#1 Posted by pooty (11237 posts) - - Show Bio

First, I fully 100% understand why you doubt the existence of a creator. Most scientist(educated people) don't believe in God either. I have a basic idea of what atheist, agnostics and deist believe. But just like Christians have different views on details, I assume you guys do also. So I have a few questions for you as individuals:

1) What do you classify yourself as? Atheist, Agnostic, Deist or other ( please explain)

2) Explain your personal beliefs of a higher power or lack thereof?

3) Did you ever believe in a higher power?

4) What events or logic led you to this line of thinking?

5) Have you ever been persecuted or frowned upon because of your non-traditional way of thinking?

6) Why do you think people believe in a creator when there is no tangible evidence?

Thanks in advance!!

#2 Posted by Cozy_Da_Djed_Eye (10098 posts) - - Show Bio

@pooty: What's a Deist?

#3 Posted by pooty (11237 posts) - - Show Bio

@CozyDaPrynce: Basically that a higher power created us and left us to find our own way

#4 Edited by YourNeighborhoodComicGeek (20308 posts) - - Show Bio

Atheist. I just do not think that us mere humans, especially with lack of resources, proof/records, and evidence, that we could absolutely pinpoint that a specific god that looks like us created us, when we can barely explore our solar system, NOW, let alone centuries ago. I used to be Buddhist but this sudden realization came to me in school while I was randomly thinking, and I have not been criticized for this. However, I have not told my family yet. I have no bias or hate against religious people, for their proof overrides my proof, and my proof overrides their proof. Religions inspire people to do good as well, and I see no harm in that.

#5 Edited by Xanni15 (6758 posts) - - Show Bio

@pooty said:

Most scientist(educated people) don't believe in God either.

Not to be a jerk (and go off topic) but do you have any proof of this? I know of quite a few scientists (top of their field too) and other educated individuals who do believe in God. It reads like a shot at religious people.

Anyways...

1) Agnostic, I wasn't raised to believe or disbelieve in a higher power.

2) See answer 1.

3) The first time I saw the Truman Show I was paranoid it might be happening to me, if that counts.

4) That there wasn't proof on either side. Also, that just because I didn't have faith in God doesn't mean I had to hate God.

5) A few times, but it was by hardcore atheists who just attacked religion about how there's no proof, that it has no answers, yet they didn't have many answers either. Most religious people I know/have met keep to themselves.

6) I think it's called "Faith" for a reason. They take comfort in believing in someone/something above themselves and knowing that life is just the beginning. Or maybe it just might be the whole story of evolution, the idea of nothing turning into something, humans evolving from monkeys, and the entire world being a war zone, are poorer options.

#6 Posted by 8bitGangsta (392 posts) - - Show Bio

Holy crap YNCG you might have turned me atheist

#7 Posted by pooty (11237 posts) - - Show Bio

@Xanni15: here are a few examples of scientist and other educated people who don't believe in god. Remember, scientist are all about proof, so i can see why they don't believe.

http://www.superscholar.org/features/influential-atheists/

#8 Edited by WillPayton (9500 posts) - - Show Bio

@pooty said:

First, I fully 100% understand why you doubt the existence of a creator. Most scientist(educated people) don't believe in God either. I have a basic idea of what atheist, agnostics and deist believe. But just like Christians have different views on details, I assume you guys do also. So I have a few questions for you as individuals:

1) What do you classify yourself as? Atheist, Agnostic, Deist or other ( please explain)

2) Explain your personal beliefs of a higher power or lack thereof?

3) Did you ever believe in a higher power?

4) What events or logic led you to this line of thinking?

5) Have you ever been persecuted or frowned upon because of your non-traditional way of thinking?

6) Why do you think people believe in a creator when there is no tangible evidence?

Thanks in advance!!

1. Atheist

2. I believe in that for which there is evidence or logic to support it. The supernatural, by definition, cannot exist.

3. No

4. There's no "logic" needed to be an atheist, everyone is born an atheist. Atheism just means lack of belief in a god. Lack of belief is the default position in relation to any claim. Even those who believe in a god are atheists when it comes to other gods... and hence, atheism is a consistent way of viewing the world, religion is not.

5. No

6. Because they are told that their god exists from childhood and are indoctrinated. At that point psychology kicks in... the brain has an inherent need to believe in things, to make stories to explain the world, and to defend and entrench in those beliefs when others attack them. It's no surprise that most who are born to Christian countries end up Christian, those in Muslim countries grow up to believe in Islam... those who were born in ancient Greece believed in Zeus. They cant all be right, but each are certain THEY are right and the others are wrong. But, in the modern world we have science, which has succeeded in explaining most of the universe to enough precision that we now actually know how it works. And, when religion makes claims like that the universe was created in 6 days, we know it's not true. Hence, we know that religion is not true. Basically, you can look at any claim that any religion makes and compare it to reality, which wasnt as easily done hundreds or thousands of years ago. Some people still refuse to ignore facts, however. You should ask them why they do so.

#9 Posted by DoomDoomDoom (4249 posts) - - Show Bio

1) What do you classify yourself as?

I just simply consider myself non-religious. Religion interests me from the outside, but that's about it.

2) Explain your personal beliefs of a higher power or lack thereof?

I do not believe in a higher power.

3) Did you ever believe in a higher power?

Nope.

4) What events or logic led you to this line of thinking?

I've always felt this way.

5) Have you ever been persecuted or frowned upon because of your non-traditional way of thinking?

Yes.

6) Why do you think people believe in a creator when there is no tangible evidence?

Hope, fear, pushing their responsibility and/or worry off on to something else.

#10 Posted by The Stegman (24630 posts) - - Show Bio
@pooty:  
 
I'm a Deist, I believe there is a God, or rather a higher power, and he created the universe, and everything inside. However he doesn't interfere with the day to day actions of humans at all, what would be the point of creating a species who can learn, evolve, and have willpower just to fix every single mistake for them? it's like a parent doing everything for a child and not letting them do it themselves, they'll never learn that way. To me, life is about making choices, some good, some bad, but at the end of the day, we get just a bit more knowledge from those choices and can learn from them... although not everyone does this of course...
#11 Posted by RazzaTazz (9647 posts) - - Show Bio

I don't want to get too involved here, but there is a huge difference between science and religion. Science essentially aims to answers the question "what just happened?" as in "can we make a law that defines what just happened in the natural world?" religion on the other hand tries to answer the question "what does it all mean?" There should really be no overlap in the questions, and if one side answers the others side they somewhat unwittingly become the other side. Meaning that scientists that deny religion based on science are using a faulty logic system to do so, whereas the religious that try to define science by dogma will certainly lose and appear as the fool.

Moderator
#12 Posted by KnightRise (4785 posts) - - Show Bio

Religon is a metaphor for the human condition. Throughout recorded history and pre-history humans have felt a need to be a part of something larger than themselves. Fortunately, I believe that I do not belong in this category. I do not call myself an atheist, but I might as well.

#13 Posted by Xanni15 (6758 posts) - - Show Bio

@pooty:

That wasn't a very sympathetic article and doesn't really answer my question.

#14 Posted by pooty (11237 posts) - - Show Bio

@YourNeighborhoodComicGeek: for their proof overrides my proof,

what proof is there that God exist?

@WillPayton: Your answer to #4 was excellent. I was really impressed with that.

And, when religion makes claims like that the universe was created in 6 days, we know it's not true. Hence, we know that religion is not true

Not all religions follow the Bible so that doesn't prove their religion is false. It doesn't even prove the Bible is totally false. Just that statement. Also the Bible says "that a day to god is 1000 yrs to man" so it may have meant that.

@DoomDoomDoom: Thanks for your answer

@The Stegman: what would be the point of creating a species who can learn, evolve, and have willpower just to fix every single mistake for them? it's like a parent doing everything for a child and not letting them do it themselves, they'll never learn that way.

Thanks for the comment. using your example of a child. yes i will let a child do his thing.....for the most part. but any good parent will step in if things get to out of hand, will punish their child when they do wrong and reward them when they do good. and no matter how old they get, a parent will always be there for their creation. So God can still help us with out hindering our development.

#15 Posted by Bluefox170 (382 posts) - - Show Bio

1.) Nihilistic Anti-Theist? I believe there is no TRUE meaning to anything. No creator. The only theory I find that could suggest any form of meaning to me would be simulated reality. That we could be a simulation. A part of me believes that could be a large possibility. However, there's no absolute truth so we'll never know anything 100%. The anti-theistic side of me will smack down self righteous religiousness when at all possible, to an anti-theist religion does more harm than good.

2. Higher powers are a way to control your behavior and make you more comfortable with death.

3. Yes, I once believed.

4. I became an atheist as I began to mature, my best friend was an atheist before me so I'm sure that had influence. Music I listened to questioned religion. I was a big gamer and some of the games I played did the same. Movies too. I began to do my research and I sunk into the abyss so to speak. I saw how dark the world could truly be and learned that you should just live life and keep questioning everything and follow scientific development.

5. Of course, usually online though. However in real life situations religious comments make me cringe daily.

Examples..

Someone saying "Why worry about death? You'll just go to heaven" - Classmate

"You seriously don't believe in anything? Where did I go wrong with you?" - Father

"yada yada stuff about having souls.." - Girlfriend

6. They are indoctrinated as children. They are more vulnerable to this new and confusing world and the only way they could make sense of it is by going by what their parents teach them.

#16 Posted by The Stegman (24630 posts) - - Show Bio
@pooty:  
 


@The Stegman: what would be the point of creating a species who can learn, evolve, and have willpower just to fix every single mistake for them? it's like a parent doing everything for a child and not letting them do it themselves, they'll never learn that way.

Thanks for the comment. using your example of a child. yes i will let a child do his thing.....for the most part. but any good parent will step in if things get to out of hand, will punish their child when they do wrong and reward them when they do good. and no matter how old they get, a parent will always be there for their creation. So God can still help us with out hindering our development. 

Well I kinda left that part out, I didn't want to get too preachy, but I kinda think God does intervene when things get too bad, like that big astroid that killed the dinosaurs, that by all means should have destroyed the planet, yet we survived, same thing with all of the wars and disease that ran wild throughout history, I think if things get too bad, if the cookie jar gets too close to the edge of the table, God kinda nudges it away from danger a little..then again, I'm just speculating. 
#17 Posted by pooty (11237 posts) - - Show Bio

@Xanni15 said:

@pooty:

That wasn't a very sympathetic article and doesn't really answer my question.

It showed 25 scientist who don't believe in god. that is 25 more than i've seen that do believe in god. but i'll change my statement to " in my experience most scientist don't believe in god" just to stay on subject.

#18 Posted by Xanni15 (6758 posts) - - Show Bio

@pooty said:

@Xanni15 said:

@pooty:

That wasn't a very sympathetic article and doesn't really answer my question.

It showed 25 scientist who don't believe in god. that is 25 more than i've seen that do believe in god. but i'll change my statement to " in my experience most scientist don't believe in god" just to stay on subject.

It showed that many people on that list make a lot of money off of religion, or trolling religion I should say.

Not sure if the link will work but this is an interview with a top scientist at CERN.

http://translate.google.com/translate?sl=pt&tl=en&js=n&prev=_t&ie=UTF-8&layout=2&eotf=1&u=http://www.2011.opovo.com.br/app/opovo/paginasazuis/2012/01/16/noticiapaginasazuisjornal,2374267/detetive-do-universo.shtml

Here's one quote:

"I profess the Christian faith in a profound way. As a scientist I see that science knows so little and yet many scientists are so arrogant. We do not know most of the composition of the universe, and yet continually hear scientists saying that God is not necessary for the existence of the universe or life. Now, I would say the current science does not even come close to having sufficient knowledge to say anything about God, neither for nor against. So, I hate to use "marketer" of expressions like "God particle". In my view, we are too ignorant to speak of the God from Science."

#19 Edited by WillPayton (9500 posts) - - Show Bio

@Xanni15 said:

@pooty said:

Most scientist(educated people) don't believe in God either.

Not to be a jerk (and go off topic) but do you have any proof of this? I know of quite a few scientists (top of their field too) and other educated individuals who do believe in God. It reads like a shot at religious people.

Some numbers:

http://www.pewforum.org/Science-and-Bioethics/Scientists-and-Belief.aspx

For members of the National Academy of Science, the leading scientists in the US, only about 7% believe in a personal god. The belief in god is lowest among biologists, physicists, and astronomers... basically, those who know more about the universe believe less in god.

#20 Posted by pooty (11237 posts) - - Show Bio

@Xanni15: i'll change my statement to " in my experience most scientist don't believe in god" just to stay on subject

#21 Edited by SC (13143 posts) - - Show Bio
1) What do you classify yourself as? Atheist, Agnostic, Deist or other ( please explain) 
 
I am a SC. A Salem fan. Clams Casino fan. I don't really classify myself as much often. I am totally cool with accepting many attributive labels or accusatory labels though. Like atheist. Very easy to see myself and consider myself an atheist. Though I am probably closer to anti-theist. I believe religion is harmful to humans progression. Incredibly helpful to our species for a long long time. At some point its either going to become regressive or dramatically change though and I think the point of it being regressive is either close or passed.     

2) Explain your personal beliefs of a higher power or lack thereof? 
 
Definition of higher power? I know many people whose sincere understanding and therefore definition of a higher power differs. Typically to my knowledge a higher power invokes a controlling or creating conscious force that is beyond nature and explains all that is and why things are they way they are. I don't think a high power is necessary for things to be the way they are, hence a belief in one unnecessary. I do not dismiss the possibility of a higher power, after all I do not know everything and I could be wrong, but this applies to belief and lack of. Based on what I do know though, a higher power isn't necessary to explain all that is. Many peoples definitions of a higher power at the same time can be quite easy to dismiss.   

3) Did you ever believe in a higher power? 
 
What definition of higher power again? I questioned things less when I was a young child than an older child. I was raised in a family and area that believed in god almost exclusively. I remember questioning a lot of things in early youth, including aspects of god. What did god look like? What does heaven look like? What is a good or bad person? At this stage I would have sincerely believed in that idea of god as far as my questions were sincere. The better I got at asking questions, considering questions and answers and finding answers the more the idea of god presented to me was deconstructed into a falsehood. Like above though I know some peoples definition of a higher power is radically different to others.   

4) What events or logic led you to this line of thinking? 
 
Patience, consideration, curiosity and critical thinking.  

5) Have you ever been persecuted or frowned upon because of your non-traditional way of thinking? 
 
Not particularly. At least not in a strictly religious sense. I love to talk about all manner of things openly, sincerely and honestly, but for many especially where I live, tradition dictates that some things can't be talked about because of respect for elders, respect for culture, hierarchy. So my thinking is never really put in a position to be distinguished. Projection gets applied to my thinking though, as far as wishing to be more open and honest. So I am frowned upon in that sense.      

6) Why do you think people believe in a creator when there is no tangible evidence? 
 
People essentially evolved to believe in a creator. Only recently has a emphasis on objectivity and truth been prioritized. Even then. As long as people have been people they have been believing in some form of creator or supernatural influence. Its a natural consequence of our species having powerful brains that adapted to discern complicated patterns and solve problems that required solutions that dealt with abstract thinking. Curiosity being an advantage for survival. Being able to solve problems by thinking laterally an advantage for survival. So asking questions and answering them was a very satisfying thing for our species to do, regardless of the accuracy of the answer. Feeling good, thinking good, and more importantly surviving were the priority. So its in our nature to believe in a creator and also why shaking off belief in a creator so challenging for many. For tens of thousands of years humans dreamed up thousands of gods, but then ten thousand years ago when human groups grew larger and stopped needing as much migration pooled resources wold create super gods that would be believed by more and passed down to others.   

Moderator
#22 Posted by WillPayton (9500 posts) - - Show Bio

@Xanni15 said:

Not to be a jerk (and go off topic) but do you have any proof of this? I know of quite a few scientists (top of their field too) and other educated individuals who do believe in God. It reads like a shot at religious people.

http://www.stephenjaygould.org/ctrl/news/file002.html

"Our chosen group of "greater" scientists were members of the National Academy of Sciences (NAS). Our survey found near universal rejection of the transcendent by NAS natural scientists. Disbelief in God and immortality among NAS biological scientists was 65.2% and 69.0%, respectively, and among NAS physical scientists it was 79.0% and 76.3%. Most of the rest were agnostics on both issues, with few believers. We found the highest percentage of belief among NAS mathematicians (14.3% in God, 15.0% in immortality). Biological scientists had the lowest rate of belief (5.5% in God, 7.1% in immortality), with physicists and astronomers slightly higher (7.5% in God, 7.5% in immortality)."

#23 Posted by pooty (11237 posts) - - Show Bio

@WillPayton said:

@Xanni15 said:

@pooty said:

Most scientist(educated people) don't believe in God either.

Not to be a jerk (and go off topic) but do you have any proof of this? I know of quite a few scientists (top of their field too) and other educated individuals who do believe in God. It reads like a shot at religious people.

Some numbers:

http://www.pewforum.org/Science-and-Bioethics/Scientists-and-Belief.aspx

For members of the National Academy of Science, the leading scientists in the US, only about 7% believe in a personal god. The belief in god is lowest among physicists and astronomers... basically, those who know more about the universe believe less in god.

those who know more about the universe believe less in god.

you are showing no mercy tonight.

#24 Posted by Xanni15 (6758 posts) - - Show Bio

@WillPayton said:

@Xanni15 said:

@pooty said:

Most scientist(educated people) don't believe in God either.

Not to be a jerk (and go off topic) but do you have any proof of this? I know of quite a few scientists (top of their field too) and other educated individuals who do believe in God. It reads like a shot at religious people.

Some numbers:

http://www.pewforum.org/Science-and-Bioethics/Scientists-and-Belief.aspx

For members of the National Academy of Science, the leading scientists in the US, only about 7% believe in a personal god. The belief in god is lowest among physicists and astronomers... basically, those who know more about the universe believe less in god.

Can you quote that section, please? All i saw was "51%believe in some form of deity or higher power; specifically, 33% of scientists say they believe in God, while 18% believe in a universal spirit or higher power."

#25 Posted by Xanni15 (6758 posts) - - Show Bio

@WillPayton said:

@Xanni15 said:

Not to be a jerk (and go off topic) but do you have any proof of this? I know of quite a few scientists (top of their field too) and other educated individuals who do believe in God. It reads like a shot at religious people.

http://www.stephenjaygould.org/ctrl/news/file002.html

"Our chosen group of "greater" scientists were members of the National Academy of Sciences (NAS). Our survey found near universal rejection of the transcendent by NAS natural scientists. Disbelief in God and immortality among NAS biological scientists was 65.2% and 69.0%, respectively, and among NAS physical scientists it was 79.0% and 76.3%. Most of the rest were agnostics on both issues, with few believers. We found the highest percentage of belief among NAS mathematicians (14.3% in God, 15.0% in immortality). Biological scientists had the lowest rate of belief (5.5% in God, 7.1% in immortality), with physicists and astronomers slightly higher (7.5% in God, 7.5% in immortality)."

This would seem to collide with the other article you posted.

#26 Posted by WillPayton (9500 posts) - - Show Bio

@Xanni15 said:

@WillPayton said:

@Xanni15 said:

Not to be a jerk (and go off topic) but do you have any proof of this? I know of quite a few scientists (top of their field too) and other educated individuals who do believe in God. It reads like a shot at religious people.

http://www.stephenjaygould.org/ctrl/news/file002.html

"Our chosen group of "greater" scientists were members of the National Academy of Sciences (NAS). Our survey found near universal rejection of the transcendent by NAS natural scientists. Disbelief in God and immortality among NAS biological scientists was 65.2% and 69.0%, respectively, and among NAS physical scientists it was 79.0% and 76.3%. Most of the rest were agnostics on both issues, with few believers. We found the highest percentage of belief among NAS mathematicians (14.3% in God, 15.0% in immortality). Biological scientists had the lowest rate of belief (5.5% in God, 7.1% in immortality), with physicists and astronomers slightly higher (7.5% in God, 7.5% in immortality)."

This would seem to collide with the other article you posted.

This article (Nature, 1998) was a survey of National Academy of Science, which is different from the Pew poll (2009) of all scientists. The NAS is the organization of top scientists in the US. What it shows is that scientists in general believe in gods less than the general population, and top scientists believe less than average scientists.

#27 Edited by Gambit1024 (9890 posts) - - Show Bio

1) What do you classify yourself as? Atheist, Agnostic, Deist or other ( please explain)

2) Explain your personal beliefs of a higher power or lack thereof?

3) Did you ever believe in a higher power?

4) What events or logic led you to this line of thinking?

5) Have you ever been persecuted or frowned upon because of your non-traditional way of thinking?

6) Why do you think people believe in a creator when there is no tangible evidence?

  1. Not sure. Atheist I guess?
  2. I do not believe that there is a bearded man in white in a cloud city paradise that is hellbent on vengeance but claims to love everyone whilst judging our every actions.
  3. Yes, because my grandparents were very religious
  4. A conversation with my mom: "Wait, so if Santa's not real, then what about God?" Then the rest wrote itself.
  5. Nope. And may I add that what you believe is your business. Just don't push your beliefs on me, and don't think your better than everyone else for believing in what you believe.
  6. Because it helps them sleep better at night. If they find comfort in believing in a higher power, good on them.
#28 Posted by Xanni15 (6758 posts) - - Show Bio

@WillPayton said:

@Xanni15 said:

@WillPayton said:

@Xanni15 said:

Not to be a jerk (and go off topic) but do you have any proof of this? I know of quite a few scientists (top of their field too) and other educated individuals who do believe in God. It reads like a shot at religious people.

http://www.stephenjaygould.org/ctrl/news/file002.html

"Our chosen group of "greater" scientists were members of the National Academy of Sciences (NAS). Our survey found near universal rejection of the transcendent by NAS natural scientists. Disbelief in God and immortality among NAS biological scientists was 65.2% and 69.0%, respectively, and among NAS physical scientists it was 79.0% and 76.3%. Most of the rest were agnostics on both issues, with few believers. We found the highest percentage of belief among NAS mathematicians (14.3% in God, 15.0% in immortality). Biological scientists had the lowest rate of belief (5.5% in God, 7.1% in immortality), with physicists and astronomers slightly higher (7.5% in God, 7.5% in immortality)."

This would seem to collide with the other article you posted.

This article (Nature, 1998) was a survey of National Academy of Science, which is different from the Pew poll (2009) of all scientists. The NAS is the organization of top scientists in the US. What it shows is that scientists in general believe in gods less than the general population, and top scientists believe less than average scientists.

I read both articles and know what they say. The first article you posted contradicts what you just posted, as the Pre poll is of all scientists while the NAS poll is among the top natural scientists. Wouldn't the first article which covers all scientists be more accurate for my original question?

#29 Posted by Lance Uppercut (23245 posts) - - Show Bio

@SC said:

Though I am probably closer to anti-theist.

It's odd to see anyone actually admit to being anti-theist. The only other person I know that's labeled themselves as such is my brother. I suppose Hitchens and Dawkins did as well, but y'know, actually knowing someone that does is surreal. Most just stick with atheist. I do.

#30 Posted by Vance Astro (91261 posts) - - Show Bio

Because I have wheels for legs.

Moderator
#31 Posted by WillPayton (9500 posts) - - Show Bio

@pooty said:

those who know more about the universe believe less in god.

you are showing no mercy tonight.

It's just the facts, really. Belief in the supernatural/gods has historically been a way to make sense of the gaps in our knowledge of the universe. People used to believe that the planets and stars moved because of gods, then we found out about gravity, so no more need for gods. We used to think that surely we were specially made in god's image, but then we found out about evolution... no more need for gods. At the moment, the only place God can hide is at the creation of the universe, and that's exactly where apologists like William Lane Craig put him. There are entire arguments for the existence of God based on cosmology and the creation of the universe. But, as always, we dont need to resort to this. Sometimes "I dont know" is perfectly fine, and actually, is much better. Not knowing is what allows us to learn. Pretending to know is what allows us to stay ignorant.

#32 Edited by WillPayton (9500 posts) - - Show Bio

@Xanni15 said:

I read both articles and know what they say. The first article you posted contradicts what you just posted, as the Pre poll is of all scientists while the NAS poll is among the top natural scientists. Wouldn't the first article which covers all scientists be more accurate for my original question?

Yes, the first article is more accurate to the question of what scientists in general believe. I just wanted to point out the Nature survey because I think it's interesting and relevant. The articles dont contradict, one is just talking about a subset of the other.

So, to summarize:

Belief in God:

General Public: 83%

Scientists: 33%

Top Scientists: 7%

#33 Posted by Xanni15 (6758 posts) - - Show Bio

@WillPayton said:

@Xanni15 said:

I read both articles and know what they say. The first article you posted contradicts what you just posted, as the Pre poll is of all scientists while the NAS poll is among the top natural scientists. Wouldn't the first article which covers all scientists be more accurate for my original question?

Yes, the first article is more accurate to the question of what scientists in general believe. I just wanted to point out the Nature survey because I think it's interesting and relevant. The articles dont contradict, one is just talking about a subset of the other.

That's all I wanted to know, thank you.

#34 Posted by Xanni15 (6758 posts) - - Show Bio

@WillPayton said:

Sometimes "I dont know" is perfectly fine, and actually, is much better. Not knowing is what allows us to learn. Pretending to know is what allows us to stay ignorant.

I think you would find that a lot of people are not as accepting as you are when it comes to "I don't know", at least when it comes from the side of religion, they have to know all the answers and prove it to everyone. Science has always been able to use it without backlash.

#35 Posted by SC (13143 posts) - - Show Bio
@Lance Uppercut said:

@SC said:

Though I am probably closer to anti-theist.

It's odd to see anyone actually admit to being anti-theist. The only other person I know that's labeled themselves as such is my brother. I suppose Hitchens and Dawkins did as well, but y'know, actually knowing someone that does is surreal. Most just stick with atheist. I do.

 
Its probably because I live in a smaller country than say America and religion isn't as intertwined in my countries politics as much, which adds another combustive context. I have heard of many stories and seen examples of atheists being treated negatively or attacked by others and it always makes me raise my eyebrow, that they would be attacked for simply not believing in something. Then I wonder what the people doing the attacking would say to me when I sincerely believe religion is a big problem that needs to be dealt with. Not the only problem naturally, but religion often accompanies other problems like those concerning poverty, and equality. I don't like that for many people justice is something that they can only look forward to after they die, when its time for heaven and hell. Or that its often the rich or powerful telling people everything will be okay as long as they believe in god and that the greedy rich sinners will get theirs in hell. Then they go have fun with all the sin because they can afford it or have access to it. lol  
 
I like people and discussion a lot as well, so being anti-theist might motivate theists and religious to want to discuss their perspectives with me which I am always open to, even though I typically find labels too simple.        
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#36 Posted by WillPayton (9500 posts) - - Show Bio

@Xanni15 said:

@WillPayton said:

Sometimes "I dont know" is perfectly fine, and actually, is much better. Not knowing is what allows us to learn. Pretending to know is what allows us to stay ignorant.

I think you would find that a lot of people are not as accepting as you are when it comes to "I don't know", at least when it comes from the side of religion, they have to know all the answers and prove it to everyone. Science has always been able to use it without backlash.

Yes, it's a human fault. Our brains constantly interpret the world, make stories to explain what we see, etc. But, our sensory input and knowledge is limited, so we can easily be fooled. That's why we have things like optical illusions, the brain makes a story to explain what it saw, but it's wrong.

Science is based not just on the willingness to admit we dont know, but also on the process by which others have to verify and duplicate your results. "I dont know" is the very first step to knowledge... whether it's scientific or philosophical, or even spiritual. Religion, unfortunately, usually starts at the end by claiming it knows. Faith simply means "believe what I told you and dont ask questions". That's not for me.

#37 Posted by Xanni15 (6758 posts) - - Show Bio

@WillPayton said:

Science is based not just on the willingness to admit we dont know, but also on the process by which others have to verify and duplicate your results. "I dont know" is the very first step to knowledge... whether it's scientific or philosophical, or even spiritual. Religion, unfortunately, usually starts at the end by claiming it knows. Faith simply means "believe what I told you and dont ask questions". That's not for me.

And how does science explain miracles, especially those that cannot be duplicated (the one in a million cases, etc)? Is that how you define faith? Personally, I would be more inclined to define it as "I believe."

#38 Posted by Lance Uppercut (23245 posts) - - Show Bio

@SC said:

@Lance Uppercut said:

@SC said:

Though I am probably closer to anti-theist.

It's odd to see anyone actually admit to being anti-theist. The only other person I know that's labeled themselves as such is my brother. I suppose Hitchens and Dawkins did as well, but y'know, actually knowing someone that does is surreal. Most just stick with atheist. I do.

Its probably because I live in a smaller country than say America and religion isn't as intertwined in my countries politics as much, which adds another combustive context. I have heard of many stories and seen examples of atheists being treated negatively or attacked by others and it always makes me raise my eyebrow, that they would be attacked for simply not believing in something. Then I wonder what the people doing the attacking would say to me when I sincerely believe religion is a big problem that needs to be dealt with. Not the only problem naturally, but religion often accompanies other problems like those concerning poverty, and equality. I don't like that for many people justice is something that they can only look forward to after they die, when its time for heaven and hell. Or that its often the rich or powerful telling people everything will be okay as long as they believe in god and that the greedy rich sinners will get theirs in hell. Then they go have fun with all the sin because they can afford it or have access to it. lol I like people and discussion a lot as well, so being anti-theist might motivate theists and religious to want to discuss their perspectives with me which I am always open to, even though I typically find labels too simple.

The worst part of a country so based on religion is that most of the atheists and anti-theists actually understand and comprehend christian values better than the religious folk that wholeheartedly believe them. Or maybe it's just a southern thing. Religion, unfortunately, was a massive reason for slavery in the south considering that slave owners were busy touting Christianity and the bible to keep the slaves in line. And not much has changed over the past hundred years. We tout ourselves as a progressive and powerful country when we still look at God and the bible as the primary source of our collective earthly existence. It's depressing.

#39 Posted by WillPayton (9500 posts) - - Show Bio

@Lance Uppercut said:

@SC said:

Though I am probably closer to anti-theist.

It's odd to see anyone actually admit to being anti-theist. The only other person I know that's labeled themselves as such is my brother. I suppose Hitchens and Dawkins did as well, but y'know, actually knowing someone that does is surreal. Most just stick with atheist. I do.

I would call myself "anti-religion", not just in the sense of gods and the supernatural, but religion in general as a way of thinking. Religious thinking is (IMO) never a good thing. It could be in politics, economics, social issues, work-related stuff,... whatever. Whenever you start to believe in anything so much that you take for granted that you're right, your brain starts to automatically tune out opposing views, even if they could help you make better decisions.

#40 Posted by Xanni15 (6758 posts) - - Show Bio

@Lance Uppercut said:

The worst part of a country so based on religion is that most of the atheists and anti-theists actually understand and comprehend christian values better than the religious folk that wholeheartedly believe them. Or maybe it's just a southern thing. Religion, unfortunately, was a massive reason for slavery in the south considering that slave owners were busy touting Christianity and the bible to keep the slaves in line. And not much has changed over the past hundred years. We tout ourselves as a progressive and powerful country when we still look at God and the bible as the primary source of our collective earthly existence. It's depressing.

Slavery was around for a long time before America unfortunately brought it here, I don't think it's completely fair to place a massive amount of blame on religion. People saw a chance to exploit other people, I have no doubt they would have done it anyways.

#41 Posted by WillPayton (9500 posts) - - Show Bio

@Xanni15 said:

And how does science explain miracles, especially those that cannot be duplicated (the one in a million cases, etc)? Is that how you define faith? Personally, I would be more inclined to define it as "I believe."

Science really makes no attempt to explain the supernatural. By definition, miracles cant happen, because a miracle is an event that defies logic. But, nothing can defy logic or what is possible, even a god could not do that. Physics is set of laws that govern all of the universe, which would include anything a god could do, because even a god would be governed by some laws that cannot be broken.

That's not to say that science cant test "supernatural" claims. But, if the claims involve anything that's not reproducible or testable, then science cant do anything with it. The question then is, why would you believe it? If I said that I was abducted by aliens, but I couldnt verify it in any way, would you believe me? Probably not.

#42 Posted by _Checkmate_ (20 posts) - - Show Bio

This is a very dangerous topic for discussion on any sort of forum.
 
 I suggest treading lightly before name-calling begins :P

#43 Posted by Lance Uppercut (23245 posts) - - Show Bio

@Xanni15 said:

@Lance Uppercut said:

The worst part of a country so based on religion is that most of the atheists and anti-theists actually understand and comprehend christian values better than the religious folk that wholeheartedly believe them. Or maybe it's just a southern thing. Religion, unfortunately, was a massive reason for slavery in the south considering that slave owners were busy touting Christianity and the bible to keep the slaves in line. And not much has changed over the past hundred years. We tout ourselves as a progressive and powerful country when we still look at God and the bible as the primary source of our collective earthly existence. It's depressing.

Slavery was around for a long time before America unfortunately brought it here, I don't think it's completely fair to place a massive amount of blame on religion. People saw a chance to exploit other people, I have no doubt they would have done it anyways.

I'd provide passages from both testaments citing support of slavery, but I've been drinking and I'm lazy. That being said - slavery has been around for a long time. So has religion. The silly part is that religion has notoriously supported slavery in general. I'm not saying all religious people support slavery, because that would be a rather broad claim to make. But slavery is in fact condoned in the bible, and was in fact utilized by southern slave owners to pacify their slaves.

#44 Posted by WillPayton (9500 posts) - - Show Bio

@Xanni15 said:

@Lance Uppercut said:

The worst part of a country so based on religion is that most of the atheists and anti-theists actually understand and comprehend christian values better than the religious folk that wholeheartedly believe them. Or maybe it's just a southern thing. Religion, unfortunately, was a massive reason for slavery in the south considering that slave owners were busy touting Christianity and the bible to keep the slaves in line. And not much has changed over the past hundred years. We tout ourselves as a progressive and powerful country when we still look at God and the bible as the primary source of our collective earthly existence. It's depressing.

Slavery was around for a long time before America unfortunately brought it here, I don't think it's completely fair to place a massive amount of blame on religion. People saw a chance to exploit other people, I have no doubt they would have done it anyways.

True enough, slavery has been around as long as humans have. Many of the African slaves that came to America were sold into slavery by other African tribesmen who captured them in battles or raids. They didnt really care about other tribes, they killed and enslaved each other because they could.

But also lets not forget that even the Bible condones slavery. God was fine with warriors taking women and children of defeated enemies as slaves.

#45 Posted by Xanni15 (6758 posts) - - Show Bio

@WillPayton said:

@Xanni15 said:

And how does science explain miracles, especially those that cannot be duplicated (the one in a million cases, etc)? Is that how you define faith? Personally, I would be more inclined to define it as "I believe."

Science really makes no attempt to explain the supernatural. By definition, miracles cant happen, because a miracle is an event that defies logic. But, nothing can defy logic or what is possible, even a god could not do that. Physics is set of laws that govern all of the universe, which would include anything a god could do, because even a god would be governed by some laws that cannot be broken.

That's not to say that science cant test "supernatural" claims. But, if the claims involve anything that's not reproducible or testable, then science cant do anything with it. The question then is, why would you believe it? If I said that I was abducted by aliens, but I couldnt verify it in any way, would you believe me? Probably not.

A god might be governed by laws that can't be broken but we don't know which laws those are, and if God exists then he wouldn't be governed by any of them. Miracles happen, though, whether science acknowledges them or not. Maybe they'll call them random acts but you hear about crazy stories all the time where people survive the craziest situations, nobody seems able to explain them.

#46 Posted by Chronus (1115 posts) - - Show Bio

@pooty said:

1) What do you classify yourself as? Atheist, Agnostic, Deist or other ( please explain)

2) Explain your personal beliefs of a higher power or lack thereof?

3) Did you ever believe in a higher power?

4) What events or logic led you to this line of thinking?

5) Have you ever been persecuted or frowned upon because of your non-traditional way of thinking?

6) Why do you think people believe in a creator when there is no tangible evidence?

  1. Atheist.
  2. I do not believe in a higher power/deity. I believe everything that happens is based off of knowledge and probability or chance.
  3. Yes.
  4. I paid more attention to what is currently happening in the world and what has been stated in each religion to realize that everything is false.
  5. Yes.
  6. Stupidity and/or the fear of the unexplained and death.
#47 Posted by Xanni15 (6758 posts) - - Show Bio

@Lance Uppercut said:

@Xanni15 said:

@Lance Uppercut said:

The worst part of a country so based on religion is that most of the atheists and anti-theists actually understand and comprehend christian values better than the religious folk that wholeheartedly believe them. Or maybe it's just a southern thing. Religion, unfortunately, was a massive reason for slavery in the south considering that slave owners were busy touting Christianity and the bible to keep the slaves in line. And not much has changed over the past hundred years. We tout ourselves as a progressive and powerful country when we still look at God and the bible as the primary source of our collective earthly existence. It's depressing.

Slavery was around for a long time before America unfortunately brought it here, I don't think it's completely fair to place a massive amount of blame on religion. People saw a chance to exploit other people, I have no doubt they would have done it anyways.

I'd provide passages from both testaments citing support of slavery, but I've been drinking and I'm lazy. That being said - slavery has been around for a long time. So has religion. The silly part is that religion has notoriously supported slavery in general. I'm not saying all religious people support slavery, because that would be a rather broad claim to make. But slavery is in fact condoned in the bible, and was in fact utilized by southern slave owners to pacify their slaves.

I'm not denying or requesting those passages, just taking issue with lumping in all religion and all religious people (which you have just stated wasn't your meaning). Every single religious person in this country and throughout the world isn't just a mindless drone who takes every single word in the bible as truth, and I would find it very difficult to believe that many would still support slavery today. Religion has always done at least some good, and continues to do so. As with everything, nothing is perfect. My main point about slavery, who knows how long it has been around (maybe since the first humans). Romans were major slave owners, Africans sold their own people off, indentured servants went through hell as well.

#48 Posted by SC (13143 posts) - - Show Bio
@Xanni15 said:

@Lance Uppercut said:

The worst part of a country so based on religion is that most of the atheists and anti-theists actually understand and comprehend christian values better than the religious folk that wholeheartedly believe them. Or maybe it's just a southern thing. Religion, unfortunately, was a massive reason for slavery in the south considering that slave owners were busy touting Christianity and the bible to keep the slaves in line. And not much has changed over the past hundred years. We tout ourselves as a progressive and powerful country when we still look at God and the bible as the primary source of our collective earthly existence. It's depressing.

Slavery was around for a long time before America unfortunately brought it here, I don't think it's completely fair to place a massive amount of blame on religion. People saw a chance to exploit other people, I have no doubt they would have done it anyways.

 
I think the point here isn't so much about placing blame, but just looking for sincere reasoning as far as identifying why things happen and or have happened. A persons religion deals with a persons faith and faith is great for justifying a persons actions good or bad. Especially since faith can simplify things. Circular reasoning. It can also be a great source for confirmation bias. I think what I am doing is right, my faith and religion confirm it as well, so there is no need for me to question myself. Is it possible in other words that many slave owners didn't consider that they were exploiting other people, and that what they were doing was right? Or at least there was nothing wrong with it? Naturally such things could be potentially done anyway, using other systems designed to create social order. Most other systems like politics are usually less sacred as far as criticism and change though.  
 
To put it another way, education could always be blamed for slavery, and modern education can actually teach us a lot about how people and racism works, and how people and society work, and people and just all sorts really. Knowledge that if applied in the past could have prevented actions of the past. That being said education as a whole has constantly progressed and improved, radically even with time. Religion not so much. Mainly because many religions are almost designed not to. Its also why today you have so many people with different ideas of god, many with personal gods but also those that try and maintain banners that can include a lot of those peoples, for say political purposes.      
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#49 Posted by WillPayton (9500 posts) - - Show Bio

@Xanni15 said:

@WillPayton said:

@Xanni15 said:

And how does science explain miracles, especially those that cannot be duplicated (the one in a million cases, etc)? Is that how you define faith? Personally, I would be more inclined to define it as "I believe."

Science really makes no attempt to explain the supernatural. By definition, miracles cant happen, because a miracle is an event that defies logic. But, nothing can defy logic or what is possible, even a god could not do that. Physics is set of laws that govern all of the universe, which would include anything a god could do, because even a god would be governed by some laws that cannot be broken.

That's not to say that science cant test "supernatural" claims. But, if the claims involve anything that's not reproducible or testable, then science cant do anything with it. The question then is, why would you believe it? If I said that I was abducted by aliens, but I couldnt verify it in any way, would you believe me? Probably not.

A god might be governed by laws that can't be broken but we don't know which laws those are, and if God exists then he wouldn't be governed by any of them. Miracles happen, though, whether science acknowledges them or not. Maybe they'll call them random acts but you hear about crazy stories all the time where people survive the craziest situations, nobody seems able to explain them.

You're right, we might not know what those laws are.

The problem with saying that miracles happen is that if you dont have evidence, then you're just taking someone's word for it. If that's the case, you have no way to judge what's true and what's not. UFOs, ghosts, re-incarnation, fairies, 3000 different gods, sea monsters, Bigfoot, ESP, ancient aliens, lizards running the world, 9/11 conspiracies... which ones are true? Without science, you're just believing what you want to believe. And, hey, to each their own.

#50 Posted by Xanni15 (6758 posts) - - Show Bio

@WillPayton said:

@Xanni15 said:

@Lance Uppercut said:

The worst part of a country so based on religion is that most of the atheists and anti-theists actually understand and comprehend christian values better than the religious folk that wholeheartedly believe them. Or maybe it's just a southern thing. Religion, unfortunately, was a massive reason for slavery in the south considering that slave owners were busy touting Christianity and the bible to keep the slaves in line. And not much has changed over the past hundred years. We tout ourselves as a progressive and powerful country when we still look at God and the bible as the primary source of our collective earthly existence. It's depressing.

Slavery was around for a long time before America unfortunately brought it here, I don't think it's completely fair to place a massive amount of blame on religion. People saw a chance to exploit other people, I have no doubt they would have done it anyways.

True enough, slavery has been around as long as humans have. Many of the African slaves that came to America were sold into slavery by other African tribesmen who captured them in battles or raids. They didnt really care about other tribes, they killed and enslaved each other because they could.

But also lets not forget that even the Bible condones slavery. God was fine with warriors taking women and children of defeated enemies as slaves.

I don't deny that.