Atheism

INT21

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MrRing,

..a believer in some godform would believe that it exists, and a believer of atheism would believe that none of that exists, but both are acting out of uncertainty since there is no way to know until we all step through that doorway into whatever after death if anything...

An atheist would, generally, come to that position having examinned the reasons a believer would take that stance. He/she would probably come to the conclusion 'no. it doesn't make sense'. And then the only position left is to just disregard any ideas that reuires a God.

I have problems in working out why some one who started out in a neutral position would believe there is a God.

Or do they simply believe that, as they can't explain where everything comes from, they simply fall back on 'I suppose God did it'. ?

Possibly they need 'something' to blame everything on. Yet something with the power to 'forgive their sins'.

Much better, surely, to accept that you don't know and to accept responsibility for your self.

The true believer lacks the uncertainty you speak of: they KNOW.

An atheist may suspect that there may be 'something', but it will not be a deity that demands kow towing.

INT21
 

INT21

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EnolaGaia,

..If there's a follow-on realm, I have no reason to believe I'd arrive there any less clueless / oblivious...

And probably without any recollection of your previous existence.

INT21.
 

INT21

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Mungoman,

..
All that comes to my mind is - there's a signature here, somewhere. Somewhere...

Yes, there is that creepy feeling at the back of one's mind that this isn't all there is.

How does the panel feel about the idea of the Holographic principle ?

INT21.
 

INT21

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UnknownUnknown,

I haven't followed the RIP thread, so can't comment on it.

..and I believe that the mind holds a lot more to explore than science currently understands...

May I offer the possibility of us being but the terminals on a glorified LAN .

That our minds are not part of what we experience as this life. And we actually answer to some kind of great 'server' that is running the whole show: but where is the CPU.

It may help, in a way, to see this almost as us being characters in a video game.

The real 'us' is not here at all.

If we were part of some cosmic web, how would we know ?

There is also the possibility of alternative dimensions. That would allow for Ghosts etc. The air outside my window looks clear, empty. But it is seething with radio waves from which I can select a multitude of transmissions. Maybe we just haven't found the 'Ghost' frequency yet.

Anyone who has read Gregg Bear's 'Eon' will recall his 'City Memory'. Anyone who hasn't read this book should do; and also 'Eternity'.

INT21
 

EnolaGaia

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EnolaGaia,

..If there's a follow-on realm, I have no reason to believe I'd arrive there any less clueless / oblivious...

And probably without any recollection of your previous existence.
That's a decent bet - even if one accepts the proposition that humans pass through multiple lives / cycles. The fact that the number of folks that ever even claim to recollect anything about their prior lives is vanishingly small would suggest the individual lives within the series are mnemonically insulated from each other (if only because of a hard reboot on each new launch ... ).
 

Analogue Boy

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Kingsize Wombat

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I have problems in working out why some one who started out in a neutral position would believe there is a God.
An atheist may suspect that there may be 'something', but it will not be a deity that demands kow towing.
INT21
Well, that kind of sums me up. I started "neutral" - but these days I can't quite shake the feeling that there is more out there than we can know.

Do I believe in "God"? Depends on your definition of "God". I don't have a definition of what that might be, I just suspect it is there.
 

Dr_Baltar

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I tend to reject the idea that say, since we don't know why life the universe and everything exists, all options are on the table.
Mainly because it's just a restructuring of am old argument. We can't explain x, therefore god, aliens, fairies, so on.
The issue is, this isn't a new position, it's an old one. Probably the oldest one. So for me, the continuous march of knowledge has shown a trend, that tends to support more mundane and science based answers are the probable ones.
I know what you mean but I'm not sure I agree with your last sentence. That certainly seemed to be the trend until more recent history when science based answers and hypotheses have become increasingly anything but mundane. For example, as the saying goes, "If you think you understand quantum mechanics, you don't understand quantum mechanics."
 

Shadowsot

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I've never really enjoyed the idea of an afterlife, to be honest. Even when I was a believer. The various heavens presented to me were either horribly materialistic(streets of gold, palaces and mansions) or extremely sycophantic sounding. To say nothing of the fridge logic. All your dead relatives? Even the Atheist ones?

Reincarnation doesn't sound very good. A sort of consciousness continuation after death sounds like it gets dull fast.
 

Shadowsot

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I know what you mean but I'm not sure I agree with your last sentence. That certainly seemed to be the trend until more recent history when science based answers and hypotheses have become increasingly anything but mundane. For example, as the saying goes, "If you think you understand quantum mechanics, you don't understand quantum mechanics."
Mundane in the sense it follows natural law. Even quantum physics is mundane, though things act differently at that level.
Despite the quantum mysticism that has popped up, like the sort of electric mysticism and chemical mysticism of yesterday's year, it still works along rules we can understand with the right tools.
 

Dr_Baltar

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Mundane in the sense it follows natural law. Even quantum physics is mundane, though things act differently at that level.
Despite the quantum mysticism that has popped up, like the sort of electric mysticism and chemical mysticism of yesterday's year, it still works along rules we can understand with the right tools.
Many things may follow a natural law we don't yet understand, or along rules we don't yet understand because we currently don't (or may never) have the right tools. And, to play devil's advocate (pardon the pun), who's to say that something equating to a god isn't one of those things.
 

Shadowsot

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Many things may follow a natural law we don't yet understand, or along rules we don't yet understand because we currently don't (or may never) have the right tools. And, to play devil's advocate (pardon the pun), who's to say that something equating to a god isn't one of those things.
I may have an elephant in my pocket. Never know.
It kind if demonstrates something that to get to where the God concept is tenable from a rational perspective you have to start invoking unknowns to fit it into.
I'm currently exhausted, so this metaphor is probably no where near as good as I think it is.
But while there are many things still unknown, we do have enough pieces on the board to make out the shape of the puzzle pieces. And there's nothing God shaped there.
 

Heckler

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The idea that consciousness transcends at death is a comforting one, the concept that the loss of the self at the point of death simply means that you become part of the whole consciousness of the universe and sense of self during our life is simply a letter box through which we view that universal consciousness. An eternity of being everything everywhere simultaneously would be glorious.

Not God exactly because we and everything else are parts of the thing and always were rather than God being distinct and seperate.
 

Dr_Baltar

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I may have an elephant in my pocket. Never know.
It kind if demonstrates something that to get to where the God concept is tenable from a rational perspective you have to start invoking unknowns to fit it into.
I'm currently exhausted, so this metaphor is probably no where near as good as I think it is.
But while there are many things still unknown, we do have enough pieces on the board to make out the shape of the puzzle pieces. And there's nothing God shaped there.
We may not be looking at the puzzle pieces in the right (or enough) dimensions to correctly understand those shapes (similar to Flatland: A Romance of Many Dimensions and its variants/spin-offs). And would we even recognise something god-shaped if we found it (presuming all religions are just a load of hoary bollocks)?
 

Shadowsot

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We may not be looking at the puzzle pieces in the right (or enough) dimensions to correctly understand those shapes (similar to Flatland: A Romance of Many Dimensions and its variants/spin-offs). And would we even recognise something god-shaped if we found it (presuming all religions are just a load of hoary bollocks)?
Again. You have to invent explanations for why there's no shape of God on the board.
You're kind of proving my point. We've reached the point that the old mysteries that used to have sway have been fairly well explained, the and the potential explanations are reasonable enough that the supernatural doesn't have the sway it once did any longer.
So we have to push everything g to the side and say what if, just to put it back on the board. It's not an argument taken very seriously for other things, what makes God an exception?
 

AlchoPwn

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I just cannot disprove the existence of a "creator" to my own satisfaction. I accept that all religions are made up. But I am Pastor of The First Church Of Richard Dawkins The Conciliator.
Of course you can disprove the existence of a creator. Do some reading on the Physics of Cosmology, specifically how the universe came into being. The presence of a creator adds unnecessary complication to the equations, an adds nothing of use. We can make use of an observer in the wave-particle duality but not in Cosmology. So if the physical systems of the universe bring it into being from a previous super dense state, why does there need to be a creator who was present but contributed nothing? It makes no sense to have a creator who doesn't actually do any creating.

Now I am not going to pretend that Cosmology is sewn up in Physics. There is plenty that still needs to be thrashed out in peer review over the next couple of centuries. On the other hand, even the strangest and least plausible ideas about Cosmology in Physics are more credible than the notion that "a wizard did it".
 
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Of course you can disprove the existence of a creator. Do some reading on the Physics of Cosmology, specifically how the universe came into being. The presence of a creator adds unnecessary complication to the equations, an adds nothing of use. We can make use of an observer in the wave-particle duality but not in Cosmology. So if the physical systems of the universe bring it into being from a previous super dense state, why does there need to be a creator who was present but contributed nothing? It makes no sense to have a creator who doesn't actually do any creating.

Now I am not going to pretend that Cosmology is sewn up in Physics. There is plenty that still needs to be thrashed out in peer review over the next couple of centuries. On the other hand, even the strangest and least plausible ideas about Cosmology in Physics are more credible than the notion that "a wizard did it".
Its about disproving it to my satisfaction, not yours.
 

Analis

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I've never really enjoyed the idea of an afterlife, to be honest. Even when I was a believer. The various heavens presented to me were either horribly materialistic(streets of gold, palaces and mansions) or extremely sycophantic sounding. To say nothing of the fridge logic. All your dead relatives? Even the Atheist ones?

Reincarnation doesn't sound very good. A sort of consciousness continuation after death sounds like it gets dull fast.
I feel the same. I know why some find the idea of an afterlife recomforting, but to me it is a short-term reasoning, the mere thought of it appears rather distressing. And why we wouldn't be informed during our lives of what awaits us is deeply disturbing and incomprehensible. Reincarnation notably seems really threatening, a primise of starting again and again the same path.
Unfortunately, the body of evidence, how elusive it is, is definitely in favour of the existence of an afterlife
 

AlchoPwn

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You're Richard Dawkins! I want my fiver!
LOL, I wish! Think of those phat royalty cheques I am not getting for being Richard Dawkins and writing all those books?
Plus I would get to have sex with Sex Change Mr. Garrison from South Park before he turned into Donald Trump. Wait... What..?
 
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AlchoPwn

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eincarnation notably seems really threatening, a promise of starting again and again the same path.
*Chuckle* If you think reincarnation is scary, how about an afterlife in Hell? Hinduism and Buddhism also have hells as part of their reincarnation beliefs. The monotheists don't have a monopoly on ideas of retributive afterlife justice. I would put money on the notion that the ideas of hell the monotheists use are actually adopted and reconfigured from Hinduism and Buddhism. But hey, I don't want to bum you out. For a pick-me-up, read my tag line below.
 
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LOL, I wish! Think of those phat royalty cheques I am not getting for being Richard Dawkins and writing all those books?
Plus I would get to have sex with Sex Change Mr. Garrison from South Park before he turned into Donald Trump. Wait on...
I very much admire Dawkins, I just think you are overdoing your onslaught against agnostics, like RD does.
 

Mungoman

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Thanks jimv1. I tried to make some sense of that, I googled 'holographic universe' as well, but couldn't make head nor tail of it - it seems to be needlessly complicated to me. (simple is as simple does y'all).

What I can wrap my head around so much easier is the levels of the Universe on a gross level, and then the Universe on an atomic level - in both instances so much space between those round things we call planets and stars, and so much space between nucleus, electron and proton.

Now, the way I see it is that matter really has no density or outline, it is dependent upon your viewpoint, so our reality is...?

Do we create our world with our thoughts as the Dhammapada infers? if that is the case, then we would create our own afterlife then (God help the fundamental Christians), and if that is so, then we are the centre of our own universe, which does away with 'God'

Doesn't it. Or is there a hierarchy of gods? A pyramid of gods?

But if that is the case, then the people, animals and insects in my existence are either figments of my imagination, or are their own universes.

Its's a funny old world entit.
 

Shadowsot

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*Chuckle* If you think reincarnation is scary, how about an afterlife in Hell? Hinduism and Buddhism also have hells as part of their reincarnation beliefs. The monotheists don't have a monopoly on ideas of retributive afterlife justice. I would put money on the notion that the ideas of hell the monotheists use are actually adopted and reconfigured from Hinduism and Buddhism. But hey, I don't want to bum you out. For a pick-me-up, read my tag line below.
Yeahp. To the Atheist worldview, there may be no heaven, with all of its dubious charms. But there is also no hell. Still remember being told by my religious teacher that while Anne Frank was probably in hell, Hitler being a Christian had a decent chance of getting into heaven after death if he slaughter forgiveness.
Of course, that's a very poor representation, but it set me on the unfairness of the concepts.
 

Ermintruder

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Still remember being told by my religious teacher that while Anne Frank was probably in hell
Judaism = Christianity without the loyalty-tokens>free-coffee at the end.

https://rachelheldevans.com/blog/did-anne-frank-go-to-hell

Of course, cynics would perhaps notice that a modified Abrahamic belief-set that promises a two-tier efforts-based afterlife timshare is perfectly-suited for engendering a biddable docile and productive workforce (work till you drop, the check:cheque is in the post, but it will be worth your while)

(ps and that a Protestant variation thereon, usefully minus saint's days and excessive attendance at mass is also best-attuned to the productivity needs of a post-agrarian early industrial society, ensuring the maintenance of hierarchies of subservience and paternalistic control)
 
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INT21

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Heckler,

..An eternity of being everything everywhere simultaneously would be glorious...

How so ?

Mungoman,

I'm ok down to the quark level. Then it's squiggly forces all the way down. To where ? who knows.

I can easily accept that by simple reduction we can get right down to us being more space than substance. The question becomes 'what is controlling the way the quarks assemble in their constituent protons etc and their eventual forms as substance ?

This is quite awkward for me to type as the 'q' key doesn't work. I have to type, say, 'uestion' then use the spellchecker to get 'question' and copy and past the letter 'q' into all the words that need it.

An odd way of doing things but it is easier than reconfiguring the keys and cheaper than buying a remote keyboard.

AlchoPwn.

..So if the physical systems of the universe bring it into being from a previous super dense state, why does there need to be a creator who was present but contributed nothing?.

Another problem with that is that there was supposed to be absolitely nothing before the big bang. not even a huge vacuum. So where was the super dense material residing, how di it come to be there, and should there have been some Deity that initiated the whole thing, where was it located ?

And all this before breakfast.

INT21
 
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