force and law any other opinion. Sure you have the right to believe what you want.  It becomes arrogant when evo science think they have to become the thought police and force their ways on others. We had one dark ages we don’t need another. All of us are capable of deciding for ourselves what “truth” is. My idea is to present both sides and let people decide.

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The irony, Mike, is that both camps are equally guilty themselves of what they condemn the other camp for doing. I fully agree with you, in order for any one to make an informed decision they should give equal weight to all positions. I truly think that information about creationism and evolutionary theory are equally available to the average person. If you ask the average person which they think is correct, I don't think you will need to explain what each position proclaims is the case. Most people know, and those who have made up their mind seem to view the other side as always trying to force feed their view. But because some people in both camps are guilty of doing so, it doesn't mean that everyone is.


The fact is I live in Detroit which is not the worse city  in the world but crime is high. I have had five cars stone since I have been here. This is as about as close as I wish to get to survival of the fittest. I do not expect morality of atheists that’s the point. Some people believe they have to steal to survive.  96% of people in jail are there because they  felt that moral laws applied to others but not them. In a sense their acts were atheistic certainly not theistic. Maybe you would be better off just describing yourself as a human and skip the label atheist. Since you do not believe in God there is no reason for you to have to be the repository of truth.

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I think it is a little short sided not to expect morality from someone simply because they are atheist. Even more so to suggest that the acts of people in jail were atheistic and certainly not theistic. I don't think that's a fair assessment of morality. The acts of people in jail are immoral, and immorality knows no creed. I guarantee you that in our prison system you will find atheist and theist alike.

I call myself an atheist because I don't believe any being is a god. The way I look at it is that there are beings whose consciousness is more evolved than others, or in other words, that there exists beings whose spiritual growth is more advanced than others, and that's it. The more spiritually advanced beings are not gods to the lesser advanced beings, they are just more mature and wise in their understanding of reality.

#40 Mike Summers

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Posted 20 January 2011 - 05:43 AM

Thank you.
The irony, Mike, is that both camps are equally guilty themselves of what they condemn the other camp for doing. I fully agree with you, in order for any one to make an informed decision they should give equal weight to all positions. I truly think that information about creationism and evolutionary theory are equally available to the average person. If you ask the average person which they think is correct, I don't think you will need to explain what each position proclaims is the case. Most people know, and those who have made up their mind seem to view the other side as always trying to force feed their view. But because some people in both camps are guilty of doing so, it doesn't mean that everyone is.
I think it is a little short sided not to expect morality from someone simply because they are atheist. Even more so to suggest that the acts of people in jail were atheistic and certainly not theistic. I don't think that's a fair assessment of morality. The acts of people in jail are immoral, and immorality knows no creed. I guarantee you that in our prison system you will find atheist and theist alike.

I call myself an atheist because I don't believe any being is a god. The way I look at it is that there are beings whose consciousness is more evolved than others, or in other words, that there exists beings whose spiritual growth is more advanced than others, and that's it. The more spiritually advanced beings are not gods to the lesser advanced beings, they are just more mature and wise in their understanding of reality.

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I agree with your assement about both sides.


What about your personal morlity? I am curious. Do you think it is wrong to lie, steal, cheat murder or indulge in gratuious violence? Or is survival a reason to circumvent such rules? Would you rather live in an all atheist country?




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