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Featured Looking For A Smart Atheist

Discussion in 'Religious Debates' started by Earthling, Mar 5, 2019.

  1. charlie sc

    charlie sc Well-Known Member

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    It's odd because it's God, or the people writing the Bible, telling you to praise him. If all these types of praise commands or worship was taken out of the Bible, I could understand you praising God based on merit alone.
    Yet, that is not the case. Therefore, you may not be praising God because you want to. It may be because you've seen these passages so many times and it's become second nature.

    If you don't think it's become second nature, just image this scenario for anyone else. Imagine someone tells you, you should praise them. Will you do it?
    This is what I mean by subliminal messages. I wasn't brought up with religion, so when I try read it it's very strange. If I ever revere someone, it would based on merit alone and, if they told me to revere them, i'd be in shock.
     
  2. Samantha Rinne

    Samantha Rinne Active Member

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    I honestly think there is something to this. I've talked to atheists before. On CityData (before I was permabanned). On Facebook. I can honestly say that atheists can legit say that Christians are judgemental. But they also have a ton of preconceived ideas.

    Believe in the Creation? Then you must not believe in evolution. Or you must believe in Creation within 24-hour days. Or you must not accept the idea of the Big Bang.

    Actually, no. I believe in science. I believe in philosophy. I believe most of the stuff I learned in school is probably true. I also wasn't educated in the backwoods. I've lived in cities. I've lived overseas. I still believe in Jesus. Why? Because in the worst moment of my life, I found evidence for the Christ. And I've found nothing in science that disproves the existence of God, unless you go out of your way to invent something.

    But I've become frustrated with nearly every atheist I've encountered trying to make a strawman instead of (1) listening, (2) not getting upset when I come across as rude, and (3) having a either links of stuff for me to read or speaking from one's own experience.
     
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  3. charlie sc

    charlie sc Well-Known Member

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    I just thought I'd correct you on this. You know it's impossible to prove this negative? Since god is supernatural, how would anyone be able to disprove his existence?
    As an analogy by Bertrand Russell, he asks how anyone can disprove the celestial teapot?
    He says there's a huge teapot revolving around Earth. It's completely invisible and matter can go through it.

    How do you disprove his claim?
     
  4. Dell

    Dell Asteroid insurance?

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    I've already taken that journey coming out of a conservative Baptist Church where I studied the bible daily for 25 years. When I decided to become "open minded" to science vs creationism, I had to study physics, cosmology, paleontology, geology, and biology. It took about 5 years to go from Creationist, to Intelligent Design, to Agnostic, to Athiest.
     
  5. Nowhere Man

    Nowhere Man Bompu Zen Man with a little bit of Bushido.

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    If I was a smart atheist, I would likely try to reverse-engineer the Bible's history first to find out exactly why people believe in something that has no traceable origin to speak of to ensure what they're reading is even accurate or not.
     
  6. Tiberius

    Tiberius Well-Known Member

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    I'd like to think I'm a smart atheist. I volunteer. What are these tests?
     
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  7. sayak83

    sayak83 Well-Known Member
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    I will recommend @Polymath257 off the top of my head.
     
  8. blü 2

    blü 2 Well-Known Member
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    First, I'm not an atheist, simply a nonbeliever.

    Second, without preconceived notions, there's no important difference of approach between reading a book of the bible and reading any other ancient document. I try to do that anyway.
     
  9. exchemist

    exchemist Well-Known Member

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    Not in the context. It is a psalm, i.e. one of a set of sung communal prayers. To the Jews of the time, their God was a real influence on their lives, who did things for them.
     
  10. exchemist

    exchemist Well-Known Member

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    It seems to me you are not correcting anything. Samantha is right, I think: nothing in science addresses the question of whether or not God exists.

    It is true science has no need of a God hypothesis, but that simply makes science neutral on this issue. As anyone with any imagination or aesthetic or emotional awareness will realise, there is more to human experience than science. Therefore we cannot look to science to answer all questions on every subject and it does not answer this one.

    Russell's teapot analogy is nothing to do with science. It is a philosophical argument (implicitly inviting the application of Ockham's Razor).
     
  11. HonestJoe

    HonestJoe Well-Known Member

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    I don’t see why you’d specifically need an atheist, especially given you’re expecting everyone involved to rise above any preconceived notions. It makes me wonder what your fundamental purpose would be. What are you ultimately trying to achieve?

    Regardless, I don’t think what you later describe is possible because the Bible (like much scripture) is so poetic and oft-translated that it isn’t really possible to establish any definitive practical hypotheses that would reflect whatever meaning was intended by the original authors or any of the subsequent translators and compilers (which could well be entirely different). Your example of souls being discussed in this thread demonstrates that point, given that you’ve not even been able to establish what the word actually means in any given context.
     
  12. blü 2

    blü 2 Well-Known Member
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    There's a regular association between the breath / spirit / ruach / pneuma and an alternative identity either of a human or of God.

    There is the distinct concept of resurrection.

    There is yet again the concept that death is the end.

    These three are found both in the Tanakh and the NT.

    And there's a fourth concept, the entity representing Samuel as summoned by the Endor lady.

    Perhaps there are others there too ─ Paul's incorruptible spiritual body may be a branch of the pneuma idea or a separate notion.

    None of them has the benefit of a coherent exposition, the manner in which the imagined association can be reconciled with objective reality.
     
    #72 blü 2, Mar 6, 2019
    Last edited: Mar 6, 2019
  13. blü 2

    blü 2 Well-Known Member
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    Not least because there's no coherent concept of a real god, a god with objective existence. All definitions of 'God' describe a being who exists in the imagination of individuals. Thus no definition exists sufficient to let us tell whether any real candidate is actually God (or, a god) or not.

    There isn't even a coherent concept of 'godness', the real quality that a real god has and a false but real claimant lacks.

    So there's nothing that science has been asked to look for.

    Perhaps I should mention this to @samantha and @Earthling.
     
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  14. charlie sc

    charlie sc Well-Known Member

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    I get the context, but what I said was more about the influences these continual passages may have on someone who reads it without being sceptical or critical. I gave the example of someone who continually says they're smart or brave.
     
  15. exchemist

    exchemist Well-Known Member

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    You mean indoctrination by repetition and peer pressure? Yes, I agree this is a risk. This is one reason why so-called "charismatic" Christianity makes me shudder. The whole of my education has been to enable me to stand back and consider things critically, so I tend to treat anything that asks me to suspend my reason and critical faculties with suspicion, unless I really trust it.
     
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  16. charlie sc

    charlie sc Well-Known Member

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    She said science did not disprove it, which is quite different from proving it. There is no evidence of God's existence in science, yet, apparently, science must now disprove it? You do understand the absurdity of this?

    Sure. I wouldn't say science has all answers. Though, I have to direct you to what Samantha Rinne said, "to what I've found nothing in science that disproves the existence of God."

    Now, I could be wrong about this, but no. His analogy was about the burden of proof, hence why I was trying to explain, as simply as I could, why it's absurd to argue for the existence of anything because it hasn't been dis-proven. Hence, the celestial teapot needs to have a evidence that can be falsifiable.
    Russell's teapot - Wikipedia
     
  17. Altfish

    Altfish Well-Known Member

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    Scientists have also found nothing that disproves...
    • Fairies
    • Ghosts
    • Flying Spaghetti Monster
    • Loch Ness Monster
    • Big Foot
    • Zeus
    • Thor
    • Woden
    • etc.
    • etc.
    • etc
    Does that mean I can say that these exist?
     
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  18. exchemist

    exchemist Well-Known Member

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    Science, famously, does not prove anything. And nobody here is demanding science disproves that God exists either, are they? Who says science "must" do this?

    All Samantha was doing, surely, is making the uncontroversial observation that science doesn't settle the issue either way. (because it is not designed to do this.)

    The way I read it, Samantha is simply saying that an education in science leaves open the possibility of religious belief. Which is obvious - a large number of scientifically educated people are also religious believers: there is no conflict whatsoever.

    You can take Russell's view if you like but it's just one worldview among many. Most religious believers do not demand "proof" of God, any more than a scientist demands "proof" that quantum theory is true. The idea of "burden of proof" is a red herring.
     
  19. Earthling

    Earthling David Henson

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    If I told you it wouldn't work, but suffice it to say that I didn't ask for a dumb atheist.

    Well, that wasn't necessary. As I pointed out then it would have been a part of the process but we were dealing with a very brief example. If we had gotten to the point where we needed to address the soul in the actual process then I would have made sure Polymath was familiar with the etymology of the soul, going back even further than what you are likely to come up with in a search on Wikipedia, to pagans, to Greek philosophers, to Jews, to Christians at various times, the Hebrew / Aramaic / Greek / Latin English, possibly old English, what verses it is used in and how etc.

    The things you talk about, are, more or less, non issues. Depending upon Polymath we may have to address whether or not that might be the case.
     
  20. Earthling

    Earthling David Henson

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    See, you and I have had disagreements from time to time. You may be an unbeliever but you've either had some background formerly or something which makes you nearly as problematic as a believer. After more than two decades of doing this I will tend to walk straight away from a fairly knowledgeable Jew or Christian when it comes to a debate because they have all of the information they need to make an informed decision. If they want to make the wrong decision because they have some religious predilection there is very little I can do about that.

    An atheist won't be as likely to have those predilections, or maybe that isn't the case, maybe it's more of a case of their not clinging doggedly to. Although that is certainly debatable. Sometimes I wonder . . .

    Anyway, I like shooting ideas by smart open minded individuals without running head first into the wall of religiosity. Of course you and anyone else will be seeing the threads if they develop and can put your two cents in.
     
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