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Missing atheist sign found.
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LegendaryPinkOx
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Dec 7, 2008, 01:50 AM
 
Missing atheist sign found in Washington state

I, for one, think they could have omitted the last sentence, no matter how much I may agree with it. But I'm not shocked whatsoever by how Christians are vandalizing these signs. It only seems to make that last sentence all the more appropriate.

Myths aren't real, and by acting in spite of that myth in its name, the action only undermines it. Flawed logic I know, but to anyone hoping to perpetuate a myth, shouldn't you at least follow along with it? Shall they continue to steal, and disrespect their neighbor in the "Holyest time of the year" they only further make a mockery of it.
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turtle777
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Dec 7, 2008, 02:30 AM
 
This made news ? Wow...

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Dec 7, 2008, 02:31 AM
 
Why is it assumed an Christian stole the sign? It could have been anyone from any religion. Actually, it could have been anyone period. Wouldn't it be hypocritical of an atheist to assume anything without evidence?
     
turtle777
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Dec 7, 2008, 02:53 AM
 
Originally Posted by Railroader View Post
Wouldn't it be hypocritical of an atheist to assume anything without evidence?
No, silly, don't you know that hypocrisy is reserved for Christians ?

When Atheists do such things, it's called reason.

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The Crook
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Dec 7, 2008, 03:00 AM
 
Funny.

I never heard that atheists couldn't also be hypocrites. Or was that just word-vomit so you could get a dig at atheism being based on reason? Hilarious. But since we're on the subject, following religion is inherently unreasonable and requires a belief in the supernatural. Ghosts, fairy tales, and crap; except with a long history.

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Shaddim
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Dec 7, 2008, 03:23 AM
 
Everything requires belief and faith, even atheism.

Also, they really should buy a dictionary and look up the meaning of the word "myth". That's just painful, I'm actually embarrassed for them.
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The Crook
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Dec 7, 2008, 03:49 AM
 
Originally Posted by Shaddim View Post
Everything requires belief and faith, even atheism.
Atheism requires neither a belief nor a faith in the supernatural.

You do not have a monopoly on the concepts of "belief" and "faith."

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Jawbone54
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Dec 7, 2008, 03:58 AM
 
Um...why exactly was this sign in a federal building in the first place? It's verbiage has to be intentionally offensive, and supports a belief (or unbelief) system.

If you don't want church and state mixing, then this crap can't mix either.

     
Jawbone54
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Dec 7, 2008, 04:00 AM
 
Originally Posted by The Crook View Post
You do not have a monopoly on the concepts of "belief" and "faith."
Nor do atheists have a monopoly on the concept of "reason."
     
Shaddim
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Dec 7, 2008, 04:16 AM
 
Originally Posted by The Crook View Post
Atheism requires neither a belief nor a faith in the supernatural.

You do not have a monopoly on the concepts of "belief" and "faith."
Then stop caring how others exercise their faith and belief, peeb. Their myths are just as important as yours.

FWIW, read a recently published paper on quantum mechanics? According to those theories, "God" not only exists, but all gods, entities, and supernatural phenomena exist on infinite levels in infinite probabilities. Everything has to be out there, because all 10 dimensions encompass all eventualities.

So, yes, atheism is wrong, all religions are right, and there's no reason to argue about it anymore.
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Dec 7, 2008, 05:30 AM
 
Originally Posted by Shaddim View Post
Everything requires belief and faith, even atheism.
I completely agree! Except with Atheism those beliefs are founded in reason. I believe there is no God or Gods, no celestial teapot, no fairies, no Santa Clause, no unicorn - simply because there is no compelling evidence for any of them.

I believe in nature and the order of things - the way the world is structured. And I don't need to put my faith in anything supernatural to do so.

You can call it belief and faith if you wish to level the playing field, but the method of approaching those beliefs are vastly different.

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Dec 7, 2008, 05:33 AM
 
Let's illustrate this concept with a visual aid:



Also, if you like it a little less simplified:

http://scienceblogs.com/ethicsandsci...entific_co.php

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Shaddim
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Dec 7, 2008, 05:33 AM
 
Except that I've already shown how God and "the supernatural" must exist. There is no supernatural, it's all a part of natural order, and it's all out there.
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Dec 7, 2008, 05:42 AM
 
Misusing science to prove your point doesn't help. Let us constrain our discussion to the current universe that we are all inhabiting, shall we?

Basing your philosophy on Terry Pratchett will prove anything right:



It's fun to dabble, but it's not really valid to the debate at hand.

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Shaddim
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Dec 7, 2008, 05:58 AM
 
No, I'm not constraining anything, especially not because you dislike the conversation's direction.

Yes, it's quite valid, because it's not only possible that countless universes where God (and gods) exist, it's damned well required. There's no misuse, you simply have difficulty coming to grips with the idea because it might actually require you to admit it.

All those probabilities, and countless worlds, overlapping in the same physical space. Seems rather obvious to me. You're right though, "God" doesn't exist here, "He" only stays in other places.
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Dec 7, 2008, 06:00 AM
 
As I said, it's a cute philosophical discussion, but entirely irrelevant.

Besides, multiverses might still be constrained by natural laws - eliminating the more absurd scenarios.

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Shaddim
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Dec 7, 2008, 06:20 AM
 
"might", that sounds very scientific.

As evidenced, you don't even fully understand natural law, but then, neither do I. No one does. Why? Because those laws change, they're required to change based on QM principles. Hell, just 3 clicks in ---> direction you're the Theist arguing that God must exist and I'm the atheist trying to find wiggle room in this discussion. I suppose by "absurd" you mean "I don't like the direction this is going"?

Heh, God not only exists, She already knows how long it'll take before you really start questioning what you believe.
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Dec 7, 2008, 07:26 AM
 
Originally Posted by Shaddim View Post
"might", that sounds very scientific.
"might" is the most scientific word of all. It is why we have theories in the first place. Science is going from this "might be true" to "this is probably true".

In my beliefs multiverses are high on the probability scale, so we agree on that base level.

I just don't see how it is relevant to our discussion. By absurd I mean everything from universes that collapse on themselves to worlds consisting of flying turtles carrying elephants carrying a discworld to gods. These are possibilities that have to be exist considering an infinite number of possibilities. Based on our current universe, it seems much more probable that universes are constrained by natural laws rather than "anything goes". That's just me though, basing my beliefs on the current available data again.

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Dec 7, 2008, 09:57 AM
 
No doubt this time of year we'll hear numerous stories of nativity scenes being stolen and/or vandalized; it is no shocker to me that someone of Christian persuasion might also act on their baser need to express their opposition with similar disregard for the more reasonable approaches such as those found in this political forum.

Scientific advancement has taught us a great many things including the fallacy of ideological rigidity. Just believe what you believe and be content rather than trying to "prove" someone else is without reason. At the end of the day, you'll only prove how much you lack.

Matthew 5:37; But let your communication be, Yea, yea; Nay, nay: for whatsoever is more than these cometh of evil.
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Dec 7, 2008, 10:53 AM
 
I don't understand the agendas behind these atheist organizations. Atheism isn't a belief system... it's the absence of one. You don't have to be an atheist to support the separation of church and state. Telling someone their belief system "hardens hearts and enslaves minds" is pointless. It's not going to foster serious debate let alone even cause someone to question their faith. Talk about misguided.
     
LegendaryPinkOx  (op)
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Dec 7, 2008, 11:10 AM
 
I'm kind of with Atheist on this one, I'm not happy with the sign being stolen, but I'd certainly feel more sympathetic toward the Atheist's if they had worded the sign more subtly. Trying to persuade people to Atheism is only putting itself on the same level as the thing their against; I don't see why they'd want that.
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Dec 7, 2008, 12:38 PM
 
Originally Posted by Shaddim View Post
Then stop caring how others exercise their faith and belief, peeb. Their myths are just as important as yours
No doubt faith and belief in the supernatural are important to people.

Oogly boogly!

Originally Posted by Jawbone54 View Post
Nor do atheists have a monopoly on the concept of "reason."
Science does.

Religion is inherently unreasonable because it requires a belief in the supernatural. That part shouldn't be objectionable. What kind of supernatural being plays by our rules, right? The concept of religion operates outside the natural world. That is unreasonable.

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ghporter
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Dec 7, 2008, 12:54 PM
 
I have to point out that atheism is also a belief: the belief that, lacking evidence to prove the existence of any supernatural entity, such supernatural entities cannot exist. Further, freedom of speech requires that one may state his/her piece, regardless of how it is worded. However, framing the atheists' statements with "we hold these statements to be true" could have made the display more palatable.

While atheism is supposedly based on reason, it is still a belief. I for one do not see the contradiction between reason and belief in some higher power that, by definition, cannot be understood. We all have beliefs.

Freedom of religion in the U.S. is supposed to mean that we all tolerate others' beliefs as long as they tolerate ours. Obviously this ideal is not universally realized. Here in Texas, the six hundred, sixty-sixth mile of Interstate 10 occurs. There is NO mile marker on either eastbound or westbound sides. Whether the state highway department intentionally omits this marker, or whether it is removed by persons unknown is moot; there is no marker. We have a rural road here called "Farm to Market Road 666", the signs for which are regularly stolen or defaced. Go figure why, but I can't help but think that it is because someone thinks this set of digits has some significance and they "must do something about it." That the whole "number of the beast" thing is most probably a) based on the numerology of the then-reigning Ceaser, and b) there is still hot disagreement about whether the ORIGINAL manuscripts said "666" (for Neron Ceasar) or "616" (for Caligula) makes this issue almost amusing in a sad way... But the issue is also a very strong example of people who, from the evidence and context of the issue, must think of themselves as Christian, because only Christianity puts any specific meaning behind that particular number.

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Dec 7, 2008, 01:15 PM
 
I'm really kinda sick of people telling me what I believe...

'Atheism' is no more a monolithic system of beliefs than 'theism' is. Some theists believe that God incarnated Himself on Earth to die for our sins. Other theists believe that there are many gods. Still other theists actively doubt the existence of any gods, while some believe that all God did was set things in motion and step back.

Until all theists can agree on a single interpretation of how that theism is realized, it's a bit hypocritical to try and pin down all of atheism under a single definition. Different people mean different things when they label themselves as 'atheist' just as different people mean different things when they label themselves as 'Christian' or 'Jew' or 'Muslim' or 'Hindu'.

A minimalist definition of atheism is not 'the belief that, lacking evidence to prove the existence of any supernatural entity, such supernatural entities cannot exist', rather it would be 'the belief that, lacking evidence to prove the existence of any supernatural entity, a divine or omnipotent being should not be assumed'. Traditionally atheism is split up into 'strong' atheism, which asserts that there is no god, and 'weak' atheism which simply does not assert that there is a god.

Just because one is an atheist does not mean that one goes around proclaiming a lack of gods, disparaging the existence of souls, and spitting on bishops.
     
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Dec 7, 2008, 01:22 PM
 
Originally Posted by nonhuman View Post
Just because one is an atheist does not mean that one goes around proclaiming a lack of gods, disparaging the existence of souls, and spitting on bishops.
Well said!
     
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Dec 7, 2008, 02:14 PM
 
I never said "monolithic." I said that rejecting the possibility of a deity is a belief. Whether you subscribe to a group of tenets that someone else crafted or figured out this mindset yourself, it's still a belief. Nor do I pass judgment about this particular belief.

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Dec 7, 2008, 02:45 PM
 
Originally Posted by Jawbone54 View Post
Um...why exactly was this sign in a federal building in the first place? It's verbiage has to be intentionally offensive, and supports a belief (or unbelief) system.

If you don't want church and state mixing, then this crap can't mix either.
Again, the First Amendment only applies to Christians. Haven't you heard? Nevermind that the belief that religion is a myth is a belief system in and of itself.

Get with the program!!!!!!
     
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Dec 7, 2008, 03:51 PM
 
Originally Posted by - - e r i k - - View Post
"might" is the most scientific word of all. It is why we have theories in the first place. Science is going from this "might be true" to "this is probably true".

In my beliefs multiverses are high on the probability scale, so we agree on that base level.

I just don't see how it is relevant to our discussion. By absurd I mean everything from universes that collapse on themselves to worlds consisting of flying turtles carrying elephants carrying a discworld to gods. These are possibilities that have to be exist considering an infinite number of possibilities. Based on our current universe, it seems much more probable that universes are constrained by natural laws rather than "anything goes". That's just me though, basing my beliefs on the current available data again.
To sum up, you're saying:

"God might exist somewhere, but not here because I really don't want that."

Gotcha.

"We don't understand the laws that govern higher dimensions, we may never grasp the complexities of those states." - Dr. Michio Kaku

That's just in our own "backyard", not counting the likelihood of divine influence in other probabilities. You fellas don't like it, but there's not even the barest fraction of information available to form the belief that God can't exist. You're calling an election when <.01% of the votes have been counted, and that's just purely irrational. The most that anyone could claim is "we don't know".
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Shaddim
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Dec 7, 2008, 03:52 PM
 
Originally Posted by nonhuman View Post
Just because one is an atheist does not mean that one goes around proclaiming a lack of gods, disparaging the existence of souls, and spitting on bishops.
Only the militant ones, but there are nutters in that camp too, just like with Christians and Muslims.
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Dec 7, 2008, 03:54 PM
 
Originally Posted by Shaddim View Post
Yes, it's quite valid, because it's not only possible that countless universes where God (and gods) exist, it's damned well required. There's no misuse, you simply have difficulty coming to grips with the idea because it might actually require you to admit it.
To "prove" the existence of the Christian god, you're using an argument that contradicts some of the fundamental tenents of Christianity; your argument requires that the Christian god isn't the only god and that it can't be omnipotent (if there are realities where the Christian god doesn't exist, then the Christian god can't be all-powerful).

Where does that leave Christianity if Zeus also exists?
     
Shaddim
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Dec 7, 2008, 03:54 PM
 
Originally Posted by nonhuman View Post
'weak' atheism which simply does not assert that there is a god.
that's agnosticism.
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Dec 7, 2008, 03:58 PM
 
Originally Posted by Shaddim View Post
that's agnosticism.
I believe Agnosticism believes there is *something*, just that we don't have enough information to define what that something is.
     
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Dec 7, 2008, 04:11 PM
 
Originally Posted by ghporter View Post
I have to point out that atheism is also a belief: the belief that, lacking evidence to prove the existence of any supernatural entity, such supernatural entities cannot exist.
As I've said before, when we define "faith" so vaguely that completely scientific and logical propositions (such as not believing in things without having seen evidence) are "faith," we've robbed ourselves of a useful word and insulted a lot of great religious people who held their faith as a badge of honor.

Originally Posted by ghporter View Post
That the whole "number of the beast" thing is most probably a) based on the numerology of the then-reigning Ceaser, and b) there is still hot disagreement about whether the ORIGINAL manuscripts said "666" (for Neron Ceasar) or "616" (for Caligula) makes this issue almost amusing in a sad way...
Actually, both point to Nero. N = 50, so depending on whether you use the Greek name "Neron" or the Latin "Nero," his name could equal 616 or 666. This would seem to indicate that whoever introduced the variant thought it was Nero.
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Dec 7, 2008, 04:13 PM
 
Originally Posted by Jawbone54 View Post
Um...why exactly was this sign in a federal building in the first place? It's verbiage has to be intentionally offensive, and supports a belief (or unbelief) system.

If you don't want church and state mixing, then this crap can't mix either.

It was placed beside a Christian religious display in the same building, which is why Christians are the likely culprits.
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Dec 7, 2008, 04:16 PM
 
Where I live, the Mormons sponsor a nightly Nativity pageant in the weeks prior to Christmas. Every year, a group of Christians are there every night with pamphlets stating that Mormonism is wrong.
     
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Dec 7, 2008, 04:38 PM
 
Originally Posted by ghporter View Post
Here in Texas, the six hundred, sixty-sixth mile of Interstate 10 occurs. There is NO mile marker on either eastbound or westbound sides. Whether the state highway department intentionally omits this marker, or whether it is removed by persons unknown is moot; there is no marker. We have a rural road here called "Farm to Market Road 666", the signs for which are regularly stolen or defaced. Go figure why, but I can't help but think that it is because someone thinks this set of digits has some significance and they "must do something about it."
My money is on teenagers.
     
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Dec 7, 2008, 05:28 PM
 
Originally Posted by Wiskedjak View Post
I believe Agnosticism believes there is *something*, just that we don't have enough information to define what that something is.
Not really.

agnostic:
1.a. One who believes that it is impossible to know whether there is a God.
b. One who is skeptical about the existence of God but does not profess true atheism.

A real scientist couldn't profess atheism because that position would be wholly grounded on faith.
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Dec 7, 2008, 05:33 PM
 
Thank God someone found that sign.

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Dec 7, 2008, 06:13 PM
 
I love how the believers (mis)use science when they think it reinforces their unfounded beliefs, but when science totally refutes what they believe, they twist its meaning or give us some assinine remark about how "the findings and viewpoints of science are irrelevant as God™ is beyond the scope of human understanding" etc., etc., blah blah blah.





Yes, I spelled asinine that way on purpose.
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Dec 7, 2008, 06:15 PM
 
Originally Posted by Shaddim View Post
A real scientist couldn't profess atheism because that position would be wholly grounded on faith.
Bingo. Atheism requires one to shut his/her mind and accept only the current level of understanding science had given us. There is so much more we have yet to comprehend.

What happens at the point of infinite gravity at the center of a Super Massive black hole? What lies far beyond the sub-atomic level? What's out there past 15b light/yrs?

I enjoy science and reason as much as the next guy but saying that what we have discovered so far is definitive enough to make a rational judgement about the meaning of our lives is disingenuous.
     
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Dec 7, 2008, 06:19 PM
 
Originally Posted by sek929 View Post
Bingo. Atheism requires one to shut his/her mind and accept only the current level of understanding science had given us. There is so much more we have yet to comprehend.

What happens at the point of infinite gravity at the center of a Super Massive black hole? What lies far beyond the sub-atomic level? What's out there past 15b light/yrs?

I enjoy science and reason as much as the next guy but saying that what we have discovered so far is definitive enough to make a rational judgement about the meaning of our lives is disingenuous.
Um, no. "Real" scientists do what has already been mentioned. Their "disbelief" is based upon the sheer lack of evidence and the fact that…scientifically speaking…there is so little probability that a all-knowing, all-powerful God™ exists that it's not worth the time. It's the celestial teapot.
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Dec 7, 2008, 06:54 PM
 
Originally Posted by Chuckit View Post
As I've said before, when we define "faith" so vaguely that completely scientific and logical propositions (such as not believing in things without having seen evidence) are "faith," we've robbed ourselves of a useful word and insulted a lot of great religious people who held their faith as a badge of honor.
Atheism generally states that no deity CAN exist rather than simply failing to believe in something without evidence. Please note that I lived in Austin, TX during the American Atheist organization's heyday. I got a LOT of exposure to organized atheists and what passed for their doctrine.


Originally Posted by Chuckit View Post
Actually, both point to Nero. N = 50, so depending on whether you use the Greek name "Neron" or the Latin "Nero," his name could equal 616 or 666. This would seem to indicate that whoever introduced the variant thought it was Nero.
True, but there's also some indication that Caligula was the target of the original writer. Further, it really looks strongly like St. John was writing specifically about NEAR times rather than a far future time; his writings seem to indicate that he was strongly against early Christians "passing" in Roman society, particularly since Caligula erected a statue of himself in the Temple in Jerusalem... By the way, the Wiki article on "The Number of the Beast" is quite interesting, including the issue of numerology.

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Dec 7, 2008, 07:00 PM
 
Originally Posted by sek929 View Post
I enjoy science and reason as much as the next guy but saying that what we have discovered so far is definitive enough to make a rational judgement about the meaning of our lives is disingenuous.
So it's better to put your faith in Made-Up-Stuff™?


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sek929
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Dec 7, 2008, 07:09 PM
 
Originally Posted by smacintush View Post
Um, no. "Real" scientists do what has already been mentioned. Their "disbelief" is based upon the sheer lack of evidence and the fact that…scientifically speaking…there is so little probability that a all-knowing, all-powerful God™ exists that it's not worth the time.
You have no idea what the probability anything has of existing, since what we occupy is one-millionth of reality.

Shaddim is right (as usual) QM assures us that everything that can happen is happening, at all times.

I disbelieve every major religion on earth, but just because man's construct of a higher power or underlying truth to this existence may be simplified, doesn't mean it's not on the right track.

Science fails to even begin to tell us what happens to energy under the mind-boggling pressure at the center of a black hole. I trust my life with science, but my mind doesn't need to be hobbled by it's limited view of our purpose.

Say what you want, Atheism is still a belief that cannot be proved.
     
Shaddim
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Dec 7, 2008, 07:09 PM
 
Originally Posted by smacintush View Post
I love how the believers (mis)use science when they think it reinforces their unfounded beliefs,
It's in black and white, no misuse at all. You don't like it? Fine. But don't blame a person for pointing out the obvious.
"Those who expect to reap the blessings of freedom must, like men, undergo the fatigue of supporting it."
- Thomas Paine
     
sek929
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Dec 7, 2008, 07:11 PM
 
Originally Posted by - - e r i k - - View Post
So it's better to put your faith in Made-Up-Stuff™?

First off, I'm not religious, nor do I believe in an all-knowing god™

Secondly, as I've said before, science has only scratched the surface of what constitutes 'reality.' So when it comes to pondering the unknowable I like to keep an open mind.
     
Shaddim
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Dec 7, 2008, 07:11 PM
 
Originally Posted by - - e r i k - - View Post
So it's better to put your faith in Made-Up-Stuff™?

Why not? You do.
"Those who expect to reap the blessings of freedom must, like men, undergo the fatigue of supporting it."
- Thomas Paine
     
- - e r i k - -
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Dec 7, 2008, 07:19 PM
 
Originally Posted by sek929 View Post
Say what you want, Atheism is still a belief that cannot be proved.
Atheism is a belief derived from lack of proof. Why this so mindbogglingly hard for some people to get is beyond even science methinks.


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sek929
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Dec 7, 2008, 07:24 PM
 
...soooo it's a belief born from a lack of proof? That makes it better all of a sudden?

I'm so glad I turned away from Atheism at a young age. The only other people I see so firmly set in their cocky view of the universe, is...well, religious fundamentalists.

Saying "There is no God" over and over again is just an Atheist prayer.
     
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Dec 7, 2008, 07:26 PM
 
Originally Posted by sek929 View Post
...soooo it's a belief born from a lack of proof? That makes it better all of a sudden?
Yes.

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