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Are we all born an Atheist?

Discuss philosophical questions regarding theism (and atheism), and discuss religion as it relates to philosophy. This includes any philosophical discussions that happen to be about god, gods, or a 'higher power' or the belief of them. This also generally includes philosophical topics about organized or ritualistic mysticism or about organized, common or ritualistic beliefs in the existence of supernatural phenomenon.
Karpel Tunnel
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Re: Are we all born an Atheist?

Post by Karpel Tunnel » October 22nd, 2018, 6:17 am

Jklint wrote:
October 22nd, 2018, 1:40 am
God seems awfully human were it not for its transcendency being without origin in time. Aside from these minor attributes everything else seems to fit!
Well, there is the whole, in his image thing in Christianity. But I don't think that is so strange in general either. God is a kind of living entity. Dogs, humans, an alien spacefaring species, a deity. I would think there will be some overlap.

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Re: Are we all born an Atheist?

Post by Karpel Tunnel » October 22nd, 2018, 6:21 am

Greta wrote:
October 21st, 2018, 11:52 pm
Solid reply :) Lack of omnipresence is the main dealbreaker.
Still, most branches posit God as apart from the universe,
The Abrahamic religions seem to do this, but not a lot of the paganisms, indigenous systems, Wiccans, Hinduism, pantheisms.

and it's said that a black hole is functionally a separate universe in itself. Maybe this is one of those weird inside-outy kind of dynamics where who is is without is really within, or something like that ...
OK, I mean I think it was a clever exmaple. I probably should have said that. I like the idea of throwing out black holes as candidates for deities. And perhaps it is an immanent part of the deity. :D
A deity that creates all of this is clearly not a moral being, but one that gets things done without care about the suffering of innocents inflicted along the way. That's not a judgement, just an observation.
I was mainly looking at the conception of God, not arguing that I think that God must be moral by my standards or any standards or what is going on with the problem of evil.

And we can't rule out that black holes have morals :D , it's just not in their description yet....

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Re: Are we all born an Atheist?

Post by Greta » October 22nd, 2018, 4:25 pm

I would say unconcerned rather than cruel which, as Klint noticed, is suspiciously human.

Eduk, the notion that God is cruel is an emotional response, not something that can be reasoned intellectually. "God is cruel" just means that problematic entropic events have happened nearby and some hominids are understandably upset about it.

Life is cruel. Fate is cruel. The universe is cruel. Nature is cruel. All basically saying the same thing. A logical extension of the delusion that we are central to reality.

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Re: Are we all born an Atheist?

Post by Jklint » October 22nd, 2018, 4:48 pm

Karpel Tunnel wrote:
October 22nd, 2018, 6:17 am
Jklint wrote:
October 22nd, 2018, 1:40 am
God seems awfully human were it not for its transcendency being without origin in time. Aside from these minor attributes everything else seems to fit!
Well, there is the whole, in his image thing in Christianity. But I don't think that is so strange in general either. God is a kind of living entity. Dogs, humans, an alien spacefaring species, a deity. I would think there will be some overlap.
I think there would be more overlap between dogs and humans than between humans and god. The way god or gods often behave actually makes dogs look superior.

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Re: Are we all born an Atheist?

Post by Greta » October 22nd, 2018, 5:04 pm

Consider hominids on the surface of one planet, orbiting one star of many billions within a galaxy, within thousands of other galaxies in a galactic cluster, and within millions more within a galactic supercluster. You would expect the creator of the universe to be much closer to the latter than the former, if for the sake of logistics alone.

Dogs, are very similar to young human children in many ways, not least because we've been creating them in our image for millennia.

Dogs are just easier to deal with, a relief for us after dealing with complex and demanding humans. They are not superior, just more pleasant company :)

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Re: Are we all born an Atheist?

Post by Jklint » October 23rd, 2018, 3:58 am

Even if there were a creator of the universe of whatever size, I still don't know or imagine what THAT would have to do with me? It's not as if IT could have a personal interest in me being here. Also, the idea explains absolutely nothing except our psychological imperfections in the way we think. The difference in my allegiance between dog and god is that the former occupies a fair amount of space in my psyche and where I live, while the latter is a complete abstraction that can be formalized in any manner one wishes.

If I believed in a god or creator of the universe that how would that be different from my complete abrogation of it. Subtract one from the other and the most that's left is the position of the agnostic. The most effective teacher of atheism never humans but nature itself.

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Re: Are we all born an Atheist?

Post by Greta » October 23rd, 2018, 7:32 am

It's one thing to be atheist to the old spirit man with hangups about gays, shellfish and menstruating women, it's another to be atheist to all possible spiritual conceptions, including various angles of pantheism. There could be aspects of reality that we have not imagined or completely misinterpreted.

I'm in no rush to make decisions about the nature of reality based on such pitifully inadequate information. We know so little:

- we don't know what was before the BB or how the BB banged or what banged
- we know almost nothing about 95% of the universe
- we don't much understand the other 5%
- we don't understand the nature of time
- or of space, for that matter
- we don't understand how abiogenesis occurred
- we don't understand consciousness, especially the "hard problem"
- we don't know if AI can become conscious
- we have a sample size of one of life
- we have explored almost none of the galaxy, let alone the universe
- we don't know if this is the only universe, or if it's the first or billionth.

None of the above, along with the many other mysteries, gives me tremendous confidence that we understand enough to speak confidently about the ultimate nature of reality.

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Re: Are we all born an Atheist?

Post by Eduk » October 23rd, 2018, 8:32 am

it's another to be atheist to all possible spiritual conceptions, including various angles of pantheism.
We've had this conversation a few times and I don't seem to have swayed your thinking or language one bit, but I'll try again :)

Let's think of it from a different angle. If God (whichever one) was stood in front of you right now, how would you prove it was God?
Conceptually I cannot think of a possible test. It might actually be impossible for me to test for God.

So I would say a couple of things in conclusion. 1. I do know that all known conceptions of God are made up and therefore vanishingly unlikely to be accurate in any way. 2. I am agnostic about whether it would even be possible for a human to come up with an accurate conception of God. 3. I am agnostic about a possible undefined God, but words fail me here as God doesn't really do this concept justice.

Atheism isn't about believing there is no God (or at least not necessarily) it is about not believing your (or anyone's) claim that you do know God (whichever one).
Unknown means unknown.

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Re: Are we all born an Atheist?

Post by Jklint » October 23rd, 2018, 2:50 pm

In spite of everything we don't know about the ultimate nature of reality and never will know why should a god be given "any" credence within this list of "we don't know"?

The question becomes what do we actually know regarding god and nature except the outstanding fact that the former never presented itself within the workings of the latter and not a single sign of it either in the entire history of human affairs. Shouldn't this total lack of input be indicative of a missing entity we call god? The only adequate use of the word, it would seem to me, is as a variable to denote an unknown that once known, shifts itself further into another region of the unknown. In short, it never receives its final baptism into what may be declared as an Ultimate Reality.

A bona fide atheist doesn't philosophize. Instead he scrutinizes and examines the conclusions of a reality advanced by science in which God slips ever more into non-existence. This becomes the tipping point where "Agnostic" is centered as a mere formality of Iogic no-longer able to proceed beyond the reality it recognizes into the one denoted as ultimate. In effect, it is one in which the meaning of atheist and agnostic merge to form the same conclusion, agnostic being more diplomatic in expressing it!

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Re: Are we all born an Atheist?

Post by Karpel Tunnel » October 24th, 2018, 5:06 am

Jklint wrote:
October 22nd, 2018, 4:48 pm
Karpel Tunnel wrote:
October 22nd, 2018, 6:17 am
Well, there is the whole, in his image thing in Christianity. But I don't think that is so strange in general either. God is a kind of living entity. Dogs, humans, an alien spacefaring species, a deity. I would think there will be some overlap.
I think there would be more overlap between dogs and humans than between humans and god. The way god or gods often behave actually makes dogs look superior.
Seems to me that holds rather well for dogs vs. humans. But I was not speaking about them as moral creatures, more like that any conscious entity would likely have subjective experience, attitudes, interests, motivations, etc. I do understand the problem of evil, though from the perspective of the rest of life on earth, humans are incredibly destructive, and perhaps not too far in the future, almost magically effective in their destruction of ecosystems. To most of them we would seem like gods where the problem of evil would need explaining. In Abrahamic religions God is presented as all loving and perfect. But in pagan religions the problem of evil is less an argument, since the gods display all sorts of foibles and worse. Likewise other religions are less cornered by the problem of evil.

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Re: Are we all born an Atheist?

Post by Karpel Tunnel » October 24th, 2018, 5:08 am

Greta wrote:
October 22nd, 2018, 4:25 pm
I would say unconcerned rather than cruel which, as Klint noticed, is suspiciously human.

Eduk, the notion that God is cruel is an emotional response, not something that can be reasoned intellectually. "God is cruel" just means that problematic entropic events have happened nearby and some hominids are understandably upset about it.

Life is cruel. Fate is cruel. The universe is cruel. Nature is cruel. All basically saying the same thing. A logical extension of the delusion that we are central to reality.
There are a variety of religions and they present very different potential solutions to the problem of evil. Most offer some kind of long term it works out good in the end type responses. In Christianity, for example, this working out is not for everyone.

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Re: Are we all born an Atheist?

Post by Greta » October 24th, 2018, 7:12 am

Eduk wrote:
October 23rd, 2018, 8:32 am
Atheism isn't about believing there is no God (or at least not necessarily) it is about not believing your (or anyone's) claim that you do know God (whichever one).
There's the problem. If you want to influence me you need to use a correct definition, at least:

Atheism is: disbelief or lack of belief in the existence of God or gods.

Atheism is not: disbelief in people's claims to know or contact God or gods.

I don't believe anyone's claim to know God or gods either and I am an agnostic. However, I am open to the possibility of godlike phenomena or unknown aspects of reality that are interpreted as God (or whatever). I am open to the universe being an atom of another. I am open to the multiverse and parallel universes, to other dimensions or strange time affects that we cannot even imagine. I'm open to other larger systems having some kind of mentality that we can't detect.

But I don't BELIEVE any of it. Not a bit. Like everyone else, I'm not in a position to know these things.

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Re: Are we all born an Atheist?

Post by Greta » October 24th, 2018, 7:15 am

Karpel Tunnel wrote:
October 24th, 2018, 5:08 am
Greta wrote:
October 22nd, 2018, 4:25 pm
I would say unconcerned rather than cruel which, as Klint noticed, is suspiciously human.

Eduk, the notion that God is cruel is an emotional response, not something that can be reasoned intellectually. "God is cruel" just means that problematic entropic events have happened nearby and some hominids are understandably upset about it.

Life is cruel. Fate is cruel. The universe is cruel. Nature is cruel. All basically saying the same thing. A logical extension of the delusion that we are central to reality.
There are a variety of religions and they present very different potential solutions to the problem of evil. Most offer some kind of long term it works out good in the end type responses. In Christianity, for example, this working out is not for everyone.
Yes, Christians like the punishment angle. That gets everyone trying very hard, to save their poor immortal souls.

I have a notion where it all works out for the best too, that the pain of biology is only a phase in the continued evolution of senses and consciousness, a blunt tool of evolution that can be transcended with technology and wisdom (not matter how many toys a person has, if they are idiots they will surely bring suffering on themselves and/or others).

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Re: Are we all born an Atheist?

Post by Eduk » October 24th, 2018, 7:23 am

There's the problem. If you want to influence me you need to use a correct definition, at least:
Cool. Have you polled many atheists to ask them what they actually believe? My definition includes quite a bit of subtlety. More than the average person really considers on a day to day basis. My definition includes not knowing what a 'God' is, something which most people assume they do know. You might say you don't believe in God or are agnostic about God or do believe in God. My first question would be what is God? If you feel this question isn't important then I don't think you are getting to the bottom of anyone's belief.
I am open to the possibility of godlike phenomena or unknown aspects of reality that are interpreted as God (or whatever). I am open to the universe being an atom of another. I am open to the multiverse and parallel universes, to other dimensions or strange time affects that we cannot even imagine. I'm open to other larger systems having some kind of mentality that we can't detect.
I don't know a religion which claims not to know whatever 'God' it is that they are worshipping. And that their 'God' could be a large and unknown number of things. Furthermore I don't know a religion which doesn't then go on to make all kinds of ludicrous claims.
Unknown means unknown.

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Re: Are we all born an Atheist?

Post by Karpel Tunnel » October 24th, 2018, 9:39 am

Greta wrote:
October 24th, 2018, 7:15 am
I have a notion where it all works out for the best too, that the pain of biology is only a phase in the continued evolution of senses and consciousness, a blunt tool of evolution that can be transcended with technology and wisdom (not matter how many toys a person has, if they are idiots they will surely bring suffering on themselves and/or others).
Especially when they decide to use technology to remove some of the tools that evolution has given us.

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