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What do Palestinians think of atheists?

What do Palestinians think of atheists?

(14:13) Part of the Ask Project by Corey Gil-Shuster. gofundme.com/Ask-Project

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Guest: (645 days ago)

what I take from it is that my way of living and thinking isnt compatible with this

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what I take from it is that my way of living and thinking isnt compatible with this

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Guest: It's true. (640 days ago)
Latest comment:

Jesus loves you. Seek Him before it is too late.

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Latest comment:

Jesus loves you. Seek Him before it is too late.

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Guest: MB (645 days ago)

The issue with all such "surveys" is that it only highlights that we all are the same and we Atheist would be believers if we too were subjected to the same upbringing and enviroment these people had and visa-versa. To move on we are better not ridicule and wonder why pople can be so ignorant but teach the young to break the cycle of a Believer is generally a Believer primarily because they were unware that there are altenatives and they inadvertently pass on the same thinking. This is the same story in the Bible belt of the USA, and elsewhere, where shuch things as Evolution with all its supporting evidence is banned from being taught! lets guide these people not point and laugh in lips like this.

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The issue with all such "surveys" is that it only highlights that we all are the same and we Atheist would be believers if we too were subjected to the same upbringing and enviroment these people had and visa-versa. To move on we are better not ridicule and wonder why pople can be so ignorant but teach the young to break the cycle of a Believer is generally a Believer primarily because they were unware that there are altenatives and they inadvertently pass on the same thinking. This is the same story in the Bible belt of the USA, and elsewhere, where shuch things as Evolution with all its supporting evidence is banned from being taught! lets guide these people not point and laugh in lips like this.

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Guest: (645 days ago)

Absolutely the same true for atheists too. I was brought up an atheist and religion or agnosticism was never really offered or explored. Atheism was what my parents believed so I got the same. It felt great to break the cycle and begin to question things. Too many people subscribe to beliefs based on unexplored second-hand rhetoric, peer pressure or trends, both at the religious and secular ends of the spectrum.

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Absolutely the same true for atheists too. I was brought up an atheist and religion or agnosticism was never really offered or explored. Atheism was what my parents believed so I got the same. It felt great to break the cycle and begin to question things. Too many people subscribe to beliefs based on unexplored second-hand rhetoric, peer pressure or trends, both at the religious and secular ends of the spectrum.

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WalterEgo WalterEgo (645 days ago)

I'm curious, when you broke the cycle and began to question things, did you remain an atheist?

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I'm curious, when you broke the cycle and began to question things, did you remain an atheist?

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Guest: (645 days ago)

No, I became agnostic. Atheism was one of the things I began to question. A lot my atheist upbringing was assumed to be true without me delving too deep. I grew up, read Popper, Gould, Huxley and various scientists like Sagan and more recently Bill Nye, met a whole bunch of people with widely opposing belief systems and learned to question more than just what the atheist stance wants to be questioned. Now I'm firmly agnostic but reading message boards and forums I feel I share more with moderate religion followers than with these evangelical intolerant anti-theists. Jechill is a pretty good example of the kind of naive and pompous atheist I'd really hate to be.

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No, I became agnostic. Atheism was one of the things I began to question. A lot my atheist upbringing was assumed to be true without me delving too deep. I grew up, read Popper, Gould, Huxley and various scientists like Sagan and more recently Bill Nye, met a whole bunch of people with widely opposing belief systems and learned to question more than just what the atheist stance wants to be questioned. Now I'm firmly agnostic but reading message boards and forums I feel I share more with moderate religion followers than with these evangelical intolerant anti-theists. Jechill is a pretty good example of the kind of naive and pompous atheist I'd really hate to be.

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WalterEgo WalterEgo (645 days ago)

I've always thought of atheists and agnostics as the essentially the same, the difference being the degree of doubt. ie. an agnostic is a less confident atheist.

When you say you are firmly agnostic, does that mean you think there is a significant possibility that one of the holy books is actually true?

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I've always thought of atheists and agnostics as the essentially the same, the difference being the degree of doubt. ie. an agnostic is a less confident atheist.

When you say you are firmly agnostic, does that mean you think there is a significant possibility that one of the holy books is actually true?

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Guest: (645 days ago)

Atheists and agnostics are absolutely not the same . Don't tar me with that brush, been there, got the t-shirt. Like I said, I share more with moderate theists than with evangelical atheists. Most atheists these days actively believe that there is no god. I think that is just as bizarre a speculation as believing there is, and more than that I don't see religion as a harmful thing, even though I have never been religious in my life.

Theism / Atheism / Agnosticism is about belief in a deity, not belief in a literal interpretation of a holy book... that's an odd thing to confuse. But to answer your question, I think there is not just a significant possibility but an actuality that much of the Holy Books of any given religion is truth, or based on it. And I'm thankful that there are enough believers in the world to interpret these things in a positive way. But ultimately, what those sacred texts try to pinpoint is not something we can know - only fervent atheists and religious fundamentalists think that it is.

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Atheists and agnostics are absolutely not the same . Don't tar me with that brush, been there, got the t-shirt. Like I said, I share more with moderate theists than with evangelical atheists. Most atheists these days actively believe that there is no god. I think that is just as bizarre a speculation as believing there is, and more than that I don't see religion as a harmful thing, even though I have never been religious in my life.

Theism / Atheism / Agnosticism is about belief in a deity, not belief in a literal interpretation of a holy book... that's an odd thing to confuse. But to answer your question, I think there is not just a significant possibility but an actuality that much of the Holy Books of any given religion is truth, or based on it. And I'm thankful that there are enough believers in the world to interpret these things in a positive way. But ultimately, what those sacred texts try to pinpoint is not something we can know - only fervent atheists and religious fundamentalists think that it is.

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WalterEgo WalterEgo (645 days ago)

I'm not trying to tar you with any brush. I'm just trying to understand what sort of agnostic you are.

I was actually saying atheists are agnostics too, just to a lesser degree. Atheists may strongly believe there is no god, but they are not 100% sure. It's like the concept of "beyond reasonable doubt".

When I asked you "does that mean you think there is a significant possibility that one of the holy books is actually true?" , by true I meant that a real god was actually involved in some way.

I'm a bit confused as to what sort of agnostic you are. Religious, but with doubts, and not affiliated to any organised religion - does that describe your agnosticism?

"But ultimately, what those sacred texts try to pinpoint is not something we can know" I don't know what you mean. What would be the point of sacred texts if they are pinpointing something we can't know?

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I'm not trying to tar you with any brush. I'm just trying to understand what sort of agnostic you are.

I was actually saying atheists are agnostics too, just to a lesser degree. Atheists may strongly believe there is no god, but they are not 100% sure. It's like the concept of "beyond reasonable doubt".

When I asked you "does that mean you think there is a significant possibility that one of the holy books is actually true?" , by true I meant that a real god was actually involved in some way.

I'm a bit confused as to what sort of agnostic you are. Religious, but with doubts, and not affiliated to any organised religion - does that describe your agnosticism?

"But ultimately, what those sacred texts try to pinpoint is not something we can know" I don't know what you mean. What would be the point of sacred texts if they are pinpointing something we can't know?

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Guest: BB (645 days ago)

Well, there are agnostic and gnostic atheists, and the same for theists, and then agnostics like myself that don't subscribe to either, and particularly not the affirmative type of atheism that has become trendy. Let me give you a bad and verbose example: King Harald of Norway may have a peach in his fruit bowl tonight. Let's say a ' peachist ' would say yes, an ' apeachist ' generally would say no.

Among the peachists, the agnostic would say would say we can't know but yes I think so; and the gnostic would say of course he does, he's a king, and peaches are expensive and fancy.
Among the apeachists, the agnostic would say we can't know but I don't think so; and the gnostic would say would say of course he doesn't, he doesn't have his own fruit bowl, he has a chef that brings fruit to him.
A pure agnostic like me on the other hand, would just say - I simply don't know. There's no way I can know, and nothing I can learn from the world around me or from my knowledge of peaches and kings to find out right now if he has one. [Of course, one reason why it's a bad example is because peaches in a fruit bowl are a physical state of reality which we could (with the right connections) verify conclusively - we could look in the fruitbowl. With theism that's not the case, and there's no fruitbowl to look into, which just makes any speculation even more abstract]. I suppose that's basically how I see my agnosticism.

It's sounds like you're an agnostic atheist but I have encountered many other atheists online who speak as if they are gnostic. They believe they know a god doesn't exist through their interpretation of evidence (or lack of it) or their interpretation of probability etc. Of course you can preface that by saying 'beyond reasonable doubt', but ultimately in so far as they know anything, they know that god doesn't exist. My agnosticism is one that claims with metaphysical matters, there is not enough evidence available to determine what is reasonable doubt, and no way through which we can know such things.

No, I am not remotely religious. I agree with many teachings from many religions but I have never followed any, and there is no precise interpretation of a divine being that I completely believe in. I don't think of any of the sacred texts as being literally true, verbatim, throughout, but most religious people would agree, and most of the ways in which these texts are interpreted nowadays strike me as generally philanthropic.

"What would be the point of sacred texts if they are pinpointing something we can't know?" Well obviously many people who follow religious texts believe it is something we can know - but even so, I believe that even if something cannot be known or proven (such as the nature of beauty, or universal morality), discussion, description and development of such ideas is a positive and healthy thing. Speculation isn't always a bad thing.

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Well, there are agnostic and gnostic atheists, and the same for theists, and then agnostics like myself that don't subscribe to either, and particularly not the affirmative type of atheism that has become trendy. Let me give you a bad and verbose example: King Harald of Norway may have a peach in his fruit bowl tonight. Let's say a ' peachist ' would say yes, an ' apeachist ' generally would say no.

Among the peachists, the agnostic would say would say we can't know but yes I think so; and the gnostic would say of course he does, he's a king, and peaches are expensive and fancy.
Among the apeachists, the agnostic would say we can't know but I don't think so; and the gnostic would say would say of course he doesn't, he doesn't have his own fruit bowl, he has a chef that brings fruit to him.
A pure agnostic like me on the other hand, would just say - I simply don't know. There's no way I can know, and nothing I can learn from the world around me or from my knowledge of peaches and kings to find out right now if he has one. [Of course, one reason why it's a bad example is because peaches in a fruit bowl are a physical state of reality which we could (with the right connections) verify conclusively - we could look in the fruitbowl. With theism that's not the case, and there's no fruitbowl to look into, which just makes any speculation even more abstract]. I suppose that's basically how I see my agnosticism.

It's sounds like you're an agnostic atheist but I have encountered many other atheists online who speak as if they are gnostic. They believe they know a god doesn't exist through their interpretation of evidence (or lack of it) or their interpretation of probability etc. Of course you can preface that by saying 'beyond reasonable doubt', but ultimately in so far as they know anything, they know that god doesn't exist. My agnosticism is one that claims with metaphysical matters, there is not enough evidence available to determine what is reasonable doubt, and no way through which we can know such things.

No, I am not remotely religious. I agree with many teachings from many religions but I have never followed any, and there is no precise interpretation of a divine being that I completely believe in. I don't think of any of the sacred texts as being literally true, verbatim, throughout, but most religious people would agree, and most of the ways in which these texts are interpreted nowadays strike me as generally philanthropic.

"What would be the point of sacred texts if they are pinpointing something we can't know?" Well obviously many people who follow religious texts believe it is something we can know - but even so, I believe that even if something cannot be known or proven (such as the nature of beauty, or universal morality), discussion, description and development of such ideas is a positive and healthy thing. Speculation isn't always a bad thing.

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Guest: jechill (645 days ago)

So your agnostic and sitting on the fence with a maybe there is a God.

There are many points that every majour religion fails at such as adam and eve.

Since science has proven there was never an adam and eve, there was therefore no original sin. No original sin means Jesus died on the cross for nothing. I have studied several religions and they all fall apart at some time. There may be a God but no religion on earth has proven it. It is up to the believers to provide proof and they can't.

This was written on a concentration camp wall: "if there is a God he will have to ask for my forgiveness".

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So your agnostic and sitting on the fence with a maybe there is a God.

There are many points that every majour religion fails at such as adam and eve.

Since science has proven there was never an adam and eve, there was therefore no original sin. No original sin means Jesus died on the cross for nothing. I have studied several religions and they all fall apart at some time. There may be a God but no religion on earth has proven it. It is up to the believers to provide proof and they can't.

This was written on a concentration camp wall: "if there is a God he will have to ask for my forgiveness".

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Guest: (645 days ago)

Let's be honest here, you're a plum.

You might be a lovely guy offline, but you're barely educated (no offence intended) so there's absolutely zero chance that you have ever 'studied several religions' in any meaningful way. You literally don't know the difference between the koran and a hadith (which FYI is taught in pre-GCSE Religious Education in the UK), so I personally doubt you have taken much time to try understand modernist or progressive forms of major religion, scientific agnosticism, or the nature of proof, or the concept of metaphysics, let alone the contrasting hermeneutics of the various holy books. But like I said, thank you for your opinion; it's really special. Why on earth would you think it's up to anyone to prove their beliefs to you, any more than you have to prove your beliefs to them? Sorry to break it to you, but I really don't think they care whether you personally believe or not.

Atheists online come in all shapes and sizes and you're a pretty ropey example by any standards.

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Let's be honest here, you're a plum.

You might be a lovely guy offline, but you're barely educated (no offence intended) so there's absolutely zero chance that you have ever 'studied several religions' in any meaningful way. You literally don't know the difference between the koran and a hadith (which FYI is taught in pre-GCSE Religious Education in the UK), so I personally doubt you have taken much time to try understand modernist or progressive forms of major religion, scientific agnosticism, or the nature of proof, or the concept of metaphysics, let alone the contrasting hermeneutics of the various holy books. But like I said, thank you for your opinion; it's really special. Why on earth would you think it's up to anyone to prove their beliefs to you, any more than you have to prove your beliefs to them? Sorry to break it to you, but I really don't think they care whether you personally believe or not.

Atheists online come in all shapes and sizes and you're a pretty ropey example by any standards.

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Guest: jechill (644 days ago)

Lets be honest here, your a pompous ass.

I don't care to know anything about islam, i know enough already to know its a giant lie. You can take any religion and shove it for all i care.

All religions are lies, plain and simple, if thats not too hard for you to understand.

If anyone claims to have the ticket to heaven, they're going to have to prove there is a God , which you can't. The onus is always on the believer to prove the religion or its just another waste of time.

There is nothing man needs a phony god for, and there is nothing that is beyond the limits of man.

As an athiest i believe all religious nuts are just that, religious nuts, and you fit the prophile.

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Lets be honest here, your a pompous ass.

I don't care to know anything about islam, i know enough already to know its a giant lie. You can take any religion and shove it for all i care.

All religions are lies, plain and simple, if thats not too hard for you to understand.

If anyone claims to have the ticket to heaven, they're going to have to prove there is a God , which you can't. The onus is always on the believer to prove the religion or its just another waste of time.

There is nothing man needs a phony god for, and there is nothing that is beyond the limits of man.

As an athiest i believe all religious nuts are just that, religious nuts, and you fit the prophile.

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Guest: Fathoms (644 days ago)

the derp is strong with this one. he fits the prophile.

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the derp is strong with this one. he fits the prophile.

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Guest: jechill (646 days ago)

Religion is the main reason the middle east is always at war.

There is absolutely no evidence at all whatsoever to prove the existence of a God and to put your faith in an imaginary invisible being in the 21st century is ludicrous.

Remeber science cures way more people than god ever did.

Ill take science thank you very much.

Besides mohammed was a pedophile.

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Religion is the main reason the middle east is always at war.

There is absolutely no evidence at all whatsoever to prove the existence of a God and to put your faith in an imaginary invisible being in the 21st century is ludicrous.

Remeber science cures way more people than god ever did.

Ill take science thank you very much.

Besides mohammed was a pedophile.

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Guest: just saying (646 days ago)

There is absolutely no evidence at all whatsoever to DISprove the existence of a God and to construct God as an imaginary invisible being is ludicrous.

You don't have to choose between God and science. The notion that they are incompatible is a relatively recent concept, and hugely destructive.

I'd love to see your evidence that mohammed was a pedophile

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There is absolutely no evidence at all whatsoever to DISprove the existence of a God and to construct God as an imaginary invisible being is ludicrous.

You don't have to choose between God and science. The notion that they are incompatible is a relatively recent concept, and hugely destructive.

I'd love to see your evidence that mohammed was a pedophile

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Guest: jechill (645 days ago)

The only evidence i need is the koran:

Muhammad was married to thirteen women, including eleven at one time. He relegated them to either consecutive days or (according to some accounts) all in one night. He had sex with a 9-year-old girl and married his adopted son's wife (after arranging a quick divorce). On top of that, Muhammad had a multitude of slave girls and concubines with whom he had sex - sometimes on the very days in which they watched their husbands and fathers die at the hands of his army.

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The only evidence i need is the koran:

Muhammad was married to thirteen women, including eleven at one time. He relegated them to either consecutive days or (according to some accounts) all in one night. He had sex with a 9-year-old girl and married his adopted son's wife (after arranging a quick divorce). On top of that, Muhammad had a multitude of slave girls and concubines with whom he had sex - sometimes on the very days in which they watched their husbands and fathers die at the hands of his army.

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Guest: (645 days ago)

Which part of the koran is that? Because as far as I was aware the stuff about the ages of Aisha is in a hadith nor the koran. Check it. Oh, you mean it doesn't say that on your islamophobe website? How odd. And as you should have learned in teenage RE, the hadiths are widely disputed by different denominations of muslims - largely the main difference between the different groups in fact.

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Which part of the koran is that? Because as far as I was aware the stuff about the ages of Aisha is in a hadith nor the koran. Check it. Oh, you mean it doesn't say that on your islamophobe website? How odd. And as you should have learned in teenage RE, the hadiths are widely disputed by different denominations of muslims - largely the main difference between the different groups in fact.

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Guest: just saying (645 days ago)

"The only evidence i need is the koran"

Oh sorry Jechill - it's just I got the impression that you didn't believe the koran.

hah! unnamed guest beat me to it

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"The only evidence i need is the koran"

Oh sorry Jechill - it's just I got the impression that you didn't believe the koran.

hah! unnamed guest beat me to it

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Guest: food for thought (646 days ago)

I'm not familiar with the Koran but didn't he marry a six year old girl? Perhaps I'm wrong.... all in the past now (just don't tell operation yew tree).... Anyway...I believe in tooth fairies, you can't DISprove it, ergo they exist...maybe they sit in the chair next to God, with Odin, Jupiter, Ra and Zeus.... Of course, they are not REAL gods are they... Only your God is real...

In what way is not believing hugely destructive? Have you had the enlightenment in your part of the world yet? We are all moving on... Don't be left on the horse and cart with archaic superstition. Religion is novel, it had its place 500 years ago, an amazing branch of philosophy and story telling, but let's use its teachings as a foundation for much higher thinking now and not treat it as the end in itself.... Basically...let's move on now eh?

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I'm not familiar with the Koran but didn't he marry a six year old girl? Perhaps I'm wrong.... all in the past now (just don't tell operation yew tree).... Anyway...I believe in tooth fairies, you can't DISprove it, ergo they exist...maybe they sit in the chair next to God, with Odin, Jupiter, Ra and Zeus.... Of course, they are not REAL gods are they... Only your God is real...

In what way is not believing hugely destructive? Have you had the enlightenment in your part of the world yet? We are all moving on... Don't be left on the horse and cart with archaic superstition. Religion is novel, it had its place 500 years ago, an amazing branch of philosophy and story telling, but let's use its teachings as a foundation for much higher thinking now and not treat it as the end in itself.... Basically...let's move on now eh?

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Guest: just saying (645 days ago)

Hmm you seem to have personally attacked me. Odd. People usually do that when they feel threatened.

So you believe in tooth fairies. That's nice. However, your line of reasoning makes no sense. Just because you can't DISprove something, it doesnt mean it exists. It's unfortunate that you've made this mistake, as it delegitimises your position and reduces my confidence in the degree of truth in your assertions.

You seem to have assumed I am religous - well, I'm not. Assuming without any evidence is a dangerous thing to do - I'm sure you'll agree. But hey, sometimes you need a little faith right?

You've misunderstood me when you ask in what way is not believing hugely destructive. I didn't say that it was. I said that the notion of God and science being incompatible was destructive - by this I mean that in my opinion there is currently a trend towards polarising opinion, particularly in the right-wing media, leading people to believe that you must choose to either believe in an invisible man in the sky, or the predictive power of the scientific method. In fact, there are a great many other options in which you can believe, and the majority of them are not mutually exclusive. I can only assume that this polarisation has some sort of political or economic motive - perhaps to discredit religion in order to construct western society as more advanced than other cultures and subvertively justify aggressive acts against non-western nations? I don't know.

Yes - we've had the enlightenment in England, we were quite good at it.

I am pleased that you accept that you are not familiar with the Koran, yet also accept that there is at least some value in religious teachings. It's a shame that this value is lost to the eyes of most when religion is cast as archaic superstition against an empirically tested reality. The scientific method is brilliant for testing specific hypotheses about the observable world, however it is no help at all when considering questions such as 'what is god?', or even 'what happened before the big bang?'

You seem like a reasonable person at least, who yearns for higher thinking, and is in pursuit of truth. Just remeber that truth is largely contextual, and scientific truth is not the same as absolute truth :)

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Hmm you seem to have personally attacked me. Odd. People usually do that when they feel threatened.

So you believe in tooth fairies. That's nice. However, your line of reasoning makes no sense. Just because you can't DISprove something, it doesnt mean it exists. It's unfortunate that you've made this mistake, as it delegitimises your position and reduces my confidence in the degree of truth in your assertions.

You seem to have assumed I am religous - well, I'm not. Assuming without any evidence is a dangerous thing to do - I'm sure you'll agree. But hey, sometimes you need a little faith right?

You've misunderstood me when you ask in what way is not believing hugely destructive. I didn't say that it was. I said that the notion of God and science being incompatible was destructive - by this I mean that in my opinion there is currently a trend towards polarising opinion, particularly in the right-wing media, leading people to believe that you must choose to either believe in an invisible man in the sky, or the predictive power of the scientific method. In fact, there are a great many other options in which you can believe, and the majority of them are not mutually exclusive. I can only assume that this polarisation has some sort of political or economic motive - perhaps to discredit religion in order to construct western society as more advanced than other cultures and subvertively justify aggressive acts against non-western nations? I don't know.

Yes - we've had the enlightenment in England, we were quite good at it.

I am pleased that you accept that you are not familiar with the Koran, yet also accept that there is at least some value in religious teachings. It's a shame that this value is lost to the eyes of most when religion is cast as archaic superstition against an empirically tested reality. The scientific method is brilliant for testing specific hypotheses about the observable world, however it is no help at all when considering questions such as 'what is god?', or even 'what happened before the big bang?'

You seem like a reasonable person at least, who yearns for higher thinking, and is in pursuit of truth. Just remeber that truth is largely contextual, and scientific truth is not the same as absolute truth :)

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Guest: (646 days ago)

Haha I love this. "It's all make believe fairy tale nonsense made up by idiots... apart from that bit about Mohammeds wife which we think is definitely true." Priceless. Out of curiosity, do you know the average age of marriage in Europe and Asia 300 years ago? Secondly, do you realise that the age of Mohammed's wives isn't in the koran but in the hadiths... and do you understand the difference? Back to school.

Unluckily for you religions are growing and atheism as a proportion is forecast to drop. Didn't you get the memo?

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Haha I love this. "It's all make believe fairy tale nonsense made up by idiots... apart from that bit about Mohammeds wife which we think is definitely true." Priceless. Out of curiosity, do you know the average age of marriage in Europe and Asia 300 years ago? Secondly, do you realise that the age of Mohammed's wives isn't in the koran but in the hadiths... and do you understand the difference? Back to school.

Unluckily for you religions are growing and atheism as a proportion is forecast to drop. Didn't you get the memo?

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Guest: one more time (645 days ago)

" Unluckily for you religions are growing and atheism as a proportion is forecast to drop."

Why is this unlucky for an atheist? Is it because atheists are more likely to be hacked to death? LINK

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" Unluckily for you religions are growing and atheism as a proportion is forecast to drop."

Why is this unlucky for an atheist? Is it because atheists are more likely to be hacked to death? LINK

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Guest: (645 days ago)

Because most atheists live in a deluded little world in which their big scary religions are fading, and their own worldview is going to eventually dominate the world. The actual truth is luckier for religious people and agnostics, as the risk of them being shot dead by militant atheists (http://www.telegraph.co. uk/news/worldnews/northam erica/usa/11405005/Chapel -Hill-shooting-Three-Amer ican-Muslims-killed.html) is reduced, as is the chances of all clerics or strong believers being rounded up and executed by atheists (https://en.wikipedia.org /wiki/Cristero_War etc etc)

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Original comment

Because most atheists live in a deluded little world in which their big scary religions are fading, and their own worldview is going to eventually dominate the world. The actual truth is luckier for religious people and agnostics, as the risk of them being shot dead by militant atheists (http://www.telegraph.co. uk/news/worldnews/northam erica/usa/11405005/Chapel -Hill-shooting-Three-Amer ican-Muslims-killed.html) is reduced, as is the chances of all clerics or strong believers being rounded up and executed by atheists (https://en.wikipedia.org /wiki/Cristero_War etc etc)

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Guest: jechill (645 days ago)

Its just not true.

Belief in all religions is down substantially , more educated people are beginning to realize it's all bullshit.

All religions are state sponsored forms of control over the people and that is it.

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Its just not true.

Belief in all religions is down substantially , more educated people are beginning to realize it's all bullshit.

All religions are state sponsored forms of control over the people and that is it.

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Guest: jechill (645 days ago)

lmao

Belief in God and or religion of all kinds is on the decline in the world with most of europe registering as athiest or undecided.

I don't require a religion crutch like people did 500 years ago, why do you?

I don't care to know the difference between the koran and the kadiths and the onus is on you to prove there is a God and I have yet to see any proof at all.

ReplyVote up (89)down (101)
Original comment

lmao

Belief in God and or religion of all kinds is on the decline in the world with most of europe registering as athiest or undecided.

I don't require a religion crutch like people did 500 years ago, why do you?

I don't care to know the difference between the koran and the kadiths and the onus is on you to prove there is a God and I have yet to see any proof at all.

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Guest: (645 days ago)

OK you're not going to like this but man up, educate yourself and take this hit like a man:

This is the most comprehensive analysis and forecasting of the world religions ever to have taken place, and luckily it was from less than a year ago: LINK

Don't cry. "Religion of all kinds is on the decline in the world" eh? LMAO. Ignorance is bliss.

ReplyVote up (101)down (84)
Original comment

OK you're not going to like this but man up, educate yourself and take this hit like a man:

This is the most comprehensive analysis and forecasting of the world religions ever to have taken place, and luckily it was from less than a year ago: LINK

Don't cry. "Religion of all kinds is on the decline in the world" eh? LMAO. Ignorance is bliss.

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Guest: jechill (645 days ago)

Your an absolute idiot.

Prove there is a god or shut the **** up.

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Your an absolute idiot.

Prove there is a god or shut the **** up.

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Guest: (645 days ago)

Hahaa! The insults come out when you confront someone's ignorance with actual facts! You really didn't like the results of that survey did you? LMAO!

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Hahaa! The insults come out when you confront someone's ignorance with actual facts! You really didn't like the results of that survey did you? LMAO!

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Guest: jechill (644 days ago)

Your survey is bullshit.

Your mind is gone and you will say or type anything to prove your bullshit.

I am modern man who does not need a god no matter how hard you or anyone else presses the point.

There is no proof of god and there is no religion on earth that has any resemblance of the truth of the nature of the universe.

Man will one day surpass any puny god you can think of.

ReplyVote up (101)down (84)
Original comment

Your survey is bullshit.

Your mind is gone and you will say or type anything to prove your bullshit.

I am modern man who does not need a god no matter how hard you or anyone else presses the point.

There is no proof of god and there is no religion on earth that has any resemblance of the truth of the nature of the universe.

Man will one day surpass any puny god you can think of.

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Guest: follower (645 days ago)

*You're

XD

ReplyVote up (101)down (96)
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*You're

XD

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Guest: jechill (644 days ago)

Thanks.

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Thanks.

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Blong Blong (645 days ago)

If religion is on the increase, we're all facked.

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If religion is on the increase, we're all facked.

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Guest: (645 days ago)

Speak for yourself.

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Speak for yourself.

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Guest: jechill (644 days ago)

Its not.

These idiots will say anything to defend their religion and get converts.

Islam is the most evil and aggressive religions there is and the internet is full of their propogandists pushing their evil agenda.

They will lie,twist words, and get violent to try to convert you to islam because the koran allows them to do this, in fact to be a good muslim you must do this.

Stand up to them because they have nothing to offer.

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Original comment

Its not.

These idiots will say anything to defend their religion and get converts.

Islam is the most evil and aggressive religions there is and the internet is full of their propogandists pushing their evil agenda.

They will lie,twist words, and get violent to try to convert you to islam because the koran allows them to do this, in fact to be a good muslim you must do this.

Stand up to them because they have nothing to offer.

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Guest: (646 days ago)

Insert second-hand unquestioned atheist tropes here < >

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Insert second-hand unquestioned atheist tropes here < >

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ReligiousNut ReligiousNut (646 days ago)

The evidence is there, you just don't see it. Look around you and marvel at the beauty that is there and that only a supreme being could have created or at least started.

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The evidence is there, you just don't see it. Look around you and marvel at the beauty that is there and that only a supreme being could have created or at least started.

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Guest: jechill (646 days ago)

You might not like it but your wrong.

I see natural selection and evolution everywhere.

I also see a random series of events that caused us to be.

I think you should probably give up on the fairy tales written by illiterates

thousands of years ago.

Your name says it all.

ReplyVote up (114)down (72)
Original comment

You might not like it but your wrong.

I see natural selection and evolution everywhere.

I also see a random series of events that caused us to be.

I think you should probably give up on the fairy tales written by illiterates

thousands of years ago.

Your name says it all.

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Guest: (646 days ago)

Thank you for your opinion. It's really special to us all, and much more right than anyone else's opinion. Nice one.

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Thank you for your opinion. It's really special to us all, and much more right than anyone else's opinion. Nice one.

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Guest: jechill (645 days ago)

Your confusing facts with opinion.

When your opinion is wrong it's time to rethink your faith.

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Your confusing facts with opinion.

When your opinion is wrong it's time to rethink your faith.

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Guest: (645 days ago)

That's exactly your mistake. When you start think your opinions on stuff are objective facts you need to pull your skull from your rectum and meet a few more people.

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That's exactly your mistake. When you start think your opinions on stuff are objective facts you need to pull your skull from your rectum and meet a few more people.

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Guest: jechill (645 days ago)

you missed my point.

Opinions and beliefs are not facts.

I will only deal with facts.

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you missed my point.

Opinions and beliefs are not facts.

I will only deal with facts.

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Guest: (644 days ago)

You will only deal with facts like these you've mentioned on this page: "Muhammed married thirteen women" and "Religion of all kinds is on the decline in the world" and "All religions are state sponsored"? I really think you're just not bright enough to notice you contradict yourself all the time. Please, for the sake of your cause, let more educated and articulate atheists try to justify your belief system. Just sit back and watch, and soak something in. You may have something more persuasive and coherent to say in the future.

But again, thank you for your opinions on stuff, and especially your opinion on what is fact and what is opinion. It's all super important to all of us.

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You will only deal with facts like these you've mentioned on this page: "Muhammed married thirteen women" and "Religion of all kinds is on the decline in the world" and "All religions are state sponsored"? I really think you're just not bright enough to notice you contradict yourself all the time. Please, for the sake of your cause, let more educated and articulate atheists try to justify your belief system. Just sit back and watch, and soak something in. You may have something more persuasive and coherent to say in the future.

But again, thank you for your opinions on stuff, and especially your opinion on what is fact and what is opinion. It's all super important to all of us.

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Guest: jechill (644 days ago)

Why don't you take your sarcasm and shove it.

My points are clear, anyone who believes in the invisible guy in the sky is an absolute idiot in my opinion. This includes you and anyone who prays.

There are no contridictions. We all know full well what mohammed was because we have lots of historical references to rely on.

Sorry if your feelings are hurt. Too bad you never grew up and stopped believing in fairy tales.

Here is a link LINK

I don't have to believe because I know the truth.

ReplyVote up (101)down (73)
Original comment

Why don't you take your sarcasm and shove it.

My points are clear, anyone who believes in the invisible guy in the sky is an absolute idiot in my opinion. This includes you and anyone who prays.

There are no contridictions. We all know full well what mohammed was because we have lots of historical references to rely on.

Sorry if your feelings are hurt. Too bad you never grew up and stopped believing in fairy tales.

Here is a link LINK

I don't have to believe because I know the truth.

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Guest: (644 days ago)

Aww bubba. "Your survey is bullshit" - so you want to disregard an impartial American think tank like Pew who have conducted the widest ever study and forecast of religious belief, and favour one from 'AmericanHumanist' ; because that's what supports your bigotry? Nice one. Head in the sand. I know a fair few religious people and hand-on-heart, I don't think any are as dim or close-minded as you - so what gives? I wonder if Dawkins et al would call you a 'Bright'? ;)

I've never been religious, but your infantile cherry-picking, open ignorance, and obnoxious name-calling is the worst advert for atheism that there ever could be. You literally don't understand what you're criticising, but you don't want to. You don't want to actually have to learn stuff, or talk to people, or have grounded educated opinions. You'd much rather swallow stuff whole that already suits your blinkered prejudice. Not too disimilar to those religious fundamentalists that you supposedly hate.

Alright kiddo, I've had my fun. This does sound arrogant, but in this case I feel entitled as you started: You're not intellectually equipped to confront the issues that are being debated on this page, or even to justify your own belief system. So why don't you just keep thinking your point of view is special and correct, because frankly agnostics like me and religious believers couldn't care less what you've been led to believe - and least most of us understand doubt. Oh no wait, you've 'studied several religions' right? Good fricking grief.

You know the truth . A prize chump you are.

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Original comment

Aww bubba. "Your survey is bullshit" - so you want to disregard an impartial American think tank like Pew who have conducted the widest ever study and forecast of religious belief, and favour one from 'AmericanHumanist' ; because that's what supports your bigotry? Nice one. Head in the sand. I know a fair few religious people and hand-on-heart, I don't think any are as dim or close-minded as you - so what gives? I wonder if Dawkins et al would call you a 'Bright'? ;)

I've never been religious, but your infantile cherry-picking, open ignorance, and obnoxious name-calling is the worst advert for atheism that there ever could be. You literally don't understand what you're criticising, but you don't want to. You don't want to actually have to learn stuff, or talk to people, or have grounded educated opinions. You'd much rather swallow stuff whole that already suits your blinkered prejudice. Not too disimilar to those religious fundamentalists that you supposedly hate.

Alright kiddo, I've had my fun. This does sound arrogant, but in this case I feel entitled as you started: You're not intellectually equipped to confront the issues that are being debated on this page, or even to justify your own belief system. So why don't you just keep thinking your point of view is special and correct, because frankly agnostics like me and religious believers couldn't care less what you've been led to believe - and least most of us understand doubt. Oh no wait, you've 'studied several religions' right? Good fricking grief.

You know the truth . A prize chump you are.

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Guest: sandmonkey (644 days ago)

Troll.

bigtime troll !

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Troll.

bigtime troll !

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Guest: (643 days ago)

Coming from someone calling themselves 'sandmonkey'?

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Coming from someone calling themselves 'sandmonkey'?

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Guest: jechill (644 days ago)

My point of view is correct and you are wrong. I have no way of proving to anyone what ive explored as far as religion goes and i have no need to prove anything to you. All religions are false, there can be no doubt, just ask Richard Dawkins. The world is full of uneducated people like yourself and until that changes, knowledgeable people like myself will just have to grin and bare it. Go pray on it and maybe god will grant you the ability to understand, but i doubt it.

Just for your information I was raised a Baptist, became a full gospel Christian and had a friend, who is muslim, help me read the koran. I have also studied much about hinduism which is another joke.

There is no debate happening on this page. There is no proof that a god exists at all. You can whine , cry and insult all you want but the fact remains that you cannot prove that god exists and your butthurt over it.

There is no truth in religion, its all just a waste of time.

ReplyVote up (101)down (94)
Original comment

My point of view is correct and you are wrong. I have no way of proving to anyone what ive explored as far as religion goes and i have no need to prove anything to you. All religions are false, there can be no doubt, just ask Richard Dawkins. The world is full of uneducated people like yourself and until that changes, knowledgeable people like myself will just have to grin and bare it. Go pray on it and maybe god will grant you the ability to understand, but i doubt it.

Just for your information I was raised a Baptist, became a full gospel Christian and had a friend, who is muslim, help me read the koran. I have also studied much about hinduism which is another joke.

There is no debate happening on this page. There is no proof that a god exists at all. You can whine , cry and insult all you want but the fact remains that you cannot prove that god exists and your butthurt over it.

There is no truth in religion, its all just a waste of time.

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Guest: (643 days ago)

You are unable to take the most basic of points I make. I've explained that I have never been religious, and you tell me to pray. I have never prayed in my life. Still, the religious people I know are more grounded and articulate than you have been on this thread and certainly more open-minded. They have never proven to me that this is a universe with a god, but neither has any atheist proven to me that this is a universe without.

Your way of 'proving' what you have explored / studied is just by writing with some basic level of knowledge about the religions you are criticising. You call yourself ' knowledgeable ', but have shown literally no knowledge whatsoever. In fact, even the stuff you wrote about Mohammed's wives was copy-n-pasted directly from an Islamophobe website. But you want us to believe you had a muslim friend that helped you read the koran? Please. When someone's lies are so obvious , it's hard to trust whatever else they have to say.

It's difficult for me, because part of me suspects that fervent atheism along with fervent religiosity is caused largely by ignorance, lack of education and prejudice. I want to believe it's more complex than that, and there are a few atheists on here that make an effort to engage with points against them, and who can articulate their views without making stuff up and repeating the same opinions over and over. Unfortunately though, you do a lot to undermine that, and to confirm my suspicions; I mean seriously, you literally can't even spell atheist. I advise you to hang around BoreMe for a while, and you will see people who loosely share your mindset, but who will be able to give you reasons and arguments to support your opinions. Hopefully it'll allow you to stop making things up to make your opinion seem more justified, and you won't seem so ignorant, barking your opinion repetitively at everyone. Good luck, fella.

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Original comment

You are unable to take the most basic of points I make. I've explained that I have never been religious, and you tell me to pray. I have never prayed in my life. Still, the religious people I know are more grounded and articulate than you have been on this thread and certainly more open-minded. They have never proven to me that this is a universe with a god, but neither has any atheist proven to me that this is a universe without.

Your way of 'proving' what you have explored / studied is just by writing with some basic level of knowledge about the religions you are criticising. You call yourself ' knowledgeable ', but have shown literally no knowledge whatsoever. In fact, even the stuff you wrote about Mohammed's wives was copy-n-pasted directly from an Islamophobe website. But you want us to believe you had a muslim friend that helped you read the koran? Please. When someone's lies are so obvious , it's hard to trust whatever else they have to say.

It's difficult for me, because part of me suspects that fervent atheism along with fervent religiosity is caused largely by ignorance, lack of education and prejudice. I want to believe it's more complex than that, and there are a few atheists on here that make an effort to engage with points against them, and who can articulate their views without making stuff up and repeating the same opinions over and over. Unfortunately though, you do a lot to undermine that, and to confirm my suspicions; I mean seriously, you literally can't even spell atheist. I advise you to hang around BoreMe for a while, and you will see people who loosely share your mindset, but who will be able to give you reasons and arguments to support your opinions. Hopefully it'll allow you to stop making things up to make your opinion seem more justified, and you won't seem so ignorant, barking your opinion repetitively at everyone. Good luck, fella.

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Guest: jechill (642 days ago)

Whatever, ive finally realized your a troll and you just like to argue.

Up your's big nose.

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Whatever, ive finally realized your a troll and you just like to argue.

Up your's big nose.

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Guest: (641 days ago)

call him a troll that way you dont have to respond to any of his points and you can carry on contradicting yourself.

#FAIL

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call him a troll that way you dont have to respond to any of his points and you can carry on contradicting yourself.

#FAIL

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Guest: Just another atheist (643 days ago)

Are you familiar with Russel's tea pot?

There is a difference between not being able to provide proof that something exists and not being able to provide proof that something does not exist.

There is an infinitisinal number of possible gods. You can of course say the question if one of them really exists is irrelavent. You are right. But those who say the question is answered, that there is one or several particular and personal gods should have thought about why they are right and others are not.

For most atheits, the chance of the existance of one or serveral of the gods we are currently told about is so small that we can presume they don't exist.Just like Russel's tea pot.

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Original comment

Are you familiar with Russel's tea pot?

There is a difference between not being able to provide proof that something exists and not being able to provide proof that something does not exist.

There is an infinitisinal number of possible gods. You can of course say the question if one of them really exists is irrelavent. You are right. But those who say the question is answered, that there is one or several particular and personal gods should have thought about why they are right and others are not.

For most atheits, the chance of the existance of one or serveral of the gods we are currently told about is so small that we can presume they don't exist.Just like Russel's tea pot.

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Guest: Proud Agnostic (643 days ago)

I am tediously familiar with Russell's tea pot, / Henderson's Flying Spaghetti Monster / Sagan's garage dragon, and plenty of the corresponding issues and counterarguments. I will try to summarise what are the most relevant for me but it's late so sorry if I don't explain myself too well:

Firstly, you should unpick your notion of 'the chance of existence', or likelihood, or probability. To oversimplify, there are two main models of probability - experimental probability (frequentist or propensity), based on previous test results, and subjective probability (Bayesian) based on new data and a notion of prior probability . Obviously the first notion doesn't help us with untestable concepts, so I suppose it's the latter we need. But subjective probability for a metaphysical being is tricksy - what is the initial prior probability that if a god existed, it would allow some things that are evil? What is the prior probability that if a god existed, it would interact with us in ways we could understand or measure? What is the probability that if no current interpretations of a god were exactly accurate, that no god exists at all? You quickly see that it simply raises further questions about how and why you attribute certain prior probabilities for specific conceptions, and fails to offer a robust universal refutation of all theism which atheists would like. Which brings us on to...

The examples always deliberately start with something we all believe to be unlikely for good reason, and compare it with the notion of a god. In the case of a teapot, we have numerous physical real-world examples of teapots, and a complete back history from its invention. We can invoke frequentist probability too and note how many teapots we have found in the orbits that are close enough to observe. We also have extensive data from space exploration and never have we discovered anything to suggest that an actual teapot in space is even possible. All good grounds for initially assuming a low prior probability (as described above). However, with the notion of a metaphysical supreme being, we have no such data, no such precedent, and no one I know of thinks a supreme being of some kind is actually impossible . It is difficult, if not impossible, to ascertain a prior probability in the way one can with a teapot or a spaghetti monster, so therefore, a fairer analogy that makes no assumptions about likelihood might be this: Does the largest moon in our galaxy have an odd number of craters? It must be yes or no. There may be some who for their own reasons are sure the answer yes - and we would rightly wonder on what grounds they have made such a positive statement when there is no evidence to support it. But equally, whoever notes this lack of evidence and then concludes the answer is 'no', still has some burden of proof. Neither the positive statement nor its refutation are truly evidence-based or scientific. Only the agnostic - who says we simply have no way of knowing at this moment- need not prove anything.

As well as all this, famously, absence of evidence is not evidence of absence, and thus there is often still a burden of proof for negative claims - and yes, there are plenty of situations in which a negative can be proven. In fact, whether a claim is negative or positive is purely semantic. If I were to deny the holocaust happened, or deny the existence of Central Park, I would rightly be asked to provide evidence. Ultimately, the strongest atheistic claim is not that the current interpretations of a supreme being are inaccurate, but more that none exists whatsoever, and I can see nothing that would lead to such a grand speculation. To quote Sagan, "To be certain of the existence of God and to be certain of the nonexistence of God seem to me to be the confident extremes in a subject so riddled with doubt and uncertainty as to inspire very little confidence indeed."

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Original comment

I am tediously familiar with Russell's tea pot, / Henderson's Flying Spaghetti Monster / Sagan's garage dragon, and plenty of the corresponding issues and counterarguments. I will try to summarise what are the most relevant for me but it's late so sorry if I don't explain myself too well:

Firstly, you should unpick your notion of 'the chance of existence', or likelihood, or probability. To oversimplify, there are two main models of probability - experimental probability (frequentist or propensity), based on previous test results, and subjective probability (Bayesian) based on new data and a notion of prior probability . Obviously the first notion doesn't help us with untestable concepts, so I suppose it's the latter we need. But subjective probability for a metaphysical being is tricksy - what is the initial prior probability that if a god existed, it would allow some things that are evil? What is the prior probability that if a god existed, it would interact with us in ways we could understand or measure? What is the probability that if no current interpretations of a god were exactly accurate, that no god exists at all? You quickly see that it simply raises further questions about how and why you attribute certain prior probabilities for specific conceptions, and fails to offer a robust universal refutation of all theism which atheists would like. Which brings us on to...

The examples always deliberately start with something we all believe to be unlikely for good reason, and compare it with the notion of a god. In the case of a teapot, we have numerous physical real-world examples of teapots, and a complete back history from its invention. We can invoke frequentist probability too and note how many teapots we have found in the orbits that are close enough to observe. We also have extensive data from space exploration and never have we discovered anything to suggest that an actual teapot in space is even possible. All good grounds for initially assuming a low prior probability (as described above). However, with the notion of a metaphysical supreme being, we have no such data, no such precedent, and no one I know of thinks a supreme being of some kind is actually impossible . It is difficult, if not impossible, to ascertain a prior probability in the way one can with a teapot or a spaghetti monster, so therefore, a fairer analogy that makes no assumptions about likelihood might be this: Does the largest moon in our galaxy have an odd number of craters? It must be yes or no. There may be some who for their own reasons are sure the answer yes - and we would rightly wonder on what grounds they have made such a positive statement when there is no evidence to support it. But equally, whoever notes this lack of evidence and then concludes the answer is 'no', still has some burden of proof. Neither the positive statement nor its refutation are truly evidence-based or scientific. Only the agnostic - who says we simply have no way of knowing at this moment- need not prove anything.

As well as all this, famously, absence of evidence is not evidence of absence, and thus there is often still a burden of proof for negative claims - and yes, there are plenty of situations in which a negative can be proven. In fact, whether a claim is negative or positive is purely semantic. If I were to deny the holocaust happened, or deny the existence of Central Park, I would rightly be asked to provide evidence. Ultimately, the strongest atheistic claim is not that the current interpretations of a supreme being are inaccurate, but more that none exists whatsoever, and I can see nothing that would lead to such a grand speculation. To quote Sagan, "To be certain of the existence of God and to be certain of the nonexistence of God seem to me to be the confident extremes in a subject so riddled with doubt and uncertainty as to inspire very little confidence indeed."

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Guest: one more time (643 days ago)

I like your even/odd moon example. Personally, I don't believe that the largest moon has an odd number of craters. That is not the same as saying that I do believe it has an even number. In the same way, I don't believe that any god exists. You seem to think this implies that I believe that no god exists. Certainly some atheists do, but that's not the definition of atheism. Atheism is the lack of belief.

Gnosticism is a separate dimension; an agnostic holds that we cannot know whether any gods exist. This is different to your moon example: for your moon question, we don't know *yet* but in principle we could find out, and there is definitely an answer even if we don't know it. An agnostic holds that it is impossible *in principle* to know, not that we just don't know yet. (I don't know if agnostic = there is no answer.)

You do seem to confuse these two concepts, but your even/odd craters example is a good one to help clarify it.

Unless you can say "I believe there is a god" then you are atheist.

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I like your even/odd moon example. Personally, I don't believe that the largest moon has an odd number of craters. That is not the same as saying that I do believe it has an even number. In the same way, I don't believe that any god exists. You seem to think this implies that I believe that no god exists. Certainly some atheists do, but that's not the definition of atheism. Atheism is the lack of belief.

Gnosticism is a separate dimension; an agnostic holds that we cannot know whether any gods exist. This is different to your moon example: for your moon question, we don't know *yet* but in principle we could find out, and there is definitely an answer even if we don't know it. An agnostic holds that it is impossible *in principle* to know, not that we just don't know yet. (I don't know if agnostic = there is no answer.)

You do seem to confuse these two concepts, but your even/odd craters example is a good one to help clarify it.

Unless you can say "I believe there is a god" then you are atheist.

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Guest: Proud Agnostic (643 days ago)

We seem to be straying into semantics. I feel you're making a distinction that is decreasingly relevant these days; while technically true that 'atheism' could cover those who just happen not to believe in any of the gods we've heard about, in practice (and indeed in the Oxford Dictionary) an atheist is primarily someone who disbelieves in god - or even someone who believes in a universe without a god . You will see the majority of atheists online at least saying things like 'there is no god ' which is distinct from a simple lack of belief. This is why I use the crater example - because believing in a universe with some god and believing in a godless universe are both positive and controversial beliefs, just in the same way that believing in an odd or an even number of craters are both positive - regardless of whether you can rephrase them to sound like negative claims. The middle-ground is not to believe one is correct because there's no evidence for the other (a mutual fallacy of religious and new atheists), but rather not to believe either equally and to suspend judgement.

In the same way that there are different forms of atheism, there are also different forms of agnosticism. Hard agnosticism is what you've described - that something is impossible to ever know in principle . However, there is also soft agnosticism, where something is currently unknowable, but theoretically could become knowable at some point. The moon example is an example of soft agnosticism, as is Russell's teapot (if I remember his example correctly, he even says 'in practical terms' or 'in practice').

While I technically lack belief in a god as described by major religion, I would never call myself an atheist because I equally lack belief in a universe without a god - can you say the same? I simply don't believe either. DeGrasse Tyson holds similar views to my own, and he has also refused the label 'atheist' because he feels the term now comes with baggage - a collection of positive unscientific views and speculative claims, not mentioning the membership of an increasingly evangelical and dogmatic group. However, if you're the kind of atheist that would deny the statement 'There is no god ' on the grounds that you simply lack a belief for the ones you've heard about, good for you - but I think you're in the minority.

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Original comment

We seem to be straying into semantics. I feel you're making a distinction that is decreasingly relevant these days; while technically true that 'atheism' could cover those who just happen not to believe in any of the gods we've heard about, in practice (and indeed in the Oxford Dictionary) an atheist is primarily someone who disbelieves in god - or even someone who believes in a universe without a god . You will see the majority of atheists online at least saying things like 'there is no god ' which is distinct from a simple lack of belief. This is why I use the crater example - because believing in a universe with some god and believing in a godless universe are both positive and controversial beliefs, just in the same way that believing in an odd or an even number of craters are both positive - regardless of whether you can rephrase them to sound like negative claims. The middle-ground is not to believe one is correct because there's no evidence for the other (a mutual fallacy of religious and new atheists), but rather not to believe either equally and to suspend judgement.

In the same way that there are different forms of atheism, there are also different forms of agnosticism. Hard agnosticism is what you've described - that something is impossible to ever know in principle . However, there is also soft agnosticism, where something is currently unknowable, but theoretically could become knowable at some point. The moon example is an example of soft agnosticism, as is Russell's teapot (if I remember his example correctly, he even says 'in practical terms' or 'in practice').

While I technically lack belief in a god as described by major religion, I would never call myself an atheist because I equally lack belief in a universe without a god - can you say the same? I simply don't believe either. DeGrasse Tyson holds similar views to my own, and he has also refused the label 'atheist' because he feels the term now comes with baggage - a collection of positive unscientific views and speculative claims, not mentioning the membership of an increasingly evangelical and dogmatic group. However, if you're the kind of atheist that would deny the statement 'There is no god ' on the grounds that you simply lack a belief for the ones you've heard about, good for you - but I think you're in the minority.

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WalterEgo WalterEgo (642 days ago)

"... believing in a universe with some god and believing in a godless universe are both positive and controversial beliefs ..." A godless universe is not a controversial belief, because it is what we actually observe.

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"... believing in a universe with some god and believing in a godless universe are both positive and controversial beliefs ..." A godless universe is not a controversial belief, because it is what we actually observe.

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Guest: Proud Agnostic (642 days ago)

Sigh. A godless universe is a hugely controversial positive belief - "giving rise to disagreement". It's also controversial whether we observe a godless universe, and even whether we could observe a god in a universe. I think there's an element of wishful thinking here on your part.

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Sigh. A godless universe is a hugely controversial positive belief - "giving rise to disagreement". It's also controversial whether we observe a godless universe, and even whether we could observe a god in a universe. I think there's an element of wishful thinking here on your part.

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WalterEgo WalterEgo (642 days ago)

I'm not sure 'controversial' is the right word. A godless universe is certainly a hot topic, but it is 'scientifically uncontroversial' in the sense that what we observe in the universe is exactly what we would expect in a godless universe - ie. no direct observations of god, no need for a god to explain anything, and research that shows we have evolved to believe in god.

A universe with god is hugely controversial because it doesn't fit what we observe.

Pondering the metaphysical is healthy and fun, but I would argue it is no more than flexing one's imagination.

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I'm not sure 'controversial' is the right word. A godless universe is certainly a hot topic, but it is 'scientifically uncontroversial' in the sense that what we observe in the universe is exactly what we would expect in a godless universe - ie. no direct observations of god, no need for a god to explain anything, and research that shows we have evolved to believe in god.

A universe with god is hugely controversial because it doesn't fit what we observe.

Pondering the metaphysical is healthy and fun, but I would argue it is no more than flexing one's imagination.

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Guest: one more time (642 days ago)

I'm not entirely happy with the idea that we have to abandon definitions or go uncritically with the majority. On that basis we should accept that atheists are immoral devil-worshippers.

You seem to insist on fine distinctions in meaning when it suits your agenda - that's what I call "playing semantics."

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I'm not entirely happy with the idea that we have to abandon definitions or go uncritically with the majority. On that basis we should accept that atheists are immoral devil-worshippers.

You seem to insist on fine distinctions in meaning when it suits your agenda - that's what I call "playing semantics."

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Guest: Proud Agnostic (642 days ago)

Mm. Which definition am I abandoning (other than your personal one)? I'm quoting the very Oxford definition of atheism and pointing out that there is considerable difference between an atheist who believes this is a godless universe, and an atheist that happens not to believe in any god, and the former is at least a more vocal type of atheist if not more common. There are various forms of atheism, from weak to strong, implicit to explicit, so it's naive to think yours is the only valid definition and any deviation is abandonment. To most people, and to the dictionary definition, atheist is literally 'a-theist' - without a god, not just without a belief in god. And as regards agnosticism, I'm afraid I didn't make up these definitions - it was you who said I was confused, basing it on an oversimplified definition of agnosticism, and I was merely showing you the different types as (surprise surprise) I've spent a lot of time reading about it. For the record, Russell's teapot is considered A-level standard Philosophy, being as it is rather trite aporia, so the counters aren't exactly elusive. The moon analogy (similar to the gumball analogy) is intended to show that depending on how you phrase it, a lack of belief is also usually a positive belief of a different kind, whereas an equal lack of belief for all outcomes is more akin to agnosticism or ignosticism.

Anyway, don't stress about what the labels mean - you were the first to mention definitions. Describe your beliefs instead - do you believe that there is not a god in the universe; do you merely believe that none of the gods you have heard about exists but that one could exist? If you want to use the pacifier 'lack belief', then do you lack belief in a universe with a god, or lack belief in just certain gods, and do you lack belief in a godless universe as well? Spell it out for me so I don't make such horrendous mistakes in the future.

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Mm. Which definition am I abandoning (other than your personal one)? I'm quoting the very Oxford definition of atheism and pointing out that there is considerable difference between an atheist who believes this is a godless universe, and an atheist that happens not to believe in any god, and the former is at least a more vocal type of atheist if not more common. There are various forms of atheism, from weak to strong, implicit to explicit, so it's naive to think yours is the only valid definition and any deviation is abandonment. To most people, and to the dictionary definition, atheist is literally 'a-theist' - without a god, not just without a belief in god. And as regards agnosticism, I'm afraid I didn't make up these definitions - it was you who said I was confused, basing it on an oversimplified definition of agnosticism, and I was merely showing you the different types as (surprise surprise) I've spent a lot of time reading about it. For the record, Russell's teapot is considered A-level standard Philosophy, being as it is rather trite aporia, so the counters aren't exactly elusive. The moon analogy (similar to the gumball analogy) is intended to show that depending on how you phrase it, a lack of belief is also usually a positive belief of a different kind, whereas an equal lack of belief for all outcomes is more akin to agnosticism or ignosticism.

Anyway, don't stress about what the labels mean - you were the first to mention definitions. Describe your beliefs instead - do you believe that there is not a god in the universe; do you merely believe that none of the gods you have heard about exists but that one could exist? If you want to use the pacifier 'lack belief', then do you lack belief in a universe with a god, or lack belief in just certain gods, and do you lack belief in a godless universe as well? Spell it out for me so I don't make such horrendous mistakes in the future.

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Guest: one more time (642 days ago)

My own position is that I'm just as sure about no gods as I am about no fairies. I am not persuaded by any argument that I have heard, partly because I have no confidence that anyone, including me, knows enough to be able to argue on such a topic. Regarding evidence, I again find that any evidence offered is ambivalent; claiming that the universe, a flower, beauty etc demonstrates anything metaphysical is again based on all sorts of assumptions about the thing being claimed, which brings us back to ignorance.

Add to this the clamour of countless conflicting religions all claiming to be the one true faith, the completely natural and human explanation for how religions behave in practice, their internal contradictions, and the way almost all professed believers actually cherry pick a reasonable set of behaviours based on fairly rational criteria. So I don't feel that religion has anything to offer. I did look at one or two religions in my youth, but found them ludicrously incredible. I still do (now at age 66).

The rise of science as a method of discovering knowledge which is explicitly natural and enormously more effective than anything that came before leads me to conclude that the scientific way of thinking must have something going for it.

Fear of death? I used to be concerned about the act of dying; but I have seen a few friends and relatives over that threshold, and done my best to comfort their passage. It holds no fear for me now, neither dying nor death. I know grief, and how it feels to lose a loved one; it feels as if they still exist, but are just in some inaccessible place. I reckon this is all in my head; it is real to me, but I don't think it reflects reality any more than any other strong feeling.

God? I have at present no need of that hypothesis. It adds nothing and causes a great many problems. Yes, there are many unknowns, such as what, if anything, lies beyond this continuum, and why there is anything at all. These are fascinating topics for discussion. But it makes no sense to postulate a god as a way of explaining anything, because it introduces far more questions than it answers.

If gods exist (*), I don't think it will be to satisfy our sense of logic or curiosity or vanity. Instead, I think they will be so remote and unknowable that we will have less in common with them than any two atomc particles chosen at random from this universe have in common with each other. At least these two particles have a mutual gravitational attraction.

(*) the word "exist" must be extended in unknown ways for this sentence. It is blindingly obvious that no gods exist in the ordinary sense of the word.

And that is where I am coming from.

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My own position is that I'm just as sure about no gods as I am about no fairies. I am not persuaded by any argument that I have heard, partly because I have no confidence that anyone, including me, knows enough to be able to argue on such a topic. Regarding evidence, I again find that any evidence offered is ambivalent; claiming that the universe, a flower, beauty etc demonstrates anything metaphysical is again based on all sorts of assumptions about the thing being claimed, which brings us back to ignorance.

Add to this the clamour of countless conflicting religions all claiming to be the one true faith, the completely natural and human explanation for how religions behave in practice, their internal contradictions, and the way almost all professed believers actually cherry pick a reasonable set of behaviours based on fairly rational criteria. So I don't feel that religion has anything to offer. I did look at one or two religions in my youth, but found them ludicrously incredible. I still do (now at age 66).

The rise of science as a method of discovering knowledge which is explicitly natural and enormously more effective than anything that came before leads me to conclude that the scientific way of thinking must have something going for it.

Fear of death? I used to be concerned about the act of dying; but I have seen a few friends and relatives over that threshold, and done my best to comfort their passage. It holds no fear for me now, neither dying nor death. I know grief, and how it feels to lose a loved one; it feels as if they still exist, but are just in some inaccessible place. I reckon this is all in my head; it is real to me, but I don't think it reflects reality any more than any other strong feeling.

God? I have at present no need of that hypothesis. It adds nothing and causes a great many problems. Yes, there are many unknowns, such as what, if anything, lies beyond this continuum, and why there is anything at all. These are fascinating topics for discussion. But it makes no sense to postulate a god as a way of explaining anything, because it introduces far more questions than it answers.

If gods exist (*), I don't think it will be to satisfy our sense of logic or curiosity or vanity. Instead, I think they will be so remote and unknowable that we will have less in common with them than any two atomc particles chosen at random from this universe have in common with each other. At least these two particles have a mutual gravitational attraction.

(*) the word "exist" must be extended in unknown ways for this sentence. It is blindingly obvious that no gods exist in the ordinary sense of the word.

And that is where I am coming from.

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Guest: Proud Agnostic (641 days ago)

Well actually I agree on many of your points. I find the evidence is amibiguous (rather than ambivalent!) both for a supreme being and for a universe without, and so yes the confidence we see in theists and indeed atheists (including your own) does strike me as being based on the assumptions, and (as Jechill has shown) on ignorance too.

I think it's worth separating theism from religion. I actually think religion is generally a positive influence on civilisation and is responsible for far more goods (culturally and socially) than bads, but that's really a different argument. I'm not agnostic about religions, and at least if you believe religion to be harmful or beneficial, you may actually have cherry-picked empirical evidence that supports that, rather than a glorified hunch about the existence of a metaphysical being which is what we're discussing here.

Be careful with your description of science - nothing came before it. Science is just the observation of the physical world, and humans have been getting that wrong for milennia. Basically though I agree with you, but (hold onto your hat here) most religious people would too. It's funny to see atheists use this straw man argument, about how all these religious people don't believe in science, believing that god makes it all work instead: How does the water cycle work? God; How does the moon stay close to the earth? God. That of course is utter nonsense, and fails to address how most people believe in god these days. Some of the world's leading scientists also believe in a god of some kind (including Peter Higgs, and LeMaitre who first posited the Big Bang Theory, and numerous others) so pretending that science is inherently incompatible with theism, or even religion, is demonstrable nonsense. Or have you uncovered something about science or religion that they haven't thought of? One of the clearest concepts of how these two run alongside each other is the theory of Non-Overlapping Magisteria. Google it. For me, my faith in scientific principles and logic is precisely why I am an agnostic and not an atheist. On another thread, you asked what I had read to grow out of atheism and I gave you a brief bibliography. I really recommend you at least dip your toes in because I can't do it justice on here, and you wouldn't care if I could. Suffice to say that hard atheism has countless issues scientifically, philosophically, and indeed logically, that may make you question your belief set a little more.

It is clear that actually, even after your little song and dance about it being a 'lack of belief', you are a hard and explicit atheist which is very much a positive and active belief. You don't simply lack a belief, but have the affirmative belief that "No gods exist" as you put it. For me, what is 'blindingly obvious' is that coming out with such bold claims is just as unscientific and speculative as the precise opposite. I used to debate (and still would) with religious people for having the same type of unfalsifiable self-righteous beliefs, and now I find far more new atheists with this blinkered mindset. However, the fact that the world views of atheists and theists are both based on speculation or bias shouldn't really be an issue. I think we are all entitled to have unscientific or unprovable views, including why we like one flavour ice-cream more than another. It only matters if you want to try and persuade people of a different mindset to take on yours. In my experience, most religious people don't really care - I've never been told I am wrong, retarded, gullible etc by a Christian or a Muslim, not even when I was an atheist. Sadly, it's increasingly the atheists that take this proselytising, intolerant and judgemental stance.

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Original comment

Well actually I agree on many of your points. I find the evidence is amibiguous (rather than ambivalent!) both for a supreme being and for a universe without, and so yes the confidence we see in theists and indeed atheists (including your own) does strike me as being based on the assumptions, and (as Jechill has shown) on ignorance too.

I think it's worth separating theism from religion. I actually think religion is generally a positive influence on civilisation and is responsible for far more goods (culturally and socially) than bads, but that's really a different argument. I'm not agnostic about religions, and at least if you believe religion to be harmful or beneficial, you may actually have cherry-picked empirical evidence that supports that, rather than a glorified hunch about the existence of a metaphysical being which is what we're discussing here.

Be careful with your description of science - nothing came before it. Science is just the observation of the physical world, and humans have been getting that wrong for milennia. Basically though I agree with you, but (hold onto your hat here) most religious people would too. It's funny to see atheists use this straw man argument, about how all these religious people don't believe in science, believing that god makes it all work instead: How does the water cycle work? God; How does the moon stay close to the earth? God. That of course is utter nonsense, and fails to address how most people believe in god these days. Some of the world's leading scientists also believe in a god of some kind (including Peter Higgs, and LeMaitre who first posited the Big Bang Theory, and numerous others) so pretending that science is inherently incompatible with theism, or even religion, is demonstrable nonsense. Or have you uncovered something about science or religion that they haven't thought of? One of the clearest concepts of how these two run alongside each other is the theory of Non-Overlapping Magisteria. Google it. For me, my faith in scientific principles and logic is precisely why I am an agnostic and not an atheist. On another thread, you asked what I had read to grow out of atheism and I gave you a brief bibliography. I really recommend you at least dip your toes in because I can't do it justice on here, and you wouldn't care if I could. Suffice to say that hard atheism has countless issues scientifically, philosophically, and indeed logically, that may make you question your belief set a little more.

It is clear that actually, even after your little song and dance about it being a 'lack of belief', you are a hard and explicit atheist which is very much a positive and active belief. You don't simply lack a belief, but have the affirmative belief that "No gods exist" as you put it. For me, what is 'blindingly obvious' is that coming out with such bold claims is just as unscientific and speculative as the precise opposite. I used to debate (and still would) with religious people for having the same type of unfalsifiable self-righteous beliefs, and now I find far more new atheists with this blinkered mindset. However, the fact that the world views of atheists and theists are both based on speculation or bias shouldn't really be an issue. I think we are all entitled to have unscientific or unprovable views, including why we like one flavour ice-cream more than another. It only matters if you want to try and persuade people of a different mindset to take on yours. In my experience, most religious people don't really care - I've never been told I am wrong, retarded, gullible etc by a Christian or a Muslim, not even when I was an atheist. Sadly, it's increasingly the atheists that take this proselytising, intolerant and judgemental stance.

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WalterEgo WalterEgo (642 days ago)

It is better to argue that god is man-made, rather than god doesn't exist - because that is more accurate, and there is plenty of evidence.

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It is better to argue that god is man-made, rather than god doesn't exist - because that is more accurate, and there is plenty of evidence.

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Guest: (642 days ago)

More accurate, huh? Interesting opinion.

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More accurate, huh? Interesting opinion.

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WalterEgo WalterEgo (642 days ago)

Of course it's more accurate. We know god exists in our heads - we teach our kids about god, build churches and fight wars all in the name of god. The question is, does god exist outside of our heads?

Some say yes, but I see nothing that can be explained better by saying "god did it".

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Of course it's more accurate. We know god exists in our heads - we teach our kids about god, build churches and fight wars all in the name of god. The question is, does god exist outside of our heads?

Some say yes, but I see nothing that can be explained better by saying "god did it".

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Guest: Krittick (642 days ago)

sorry to chip in but No god does not exist in our heads. An idea of god does but thats different. A real god (a higher being) would have to exist outside our heads or it wouldnt be a higher being it would just be a thought. Afterall what kind of higher being can only exist in a head? If theres an idea of something in our head does not effect if that thing really exists.

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sorry to chip in but No god does not exist in our heads. An idea of god does but thats different. A real god (a higher being) would have to exist outside our heads or it wouldnt be a higher being it would just be a thought. Afterall what kind of higher being can only exist in a head? If theres an idea of something in our head does not effect if that thing really exists.

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WalterEgo WalterEgo (642 days ago)

Yes I agree. I'll word my argument better next time.

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Yes I agree. I'll word my argument better next time.

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Guest: (642 days ago)

Again, that's your opinion on whether it's more accurate, but don't worry... you wouldn't be the first to have a belief you're very sure about. You're right that people live as if god does exist - nuns set up hospitals, muslims donate to the needy - so some deity does exist at least in our heads. But using that fact to suggest that therefore a supreme being can only exist in their heads is not remotely logical. Anyway, I think we've been down this path before.

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Again, that's your opinion on whether it's more accurate, but don't worry... you wouldn't be the first to have a belief you're very sure about. You're right that people live as if god does exist - nuns set up hospitals, muslims donate to the needy - so some deity does exist at least in our heads. But using that fact to suggest that therefore a supreme being can only exist in their heads is not remotely logical. Anyway, I think we've been down this path before.

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WalterEgo WalterEgo (642 days ago)

"But using that fact to suggest that therefore a supreme being can only exist in their heads is not remotely logical." True. But that's not what I'm saying. I'm saying there is plenty of evidence that god exists inside our heads, but zero evidence that he exists outside our heads. That is just an accurate observation. Make of it what you will.

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"But using that fact to suggest that therefore a supreme being can only exist in their heads is not remotely logical." True. But that's not what I'm saying. I'm saying there is plenty of evidence that god exists inside our heads, but zero evidence that he exists outside our heads. That is just an accurate observation. Make of it what you will.

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Guest: Proud Agnostic (642 days ago)

Right. In that case, we've been here before. An 'accurate observation' by your reckoning - OK, well we could have that conversation about what you consider evidence, and what other people consider evidence. Then that conversation about exactly what evidence you are expecting to find for a broad notion of a supreme metaphysical being. And no doubt you'll end up talking about probabilities too so we'll have that conversation about misapplying mathematical models too. I make of it just the usual unswerving unfalsifiable views, the characteristic hubris of someone entirely convinced of their own belief set - nothing wrong with that, so long as you can see it too, and notice the same traits in the people you mock and deride. I know it's not saying much, but I reckon you're the most schismatic person on BoreMe!

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Original comment

Right. In that case, we've been here before. An 'accurate observation' by your reckoning - OK, well we could have that conversation about what you consider evidence, and what other people consider evidence. Then that conversation about exactly what evidence you are expecting to find for a broad notion of a supreme metaphysical being. And no doubt you'll end up talking about probabilities too so we'll have that conversation about misapplying mathematical models too. I make of it just the usual unswerving unfalsifiable views, the characteristic hubris of someone entirely convinced of their own belief set - nothing wrong with that, so long as you can see it too, and notice the same traits in the people you mock and deride. I know it's not saying much, but I reckon you're the most schismatic person on BoreMe!

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WalterEgo WalterEgo (642 days ago)

I thought it was obvious what sort of evidence I'm talking about - empirical.

"And no doubt you'll end up talking about probabilities too ..." How can we not talk about probabilities when the subject is a supreme metaphysical being that we don't observe directly, or see any effect that can't be accounted for by "we just made this religion thing up"?

We both agree there are infinite possibilities of supreme metaphysical beings, some we can imagine, the rest we can't. But speculating on which in a field of infinity, I would suggest is a waste of time except as an academic exercise.

In the real world, I want to know if I should go to church or not. Then probability comes into play. You are a "proud agnostic" because you value the academic exercise higher than I do.

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Original comment

I thought it was obvious what sort of evidence I'm talking about - empirical.

"And no doubt you'll end up talking about probabilities too ..." How can we not talk about probabilities when the subject is a supreme metaphysical being that we don't observe directly, or see any effect that can't be accounted for by "we just made this religion thing up"?

We both agree there are infinite possibilities of supreme metaphysical beings, some we can imagine, the rest we can't. But speculating on which in a field of infinity, I would suggest is a waste of time except as an academic exercise.

In the real world, I want to know if I should go to church or not. Then probability comes into play. You are a "proud agnostic" because you value the academic exercise higher than I do.

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Guest: Proud Agnostic (642 days ago)

Empirical evidence for a metaphysical being? How exactly does that work?

"How can we NOT talk about probabilities when the subject is a supreme metaphysical being that we don't observe directly". Whaaaat? How CAN we? I'm sure we've done this , but please tell me which mathematical model of probability you are using... that would be a start. Genuinely fascinated.

I am a proud agnostic because I believe that there is nothing that could determine a probability of a metaphysical being in any meaningful way, and a lack of evidence on this type of issue leads to a lack of conclusion. Agreed, speculating on which conception of a supreme being (or any or [importantly] none) is indeed largely an academic and unscientific exercise, but such abstract ponderings are healthy even if ultimately unprovable. Otherwise no one would argue on literary theory, aesthetics, justice, or even as you've mentioned it 'fields of infinity'.

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Original comment

Empirical evidence for a metaphysical being? How exactly does that work?

"How can we NOT talk about probabilities when the subject is a supreme metaphysical being that we don't observe directly". Whaaaat? How CAN we? I'm sure we've done this , but please tell me which mathematical model of probability you are using... that would be a start. Genuinely fascinated.

I am a proud agnostic because I believe that there is nothing that could determine a probability of a metaphysical being in any meaningful way, and a lack of evidence on this type of issue leads to a lack of conclusion. Agreed, speculating on which conception of a supreme being (or any or [importantly] none) is indeed largely an academic and unscientific exercise, but such abstract ponderings are healthy even if ultimately unprovable. Otherwise no one would argue on literary theory, aesthetics, justice, or even as you've mentioned it 'fields of infinity'.

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WalterEgo WalterEgo (642 days ago)

"Empirical evidence for a metaphysical being? How exactly does that work?" We could invite god to perform a miracle under scientific conditions, and if we observe the suspension of the laws of physics, then god has manipulated them. Pretty good credentials for status of god. Problem is, I guarantee you he won't accept that challenge.

"please tell me which mathematical model of probability you are using" We have to talk about probability because there is no probability where there needs to be. We know that we can't be certain of any supreme being. But we need a probability for the question of supreme beings to be at all meaningful. Obviously invoking probability in the metaphysical world is ridiculous, therefore the whole question is meaningless - except as an academic exercise. Abstract ponderings are healthy, and fun, but they don't help me decide whether I should go to church or not.

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Original comment

"Empirical evidence for a metaphysical being? How exactly does that work?" We could invite god to perform a miracle under scientific conditions, and if we observe the suspension of the laws of physics, then god has manipulated them. Pretty good credentials for status of god. Problem is, I guarantee you he won't accept that challenge.

"please tell me which mathematical model of probability you are using" We have to talk about probability because there is no probability where there needs to be. We know that we can't be certain of any supreme being. But we need a probability for the question of supreme beings to be at all meaningful. Obviously invoking probability in the metaphysical world is ridiculous, therefore the whole question is meaningless - except as an academic exercise. Abstract ponderings are healthy, and fun, but they don't help me decide whether I should go to church or not.

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Guest: Proud Agnostic (642 days ago)

I'm condensing both your comments for ease of reply. So by inviting some god to perform a miracle, you are testing whether that god exists? Do you really believe that? Do you think that is a scientific test? Do you think such an experiment only tests one variable? Do you think that every conception of a supreme being is guaranteed to respond to your little gauntlet, or even likely to respond in the way that you are asking? I think that's just about the worst example of evidence gathering I can imagine. If I did believe in a specific god, it would certainly be a type that would not bother coming down to planet earth to settle bets.

You've avoided talking about which model of probability you'd use but you've admitted that "invoking probability in the metaphysical world is ridiculous", which I would agree with, so therefore you should probably stop using probablistic language as it seems a favourite technique of yours. We cannot decide using maths or science whether a godless universe is more likely that a universe with an omnipotent non-interactive god, and we can't decide whether an omnipotent god is more likely than a smaller interactive god with blue hair. Likelihood is irrelevant. To me and most agnostics, that suggests that you should disbelieve equally competing unfalsifiable claims that have no prior probability. To you (and most atheists), it somehow suggests you should disbelieve the claims you don't like, but believe others that are equally as unfalsifiable. Besides, it seems to me that neither you nor theists believe that the question of god is meaningless.

Well 'controversial' was the word I originally used, and the word you disputed, so if that's not the word you meant then this is a bit of a needless rabbit hole to go down - but actually, I would still take issue, as what we observe in the universe is also exactly what theists (including the numerous religious scientists) would expect with certain conceptions of a supreme being; a perfect order, an elusive beginning, a complexity beyond our understanding, and indeed that we have evolved to believe in god, etc etc. The whole issue is surely that there is nothing in the world that categorically shows a supreme being either exists or does not. The only sense in which it is scientifically uncontroversial, is unlike you most actual scientists accept that there is no amount of empirical evidence or data that will help with these subjects so it's just not what they do. As DeGrasse Tyson has said, it doesn't concern him. They would no more investigate god than investigate the objectivity of morals or free will. That doesn't preclude a belief either way. It is still worth remembering that a large proportion of leading scientists (including Nobel Prize winners) seem to think that what they observe and study in the scientific world does not exclude the possibility of a universe with a supreme being. I'm inclined to think they're onto something, as I'd imagine they know more about their own religion and cutting edge science than the two of us put together.

By the way, if you are still pondering, the answer is no, you should not go to church. I think I've gathered that much.

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Original comment

I'm condensing both your comments for ease of reply. So by inviting some god to perform a miracle, you are testing whether that god exists? Do you really believe that? Do you think that is a scientific test? Do you think such an experiment only tests one variable? Do you think that every conception of a supreme being is guaranteed to respond to your little gauntlet, or even likely to respond in the way that you are asking? I think that's just about the worst example of evidence gathering I can imagine. If I did believe in a specific god, it would certainly be a type that would not bother coming down to planet earth to settle bets.

You've avoided talking about which model of probability you'd use but you've admitted that "invoking probability in the metaphysical world is ridiculous", which I would agree with, so therefore you should probably stop using probablistic language as it seems a favourite technique of yours. We cannot decide using maths or science whether a godless universe is more likely that a universe with an omnipotent non-interactive god, and we can't decide whether an omnipotent god is more likely than a smaller interactive god with blue hair. Likelihood is irrelevant. To me and most agnostics, that suggests that you should disbelieve equally competing unfalsifiable claims that have no prior probability. To you (and most atheists), it somehow suggests you should disbelieve the claims you don't like, but believe others that are equally as unfalsifiable. Besides, it seems to me that neither you nor theists believe that the question of god is meaningless.

Well 'controversial' was the word I originally used, and the word you disputed, so if that's not the word you meant then this is a bit of a needless rabbit hole to go down - but actually, I would still take issue, as what we observe in the universe is also exactly what theists (including the numerous religious scientists) would expect with certain conceptions of a supreme being; a perfect order, an elusive beginning, a complexity beyond our understanding, and indeed that we have evolved to believe in god, etc etc. The whole issue is surely that there is nothing in the world that categorically shows a supreme being either exists or does not. The only sense in which it is scientifically uncontroversial, is unlike you most actual scientists accept that there is no amount of empirical evidence or data that will help with these subjects so it's just not what they do. As DeGrasse Tyson has said, it doesn't concern him. They would no more investigate god than investigate the objectivity of morals or free will. That doesn't preclude a belief either way. It is still worth remembering that a large proportion of leading scientists (including Nobel Prize winners) seem to think that what they observe and study in the scientific world does not exclude the possibility of a universe with a supreme being. I'm inclined to think they're onto something, as I'd imagine they know more about their own religion and cutting edge science than the two of us put together.

By the way, if you are still pondering, the answer is no, you should not go to church. I think I've gathered that much.

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WalterEgo WalterEgo (642 days ago)

The only way that I can imagine it is possible to falsify the existence of a metaphysical being, is for that being to prove to us in the physical world, that it can manipulate the laws of physics. Otherwise it's just science as usual. I know it's a long shot so I won't hold my breath.

I don't think you understand my point about probability - which is about the lack of probability in the metaphysical. It's difficult to verbalise but I'll try my best. For anything to be meaningful, there has to be either certainty or probability. Otherwise it's just "make up whatever shit you like". You seem to think that something which is meaningless (the metaphysical) has meaning.

I haven't given you any models of probability because I don't know what they are.

"what we observe in the universe is also exactly what theists (including the numerous religious scientists) would expect with certain conceptions of a supreme being; a perfect order, an elusive beginning" You are cherry picking. Everything we observe in the universe fits a godless universe. Not everything fits a universe with a god. Why is the universe so big if god made the universe for us? What was god doing for 13 billion years before he created us. If he is "outside" the universe, he seems to be totally impotent, so why bother worshiping him. Even on Earth, everything fits a godless universe. I challenge you to suggest anything that does not fit a godless universe.

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The only way that I can imagine it is possible to falsify the existence of a metaphysical being, is for that being to prove to us in the physical world, that it can manipulate the laws of physics. Otherwise it's just science as usual. I know it's a long shot so I won't hold my breath.

I don't think you understand my point about probability - which is about the lack of probability in the metaphysical. It's difficult to verbalise but I'll try my best. For anything to be meaningful, there has to be either certainty or probability. Otherwise it's just "make up whatever shit you like". You seem to think that something which is meaningless (the metaphysical) has meaning.

I haven't given you any models of probability because I don't know what they are.

"what we observe in the universe is also exactly what theists (including the numerous religious scientists) would expect with certain conceptions of a supreme being; a perfect order, an elusive beginning" You are cherry picking. Everything we observe in the universe fits a godless universe. Not everything fits a universe with a god. Why is the universe so big if god made the universe for us? What was god doing for 13 billion years before he created us. If he is "outside" the universe, he seems to be totally impotent, so why bother worshiping him. Even on Earth, everything fits a godless universe. I challenge you to suggest anything that does not fit a godless universe.

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Guest: Proud Agnostic (641 days ago)

The issue of a godless universe is also of course an unfalsifiable speculation, which is why I treat it with as much suspicion as most theistic beliefs. It's simply not scientific.

It's a little sad and hard to believe that you find all metaphysics meaningless, especially when I have seen you debate and reference countless unprovable ideas on here. I suppose the nature of justice, aesthetic and literary theory, morality, the human condition, consciousness, infinity etc etc etc etc, are also all meaningless, being unprovable and metaphysical and abstract as they all are? What a dry world you claim to live in.

Of course in the real world a probability can also be next to 0 - what is the chance of it snowing in the Sahara? But that isn't actually the problem - the problem is that whichever model of probability you use, you still need relevant empirical data and a history. This is why probability gets no foot hold in metaphysics, not because none of it could or does exist. Again, this is why when you say 'the likelihood of god existing outside our minds' etc, is a truly meaningless and absurd statement... but more importantly for me, completely unscientific and unmathematical.

It always amuses me to see you (and other atheists) continually claim the support of science, whilst using painfully unscientific reasoning. Leaving aside the fact that from a logical, mathematical or scientific view, an agnostic or non-commital approach is the only one justified, I don't understand what you think you've uncovered that the host of religious scientists haven't figured out. No, a theistic world view is not cherry-picking, any more than an atheistic world view. Why is the universe so big if he created it for us? Well firstly, you're assuming that he did for that reason (which is a tiny element of one particular conception), and secondly you're assuming that we would understand a god's reasoning. Neither are remotely strong cases to disbelieve in some form of supreme being. What was a god doing for 13 billion years? If we cannot answer that question (particularly as an agnostic) would that mean a god couldn't have existed? Craziness. None of these features only fits with a godless universe, and or even fits with the absence of most deities that people believe in. I challenge you to come up with a single feature of the universe that precludes the existence of any god - or even, the existence of the gods we know about. You'll see it's just as impossible as with theistic reasoning, which is why you two are in exactly the same boat.

I've said it before, but you're not bad at arguing against very specific and generally dated religious views -you have a strong case against all those creationists, and against anyone who thinks their god would float down and perform miracles on request. Unfortunately, I think your new atheism should be able to do a little more than that.

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Original comment

The issue of a godless universe is also of course an unfalsifiable speculation, which is why I treat it with as much suspicion as most theistic beliefs. It's simply not scientific.

It's a little sad and hard to believe that you find all metaphysics meaningless, especially when I have seen you debate and reference countless unprovable ideas on here. I suppose the nature of justice, aesthetic and literary theory, morality, the human condition, consciousness, infinity etc etc etc etc, are also all meaningless, being unprovable and metaphysical and abstract as they all are? What a dry world you claim to live in.

Of course in the real world a probability can also be next to 0 - what is the chance of it snowing in the Sahara? But that isn't actually the problem - the problem is that whichever model of probability you use, you still need relevant empirical data and a history. This is why probability gets no foot hold in metaphysics, not because none of it could or does exist. Again, this is why when you say 'the likelihood of god existing outside our minds' etc, is a truly meaningless and absurd statement... but more importantly for me, completely unscientific and unmathematical.

It always amuses me to see you (and other atheists) continually claim the support of science, whilst using painfully unscientific reasoning. Leaving aside the fact that from a logical, mathematical or scientific view, an agnostic or non-commital approach is the only one justified, I don't understand what you think you've uncovered that the host of religious scientists haven't figured out. No, a theistic world view is not cherry-picking, any more than an atheistic world view. Why is the universe so big if he created it for us? Well firstly, you're assuming that he did for that reason (which is a tiny element of one particular conception), and secondly you're assuming that we would understand a god's reasoning. Neither are remotely strong cases to disbelieve in some form of supreme being. What was a god doing for 13 billion years? If we cannot answer that question (particularly as an agnostic) would that mean a god couldn't have existed? Craziness. None of these features only fits with a godless universe, and or even fits with the absence of most deities that people believe in. I challenge you to come up with a single feature of the universe that precludes the existence of any god - or even, the existence of the gods we know about. You'll see it's just as impossible as with theistic reasoning, which is why you two are in exactly the same boat.

I've said it before, but you're not bad at arguing against very specific and generally dated religious views -you have a strong case against all those creationists, and against anyone who thinks their god would float down and perform miracles on request. Unfortunately, I think your new atheism should be able to do a little more than that.

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WalterEgo WalterEgo (640 days ago)

As usual, you read all sorts of stuff into what I have written. Now you seem to think I find all metaphysics meaningless even though we are talking specifically about supreme metaphysical beings. For some reason, you’ve introduced aesthetics, the human condition …

Is the issue of a godless universe unfalsifiable? Only if the supreme being is stuck in the metaphysical world with no way of affecting the physical world.

“No, a theistic world is not cherry-picking, any more than…” Really? When the only thing you can come back with is “god’s mysterious ways”, then that really is a meaningless answer. It's the wild card religious people use when they've finally run out of answers. And now you are using the same wild card.

“I challenge you to come up with a single feature of the universe that precludes the existence of any god - or even, the existence of the gods we do know about.” I’m never sure if you purposely misunderstand what I say, or if I’m just not clear enough. I said: “I challenge you to suggest anything that does not FIT a godless universe.” I didn’t say “preclude”.

So, why is the universe so big? A godless universe fits perfectly without any mental trickery. A universe with god requires invoking “god’s mysterious ways”.

Why did it take 13 billion years for humans to come into existence? A godless universe fits perfectly without any mental trickery. A universe with god requires invoking “god’s mysterious ways”.

Why is only the tiniest minuscule part of the universe hospitable to humans? A godless universe fits perfectly without any mental trickery. A universe with god requires invoking “god’s mysterious ways”.

Why did a plane crash kill all the passengers except for 1 baby? A godless universe fits perfectly without any mental trickery. A universe with god requires invoking “god’s mysterious ways”.

I could go on.

Let me sum up our differences, IMO:

Your view is that there is no way that we can prove the existence of a supreme metaphysical being, therefore we should not discount it.

My view is that there is no way that we can prove the existence of a supreme metaphysical being, therefore we should discount it.

Your position is theoretical, mine is practical. At least I recognise that there is a difference.

ReplyVote up (101)down (99)
Original comment

As usual, you read all sorts of stuff into what I have written. Now you seem to think I find all metaphysics meaningless even though we are talking specifically about supreme metaphysical beings. For some reason, you’ve introduced aesthetics, the human condition …

Is the issue of a godless universe unfalsifiable? Only if the supreme being is stuck in the metaphysical world with no way of affecting the physical world.

“No, a theistic world is not cherry-picking, any more than…” Really? When the only thing you can come back with is “god’s mysterious ways”, then that really is a meaningless answer. It's the wild card religious people use when they've finally run out of answers. And now you are using the same wild card.

“I challenge you to come up with a single feature of the universe that precludes the existence of any god - or even, the existence of the gods we do know about.” I’m never sure if you purposely misunderstand what I say, or if I’m just not clear enough. I said: “I challenge you to suggest anything that does not FIT a godless universe.” I didn’t say “preclude”.

So, why is the universe so big? A godless universe fits perfectly without any mental trickery. A universe with god requires invoking “god’s mysterious ways”.

Why did it take 13 billion years for humans to come into existence? A godless universe fits perfectly without any mental trickery. A universe with god requires invoking “god’s mysterious ways”.

Why is only the tiniest minuscule part of the universe hospitable to humans? A godless universe fits perfectly without any mental trickery. A universe with god requires invoking “god’s mysterious ways”.

Why did a plane crash kill all the passengers except for 1 baby? A godless universe fits perfectly without any mental trickery. A universe with god requires invoking “god’s mysterious ways”.

I could go on.

Let me sum up our differences, IMO:

Your view is that there is no way that we can prove the existence of a supreme metaphysical being, therefore we should not discount it.

My view is that there is no way that we can prove the existence of a supreme metaphysical being, therefore we should discount it.

Your position is theoretical, mine is practical. At least I recognise that there is a difference.

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Guest: jechill (642 days ago)

Here's a fine example of church deception. Jesus over turns the money changers tables and insults the Jewish leaders. He often states that a building is not necessary, that a gathering of 2 or more in His name , qualifies. That only He stands in the way of judgment for us.

Then the church gets involved, wants your money, doesn't pay taxes and is wide open for fraud and theft. They are not even seen as having much political pull anymore, except in the United States.

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Here's a fine example of church deception. Jesus over turns the money changers tables and insults the Jewish leaders. He often states that a building is not necessary, that a gathering of 2 or more in His name , qualifies. That only He stands in the way of judgment for us.

Then the church gets involved, wants your money, doesn't pay taxes and is wide open for fraud and theft. They are not even seen as having much political pull anymore, except in the United States.

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Guest: (642 days ago)

Oh really, that's neat. Cheers Jechill.

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Oh really, that's neat. Cheers Jechill.

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Guest: jechill (641 days ago)

Your right!

God is man made.

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Your right!

God is man made.

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Guest: (641 days ago)

his right what? lol

settled then.

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his right what? lol

settled then.

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Guest: jechill (641 days ago)

The mighty guest troll has spoken.

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The mighty guest troll has spoken.

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Guest: (641 days ago)

the poorly jechill has once again failed to respond to criticism. have you asked the atheists if they even want you?

XD

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the poorly jechill has once again failed to respond to criticism. have you asked the atheists if they even want you?

XD

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Guest: Proud Agnostic (641 days ago)

Oh I thought I was the troll? Are you the troll too? Maybe the troll is just whoever happens to disagree with his supreme opinions. Lot of trolls, I guess.

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Oh I thought I was the troll? Are you the troll too? Maybe the troll is just whoever happens to disagree with his supreme opinions. Lot of trolls, I guess.

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Guest: jechill (640 days ago)

Obviously there are a lot of trolls out there.

Some working for Russia, some working for Isis, some working for muslims in general.

You won't get a free argument from me.

But you can suck my asshole.

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Obviously there are a lot of trolls out there.

Some working for Russia, some working for Isis, some working for muslims in general.

You won't get a free argument from me.

But you can suck my asshole.

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Guest: (640 days ago)

Thanks for your balanced and persuasive opinion. You enlighten us every time you write with your articulate and well-informed comments.

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Thanks for your balanced and persuasive opinion. You enlighten us every time you write with your articulate and well-informed comments.

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Guest: jechill (640 days ago)

Thats it , suck it really hard.

I keep fudge in there and if you suck hard enough some may come out for you.

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Thats it , suck it really hard.

I keep fudge in there and if you suck hard enough some may come out for you.

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Guest: (640 days ago)

If only you were as good at rational thought as you are with bizarre homoerotic fantasies. Whatever floats your boat.

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If only you were as good at rational thought as you are with bizarre homoerotic fantasies. Whatever floats your boat.

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WalterEgo WalterEgo (646 days ago)

There's plenty of evidence for man-made gods. Which god do you think is not man-made?

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There's plenty of evidence for man-made gods. Which god do you think is not man-made?

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God, heaven and dirt
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What are the most atheist countries in the world?
The Atheist Experience - Do atheists go to Hell?
The Atheist Experience - Do atheists go to Hell?
The Atheist Experience - The chair in the room
The Atheist Experience - The chair in the room