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Featured To know God/Truth: Both Atheism and Theism seem limited

Discussion in 'General Religious Debates' started by stvdv, Sep 25, 2019.

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  1. 1: Humanism is my choice

  2. 2: Atheism is my choice

  3. 3: Theism is my choice

  4. 4: Sjamanism is my choice

  5. 5: AnyOther"ism" is my choice

  6. 6: Follow "My Conscience" is my choice

  7. 7: Follow a Sage/Saint/Guru/Master is my choice

  8. 8: Follow "Truth/Love which is inside me" is my choice

  9. 9: I reject what others say, and only follow my own conscience

  10. 10: I take the best of "what others say" relying on my own conscience

Multiple votes are allowed.
Results are only viewable after voting.
  1. stvdv

    stvdv Veteran Member

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    Religion:
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    When asked about God:
    Theists claim "I believe in God"
    Atheist claim "I lack believe in God"
    Sages remain "Silent"

    Fact is that Theists don't know about God, else they would have claimed "I know that God exists" **
    Fact is that Atheists don't know about God, else they would have claimed "I know that God exists not" ***
    Fact is that Sages might know about God, but kind of hard to understand what they try to tell us

    So, I thought:"To know God/Truth: Both Atheism and Theism seem limited"

    A thought I had early in the morning today. Still working on it.

    ** And Theists can't say this even, because making such a bold claim, without giving proof is violating RF rules
    *** And Atheists are smart enough not to say that, knowing they have to give proof, which they don't have
    (
    2 good lessons I learned while being on RF)

    Edit: About the Poll:
    1: You can choose any, and change anytime
    2: @Heyo asked about missing options like: "Science", "mathematics" and "philosophy"
    I only had 10 options, and was hoping nr. 10 would cover this

    10: I take the best of "what others say" relying on my own conscience
    What others say includes "Science", "mathematics" and "philosophy" and what not
     
    #1 stvdv, Sep 25, 2019
    Last edited: Sep 25, 2019
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  2. Heyo

    Heyo Well-Known Member

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    I miss some options in the poll. "Science", "mathematics" and "philosophy" are not -isms but have a good track record (at least the first two) of having a working epistemology.
     
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  3. lewisnotmiller

    lewisnotmiller Grand Hat
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    I've always (long as I can remember, anyway) tried to take wisdom from where I find it.
    Trying to mold these disparate concepts into a coherent life philosophy is then my job.

    It takes some work, but I have no idea what the alternatives are. This seems to only possible path to me (which is ironic, since I generally thinking binary thinking is bad...lol)

    My first memory of this approach was in my earnest teen years, where I kept a little book with things that appealed to me intellectually. Some poetry, lots of quotes, a metric tonne of song lyrics (yes, some were angsty...I was a teen, whatcha expect?) and even some Biblical quotes.

    Some of them were obvious, some were vague, some were so opaque I had no idea what they meant but they seemed to speak to me somehow, or at least make the gears in my head whir.

    These days I'm a little less obvious, and (hopefully!!) a little more nuanced, but it's the same basic approach.
    Find things that stimulate my brain, and hold them up for consideration against the whole (my existing life philosophy).
     
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  4. stvdv

    stvdv Veteran Member

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    Thank you,
    I added a note to the OP:

    10: I take the best of "what others say" relying on my own conscience
    What others say includes "Science", "mathematics" and "philosophy" and what not
     
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  5. Nimos

    Nimos Well-Known Member

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    Im not sure why you think atheists are limited in this regard?

    Atheism is just the lack of believe in a God(s), so it would be the same as to say that people that don't believe in Big foots are limited in that regard. A-somthing is basically just the standard position one takes regarding whatever one do not believe in, most likely due to lack of convincing evidence for that given subject. But maybe I misunderstood what you meant :)
     
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  6. HonestJoe

    HonestJoe Well-Known Member

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    That’s not an issue as long as you recognise the words for what they actually are. They don’t describe a type of person. If I told you of a complete stranger and the only thing I told you about them was whether they were theists or atheist, you’d still really know nothing about them. These concepts describe a singular characteristics of an individual, in itself a relatively minor characteristic among countless thousands of other ones which go to make up the entire character of an individual.

    As to your overall topic, you’re presuming there is a route to answer those grand questions but I’m not convinced there is. It can be interesting to speculate but little more. Understanding people strikes me as much viable and more important. At least I know people exist (probably ;) ).
     
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  7. stvdv

    stvdv Veteran Member

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    We talk about the Universe. That is a reality to most. Some say "perpetual motion machine" is impossible (even sun slowly dies out). Einstein has this formula E=mc2. Gigantic amounts of energy to keep this Universe moving (earth atom bomb is peanuts compared to sum total of energy). Lots of theories, but my guess, it's still all guessing.

    Science can't claim for 100% sure, that they found the source of this Universe. How it was created. From the very beginning. For argument's sake I call this God.

    Science is about "Proving something to be true or not"
    Theists can't proof God does (not) exist
    Atheists can't proof God does (not) exist

    I don't say people that don't believe in Big foots are limited. I am not even talking about Big foots.
    IF your God is called Big Foot THEN we are talking the same business.
    I don't care what name we give it

    So far both Atheists and Theists could not prove whether God exists or not
    And so far so many very smart people were on earth trying to proof
    Hence my idea this morning "To know God/Truth: Both Atheism and Theism seem limited"

    Hope this clarifies. It is not to belittle Atheists or Theists. Just the conclusion that so far they failed proving stuff.
     
    #7 stvdv, Sep 25, 2019
    Last edited: Sep 25, 2019
  8. stvdv

    stvdv Veteran Member

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    With: "To know God/Truth: Both Atheism and Theism seem limited"
    I meant, that so far all the wise men on this earth have not yet written down for me, simpleton, proof about "How the Universe was created"
    Hence, both Atheism and Theism seem limited (so far) when trying to know God/Truth (as in "How the Universe was created and sustained")

    I am not presuming there is a route (but sometimes I mess up writing what I mean)
    This morning I just thought ... thousands of wise men in thousands of years did not find it
    So I think it's a good observation that both Atheism and Theism seem limited. Keeps me humble also

    Personally I think it is impossible for me, an infinitesimal human being, to answer this ASTRONOMICAL question
    Personally I am more into going inside, not going outside. Being aware of the limitations of both got me on a more inward track again.
     
  9. Nimos

    Nimos Well-Known Member

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    I see what you mean, however I think a big difference is, that atheism only refer to a disbelieve in a God(s). Whatever atheists believe about the creation of the Universe is not bound or linked to atheism. Some might believe in the multiverse, some in aliens, simulation theory or some other ideas, most likely the majority will simply say that they don't know.

    The issue as I see it, is that atheists often seem to be thrown into one category of conviction about how we view things. But in fact we might have nothing in common besides sharing a disbelief in Gods. Which means that, someone might hear an atheist say that they believe in the simulation theory or some other idea and then wrongly assume that all atheists believe such thing. If you notice, its not uncommon for people to ask or argue that atheism is just another religion.

    So it basically like atheists don't claim that all religious people believe that the Earth is just 6000 years old, we also make distinctions between varies religious beliefs. :)
     
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  10. HonestJoe

    HonestJoe Well-Known Member

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    Atheism and theism are just singular beliefs. They have absolutely nothing to do with knowing (or not knowing) how the universe came to be.

    Why specific atheism and theism though? Why not any other human concepts or characteristics? Why isn’t it a demonstration of the limitations of science, philosophy, meditation, communication, observation, imagination… anything? And if we agree that the question can’t be answered, how can it be about a limitation in anything specifically, other than potentially the question itself?
     
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  11. stvdv

    stvdv Veteran Member

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    Thank you. Nice reading your reply, seeing you had certain things already in you at young age and continue building with that.

    At age 10 there were certain things I "knew", and now 45 years later I see they are the basis in my life and my way to learn my life lessons; still very true. Other things were obvious not meant for me (I tried playing organ, guitar, harmonica but failed ... started with flute which was the best).

    Age 10 I "knew" (flash forwards) that I would get some serious diseases but never paid much attention (I am not the guy thinking ahead much; like most people start thinking about death just 1 day before ... I had that with health ... never thought that certain foods were bad for me). Age 15 I got interested in Chemistry (doing experiments at home) and Math, and now this knowledge is very helpful to get me through my challenges, as doctors can't help me. I even see the "problems" not as problems anymore, because it's fun to solve them (discover new hidden secrets in the universe). In a strange way also nice that "the universe" showed me in advance that it would happen. At least I have the feeling there is some meaning in all these challenges (I mean, if they were already "known" somewhere in the "cloud").
     
  12. JJ50

    JJ50 Well-Known Member

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    There is no evidence that any god exists, however it is just possible there could be one in some dimension, but I don't believe any human is in communication with it if that is the case.
     
  13. stvdv

    stvdv Veteran Member

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    Thank you very much. You shed some light on Atheism, I did not know.

    First time I hear this (I did not hear much specifics about Atheism yet).

    Seems most honest to me (I don't expect to ever know "everything about the creation of the Universe" myself).

    That's a human thing, to put others in boxes; easier to understand and not get miscommunication. Thank you (I had them boxed wrong:D)

    Oh my God, I did not know it was that simple. I knew Atheism means "lack of belief in God", but was assuming there was more to the story. Good lesson to just take others serious and don't fill in myself. I'm getting better at that slowly.

    It's always good to look outside the box. This is a good example. And good to know that Atheists "do believe" but NO GOD-BELIEF (correct?)

    I noticed this indeed:D. In my first thread on RF, when I was trying to figure out what Atheism was, I said "Atheists must believe something".
    Not a religion though. More like "I believe that the power is in me", but they assured me they just had "lack of belief". So I got a bit confused. But you saying "someone might hear an atheist say that they believe in the simulation theory or some other idea" took out my confusion.

    I think there is confusion both ways all the time. Many people on RF think of Christian God when "God" is mentioned. I use the Word "God" to indicate "The Great Unknown", the cause behind the Universe (even if causeless), but still remaining "The Great Unknown" to me. That is all. But I have seen others with very different concepts of God. Makes talking about God not easier; keeps me sharp though.

    2 years ago, I did not even know the word denominations. Makes it very difficult task to make distinctions between various religious beliefs

    Definition = "Lack of belief in God". I did see some add "or God(s) or god(s)" No need I think ... "God" covers all. True?
    (I mean, if I do not belief in God, then definitely not in 2 Gods and also not in god or gods ... just semantics I think ... the shorter the better)

    Could an Atheist say "I believe in ZERO Gods?" or "I believe not in God" or would that be different than "lack of belief in God"?
    Or maybe "Lack of God-belief" would be even more clear?
     
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  14. stvdv

    stvdv Veteran Member

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    Some Christians might claim that Christianity has something to offer about "how the Universe came to be". Might be true or not. I don't know yet.

    No specific reason, maybe because I ate potato yesterday:D
    What I mean is, that I just had those 2 in mind, no specific reason.
    One has to start somewhere with "Neti ... Neti" I guess (you reminded me of this)

    I did not make all these steps at once, but reading your line, I think you are right.

    I wrote: "I am not presuming there is a route"
    Because you said "As to your overall topic, you’re presuming there is a route to answer those grand questions"
    This did not mean "I am presuming there is not a route" though
    So:
    I can't say, that I agree that "the question can't be answered", because I don't know yet

    BUT that is an interesting scenario what you mentioned:
    IF we assume, for argument's sake, that the question can't be answered, then your question is an interesting one
    "how can it be about a limitation in anything specifically, other than potentially the question itself?"

    This reminds me of the Indian practice of "Neti ... Neti" (not this ... not this) ... stopping all questions. Thanks for bringing it back to this. This does make sense to me. Even more so, remembering that even though the question can't be answered (by others), there can be an answer (as in "coming from within" ... according to the Enlightened ones)

    Long time ago, I did this practice. Nice seeing it coming back. Maybe time to pick it up again. Thank you for sharing and reminding me.
     
  15. HonestJoe

    HonestJoe Well-Known Member

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    Christianity isn’t theism (or atheism) though. Theism is typically (though not necessarily) one tiny element of Christianity but there is a whole load more to it that that alone.

    Sorry, I wasn’t clear. I meant that nobody has yet been able to answer the question (as far as we know). It doesn’t seem to matter whether atheism/theism are involved or not, our current inability to answer remains the same.

    Maybe we’re asking the wrong questions.
     
  16. Nimos

    Nimos Well-Known Member

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    Atheist believe a lot of things and just as everyone else, you can find atheists that believe in the Flat earth idea, in ghosts, UFOs etc. But in general most atheists tend to not believe in supernatural things as they have already "lost" or don't accept a God, so little reason to suddenly accept ghosts, mind reading and so forth. But you can find them :) But also a large amount of Buddhist are atheists as well, for instance.

    I don't think your use of God as describing the great unknown is very useful, rather than causing confusion, at least it confused me, in your first post. Because a God is supernatural, but atheists doesn't tend to support a supernatural explanation for most things, so referring to the creation of Universe as God, causes a bit of confusion :)

    It correct that you say that God or God(s) is the same, for the most part I think atheist add it, to just illustrate that we are talking about all Gods as some religions have more, and because there are so many different ones, and its not unusual that you will get a comment, if you don't do it. Like people saying that they don't believe in that specific God, but in several and that you are not talking about what they believe etc. But yeah its not important, its more to underline things, as far as I see it.

    Also people define atheism a bit different, so there is not like one correct way to define it. Some atheist will say that "there is no God" while others, such as me will use the definition that "I see no evidence for God(s) and therefore no reason to believe in them", but both are fine definitions depending on who you are, I think those that prefer the first definition are those that are normally referred to as the "New atheists", which tend to see religion as harmful and therefore something that ought to be removed or fought. Most famous are probably Richard Dawkins and Christopher Hitchens to name a few., but in the end they are just atheists :D

    Yeah both are valid, one could argue that if someone claim that there is no God, then they ought to provide evidence for it. Whereas someone like me, don't see evidence for it, so the burden of proof is on the person claiming that a God exist. But in the end, both basically mean the same in my opinion. As someone would also be in their right to state that unicorns doesn't exists, without having to proof it, simply because we know that they have never been observed. So guess it depends on how willing people are to go into details about how to phrase things.
     
    #16 Nimos, Sep 25, 2019
    Last edited: Sep 25, 2019
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  17. stvdv

    stvdv Veteran Member

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    Thank you for your explanation. I have a better picture of Atheism now.

    Yes, seems logical to me. If I don't know for sure, then I make no claim (or say "I believe" or IMHO)
    I rather say "there is no God" (God according to your definition)
    I rather say "there is a God" (God according to your definition)

    I rather say "I have never seen unicorns yet" ... or .... "I don't believe they exist"
    I only claim if I am 100% sure. Hence I don't claim much.
     
  18. 1213

    1213 Well-Known Member

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    I would say, I know God. Before knowing God, it is kind of stupid to say does He exist.

    He who doesn't love doesn't know God, for God is love.
    1 John 4:8
     
  19. IndigoChild5559

    IndigoChild5559 Loving God and my neighbor as myself.

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    @stvdv

    I don't think that is at all limited. It is only limited if you limit it. God, being the source of all that is, is infinite. How can finite beings comprehend the infinite? The more we define God, the less we understand him. Isn't it enough to say that he is the Creator, and takes an interest in our behavior?
     
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  20. stvdv

    stvdv Veteran Member

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    Thank you for replying
    Your lines clearly illustrate the OP

    Here you missed the point what OP says
    In quest for Truth so far both failed/limited

    You nailed it; makes perfect sense IMO

    I Agree. That's my main point in the OP
    "Sage remains silent if asked about God"

    This is Not what the Sages "are saying"

    Okay to say
    Though better to admit it's hearsay so far
     
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