You won't find God in the dictionary.

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This topic contains 171 replies, has 9 voices, and was last updated by  Reg the Fronkey Farmer 2 months, 1 week ago.

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  • #27345

    _Robert_
    Participant
    I don’t know what or who God is. But I know there is not nothing.
    You are not gonna help survival or anything with that proclamation. I can’t imagine money gifts for a preacher or votes for a politician who said that. Nor would that work for weddings or funerals. No, that is not a useful concept at all.
    #27346

    Davis
    Participant

    By-product is not the same as evolving to embrace religion. No more than several of our bodily features which are useless or even toxic are the results of natural selection that brought out useful features. There are many parts of the body that are badly designed and can even be deadly while offering NO benefit to humans. It’s one thing to claim that having a shared identity is useful to humans, or at least a shared narrative. That’s very logical. However to say that through natural selection it emerged that we believe in invisible magical beings who punish us in the after life (or whatever insanity it involves) is a stretch to say the least. Shared identity and some narrative…yes. Explaining things the best you can? Yes. Confirmation bias? Yes. Slowly changing social constructs…yes. Worshipping elephant Gods for generations…you would need to present more evidence than simple what a few “studies suggest”. It’s absurd to conflate narratives with religion/organized religion.

    #27347

    Davis
    Participant

    But I know there is not nothing.

    You know this…as opposed to believing that? How do you know this?

    #27348

    Davis
    Participant

    You’re forgetting the social forces behind the way that religion has helped us survive

    And helped us “not survive”. Religion has only been responsible for endless slaughter and mass hysteria and tribal muder and slow ability to adapt to social and natural changes. The claim that religion has helped us to survive is an extremely extremely tenuous one. Just about every feature we have has helped us to survive. Even if we accept that religion meaninfully emerged through natural selection (which has hardly been demostrated so please don’t claim this like its obvious knowledge) you have to be careful to distinguish this from say, developing teeth so that you can properly consume a new food source which is replacing our old food source (a fairly essential adaption) with something that is moderately slightly more helpful but also at the same time toxic and inhibiting other adaptions.

    #27349

    Ivy
    Participant

    @davis

    You know this…as opposed to believing that? How do you know this?

    Because my own subjective evaluation of all evidence points that direction. It’s no different than your subjective evaluation of the evidence coming away with a different conclusion. Either way….no one really knows for sure (no matter how much they say they do – they don’t.)

    • This reply was modified 2 months, 2 weeks ago by  Ivy.
    #27351

    Glen D
    Participant

    With respect Ivy, you  ‘know’ no such thing. I accept that you have that belief.  Making such a claim  means you have burden of proof.   Believe what you like ,by all means, but expect to be challenged if you make truth claims.

    #27352

    Ivy
    Participant

    @davis

    By-product is not the same as evolving to embrace religion

    I get what you’re saying with that whole paragraph….But it really begs of the question, “why was this part of our own evolution so powerful?” It forces you to ask the honest question of whether it was all just “fairytales that kept us deluded” (as I’m sure most people here would say they believe which I PERSONALLY think is a ridiculous explanation)…OR (as I believe) – there’s something to that and our only way of conceptualizing a “God” is through the personification or symbolism of how we could perceive it possibly existing…

    #27353

    Ivy
    Participant

    With respect Ivy, you ‘know’ no such thing. I accept that you have that belief. Making such a claim means you have burden of proof. Believe what you like ,by all means, but expect to be challenged if you make truth claims.

    Trust me Glen there is PLENTY of evidence to back up my claims (did you even read the first one I presented?) Unlike most atheists I don’t duck and evade questions with the (rolling of eyes boring) and ridiculous arguement of “burden of proof” which allows you to avoid completely defending your OWN positions with any sort of “evidence” You can challenge me all you want but at the e d of the day your dismissal of any and all evidence to the contrary of YOUR position is always going to be a matter of subjective opinion. You you don’t know anymore than I do what the truth actually is. Your own perception of reality decides how you answer these questions. I’m at least intellectually honest enough to admit I don’t know. Unlike you who takes a position, duck, evade, mock, repeat….because you’ve made up your mind.

    • This reply was modified 2 months, 2 weeks ago by  Ivy.
    #27355

    Ivy
    Participant

    @davis

    Religion has only been responsible for endless slaughter and mass hysteria and tribal muder and slow ability to adapt to social and natural changes.

    No. HUMANS are responsible for those things. And if they use their religion as justification – that’s still THEIR decision and they are responsible for those actions.

    HUMANS have also chosen to use their religion as basis for doing VERY good and charitable work around the world, and saving lives.

    HUMANS are responsible either way….That’s a really important distinction to make and another reason that I PERSONALLY (speaking for myself) disagree with the stance that many atheists take for their justification for reasons why God doesn’t exist.

    #27356

    Ivy
    Participant

    @robert

    You are not gonna help survival or anything with that proclamation. I can’t imagine money gifts for a preacher or votes for a politician who said that. Nor would that work for weddings or funerals. No, that is not a useful concept at all.

    Since when does a claim have to be “useful” to be accurate? Can you honestly tell me that YOU KNOW??? Nah I didn’t think so. Your beef is with organized religion. At least be honest enough to admit that.

    #27357

    Glen D
    Participant

    @davis:

    My position is that all human  pervasive behaviour has a purpose. That religion meets some very real human needs. If it did not, it would not be universal.That  some of the needs  certainly  increase chances of survival.  (at least they did when the notion of something greater than oneself first  emerged.)

    Some of the needs are:

    Feeling part of a community. Such a community can help in extremis.  Even today, that sense of belonging is important to many believers, especially  if they are marginalised.   EG throughout European history, the Jews and today, in some countries, Muslims. Also in some of the minor Christian sects, such as JW’s, Seventh Day Adventist and of course the Anabaptist Amish.

    Religion can help confront the fear of death. My mother died in April this year. A devout Catholic, her faith gave her a peaceful death. .

    Religion can help impart a sense of order and control; EG That thunder is Thor’s hammer. We can influence Thor by making a sacrifice.

    Ancient Egyptians  had a rich and complex religion, with pharaoh at the peak. The notion of an afterlife was central to their culture. They believed their rituals had an effect on the gods to the point of continued existence in the after life .

    Today, Catholics believe the ritual of the mass imparts ‘grace’ and brings them close to god.

    My discipline is Social Anthropology, in whichI have a degree. My approach is a mixture  mainly of cultural relativism and structural functionalism.

    No set of cultural practice exist in a vacuum; there is always a reason.

    I realise my approach is one of several .I am happy to discuss scholarly disagreement.

    My academic analysis does not diminish my contempt for organised religion. I stand by my basic position that organised religion is the greatest confidence trick ever perpetrated on the human race.

    Thought for the day . “Religion; man’s attempt to communicate with the weather” (grafitto, Cambridge, England, 2000)

     

     

     

     

    #27358

    _Robert_
    Participant

    @robert

    You are not gonna help survival or anything with that proclamation. I can’t imagine money gifts for a preacher or votes for a politician who said that. Nor would that work for weddings or funerals. No, that is not a useful concept at all.

    Since when does a claim have to be “useful” to be accurate? Can you honestly tell me that YOU KNOW??? Nah I didn’t think so. Your beef is with organized religion. At least be honest enough to admit that.

    I agree. I don’t know. I am totally agnostic about gods and I am a practical atheist concerning all  particular and specific god beliefs. Based on what you said perhaps you are not so different?

    #27359

    Glen D
    Participant

    “Trust me Glen there is PLENTY of evidence to back up my claims (did you even read the first one I presented?)

    Trust you? No, I don’t think so; you insist on conflating ‘evidence ‘and ‘proof’ .They are NOT synonyms for one another.

    I’ll repeat;  there is  no proof of the existence of god. None.

     

    (((((((((((((((((((((((9)))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))

    I think you are right  in the observation that it is people who are responsible for the horrors blamed on religions.

    Imo without exception, religions reflect the culture which invent them.  Human beings are an  aggressive species. This trait long predates any formalised religion.

    We have always used religion to justify the most vile behaviour,  from murdering pagans, to the crusades to the gas ovens of the Holocaust–in wars ,every side claims god is on their side. —WW2, the allies claimed divine support. At the same time the Wehrmacht soldiers had the words”GOT MIT UNS” (God with us) on their  belt buckles.

     

    It has been said that human beings are not so much a rational species, but a rational-ising species. We can, and do justify the most disgusting behaviour on a daily basis, somewhere in the world.

     

     

     

    • This reply was modified 2 months, 2 weeks ago by  Glen D.
    • This reply was modified 2 months, 2 weeks ago by  Glen D.
    • This reply was modified 2 months, 2 weeks ago by  Glen D.
    #27363

    Ivy
    Participant

    @Glen

    Trust you? No, I don’t think so; you insist on conflating ‘evidence ‘and ‘proof’ .They are NOT synonyms for one another.

    It seems to me Glen that you are the one conflating (and twisting) my words. I suppose I should point out that so far in this discussion I have offered some back up for my claim. Where’s yours?

    I’ll repeat;  there is  no proof of the existence of god. None.

    Now YOU’RE the one talking about “PROOF.” I challenge you to skim my words and see if there is ANY claim ANYWHERE in ANYTHING I say that claims to have “Proof” for anything. Even claiming that there is no proof has to have some basis. On what basis do you claim that there is no proof for the existence of any god even though I have presented evidence that would challenge your position?

    #27364

    Glen D
    Participant

    @ivy I’m not the one making the claims.  It is you who are claiming you can prove the existence of god. It is not up to me to disprove your claim. The burden of proof belongs to the person making the claim .

    I’d be truly thrilled to be able to believe in a god.

     

    “Now YOU’RE the one talking about “PROOF.” I challenge you to skim my words and see if there is ANY claim ANYWHERE in ANYTHING I say that claims to have “Proof” for anything”

    Now you’re being disingenuous;  you have stated that you have evidence to back up your position. If that isn’t a claim of proof, what exactly do you mean?  I’m truly sorry that I’m unable to base my own belief on your subjective opinion. That’s called hearsay, certainly evidence, but not proof.

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