Are Atheists Naive For Associating Free Will With Religion?

Is there a God? If so, what is She like?

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WanderingLands
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Re: Are Atheists Naive For Associating Free Will With Religi

Post by WanderingLands »

They have the same right to their view and to object as I have. We are both exercising that right. Except they have considerably bigger resources to do it with.
That would depend if those resources that the Catholics have to object to hold any water or if it is merely propaganda. But I'm not here to defend the Catholic church either; I'm just considering their version of what the Inquisition was.
I am not familiar with those organizations or publications or whatever you consider "mainstream". So, for all I know, you may be right about them. However, they don't include myself or any of the atheists (notice small a: we never capitalize atheist) of my acquaintance. And if we're not "mainstream", maybe we're not sheep.

It's not just a matter of being mainstream or not to be sheep; it's whether or not you have the mentality of sheep, and whether or not you have adequate reasoning or evidence and not some teaching that you've unquestionably taken from someone. Now of course, most people in the mainstream are sheep, but we should also see if what they say is true, as well as of course seeing if they are earnest and not fame seekers.
Legal rape by husbands. Legal killing of daughters by fathers. Stoning of blasphemers. Whipping of children. Denial of education to girls. Persecution of homosexuals. Exorcism of "demons". Denial of reproductive choice. Torture and execution of people accused of witchcraft. Disenfranchisement of whoever happened to be on the wrong side of the Catholic-Protestant wars. Forced conversion of and genocide against native peoples on other continents. Serfdom and slavery.
Much of the stuff that you listed (Exorcism, Torture, Disenfranchisement, Forced Conversion, Slavery/Serfdom, Rape) are things that may have been committed by religions, particularly Christianity, but are not really religious values. There are people who are religious who condemn these practices, depending on their beliefs. There are those who say that the religious practices found in the Bible that you've listed (stoning, whipping children, discrimination against women, against abortion and homosexuality), were in varying degrees harmful, but do acknowledge that it's part of the history of the Bible although they look more to the spiritual teachings of it, which is the essence of the Bible. Also, there are things that should be considered valid values, and that is on life (regarding Abortion). People who favor abortion are generally selfish, as their arguments are "it's my body, so it's my right". They do have the will to do so, but it does not take into account that they are indeed killing life, and so promoting abortion would be the equivalent of promoting a culture of nihilism and death. Homosexuality is anti life as well; in my opinion, it is socially constructed through the promoting of erotic images of men and women, and it is also anti life as well because men + men and women + women do not produce life (as noted in biology).
That video shows a bunch of people standing around, singing, some other shouting, and one girl yelling - none of their words are comprehensible, and I have only the headline above it to identify who the people were or what they're supposedly chanting. I saw nobody attacking anybody. But maybe they did, later on.
That event, which can be further searched and read via articles, had showed overly emotional people being immature for the sake of insulting the religious people who were singing. They had no valid reasons, other than the selfish "it's my body, so it's my choice" argument, which they repeated in a very profane way.
All that means is, you opt out of some aspects of your culture. As many people do. But that doesn't stop you making assumptions about others. As many people also do. If you stop labelling us, I'll stop labelling you.


I am not generalizing or labeling the Atheist community; I am making observations about it and drawing my conclusions from my observations, research, and reasoning.
That was a rumour spread by Matthew, Mark, Luke, John and.... oh especially Paul.
Those texts about the portrayal of God can be elaborated and interpreted via theological discussion. There are indeed those who believe in the literalist interpretation of sacred texts, but there are those who try to make sense of how "God" in the Bible can be so caring and yet so cruel, although it is one challenge that I would say myself would be difficult unless if you were to accept that the Bible is merely another book talking of the same story of divinity.

But outside theology, there are philosophical and esoteric discussions of what this "God" is. Many of them say that "God" is merely impersonal; that "God" is actually a representation of the entire Universe, which that itself if the representation of our minds. There's emanationism that's found in Neoplatonic, Gnostic, Sufi and Kabbalist ideas, which talks of varying degrees about the emanation from the One to Existence. This is the type of divinity that I am talking of; the literalist interpretation of scriptures and religion is just one of many interpretations.
Skip
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Re: Are Atheists Naive For Associating Free Will With Religi

Post by Skip »

Wandering Lands: Those texts about the portrayal of God can be elaborated and interpreted via theological discussion. There are indeed those who believe in the literalist interpretation of sacred texts, but there are those who try to make sense of how "God" in the Bible can be so caring and yet so cruel, although it is one challenge that I would say myself would be difficult unless if you were to accept that the Bible is merely another book talking of the same story of divinity.
For heaven's - or Christ's or Pete's, or best of all, your own - sake, pick a position. Any position. I don't care which. Just pick one and stay there. Stop skittering about, apologising for this, making excuses for that, generalizations about some and accusations at others.

Who is this God? Who wrote that book? How much of it is true? What is Christianity about? Who, today, exemplifies and carries it on?
What, exactly, is your problem with which particular unbelievers?
uwot
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Re: Are Atheists Naive For Associating Free Will With Religi

Post by uwot »

Skip wrote:
Wandering Lands: Those texts about the portrayal of God can be elaborated and interpreted via theological discussion. There are indeed those who believe in the literalist interpretation of sacred texts, but there are those who try to make sense of how "God" in the Bible can be so caring and yet so cruel, although it is one challenge that I would say myself would be difficult unless if you were to accept that the Bible is merely another book talking of the same story of divinity.
For heaven's - or Christ's or Pete's, or best of all, your own - sake, pick a position. Any position. I don't care which. Just pick one and stay there. Stop skittering about, apologising for this, making excuses for that, generalizations about some and accusations at others.

Who is this God? Who wrote that book? How much of it is true? What is Christianity about? Who, today, exemplifies and carries it on?
What, exactly, is your problem with which particular unbelievers?
I think, WanderingLands, you are slowly starting to realise the Truth. The truth is there are lots of stories that people have told about their experiences, sometimes just to try and make sense of the world, sometimes to exploit the power of that 'knowledge'. With a bit of selective reading, it is possible to find 'authoritative' support for any position you care to come up with. The fact that other people agree with you doesn't make it true, any more than that people disagreeing with you makes it untrue. My position is very straightforward, it's fairly bog standard empiricism, a key feature of which is that we can never know the Truth about the causes of our perceptions. It may be, as George Berkeley pointed out, that all we see and hear are ideas in the mind of god. Any interpretation that isn't explicitly ruled out by physical evidence could be true. Similarly with books; it is demonstrably the case that different people interpret the same words differently and many of them believe the words speak directly to them, particularly if those words are attributed to prophets or gods. If there is a single god, she clearly approves of diversity.
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WanderingLands
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Re: Are Atheists Naive For Associating Free Will With Religi

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Skip wrote: For heaven's - or Christ's or Pete's, or best of all, your own - sake, pick a position. Any position. I don't care which. Just pick one and stay there. Stop skittering about, apologising for this, making excuses for that, generalizations about some and accusations at others.

Who is this God? Who wrote that book? How much of it is true? What is Christianity about? Who, today, exemplifies and carries it on?
What, exactly, is your problem with which particular unbelievers?
I was just telling you that there are many different theological interpretations of scripture because you were generalizing that the God of the Bible was evil and mean. I'm not a Christian and I am non religious; I perceive "God" as a more pantheist and rationalist/intuitionalist sense. I was only objecting to your claims because I was objecting to how atheists pretty much denounce things that they don't understand under the guise of "free thinking".
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WanderingLands
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Re: Are Atheists Naive For Associating Free Will With Religi

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uwot wrote: I think, WanderingLands, you are slowly starting to realise the Truth. The truth is there are lots of stories that people have told about their experiences, sometimes just to try and make sense of the world, sometimes to exploit the power of that 'knowledge'. With a bit of selective reading, it is possible to find 'authoritative' support for any position you care to come up with. The fact that other people agree with you doesn't make it true, any more than that people disagreeing with you makes it untrue. My position is very straightforward, it's fairly bog standard empiricism, a key feature of which is that we can never know the Truth about the causes of our perceptions. It may be, as George Berkeley pointed out, that all we see and hear are ideas in the mind of god. Any interpretation that isn't explicitly ruled out by physical evidence could be true. Similarly with books; it is demonstrably the case that different people interpret the same words differently and many of them believe the words speak directly to them, particularly if those words are attributed to prophets or gods. If there is a single god, she clearly approves of diversity.
My friend, the reason why there are so many different religions is because they add more to the concept of the "Source", or the "One". Mine is pretty much simple, and it is derived from Neoplatonic emanationism; the stories are manifestations from the human mind that tries to relate with or rationalizes the concept of a higher being.

Empiricism, or the idea that we can never know the Truth, is fallacious. Of course there is one truth; that we are all One with the "One" (the All is One). Empiricism is basically the idea that we can only know things from our senses, which is not true as even when we use our senses, there are always thoughts that pop up that try to make senses about the senses. Empiricism may correct Rationalism at times when we often think that we're "rationalizing" but we're not, but to completely limit the mind and to shut it off in favor of senses leaves out possible answers that can be found and deduced.
Blaggard
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Re: Are Atheists Naive For Associating Free Will With Religi

Post by Blaggard »

by the way my position is one of ignosticism on the whole subject, I don't think the subject has an objective definition so really it all boils down to which version of free will you are talking about, and most of those are impossible to prove either way, especially libertarian free will, which if I had to take sides, being as I study physics I would probably side with on the basis that everything I study says we just don't remotely live in a deterministic universe either at the scale of the whole universe at the scale of our existence or at the scale beyond the microscopic. But meh they are all full of problems whichever one you you throw in with. I suppose in a way you could call me a free will nihilist, or am ignostic on the issue, I don't believe it exists nor do I believe it doesn't nor that the definition lends itself to a proof, nor that any definition is remotely objective, my reliigious views are fairly simillar although I'd call myself an agnostic atheist, ie I won't believe in anything for which there is no proof, if proof were to be found that was objective then I may have to re-evaluate my position accordingly.
Skip
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Re: Are Atheists Naive For Associating Free Will With Religi

Post by Skip »

WanderingLands wrote: I was just telling you that there are many different theological interpretations of scripture because you were generalizing that the God of the Bible was evil and mean.
I was answering a particular question (ie what religious values I object to) with my consistent position: I object to all oppression and all injustice, all wars and persecutions, in the name of any and all religions, by any and all representatives thereof, past, present and future, in North America and elsewhere.
I generalize about the god depicted in the bible as evil and mean, because he's evil and mean. I'm not crazy about any of the gods in other holy books, either, but they haven't the political power that's been given to this overblown Jehovah after the Romans dragged him in off the desert and dressed him up in brocade.
I'm not a Christian and I am non religious; I perceive "God" as a more pantheist and rationalist/intuitionalist sense.
Then why are you not presenting your own position?
I was only objecting to your claims because I was objecting to how atheists pretty much denounce things that they don't understand under the guise of "free thinking".
You generalized about me and my people before I generalized about whatever you're defending. You claim to know a great deal more about atheists, what we stand for, what motivates us and what we don't understand than we know ourselves. I quite sincerely doubt both your sources of information and their accuracy on all counts.

PS I'm not engaging on the abortion issue at this time; it would derail the thread.
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WanderingLands
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Re: Are Atheists Naive For Associating Free Will With Religi

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Then why are you not presenting your own position?
I already told you my position: the belief that we are all One with the One (that the all is One).
You generalized about me and my people before I generalized about whatever you're defending. You claim to know a great deal more about atheists, what we stand for, what motivates us and what we don't understand than we know ourselves. I quite sincerely doubt both your sources of information and their accuracy on all counts.
I was saying that much of the atheists out there are ignorant and closed minded, which is different from saying that all atheists are like that, which would be an actual generalization of I said the latter. The ones that I'm talking about are that of the internet, where you can find dozens of pseudo intellectual atheists who look to science (as in the scientific establishment) and nothing more as their place for answers.
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Re: Are Atheists Naive For Associating Free Will With Religi

Post by uwot »

WanderingLands wrote:My friend, the reason why there are so many different religions is because they add more to the concept of the "Source", or the "One".
This is 'Not even wrong.' Do you actually believe there is a causal link? I'll be very impressed if you understand the question, more so if you answer it.
WanderingLands wrote:Mine is pretty much simple, and it is derived from Neoplatonic emanationism;
The fact that there is only one absolutely everything is trivially true; it is analytic in the same way that all bachelors are unmarried is a Truth. There is nothing that you can discover about everything by analysing the concept of everything; it has been tried and some attempts are spectacularly bonkers.
WanderingLands wrote:the stories are manifestations from the human mind that tries to relate with or rationalizes the concept of a higher being.
You mean the stories about gods, are stories about gods.
WanderingLands wrote:Empiricism, or the idea that we can never know the Truth, is fallacious.


No it isn't. All we can be certain of is that there are phenomena. This was the starting point of Descartes and the exact moment when Hume said that's it for (non-analytic) knowledge of the physical world. Some people think Kant added some colours to our epistemological palette, perhaps you agree. The Truth of "Oneness", as I'm sure I have mentioned was recognised by Parmenides, possibly acting on a tip off from Akhenaten.
WanderingLands wrote:Of course there is one truth; that we are all One with the "One" (the All is One).
'Absolutely everything' necessarily includes us. Nothing (synthetic) follows from that logically. There is only one absolutely everything; we are part of it. That is as much as you can tell.
WanderingLands wrote:Empiricism is basically the idea that we can only know things from our senses, which is not true as even when we use our senses, there are always thoughts that pop up that try to make senses about the senses.


Well, indeed. Any rationalization of the empirical data is theory laden. What is not in doubt is the phenomenon.
WanderingLands wrote:Empiricism may correct Rationalism at times when we often think that we're "rationalizing" but we're not,
And that's the point: you can never know when empiricism will correct rationalism. There is simply no way of predicting the unpredictable.
WanderingLands wrote:but to completely limit the mind and to shut it off in favor of senses leaves out possible answers that can be found and deduced.
Even empiricists have to operate within a theoretical framework, there is unquestionably more to reality than meets the eye. There are analytic truths and there are observations, everything else is story telling. Some stories are good, some are bad; some are a reasonable approximation of what actually happens, some are complete fruitloopery. You have your favourites, I have mine. I am ready to amend mine in the light of new evidence, you are seeking something that no evidence can alter. Something exists. That's it.
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Re: Are Atheists Naive For Associating Free Will With Religi

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uwot wrote:This is 'Not even wrong.' Do you actually believe there is a causal link? I'll be very impressed if you understand the question, more so if you answer it.
Yes, there is a casual link between the worlds' religions, if that's what you're talking about. The field of Comparative Religion and the theory of "synchretism" has for many years been talking about the casual link between the worlds' religions. The study of religious symbols, language, stories/myths, architecture, and the history of civilizations are all studied to see how this casual link is true. Here are some sources for you to dwell on.

Symbol Dictionary website: http://symboldictionary.net/
Abraham of India: http://www.guardiansofdarkness.com/GoD/jews.pdf
Vedic Roots of pre-Islamic Arabia and the Kaaba: http://www.guardiansofdarkness.com/GoD/muslims.pdf
Comparative Religion website: http://www.comparativereligion.com/
uwot wrote:The fact that there is only one absolutely everything is trivially true; it is analytic in the same way that all bachelors are unmarried is a Truth. There is nothing that you can discover about everything by analysing the concept of everything; it has been tried and some attempts are spectacularly bonkers.
You can actually analyze the concept of everything, that is, if you were to know the parts of things but striving to know and discover whatever type of knowledge you can find using whatever type of resources (libraries, internet). People haven't gotten to the Truth because of the discovery of new concepts, various philosophical and scientific debates, and also the fact that they had a lot less resources than we do now (even when the educational system and academia has failed to provide deeper answers to those who seek them). It's like putting together words to make a sentence, or using different colors and techniques to make a Gesamtkunstwerk (a "total work of art" in German). If we make parts into a whole, then we can surely yield all of our inquiries into one to find Absolute Truth.

uwot wrote:You mean the stories about gods, are stories about gods.
True, but there are reasons to these stories which has to be considered, other than the idea that it was "made up" by "primitive men" who knew little.
uwot wrote:No it isn't. All we can be certain of is that there are phenomena. This was the starting point of Descartes and the exact moment when Hume said that's it for (non-analytic) knowledge of the physical world. Some people think Kant added some colours to our epistemological palette, perhaps you agree. The Truth of "Oneness", as I'm sure I have mentioned was recognised by Parmenides, possibly acting on a tip off from Akhenaten.


Phenomena, or the study of things encountered by individuals, is only the basics to higher learning. We can talk of how individuals experience phenomena all day, but the fact is, though we live different lives and may have different goals, we all go through the same emotions and all go through the struggles of life to attain what we want. This fact has been attested by Buddha, who had said to have laid out the Four Noble Truths and the Eightfold Path, which are the two core teachings of Buddhism. It's also been addressed by other philosophies: Cynicism, Stoicism, Existentialism, etc.

So if we experience the same emotions, then that would mean that we should take things a step further to find the causes of these things. Thinking in a framework of Metaphysics myself, this should lead to, and does indeed go in hand with discovering Truth. Once you've mastered a part, you move to the next until you consolidate all of them to create a Universal (as in Universal Truth). This, I believe, is where Empiricism limits itself; because it talks too much about senses, and yet even the sensual world can deceive us (using Descartes' Wax argument as an example), especially when we don't trust our mind to think. There are truths and falsehoods to things, but limiting our minds to things practical and only relying on the senses limits us in our knowledge of things in the cosmos.
uwot wrote:Well, indeed. Any rationalization of the empirical data is theory laden. What is not in doubt is the phenomenon.
We all theorize on things in our mind, and phenomenon is not the only thing that is not in doubt.
uwot wrote:And that's the point: you can never know when empiricism will correct rationalism. There is simply no way of predicting the unpredictable.
You can know by using your Mind and using Philosophical systems of Logic and Reason to know, which processes our intuition and feeling. There are times that we are in doubt, but we can still find a way to remove it if we were to rest and then proceed on.
uwot wrote:Even empiricists have to operate within a theoretical framework, there is unquestionably more to reality than meets the eye. There are analytic truths and there are observations, everything else is story telling. Some stories are good, some are bad; some are a reasonable approximation of what actually happens, some are complete fruitloopery. You have your favourites, I have mine. I am ready to amend mine in the light of new evidence, you are seeking something that no evidence can alter. Something exists. That's it.
There is indeed more to what meets the eye, and so there are times where Empiricism, or Induction, is useful, and where Rationalism, or Deduction, is needed to find answers. We can't, however, limit one and focus on the other; that would lead to bad conclusions on accounts of bad judgement and bad examination.
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