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Discussion in 'Religious Issues' started by mike g35, Oct 5, 2012.
As would I.
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Even more so when you consider that the only way for it to be possible for life to exist in any sort of complex and abundant way is for it to be utterly horrid in this manner. Life consuming other life is what gives it the efficiency needed to develop more complicated life forms (like us). If it weren't for the kill or be killed nature of life it would have never gotten past the stage of single celled photosynthetic bacteria relying on the sun for energy input. No insects, no fish, no mammals, just a bunch of algea growing on the sunny side of a wet rock.
But instead, something came along with an adaptation that allowed it to consume other organisms. This gave it an advantage that allowed it access to more energy (by consuming others). Then another adaptation, and another, and another. Until, finally, you have mammals like us at the top of the food chain with big enough brains to actually consider the relevance of this; Without the horrid nature of life eating life then there would never have been an instance where enough energy was concentrated in one place to develop a thinking mind.
Yep, that's what I mean by it getting better when you think about it a lot. It is the reason we exist. It's pretty interesting what a difference a small change can make. Like how we used to have our jaw muscles attached at a crest at the top of our heads like most modern day primates. Then the diet changed to include more meat which didn't require the constant chewing of raw plant material. The large jaw muscles weren't required and gradually the attachment points moved down to the sides of the head allowing this new high fat high protein diet to work on building bigger brains in a cranium now unrestricted in growth by giant muscles running down either side.
I like to throw that one out for the vegans occasionally. (No offense AG)
The theory of the missing baculum in humans is another good one. Forgot that in my previous rant.
We'll, after reading all the responses I will agree that you all make valid points that are stated well and are well thought out. BUT, I still can't help but feel there's more to the mysteries of the universe than science. Meaning I still think we have a higher power than ourselves looking out for and after us. It's hard to explain, though I know evolution is FACT and I believe nearly all that science teaches us I can't help but FEEL there's more to our existence than that. Is it god? Is it our ancestors? Is it aliens? Is it a hot Asian chick riding an elephant with a mini gun on its head? I have no freaking idea. But I FEEL there's more, and since that's what I feel that's what I will continue to believe. Maybe one day god or whatever will reveal itself to us, or maybe not, but until I KNOW I will continue to search for answers.
P.S. I do not let religious dogma from past centuries rule my behavior. I'm a modern believer with modern beliefs and I refuse to curb my "god given" appetites and my nature. Ill enjoy what I like and hope for the best.
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Well, I can't argue with any of that, except to say that evolution is actually theory, in the scientific sense, much stronger than fact.
There are only two possibilities here:
(1) God does NOT exist.
(2) God DOES exist.
If God DOES exist, there either (2A) is such evidence, or (2B) God does not allow such evidence to be seen by mortal man such that his existence is irrefutable fact.
If God does NOT exist, there is obviously no evidence to point to his non-existence. All we agnostic/aetheists can point to is a lack of proof of existence, or (2B).
There is simply no evidence either way, which is the same as (2B), God does not allow any such evidence to be seen....etc.
It is the faithful who insist that God DOES exist while producing absolutely NO credible evidence that God does in fact exist.
What is more and worse, not only do they insist upon such Godly existence without proof, they have the sheer gall to tell the rest of us "what God wants" and "how God wants us to live our lives."
Before I am going to let some Shaman who says he speaks on behalf of God run my life, first he is going to have to provide me with some credible evidence that God exists and God him/her/itself tells me that said Shaman does in fact speak for him/her/it.
Short of such proof, all organized religions are nothing more than con game scams, and all "religious clergy" by whatever name they call themselves, are simply con men.
And all of the "faithful" are nothing more than gullible marks.
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No. Stick around here long enough and you'll see the reason for having clearly defined language.
Science is just our language of understanding nature. Science is the explanation and not a force or religion of it's own.
This is the only part of your statement I take issue with. When I see all the suffering going on in the world... I do not think there is a being looking after us. Take a look at that picture again. That is life. If there is a God or higher being... He/She/It/They are not involved in our daily lives. Of that I'm certain. That feeling that someone was looking out for you when you had that motorcycle wreck and barely got a scratch... There's no magic to that. You could have just as easily died. Random chance mixed with a million other variables. I know it makes you feel good to think there was an angel or spirit or fairy or elf watching over you. But we really are just animals like any other doing our best to survive in our environment.
I know what you mean. I call that the residue of God. I felt it too when I lost my faith. I felt like there was still something there. Almost like when someone dies and you go into their house and for a second you swear you can feel their presence. For me it passed. As I mourned the death of God... it got easier to realize that he was never there in the first place.
IMO, Bertrand Russel summarized well the position of most modern, self-described atheists:
I was raised Catholic, did the whole school thing, altar boy etc. Then I began to question and was told not to question, I thought for myself and looked for reason and proof as I began to see the control mechanisms inherent in religion. The guilt based methodologies and blind faith fairy tales that just do not make sense in the physical world were just too much without a shred of proof or evidence for any sort of deity. There will always be that division between theists and atheists, however the burden of proof lies in the lap of the theists. Still to this day...not a single morsel of evidence. I will stick with logical thought, scientific fact and proof. Doesn't make me a bad person, however it does in the eyes of the devout...the hypocrisy is stifling.
And this is where I disagree with you. No hate or hurt feelings just something we disagree on. I feel that god or whatever watches out for us, that doesn't always mean flowers and rainbows. There is no better way to educate the human race than through suffering. We learn by experiencing pain. Like a child grabbing a hot pan on a stove top. Now am I saying that's cool or something that I agree with? No, but its the way I see things.
When I got cancer I was a 19 year old straight A college student who had lived a nearly perfect life. My faith wavered and I began living a hedonistic lifestyle. Then, after crawling out of the depths of my own self destruction, I began to understand that all the bad had led me to where I was and I was happy. Gods plan or coincidence? I'm sure we will disagree on this, but at least now that we've read each others thought and views we can disagree while still respecting each others views and each others right to express their views.
However, I still don't think atheists should post on threads by Christians telling them how wrong they are and making fun at their expense. Not for religious reasons, and not because of the first amendment, basically just because its disrespectful to others. Being polite is the right thing to do, whether your a Christian or an atheist or an odinite or whatever you may be. We all have the right to enjoy our faith or lack of faith or whatever.
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All I can say is, 'thank god I'm an atheist!', and I would only hope to live to see the day we elect our first Atheist president. There's still a lot of 'closet atheist'. We need to come out in the open.
I sum up my atheism with two quotes.
"I cannot conceive of a God who rewards and punishes his creatures, or has a will of the type of which we are conscious in ourselves. An individual who should survive his physical death is also beyond my comprehension, nor do I wish it otherwise; such notions are for the fears or absurd egoism of feeble souls." Albert Einstein
"When I was a child, I talked like a child, I thought like a child, I reasoned like a child. When I became a man, I put childish ways behind me." 1 Corinthians 13:11
First, we don't argue against theists just for the sake of making them look stupid (although I do concede that sometimes civility breaks down here).
Second, the problem with this thought is that you assume that faith in a deity is a harmless act. It is far from it. Once you convince yourself that you know what this supreme deity wants from you and others it becomes very easy to justify actions that would not be ethical otherwise.
Even in a democratic republic such as the US, we have theists attempting to vote their beliefs on everyone. Abortion restrictions, gay marriage bans, stem cell research limitations are just a few examples. If theists would leave their beliefs out of the public debate then I would gladly leave the topic alone, but as long as they keep trying to enforce their views on everyone then I will keep arguing against them and I don't really care if I have to be impolite about it.
Such as, hijacking and slamming airplane loads of screaming passengers into skyscrapers full of screaming victims.....all to the greater glory of Allah, perhaps?
Those too, of course, but there are many more subtle ways that religion hurts society. The political realm, already crippled under the weight of partisanship is further hindered by primitive notions of morality brought forward by those still adhering to ancient religions.
Many of the faithful don't even realize that they themselves are being hurt by their faith. They might never know what they could have achieved if only they had focused on developing their potential instead of following what they "discerned" to be god's purpose for their life. Sure, religion has helped some, but I'm convinced it's net effect is far from positive.
Religion helps people like zip + 4 helps get mail to santa's workshop.
Again, not trying to be an ass, but you're feeling your way through this. Which sounds like you're feeling with emotion.
Good comparison to this, would be anti-gunners or on the fence people who feel gun control reduces crime, even when there's no solid proof it does indeed do this.
Why are you so concerned if the president is Atheist, or not? As long as he/she does not legilsate their biblical morals into law, there shouldn't be an issue here.
Me personally, I'm worried if the president is for the constitution, and his policies, not what imaginary friend he/she believes in.
I'm not aware of any theistic belief system that does not require its followers to adhere to doctrine in all aspects of life. In other words, if a christian truly believes in their faith then they are required to follow the tenets of that faith in all circumstances. So, if a christian is elected president then they have a dilemma. Either do the job in the manner that those that elected them want it done, or do it in the manner that they believe god wants it done.
I witnessed this first hand when I attended a christian business school. Each class incorporated christian principles into the curriculum in the form of a "christian worldview" assignment in which you had to deal with a scenario where the correct business decision was not entirely in alignment with christian principles. The "correct" answer was invariably considered to be the one that put god before stakeholders.
Simply put, a christian can not avoid legislating their faith (and still be considered a good christian).