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The God Illusion

Old 03-21-2007, 11:50 AM
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Originally Posted by paulmh View Post
You win.

I like lemon.
Do I win a prize, perhaps an award. I agree a teensie weensie bit with both opinions. Be they ripples in the pond or like the spreading of oil after a drop of Palmolive, I believe it's safe to assume neither will burn my eyes like lemon juice. I'll try, but an optometrist told me I need to stop with the lemon juice experiments.

If I dont post back with my results in a timely manner it doesnt mean I love you any less. Like the last time, I may not be able to see for a few hours. Here it goes

Originally Posted by doorknob View Post
LOL!
I like lemon juice in Corona and heifeweisen... wait.. no I don't!!
DK
I'd try that (NOT!) but I'm afraid I'd forget who or where I was. Only to wake at day one, finding I've been nowhere (if I'm lucky) but to the bathroom in my under drillies.
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Old 03-31-2007, 11:57 PM
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1/2 Sane, ever heard the expression "God of the gaps"?

So looking back through history there was a time when humans had no idea what caused volcanos to erupt. There for god did it. But we know better now.

There was a time when disease was considered god's wrath. But we know better now.

Scientist have discovered so much about how the universe works but there are still things we don't know. Are you really gonna tell me the answer is god? Or maybe we should let the scientist get back to work.

Trying to explain something as complicated as the begining of the universe by invoking a more complicated god accomplishes nothing. Your just left with the question of who created the creator.

I'm not going to refute you point for point. There are plenty of books out there that can articulate the points better than I could.

I do wonder if you have ever heard of space-time. The laws of Thermodynamics can not be aplied pre big bang the way they are post big bang.
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Old 04-15-2007, 07:35 PM
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FInlly bought and started this book today...I'm lovin it so far!!!

Best, Einstien also said:

"It was, of course, a lie what you read about my religious convictions, a lie which is being systematically repeated. I do not believe in a personal God and I have never denied this but have expressed it clearly. If something is in me which can be called religious then it is unbounded admiration for the structure of the world so far as our science can reveal it."

and

"The idea of a personal God is quite alien to me and seems even naive."
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Old 04-18-2007, 01:07 AM
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We literally inherit our religions from family and society. Teachings are passed down from generation to generation. Growing up, the child believes what he receives. Growing into adulthood, he often finds himself questioning those beliefs, placing them under the acid test of scrutiny and sometimes tossing them aside as I did.

I heartily disagree with the sentiment, "A little philosophy inclineth a man to atheism. Depth in philosophy inclineth a man to religion." Most who delve deeply into philosophy cast aside the notion of a benevolent skygod watching over but a lucky few so fortunate as to have been born into that religion.

And yes, the time-worn quote of Dr. Einstein, "God does not play dice [with the universe]" refers only to his difficulty in accepting certain aspects of quantum theory. It is notoriously quoted out of context and has nothing to do with any notion of Higher Power. He does comment explicitly about his personal beliefs, and Blake cited some of this:

From a letter dated March 24, 1954, included in "Albert Einstein: The Human Side" (edited by Helen Dukas and Banesh Hoffman): It was, of course, a lie what you read about my religious convictions, a lie which is being systematically repeated. I do not believe in a personal God.

From "Science, Philosophy, and Religion, A Symposium," copyright 1941: To be sure, the doctrine of a personal God interfering with natural events could never be refuted by science, for it can always take refuge in those domains in which scientific knowledge has not yet been able to set foot.

The latter, an observation about miracles and the Christian faith, bears a striking similarity to one of Friedrich Nietzsche's writings:

For all occasions where the Christian awaits the immediate intervention of a God (though in vain, for there is no god) his religion is inventive enough to find subterfuges and reasons for tranquility.

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Old 04-18-2007, 12:50 PM
  # 45 (permalink)  
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Talking

I just read the title of this thread and part of the first post. Got me a bit upset. Of course there is a God. Or an supreme Entity or an Itelligent designer, there HAS TO be!!! How can you live in a world such as ours with all the beauty and wonder all around us and NOT think there is a God. That is just beyond my comprehension. We may not understand what or who or where it ** He/She} is but maybe we aren't supposed to. Wandering around just wondering how we came into existence and never knowing may be his plan. Keeps us on our toes. I guess you could call me a cross between a Pantheist and a Transendentalist but labelling it won't make any difference. I still wonder all the time. I am NOT a Humanist which may give some people in here fits. Humanism is just celebrating what we Humans have accomplished and not what God has made. I think Humanism is a sort of a Snack religion. Entertaining and fun for the most part but not really a spiritual meal for me. I NEED MEAT!!!

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Old 04-18-2007, 04:05 PM
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Hiya Wii

Hows that Nintendo holding up I have not got a wii yet but plan on it eventually.Is the controler still fun or has it lost its charm?

Sorry the post got you upset.Perhaps it will spark your interest too. If you are of the opinion that there HAS TO be a god maybe you will want to do some research and try and find out why not every one thinks so. The God Delusion by Richard Dawkins wouldn't be a bad starting place. I am sure you are an open minded person so why not give it a shot and see what Dawkins has to say?

I don't label myself as a humanist currently either. I do call myself an athiest though.


If you have any question related to athiesm, Richard Dawkins,how people live with out god, ect. just let me know. I would be glad to answer them for you. Take Care,

Marius
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Old 04-18-2007, 05:51 PM
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wii;
Since this is the secular forum, there's not a large chance that you'll find fellow travelors here.
And I do suggest to all that we make ourselves open to ALL the possibilities.
Cuz the truth be known, none of us can prove any of our beliefs or disbeliefs about G*D, though many will argue this idea.
And both the ideas take just as much faith!

Be well...

Shalom!
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Old 04-18-2007, 06:01 PM
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Also Wii, believing in an invisible pink unicorn takes just as much faith as not believing in one.....or so some people would have you believe
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Old 04-19-2007, 02:04 AM
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Cool

It takes FAR more faith to construct and maintain the concept of a deity than not.

Religion rests the whole of its foundation upon faith, ideally never questioned. Transubstantiation of bread into flesh and wine into blood. Miraculous healings. Go thou and "sin" no more. An angry God who drowns 99% of his creation. Sends locusts to devour harvests. Asks Abraham to sacrifice his son as a test of love for this God. Virgin births.

Seventy-two virgins awaiting the martyr for a fringe Islamic cause.

Such is the stuff which springs from blind faith.

Faith and reason are forever incompatible. While science requires investigation and application of reason, faith and religion scoff at these intellectual freedoms, oftentimes holding the free use of man's intellect as an affront to God when that thinking runs afoul of the given faith.

Furthermore, there is absolutely no evidence that Christianity is any more valid than the myriad of other religions across the world and across the ages. (Hinduism predates Christianity by twenty-five centuries!)

As I touched upon, there are real dangers with having organized religions in the world, and when I post again we'll have an in-depth look at why.

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Old 04-19-2007, 05:22 AM
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With due respect, (and I will not get drawn into a debate here), but, reason and faith do indeed reside together. It is the anti-theist's first and most fundemental mistake to believe that theists do not use logic in their investigations.
Or that Christianity is the crux of all belief systems!

Shalom!

Last edited by historyteach; 04-19-2007 at 06:22 AM.
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Old 04-19-2007, 05:37 AM
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1/2Sane,

I am not quite sure, but I think I agree with you.

I still want to know what started itself, when there was a NOTHING.

Now, that's the key and the answer we may never know on this earth.
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Old 04-19-2007, 06:30 AM
  # 52 (permalink)  
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Originally Posted by marius404 View Post
Also Wii, believing in an invisible pink unicorn takes just as much faith as not believing in one.....or so some people would have you believe
True enough.
But, as has been pointed out multiple times already, the belief in a god/gods/ goddesses/G*D has been around through earthly space and time. There is no known place that has not had that type of belief system. For obvious reasons, including community, comfort, and philosophical gratification.

The same cannot be claimed for your pink unicorn!

I will grant that this universality of belief does not *prove* the existence of the belief. I will also grant that a minority of one can still hold the truth. However, there is a higher *probability* of the existence of a G*D/god/goddess/gods whatever than that of your pink unicorn! LOL!

Carry on!

Shalom!
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Old 04-19-2007, 10:59 AM
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I realise my what I'm about to write may not seem productive, but here goes.

I'm one of those militant atheists. We are a rare bunch, but we do exist.

I was brought up with a complete freedom of thought. My parents never told me what was right and wrong to think. I remember being a 6 year-old and being led down to church in school to listen to the reverend. The UK is one of the most secular nations but interestingly, the Church of England still has (theoretical) control in schools. I could never see a reason to believe what I was being told. I'm not one of those people who questioned it as they got older, I simply never ever believed.

I'm a man of science and logic. I approach everything with a cold, clinical outlook. The reason I personally don't believe in any god is because I've never seen evidence of it. I see what I believe. I'm a skeptic in every sense of the word. The only person who is responsible for my problems in life, as well as my successes, is me. And me alone. No one anywhere is going to save me, apart from me. Sure, there are people who can and want to support and help me, but the fact is, if I don't want to stop drinking, then theres nothing anyone can do. Silly books written thousands of years ago won't change that.
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Old 04-19-2007, 12:16 PM
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Through out time most people have believed in a god.
Through out time being some kind of diest WAS a valid opinion.

This is because until relatively recently there was no way to explain the complexity of life. All that changed with Darwin.

If there was a god then there should be evidence for his existance. A universe made by a creator would behave a certain way.

There is NO evidence of a creator.
There is NO evidence of a flying Spagetti monster
There is NO evidence of Santa
and There is NO evidence of an invisible pink unicorn

Until some evidence for the existance of a god is presented there is no reason to say that there is just as much chance that there is a god then that there is not.

Just because many people have had faith or a belief in a god does not mean that god exist. All it means is simply that many people believe in god.

Truth is not a matter of popular opinion.

If believing in god makes you happy it does not mean he exist.
If believing in god gratifies you philosophicaly that does not mean he exist.
If believing in god is what your community does that does not mean god exist.

Show me proof. Give me evidence. Don't tell me all the cool kids believe in god and therefore god exist.

There is no evidence that invisible pink unicorns exist.
There is no evidence that god exist.
Don't tell me that there is more of a reason to believe in a god.

Another way to look at this is that the overwhelming majority of the people on earth believe in a personal god. Comparatively little believe in a deist god. Does this mean that there is a higher probabillity of the existence of a personal god? NO

Thank you for your time have a nice day

P.S. The almighty Pink Unicorn want me to tell you that by denying his existance we are all going to burn in hell. Unless ofcourse we repent. I think Pascal would advise us all to repent immediatly!
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Old 04-19-2007, 03:02 PM
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There are (Hi, by the way, as this is my first post) many kinds of atheist. Sam Harris was mentioned further up, as of course, was Dawkins. These two represent some atheists. Harris is dicey at best, though, since he has a definite agenda -claiming that some people's beliefs may be such that it might be ethical to kill them (pg 52 of the End of Faith) is hardly going to end religious irrationality, if I may be so bold.

That said- I have had trouble with the AA higher power idea for decades now. My mother is in recovery, and has been involved with AA. Sometimes it works, sometimes not. But the thing which seems- to me- to be counter productive is the idea that you are helpless. Even when I believed in god, this rankled me a lot. HOW are you going to do anything if you are powerless?

Whether you believe or not in god, you do have the power within you to fight the addiction. Sometimes it will go well, sometimes not. But now might not be the best time to question everything all at once. One day at a time, and certainly, one battle at a time could serve you better in this.

Wait, stabilize, then Ask Big Questions.
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Old 04-19-2007, 03:22 PM
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Hiya Andshewas, thanks for including the page number in Sam Harris book "The end of Faith"

Here is the paragraph from the book for those of you who don't have it.

"The link between belief and behavior raises the stakes considerably. Some propositions are so dangerous that it may even be ethical to kill people for believing them. This may seem an extraordinary claim, but it merely enunciates an ordinary fact about the world in which we live. Certain beliefs place their adherents beyond the reach of every peaceful means of persuasion, while inspiring them to commit acts of extraordinary violence against others. There is, in fact, no talking to some people. If they cannot be captured, and they often cannot, otherwise tolerant people may be justified in killing them in self-defence. This is what the United States attempted in Afghaninstan, and it is what we and other Western powers are bound to attempt, at an even greater cost to ourselves and to innocents abroad, elsewhere in the Muslim world. We will continue to spill blood in what is, at bottom, a war of ideas.
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Old 04-19-2007, 03:32 PM
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To me it is the equivalent of "If you cannot convert them, kill them." It is also interesting to note that Harris started writing the book on Sept 12, 2001. I tended at first to give him a pass as having been traumatised by the events (who among us who was on the Eastern seaboard that day wasn't?). Since then, however, I have been less lenient. His claims to be a budding scientist fly in the face of his admitting, at the Beyond Belief gathering, that he had no knowledge of peole from other religions committing suicide bombings (Buddhists as Kamikaze pilots, Christians in Palestine/Israel, etc). His lack of wide study makes his claims of Islam as Death Cult suspect at best. His conflating of Qutbism as being representative of The Muslim World has definite political reasons.

Even in Letter to a Christian Nation he ends up "Standing with" the Christian fundamentalists against the Islamic hoards. How is that rational? "Kill them instead" does not advance anything reasonable.

I bought End of Faith in hopes of its being a call to reason. Imagine my disappointment! It is sad. It is also weird to me how he was just suddenly *there*. This is his first book, he spent (previous to this) about 20 years studying various eastern and western philosophies and has made statements in support of esp. Not a rationalist, nor a scientist, but resting on the Authority thereof. Fraud, I say!

Dawkins is another story. I think he has many good points, and is indeed approaching from a scientific strandpoint, and with the experience in scientific methods to back up his claims. It has been said that you cannot prove a negative- which is true- but you can eliminate claims by finding out, for instance, what does cause things to happen.

Daniel Dennet is pretty good in the non-religious ethics department, if you get a chance.

Harris is just the loudest. This does not mean he's reliable.
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Old 04-19-2007, 03:59 PM
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Having read "The End of Faith" I also do not agree with Sam Harris on some of his points. For instance his opinions on esp, some of his ideas about eastern religion/philosophies.

As far as the paragraph I posted...well, it depends on how you take it. Ofcourse I by no means believe if you can't convert them kill them. The only justification I can come up with for that paragraph would be a scenario such as this...

Say a militant group of people with a past record of violence and an agenda that includes killing innocent people are actively and illegaly seeking out WMDs would we be justified in stopping them at all cost? Or do we have to wait till they put their plan into action. What would be ethical?

I think Sam Harris should have done a better job explaining himself and definately disagree with him if it turns out that what he is advocating is some kind of ideological genocide. That should go with out saying though, heh.

For the record I do not think the justification given to invade Iraq was ethical.Also, I do think his book is worth taking the time to read and that he does make some good points in it as well.
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Old 04-19-2007, 04:12 PM
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It would be ethical to determine whether the scenario is credible before taking action, but I think that's a whole other thread- or board, even!

One of the many many problems I have with Harris is his occasionally good points. It's sad, because at times he makes sense, then of a sudden he devolves into such paragraphs as the above.
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Old 04-19-2007, 04:16 PM
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Agreed
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