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For everybody: what does being an atheist mean to YOU?
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23 / M / The Netherlands
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Posted 3/24/12 , edited 3/24/12


Well, I did say in my post that I do respect the religious person, but I will never ever ever ever ever ever respect their beliefs, for example: I would respect a monk for living his life in (hopefully) abstenance and many more difficulties, but I do not respect the reason for doing so.
I thought I had made that clear in my post, but apparently I did not, my apologies for that.

And unfortunatly, if any of my friends where thinking I will go to hell, then I cannot call them my friends, if they think I will be suffering for eternity, for being wrong in this life, then they clearly are not my friends.

I also know that being a religious person doesn't equal being stupid, uneducated and ignorant, however, it does mean you believe that there is a being that can bend natural laws at will. This comes with the outcome that any question can be answered with: God did it.
With believing there is a omnipresent, omnipotent and a omniscient god there comes a philisophy to blocking every form of science/curiousity and research, because why would you answer why there is lightning in any for except that it's god doing his stuff? (I say him, because clearly in monotheistic religions it's a he)
So no matter how much a religious person might know, the things he/she might not know, will be answered with god. Now I know there are many religious people much much much more intelligent than I am, nevertheless there will be always one questioned for then answered with god, and that's just a terrible terrible thing.

And yes, I am well aware of the cherry-picking religious individuals indulge themselves in, my grandmother for example is a christian, and she is of course a very friendly individual, but when presented with the question, should gays be allowed to marry? Should muslims be allowed to freely practice their belief? and many more questions, no matter how nice she is, she will answer some with only religion as a motive.
Now I imagine there are plenty of religious people who would not answer in that way, might even support all progressive things, but there will be a moment when they pick scriptures above humanity, and nothing good ever comes from that.
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Posted 3/24/12


It seems that I misunderstood the original question. When I was an atheist, my take on it was that there was no afterlife, no souls/spirits, and there was no existence of a person beyond the biological body, which is part of the reason why I answered the question the way I did; that's what it means to me, though I know it extends beyond the actual definition of Atheism. Although, Atheism is the disbelief in a God/deity, but Atheists take different positions on the issue. I suppose that the question that I answered was, "What is your position as an Atheist?", which wasn't the question.

Also, I LMAO'd when I read your analogy.
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Posted 3/24/12
Before going any futher I would like to clarify that what I undestand to be the purpose of this thread to get the opinion of religious people on aitheists and aitheism.

To amersfoort:

It's a good thing you pointed out the seemingly discriminating laws of my religions. The reply to that would be the following:

I mentioned before that you have to believe in a Creator to enter heaven. One of the requirements for believing in The Creator is that He creates everything, including the cure for AIDS. Infact it is He who created AIDS in the first place. Therefore human beings are only capable of discovering an already created cure by doing whatever scientific research they can.

It's the choice that you make to sacrifice your precious time and energy (and believe me it's a lot of time and energy..I would know because I am in the medical profession myself) in trying to find this cure while giving up the seemingly good pleasures of life for the benifit of the society is what will get you into heaven.

Furthermore, the way you say that people who achieved major milestones in life and made huge contributions should get to enter heaven whereas the other people who live an avarage life is absurd and completely unfair. Everyone is created differently with different physical and mental capacities and not everyone will have the opportunity to make a significant contribution to anything in the eyes of the general public. That however does not undermine the fact that the actions they take in their personal lives don't somehow benifit the people around them.

Again, it's the your choices that send you to heaven not your worldly achievements because let's face it, only a select few people ever get achieve something which is remembered by people of all ages.

Second point: Back to old caricaturist.
I find it unfair that you believe that a person no matter what their belief maybe, does not reserve a right to protect his or her belief.

In my religion we are forbidden to ever malign anyone else's faith and we are also required to not tolerate the maligning of our religion.

Third point and this for everyone else who disagrees with science and religion running parallel:

Since there can only be one true religion (due to obvious reasons........if it's not clear don't hesitate to ask why) there can only be one religion which complies with established scientific rules.

The point to stress on here is the word 'established'. Theories come and theories go, no scientist ever really knows if anything they postulate is accurate or not but they build principles around scientific theories. Those theories which comply with the laws of the universe, be it physics or otherwise, are the ones which are successful and the rest are proven wrong.

My religion's scripture makes scientifically accurate statements to prove it's authenticity, alot of which were used by the scientists of old ages to lay the foundations of modern science. Not one point so far disagress with established modern science.

Science explains how things work, but it offers no explaination whatsoever as to why things happen.
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23 / M / Middle of Nowhere...
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Posted 3/24/12
being an aethist to me...... means i dont care about religion or any adverse views of religion. I just dont care. dont care if theres a god or not or if the world ends when some guy with an awsome beard is reborn. Dont care
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Posted 3/24/12
Ok I just realised I made the same mistake MillanViolet made and I apologise for umm giving my opinion on aitheism as a person of religion.
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23 / M / The Netherlands
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Posted 3/24/12
Lol, calling atheism a religion is like calling not stamp collecting a hobby
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22 / F
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Posted 3/24/12
sorry my bad......what I meant to say is that I shouldn't actually be saying anything here because I am not an aitheist (but that hasn't kept me from defending my religion)
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Posted 3/24/12 , edited 3/24/12

Traiano wrote:The OP's question is flawed. This leads to the messy misunderstanding of the atheistic position.
My OP question is not flawed since no question is inherently flawed it is simply limited by the reader's understanding of the question. What meaning was behind my question, regardless of how I worded it, still stands.
If I thought "For everybody: what does lacking a belief in god mean to YOU?" but wording it the way I did, it makes no difference, some people will correctly presume that's what I meant. If you incorrectly assume that I think atheism is a state of being defining individuals that's YOUR misinterpretation alone (probably from presumptions linked to things entirely unrelated to the question whatsoever). The question as worded is more concise and simple compared to the wordy and unnecessary attention given to specifics as shown above. The question needs to have the word atheist in it and because I said "For everybody" I directed this question to everybody atheists, non-atheists alike.

menog23 wrote:

sorry my bad......what I meant to say is that I shouldn't actually be saying anything here because I am not an aitheist (but that hasn't kept me from defending my religion)
Why? I wanted anybody to respond to the question (regardless of belief, religion, philosophy, etc), I thought that is more than adequately clear in my opening post. By all means defend away, but don't think of it as "defending" think of it as simply expressing your opinion. THAT is what I want most of all

What part of "For EVERYBODY" and "To clarify to the people who AREN'T atheists..." is difficult to understand?
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Posted 3/24/12


Yeah, I do, but they're just for... 'experience', I guess. ^.^
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Posted 3/24/12
As a scientist, I base all my ideals under the logical microscope. I gather evidence test the evidence and further my understanding of the subject, Religion is not above any other topic in my book. So like all other ideas, hypothesis ext.. I gather the information, pick apart the false claims, find evidence, test the end product.. And come out with a logical outcome that I will fallow till the time new evidence is found. (then start all over.)

From My Research/findings I have found no reason based on the evidence to accept the idea of a Deistic or Theistic God, at that evidence instead points to there being no need for a God.

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23 / M / The Netherlands
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Posted 3/25/12 , edited 3/25/12


Now your first claim is utterly ridiculous, even if there is a god and it creates cures and diseases, it still enables humanity, and therefore individuals to discover that cure, to take away credit for that is simply an insult to those who work for their entire lives to help people.
It's like taking away all the credit off Christopher Columbus work because native americans, vikings and possibly china already discovered the new world. Utterly ridiculous.

Of course not everyone will get the oppertunity to do extremely good in life, however, those who try, or are willingly to, but yet do not believe in your creator do not get into heaven according to you. However those who live not even attempting to do such a grand action, but do believe in your creator do get into heaven, maybe even those who live an immoral life. It's flawed justice. Honestly, why would you have an advantage over me in going to heaven if you were an average person or worse (I know your not, but it's a what if situation) while I was let's say, the person who avoided all out nucleair war? Honestly, a god who would let people into heaven because they believe in it, and others are denied that acces because they don't is not a god I will ever follow, even if I am ever (wich I wont be) prooved wrong.

Now how is a million muslims riotting because they find some remote cartoons offensive a defensive act for their religion? May I let you know that the same muslims ridicule jews, christians and Hindu's all the time, in cartoons, writings and tv shows?

And I suspect the same goes for you, you say you are not to tolerate the maligning of your religion. So when someone does, how will you not tolerate it? Are you going to murder the person in question? Will you riot? Or will you say, allright that's free speech, now prepare some revenge caricatures!

And your third point is severely flawed. If you believe in the supernatural, such as a god or heaven, those things lie beyond the natural (the scientific world), so those 2 subject cannot comply with the established natural laws of physics. Secondly the laws of physics would cease to exist if there was something that could choose to ignore them. Laws of physics mean that every object or form of energy is bound by them, they cannot be ignored or remain unaffected.

Now it is true, theories come and go, and they get constantly challenged and modified. However, there is no denying that there are some certain physical rules, we just need to discover them. To claim that because these laws are ''just theories'' because they often are flawed is kind of unfair now isn't it?
When is the last time any religion, including yours came with evidence that would hold in court? Face it, if your beliefs were as frequently challenged as our theories were they would have crumbled a long time ago.
Now if your scriptures truly predicted any scientific theories/laws, then please do tell, what do your scriptures tell us about quantum mechanica? What do they predict on the particle that gives mass mass? What do they predict about the cause of gravity?
Now of course your scriptures wont disagree with the laws of physics, because they are so very very constant, they are always there. The ones who wrote down your scriptures never ever experienced a breach of those laws, so they would not write about it.

Now it seems you have completely ignored my faith argument, what kind of faith do you have if you claim there is soo much undenyable evidence for your religion, or a creator as a whole? If that is true then faith is not neccesery, it's infact useless in that case.

And by the way, can you be any more arrogant? by bluntly saying your religion is the only true one, while you of course haven't studied all other religions on earth, you claim this despite knowing your lack of knowledge.

Also, have you ever even considerd the option that there might not be a reason for the existance, that there is no answer to ''why'' something is. I'm not talking about us being here right now, but the universe as a whole, it doesn't need a reason to exist, and I don't think it has one.
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Posted 3/25/12
To amersfoort:

One very important point to note:

I don't believe I am going to heaven (because no one really knows who is going to heaven except the Creator), I only hope and pray that I'll live a life that will take me to heaven.

Ok I haven't explained things properly. Now I will be speaking purely about my religion unless I find the need to bring any other as examples or anything else. Before I begin I just want to state that I am assuming (since I don't know you at all but am guessing from your previous arguments) that the religion you are most familiar with is christianity.

From what I know of the christianity practiced in todays world, you are only required to believe in trinity and that allows you to enter heaven.

My religion is not like that. It isn't enough to just say I believe, because the religion has rules and to believe is to obey the rules.

According to my religion there are 6 articles of faith :
1. To believe in the Creator
2. To believe in His Angels
3. To believe in His scriptures
4.To believe in His Messengers
5.To believe in the day of Judgement
6.TO believe that death is decreed for living beings and that everything has been foreordained by the Creator

To claim to be faithful requires that we follow a certain lifestyle set by the rules and regulations provided for us through scriptures and messengers. Immorality is against the rules and hence it is absurd to expect to go to heaven after commiting immoral acts.

Going back to the issue of giving credit to the person who achieves something:

We (as people of my religion) can not achieve something big or small with the intention of getting credit for it, and still expect to go to heaven. If credit is given to us by the people then that's well and good but if it isn't we must be satisfied that one day we will be rewarded for our deeds and efforts.
Like I mentioned before, if someone is completely unIaware and untouched by the principles of this religion, then they do have the opportunity to go to heavenif they live a good and moral life.
The key to entering hell is to outright deny the existance of the Creator ,when you know in your heart, He does exist because you do not wish to live a life which involves sacrifice and isn't exactly the easiest one to live.


Caricature issue:
Ok here is the thing, billions of muslims did not threaten to attack the Danish. What they did is ban all import from them.
I know for a fact that muslims are not supposed to make fun of people other religions, Those who do so, do it against the Islamic teachings.

Third if someone were to attack my religion, me being in the position I am in, would simply say the following :
I pray that the Lord guides those people to the truth.

i would most definitely not attack them back because in my language there is a saying which roughly translates to:
A dog may bite me but I won't bite the dog back to get even. (That sounds very crude and I am not trying to call anyone a dog).

However, I do believe that if the individual who did make fun of Islam were to be punished I wouldn't be against it.

Science:

Before I argue against the points regarding complying the laws of physics, I would like to ask you, are the laws of physics limited to this universe alone, i.e, do they only apply as long as you are inside this universe?

Theories about sience:

There was a time the earth was flat and people got diseases because they were either cursed or did something evil. These were also theories and they were pretty flawed.

Scientific evidence:

I want you to clarify what you mean by evidence which will hold in court.

There are plenty of scriptures on earth which are filled with philosophies which no one with half a brain of todays day and age would accept. Philosophies which completely challange science and have no scientific basis whatsoever.

I think you may misinterpreted about scientific evidence present in the scriptures of my religion (and I take full blame for not speaking clearly).

Here is what I wanted to say:

The scripture speaks of things found in nature, some of which people were aware of at the time of revalation and some of which are only beginning to be discovered today. However, not one of these things mentioned in the scriptures (which are pretty ancient) have been disproven by modern science. Infact science itself bears witness to the validity of the scripture.

Now, since we believe that the scripture contains the words of the Creator it can not contain any mistakes not can it contradict itself. The scripture is not a book of science but rather a book of miracles which prove it's authenticity, and also contain rules and regulations for a porper and progressive life. Just to give you an example the scripture talks about embryology, astronomy, geology, anatomy and many more sciences.

You say that a religion does not require any proof. I disagree with you because there are many religions existing on earth and one must be able to find the right one from among the many options.Infact I could claim to be god and declare that my words are divine (lGod forbid) but the things said by me would be proven wrong with time. The scripture has proof for people of every background, and for all times since it's revalation.

I don't claim my religion is the one true religion, my religion does that on it's own. I simply choose to believe and comply with it's rules. My point btw was that there can be only one religion that is true.

Lastly, no I find it impossible to believe that I exist for no reason because if I did exist for no reason then I and practically every human being on earth wouldn't ask themselves atleast once in their life, what is the purpose of my existance! If people didn't exist for a purpose then they wouldn't be so hell bent on finding a purpose, setting up goals for their lives, hunting for the meaning of life, and making their kids write ' aim in life' essays in school.

Furthermore I find it impossible to believe the universe just exploded into existance without any guidance and simply rearranged itself into the complex and functional system capable of supporting life, it is today. I have never seen a tree blow up and fall to earth while it's pieces just randomly organised themselves into a chair. Nor ever have I see a cow blow up in a wheat field and fall back down to earth, organised into a burger. This isn't me disagreeing with the big bang theory, it's me saying that the big bang theory had someone greater than the universe itself, controlling the big bang and organising it into the universe we have today.

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Posted 3/25/12 , edited 3/25/12

menog23 wrote:Theories about sience:

There was a time the earth was flat and people got diseases because they were either cursed or did something evil. These were also theories and they were pretty flawed.
Wait. Wait. Wait. Wait...
I know you put it into context by saying those theories were flawed, so I know you're not actually saying the earth actually was flat until science proved us wrong and it suddenly became a sphere-like shape, but this is still not quite the right explanation of science.
When people thought the earth was flat science did not tell people that, there was never a point that people started questioning the physical properties of their world and just because they got the wrong information they concluded the earth was flat. That assumption existed because of LACK of science when superstition and people claiming to be agents of a supernatural being filled the world with their interpretation of it because they had power. Science began as a result of observations people made that seemed to contradict these long held preconceived notions. Do you see the difference I'm pointing out?

People thought the earth was the center of the universe *until* science proved otherwise.
People once thought that animals were mechanical constructs *until* science proved they are living, breathing, biological organisms just like humans.
People still believe all life is the result of a single creative instance by a omnipotent being *until* they use science to conclude that every living thing on the planet has a common ancestor that evolved and gave rise to the current diversity of species.

This is why everything biblical runs counter to science. By coincidence some things in it can be explained by science if you manipulate the observations enough. This is one weakness of science; no one doubts the sky is blue but science will also tell you that the sky is purple, green, yellow, red and orange.

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Posted 3/25/12
I shouldn't have used such a crude example.

Let me try again:
Scientists originally believed that depending upon the type of receptor stimulated in the skin, humans are able to differentiate between different senses such as touch, pressure, vibrations, heat etc.This theory was disproved by the fact that all receptors change sensations into electrical signals.

Later it was concluded that the differentiation between the types of senses is done by the brain.

This I believe is an example of science, the latter being an example of established science while the former a conjecture.

Now the point I was trying to make is that, the scripture of my religion contains many references to scientific facts, none of which disagree with established modern science.......facts which have been established only recently with the aid of sophisticated scientific methods. which were revealed over a 1000 years ago when according to what you say, science did not exist.
Infact the very example you used in, i,e the earth isn't the center of the universe is also mentioned in our scripture.

Speaking of coincidences, the possibility of it being a coincidence for these many references (which were revealed more than a 1000 years ago) being proven to be scientifically accurate, is 0.0000000000000001 according to the theory of probability.

The scripture comes with miracles which serve as proof of it's authenticity.
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Posted 3/26/12


You actually say that the only thing the muslims did in response of the danish cartoon, please re check your sources, because it's a false thing you're claiming.
Now the fact that you say that the danish cartoonist should be punished for using his right of freedom of speech, makes me want to insult your religion terribly much, but I shall not break my personal rule. Neverthless I will tell you that that statement is immoral, sick and totalitarian. But hey, that's basically what religion is about: totalitarianism.

Now, this is what made me think, your explanation of your religion. My question would be, are you monotheistic or polytheistic?
And by the way, obeying written rules does not make your religion special or different from others...... it's really a silly claim.

Now, outside of our universe I don't know what laws apply, seeing as I've never been there, and neither have you, we don't know, and to simply assume something would be foolish, stupid even. I can honestly say, I do not know.

Now evidence that would hold in court would be material evidence, or historical documentary, unbiased of course. Witness are the lowest form of evidence, and I wont accept it.

Now you vaguely claim that your scriptures say something about natural things, predictions even, and that they haven't been debunked by science. Very well, please do tell, what natural things? What things in your scripture talk about nature that can't be directly observed?"
So please give me detailed passages of your scriptures about these sciences, and also the time when that was written down.

Now saying something doesn't contradict itself doesn't actually make it not selfcontradicting does it? Anything that is written by man (including your scriptures) contain flaws, except of course for fictional novels, those are not meant to be written down as ''right''.

Now faith does not require proof, faith means, I believe in something, despite knowing that there is no evidence for that. I can have faith in a classmate that he or she will finish their assignment on time, I do this without actual evidence for that. Once i obtain the undenyable evidence that the work will be done on time, I wont be having faith in it, I will know that my classmate will have his/her work done on time.
That is the difference between faith and knowing something. Thus if we apply this to religion, once it obtains undenyable proof (in short proof) faith ceases to be a neccesity for that religion.

Now you deny to claim that your religion is the only true one, and say that your religion alone claims that, I haven't heard a concept talk in a while and I doubt it can, however you are here representing your religion and you claim that it is the only true one. Truly it is your claim, and again while you know nothing of other religions, it is an empty claim.

Now I must admit I was quite naieve, I expected not you to find it impossible to believe you have no fundemental reason of existing.
Now your reasoning however is flawed, you say because we can ask the question, there must be an answer, that is not true. I can ask what is the number before infinity? There is no answer to that because infinity is not a number, yet I do ask the question.
Both questions, to why does the universe exist, and what is the number before infinity are flawed, and cannot be answered therefore.
To say that the motivation that people carry towards answering this question means that there must be an answer is unfortunatly very silly.

Now in your last part I assume you are aiming towards the big bang theory, and the complexity of the universe, that everything cannot be the outcome of random events. Basically, you say that the answer to why/how as in the big bang theory is wrong and therefore your ''hypothese'' of a god is right. Now even if you prooved that the big bang theory is wrong, this does not proove you're right.
It is unfortunate however that you assume I do believe in the big bang theory, I myself must admit I find that it sounds reasonable, that the dimension of time was created at the big bang, and that therefore infinite regression isn't so much of a problem (I'm not able to comprehend this all though and I am probably explaining it terribly terribly wrong). However, because I do not understand even the tiniest bit of this theory, I can't say that I support it, I want to, but I cannot.

Now you say that because you've never seen a tree explode into a chair that it cannot be done, now I assume you haven't seen many trees explode but there is a possility that out of that explosion a chair will form. Because there is a possibility it is able to happen, now you do not seem to understand how insanely large the universe is.
Incredibly rare events, so rare that you and I will probably never bear witness to happen ALL THE TIME in the gigant that is the universe.
In case my words do not convince you of the gigant that is the universe, I will have a most wonderfull link for you: http://hubblesite.org/gallery/album/ Here you can see the vast and enormous universe for yourself and see, that even if a chance is 1 on 100000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000 it still will be a common event for the universe.

Now regarding the explanation of life is quite simple, simply put: Life is the extreme expression of complex chemistry.
It is the simple out come of self-replicating mass, in other words, the most succesfull mass at a certain place.

Now again, I don't know much about this perticular subject, I only know the very basics, so I will not be able to tell you the answers you might want to hear.

However, faith is not required in any of the theories I think to be true, I simply look at the evidence at hand (even though I am not smart enough to comprehend most of them) and will base my choice on that.
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