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Question: Are you an atheist?
Yes - 39 (73.6%)
No - 14 (26.4%)
Total Voters: 52

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Author Topic: Faith in a higher power.  (Read 4141 times)
Mageant
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March 02, 2012, 07:03:33 PM
 #21

Religion <> Theism

You can be a theist without belonging to a religion. IMHO it is the even the most rational position.

I would order from most to least rational position:
Theism > Atheism > Religion

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Rassah
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March 02, 2012, 07:37:15 PM
 #22

Religion <> Theism

You can be a theist without belonging to a religion. IMHO it is the even the most rational position.

I would order from most to least rational position:
Theism > Atheism > Religion

How is theism, believing that an event is supernatural until it is explained through natural processes, more rational than atheism, believing that we don't understand the event until we can explain it through natural processes?

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March 02, 2012, 11:14:10 PM
 #23

Religion <> Theism

You can be a theist without belonging to a religion. IMHO it is the even the most rational position.

I would order from most to least rational position:
Theism > Atheism > Religion

How is theism, believing that an event is supernatural until it is explained through natural processes, more rational than atheism, believing that we don't understand the event until we can explain it through natural processes?

I'm not talking about explaining an event as supernatural. I am talking about a general worldview. More precisely it is "Pantheism", or even more precisely the Conscious Universe model. The reason it is more rational is because it explains all the phenomena, ie. all the anomalous data, instead of ignoring them.

Religious worldviews are logically inconsistent and mostly irrational, relying on blind faith. I think we can agree on that. Atheists (more precisely Physicalists) believe in mainstream science, which is good because it is an improvement over Religion. The only problem is that is fails to acknowledge that mainstream science is also being manipulative or ignorant to some degree when it chooses to ignore "put off" all the evidence that supports conspiracy theories and paranormal phenomena. This is not being scientific, it is being willfully ignorant at the least. It is excusable though because it is a psychological hurdle that many people - including mainstream scientists - fail to overcome.

The Conscious Universe model incorporates these "anomalies" into a complete worldview that is logical and explains everything. Part of this model is the idea that Consciousness is fundamental property of the Universe, and that the Universe was created in conscious manner.

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March 03, 2012, 03:12:53 AM
 #24

What kind of anomalous data, and what is the explanation for it? This is the first time I'm hearing that atheists or science ignores data...

the joint
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March 03, 2012, 03:28:36 AM
 #25

Faith is essential to both religion and science.

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March 03, 2012, 03:33:53 AM
 #26

Faith is essential to both religion and science.

Explain please

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March 03, 2012, 03:38:51 AM
 #27

What the hell is a 'higher power'? I've only ever encountered the term when watching AA meetings on "Law and Order". Can I have a definition? Is it some kind of god-thing?

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the joint
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March 03, 2012, 03:39:19 AM
 #28

Faith is essential to both religion and science.

Explain please

Faith is a belief in something without evidence for it.

Science takes evidence observed in a continual present and uses it to try to make future predictions without any actual evidence of a future whatsoever.

Will you see the sunrise tomorrow (assuming you're an early-bird and also assuming I don't receive any complaints about the fact that the sun doesn't 'rise')?  Do you have any evidence to suggest that it will, or only evidence that suggests it has in the past?

More than being essential to both religion and science, I think faith is essential to survival.

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March 03, 2012, 03:51:11 AM
 #29

Not sure if I would use faith for "expectation for something based on prior results/observation." Religion doesn't have "prior results/expectations," so it may be stretching the word a bit. But I do see your point.

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March 03, 2012, 03:55:39 AM
 #30

Faith is essential to both religion and science.

Explain please

Faith is a belief in something without evidence for it.

Science takes evidence observed in a continual present and uses it to try to make future predictions without any actual evidence of a future whatsoever.

Will you see the sunrise tomorrow (assuming you're an early-bird and also assuming I don't receive any complaints about the fact that the sun doesn't 'rise')?  Do you have any evidence to suggest that it will, or only evidence that suggests it has in the past?

More than being essential to both religion and science, I think faith is essential to survival.

See...the science that I know says "it's likely the sun will rise tomorrow, but we can't answer for sure, because of the possibility that there will be an anomalous event, like an alien abducting the sun. Or it might just go out. But given what we've experienced in the past, and from the data we've managed to collect, our money's on the sun rising."

Does science rule out a more powerful, conscious being? No. In fact it says that somewhere, one should (but doesn't have to) exist. Based on the science I know, I do have to have faith that Math is absolute. But that seems to be it.  

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the joint
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March 03, 2012, 04:21:22 AM
 #31

Faith is essential to both religion and science.

Explain please

Faith is a belief in something without evidence for it.

Science takes evidence observed in a continual present and uses it to try to make future predictions without any actual evidence of a future whatsoever.

Will you see the sunrise tomorrow (assuming you're an early-bird and also assuming I don't receive any complaints about the fact that the sun doesn't 'rise')?  Do you have any evidence to suggest that it will, or only evidence that suggests it has in the past?

More than being essential to both religion and science, I think faith is essential to survival.

See...the science that I know says "it's likely the sun will rise tomorrow, but we can't answer for sure, because of the possibility that there will be an anomalous event, like an alien abducting the sun. Or it might just go out. But given what we've experienced in the past, and from the data we've managed to collect, our money's on the sun rising."

Does science rule out a more powerful, conscious being? No. In fact it says that somewhere, one should (but doesn't have to) exist. Based on the science I know, I do have to have faith that Math is absolute. But that seems to be it.  

Math, and faith in accurate and/or comprehensive interpretation of real-world objects and events.  Consider this -- a definition of a thing is essentially a theory of it.  When researchers operationalize their variables, they are creating or reusing miniature theories of these variables.  Not only that, but the variables themselves are miniature theories of the real-world things or events they explain.  The whole process by which we cognitively know anything depends upon a whole chain of assumptions that could only be proven to be true if we could compare their past and future states.  I just don't see, nor have I ever seen, concrete proof of a past and future.  Actually, you could argue that there's evidence that suggests past and future states do not exist because the present is the current evidence we have.  Even the theory of relativity seems to imply that individuals are only stratified temporally and that we basically all live in a relative present.

But on the whole, I agree with you.  I just think religion and science have a lot more in common than people generally think.  

Edit: I always found the following semantic musing interesting, though I admit its a stretch:

When I doubt, I don't know.  (e.g. I doubt the Cubs will win the World Series, but hey, who really knows?)
If doubt is related to a lack of knowledge, does faith relate to knowledge? 

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March 03, 2012, 05:00:37 AM
 #32

The concept of "evidence" requires some kind of continuity between past-future and different points in space. If you do not see any connection between past events and your current experiences (or events that occur across the room from you and those that occur nearby)... then I don't really know what to tell you. You would not survive long if you let this determine your behavior.
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March 03, 2012, 05:46:55 AM
 #33

Religion <> Theism

You can be a theist without belonging to a religion. IMHO it is the even the most rational position.

I would order from most to least rational position:
Theism > Atheism > Religion

How is theism, believing that an event is supernatural until it is explained through natural processes, more rational than atheism, believing that we don't understand the event until we can explain it through natural processes?

I'm not talking about explaining an event as supernatural. I am talking about a general worldview. More precisely it is "Pantheism", or even more precisely the Conscious Universe model. The reason it is more rational is because it explains all the phenomena, ie. all the anomalous data, instead of ignoring them.

Religious worldviews are logically inconsistent and mostly irrational, relying on blind faith. I think we can agree on that. Atheists (more precisely Physicalists) believe in mainstream science, which is good because it is an improvement over Religion. The only problem is that is fails to acknowledge that mainstream science is also being manipulative or ignorant to some degree when it chooses to ignore "put off" all the evidence that supports conspiracy theories and paranormal phenomena. This is not being scientific, it is being willfully ignorant at the least. It is excusable though because it is a psychological hurdle that many people - including mainstream scientists - fail to overcome.

The Conscious Universe model incorporates these "anomalies" into a complete worldview that is logical and explains everything. Part of this model is the idea that Consciousness is fundamental property of the Universe, and that the Universe was created in conscious manner.

Are you familiar with the terms "false positive" and "false negative"? If so, how would you have mainstream science distinguish these occurrences from "anomalies"?
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March 03, 2012, 05:58:54 AM
 #34

The concept of "evidence" requires some kind of continuity between past-future and different points in space. If you do not see any connection between past events and your current experiences (or events that occur across the room from you and those that occur nearby)... then I don't really know what to tell you. You would not survive long if you let this determine your behavior.

Evident means "that which is apparent."  When you interpret some real-world event or thing as "evidence," you then refocus your present awareness on your abstract representation of it.  But, extrapolating meaning from that evidence is what requires a comparison of past and future states.

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March 03, 2012, 06:28:02 AM
 #35

I guess it really boils down to whether the belief that "the established laws of the universe will continue to function in the future" can be considered faith or not. There's no reason to believe they won't. There's no reason to believe anything claimed by religion will.

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March 03, 2012, 06:28:56 AM
 #36

The concept of "evidence" requires some kind of continuity between past-future and different points in space. If you do not see any connection between past events and your current experiences (or events that occur across the room from you and those that occur nearby)... then I don't really know what to tell you. You would not survive long if you let this determine your behavior.

Evident means "that which is apparent."  When you interpret some real-world event or thing as "evidence," you then refocus your present awareness on your abstract representation of it.  But, extrapolating meaning from that evidence is what requires a comparison of past and future states.

What determines one's abstract representation of an object? Past experience?

I guess it really boils down to whether the belief that "the established laws of the universe will continue to function in the future" can be considered faith or not. There's no reason to believe they won't. There's no reason to believe anything claimed by religion will.

I think it is more fundamental than that. Why does anyone hold the belief that the past can be used to predict the future?
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March 03, 2012, 06:36:40 AM
 #37


I think it is more fundamental than that. Why does anyone hold the belief that the past can be used to predict the future?
to hopefully predict blocks while mining.

...and hopping, while at that.

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March 03, 2012, 06:37:25 AM
 #38

I guess it really boils down to whether the belief that "the established laws of the universe will continue to function in the future" can be considered faith or not. There's no reason to believe they won't. There's no reason to believe anything claimed by religion will.

I think it is more fundamental than that. Why does anyone hold the belief that the past can be used to predict the future?

Because it is a testable and repeatable theory.

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March 03, 2012, 06:43:06 AM
 #39


I think it is more fundamental than that. Why does anyone hold the belief that the past can be used to predict the future?
to hopefully predict blocks while mining.

...and hopping, while at that.

 Tongue

I would use the example of:

If I just took a dump and my toilet won't flush, what should I do? Should I pray for it to start working again? I think no.

Or, should I try to figure out what is wrong with it? If in the past I have discovered that usually this is because the chain disconnected from the flapper, shouldn't I check this first?

Science is just taking this strategy to a new level. Most religious people will live their lives like this, but make some exceptions.
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March 03, 2012, 07:01:36 AM
 #40

The concept of "evidence" requires some kind of continuity between past-future and different points in space. If you do not see any connection between past events and your current experiences (or events that occur across the room from you and those that occur nearby)... then I don't really know what to tell you. You would not survive long if you let this determine your behavior.

Evident means "that which is apparent."  When you interpret some real-world event or thing as "evidence," you then refocus your present awareness on your abstract representation of it.  But, extrapolating meaning from that evidence is what requires a comparison of past and future states.

What determines one's abstract representation of an object? Past experience?


What past experience?  You mean the 'memories' you have that you observe in the present?

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