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Some Chick
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PostPosted: Wed Dec 20, 2006 1:57 am    Post subject: Atheism and Science Reply with quote
http://blog.myspace.com/index......3D15256531

Jeeez...would someone please show me how to make a link here. Or make for me? Please?

Anyway, this is a video from Channel 4 UK on Atheism and Science.
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Some Chick
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PostPosted: Wed Dec 20, 2006 1:58 am    Post subject: Reply with quote
Hey it linked! Very Happy
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CryxicKiller
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PostPosted: Thu Dec 21, 2006 2:09 am    Post subject: Reply with quote
The show made some good points, but it also contained a fair amount of trumpery. The best argument it advanced was that wars and human violence are convoluted aspects that require more analysis and reflection than simply focusing on or blaming religion. That part I agree with; most humans have ulterior motives beyond religious or ideological identification for doing what they do, especially if it is a violent action. And if that's not correct in some sense, then, at the very least, most humans have more reasons than just those things for taking the actions they take.

The trumpery? The logical arguments, if this show could be said to possess any, were a bit silly and uncultivated. More troubling, or so I thought, were the false impressions this show might engender. For example, I noticed the use of phrases like "some scientists," "many scientists," or "some people" was often exploited to create a reality that is not there. Was putting an isolated cosmologist on your show intended to reveal that others in the field also share these opinions? Because I can tell you right now: most physicists, including theoretical physicists and cosmologists, are hardcore atheists, materialists, in some cases physicalists, and scientific realists. I myself plan to go into cosmology; I am an atheist and am also somewhat of a microcosm for what the typical future physicist is likely to believe regarding these issues. So basically, my message to people is: don't believe that the cosmologist on that show is indicative of what others in his field believe, because it is not. Just this fact alone undercuts their thrust that Darwinism is somehow central to atheism.

Speaking of Darwinism, this show completely misunderstood some of the precepts in the modern history of biology: while nearly all biologists believe in evolution, there is a quest to formulate a more comprehensive picture of how evolution occurs. That is, we recognize that natural selection does not provide all the answers (although it is pretty damn good). This isn't controversial, however; I don't know what the show was trying to prove with this. Another theory to describe how the process of evolution happens is called punctuated equilibrium, first introduced by the great evolutionary biologist Ernst Mayr.

Another point that the show completely strips of any rational understanding is this "randomness" of evolution. This is a poorly understood concept, so let's say a few things on it. Protein construction and the formation of other building blocks for life do have a certain element of probability, but they are also guided by what are colloquially known as the laws of nature or physics. They are not completely probabilistic. And one more thing on this: it is silly to use probability to argue backwards! You should only use probability prior to an event occurring, not after it's happened. It does not matter what the probability of all this happenning is (it's very low, not to put too fine a point on it); using probability this way, you'd find that many things with a low chance of transpiring do so all the time. But does that mean they didn't actually happen? No!

My final word will be on this "atheism is a religion" claim. I've heard it more and more in recent times, and while I understand the reasons behind it, there are several ways in which it is misguided. Firstly, yes, atheism is similar to religion in one important manner: the two both involve some form of organizational and hierarchical units. Just like Catholics have the Vatican and the Pope, the Bishops, the Friars, and so on, one could say that, for example, atheists in America have the American Atheists organization, though just to clarify on my behalf, they do not necessarily represent everything I believe about atheism, nor do I even view them as the legitimate representative body for atheists anywhere around the world, forget here. But you get the point; they're similar in that way. Now, the problem is that organizational similarities have been ballooned into making people neglect other far more substantive splits. In a rudimentary but largely plausible way, religion in its modern sense can be thought of as an organized form of believing in, cherishing, or lauding a higher and supernatural power or powers. The word traces its history back to the Latin 'religionem,' which meant, according to the Online Etymology Dictionary, "respect for what is sacred, reverence for the gods." That last phrase is key because it highlights the extent to which religious activities must involve some sort of purpose relating to a deity or deities. It is etymologically and referentially incorrect to label terms in this way if they do not embody this central meaning. Why refer to atheism as a religion when the term 'atheism' does not "contain," to get a bit Kantian here, the very concept which gives religion unique status and meaning as a word? Seems odd. The people who do treat atheism as a religion do so probably because of sociological factors, not rational ones.
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Oolon Colluphid
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PostPosted: Mon Dec 25, 2006 4:52 am    Post subject: Reply with quote
The videos wouldn't play for me.

It said it was "loading". then went directly to ask if I wanted to watch it again/
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SearchForTruth
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PostPosted: Wed Apr 02, 2008 6:50 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote
The reason I have a problem with some people that label them selves as atheist, is because many of them seem to carry that label simply to represent their opposition to the religious establishment.I do understand why atheist are against religious institution, and by the way so am I.

The problem is not with the anti-theist aspect of atheism, but rather the effect it seems to have in narrowing or even shutting down all together one's "Search For The Meaning of Life.".I do believe this is an important question that everyone should think about.I have also found that most of the people I know that consider themselves atheist, seem to do so for the reason of making themselves feel superior to others and don't even seem to have much scientific curiosity.Yet, these individuals act as if they have it all figured out, and if your not one of them, then either you don't believe in science, or you must be some kind religious nut case/space cadet.

I do understand the reasonings that some scientists may have when coming to the conclusion that theirs no god, I have NO problem with that what so ever. They have made it their business to become informed individuals, and in turn came to what they believed to be a rational conclusion. Funny thing is, most atheist I've spoken too don't know the first thing about science, but rather believe that religion is responsible for all: wars, racism, and slavery, torture etc. I think one of the real problems in our society is that people always seem compelled to have someone else give them all the answers to the questions that they should be contemplating them selves. I did used to be atheist, but I decided that atheism and religion both are predicated on Faith, both claim to know something that they do not.Science is the only tool we have to verify what truth is, But if science knew all truths then it would cease to exist. I think it's better to have an open mind and not to hold any belief as sacred.

Some of My Thoughts

1. If "Free Will" doesn't exist, then why do we need pleasure and pain to teach us how to make choices?

2.Survival is the "Mechanism" which forces us to play the game of life, but it should NOT be confused with the meaning of life.

3.The meaning of life is to teach us morality through perception.

4.If life was totally determinable, then there would be no reason for choice, and thus perception.


Quotes from Albert Einstein

“The most incomprehensible thing about the world is that it is at all comprehensible.”
-Albert Einstein

“The most beautiful thing we can experience is the mysterious. It is the source of all true art and science.”
-Albert Einstein

“The important thing is not to stop questioning. Curiosity has its own reason for existing. One cannot help but be in awe when he contemplates the mysteries of eternity, of life, of the marvelous structure of reality. It is enough if one tries merely to comprehend a little of this mystery every day. Never lose a holy curiosity.”
-Albert Einstein

“The important thing is not to stop questioning.”
-Albert Einstein

“The ideals which have lighted my way, and time after time have given me new courage to face life cheerfully, have been Kindness, Beauty, and Truth. The trite subjects of human efforts, possessions, outward success, luxury have always seemed to me contemptible.”
-Albert Einstein

“Imagination is more important than knowledge...”
-Albert Einstein

“Few people are capable of expressing with equanimity opinions which differ from the prejudices of their social environment. Most people are even incapable of forming such opinions.”
-Albert Einstein

“As far as the laws of mathematics refer to reality, they are not certain; and as far as they are certain, they do not refer to reality.”
-Albert Einstein, "Geometry and Experience", January 27, 1921
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exton
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PostPosted: Thu Apr 10, 2008 4:19 am    Post subject: Reply with quote
SearchForTruth wrote:

1. If "Free Will" doesn't exist, then why do we need pleasure and pain to teach us how to make choices?


If free will doesn't exist, then the appearance of choice is an illusion, and how you feel during the course of an action doesn't change that.

I think "free will" is a poorly thought out idea, personally. People take "free will" to be the idea both that there's an intelligent agent behind a person's behavior, and that this intelligent agent can do anything.

But that doesn't make sense. If an agent is making decisions based on input and logical (or, rule-based, anyway) conclusions, then its behavior is always predetermined by its makeup and the input that it's given. It can only ever make one choice in any given situation.

If an agent really could go either way, then it's not an intelligent agent at all. Randomness is the opposite of intelligent behavior. And that's assuming that true randomness actually exists.

Quote:

3.The meaning of life is to teach us morality through perception.


What makes you think that?

Quote:

4.If life was totally determinable, then there would be no reason for choice, and thus perception.


If life was predetermined, then there would be no choice at all; the reason for choice would be irrelevent.

And i fail to see how choice is necessary for perception. You could very well perceive choices that don't trully exist. In fact, any agent making intelligent decisions would have to perceive choices in order to do so, even though its ultimate decision is already determined.
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fellfire
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PostPosted: Thu Apr 10, 2008 4:25 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote
SearchForTruth wrote:
but I decided that atheism and religion both are predicated on Faith, both claim to know something that they do not.


If you truly believe this then you do not truly understand atheism despite your claim to have espoused it at one time.

Atheism is not a believe that there is no god - that would be a faith. Atheism is requiring proof of existence before accepting that there is god. There is no faith involved in not accept something without evidence. An atheist does not say "I don't believe in God" rather they say "show me evidence of God and I will consider it, until then I have no reason to accept its existence."
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SearchForTruth
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PostPosted: Sat Apr 19, 2008 3:49 am    Post subject: Reply with quote
-One who is doubtful or noncommittal about something.[/quote]If you truly believe this then you do not truly understand atheism despite your claim to have espoused it at one time.

Atheism is not a believe that there is no god - that would be a faith. Atheism is requiring proof of existence before accepting that there is god. There is no faith involved in not accept something without evidence. An atheist does not say "I don't believe in God" rather they say "show me evidence of God and I will consider it, until then I have no reason to accept its existence."
Quote:



atheism

noun
1. the doctrine or belief that there is no God [ant: theism]
2. a lack of belief in the existence of God or gods

Agnostic

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


You sound more like and Agnostic.
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SearchForTruth
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PostPosted: Sat Apr 19, 2008 3:54 am    Post subject: Reply with quote
If you truly believe this then you do not truly understand atheism despite your claim to have espoused it at one time.

Atheism is not a believe that there is no god - that would be a faith. Atheism is requiring proof of existence before accepting that there is god. There is no faith involved in not accept something without evidence. An atheist does not say "I don't believe in God" rather they say "show me evidence of God and I will consider it, until then I have no reason to accept its existence.


atheism

noun
1. the doctrine or belief that there is no God [ant: theism]
2. a lack of belief in the existence of God or gods

Agnostic

-One who believes that it is impossible to know whether there is a God.
-One who is skeptical about the existence of God but does not profess true atheism.
-One who is doubtful or noncommittal about something.

You sound more like and Agnostic.
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fellfire
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PostPosted: Sun Apr 20, 2008 12:00 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote
SearchForTruth wrote:

atheism

noun
1. the doctrine or belief that there is no God [ant: theism]
2. a lack of belief in the existence of God or gods

Agnostic

-One who believes that it is impossible to know whether there is a God.
-One who is skeptical about the existence of God but does not profess true atheism.
-One who is doubtful or noncommittal about something.

You sound more like and Agnostic.


Your logic is faulty:

Quote:
atheism : lack of belief

Agnostic : One who believes


How do you get from a lack of believe to someone that believes ...
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Guest






PostPosted: Tue Jul 15, 2008 9:15 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote
Okay we are mincing words now. We can break it down to 3 groups.

1 those who do believe

2 those who don't believe

3 undecided

Everyone gets to call themselves whatever they want I suppose even it is contrary to what is commonly accepted, but can you really belong to more than one? Yes there are subgroups and yes you can move between groups during your life but it would be hard to belong to more than one at any given time I think.

In any case members from all 3 groups acknowledge the physical world and so have a connection to science in some way. I think what is being addressed here is that while some members of group 1 may claim to have a closer connection to science are the reasons for that claim valid?

Certainly most scientists would agree that the study of the physical world is incomplete. That is enough for some to belong to groups 2 or 3 but for others there is still not enough evidence to move out of group 1.
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exton
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PostPosted: Fri Jul 18, 2008 1:03 am    Post subject: Reply with quote
Anonymous wrote:

In any case members from all 3 groups acknowledge the physical world and so have a connection to science in some way.


Not always. There are some people who actually do deny the physical nature of our universe.
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