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Religion
08-26-2012, 09:07 PM (This post was last modified: 08-26-2012 09:14 PM by TheHawk.)
Post: #21
RE: Religion
I apparently did miss the question. I will address it, but I will clear up a few other points first.

When I mentioned the Christian God, I was more or less referring to the fact that most of my problems with religion came from the Christian God. I personally view Christianity as little more than a sect of Judaism that developed unique beliefs. I view Judaism, Christianity and Islam with relatively the same credibility. Though I am aware of the drastic differences between the three and their various subsets. The Christian teachings are the type that I gravitated towards and more closely align with.

I do have a fondness for Buddhism as well, oddly enough.

I did not believe in a God as a child, it is a belief that I gained in more recent years. My wall of text did not accurately portray that I suppose. I was told that there was one but did not put much stock in it other than viewing them as interesting stories. In doing theological research, I was honestly looking for more reasons to disprove the existence of a deity.


(08-26-2012 07:34 PM)1KidsEntertainment Wrote:  What evidence makes you believe in a God? And from there, how do you jump to the Christian God?

Call me converted if anyone can provide me with actual evidence. I'd rather admit I'm wrong than BE wrong.


My friend, you have hit upon the greatest flaw in religion, and the one that jaded me the most towards it in my time of disbelief. There is no definite proof that there is a God, or Gods, nor is there definite proof that there is not a God.

The only thing remotely close to evidence that I have to offer is personal experience, and all of that could be credited to multiple things, be it chance, karma, causality etc.

I could point to various things in the natural world, but those could just as easily be explained by evolution. Evolution is a theory of which I am a believer, I don't see any reason why it could not exist alongside my theological beliefs.

There are countless arguments that have been made towards the existence of God, and I would be doing them an injustice in trying to briefly explain them. I also suspect that you are familiar with most of the arguments that I would point to as well.

One of my favorites is the solutions that Thomas Aquinas offers. (prepare for a comically butchered summary of complex philosophy)

He looks at the existence of a deity in terms of cause and effect that relate to infinite regression and causality. We know that the universe is in motion and that motion had a starting point. But what caused the start? There had to be something to cause the motion (I will use the Big Bang Theory), but there had to be a cause for the Big Bang, and something to cause that cause. Aquinas posits that instead of an infinite series of causes and effects, with no definite beginning to this chain in sight, that there had to be an origin for this series of events. He believed that God was the start as God is something that was not created and is eternal. We know from the law of conservation of energy that there is a set amount of energy in the universe and that energy is neither created nor destroyed, though it can of course take different forms. Where is the source of this energy? Where did the energy of the universe come from? It is entirely possible that the source of energy comes from a theological, tying into Aquinas' theory of a first cause to the creation of the universe.

Of course, the obvious argument against this theory is the oldest argument "What created God?" The traditional theological answer is the same one that Aquinas argues, that God has always existed.
I do like this theory, though I admit, and just pointed out, that it has flaws. Dawkins is a harsh critic of these theories, as his book the God Delusion states. Though after reading it, I found that Dawkins simplifies the various theories that Aquinas suggests in extremely simplistic terms and disregards much of the argument that Aquinas makes and reworks it so that he is basically arguing against a straw man. I still find some of Dawkins' discourse on religion to be brilliant, even if I find fault with it or disagree with it. I do agree with Dawkins in that organized religion has, at times, been dangerous to the development of society.

I still feel that Aquinas' solution is a credible answer, but like all attempts to answer this question, there is no definitive evidence one way or the other.


I honestly have a hard time believing that anyone is wrong in the argument of an existence of God. As mortals with a finite understanding of the universe with the resources available to us, we have no definite way of proving or disproving the existence of a god/s. There is an answer, either God/s exist or they don't. We have no physical evidence either way. It all comes down to a matter of personal belief. Though I do find credence in Aquinas' theories, as well as many other various theories that have been developed over time.

An interesting, though unusual theory, is that because man is able to understand and develop the concept of a greater being, there must be one to be the cause of this concept. I believe Descartes is the root of this theory.

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08-26-2012, 09:28 PM (This post was last modified: 08-26-2012 09:33 PM by 1KidsEntertainment.)
Post: #22
RE: Religion
(08-26-2012 09:07 PM)TheHawk Wrote:  He looks at the existence of a deity in terms of cause and effect that relate to infinite regression and causality. We know that the universe is in motion and that motion had a starting point. But what caused the start? There had to be something to cause the motion (I will use the Big Bang Theory), but there had to be a cause for the Big Bang, and something to cause that cause. Aquinas posits that instead of an infinite series of causes and effects, with no definite beginning to this chain in sight, that there had to be an origin for this series of events. He believed that God was the start as God is something that was not created and is eternal.

I can give you a much better demolishing than "What created God?" And it's also rather simple.

Okay. Read the section that I quoted. Let's say all of your initial statements are true (they are not, but I'll get into that soon).

You have yourself a mystery. A phenomena. Something which you can't explain.

Therefore God.

This is called "God of the Gaps", because it describes a God which exists only in the gaps of our (both individual and societal) intellectual capacity or knowledge base. One cannot assert God just because they do not know the answer. Just like how you can't assert aliens. Or unicorns. Or flying spaghetti monsters.

Furthermore, it plays up to confirmation bias (being predisposed to accept anything which supports a position which you already hold). Speaking of aliens, specifically, there were other cultures earlier in the Earth's history (and some small groups today) that DID believe in extraterrestrial life in the exact manner with which you have described "proof" for a god.

So yeah. "I don't know" = God is a massive logical misstep. One that is often overlooked by amateur religious apologists.

Now, furthermore, there ARE some possible problems with the things you presented before that. For instance, I dunno if you've heard this one, but there is a theory that time itself did not exist before the Big Bang. Gravity has an effect on time. This is proven. Therefore, under such incomprehensibly dense conditions, time itself might not have existed, or to use an incorrect layman's term, "moved".

In fact, several religious theologians have theorized something very similar: For instance, St. Augustine (though obviously without knowledge of the Big Bang) theorized that God created time along with the universe, therefore there was no such thing as "before" the creation of the universe. It's like asking why we aren't apes if we evolved from apes. It's a fallacious question.

However, you see a massive jump in assumptions here too. What evidence does he have to assume that it was God who made time, rather than some unknown factor? He has none. None other than the presupposition of God himself. God proves God? Circular reasoning.

Similar uses of logical jumps, circular logic, and confirmation bias (not to mention the fact that human brains are WIRED to infer consciousnesses when faced with the unknown), "personal experiences" often are no more than "I don't know" wrapped in a blanket of assumptions. I'd be interested to hear specifically what your experiences were.

As for the Descartes thing, I don't see how "there is consciousness, therefore a consciousness made that consciousness" aligns with believing in evolution, which is proof that consciousness can rise from simple organisms without consciousness over a long period of time. Add on top of that the problems of "Who created the first consciousness, and who created them, and who created them, and who created them, etc." brings even more confusion and flaws into the mix.

Chances are, if you're reading this, it's after reading a ridiculously long post by me, something harshly phrased or confrontational, and/or me being stupid. I want to apologize for my above post, and end this signature with a quote of wisdom to soothe your soul.

"Ho ho..hoho hoho..santa for the wondering thismust be a joke in your series!!!!!!!!!!!!!!1"
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[10:10:35 PM] Airrest (Eric): YOU WERE RIGHT ALL ALONG
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08-26-2012, 10:05 PM
Post: #23
RE: Religion
Let me first say that I know that there will likely be no definite resolution to this discussion, though I would like to say that I am thoroughly enjoying discussing this subject with someone who can actually bring logical theories to the discussion to back up his points.


(08-26-2012 09:28 PM)1KidsEntertainment Wrote:  Now, furthermore, there ARE some possible problems with the things you presented before that. For instance, I dunno if you've heard this one, but there is a theory that time itself did not exist before the Big Bang. Gravity has an effect on time. This is proven. Therefore, under such incomprehensibly dense conditions, time itself might not have existed, or to use an incorrect layman's term, "moved".

In fact, several religious theologians have theorized something very similar: For instance, St. Augustine (though obviously without knowledge of the Big Bang) theorized that God created time along with the universe, therefore there was no such thing as "before" the creation of the universe. It's like asking why we aren't apes if we evolved from apes. It's a fallacious question.

However, you see a massive jump in assumptions here too. What evidence does he have to assume that it was God who made time, rather than some unknown factor? He has none. None other than the presupposition of God himself. God proves God? Circular reasoning.

I have heard this theory before, and I honestly have misgivings towards it. The logic behind this concept feels as circular as the theory that time did not exist before God, therefore God created time.I am familiar with the fact that gravity does have an influence on time.
But as for gravity being so dense that time itself did not exist is credible theory, I honestly find it to be as fallacious as the theory that God was the first cause of movement in the universe.

(08-26-2012 09:28 PM)1KidsEntertainment Wrote:  Similar uses of logical jumps, circular logic, and confirmation bias (not to mention the fact that human brains are WIRED to infer consciousnesses when faced with the unknown), "personal experiences" often are no more than "I don't know" wrapped in a blanket of assumptions. I'd be interested to hear specifically what your experiences were.

You say that man is wired to infer consciousness when faced with the unknown. How does man know to infer consciousness into that which is unknown? Why do they pick that specific attribute to ascribe to it?

(08-26-2012 09:28 PM)1KidsEntertainment Wrote:  As for the Descartes thing, I don't see how "there is consciousness, therefore a consciousness made that consciousness" aligns with believing in evolution, which is proof that consciousness can rise from simple organisms without consciousness over a long period of time. Add on top of that the problems of "Who created the first consciousness, and who created them, and who created them, and who created them, etc." brings even more confusion and flaws into the mix.

I don't necessarily agree with the Descartes theory, I was mentioning it mainly because I found it interesting and amusing.

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08-26-2012, 10:32 PM
Post: #24
RE: Religion
(08-26-2012 10:05 PM)TheHawk Wrote:  Let me first say that I know that there will likely be no definite resolution to this discussion, though I would like to say that I am thoroughly enjoying discussing this subject with someone who can actually bring logical theories to the discussion to back up his points.

Same. I love this stuff. And like I said. It's a quest for truth. I'll convert in an instant if I'm presented with sound reasoning and evidence.

(08-26-2012 10:05 PM)TheHawk Wrote:  I have heard this theory before, and I honestly have misgivings towards it. The logic behind this concept feels as circular as the theory that time did not exist before God, therefore God created time.I am familiar with the fact that gravity does have an influence on time.
But as for gravity being so dense that time itself did not exist is credible theory, I honestly find it to be as fallacious as the theory that God was the first cause of movement in the universe.

I don't see it as fallacious, really. I see it as a possibility. And there's a little bit of evidence to suggest it could be correct. I know I've done some research on it before, but none of it was recent or off the top of my head. Look into it if you're interested.

Plus, the mere fact that time is tangible at ALL would lead me to believe that under extreme conditions like pre-Big-Bang, it too would be extreme.

It could also solve the question of "what caused the Big Bang", if you think about it. In an existence where all of the matter and energy currently in our universe was contained in a spot smaller than the tip of a pencil, the only way an event like the Big Bang *would* happen is if it *could*. And if it *could*, it *would*. I'd go into the mathematical logic on this one but I'm too tired and honestly being 3-years-out-of-high-school makes it tough for me to conjure the words to explain my mathematical thoughts.

Either way though, my point is that it absolutely IS possible. We just don't know if it's probable. On the other hand, a God theory would be possible but improbable (see: Where did God come from and how the heck could a God be made, and by whom, etc.)

Oh, and this also reminds me, one of the other things that you claimed is that the law of conservation of mass & energy means that the mass and energy could not have been created or destroyed, therefore it had to come from something.

First of all, not only does that disprove itself (it cannot be created/it must have been created), but also recent scientific inquiry into dark matter could explain why the universe has a ton of things in it, yet its total amount of energy equals 0. Or something along those lines. Again, look into it if you'd like.


(08-26-2012 10:05 PM)TheHawk Wrote:  You say that man is wired to infer consciousness when faced with the unknown. How does man know to infer consciousness into that which is unknown? Why do they pick that specific attribute to ascribe to it?

Because natural selection. Really. Those who assumed that there was a living thing causing the leaves to rustle were more likely to avoid/survive confrontation with it and therefore more likely to reproduce.

You cannot answer a question with "God" just because you don't know. Even if I didn't have an answer ready for you in the above paragraph, your "why do humans assume consciousness" question does not, by any means, prove a god. Or unicorn. Or fairy. Or abridging being dead.

Chances are, if you're reading this, it's after reading a ridiculously long post by me, something harshly phrased or confrontational, and/or me being stupid. I want to apologize for my above post, and end this signature with a quote of wisdom to soothe your soul.

"Ho ho..hoho hoho..santa for the wondering thismust be a joke in your series!!!!!!!!!!!!!!1"
~A scholar beyond his time

[10:10:35 PM] Airrest (Eric): YOU WERE RIGHT ALL ALONG
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08-26-2012, 11:05 PM
Post: #25
RE: Religion
(08-26-2012 10:32 PM)1KidsEntertainment Wrote:  
(08-26-2012 10:05 PM)TheHawk Wrote:  Let me first say that I know that there will likely be no definite resolution to this discussion, though I would like to say that I am thoroughly enjoying discussing this subject with someone who can actually bring logical theories to the discussion to back up his points.

Same. I love this stuff. And like I said. It's a quest for truth. I'll convert in an instant if I'm presented with sound reasoning and evidence.

As will I if I am presented with what I feel is sound and definitive evidence that proves that God or a deity in general does not exist.

(08-26-2012 10:32 PM)1KidsEntertainment Wrote:  I don't see it as fallacious, really. I see it as a possibility. And there's a little bit of evidence to suggest it could be correct. I know I've done some research on it before, but none of it was recent or off the top of my head. Look into it if you're interested.

I didn't mean to say that it was actually fallacious. I was making a comparison to your views of my earlier point. I meant to say that I found both of them to be perfectly valid points and arguments.


(08-26-2012 10:32 PM)1KidsEntertainment Wrote:  It could also solve the question of "what caused the Big Bang", if you think about it. In an existence where all of the matter and energy currently in our universe was contained in a spot smaller than the tip of a pencil, the only way an event like the Big Bang *would* happen is if it *could*. And if it *could*, it *would*. I'd go into the mathematical logic on this one but I'm too tired and honestly being 3-years-out-of-high-school makes it tough for me to conjure the words to explain my mathematical thoughts.


That still does not answer my biggest problem with that theory. Where did the matter and energy that led to the Big Bang come from? I understand the science behind the result and effects of the Big Bang, but I have never had a satisfactory theory to explain where the energy that caused the Big Bang came from.


(08-26-2012 10:32 PM)1KidsEntertainment Wrote:  Either way though, my point is that it absolutely IS possible. We just don't know if it's probable. On the other hand, a God theory would be possible but improbable (see: Where did God come from and how the heck could a God be made, and by whom, etc.)

I agree it is entirely possible, but with our limited knowledge on the subject I feel that it is as probable as a God theory. I just haven't seen sufficient evidence for me to accept it or disprove it.


(08-26-2012 10:32 PM)1KidsEntertainment Wrote:  Oh, and this also reminds me, one of the other things that you claimed is that the law of conservation of mass & energy means that the mass and energy could not have been created or destroyed, therefore it had to come from something.

First of all, not only does that disprove itself (it cannot be created/it must have been created), but also recent scientific inquiry into dark matter could explain why the universe has a ton of things in it, yet its total amount of energy equals 0. Or something along those lines. Again, look into it if you'd like.

I am aware of the recent research into dark matter that you are referring to. I would also like to point out that when the concept was introduced a large portion of the scientific community found it as laughable as they did religion. Though they were quickly overshadowed as the concept was accepted into the scientific theory of the universe.

(08-26-2012 10:05 PM)TheHawk Wrote:  You say that man is wired to infer consciousness when faced with the unknown. How does man know to infer consciousness into that which is unknown? Why do they pick that specific attribute to ascribe to it?

Because natural selection. Really. Those who assumed that there was a living thing causing the leaves to rustle were more likely to avoid/survive confrontation with it and therefore more likely to reproduce.

You cannot answer a question with "God" just because you don't know. Even if I didn't have an answer ready for you in the above paragraph, your "why do humans assume consciousness" question does not, by any means, prove a god. Or unicorn. Or fairy. Or abridging being dead.
[/quote]

I wasn't ascribing it as God, what I meant to say was where did man come up with the concept of a God to explain these unknowns. I can understand them saying that the rustle in the leaves is an animal, but what gave them the inspiration to, for instance, say that the great fireball in the sky was a deity? Where did man come up with the concept of an intelligence greater than itself?

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08-26-2012, 11:29 PM
Post: #26
RE: Religion
I hate this question "But who created God?" It's so basic and fundamental I've been asking it since I was a wee-thing. No one would ever give me a satisfactory answer, and I remember this one time I asked my sunday school teacher that question and this little girl's hand shot up, and my teacher asked her nicely, "Would you like to answer his question?"

And with a happy squeal, filled with total conviction, the little girl shrieked, "JAYZUS!" And the class moved on from my question, I was so mad I could have punched that little girl in the face.

My grandma was the first to tell me that God had always existed, "Scientist could trace everything back to the smallest speck of dust, but where did that speck come from?" Being seven, I thought her logic was so absolute, SHE had just proven why there is HAS to be a god, my grandma! But eventually I grew a brain, and I realized that answering questions we knew very little about with some supernatural explanation was just a crutch.

Most of what we know today will be proven wrong or amended to make sense or to accommodate new knowledge about the universe. People will think, "Man those guys believed in the theory of relativity?" As they wipe their ass with their Theory of Everything. Very much in the same way we look back at what people believed through out history. So I accepted long ago that I may never have an answer I can put stock in when it comes to the "Where did all this come from?" question, but I'd rather admit that than stretch a veil of some supernatural, unfounded explanation over it and call it quits.

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08-26-2012, 11:54 PM (This post was last modified: 08-27-2012 12:05 AM by 1KidsEntertainment.)
Post: #27
RE: Religion
(08-26-2012 11:05 PM)TheHawk Wrote:  
(08-26-2012 10:32 PM)1KidsEntertainment Wrote:  I don't see it as fallacious, really. I see it as a possibility. And there's a little bit of evidence to suggest it could be correct. I know I've done some research on it before, but none of it was recent or off the top of my head. Look into it if you're interested.

I didn't mean to say that it was actually fallacious. I was making a comparison to your views of my earlier point. I meant to say that I found both of them to be perfectly valid points and arguments.

The key difference as to why I will consider the scientific theory rather than the religious one is because the scientific theory is based off of evidence that points in that direction. The religious one does not have evidence for it. It is 100% confirmation bias. What evidence is there to point towards a God making time at the Big Bang? Zilch. Nada. Nothing. What evidence is there for the scientific explanation? A fair chunk. Gravity having impact on time proves that it is at least somewhat tangible. It is plausible that under extreme conditions that time could have not existed. We have REASON to suspect this. We have NO reason to suspect a God. The religious theory is a needless and baseless insertion of God into the gaps.

(08-26-2012 11:05 PM)TheHawk Wrote:  That still does not answer my biggest problem with that theory. Where did the matter and energy that led to the Big Bang come from? I understand the science behind the result and effects of the Big Bang, but I have never had a satisfactory theory to explain where the energy that caused the Big Bang came from.

From what I know, that question is also a falsely stated one, as I don't think "energy" is theorized to have triggered the Big Bang.

But let's just play Devil's advocate here and say that we just don't know what started the Big Bang. What evidence do you have to say that a God did it? Aren't we talking about proof of a God's existence? You need to prove that a God EXISTS first before you can start asserting its actions.

Again, you're not grasping the concept that "I don't know" is NOT an excuse to make a theory up. It has to be based off of evidence. There has to be REASON to believe something, or to even suspect something. You are automatically inserting God where the gaps in your knowledge exist.

And again, there IS scientific evidence that points towards some of these theories. It's not just a bunch of people sitting around saying "Hmm. Could be X." "Huh. Yeah. Could be Y." "Yup. Or Z."


(08-26-2012 11:05 PM)TheHawk Wrote:  I agree it is entirely possible, but with our limited knowledge on the subject I feel that it is as probable as a God theory. I just haven't seen sufficient evidence for me to accept it or disprove it.

The belief that two opinions are by default equally valid is a fallacious one. You're presenting a false dichotomy. "Well, it could be the scientific one. But it could also be the religion one! So let's just call it 50/50 =)" is not correct, and it's one of the reasons Pascal's Wager has no weight either.

By that incorrect logic, if all theories are equally likely, then no theories are likely at all, as one can easily come up with an infinite amount of theories.

So, what gives a theory any likeliness of being true? You guessed it: Evidence. Theories must be tailored to the evidence. Rather than looking backwards to find evidence for your theories.

(08-26-2012 11:05 PM)TheHawk Wrote:  I am aware of the recent research into dark matter that you are referring to. I would also like to point out that when the concept was introduced a large portion of the scientific community found it as laughable as they did religion. Though they were quickly overshadowed as the concept was accepted into the scientific theory of the universe.

You mean that there wasn't a ton of evidence to support it initially? Correct. But there was some, and that's why it was presented.

There are tons of theories presented to explain the mysteries of the universe. Even in science. And as science uncovers more evidence and truth, the theories go through a process of natural selection. The theories that are not suited to fit the new evidence are discredited and not considered as accurate anymore (see geocentrism).

So yeah. It wasn't greatly considered, initially, to have much weight. But it gained weight as it turned into a drunk football loving dad more evidence came in that supported it.

You cannot just put two theories on an equal level like that. It's like saying "Creationism should be taught in schools alongside evolution so the kids can decide for themselves." No, it shouldn't. Because the evidence does not give them an equal weight. One is unsupported by facts (creationism) and one is (evolution). It's that simple. We don't go teaching 1+1=3 alongside 1+1=2 and let the kids decide. The point of education is to teach. And the point of science is to figure out what is true by building off of what is already proven to be true.

Science and this method of thinking WORKS. It's why you have a computer. It's why you have water. It's why you have air conditioning. It's why you have Abridged Series. It's why you have this forum. It's why we have cars. It's why we have damn near everything in the modern world. It does not deserve to be categorized as "Just as good as religion", which has done nothing to advance any of these things. Organized religion or individual religious beliefs. Both of them. No contribution.

(08-26-2012 11:05 PM)TheHawk Wrote:  I wasn't ascribing it as God, what I meant to say was where did man come up with the concept of a God to explain these unknowns. I can understand them saying that the rustle in the leaves is an animal, but what gave them the inspiration to, for instance, say that the great fireball in the sky was a deity? Where did man come up with the concept of an intelligence greater than itself?

This is also a debunked line of reasoning. One that creationists tend to use, actually.

Think about this. How far-fetched is it for a primitive human to come up with a God? How hard would it be to assume that maybe there was a being that was greater than himself? I mean, a primitive human WOULD already know of beings greater than himself (I'm sure primitive humans fared less well against predators than we currently do). Our minds have the capability to exaggerate. Quite a bit, actually. I can imagine a tree growing up into the sky past what I can see.

How is it so weird for a human to imagine infinite values in finite human attributes? "Infinitely" wise. "Infinitely" loving. "Infinitely" powerful.

Just because I can imagine that there's a toaster floating in the middle of space doesn't mean that I had to get the idea from an actual toaster floating in the middle of space. Just because I can imagine a unicorn does not mean it exists. Just because I can imagine Pokemon does not mean they exist (sadly). This is not proof of God.

Not to mention: Being under the influence (of drugs or even natural chemicals, like those which the brain makes to induce dreaming) can think up some wacky ass shit.

And EVEN IF all of that was incorrect. Let's say you don't know how humans could come up with a God on their own. You cannot assert the position that "Humans must have come in contact with a God" or "God must exist" without EVIDENCE. Otherwise, we have, yet again, another mystery. Not proof of God.

Look up "Argument from Ignorance". That's what you're putting forth.

I really hate reiterating that, but it seems that a lot of what you're saying really comes down to "Yeah well we don't know _________". That does NOT mean you are allowed by default to take a different position and assume it is true.

As an atheist, I do not posit that a god is IMPOSSIBLE. I do however reject the assertion that it exists, because sufficient evidence has not been met.

This is how one can be an agnostic and an atheist (and in fact, most atheists and agnostics ARE both atheist and agnostic, whether they identify with the label(s) or not). Skepticism is merely the line of thinking in which the default position of a question is not to accept something unless there is reason to do so. This doesn't mean that the "opposite" position has any more credibility.

The fact is? It IS impossible to disprove a god's existence by the nature of the definition of a god (unless you want to start talking about ignosticism, which is another beast entirely lol). However, when you make a claim (such as "God exists" or "God created the universe" or "God inspired the Bible" or "God impregnated a Bronze Age middle-eastern virgin with himself so he could sacrifice himself to himself to appease himself"), it must be backed up with evidence.

Here are some helpful videos that explain this way better than I ever could.

(08-26-2012 11:29 PM)OoziHobo Wrote:  I hate this question "But who created God?" It's so basic and fundamental I've been asking it since I was a wee-thing. No one would ever give me a satisfactory answer, and I remember this one time I asked my sunday school teacher that question and this little girl's hand shot up, and my teacher asked her nicely, "Would you like to answer his question?"

And with a happy squeal, filled with total conviction, the little girl shrieked, "JAYZUS!" And the class moved on from my question, I was so mad I could have punched that little girl in the face.

Funnily enough, I had a similar experience in my Jewish upbringing. Except the little girl in my case would say "Shut up Mike." I found it equally as frustrating and unhelpful.

Chances are, if you're reading this, it's after reading a ridiculously long post by me, something harshly phrased or confrontational, and/or me being stupid. I want to apologize for my above post, and end this signature with a quote of wisdom to soothe your soul.

"Ho ho..hoho hoho..santa for the wondering thismust be a joke in your series!!!!!!!!!!!!!!1"
~A scholar beyond his time

[10:10:35 PM] Airrest (Eric): YOU WERE RIGHT ALL ALONG
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08-27-2012, 09:15 PM (This post was last modified: 08-27-2012 09:20 PM by ArkaKun.)
Post: #28
RE: Religion
I am a theist agnostic. I do believe in a "God", but I also think it's quite stupid when people try to prove or disprove the existence of God. We haven't even found a single cellular bacterial alien life yet, and we're supposed to be smart enough to understand God? We all compare God to us human beings when we say that God is some sort of invisible man in the sky. God is not a "man". He is not invisible, nor he is visible. God is beyond that. He doesn't do anything like a poof. There is no poof in the Universe. Everything happens scientifically.
Here's something. Can you define nature? The big bang happened because of nature. Solar system was created because of nature. Life was first created on Earth because of nature. Evolution is happening because of nature. What really is nature then? Is it an invisible man doing all these work? Not at all. Does it have supernatural power? Not really, because even though we blame a lot of things on nature, everything has science behind it. Even science is a part of nature. In fact, Physics is defined to be "The science of nature". Can you prove or disprove nature? Well, nature is beyond existence. It's not a "thing" you could prove or disprove. It's how the Universe works. Nature is just ... nature.
I believe God is a lot like that, or exactly that. Again, He's not a man. He doesn't think, work, or punish anyone like a human being. He's beyond that.
I was born a Hindu and I still am (An agnostic Hindu, you could say). However, I follow a combination of Hinduism, Buddhism, Pantheism, etc.

Now, if you're talking about the God that created Earth like a poof, created two people like a poof, or will punish you if you do "bad things" like not believing in him, then no, even I don't believe in that God. I think I tried my best to explain my view of God in my previous post. You may disagree with me, but that's just my opinion and I think it's a bit more logical than blindly following an invisible man in the sky.

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08-27-2012, 10:25 PM
Post: #29
RE: Religion
You believe in a creator, but not a personal god, basically.

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08-27-2012, 11:13 PM
Post: #30
RE: Religion
(08-27-2012 09:15 PM)ArkaKun Wrote:  ...but I also think it's quite stupid when people try to prove or disprove the existence of God.

Why is it stupid?

Quote:We haven't even found a single cellular bacterial alien life yet, and we're supposed to be smart enough to understand God? We all compare God to us human beings when we say that God is some sort of invisible man in the sky. God is not a "man". He is not invisible, nor he is visible. God is beyond that. He doesn't do anything like a poof. There is no poof in the Universe. Everything happens scientifically.

If we're not "smart enough to understand God", "beyond" our understanding, how are you able to assert all these things about it?

Quote:I believe God is a lot like that, or exactly that. Again, He's not a man. He doesn't think, work, or punish anyone like a human being. He's beyond that.

So you're saying "God" is "nature". We already have a word for "nature". It's "nature".
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08-27-2012, 11:47 PM
Post: #31
RE: Religion
Truth, you're right.
Chrome, I'm not a philosopher that's trying to write a book in abridgedforums, so there'll be errors in my writing. I think it's stupid because that's how agnostics think, pretty much. Trying to prove or disprove God is pointless. It either exists, or doesn't. When you say that you just proved/disproved God, you're claiming that you truly understand what God is supposed to be.
I never said "God is beyond all of your understandings except me". I didn't claim that I understand God either. Nature is just the closest thing I could get to describing the God I believe in. Something very similar to nature, or exactly nature itself. Who knows? If I describe nature as "something for which the Universe, Earth and life was created", someone would probably think it's some invisible man with supernatural power. But Nature is the exact opposite. Just because we have a word for it, doesn't prove anything. Synonyms?
My problem is in the view of God according to both religious people and atheists. Both of those groups of people (Most of them) imagine God as a "thing" or a "being". All I'm trying to say is that it's nothing like that. It can not be described. It's just how the Universe works.
There is no "Christian God", "Jewish God", "My God" or "Your God". God is God. My view on God is probably very different than most religions in the world, but that's just how I think.
I'm sorry for these long posts. I do tend to write a lot without thinking much when it comes to religious stuff.

I refuse to be constantly bullied by Truthordeal just because I'm a "Junior" Mod.
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08-28-2012, 12:12 AM
Post: #32
RE: Religion
(08-27-2012 11:47 PM)ArkaKun Wrote:  My problem is in the view of God according to both religious people and atheists. Both of those groups of people (Most of them) imagine God as a "thing" or a "being". All I'm trying to say is that it's nothing like that.

That's a claim.

(08-27-2012 11:47 PM)ArkaKun Wrote:  It can not be described.

That's a claim.

(08-27-2012 11:47 PM)ArkaKun Wrote:  It's just how the Universe works.

That's a claim.

(08-27-2012 11:47 PM)ArkaKun Wrote:  There is no "Christian God", "Jewish God", "My God" or "Your God". God is God.

That's a claim.

Now back those claims up with evidence. How do you know that those assertions are any more true than "God is a being who sacrificed himself to himself to appease himself and hates gay people"?

This is the problem with anyone who makes a God claim. You like to be all like "Oh but MY beliefs are different!"

That's great that you have your own hipsterish ("see? I'm different from the mainstream!?") religious beliefs. Now back them up with EVIDENCE or they're just as baseless as the rest.

(08-27-2012 11:47 PM)ArkaKun Wrote:  My view on God is probably very different than most religions in the world, but that's just how I think.

Unfortunately, the way you think has no impact on reality.

(08-27-2012 11:47 PM)ArkaKun Wrote:  I'm sorry for these long posts. I do tend to write a lot without thinking much when it comes to religious stuff.

Then... Think before posting? Or even better, think before believing?

Chances are, if you're reading this, it's after reading a ridiculously long post by me, something harshly phrased or confrontational, and/or me being stupid. I want to apologize for my above post, and end this signature with a quote of wisdom to soothe your soul.

"Ho ho..hoho hoho..santa for the wondering thismust be a joke in your series!!!!!!!!!!!!!!1"
~A scholar beyond his time

[10:10:35 PM] Airrest (Eric): YOU WERE RIGHT ALL ALONG
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08-28-2012, 12:21 AM
Post: #33
RE: Religion
Quote:Trying to prove or disprove God is pointless.

You haven't explained why.

Quote:When you say that you just proved/disproved God, you're claiming that you truly understand what God is supposed to be.

If you don't know what this thing is, why do you believe it exists?

Quote:My problem is in the view of God according to both religious people and atheists. Both of those groups of people (Most of them) imagine God as a "thing" or a "being". All I'm trying to say is that it's nothing like that. It can not be described. It's just how the Universe works.

Conversely my problem is the very fact that giving a useful definition for god is avoided. Again, if "it can not be described", if we can not possibly hope to "truly understand" what this god is, then how can anyone assert anything about it, even a belief in such? Essentially, we're talking about something meaningless. If "God" can mean anything then it's simply not a useful term.

Quote:There is no "Christian God", "Jewish God", "My God" or "Your God".


How do you know this? If you claim we can't understand "God" then how can you assert this?

Quote:God is God.

Doesn't mean anything.
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08-28-2012, 12:59 AM
Post: #34
RE: Religion
Guys. Guys. Guys.
Alright. What kind of evidence? I said earlier, the God that is described in the Bible or any other religious texts, I don't believe in that. Straightforwardly speaking, I believe nature is "God". I am not redefining God or nature. Since God is supposed to be the creator of everything, nature is the closest thing I could think of. I also said earlier that I don't believe in the God that claims He's God, or punishes you for being gay and stuff like that. There is no Hell or Heaven.
Evidence that nature is God? Well, nature isn't the type of thing that would come down here and say "I am God. Now pray." Just define what we know of nature and I'll take that as a definition of God. You may not believe in it. You think nature is just nature. Well it is. I'm not saying it's anything more than that. According to Google definition, nature is "The physical force regarded as causing and regulating these phenomena". I'm saying THAT is God. We don't call it God. We call it nature. There is really nothing to prove here.
Nature has bunch of laws on its own and you can't break those. For example, you can't travel faster than Light. As you speed up, nature will slow down time. Well, the thing that's causing time to slow down is my God. I also call it nature, not God. I don't pray to it. I don't fear it. It's just there.

I refuse to be constantly bullied by Truthordeal just because I'm a "Junior" Mod.
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08-28-2012, 01:47 AM
Post: #35
RE: Religion
(08-28-2012 12:59 AM)ArkaKun Wrote:  Since God is supposed to be the creator of everything

According to who? What makes them right?

Quote:Nature has bunch of laws on its own and you can't break those. For example, you can't travel faster than Light. As you speed up, nature will slow down time. Well, the thing that's causing time to slow down is my God. I also call it nature, not God. I don't pray to it. I don't fear it. It's just there.

It sounds to me like what you're doing is asking the question "why is nature as it is" and answering it with "god". To which I simply ask "why is god as it is", which will probably lead us to an infinite regression. It's a non-answer to a question which very arguably is in itself meaningless. Nature needn't ought to have a meaning or a reason for being as it is, but if it does, how does saying it's "god" yield any understanding of this meaning. It's just giving a label to the answer of a question that has failed to be answered.
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08-28-2012, 10:24 AM
Post: #36
RE: Religion
Substituting an ambiguous word for nature accomplishes nothing other than giving undeserved legitimacy to other uses of the word "God".

I can say that my toaster is God. Guess what? I'd need evidence to back up the idea that it's not just a goddamn toaster. As of right now, I have none whatsoever.

What evidence or reason do you have to suggest that nature, or the nature of nature, or any of that, should be labeled with a term that means: "a being or object believed to have more than natural attributes and powers and to require human worship"?

I can say that my cell phone is a fox. That doesn't stop it from not being a creature that hunts rabbits.

Chances are, if you're reading this, it's after reading a ridiculously long post by me, something harshly phrased or confrontational, and/or me being stupid. I want to apologize for my above post, and end this signature with a quote of wisdom to soothe your soul.

"Ho ho..hoho hoho..santa for the wondering thismust be a joke in your series!!!!!!!!!!!!!!1"
~A scholar beyond his time

[10:10:35 PM] Airrest (Eric): YOU WERE RIGHT ALL ALONG
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08-28-2012, 11:00 AM (This post was last modified: 08-28-2012 11:13 AM by ArkaKun.)
Post: #37
RE: Religion
I've said it before and I'll say it again. I don't pray to nature. It's just there. There is a reason why I said my beliefs are different than others. Read fully what I said.
I remember watching an interview of Michio Kaku where he said, "You may try to go at the speed of light, but mother nature won't allow you". The way he said "mother nature" fascinated me. I thought that nothing in this world is more powerful than that. It's something that's making the rules. And when I talk about nature, I don't even refer to it as God. I also call it nature. It's just the closest I could get to describing "God".
By calling nature God, I'm not harming anyone. I'm not even adding any extra definition to nature and labelling it as God or anything. Nature IS just nature.

We spend too much time arguing what we believe in. I don't think the main issue is what we believe in or whether we believe in it at all or not.
The main issue is if we blame something on God and stop being curious. That's when you become useless. (According to Neil Degrasse Tyson) For example,
"Tides go in, tides go out, you can't explain that. Therefore God exists" - Bill O'Reilly
Just because you don't know why tides are there, you say that's because of God.
There's been brilliant scientists that were religious. But that didn't stop them from being curious.
Yes, we're not sure why nature acts that way. Physicists are looking for answer and one day they will.

I refuse to be constantly bullied by Truthordeal just because I'm a "Junior" Mod.
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08-28-2012, 11:14 AM (This post was last modified: 08-28-2012 11:17 AM by 1KidsEntertainment.)
Post: #38
RE: Religion
(08-28-2012 11:00 AM)ArkaKun Wrote:  I've said it before and I'll say it again. I don't pray to nature. It's just there. There is a reason why I said my beliefs are different than others. Read fully what I said.
I remember watching an interview of Michio Kaku where he said, "You may try to go at the speed of light, but mother nature won't allow you". The way he said "mother nature" fascinated me. I thought that nothing in this world is more powerful than that. It's something that's making the rules. And when I talk about nature, I don't even refer to it as God. I also call it nature. It's just the closest I could get to describing "God".

You must first define a God before you can prove he exists. For the MILLIONTH time, listen to what Chrome and I are saying: You are not coming up with a concrete definition of God.

I don't care WHAT you feel about nature. It doesn't change reality. It doesn't change the universe. So what if some guy uses the term "Mother nature" to refer to the restrictions of speed? So what if we don't know *why* we can't travel past the speed of light? How is there any way to say "Yup that's God!" from there?

I understand how you must think you're so unique and special for coming up with your own vague definition of God, but you're evading all scrutiny here by repeating your beliefs without backing them up. Having unique beliefs doesn't make them any more true.

Again. Call nature what it is: Nature. We have a word for it. Why would you put "God" in there? You have to have a legitimate, logical reason to use two words as synonyms.

(08-28-2012 11:00 AM)ArkaKun Wrote:  By calling nature God, I'm not harming anyone.

Yes. Yes you are.

There are tons of people in this world who are wrapped in the dogma and indoctrination that they have been drowned in since birth. It's how we are as humans. Especially as children, if you repeatedly tell someone that something is true, they are more likely to think it is true. See all of the Americans who believe Obama is a Muslim. He's not. But Fox News (and others) have said it so many times that it's sticking.

And then from there, you get people who do bad things in the name of their religion:
1. Homophobia
2. Religious wars
3. Killing/injuring/harming nonbelievers
4. Racial tensions
5. Wasting a majority of their time praying to an invisible sky daddy

When you misuse the word "God" and call yourself a theist, you are furthering the perception in others that "Well, mostly everyone believes, so I'd be weird if I didn't!"

Don't give credibility where it isn't due. Don't use a word that's not appropriate. You ARE causing harm by doing so.

(08-28-2012 11:00 AM)ArkaKun Wrote:  I'm not even adding any extra definition to nature and labelling it as God or anything.

But you ARE adding an extra (albeit vague) definition to "God" and labeling it nature. That's just as bad.

(08-28-2012 11:00 AM)ArkaKun Wrote:  Nature IS just nature.

Then call it nature.

(08-28-2012 11:00 AM)ArkaKun Wrote:  We spend too much time arguing what we believe in. I don't think the main issue is what we believe in or whether we believe in it at all or not.
The main issue is if we blame something on God and stop being curious. That's when you become useless. (According to Neil Degrasse Tyson) For example,
"Tides go in, tides go out, you can't explain that. Therefore God exists" - Bill O'Reilly
Just because you don't know why tides are there, you say that's because of God.
There's been brilliant scientists that were religious. But that didn't stop them from being curious.
Yes, we're not sure why nature acts that way. Physicists are looking for answer and one day they will.

This is all great stuff I can agree with.

So why the heck are you giving credibility to the word "God" when it does not deserve it? Don't use the word "God" to describe nature, or the other way around.

If you believe in a god, fine, but provide the evidence you have for its existence, or you are almost as reliant on blind faith as a Christian, Jew, Muslim, Pagan, Hindu, etc.

Chances are, if you're reading this, it's after reading a ridiculously long post by me, something harshly phrased or confrontational, and/or me being stupid. I want to apologize for my above post, and end this signature with a quote of wisdom to soothe your soul.

"Ho ho..hoho hoho..santa for the wondering thismust be a joke in your series!!!!!!!!!!!!!!1"
~A scholar beyond his time

[10:10:35 PM] Airrest (Eric): YOU WERE RIGHT ALL ALONG
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08-28-2012, 01:53 PM (This post was last modified: 08-28-2012 02:12 PM by ArkaKun.)
Post: #39
RE: Religion
(08-28-2012 11:14 AM)1KidsEntertainment Wrote:  
(08-28-2012 11:00 AM)ArkaKun Wrote:  We spend too much time arguing what we believe in. I don't think the main issue is what we believe in or whether we believe in it at all or not.
The main issue is if we blame something on God and stop being curious. That's when you become useless. (According to Neil Degrasse Tyson) For example,
"Tides go in, tides go out, you can't explain that. Therefore God exists" - Bill O'Reilly
Just because you don't know why tides are there, you say that's because of God.
There's been brilliant scientists that were religious. But that didn't stop them from being curious.
Yes, we're not sure why nature acts that way. Physicists are looking for answer and one day they will.

This is all great stuff I can agree with.

So why the heck are you giving credibility to the word "God" when it does not deserve it? Don't use the word "God" to describe nature, or the other way around.

If you believe in a god, fine, but provide the evidence you have for its existence, or you are almost as reliant on blind faith as a Christian, Jew, Muslim, Pagan, Hindu, etc.

I understand your point. Nature is nature and it shouldn't be renamed. Well, you COULD say I redefined God. It's not exactly the same definition from the Abrahamic faiths. Here's my definition:
God is something for which the Universe happened, Earth happened, life happened, evolution is happening and everything in the Universe is happening.
That could be what I thought of God. Note that there is no ritual, fighting, praying, fasting, punishment, heaven, hell, nothing. Now I ask myself, is there anything that fits in that description? That's how nature came in my mind. But I absolutely understand what you're trying to say.
I'm in the middle of being a theist and atheist. It's kind of complicated. I don't even spend any time praying. Well, I do meditate, but that's for training my mind and other health purposes (Even though I learned it from Hinduism). However, I'll admit; I do enjoy talking about religion, sometimes.

But once again, I think most people now a day are too busy trying to convert others to a specific religion or belief (And that includes Atheism too).
My problem is in the "This happened because of God and it can not be explained" idea. God may or may not exist. You may or may not believe in it. But people need to get rid of THAT idea. Nothing in this world happens "just because of God". I heard in some places, teaching evolution in schools is banned. I was totally shocked. As Bill Nye said, "By deciding not to believe in evolution, you're just making your world WAY more complicated".
And not to mention, all these unnecessary violence that religions are causing.
One day, religions will be erased from this world (If humans survive for that long). And I sure do hope it does. It's not doing any "good" in this world.

I refuse to be constantly bullied by Truthordeal just because I'm a "Junior" Mod.
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08-28-2012, 02:33 PM
Post: #40
RE: Religion
(08-28-2012 01:53 PM)ArkaKun Wrote:  God is something for which the Universe happened, Earth happened, life happened, evolution is happening and everything in the Universe is happening.
That could be what I thought of God.

Again, this is basically a rephrasing of essentially saying that the reason/meaning for nature is "god". And I explained above why I don't think that's a useful construct. You could substitute "god" with ##454$3&&$3 and it would mean exactly the same... nothing. Why believe in this construct if it has no primary attributes and crucially it does not actually answer anything? I mean what does saying "the reason for nature is god" actually tell you? How does it further your understanding? Surely it's better just to accept insofar as we know, nature doesn't have an objective "reason" for being?

Quote:I'm in the middle of being a theist and atheist.

You either believe in some form of god-claim or you don't. It's a binary question.

Quote:But once again, I think most people now a day are too busy trying to convert others to a specific religion or belief (And that includes Atheism too).

What's the problem with this? If you believe something is true (or not true), why should you not attempt to inform others? People communicating their ideas to the masses in itself doesn't bother me, it's the quality of the ideas being spread and the implications thereof.

Atheism isn't a belief. How can you believe in the non-existence of something?

Quote:My problem is in the "This happened because of God and it can not be explained" idea.

But like, that's what you're saying. "This" being "nature" and the "can not be explained" part being your assertion that god cannot be understood.
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