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The Problem with Atheism

Post 21

TRiG (Ireland) A dog, so bade in office

Rudest Elf hits one of the biggest problems with Pascal's Wager: integrity. Personal integrity is very important to me, and to many other people. Personal integrity is why, realising the conflict between my sexuality and my religion, I stayed in my religion for longer than I would have otherwise, while I made absolutely certain that I was leaving for the right reasons: because I didn't believe it, not because it didn't suit me.

And personal integrity does not match up well at all with Pascal's Wager. The more so if we postulate a god who can see our intent and rewards honesty.

TRiG.smiley - smiley


The Problem with Atheism

Post 22

There is only one thing worse than being Gosho, and that is not being Gosho

I had never heard of Pascal's Wager before it was brought up here, although I'm familiar with the idea of hedging your bets against eternal damnation, but having given it some thought it occurs to me that Pascal's Wager simply means living as a humanist and observing humanist principles.

If humanism simply means being decent to other human beings, treating them with respect, doing unto others, loving one's neighbour... oh, but wait! I seem to be talking in religious, or, at least, Christian, terms.

Most of the major religions espouse the principles of living a harmonious life, or they did until the powerful got hold of them and corrupted them to their own will.

So even though Pascal's Wager involves bending one's knee to a god on the offchance that he might or might not exist, it actually embraces an ideology which is builds its basis for morality on reason and ethics as opposed to religious dogma.

I'm not a betting man so I don't involve myself with wagers, and I'm not a religious man so I don't involve myself with dogma, and yet I can still lead an apparently religious life.

Oh sweet irony.


The Problem with Atheism

Post 23

Terran

It's curious as human beings we seem to feel we need to have a sense of victory over another - when the reality is that no one knows. And whilst atheism is essentially being faithful to what we know today - doing the same several hundred or thousands of years ago would mean very different things - just as I suspect it will do in 100 years time. And people from those different eras would argue vehemently about what was right, and none of which might be right - or wrong for that matter.

What we seem to get angry about - atheism or otherwise - is people telling us what to think. But sadly society since time began seems to love doing that. And would sadly be true even if all things referred to as religion were wiped off the face of the Earth as some would wish. The crux of the matter is actually not divine - but very very human : essentially our twin desire to both have the right to think what we want, whilst at the same time being more right than the next person. Which is a paradox I'm sure the powers that be have a right chuckle at. smiley - winkeye


The Problem with Atheism

Post 24

AlexAshman


smiley - bookmark smiley - whistle


The Problem with Atheism

Post 25

tarantoes

Hi just smiley - surfer. I stumbled on this interesting conversation and decided to take a dip. I'm a relative h2g2 newby smiley - blush and noticed that this conversation doesn't have an attached article to it [mental note to myself - free floating conversations are allowed in Hootoo world?].

Anyway looking at the original post, my first question arose when scanning the following line: "I think that the whole of our creation can be explained scientifically"

So here's my question: what is meant by an "explanation" and is it not an act of faith to believe that "science" can provide it?

Anyway it's probably a silly first question.


I am also interested in the comment that the origin of the "devil" as an opponent to God, can be traced back to the ancient Jews in Babylon. Can anyone give me a link to a report (etc) that examines the evidence for this smiley - cheers. [Presumably this is associated with what is written in ancient religious text - I would have guessed an origin from polytheism rather than monotheism].


The Problem with Atheism

Post 26

Taff Agent of kaos


if you study the bible you will find no mention of the devil before the jews ensalvement and exile in babylon, all the bad things that happend were done by god, as punishment or because he was in a bad mood, he was a right nasty piece of work back then, then after the babylon period this idea of an adversary to god starts to pop up, where there was no mention of one before, you'd think genesis would have had something as important as a rebelion in heaven and the fall of the angels, the creation of hell and the eternal damnation of the human race in it?? wouldn't you??

smiley - bat


The Problem with Atheism

Post 27

TRiG (Ireland) A dog, so bade in office

tatantoes: "free floating conversations are allowed in Hootoo world?"

At the top of the page, you'll see: "This is the Journal of Skankyrich." This isn't a free-floating conversation; it's a conversation based on journal entry (the journal entry also serves as the first post in the conversation).

TRiG.smiley - geeksmiley - surfer


The Problem with Atheism

Post 28

AlexAshman


"is it not an act of faith to believe that "science" can provide it?"

Comparisons between faith and science annoy me somewhat. Besides the idea that science should admit uncertainties and seek proof, you'll find that a good scientist will alter his 'beliefs' according to new evidence. Discuss. smiley - smiley


The Problem with Atheism

Post 29

The Left Reverend Doktor Baron Grim

Scientists THRIVE on uncertainty. It is what drives them. As opposed to the religious who are certain that they're correct, facts be damned. Doubt is the strength of science and the doom of religion.


The Problem with Atheism

Post 30

AlexAshman


*Tufty wishes to 'Like' the above comment* smiley - laugh


The Problem with Atheism

Post 31

The Left Reverend Doktor Baron Grim

Heh. smiley - cheers


The Problem with Atheism

Post 32

TRiG (Ireland) A dog, so bade in office

I've heard it described as the difference between questions which cannot be answered and answers which cannot be questioned.

TRiG.smiley - rainbow


The Problem with Atheism

Post 33

tarantoes

In so far as a scientific statement speaks about reality, it must be falsifiable; and in so far as it is not falsifiable, it does not speak about reality.
Karl Popper

Whenever a theory appears to you as the only possible one, take this as a sign that you have neither understood the theory nor the problem which it was intended to solve.
Karl Popper


The Problem with Atheism

Post 34

tarantoes

Karl Popper also mentions that scientific theories can never be "proven" only falsified but the only quote I can find relates to white swans ... A view of science is that it is a means of "describing" observation and making predictions. It is unneccessary to imagine that it may in any way truly, inherently, explain anything. Sticking labels onto things is not an explanation. This is what I meant about "faith" in regard to science in my earlier comment.

With regard to religeon I have always imagined it is a means by which societies and individuals within that society, live.


The Problem with Atheism

Post 35

Black Cheetah: The Veggie Black Cat (Have two accounts for some reason!)

How about I give the Sikh view (as I am practicing Sikh) to answer that...

First off, in the Sikh view there is no heaven or hell. Your soul (which does exist), is just a form of energy and under the law of conservation, it is preserved after your death, where it goes depends upon how you have trained the energy to manifest in your team (towards good deeds or bad deeds).

The entire universe, is one being (that being god), and every single atom or particle is a part of the process. Each atom or particle is as sentient as let's say a human cell, with each atom or particle doing the task that it was supposed to. We are just larger cells with "souls", which leads us the ability to think and act consciously. But at the end of the day, we are still cells of a larger organism, and behave in the bounds that it has set.

If you have been good enough, or to be more precise, you have adopted the natural divine virtues exhibited by the larger organism to the appropriate degree and realized the existence of the larger organism in the everyday world... you will find that the energy in your body dissipates and becomes one with the larger being, and not continuously recycled in the form of new cells...


hope this giant human body metaphor makes sense....


The Problem with Atheism

Post 36

Black Cheetah: The Veggie Black Cat (Have two accounts for some reason!)

**manifest in your lifetime...


The Problem with Atheism

Post 37

AlexAshman


I'm not going to comment on your viewpoint, BC, but you've made me rediscover this thread and I've got further thoughts on the original 'problem'.

One issue with atheism would be that most religions provide something of a hobby for the practitioner, in that it gives them some purpose, is personal to them, is something they can get into, and which gives their life a meaning. But regardless of whether people are prompted into having a reason to exist by religion, or whether they make their own reason, there's a quote from one Researcher which I came across that sums things up:

"Choose something you care about, deeply. Find something you can do to its benefit."


The Problem with Atheism

Post 38

TRiG (Ireland) A dog, so bade in office

I like that, Tufty. I may adopt it. It's certainly worth thinking about.

TRiG.smiley - surfer


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