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Are the New Atheists just as messed up as Believers?

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woolfe9998

Lifer
Apr 8, 2013
13,126
8,162
136
That makes sense for practically everything, except gods. Given the attributes gods are said to have (omnipotent, omniscience, etc), it still leaves the ever so small chance they could exist without our knowing, or ever knowing.

But yes, if someone asked if i believed in the pink rainbow farting unicorns, i’d say ‘no’ hands down. As they don’t have the attributes of a said all powerful, knowing god.

Outsides these discussions, god or religion, play no part in my life. I go about my life as if they don’t exist.
Yeah, but you can't say that the pink rainbow farting unicorn isn't an alien species on a planet in a galaxy halfway across the observable universe. Because we don't really know what is out there except what is detectable from where we are which is basically things which are relatively large.

The point being, that "God" is not really that special of a case.

Nonetheless, you are right to live your life as if all such things do not exist because doing otherwise makes little sense.
 

MrSquished

Lifer
Jan 14, 2013
10,110
6,202
136
That makes sense for practically everything, except gods. Given the attributes gods are said to have (omnipotent, omniscience, etc), it still leaves the ever so small chance they could exist without our knowing, or ever knowing.

But yes, if someone asked if i believed in the pink rainbow farting unicorns, i’d say ‘no’ hands down. As they don’t have the attributes of a said all powerful, knowing god.

Outsides these discussions, god or religion, play no part in my life. I go about my life as if they don’t exist.
a god, gods or any supernatural power or being(s) may not be all powerful or all knowing or omnipotent or omniscient. again, something we just can't know.
 

fskimospy

Elite Member
Mar 10, 2006
72,150
22,741
136
a god, gods or any supernatural power or being(s) may not be all powerful or all knowing or omnipotent or omniscient. again, something we just can't know.
There is simply nothing we can deny the existence of if the standard is that a magical thing that exists outside of nature may have poofed it into being.
 

PowerEngineer

Diamond Member
Oct 22, 2001
3,311
345
126
Thank you, this is exactly correct. The idea that we need to preface every denial we make with the fact that given the near limitless magnificence of the multiverse it could potentially exist is a waste of everyone’s time.

As you said if someone asks you if King George III stopped by your house last night you would just say no, you would not feel the need to qualify it with ‘but given our limited knowledge of time and space maybe he did’. It’s no different here.
Well, perhaps it is a waste of everyone's time... Or it would be if everyone actually shared this appreciation that there is a possibility - no matter how slim - that whatever one believes to be true could turn out to be wrong. I will suggest that rational/logical discussions are pointless unless the participants all share this appreciation and are open to the possibility that what they believed going into the discussion might not be the same as what they believe coming out.

A challenge in these kinds of threads that deal with religious beliefs (or the lack thereof) is that participants whose beliefs are based on faith (or on their special extra-dimensional relationship with god) do not seem to share this understanding with the rest of us. For them, their beliefs are absolutely and unquestionably 100% correct; a change in beliefs no matter how slight is inconceivable.

So I mostly agree with you that it could and should go without saying, but perhaps not in a thread like this one.
 

Moonbeam

Elite Member
Nov 24, 1999
67,178
3,863
126
But that’s the whole thing, unlike with cargo cults we are very comfortable with saying we don’t know why the planes landed and don’t know what to do to make them come back.
And? Of course they don't know and know they don't know because they are using a methodology of knowing that can't know a thing about God and are religiously wedded to it. God is related to a psychological state of awareness some humans have that is governed by psychological principles. It is that science that was expressed by living exponents like Jesus. As soon as the light that animates the awakened exponent of truth, the whole operation become mechanical egoism. It is that fact, that corruption that create non believers. Those who do not know and are full of fear as a result are dangerous and that obvious threat drives atheism. Few bother themselves about those who believe in the Easter Bunny but they will if a cult of them begins to mass murder.
 

fskimospy

Elite Member
Mar 10, 2006
72,150
22,741
136
Well, perhaps it is a waste of everyone's time... Or it would be if everyone actually shared this appreciation that there is a possibility - no matter how slim - that whatever one believes to be true could turn out to be wrong. I will suggest that rational/logical discussions are pointless unless the participants all share this appreciation and are open to the possibility that what they believed going into the discussion might not be the same as what they believe coming out.

A challenge in these kinds of threads that deal with religious beliefs (or the lack thereof) is that participants whose beliefs are based on faith (or on their special extra-dimensional relationship with god) do not seem to share this understanding with the rest of us. For them, their beliefs are absolutely and unquestionably 100% correct; a change in beliefs no matter how slight is inconceivable.

So I mostly agree with you that it could and should go without saying, but perhaps not in a thread like this one.
That’s a fair point that for everything in life this should go without saying but maybe not here, especially because people do not always appear to appreciate that distinction in this context.
 

MrSquished

Lifer
Jan 14, 2013
10,110
6,202
136
There is simply nothing we can deny the existence of if the standard is that a magical thing that exists outside of nature may have poofed it into being.
Sure. But can you look at the universe and life on this planet and think for sure there was nothing mystical about it whatsoever? It's not like we are asking if there was a supernatural power involved in creating a pencil eraser. We are talking about something so vast and at times so beautiful and brings us so many emotions and not think that perhaps there is some sort of other dimensional power involved here on some level. I think that is certainly possible.
 

Moonbeam

Elite Member
Nov 24, 1999
67,178
3,863
126
Sure, the possibility of a supernatural being or force controlling or responsible for existence is something as beings in nature we probably can never know. (However as woolfe mentions it is not unknowable as such a being could reveal themselves at any time)

The difference is of course as I mentioned above that only some of those people are comfortable admitting such ignorance.
I am perfectly comfortable with that. The problem is that you have brought with you whom you think I think God is. What is supernatural about knowing who God is when he reveals Himself or is revealed as what it really is when one experiences a psychological state that is had like grace. You have fallen for the supernatural bull shit. That is why I say the God you believe in or don't believe in does not exist. Knowing is a state of awareness known only to those who experience it. All the crap about God is meaningless. The question is, can you experience such a state? What I know or do not know is not important, really. What is important, in my opinion, is you.
 

IronWing

No Lifer
Jul 20, 2001
61,853
14,985
136
Sure. But can you look at the universe and life on this planet and think for sure there was nothing mystical about it whatsoever? It's not like we are asking if there was a supernatural power involved in creating a pencil eraser. We are talking about something so vast and at times so beautiful and brings us so many emotions and not think that perhaps there is some sort of other dimensional power involved here on some level. I think that is certainly possible.
Possible? Perhaps. Necessary? Nope. In practice, I'm an animist and I see no need for a creator god. The world and the stuff in it are worthy of awe in their own right.
 

Moonbeam

Elite Member
Nov 24, 1999
67,178
3,863
126
Sure. But can you look at the universe and life on this planet and think for sure there was nothing mystical about it whatsoever? It's not like we are asking if there was a supernatural power involved in creating a pencil eraser. We are talking about something so vast and at times so beautiful and brings us so many emotions and not think that perhaps there is some sort of other dimensional power involved here on some level. I think that is certainly possible.
Belief in the impossible isn't mysticism, it's ignorance. Mysticism isn't magical thinking at least in my comic book.
 

MrSquished

Lifer
Jan 14, 2013
10,110
6,202
136
Possible? Perhaps. Necessary? Nope. In practice, I'm an animist and I see no need for a creator god. The world and the stuff in it are worthy of awe in their own right.
I don't think it's necessary at all, but certainly possible. Hence why I consider myself agnostic. But it is too grand a question for me to be certain of either way.

One thing I am virtually certain of is that man's interpretations of 'religion' and 'God' are for the most part corrupt fairy tales.
 

fskimospy

Elite Member
Mar 10, 2006
72,150
22,741
136
I am perfectly comfortable with that. The problem is that you have brought with you whom you think I think God is. What is supernatural about knowing who God is when he reveals Himself or is revealed as what it really is when one experiences a psychological state that is had like grace. You have fallen for the supernatural bull shit. That is why I say the God you believe in or don't believe in does not exist. Knowing is a state of awareness known only to those who experience it. All the crap about God is meaningless. The question is, can you experience such a state? What I know or do not know is not important, really. What is important, in my opinion, is you.
Haha, of every person here you are the person I am least confident that I know what your concept of god is.
 
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nOOky

Golden Member
Aug 17, 2004
1,994
813
136
If that was a joke, it's a good one. It it's a strategy, I hope your dates are people you deserve.
That's an actual item off the match.com dating checklist from about 15 years ago, when I signed up for 3 months free or something like that. I was more or less joking. If you were intending to be disparaging in your remark, it shows how much some folks godliness does not translate into being a decent person. YMMV.
 

Moonbeam

Elite Member
Nov 24, 1999
67,178
3,863
126
Haha, of every person here you are the person I am least confident that I know what your concept of god is.
And to further complicate the matter, any concept I have or could formulate would just be fingers point at something that would not be Him. I just use capital H as a tradition. He surely isn’t male. I just use God to refer to the non thing believers refer to out of ignorance. It’s what a state of awareness got warped into by cargo cults.

A sense of humor is Godly. It’s the result of experiencing a clash of connections the resolution of which make us laugh,. Awakening is like that. It makes you wonder how you could have ever been so stupid.

None of this means I am right about Prop 13, however. Native Americans have a better claim.
 

WelshBloke

Lifer
Jan 12, 2005
27,863
4,912
126
Goodness!

Atheist doesn't mean a belief that God doesn't exist, it just means a lack of belief in the existence of God. That's what the word means.
Like aphasia means without speech, atheist means without belief.
That lack of belief might come from apathy or disinterest rather than certainty.

The whole "atheism is the exact opposite of theism" just comes from religious people who can't wrap their heads around people not thinking that their imaginary friend is the most important thing in the universe to everyone.
 
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Moonbeam

Elite Member
Nov 24, 1999
67,178
3,863
126
Goodness!

Atheist doesn't mean a belief that God doesn't exist, it just means a lack of belief in the existence of God. That's what the word means.
Like aphasia means without speech, atheist means without belief.
That lack of belief might come from apathy or disinterest rather than certainty.

The whole "atheism is the exact opposite of theism" just comes from religious people who can't wrap their heads around people not thinking that their imaginary friend is the most important thing in the universe to everyone.
Atheism is intellectual rage against the irrational stupidity of believers who believe in exclusive gods that lead to religious wars or pogroms against non believers, gods so absurd that anybody with an ounce of logic would never fall for, gods that are believed in because they are used to put the fear of hell in children to control them, imprisoning them, etc, like the money one can make from such a con. It is the intellectual stupidity of believing that religious believing is the source of the problem rather than the certainty that what one believes must be believed by other for one's self to feel safe. The gods of religion are a con taken seriously by believers and atheists alike. Atheists can even make a living off disbelieving in something that can't exist. What they might better direct their attention to is the reason why people need to feel certainty but that would require some introspection. Atheism becomes a sacred cow the moment one feels proud to be a crusader against religious evil.

Apathy of disinterest, maybe, among any not posting here. :)
 

WelshBloke

Lifer
Jan 12, 2005
27,863
4,912
126
Atheism is intellectual rage against the irrational stupidity of believers who believe in exclusive gods that lead to religious wars or pogroms against non believers, gods so absurd that anybody with an ounce of logic would never fall for, gods that are believed in because they are used to put the fear of hell in children to control them, imprisoning them, etc, like the money one can make from such a con. It is the intellectual stupidity of believing that religious believing is the source of the problem rather than the certainty that what one believes must be believed by other for one's self to feel safe. The gods of religion are a con taken seriously by believers and atheists alike. Atheists can even make a living off disbelieving in something that can't exist. What they might better direct their attention to is the reason why people need to feel certainty but that would require some introspection. Atheism becomes a sacred cow the moment one feels proud to be a crusader against religious evil.
What now? Really it isn't. You're looking at something and colouring it with your own feelings. It maybe that to you but it isn't actually that. Remember what I said about your perception not actually changing reality?
 
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Moonbeam

Elite Member
Nov 24, 1999
67,178
3,863
126
What now? Really it isn't. You're looking at something and colouring it with your own feelings. It maybe that to you but it isn't actually that. Remember what I said about your perception not actually changing reality?
I remember you being wrong about that, yes. But I was expressing my feelings.

Perception is affected by attitude and one can have attitude and be completely unaware of what it is. The perception of God is the result of an indescribable shift in attitude. Some call it enlightenment but it can cause a shift from absolute despair to peace and surrender in an instant. It could also be the result of an experience of shifting attention, intense focus as introspection interrupted by some external interruption that that shifts everything externally. It is that shift that brings an insight I call revelation. You suddenly understand and know everything because you suddenly know that everything you have ever longed for, truth, light, goodness etc are real, can't be lost, but only hidden. You had always looked out there for something that can only be found within. You know why people believe and why they doubt and why they need do neither. The only difference form before and after is attitude. You didn't know and now you do. It ends belief and doubt.
 

WelshBloke

Lifer
Jan 12, 2005
27,863
4,912
126
I remember you being wrong about that, yes. But I was expressing my feelings.

Perception is affected by attitude and one can have attitude and be completely unaware of what it is. The perception of God is the result of an indescribable shift in attitude. Some call it enlightenment but it can cause a shift from absolute despair to peace and surrender in an instant. It could also be the result of an experience of shifting attention, intense focus as introspection interrupted by some external interruption that that shifts everything externally. It is that shift that brings an insight I call revelation. You suddenly understand and know everything because you suddenly know that everything you have ever longed for, truth, light, goodness etc are real, can't be lost, but only hidden. You had always looked out there for something that can only be found within. You know why people believe and why they doubt and why they need do neither. The only difference form before and after is attitude. You didn't know and now you do. It ends belief and doubt.
maxresdefault.jpg

mmmkay?
 

Moonbeam

Elite Member
Nov 24, 1999
67,178
3,863
126
Do you experience reality in any other way than by perception? Isn’t your idea of what reality is what you perceive it to be? Do you actually imagine that what you perceive is reality or only what your brain makes of it from sensory data? You are making the claim, it seems to me, that the chemical responses sent to your brain by external stimulation to which you have become habituated are only what is real because you are habituated to nothing else. You would call me drugged if I reported to you the world sensed by X-ray but that reality would be there invisible to you or me without the machine. The term enlightened basically implies being able to see the reality we normally experience as darkness.

However, I can as easily argue that while perception may not alter reality, that information is useless to you because you’re not experiencing it in any case. It is colored by The assumptions you are not aware you are making, namely your delusion of duality, that the self cannot be understood by a fragment of self. The eye can’t see itself and thought about self or self definition is not the self. We are habituated to thought and thought is time and fear. I think, therefore I creat the ego. Who is when thought is not?
 

WelshBloke

Lifer
Jan 12, 2005
27,863
4,912
126
Do you experience reality in any other way than by perception? Isn’t your idea of what reality is what you perceive it to be? Do you actually imagine that what you perceive is reality or only what your brain makes of it from sensory data? You are making the claim, it seems to me, that the chemical responses sent to your brain by external stimulation to which you have become habituated are only what is real because you are habituated to nothing else. You would call me drugged if I reported to you the world sensed by X-ray but that reality would be there invisible to you or me without the machine. The term enlightened basically implies being able to see the reality we normally experience as darkness.
No I'm saying that reality exists separately from my perception of it. It existed before I was born, and will exist after I'm gone. What I perceive reality to be is irrelevant to what reality is.
I could drop a load of LSD and perceive the universe totally differently but that wouldn't actually change the universe.
However, I can as easily argue that while perception may not alter reality, that information is useless to you because you’re not experiencing it in any case. It is colored by The assumptions you are not aware you are making, namely your delusion of duality, that the self cannot be understood by a fragment of self. The eye can’t see itself and thought about self or self definition is not the self. We are habituated to thought and thought is time and fear. I think, therefore I creat the ego. Who is when thought is not?
It's not useless to understand that perception doesn't change reality. That understanding stops the dead end of unreason that you are heading down.
 
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Moonbeam

Elite Member
Nov 24, 1999
67,178
3,863
126
That's an actual item off the match.com dating checklist from about 15 years ago, when I signed up for 3 months free or something like that. I was more or less joking. If you were intending to be disparaging in your remark, it shows how much some folks godliness does not translate into being a decent person. YMMV.
As I said, I loved it as a joke, but I don’t really mind disparaging people who consciously deceiving other out of a need for relationship. Genuine people deserve better. I am happy you were joking, it was a good one as such, but were it a product of selfish cunning I would not worry much about not being a decent person is the eyes of someone like that. They wouldn’t know decent behavior if it hit them in the ass. No offense intended. Just saying.

Hell, I wouldn’t want you dating some chick who claims to to be a vegetarian and hopes to eat your liver. I try to be fair about being indecent.
 

SMOGZINN

Lifer
Jun 17, 2005
13,242
2,864
136
Agnostic's thinking the existence of god being unknown or unknowable does not mean they don't necessarily believe that god could not exist, they would just require proof of it.
Okay, how would we go about proving the non-existence of something? Anything?

The only way to obtain proof that most reasonable people would think would confirm that belief would be to die to find out, since that is the only way one could prove it.
Excellent, we have now defined what evidence would prove the non-existence of a god. If people die and do not come that is evidence for god. If they do not come back and tell us about a god, that is evidence against god. Since we are trying to prove a negative (NOT something) we have to accept the negative outcome as evidence towards it. Not Something is proven by Not Evidence. Right?

Since no one has come back from the dead, we say that means it is unknowable.
Color me surprised. Even the evidence we determined would be good for proving the non-existence is not enough? In logic though if you get a lot of contrary evidence of Something (like the complete lack of people coming back and saying there is a god) we say that we are nearing certainty of Not Something. There can never be 100% certain. 100% certainty's are only found in math.

This is not an argument for agnosticism. This is a argument for nihilism. You are in essence arguing that we can not know anything because we can never be 100% sure in our evidence.

Agnosticism also has a definition problem. Their definition of god is a moving target. You can never 'prove' that there is no god to them because they have no definition of what a god may or may not be. It is always 'well what if god is something else'?
Atheism is not claiming NOT GOD. Atheism is claiming that the gods you describe have no evidence, and in all cases the properties that can be tested do not support your claim. Atheism claims 'This god does not exist in the way you describe it'. Not 'No god can exist no matter how you describe it'. Many ancient people claimed the sun is a god. No atheist goes around proclaiming that the sun does not exist.
 

nOOky

Golden Member
Aug 17, 2004
1,994
813
136
Okay, how would we go about proving the non-existence of something? Anything?


Excellent, we have now defined what evidence would prove the non-existence of a god. If people die and do not come that is evidence for god. If they do not come back and tell us about a god, that is evidence against god. Since we are trying to prove a negative (NOT something) we have to accept the negative outcome as evidence towards it. Not Something is proven by Not Evidence. Right?


Color me surprised. Even the evidence we determined would be good for proving the non-existence is not enough? In logic though if you get a lot of contrary evidence of Something (like the complete lack of people coming back and saying there is a god) we say that we are nearing certainty of Not Something. There can never be 100% certain. 100% certainty's are only found in math.

This is not an argument for agnosticism. This is a argument for nihilism. You are in essence arguing that we can not know anything because we can never be 100% sure in our evidence.

Agnosticism also has a definition problem. Their definition of god is a moving target. You can never 'prove' that there is no god to them because they have no definition of what a god may or may not be. It is always 'well what if god is something else'?
Atheism is not claiming NOT GOD. Atheism is claiming that the gods you describe have no evidence, and in all cases the properties that can be tested do not support your claim. Atheism claims 'This god does not exist in the way you describe it'. Not 'No god can exist no matter how you describe it'. Many ancient people claimed the sun is a god. No atheist goes around proclaiming that the sun does not exist.
No. I did not say that at all. I was merely trying to clarify the classic definition of an agnostic because it seems even after having it explained multiple times, it still confuses people. If you don't like my explanation you can not like it, but I didn't come up with the definition of the word. The whole essence of faith is believing in something that no one is able to prove exists right? Some people try to put religion in simple mathematical terms, but religion is not like that. Religion is an expression of your belief and faith in a god-like being that will never be definitively able to be proven to exist. If the rapture happens, then we'll know I was wrong.
 

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