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Are you Atheist?
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Posted 9/20/12

Rupi wrote:

I wouldn't say i deny that there could be a god or multiple gods, but i tend to believe alot more that "god" is a power that resides within all humans, and that we can't use/have forgotten how to use our power, almost as if we have been put into a mental state of sleep. Looking at some insane talent around the world makes me think that their passion for what they are doing have led them to "open" their mind towards their passion, thus making them exceed what an avarage person could do. Look at Michael Jordan, Tupac, Michael Jackson, Tyrone "Muggsy" Bogues (shortest player in NBA history 5'3''), Spud Webb (Shortest player to win NBA slam dunk contest 5'7''), and alot of other people around the world.
Probably sounds insane to some, but that's my 2 pennies :P
This video is quite interesting as well for those who care about this kinda stuff : http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uAm-kbzT7xw&feature=related


Hey, I just watched the whole video and I have to say it was really interesting. I even found my self believing some of the stuff video. Overall the video was well put together and anyone can easily tell that whoever made it did a lot of research, thanks for the link. I still don't believe in god though but the video explains more about how consciousness and self awareness interacts with society.
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Posted 9/20/12

zinjashike wrote:
The null hypothesis means that it's seen as non-existent until proven. It's the very denial of a deity. Thus, it's up to religion to refute the null hypothesis.

If I told you unicorns or some other absurd creature existed you'd probably call BS and say "prove it". This is effectively what science does. It starts with the hypothesis of nothing existing until it is proven to be so.


the null hypothesis for "a deity exists" is indeed that one doesn't but the null hypothesis for "a deity doesn't exist" is that one does. if you're simply talking about if a deity exists or not then science really has no say either way.

science doesn't take by default that no deity exits just that weather it does or doesn't is generally irrelevant as far as the collected data on a subject goes since neither can be proven and the data collected is still the data collected. null hypotheses are there for testing relevancy and supporting other hypotheses. since a null hypothesis can't be proven (and are only meant to be disproved in support of an alternative hypothesis) it's not really a denial of a deity just a statement that as far as the data goes for a certain hypothesis it's irrelevant one way or the other.

that's the first i've heard of science assuming nothing exists until it's proven so. do me a favor and prove i actually exist and that i'm not just something someone (you for example) imagined... for that matter prove you actually exist and that you aren't just a figment of someone else's imagination as well.

also, if you told me unicorns exist i'd probably say something like "yea, but they're much more stout than i imagined."
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Posted 9/20/12 , edited 9/20/12
Why am I an atheist? The short answer would be that I don't really have a choice in the matter, but to explain more fully, the scientific method is by far the most reliable tool we currently possess for differentiating fantasy from reality; without it, we wouldn't be having a discussion on the internet, for example. Unlike our senses, which can give us inaccurate or entirely false information, and unlike our innate ability to reason through induction, which, while helpful most of the time, can also lead to us seeing patterns or causal relationships which do not actually exist, especially when we affect our own perception by unconsciously filtering information so that our preconceived notions are confirmed, the scientific method is unbiased and provides us with information that we can rely on with a high degree of certainty. As a result, the only rational thing to do when forming a paradigm in which the truth is valued is to inform that paradigm through scientific inquiry and skepticism.

When it comes to supernatural claims, there are two categories; those which are falsifiable and those which are non-falsifiable. When dealing with a falsifiable claim i.e. a claim which can be examined using evidence (for this example I will use the hypothesis "X is true"), the question "Is X true?" is considered - the question "Is X false?" (otherwise known as the null hypothesis) is not, as proving the null hypothesis (X is false) is a logical impossibility. What this means is that if the evidence proves X, X is then accepted as true. If the evidence is not sufficient to prove X, this doesn't mean that X is not true. A good way to think of this is to use the analogy of a courtroom; in court, the jury deals only with the question of guilt i.e. "Is this person guilty?" and offers a verdict of "Guilty" or "Not guilty"; the latter does not mean that the suspect is innocent. As for non-falsifiable claims, we have no way of assessing them as, by definition, there can never be evidence for them; as a result, they are all rejected outright as it is irrational to accept a claim for which there is no evidence; were this not the case, belief in fairies, unicorns, Santa, the Loch Ness monster etc. etc. would all be reasonable things to include in your paradigm.

The relevance of all this to atheism is simple; atheists address the question "Is there a god?" and, using the jury analogy, offer a verdict of "Not guilty". In the case of the Christian god, he is *by definition* outside the realm of human perception, which puts any claims about the Christian god firmly into the non-falsifiable category; while he may exist, we have absolutely no way of determining that he actually does, and therefore must take the default skeptical position of rejecting those claims relating to him if we are to maintain a consistent world view (as acceptance of one non-falsifiable claim over another is necessarily inconsistent).

Edit: I'd also like to point out to everybody bandying about the terms 'atheist' and 'agnostic' as if they are in some way mutually exclusive, that you are incorrect. Both terms address different questions and are used in conjunction with each other.

Atheist/Theist are terms used to describe what you believe with respect to the claim "There is a god", the former being the rejection and the latter the acceptance.

Agnostic/Gnostic address the question of why you believe something; agnostic essentially means "without knowledge" and means that you can not claim certainty with respect to your position. Gnostic means "with knowledge" and describes a position where you are certain of the truth value. For example, I am an agnostic atheist as I do not believe that there is a god, but I do not know there there is not a god. A gnostic atheist (a ridiculous position, by the way) claims certainty that no gods exist. Similarlly, an agnostic theist believes that there is a god but can not prove this to be the case whereas a gnostic theist (most theists tend to be this) claims to know that a god exists.

Answering 'agnostic' to the question 'what do you believe' makes absolutely no sense, as there is no middle ground between the acceptance or rejection of a claim; if you don't accept the claim 'god is real', even if you can't prove that god isn't real, you are atheistic by definition. It would be just as nonsensical as answering that you are a gnostic when asked what you believe, the reason being that you are answering the wrong question.
Posted 9/20/12
It's like not believing in Santa Claus. You just grow up a little someday and say "This can't be real."
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Posted 9/20/12

holyknightjoshua wrote:

the null hypothesis for "a deity exists" is indeed that one doesn't but the null hypothesis for "a deity doesn't exist" is that one does. if you're simply talking about if a deity exists or not then science really has no say either way.

science doesn't take by default that no deity exits just that weather it does or doesn't is generally irrelevant as far as the collected data on a subject goes since neither can be proven and the data collected is still the data collected. null hypotheses are there for testing relevancy and supporting other hypotheses. since a null hypothesis can't be proven (and are only meant to be disproved in support of an alternative hypothesis) it's not really a denial of a deity just a statement that as far as the data goes for a certain hypothesis it's irrelevant one way or the other.


Denial was probably the wrong way of phrasing it, but rather there's no reason to believe one exists and as such there's even no point in denying it as it's an assumed null. Does that make sense? For many religions, this is heresy in a literal sense, and as such it becomes very hard for them to practice sciences and religion. It takes a certain amount of cognitive dissonance or mental separation to force the scientific methods upon everything else except one's own faith.


that's the first i've heard of science assuming nothing exists until it's proven so. do me a favor and prove i actually exist and that i'm not just something someone (you for example) imagined... for that matter prove you actually exist and that you aren't just a figment of someone else's imagination as well.


Actually, it's up to you or me to prove our own existence. As for proving beyond imagination, you're now entering philosophical territory ("I think therefore I am" - René Descartes). The end result of science is conclusions based on physical observation of evidence with the assumption that the observed in in fact existent. The best evidence I have of your existence at this time is that there is something/someone posting something via an IP address to Crunchyroll's servers - that's a physical observation. What or who that thing/person is however is another question. The same goes for you. However, if you wanted to prove your physical existence (based on our understanding of the physical world) you could fly, meet me in person, have a cup of coffee, and very easily prove within that context that yes, you and I do indeed exist.

I rather go by Occam's razor though and ascertain that based on your responses, you're likely a sentient being (not a bot), probably a human (no reason to believe otherwise yet), and are likely the owner of your account on this site (if hijacked, many would either do something to have you banned or use it for viewing solely).



also, if you told me unicorns exist i'd probably say something like "yea, but they're much more stout than i imagined."


While tongue in cheek, the point is that the same reasoning used to question the validity of claims in relation to paranormal, mystical things, etc. are used in relation to a deity. Most religions effectively forbid this reasoning as a lack of faith, and if used would require someone to abandon the reasoning or the faith.
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Posted 9/20/12

xShigenarix wrote:

Why am I an atheist? The short answer would be that I don't really have a choice in the matter, but to explain more fully, the scientific method is by far the most reliable tool we currently possess for differentiating fantasy from reality; without it, we wouldn't be having a discussion on the internet, for example. Unlike our senses, which can give us inaccurate or entirely false information, and unlike our innate ability to reason through induction, which, while helpful most of the time, can also lead to us seeing patterns or causal relationships which do not actually exist, especially when we affect our own perception by unconsciously filtering information so that our preconceived notions are confirmed, the scientific method is unbiased and provides us with information that we can rely on with a high degree of certainty. As a result, the only rational thing to do when forming a paradigm in which the truth is valued is to inform that paradigm through scientific inquiry and skepticism.

When it comes to supernatural claims, there are two categories; those which are falsifiable and those which are non-falsifiable. When dealing with a falsifiable claim i.e. a claim which can be examined using evidence (for this example I will use the hypothesis "X is true"), the question "Is X true?" is considered - the question "Is X false?" (otherwise known as the null hypothesis) is not, as proving the null hypothesis (X is false) is a logical impossibility. What this means is that if the evidence proves X, X is then accepted as true. If the evidence is not sufficient to prove X, this doesn't mean that X is not true. A good way to think of this is to use the analogy of a courtroom; in court, the jury deals only with the question of guilt i.e. "Is this person guilty?" and offers a verdict of "Guilty" or "Not guilty"; the latter does not mean that the suspect is innocent. As for non-falsifiable claims, we have no way of assessing them as, by definition, there can never be evidence for them; as a result, they are all rejected outright as it is irrational to accept a claim for which there is no evidence; were this not the case, belief in fairies, unicorns, Santa, the Loch Ness monster etc. etc. would all be reasonable things to include in your paradigm.

The relevance of all this to atheism is simple; atheists address the question "Is there a god?" and, using the jury analogy, offer a verdict of "Not guilty". In the case of the Christian god, he is *by definition* outside the realm of human perception, which puts any claims about the Christian god firmly into the non-falsifiable category; while he may exist, we have absolutely no way of determining that he actually does, and therefore must take the default skeptical position of rejecting those claims relating to him if we are to maintain a consistent world view (as acceptance of one non-falsifiable claim over another is necessarily inconsistent).

Edit: I'd also like to point out to everybody bandying about the terms 'atheist' and 'agnostic' as if they are in some way mutually exclusive, that you are incorrect. Both terms address different questions and are used in conjunction with each other.

Atheist/Theist are terms used to describe what you believe with respect to the claim "There is a god", the former being the rejection and the latter the acceptance.

Agnostic/Gnostic address the question of why you believe something; agnostic essentially means "without knowledge" and means that you can not claim certainty with respect to your position. Gnostic means "with knowledge" and describes a position where you are certain of the truth value. For example, I am an agnostic atheist as I do not believe that there is a god, but I do not know there there is not a god. A gnostic atheist (a ridiculous position, by the way) claims certainty that no gods exist. Similarlly, an agnostic theist believes that there is a god but can not prove this to be the case whereas a gnostic theist (most theists tend to be this) claims to know that a god exists.

Answering 'agnostic' to the question 'what do you believe' makes absolutely no sense, as there is no middle ground between the acceptance or rejection of a claim; if you don't accept the claim 'god is real', even if you can't prove that god isn't real, you are atheistic by definition. It would be just as nonsensical as answering that you are a gnostic when asked what you believe, the reason being that you are answering the wrong question.


I see what you are saying. If you can spare 10 minutes of your time check out this video: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uAm-kbzT7xw&feature=related it is really interesting and sort off teaches about the relation between consciousness, self awareness and society.
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Posted 9/20/12

shinagamipunch wrote:

Why can't science and religion co-exist?


It can only if religion doesn't make ANY observable and testable claims. The moment religion makes a claim; science can be used to test the validity of it.
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Posted 9/20/12 , edited 9/20/12
My personal gripe is when people use "belief" and "evidence" in the same sentence without a negative modifier before one of them. A person does not have to have any evidence to believe something. That, itself, is the essence of belief. Once you have evidence in support of a belief, it is no longer a belief. It is a truth.

I am an Atheist because I have fairly extensively studied religions, from my 5 years of Catholic school on up to my current 29 years of personal experience. I have never seen anything that supports the idea of a single God or group of gods. The hypocrisy inherent in so many religions, combined with the fact that these religions are so heavily predicated on cultural ideas and ideals in such a way that they can not be reconciled with other religions of a similar premise. Because of this, I for one cannot justify to myself a belief for the sake of belief. I feel those that blindly believe in the existence of a mystical being beyond all possibility of encountering who controls everything whenever they so feel like it are simply deluding themselves to ease their own burdens of guilt and responsibility. "God has a plan for everyone, so don't feel bad about accidentally running over that person the other day", or so-called "acts of God". The fact that your house was destroyed by lava is not God's fault. You're the genius who bought property next to a volcano.

I agree with 98% of what was stated in Richard Dawkins' TED speech on Militant Atheism. I will not believe in some form of deity until I see empirical evidence in support of it. On the other side of this coin, however, I will not say that they can't possibly exist, because we simply don't know enough about our universe to state anything is certain.

With all that said, however, I have absolutely no problem with other people believing whatever they want. The moment you try and convert me or convince that my opinion is wrong, we'll have a debate on our hands, and it's not one I've lost since I first started having them in high school. Ask some of the Born-Agains that I've worked with, or the Witnesses that have made the mistake of ringing my door and not leaving before I lose my self-control. People who insist on trying to "save my soul", though, aren't remotely as bad as those that refuse to believe what is right before their eyes: those who refuse to believe in evolutionism in spite of the mounds of evidence to support it, and cling instead to creationism.
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Posted 9/20/12

Obviously you weren't thinking hard enough about what I just said. Ah well, not many people are capable of deep thinking. God doesn't need to be viewed as some old dude with beard. Or as something you can name.


I don't need to think deeply about what you're saying, the reason for that being that you actually haven't offered a valid argument for me to consider. What you've done here is a complete non-sequitur

P1: If you don't believe what I'm saying, you must not be thinking hard enough
P2: You don't believe what I'm saying
C:: Your argument is invalid

Clearly, the issue here is that even if I accepted as true that my thinking must be shallow if I don't share your viewpoint, it wouldn't invalidate my argument in any way whatsoever. If you like, feel free to address the major points from my previous wall of text...otherwise, this is sort of pointless
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Posted 9/20/12

LosingOrbit wrote:

The topic of this thread is are you an atheist, answer accordingly. This thread is not for your religious debates, neither is it to prove or disprove anything. There will be no arguing or trolling in this thread. Thank you.


And I will be locking this thread for the above reason.


~deleted unrelated posts and locked
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Posted 9/20/12

ATFDoc wrote:

My personal gripe is when people use "belief" and "evidence" in the same sentence without a negative modifier before one of them. A person does not have to have any evidence to believe something. That, itself, is the essence of belief. Once you have evidence in support of a belief, it is no longer a belief. It is a truth.


I disagree entirely. Beliefs are split into two categories - those which are rational and those which are irrational. Irrational beliefs are those beliefs that are held absent evidence or held despite evidence to the contrary. Rational beliefs are those beliefs which are held as a result of the evidence; new evidence can change these beliefs. All the word belief really means is 'a conclusion reached through inductive reasoning'; all conclusions that we come to using a posteriori knowledge must necessarily be inductive ones as we can not claim to have absolute certainty about any knowledge that is dependent on experience; 2+2=4 and will never =5 as mathematical truths are obtained a priori and exist independent of any other factors. Conversely, it is incorrect to assume that that sun will definitely rise tomorrow, as such a claim would be dependent on nature being uniform; to assume that nature will continue to be uniform because it appears to be uniform is to employ circular reasoning. The result of this is that because we can not assert absolute certainty regarding causal relationships i.e. all a posteriori knowledge, any conclusions that we come to, whether through a careful preponderance of the available evidence or for no discernible reason, must necessarily be held as beliefs, each held with varying degrees of certainty.
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