You atheist really annoyed me

by confusedandalone 226 Replies latest jw friends

  • cofty

    Nice to see you have all been having fun with personal attacks and amateur psycho-babble while I've been gone.

    Busy, will talk soon.

  • Seraphim23

    Hi Still thinking, I see your point. I guess I don’t agree with the definition of atheist being a mere lack of belief in God though. I think it is that and more besides. I posted my view on that subject a bit earlier. I think some atheists would deny another as being an atheist if they admit to belief in supernatural or metaphysical reality.

    Bohm I’m not quite sure what you mean but I personally think that rationality is not the exclusive property of a materialist world view. We live in a physical reality hence the normative problem you mention but that does not mean other modes of being do not exist or that evidence for them doesn’t exist. It just won’t be testable using physical tools.

    Hi LisaRose, evidence for an invisible presence of god, or indeed a non-physical being that is not god is via implication; it is not normally direct, even for flesh and blood beings. There is no proof that anyone has a real consciousness inside. We might know we have one but we don’t need to prove it to ourselves about ourselves because we are it. With others we have faith that they do like we do, because evidence suggests it is the case, which is all evidence ever does, as it does not prove anything. This works for practical reasons in this physical world to go with such evidence and evolution may well be evidence for an invisible being. The mere fact that a logical process produces life at all is remarkable if it all came from some random cosmic accident. However a more rational view would be that processes that do things like create life are not the result of an accident, even if the process itself, like evolution, makes use of non-predictable or random events.

    The question of how did God come to be is really the same question as how did existence come to be. You either have nothing from nothing or something from something. It can’t be the first option but the second option leads one into infinity, which is beyond comprehension, although it is a rational option. Whether that infinity is God or just existence itself leads to all options being on the table because at this point comprehension has reached its limits, and metaphors are all we have left. Such is the case in this reality, but that is not to say that other realties do not exist where more comprehensions are possible, even of that of infinity.

    Where many theists go wrong is the denial of the evidence for evolution and the narrow lens they view what a God like being aims and goals would be. Where some atheists go wrong is thinking that theists are philosophically right in what they think Gods purpose for life would be if such a being existed.

    Another form of evidence for invisible beings or realities is experiential. It is experienced rather than deduced. This is direct evidence for the one who has experienced it. It cannot be transferred to others except in the form of anecdotal evidence which is still a valid form of evidence just of a lower quality, speaking rationally that it. Some atheists would see this as valid, just not all.

  • cofty

    The Scotsman and Talesin - Nobody cares whether you like me or not and nobody cares less than I do.

    If you want to throw around personal insults do it by PM.

    It's ironic that I am being lectured about my attitude when I have done nothing but speak respectfully, factually and succinctly.

    I am interested in helping people escape the Watchtower cult not have meaningless debates. - The Scotsman

    If you find discussions about the merits of theism to be meaningless, why not ignore them? Many people find them interesting and thought-provoking.

    So what are you doing to hep people escape the Watchtower?

    You are a believer and a creationist. You have never offered anything to contradict the mountains of evidence for evolution that has been presented on numerous threads apart from throwing insulting comments in from time to time.

    Science is one of the most powerful tools we have to help people escape the Watchtower.

    We can trade proof-texts endlessly but we all know how pointless that is.

    With science we can prove there was no global flood for example. There was no Adam and Eve, that humans have been around for around 150 000 years, that there was no fall from perfection and no original sin. These things are not opinions they are incontrovertible facts. I know of no better way to make a JW question his faith in the GB than to show them a 100 000 year old human fossil and explain how we know for a certainty that it's age is beyond doubt.

    Just because you are still stuck in Watchtower creationism doesn't mean the rest of us should pander to your sensitivities.

    Eden One - My point was that I would have greater respect for somebody who is willing to face the reality of faith. There is no science that in any way lends support to theism. It is based on mythology, that is not an insult it's just a simple statement of fact. Your options are to either embrace the facts of science and make your beliefs fit with reality in the way rational christians like Bishop John Shelby Spong have done, or embrace faith wholeheartedly and let reality be damned.

    At present you are like so many modern christians who are trying to pretend that a book that was written by Bronze-age nomads in a pre-scientific world can be reconciled with truth. It's a dishonest venture.

    Seraphim - Science is not a private club or even a cherished body of facts. It's a method. It's a way of investigating what it is objectively true. Subjective experience has nothing to do with it.

    If you are going to admit personal experience and feelings as "evidence" for the veracity of supernatural claims then you have no basis to elevate christian claims over those of Islam or any other belief system.

    SBF - Thanks for the amateur psycho-babble. You are offended by certainty. Maybe you should consider what the psychology is behind your indecision and uncertainty about everything. You will not even affirm that the earth is flat - "it depends what you mean by earth, it depends what you mean by is and what you mean by flat".

    Like many I was raised as a JW with absolute certainty that we had the unique truth. This was only possible by limiting what information was available and by valuing faith and obedience over evidence. When I left the borg I naturally assumed the basics of my bleifs were true and becaame a bible-believing christian. Again it is a world-view that depends heavily on valuing faith over reason.

    The difference now is that I refuse to believe anything for which there is insufficient evidence.

    Being an atheist is simply a natural corollary of an evidence-based world-view.

  • Seraphim23

    Yes I know Cofty, I know, that’s why I used the word methodology. I don’t particularly elevate Christian over Muslim claims when it comes to anecdotal experiences of the ineffable as I am sure valid ones are from the same source. How to judge valid ones is not by scientific methodology unless such claims are said to have left physical evidence as well which can be tested. Even then an inference must be drawn as to if the cause of such evidence was by intelligence of the non-physical variety. For instance evolution may not be guided by intelligence, but it still might require an intelligence to create the conditions necessary for it to function. Order from chaos has never been proven to not require any intelligence at all. The argument is always where at what point the intelligence finished to let the machine run on its own as it were.

    The scientific method may be said to be objective but without the subjective, science would not even be a methodology because there would be no one around to witness the objective results of experiment, let alone have understanding of those results to see how and why they make sense or to see relationships in seemingly separate physical phenomena. Without the subjective there would be no objective because it is only intellects with a subjective and internal world that can even make such distinctions as subjective and objective. Of course a purely materialist world view that elevates scientific methodology to the lofty heights of the only type of knowledge that is, or will ever be valid, doesn’t have anything to say about the subjective world at all, other than it is some kind of illusion. Funny that! Could it be that the reality of the subjective self lies in another domain of evidence?

  • cofty

    You are creating a false dichotomy.

    Nobody is denigrating subjective experience. It just isn't a useful tool to establish what is objectively true.

  • slimboyfat

    You will not even affirm that the earth is flat

    Is that what you meant to say? I think you must be tired.

    Many things can be said about the world, and we can argue about their practicality and usefulness. What is pointless is to insist that one linguistic formulation corresponds definitively to reality and is therefore the final word on the matter. Maybe at one time people found it useful to talk about the earth as flat, and now spherical, and at some future time by some other term. But no mere word can ever do justice to the reality in an absolute sense. They are all approximations. And since we cannot talk outside language there is no way of saying which description is closer to reality. In fact it's just the wrong sort of question. Like asking how loud a rainbow is or how tasty a song is. We should talk about how useful our constructions of reality are, not their supposed approximation to the truth, as if that even means anything really.

  • cofty

    Yes of course, I meant to say "not flat".

    The context was a conversation about evolution when I said to somebody that evolution was as certain as the fact that the earth is not flat.

    I find your epsitemological skepticism to be crippling to meaningful conversation.

  • Seraphim23

    In that case cofty show me how to prove the subjective world of consciousness scientifically or why observation changes the nature of light in the double slit experiment, where no physical contact between the observing instrument and the light is present? Or perhaps explain how it is that a world view that only allows sequential processes in a space time continuum of classical physics, explains how brain cells and neurons create something more than a mere robot that has its own freedom? Of if you do take into account quantum mechanics when it comes to the brain, how to harmonise what it says with what classical physics says, as the two hopelessly contradict each other? Science is not as objective or as clear cut as you think. At the very least the possibility that other things exist that does not, or cannot come under the explanative power of science still exists.

  • cofty

    Whenever you hear a believer throw the word "quantum" into a discussion about religion and science you know they are clutching at straws.

    It is very bad science and even worse theology to point to things that science does not yet fully understand and try to squeeze god into the gap.

  • JimmyPage

    I went through a few phases myself when I came to this site. For a while there I still believed in the Bible and even wondered if I needed to get baptized in a real church to please God. But posters like LeavingWT really got me to think. I read books by Richard Dawkins, Sam Harris, and Christopher Hitchens. I saw "Religulous". I read up on evolution. Now it's hard to believe I ever accepted Hebrew mythology as truth.

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