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Questions to Atheists

Discussion in 'General Religious Debates' started by AFRICAN, Dec 7, 2009.

  1. AFRICAN

    AFRICAN Member

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    -What is the purpose of Life ? Why do we Exist?Why is there something rather than nothing? and Where did it all come from?
    How is it that the whole universe is finely tuned and perfectly shaped with its galaxies ,planets and all that is it a mere coincidence or a work of somebody or Something?

    -Do you believe there is Evil & Good ?and how do you distinguish them ?

    -What is the Value of the human existence ?Does life have a point ?
    Do you believe Humans have souls ?

    -How do you define Truth ?

    -Do you believe in Miracles ?

    -Do you believe in the Messengers of God ?Do you think they existed ?
    e.g Adam ,Noah , Abraham ,Moses ,Jesus ,Mohamed (pbut)

    -What is your perspective about DEATH since its inevitable?Do you believe in life after Death (Resurrection)?

    In your point of view how do you think this world will be like If there were no Religions?

    Thank you rgrds.
     
  2. Gunfingers

    Gunfingers Happiness Incarnate

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    Pick one. I live by the motto "The man who dies with the most stuff wins", but you're free to pick something less hedonistic.
    Why not?
    I don't know.
    ". . . imagine a puddle waking up one morning and thinking, 'This is an interesting world I find myself in, an interesting hole I find myself in, fits me rather neatly, doesn't it? In fact it fits me staggeringly well, must have been made to have me in it!' "
    --Douglas Adams
    I have my own idea of right and wrong.
    I'm eating raisinets. I value those a great deal. :D
    Yes.
    I live my life as though there were some manner of ghost in the machine, but i know that really there isn't.
    I don't. I'm not a philosopher.
    No.
    No more than i believe in Prometheus, or Pandora, or Perseus, or Beowulf, or whatever.
    When i die i'll be dead. It's inevitable. Why worry about it?
    Pretty much the same.
    My pleasure, bud. :)
     
    • Like Like x 2
  3. Willamena

    Willamena Just me
    Premium Member

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    Unknown.

    There is something rather than nothing, because something cheats (it is defined in form, and nothing in formlessness). "It all" comes from being aware of "it all" being there: if we're not aware of "it all" being there, then it doesn't come anywhere (or go, for that matter).

    It is not a coincidence. It is finely tuned and perfectly shaped because we each finely tune (define) and perfectly shape (impart form to) it. And it does meet our expectations. Doesn't it?

    I believe the concepts of good and evil exist, yes. They are distinguished as each, appropriately, will distinguish them. To me, "good" is just good, and "evil" is very, very bad.

    The value of human existence is the sum of all the forms that make up the whole world for each of us.

    I'm sure if it does, it's somewhere over our heads. :)
    :magic:

    In a sense, yes. Probably not a sense shared with many.

    That's the hardest question of all. It's... the quality of "true", that lends concrete actuality to reality. Tautological, I know.

    Life is a miracle. So, yes.

    I think some of them probably existed. I think it inevitable that at least one did. :)

    Death is a part of life --literally --which is to say it is one of the forms we impart to the world, to invest in. I believe in resurrection as symbolic of re-incarnation.

    I don't know.
     
  4. Alceste

    Alceste Vagabond

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    I don't believe life has a "purpose", which means I don't believe there is an answer to the question of "why" we exist. As to why there is something rather than nothing and where it all came from, I'm intrigued by the answers offered by physicists. M-theory is particularly interesting.

    I don't believe the "whole universe is finely tuned and perfectly shaped". How could you know such a thing? What "imperfect" universe do you have to compare it to?

    No, I believe there are "effective" and "ineffective" ways to behave in order to achieve your objectives, and there are objectives that increase the sum total of contentment on earth and others that decrease it. My version of "good" is an objective that increases contentment.

    The way I determine which is which is to review empirical research on happiness and contentment and consider how it was attained, wherever the findings are notably high.

    None, no, and no.

    I don't believe humans have the capacity to perceive reality beyond our biological limitations, so objective "truth" is a somewhat meaningless concept. The scientific method offers the best means of learning about the world we live in, but realistically we cannot hope to attain a "truth" that is absolute and all-encompassing.

    No.

    No.

    No.

    I think it would be less interesting. I appreciate cultural diversity, and there is every reason to believe that diversity - whether in the biosphere or the conceptual world of ideas - is beneficial to our survival.
     
    #4 Alceste, Dec 7, 2009
    Last edited: Dec 7, 2009
  5. MSizer

    MSizer MSizer

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    I don't know the answers to any of those questions. Nor does anybody else with whom I've spoken.

    I don't understand how a mere human could possibly evaluate the universe. If we could evaluate the universe, we'd have the potential to design a better one, and I hate to be a pessimist, but I don't think that's within my realm of capabilities. I'm still working on world peace. The universe is what it is. If I pour a glass of water onto the floor, the water will spread in various directions according to the laws of physics. That doesn't mean the laws of physics can be evaluated as being perfect, they simply exist, and our perception of them is not important outside of our own experience.

    No. We evaluate between good, "less good" and bad by social constructs. Culture develops etiquette, morality and Law. We tend to excuse poor etiquette, while we create laws with penalties for things we consider immoral. Our cognitive deliberation of what is moral or immoral is complicated, and includes autonomous neurological faculties, emotions and executive cognitive processes too.

    Every human must answer this question for himself or herself. It's a personal choice.

    If you choose do consider it that way. I think it's a relative question.

    No.

    Information which accurately describes a portion of or all of reality.

    No.

    I think Adam, Noah, Abraham and Moses are purely mythical figures who never did exist as real humans. I believe that Jesus and Mohamed existed as humans, but were not divine in any way, they died, and they no longer exist. I do not believe that Jesus was not born of a virgin, that he was resurrected, that Mohamed met with any angel in a cave, nor did he fly a horse from Mecca to Jerusalem (or wherever it was supposed to be).

    I was perfectly happy being un-alive for 13 billion years prior to my conception, and I'm sure I'll be just fine when I go back to that. No, I don't believe in life after death. Death is the cessesion of life, therefore it no longer exists in an individual who has died.

    I have no idea. I don't think we could have evolved such complicated societies without religion. The same capacities that allow to have culture are also responsible for religion and beliefs, so I think religion and humanity are insepearable.

    Thank you rgrds.[/quote]

    You're welcome. Thanks for the interest.
     
    #5 MSizer, Dec 7, 2009
    Last edited: Dec 7, 2009
  6. Cobblestones

    Cobblestones Devoid of Ettiquette

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    I don't know. It doesn't really matter to my every day life. The fact is that we are here.

    There is no "reason." If the universe was not what it is then things would simply be different and perhaps there wouldn't be things like us or perhaps some other form of intelligence would have evolved.

    Sure. Bad things are things that no man wants for himself (e.g. slavery, poverty, etc.). It's not that complicated.

    Only while you're breathing.

    Define this please.

    I don't.

    Yes. It's a miracle when a child is born, for example, although it is also completely natural.

    What kind of question is that for an atheist?

    It really makes no difference what you or I believe about life after death since we have absolutely zero information upon which to base an opinion.

    We'd find other reasons besides religion to kill one another, lord it over one another, and even to be good to one another. Essentially, we'd still all basically be humans.
     
  7. The Neo Nerd

    The Neo Nerd Well-Known Member

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    Hi African,

    I get the feeling that there is a point to all these questions.

    Care to share it with us?

    -Q
     
  8. 9-10ths_Penguin

    9-10ths_Penguin 1/10 Riboflavin
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    "Finely tuned" compared to what?

    And what's your standard for "perfect"?

    Edit: if you're talking about the universe being fine-tuned for life, I should probably point out that 99.999999....% of the universe is instantly fatal to any lifeform unfortunate enough to find itself in it.
     
  9. Autodidact

    Autodidact Intentionally Blank

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    The purpose of our lives is to be happy.
    See: all of natural science.
    We don't know.
    I think it was always here.
    Finely tuned for what? Perfectly shaped for what? Compared to what?

    Yes. By their definitions.

    It's the only one I have.
    To live as well as possible.
    Not separate from our bodies/brains, no.

    Accurately correlates with reality.
    No.

    No. I think some of them were real people, and some of them may have believed that God spoke to them, but they were mistaken.
    I think that when you die you're probably dead. We don't know any different, but we can't be srue.
    Doesn't seem very likely.

    It depends what replaced them. If we moved from religion to rationality, it would be a very good thing.

    You're welcome.
     
  10. Copernicus

    Copernicus Godless Hierophant

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    Let's say God answers all of these questions. Then some wise guy atheist is going to ask what the purpose of God is. Well, I can answer that one quite easily. The purpose of God is to stop people from asking all those questions. :D

    Exactly the same way you do. Good is whatever benefits the humans. Evil is whatever harms humans. Luckily, people usually imagine God to agree with that, because they tend to do whatever they think God wants, whether it is good or evil.

    The purpose of life is self-evident. It is to survive. (But Douglas Adams answered the ultimate question in his famous Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy. The purpose of everything is 42!)

    Absolutely not. Humans have minds, and those depend on functioning physical brains.

    Truth is the essential property of a model that satisfies some aspect of a possible world.

    No. I believe that all causes are natural.

    I believe that people exist who make all sorts of nonsensical claims, including that they are inspired by, or represent, deities. I do not believe that any deities exist.

    When the brain dies, the mind ceases to exist.

    People would find other rationalizations for their behavior.
     
  11. Nepenthe

    Nepenthe Tu Stultus Es

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    Life doesn't have a purpose; any sense of "purpose" is created by humanity.
    We don't know.
    Finely tuned for what? For life? It isn't- the universe is far from tuned for life much less "finely". And how does one compare what is or isn't tuned when we only have this one universe as a sample?
    No, good and evil are social constructs that have their origin in the evolutionary history of our brains where certain behaviors were conducive for that particular species reproductive success. Example: incest may be a universal taboo based on kinship bonds and group cohesion of primates, but what precisely determines incest is culturally derived. In some human cultures relationships with a sibling may be acceptable while those with a parent would be taboo.
    None, nope.
    ...and nay.
    The only method available: through our senses amplified by our technology and honed by the scientific method which includes repetition. If the majority of investigators reach similar results in repeated trials then our interpretation of what "truth" or "reality" is will be that much more defined, while acknowledging we are mammals confined to viewing existence through fallible senses to be filtered and interpreted by a physical brain.
    No.
    No.
    Mohammed unquestionably existed, the historical evidence for Jesus is well attested, Moses, Noah and Adam were not historical persons.
    There is no resurrection, no life after death. What constitutes my personality and memories will cease to exist once the physical processes that grind away in my brain cease.
    Hard to say. Overall the contributions of the faithful are both awe inspiring and tragic, horrific and wonderful- basically just like every other human endeavor. I suspect art and music and science and literature and culture would have still come along but it's difficult to say how different it would be. It's also a tough question because I suspect religion has its roots in the pattern seeking brain and spandrel theories of Pascal Boyer (and others), so it's so intimately tied to our origins and thus inseparable.
     
  12. Autodidact

    Autodidact Intentionally Blank

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    p.s. Please read my signature.
     
  13. Nowhere Man

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

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    The purpose of life is to live.
    Because conditions permit it.
    Because you have the ability to make distinctions.
    Everything's always here. There is no coming "from" no more than anything is going "to".
    There is absolute perfection in chaos. Nothing is truly coincidental

    Nothing to distinguish or believe.

    Its determined by the human existing.
    Yes
    No.

    Truth is directly experienced and impossible to define.

    No

    No
    Perhaps as humans like anyone else.

    Nothing unusual and very common.
    Already experiencing this. No need for such belief.

    There will be a heckava a lot more lodges and clubs to go to.

    NP :)
     
  14. Kilgore Trout

    Kilgore Trout Misanthropic Humanist

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    I hardly see the point of these questions, as they are repeatedly answered by atheists over and over again, in multiple and varied threads.
     
  15. meogi

    meogi Well-Known Member

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    To live; because your parents successfully reproduced; quantum mechanics almost requires it; space.
    Because we would see it differently if it were as such.
    I believe in them from a societal point of view. I don't believe in duals, however, so technically no. I personally distinguish them by the impact they have on other people.
    The value of any existence is extremely high. Yes, to resist entropy. No.
    I define truth with degrees of certainty. I base it on experience.
    I liked the movie a lot. I believe in rare occurances.
    Can't be certain. I know I enjoy many of their messages.
    I bet it's pretty intense. I would like to believe in life after death, but I don't have a very high degree of certainty about it.
    Better off. Religions, not spirituality.
     
  16. Tiapan

    Tiapan Grumpy Old Man

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    If I find a real one, I'll let you know!
     
  17. gnomon

    gnomon Well-Known Member

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    What is the purpose of Life ?
    There isn't one.

    Why do we Exist?
    To ask that question. Couldn't ask it if we didn't. No, that would be purpose.
    Who knows?



    Why is there something rather than nothing?
    Because there is. Who cares?


    and Where did it all come from?
    Don't know.


    How is it that the whole universe is finely tuned and perfectly shaped with its galaxies ,planets and all that is it a mere coincidence or a work of somebody or Something?
    Is it finely tuned? What's perfect? How do we know that the universe wouldn't be better any other way?


    -Do you believe there is Evil & Good ?
    Nope.

    -What is the Value of the human existence ?
    0

    Does life have a point ?
    We already covered this.


    Do you believe Humans have souls ?
    No.

    -How do you define Truth ?
    With a box of doughnuts.

    -Do you believe in Miracles ?
    There's a horse called Mircale. So sure.

    -Do you believe in the Messengers of God ?Do you think they existed ?
    e.g Adam ,Noah , Abraham ,Moses ,Jesus ,Mohamed (pbut)
    No. Nope. Nein. Un-uh.

    -What is your perspective about DEATH since its inevitable?Do you believe in life after Death (Resurrection)?
    It's the end. Nope.

    In your point of view how do you think this world will be like If there were no Religions?
    Just as annoying.

    Thank you rgrds.
    Nprblmkby.
     
  18. Amill

    Amill Apikoros

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    What is the purpose of Life ? Why do we Exist?Why is there something rather than nothing? and Where did it all come from? How is it that the whole universe is finely tuned and perfectly shaped with its galaxies ,planets and all that is it a mere coincidence or a work of somebody or Something?
    - I don't think there's anybody that can know why everything exists, and I believe the Universe is far too odd and crazy and unimaginable to assume that it must have had a creator. There are so many things that we do not know, how can we possibly think that we have the answer to the biggest questions? How can we know why everything exists?

    Do you believe there is Evil & Good ?and how do you distinguish them ?
    - I do not believe an objective set of moral values exist. Life is harsh, life is brutal, life kills other life. I believe we are an evolved species that has the capacity to feel empathy for beings that we like or can relate to. No one is the same, some people feel badly about all animals being in pain, some people can cause horrendous harm to other human beings. I think the experiences we have growing up and in adulthood affect who and what we care about. We tend to try not to unnecessarily hurt things that we care about. Some people only care about themselves, therefore don't feel much pain when hurting others. Other people care about bugs, and try their best to not kill any, it just depends.

    If I were to define Evil or a bad action, it would be purposely causing something unnecessary physical or mental pain. Obviously there are degrees of evil and this is just my subjective view.

    What is the Value of the human existence ?Does life have a point ?
    - Everyone finds their own value of existence. I think all organisms have an experience, some simple some very complex. I think life's point is to experience.

    Do you believe Humans have souls ?
    - No I do not. I think our brains do a fantastic job of manifesting this experience for us, I don't see a reason to believe souls exist and I believe our experience stops when our minds are done.

    How do you define Truth ?
    - I don't really think absolute certainty exists. If we accept that our experiences are true, we can define truth as the answer to a question where all other possibilities are debunked.

    Do you believe in Miracles ?
    - Depends on what we define as a miracle. I don't believe anyone is directing our existences here so I don't think the events defined as miracles are anything more than luck, chance, and the effects of decisions that the people involved make.

    Do you believe in the Messengers of God ?Do you think they existed ?
    e.g Adam ,Noah , Abraham ,Moses ,Jesus ,Mohamed (pbut)

    - I'm not convinced that the stories told about these people are true, but there may very well be people that the stories and legends are based upon.

    What is your perspective about DEATH since its inevitable?Do you believe in life after Death (Resurrection)?
    - Yea I believe our experiences end when our minds are finished. Death is a part of life, it sucks, but we should just get as much out of this experience as we can. I want to be able to say "I ******* lived man" before my experience is done.

    In your point of view how do you think this world will be like If there were no Religions?
    - I kind of think religion makes the human history more colorful even if it was the color red at times. I think it's great that we think about existence so much and try to come up with answers. That being said I wish the intolerance and violence would end. Some religions bring about this intolerance, but another problem is the fact that religions can just divide us further. We're still tribal, we like having groups to stick to and we tend to not care about other groups as much, whether they're formed due to race, nationality, or religious belief.
     
  19. Venatoris

    Venatoris Active Member

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    What they said.
     
  20. Magic Man

    Magic Man Reaper of Conversation

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    Whatever you want it to be. For me it's being happy and making others happy as much as I can.

    Because of the combination of different atoms.

    That is the question, now isn't it?

    Who knows? Maybe it didn't "come from" anywhere. Maybe it always was.

    Who said it's fine-tuned and perfectly shaped? You should check out some science books. I'd start with A Brief History of Time by Stephen Hawking.

    Not really. I believe there are things we call good and evil, but as entities, no I don't believe they exist.

    What do you mean by "the value of the human existence"?

    Life only has the point humans give it.

    No, I don't believe in souls.

    Something that's not false.

    Yes, I've seen the Miracle on Ice game. ;)

    But seriously, no. Strange, crazy things happen, but there's always some explanation.

    Ah, I see you're Muslim. I believe people by those names might have existed. I believe they were normal people who may have done extraordinary things.

    No, I don't believe in anything after this life. I believe we die and that's it.

    I'm not sure it's possible to have no religions. In the strange case that it was possible, something else would take religion's place. I think the world would be better off without the Abrahamic religions, but not necessarily without religion in general. Many religions have some really good and insightful things to say about life and the universe.

    You're welcome.
     
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