Definition of Atheism

For those deep thinkers out there.

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Re: Definition of Atheism

Post by UncleBob » Thu Oct 26, 2017 2:32 pm

infidel wrote:
Thu Oct 26, 2017 2:31 pm
UncleBob wrote:
Thu Oct 26, 2017 2:30 pm
Just trying to be honest. Are you aware of any studies concerning this phenomenon? I would love to read them.
Nope I deal strictly with anecdotals :bacon:
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Re: Definition of Atheism

Post by UncleBob » Fri Nov 03, 2017 8:58 am

CAN SCIENCE PROVE GOD DOESN'T EXIST? VASTNESS OF SPACE SUGGESTS THERE IS NO ALMIGHTY CREATOR
Scientists now know that the universe contains at least two trillion galaxies. It’s a mind-scrunchingly big place, very different to the conception of the universe we had when the world’s major religions were founded. So do the astronomical discoveries of the last few centuries have implications for religion?

Over the last few decades, a new way of arguing for atheism has emerged. Philosophers of religion such as Michael Martin and Nicholas Everitt have asked us to consider the kind of universe we would expect the Christian God to have created, and compare it with the universe we actually live in. They argue there is a mismatch. Everitt focuses on how big the universe is, and argues this gives us reason to believe the God of classical Christianity doesn’t exist.
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Re: Definition of Atheism

Post by infidel » Fri Nov 03, 2017 10:05 am

UncleBob wrote:
Fri Nov 03, 2017 8:58 am
CAN SCIENCE PROVE GOD DOESN'T EXIST? VASTNESS OF SPACE SUGGESTS THERE IS NO ALMIGHTY CREATOR
Scientists now know that the universe contains at least two trillion galaxies. It’s a mind-scrunchingly big place, very different to the conception of the universe we had when the world’s major religions were founded. So do the astronomical discoveries of the last few centuries have implications for religion?

Over the last few decades, a new way of arguing for atheism has emerged. Philosophers of religion such as Michael Martin and Nicholas Everitt have asked us to consider the kind of universe we would expect the Christian God to have created, and compare it with the universe we actually live in. They argue there is a mismatch. Everitt focuses on how big the universe is, and argues this gives us reason to believe the God of classical Christianity doesn’t exist.
Well duh, we've known since at least Darwin that the God of six-literal-days-of-creation doesn't exist :eyeroll:
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Re: Definition of Atheism

Post by Del » Fri Nov 03, 2017 10:54 am

infidel wrote:
Fri Nov 03, 2017 10:05 am
CAN SCIENCE PROVE GOD DOESN'T EXIST? VASTNESS OF SPACE SUGGESTS THERE IS NO ALMIGHTY CREATOR
Scientists now know that the universe contains at least two trillion galaxies. It’s a mind-scrunchingly big place, very different to the conception of the universe we had when the world’s major religions were founded. So do the astronomical discoveries of the last few centuries have implications for religion?

Over the last few decades, a new way of arguing for atheism has emerged. Philosophers of religion such as Michael Martin and Nicholas Everitt have asked us to consider the kind of universe we would expect the Christian God to have created, and compare it with the universe we actually live in. They argue there is a mismatch. Everitt focuses on how big the universe is, and argues this gives us reason to believe the God of classical Christianity doesn’t exist.
Well duh, we've known since at least Darwin that the God of six-literal-days-of-creation doesn't exist :eyeroll:
We have known that for centuries long before Darwin.... along with knowing that the earth is round, and not exactly at the center of the universe. A regional sect of Christians adopted The Fundamentals in the early 20th century. Don't imagine that they represent all of Western Civilization.

What does he mean by saying that apologists for atheism have been jibber-jabbering about this "over the last few decades"?!!? Over 100 years ago, Chesterton already got a laugh at the notion that somehow the "vastness of the universe" proves that there is no God!

For one thing, how do we even know that the universe is large? There's only one universe, right? For all we know, it might be very small and cute.

God has our universe hanging on his refrigerator door.

Similar fallacies:
A universe that is so old that it created itself (that was a pre-Big Bang Theory, of course).
Or an evolutionary creation that is so slow that it causes itself.

Size, age, and rate of change tell us nothing at all about why there is something, instead of nothing. The question of existence is beyond the capacity of science.

All science can do is confirm or deny certain specific myths. But the evidence that one ought not impose a literal interpretation of Genesis 1 is hardly evidence that there is no God!
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Re: Definition of Atheism

Post by infidel » Fri Nov 03, 2017 11:31 am

Del wrote:
Fri Nov 03, 2017 10:54 am
We have known that for centuries long before Darwin.... along with knowing that the earth is round, and not exactly at the center of the universe. A regional sect of Christians adopted The Fundamentals in the early 20th century. Don't imagine that they represent all of Western Civilization.
Just imagine for a moment that you are a secular and/or skeptical person with an interest in the sciences. Maybe you outgrew the fairy tales of your parents or even grew up with no religious instruction at all. You've spent your entire career or adulthood, maybe even a good portion of your childhood, under the paradigm of Empiricism. You are in the business of figuring out how the universe, or some part of it, "works". Who are the opponents you keep bumping into?

It's kind of like the average American going about their American business, the same business your American parents and American grandparents were going about, and suddenly bumping into the 9/11 terrorists.
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Re: Definition of Atheism

Post by Rusty » Fri Nov 03, 2017 12:16 pm

infidel wrote:
Fri Nov 03, 2017 11:31 am
Del wrote:
Fri Nov 03, 2017 10:54 am
We have known that for centuries long before Darwin.... along with knowing that the earth is round, and not exactly at the center of the universe. A regional sect of Christians adopted The Fundamentals in the early 20th century. Don't imagine that they represent all of Western Civilization.
Just imagine for a moment that you are a secular and/or skeptical person with an interest in the sciences. Maybe you outgrew the fairy tales of your parents or even grew up with no religious instruction at all. You've spent your entire career or adulthood, maybe even a good portion of your childhood, under the paradigm of Empiricism. You are in the business of figuring out how the universe, or some part of it, "works". Who are the opponents you keep bumping into?
Honestly, the only 'opponents' are people like us and it's fundamentally because nothing about the Universe is settled. It's rather unusual to meet people who argue, for real, that God did it and are actually coherent on the topic. The usual reason for misunderstanding is because the universe isn't really the topic with Christians. It's God that is the topic.

"I'm sorry but the universe doesn't fit my preconceptions of the universe God would have created. The real universe." LOL! Yeah, that's a proof alright. Thanks for coming out.

The universe has probably existed at every scale over time. The standard model of cosmology presumes the universe was a quantum scale event 14GY ago, ie very small but very energetic. What we see today are the magnified quantum fluctuations that originally occurred on a very different scale but have expanded to enormous proportions. So I'm not convinced that arguing about the current size is all that relevant. However, when Christians claim that God made it all for us we think that's a crazy statement. But it's typical when the subject is really God and the dogma kicks in. What kind of a loving God doesn't create an entire universe for one species on one planet somewhere that isn't 'exactly' at the center of the universe? I'm wondering where you think the center of the universe is.
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Re: Definition of Atheism

Post by Del » Fri Nov 03, 2017 5:10 pm

Rusty wrote:
Fri Nov 03, 2017 12:16 pm
infidel wrote:
Fri Nov 03, 2017 11:31 am
Del wrote:
Fri Nov 03, 2017 10:54 am
We have known that for centuries long before Darwin.... along with knowing that the earth is round, and not exactly at the center of the universe. A regional sect of Christians adopted The Fundamentals in the early 20th century. Don't imagine that they represent all of Western Civilization.
Just imagine for a moment that you are a secular and/or skeptical person with an interest in the sciences. Maybe you outgrew the fairy tales of your parents or even grew up with no religious instruction at all. You've spent your entire career or adulthood, maybe even a good portion of your childhood, under the paradigm of Empiricism. You are in the business of figuring out how the universe, or some part of it, "works". Who are the opponents you keep bumping into?
Honestly, the only 'opponents' are people like us and it's fundamentally because nothing about the Universe is settled. It's rather unusual to meet people who argue, for real, that God did it and are actually coherent on the topic. The usual reason for misunderstanding is because the universe isn't really the topic with Christians. It's God that is the topic.

"I'm sorry but the universe doesn't fit my preconceptions of the universe God would have created. The real universe." LOL! Yeah, that's a proof alright. Thanks for coming out.

The universe has probably existed at every scale over time. The standard model of cosmology presumes the universe was a quantum scale event 14GY ago, ie very small but very energetic. What we see today are the magnified quantum fluctuations that originally occurred on a very different scale but have expanded to enormous proportions. So I'm not convinced that arguing about the current size is all that relevant. However, when Christians claim that God made it all for us we think that's a crazy statement. But it's typical when the subject is really God and the dogma kicks in. What kind of a loving God doesn't create an entire universe for one species on one planet somewhere that isn't 'exactly' at the center of the universe? I'm wondering where you think the center of the universe is.
Included in the empirical data before us:

1) A tradition of Western philosophy from pagan Greece which affirms -- by Reason alone -- that for Existence to be anything at all, there must be a Necessary Being which is the source of all being, uncreated by anything before it. Metaphysics is the science of this Being.... by definition, metalphysics is the study of those things beyond physical sciences.

2) We also have a personal God who has revealed Himself to humanity, as a fact of history.

3) We have a group of Christian zealots, mostly in America, who cling devotedly to a particular myth about how this God created the material universe.... as a matter of dogma.

4) A group of secular zealots, called "logical positivists," who deny that anything metaphysical is possible.... as a matter of dogma.

The first thing we need to do -- with greatest respect! -- is to acknowledge that the existence of poor and incomplete thinking does not alter the reality of things.

If we want to talk about metaphysics, then we have to accept that we are looking at things which "science" will never be competent to prove or disprove.
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"Let all bitterness and wrath and anger and clamor and slander be put away from you, along with all malice. Be kind to one another, tender-hearted, forgiving each other, just as God in Christ also has forgiven you." - Eph 4

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Re: Definition of Atheism

Post by Rusty » Fri Nov 03, 2017 5:22 pm

Del wrote:
Fri Nov 03, 2017 5:10 pm
Rusty wrote:
Fri Nov 03, 2017 12:16 pm
infidel wrote:
Fri Nov 03, 2017 11:31 am
Del wrote:
Fri Nov 03, 2017 10:54 am
We have known that for centuries long before Darwin.... along with knowing that the earth is round, and not exactly at the center of the universe. A regional sect of Christians adopted The Fundamentals in the early 20th century. Don't imagine that they represent all of Western Civilization.
Just imagine for a moment that you are a secular and/or skeptical person with an interest in the sciences. Maybe you outgrew the fairy tales of your parents or even grew up with no religious instruction at all. You've spent your entire career or adulthood, maybe even a good portion of your childhood, under the paradigm of Empiricism. You are in the business of figuring out how the universe, or some part of it, "works". Who are the opponents you keep bumping into?
Honestly, the only 'opponents' are people like us and it's fundamentally because nothing about the Universe is settled. It's rather unusual to meet people who argue, for real, that God did it and are actually coherent on the topic. The usual reason for misunderstanding is because the universe isn't really the topic with Christians. It's God that is the topic.

"I'm sorry but the universe doesn't fit my preconceptions of the universe God would have created. The real universe." LOL! Yeah, that's a proof alright. Thanks for coming out.

The universe has probably existed at every scale over time. The standard model of cosmology presumes the universe was a quantum scale event 14GY ago, ie very small but very energetic. What we see today are the magnified quantum fluctuations that originally occurred on a very different scale but have expanded to enormous proportions. So I'm not convinced that arguing about the current size is all that relevant. However, when Christians claim that God made it all for us we think that's a crazy statement. But it's typical when the subject is really God and the dogma kicks in. What kind of a loving God doesn't create an entire universe for one species on one planet somewhere that isn't 'exactly' at the center of the universe? I'm wondering where you think the center of the universe is.
Included in the empirical data before us:

1) A tradition of Western philosophy from pagan Greece which affirms -- by Reason alone -- that for Existence to be anything at all, there must be a Necessary Being which is the source of all being, uncreated by anything before it. Metaphysics is the science of this Being.... by definition, metalphysics is the study of those things beyond physical sciences.

2) We also have a personal God who has revealed Himself to humanity, as a fact of history.

3) We have a group of Christian zealots, mostly in America, who cling devotedly to a particular myth about how this God created the material universe.... as a matter of dogma.

4) A group of secular zealots, called "logical positivists," who deny that anything metaphysical is possible.... as a matter of dogma.

The first thing we need to do -- with greatest respect! -- is to acknowledge that the existence of poor and incomplete thinking does not alter the reality of things.

If we want to talk about metaphysics, then we have to accept that we are looking at things which "science" will never be competent to prove or disprove.
What is the subject of all these spurious numbered claims? It doesn't appear to be the size of the universe. It's not clear that it's God either because he appears as an assertion in #2. So what is it that knits these assertions together?
I'm content to let you believe whatever you want. This choice in individual beliefs, with no coercion toward any specific set of beliefs from others, is likely a byproduct of the Reformation. All hail Luther.

Prove or disprove is only applicable with Mathematics. It has no bearing at all on anything else. So reasoning alone is not reliable when it comes to any phenomena. Otherwise we have ideas that may be corroborated by evidence, and/or chains of reasoning from evidence, that allow us to accept that the ideas are functional ie they work in some limited way to help us interpret phenomena around us. Evidence is lacking with religion generally and so all the religious reasoning is ineffective vs. increasing our confidence that it's useful in describing anything. But some people have faith - they believe - and it replaces the need for any evidence. I'm content to let them enjoy it.

BTW where is the center of the universe and how close to it is our planet?
Last edited by Rusty on Fri Nov 03, 2017 5:34 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Definition of Atheism

Post by hugodrax » Fri Nov 03, 2017 5:32 pm

Del wrote:
Fri Nov 03, 2017 5:10 pm
Rusty wrote:
Fri Nov 03, 2017 12:16 pm
infidel wrote:
Fri Nov 03, 2017 11:31 am
Del wrote:
Fri Nov 03, 2017 10:54 am
We have known that for centuries long before Darwin.... along with knowing that the earth is round, and not exactly at the center of the universe. A regional sect of Christians adopted The Fundamentals in the early 20th century. Don't imagine that they represent all of Western Civilization.
Just imagine for a moment that you are a secular and/or skeptical person with an interest in the sciences. Maybe you outgrew the fairy tales of your parents or even grew up with no religious instruction at all. You've spent your entire career or adulthood, maybe even a good portion of your childhood, under the paradigm of Empiricism. You are in the business of figuring out how the universe, or some part of it, "works". Who are the opponents you keep bumping into?
Honestly, the only 'opponents' are people like us and it's fundamentally because nothing about the Universe is settled. It's rather unusual to meet people who argue, for real, that God did it and are actually coherent on the topic. The usual reason for misunderstanding is because the universe isn't really the topic with Christians. It's God that is the topic.

"I'm sorry but the universe doesn't fit my preconceptions of the universe God would have created. The real universe." LOL! Yeah, that's a proof alright. Thanks for coming out.

The universe has probably existed at every scale over time. The standard model of cosmology presumes the universe was a quantum scale event 14GY ago, ie very small but very energetic. What we see today are the magnified quantum fluctuations that originally occurred on a very different scale but have expanded to enormous proportions. So I'm not convinced that arguing about the current size is all that relevant. However, when Christians claim that God made it all for us we think that's a crazy statement. But it's typical when the subject is really God and the dogma kicks in. What kind of a loving God doesn't create an entire universe for one species on one planet somewhere that isn't 'exactly' at the center of the universe? I'm wondering where you think the center of the universe is.
Included in the empirical data before us:

1) A tradition of Western philosophy from pagan Greece which affirms -- by Reason alone -- that for Existence to be anything at all, there must be a Necessary Being which is the source of all being, uncreated by anything before it. Metaphysics is the science of this Being.... by definition, metalphysics is the study of those things beyond physical sciences.

2) We also have a personal God who has revealed Himself to humanity, as a fact of history.

3) We have a group of Christian zealots, mostly in America, who cling devotedly to a particular myth about how this God created the material universe.... as a matter of dogma.

4) A group of secular zealots, called "logical positivists," who deny that anything metaphysical is possible.... as a matter of dogma.

The first thing we need to do -- with greatest respect! -- is to acknowledge that the existence of poor and incomplete thinking does not alter the reality of things.

If we want to talk about metaphysics, then we have to accept that we are looking at things which "science" will never be competent to prove or disprove.

Did you notice that Rusty pointed out the humor of a group of scientists defining what a God would want to create in order to say that this isn't what He would have had in mind? Dashed decent, if you ask me.
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Re: Definition of Atheism

Post by Rusty » Fri Nov 03, 2017 5:36 pm

hugodrax wrote:
Fri Nov 03, 2017 5:32 pm
Del wrote:
Fri Nov 03, 2017 5:10 pm
Rusty wrote:
Fri Nov 03, 2017 12:16 pm
infidel wrote:
Fri Nov 03, 2017 11:31 am
Del wrote:
Fri Nov 03, 2017 10:54 am
We have known that for centuries long before Darwin.... along with knowing that the earth is round, and not exactly at the center of the universe. A regional sect of Christians adopted The Fundamentals in the early 20th century. Don't imagine that they represent all of Western Civilization.
Just imagine for a moment that you are a secular and/or skeptical person with an interest in the sciences. Maybe you outgrew the fairy tales of your parents or even grew up with no religious instruction at all. You've spent your entire career or adulthood, maybe even a good portion of your childhood, under the paradigm of Empiricism. You are in the business of figuring out how the universe, or some part of it, "works". Who are the opponents you keep bumping into?
Honestly, the only 'opponents' are people like us and it's fundamentally because nothing about the Universe is settled. It's rather unusual to meet people who argue, for real, that God did it and are actually coherent on the topic. The usual reason for misunderstanding is because the universe isn't really the topic with Christians. It's God that is the topic.

"I'm sorry but the universe doesn't fit my preconceptions of the universe God would have created. The real universe." LOL! Yeah, that's a proof alright. Thanks for coming out.

The universe has probably existed at every scale over time. The standard model of cosmology presumes the universe was a quantum scale event 14GY ago, ie very small but very energetic. What we see today are the magnified quantum fluctuations that originally occurred on a very different scale but have expanded to enormous proportions. So I'm not convinced that arguing about the current size is all that relevant. However, when Christians claim that God made it all for us we think that's a crazy statement. But it's typical when the subject is really God and the dogma kicks in. What kind of a loving God doesn't create an entire universe for one species on one planet somewhere that isn't 'exactly' at the center of the universe? I'm wondering where you think the center of the universe is.
Included in the empirical data before us:

1) A tradition of Western philosophy from pagan Greece which affirms -- by Reason alone -- that for Existence to be anything at all, there must be a Necessary Being which is the source of all being, uncreated by anything before it. Metaphysics is the science of this Being.... by definition, metalphysics is the study of those things beyond physical sciences.

2) We also have a personal God who has revealed Himself to humanity, as a fact of history.

3) We have a group of Christian zealots, mostly in America, who cling devotedly to a particular myth about how this God created the material universe.... as a matter of dogma.

4) A group of secular zealots, called "logical positivists," who deny that anything metaphysical is possible.... as a matter of dogma.

The first thing we need to do -- with greatest respect! -- is to acknowledge that the existence of poor and incomplete thinking does not alter the reality of things.

If we want to talk about metaphysics, then we have to accept that we are looking at things which "science" will never be competent to prove or disprove.

Did you notice that Rusty pointed out the humor of a group of scientists defining what a God would want to create in order to say that this isn't what He would have had in mind? Dashed decent, if you ask me.
About the size of the universe not being Christian-sized? I think they're more likely philosophers of some stripe. It occurred to me that the same group of people might deny that men are born from women and then cite sexual dimorphism to show that this idea is contradictory because men are too big to come from women. It's nonsense.

Reasoning alone is not particularly a good guide. We are always biased. Here's a good example. Back in the late 1990's it occurred to astrophysicists that because we are looking back in time at everything in the universe that we might be able to get a measure of the deceleration of expansion of the universe/spacetime whatever and hence deduce the size of the universe in terms of mass/energy etc. That was the expectation. This expectation was reasonably consistent with theories at the time. And they had two teams that did the experiment and the results showed that the expansion was accelerating. Completely unexpected. This is exactly the opposite of the expectation that came from reasoning from existing theories.
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Re: Definition of Atheism

Post by hugodrax » Fri Nov 03, 2017 5:56 pm

Rusty wrote:
Fri Nov 03, 2017 5:36 pm
hugodrax wrote:
Fri Nov 03, 2017 5:32 pm
Del wrote:
Fri Nov 03, 2017 5:10 pm
Rusty wrote:
Fri Nov 03, 2017 12:16 pm
infidel wrote:
Fri Nov 03, 2017 11:31 am
Del wrote:
Fri Nov 03, 2017 10:54 am
We have known that for centuries long before Darwin.... along with knowing that the earth is round, and not exactly at the center of the universe. A regional sect of Christians adopted The Fundamentals in the early 20th century. Don't imagine that they represent all of Western Civilization.
Just imagine for a moment that you are a secular and/or skeptical person with an interest in the sciences. Maybe you outgrew the fairy tales of your parents or even grew up with no religious instruction at all. You've spent your entire career or adulthood, maybe even a good portion of your childhood, under the paradigm of Empiricism. You are in the business of figuring out how the universe, or some part of it, "works". Who are the opponents you keep bumping into?
Honestly, the only 'opponents' are people like us and it's fundamentally because nothing about the Universe is settled. It's rather unusual to meet people who argue, for real, that God did it and are actually coherent on the topic. The usual reason for misunderstanding is because the universe isn't really the topic with Christians. It's God that is the topic.

"I'm sorry but the universe doesn't fit my preconceptions of the universe God would have created. The real universe." LOL! Yeah, that's a proof alright. Thanks for coming out.

The universe has probably existed at every scale over time. The standard model of cosmology presumes the universe was a quantum scale event 14GY ago, ie very small but very energetic. What we see today are the magnified quantum fluctuations that originally occurred on a very different scale but have expanded to enormous proportions. So I'm not convinced that arguing about the current size is all that relevant. However, when Christians claim that God made it all for us we think that's a crazy statement. But it's typical when the subject is really God and the dogma kicks in. What kind of a loving God doesn't create an entire universe for one species on one planet somewhere that isn't 'exactly' at the center of the universe? I'm wondering where you think the center of the universe is.
Included in the empirical data before us:

1) A tradition of Western philosophy from pagan Greece which affirms -- by Reason alone -- that for Existence to be anything at all, there must be a Necessary Being which is the source of all being, uncreated by anything before it. Metaphysics is the science of this Being.... by definition, metalphysics is the study of those things beyond physical sciences.

2) We also have a personal God who has revealed Himself to humanity, as a fact of history.

3) We have a group of Christian zealots, mostly in America, who cling devotedly to a particular myth about how this God created the material universe.... as a matter of dogma.

4) A group of secular zealots, called "logical positivists," who deny that anything metaphysical is possible.... as a matter of dogma.

The first thing we need to do -- with greatest respect! -- is to acknowledge that the existence of poor and incomplete thinking does not alter the reality of things.

If we want to talk about metaphysics, then we have to accept that we are looking at things which "science" will never be competent to prove or disprove.

Did you notice that Rusty pointed out the humor of a group of scientists defining what a God would want to create in order to say that this isn't what He would have had in mind? Dashed decent, if you ask me.
About the size of the universe not being Christian-sized? I think they're more likely philosophers of some stripe. It occurred to me that the same group of people might deny that men are born from women and then cite sexual dimorphism to show that this idea is contradictory because men are too big to come from women. It's nonsense.
Indeed. Reminds me of the Babel Fish. Those boys better look out at the next zebra crossing.
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Re: Definition of Atheism

Post by Del » Fri Nov 03, 2017 11:47 pm

Rusty wrote:
Fri Nov 03, 2017 5:36 pm
hugodrax wrote:
Fri Nov 03, 2017 5:32 pm
Del wrote:
Fri Nov 03, 2017 5:10 pm
Rusty wrote:
Fri Nov 03, 2017 12:16 pm
infidel wrote:
Fri Nov 03, 2017 11:31 am
Del wrote:
Fri Nov 03, 2017 10:54 am
We have known that for centuries long before Darwin.... along with knowing that the earth is round, and not exactly at the center of the universe. A regional sect of Christians adopted The Fundamentals in the early 20th century. Don't imagine that they represent all of Western Civilization.
Just imagine for a moment that you are a secular and/or skeptical person with an interest in the sciences. Maybe you outgrew the fairy tales of your parents or even grew up with no religious instruction at all. You've spent your entire career or adulthood, maybe even a good portion of your childhood, under the paradigm of Empiricism. You are in the business of figuring out how the universe, or some part of it, "works". Who are the opponents you keep bumping into?
Honestly, the only 'opponents' are people like us and it's fundamentally because nothing about the Universe is settled. It's rather unusual to meet people who argue, for real, that God did it and are actually coherent on the topic. The usual reason for misunderstanding is because the universe isn't really the topic with Christians. It's God that is the topic.

"I'm sorry but the universe doesn't fit my preconceptions of the universe God would have created. The real universe." LOL! Yeah, that's a proof alright. Thanks for coming out.

The universe has probably existed at every scale over time. The standard model of cosmology presumes the universe was a quantum scale event 14GY ago, ie very small but very energetic. What we see today are the magnified quantum fluctuations that originally occurred on a very different scale but have expanded to enormous proportions. So I'm not convinced that arguing about the current size is all that relevant. However, when Christians claim that God made it all for us we think that's a crazy statement. But it's typical when the subject is really God and the dogma kicks in. What kind of a loving God doesn't create an entire universe for one species on one planet somewhere that isn't 'exactly' at the center of the universe? I'm wondering where you think the center of the universe is.
Included in the empirical data before us:

1) A tradition of Western philosophy from pagan Greece which affirms -- by Reason alone -- that for Existence to be anything at all, there must be a Necessary Being which is the source of all being, uncreated by anything before it. Metaphysics is the science of this Being.... by definition, metalphysics is the study of those things beyond physical sciences.

2) We also have a personal God who has revealed Himself to humanity, as a fact of history.

3) We have a group of Christian zealots, mostly in America, who cling devotedly to a particular myth about how this God created the material universe.... as a matter of dogma.

4) A group of secular zealots, called "logical positivists," who deny that anything metaphysical is possible.... as a matter of dogma.

The first thing we need to do -- with greatest respect! -- is to acknowledge that the existence of poor and incomplete thinking does not alter the reality of things.

If we want to talk about metaphysics, then we have to accept that we are looking at things which "science" will never be competent to prove or disprove.

Did you notice that Rusty pointed out the humor of a group of scientists defining what a God would want to create in order to say that this isn't what He would have had in mind? Dashed decent, if you ask me.
About the size of the universe not being Christian-sized? I think they're more likely philosophers of some stripe. It occurred to me that the same group of people might deny that men are born from women and then cite sexual dimorphism to show that this idea is contradictory because men are too big to come from women. It's nonsense.

Reasoning alone is not particularly a good guide. We are always biased. Here's a good example. Back in the late 1990's it occurred to astrophysicists that because we are looking back in time at everything in the universe that we might be able to get a measure of the deceleration of expansion of the universe/spacetime whatever and hence deduce the size of the universe in terms of mass/energy etc. That was the expectation. This expectation was reasonably consistent with theories at the time. And they had two teams that did the experiment and the results showed that the expansion was accelerating. Completely unexpected. This is exactly the opposite of the expectation that came from reasoning from existing theories.
The whole point of scientific method is to find these surprises. Theory -> hypothesis -> experiment.... and if the experiment fails to support the hypothesis, then the fun begins.

That is not an argument against Reason as our best tool for discerning truth. It is actually an argument in favor of Reason.

However, St. Thomas Aquinas does support your skepticism whenever someone does a little hand-waving, saying "Reason shows us...." It's the same as when some political partisan says, "Science shows us...."

Thomas admits that a great amount of metaphysical truth can be known by Reason alone, by careful observation of the physical universe and human nature... BUT:
- Only after a very long time,
- and only by a few wise men,
- and still with many errors mixed in.

It took centuries just to arrive at Socrates, Plato, and Aristotle.
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Re: Definition of Atheism

Post by Sid.Stavros » Tue Nov 28, 2017 4:38 am

Del wrote:
Fri Nov 03, 2017 5:10 pm

Included in the empirical data before us:

1) A tradition of Western philosophy from pagan Greece which affirms -- by Reason alone -- that for Existence to be anything at all
My dear friend the first Greeks believed in a Holy Trinity which means God-his Son-the Holy Spirit, God was called Zeus as other people call him now as Jehovah, Allah, Buddha etc.
Very important people which offered many things to our civilization after the 2 big cataclysms became from the survived people [mainly their successors] as "Gods" for example Athena, Hephaestus etc.
Back in the ancient Greek of 600-500 BC there were people that disagree with others in religion matters [as today orthodox vs catholics vs protestants etc] and of course didn't believe/support that there were 12 Gods which lived together, had the same age, Zeus did this or that, Hera fought with Artemis etc and consider them as imaginary stories.

My english don't help me that's why i don't write long posts but keep in mind that the religion in ancient Greeks was not what the majority of foreign people now think or read in internet or watch in Hollywood films.

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Re: Definition of Atheism

Post by wosbald » Tue Nov 28, 2017 7:01 am

+JMJ+
Sid.Stavros wrote:
Tue Nov 28, 2017 4:38 am
Del wrote:
Fri Nov 03, 2017 5:10 pm

Included in the empirical data before us:

1) A tradition of Western philosophy from pagan Greece which affirms -- by Reason alone -- that for Existence to be anything at all
My dear friend the first Greeks believed in a Holy Trinity which means God-his Son-the Holy Spirit …
If you were really saying what it sounds like you're saying (and, of course, I'm sure that you're not), then the Greeks would've never needed Jews or Jesus. The essential Greek "national spirit" would've carried the day, having already had it all.

Of course, since you're not really saying such, this is all a nonstarter.

Nothing to see here, folks. Move along. :wink:




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Re: Definition of Atheism

Post by Del » Tue Nov 28, 2017 9:07 am

Sid.Stavros wrote:
Tue Nov 28, 2017 4:38 am
Del wrote:
Fri Nov 03, 2017 5:10 pm

Included in the empirical data before us:

1) A tradition of Western philosophy from pagan Greece which affirms -- by Reason alone -- that for Existence to be anything at all
My dear friend the first Greeks believed in a Holy Trinity which means God-his Son-the Holy Spirit, God was called Zeus as other people call him now as Jehovah, Allah, Buddha etc.
Very important people which offered many things to our civilization after the 2 big cataclysms became from the survived people [mainly their successors] as "Gods" for example Athena, Hephaestus etc.
Back in the ancient Greek of 600-500 BC there were people that disagree with others in religion matters [as today orthodox vs catholics vs protestants etc] and of course didn't believe/support that there were 12 Gods which lived together, had the same age, Zeus did this or that, Hera fought with Artemis etc and consider them as imaginary stories.

My english don't help me that's why i don't write long posts [ i have not lot of time also] but keep in mind that the religion in ancient Greeks was not what the majority of foreign people now think or read in internet or watch in Hollywood films.
I know how you feel. Few Americans know anything about the Middle Ages except that they see in Hollywood films, and most of that is comedy and parody.

I am reading Plato now. And my wife would love to visit Greece someday. Perhaps we can meet and talk about this?
"Utter frogshit from start to finish." - Onyx

"Let all bitterness and wrath and anger and clamor and slander be put away from you, along with all malice. Be kind to one another, tender-hearted, forgiving each other, just as God in Christ also has forgiven you." - Eph 4

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Re: Definition of Atheism

Post by Sid.Stavros » Tue Nov 28, 2017 4:33 pm

wosbald wrote:
Tue Nov 28, 2017 7:01 am
then the Greeks would've never needed Jews or Jesus.
Greeks have spoken about the Son of God:

Plato's Republic [Politeia]
In the Prometheus Bound of Aeschylus
Socrates
Sibyl

To need the hebrews for what reason? To learn how to get out from a desert after 40 years of wandering?
Have you ever read somewhere that the ancient Greeks asked for their help or any kind of advise? 8O
Obviously you don't know the: "Συν Αθηνα και χειρα κινει" which means "Do [act] while you ask for God's help" because the ancient Greeks didn't expect the food to fall from the sky as others "chosen" did.

Del wrote:
Tue Nov 28, 2017 9:07 am
I know how you feel. Few Americans know anything about the Middle Ages except that they see in Hollywood films, and most of that is comedy and parody.

I am reading Plato now. And my wife would love to visit Greece someday. Perhaps we can meet and talk about this?
Almost whatever you read about 12 Gods are "inventions" of the last period, every "God" was a very important person of his period.
We own a lot to these "Gods" that's why we respect them for what they have offered to our civilization but don't believe those funny stories as that Zeus made a child with the A woman then 100 years latter made another with the B woman etc thus is the husband of 60 women and father of more than 100 child. The C warrior killed the D in battle because Zeus helped him [but the D was Greek too thus had the same God, so? ] or the E state attacked to F and lost because the F state was protected by Zeus [but the E state were Greek too thus had the same God, so?]...and the list is endless!

Famous Atheists in ancient Greece:

Xenophanes
Leukippus
Epicurus
Democritus
Euripides
Heraclitus
Protagoras
Diagoras the Million
Theodore from Kyrenia
Epicharmos
Metrodoros the Lampsakinos
Gorgias

Eyhmerus the Messinian believed that: the gods were old kings who, after their death, were deified through myths because they also helped the ruling class maintain its hegemony.

As for the meeting due to my obligations and travelling it's very difficult my dear friend. :(

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Re: Definition of Atheism

Post by wosbald » Tue Nov 28, 2017 5:06 pm

+JMJ+
Sid.Stavros wrote:
Tue Nov 28, 2017 4:33 pm
wosbald wrote:
Tue Nov 28, 2017 7:01 am
then the Greeks would've never needed Jews or Jesus.
Greeks have spoken about the Son of God:

Plato's Republic [Politeia]
In the Prometheus Bound of Aeschylus
Socrates
Sibyl

To need the hebrews for what reason? To learn how to get out from a desert after 40 years of wandering?
Have you ever read somewhere that the ancient Greeks asked for their help or any kind of advise? 8O
Obviously you don't know the: "Συν Αθηνα και χειρα κινει" which means "Do [act] while you ask for God's help" because the ancient Greeks didn't expect the food to fall from the sky as others "chosen" did.

[…]
Image




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Re: Definition of Atheism

Post by Sid.Stavros » Wed Nov 29, 2017 4:22 am

Protagoras from Abdera (480-411 BC) who first conveyed the view that the truth is closely linked to the senses (Plato Theat., 167 BC), and that "Reality has what is seen and what the man sees (the human being) ,for Protagoras, the so-called invisible, supernatural and inaccessible do not exist".
The famous work of "The Gods", which began as follows: "I can not know about the Gods, that they exist, nor that they do not exist or how they are (what form they have), because many are ones that impede knowledge (their), such as the indecision (the thing) and the short duration of human life".
In ancient Athens you could say your opinion about Gods or religion matters but you coudn't declare yourself as an Atheist because that was punished by the Law and could bring you as an accused to the court.

Epicurus: "The man is adequate to make his own happiness, it is enough that won't be disturbed"
"The love of justice, the saint and the sacred, they are man's emotions of independent of faith in God. The gods came down (in Epicurus philosophy) very decorative".

Ancient Greeks never killed other country people because they were "indidels" or because "my god told me to take your land because i am chosen".
That's all i had to say here about Atheism in ancient Greece. Image

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Re: Definition of Atheism

Post by Rusty » Wed Nov 29, 2017 12:15 pm

A dozen gods, a dozen atheists - that's a party.

But what about some other famous Greeks...

Aristarchus of Samos
Eratosthenes
Euclid
Archimedes
Hipparchus
Anaximander
Pythagoras
Apollonius of Perga

Gods or atheists?
You're out of the woods
You're out of the dark
You're out of the night
Step into the sun
Step into the light

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Re: Definition of Atheism

Post by Goose55 » Wed Nov 29, 2017 12:52 pm

Rusty wrote:
Fri Nov 03, 2017 5:22 pm
BTW where is the center of the universe and how close to it is our planet?
We can't know that because we still do not know how large the Universe is. The Space Telescopes have yet to find an end
"At present we're on the wrong side of the door. But all the pages of the New Testament are rustling with the rumor that it will not always be so." ~ C.S. Lewis

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