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Are you seriously suggesting that interpretation equals evidence, that is called apologetics, it has noting to do with evidence of anything except the desire to twist scripture to fit reality when it really doesn't.

Interpretation is not evidence. Interpretation is what you have to do before you look for evidence.

 

It might hake a difference to Christians since their religion is indeed based in these things and the truth of their holy book depends on these things being true.

True. But I make no apologies for them.

 

You are seriously mistaken on this, in the US something like 60% of just Christians believe in the inerrant word of the bible. They are often called creationists, there are also Islamic fundamentalists and Jewish fundamentalists as well, they all believe that Genesis is absolutely true word for word. There are also a great many Hindu, Sikh, Zoroastrian, creationists as well but the myths surrounding them are different and serve a different god or pantheon of gods.

60%!! Good grief. I knew things were odd over there but 60% is frightening. I stand corrected.

 

However, not all these religions you mention require that we serve gods or even pantheons of them.

 

Btw, if you want to check out perhaps the most careful examination of the view I endorse that I've ever come across, then it's Radhakrishnan's 'Philosophy of the Upanishads'. I think if you read this you'll see that this discussion of gods, miracles and walking on water is rather beside the point in deciding what to make of religion. Many religious people find them implausible.

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Um, yes, there are lots of problems. God could of created the world. You cannot argue with that. So far, I'm still saying "Where did the lithium-7 go", so I can argue with the big bang.   Would you

How about you read this: http://www.mechon-mamre.org/p/pt/pt0220.htm and this: http://www.mechon-mamre.org/p/pt/pt0505.htm   Did you ever consider you might want to learn the original language prop

~ Bertrand Russell     ~ Richard Dawkins     More here: http://rationalwiki.org/wiki/Russell%27s_Teapot

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Let's start with virgin birth.

 

Well obviously those things are impossible according to scientific models and I am not going to use any of those models to argue in favour of those extraordinary claims made by religions of the world. I find it ridiculous when people try to fit religious views based on scientific models, for example people like Dovada who thinks that Holy spirit is some kind of universal electrical energy moving the atoms in the cosmos and those Intelligent design proponents who thinks that God designed organisms using DNA and proteins. These people are desperately trying to fit religious worldviews into scientific models which doesn't require any outside force from anywhere to make its models consistent with observations.

 

The point is one needs to understand the worldview of those ancient civilizations. They didn't knew anything about molecular biology, quantum physics, particle physics and a whole lot of what modern science had discovered up until now. The point is one doesn't need the knowledge of modern science to reproduce those extraordinary claims because their model of the world is very simple. In their model the world is made up of just five elements (i.e Earth, water, air, fire and space) and when you look at things from their model of the world those claims are not implausible, in fact its inevitable.

 

When God said "let there be light" he is not talking about the photon, he is not talking about the light of physics and in the same way it is ridiculous to say that God used DNA to create life or God used particle physics to create Big Bang. God doesn't rely on scientific models, he doesn't need them. It is wrong to interpret the Bible using scientific models and say that it is incompatible, its obvious that they are incompatible because God doesn't use scientific models to make things work.

 

When they talk about the rapture we find that such a thing is impossible when we look at things from the scientific perspective, our body is made up of billions of atoms and it is not practically possible to transfer or teleport the quantum state from one place to another so that the person disappears from here and appears somewhere else, such a thing is definitely impossible from the perspective of science but if you think that the human body is made up of just five elements then there is no reason why the rapture is impossible, its very much possible.

 

Therefore religion and science stands on their own and there are of a different magesteria but I do agree with Richard Dawkins that these two worldviews do come in conflict with each other, a supernatural world will be completely different from the world of science and any supernatural claims does indeed make some of the main tenets of science to be false.

 

The question is who are deluded about reality is it the ancient goat herders or the proponents of New atheism. The answer to that question lies in the research of the Human mind and those claims can be easily falsifiable. The problem is of a philosophical one, it is about the nature of the physical world. If those extraordinary claims are found to be true, its not going to change the scientific models in any way, they still stand on their own, what will change is the way we perceive things. The scientific models will be consistent with our observations as long as we are confined within the simulation of our minds. If scientific models are the only road to reality then its quite easy to prove it just reduce the human mind to Brain and I will stop opposing your intolerance towards religious beliefs and will join the New atheism campaign. If not we might have to reduce science to the reality of ancient goat herders. Reality will turn upside down. I neither have to fit religion by changing scientific models nor I have to change the interpretation of the Bible to make it fit with the reality of the scientific models.

 

 

Well, here's the thing. Whether there is any evidence will depend on what sort of interpretation we place on the scriptures. I'm happy to provide evidence for my interpretation. It would not be my interpretation if there were no evidence for it. But this would be an interpretation that brings Jesus into line with Lao tsu and the Buddha, Mohammed and the Upanishads. It is the interpretation that Schroedinger places on Christian teachings, and for which his publisher refused to publish one of his books on grounds of heresy.

 

 

Absolute idealism

 

 

Some form of idealism related to absolute idealism has been a consistent favorite standpoint for earlier religious thinkers and philosophers. It is present in the thinking of many important Christian theologians such as Meister Eckhart. It is also the basis of Advaita Hinduism and several forms of Buddhism, including Zen, Yogacara, and some interpretations of Pure Land, as well as several schools of Islamic Sufism. Classifying these directions under the common denominator 'absolute idealism', though, would be incorrect, because it would blur distinctions which are necessary for comprehending these traditions in their own right.

 

Its not right to put all of them on the same line, you cannot comprehend those traditions without comprehending their pantheon of Gods. You're doing injustice to yourself.

 

Interpretation is not evidence. Interpretation is what you have to do before you look for evidence.

 

I agree with INow just because an interpretation is logically feasible doesn't mean its the right interpretation, we don't go around by verifying things, we go around by falsifying things, we put those interpretations to test to see whether it can stand up to its scrutiny.

 

Btw, if you want to check out perhaps the most careful examination of the view I endorse that I've ever come across, then it's Radhakrishnan's 'Philosophy of the Upanishads'. I think if you read this you'll see that this discussion of gods, miracles and walking on water is rather beside the point in deciding what to make of religion. Many religious people find them implausible.

 

 

The problem with scientists or professors like Schrodinger is that they lacked revelations and therefore didn't entertained the non-intellectual ways of looking at the world and failed to see the truth behind the people who followed their orthodox traditions and practices.

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It seems very obvious to me that we cannot look for evidence of a religious doctrine without knowing what that doctrine is. No? Without an interpretation we'd have no means of deciding what would be evidence and what would not. If we look for evidence of gravity, first we decide what gravity is and then we know what evidence we're looking for. It would certainly be useless looking for evidence for claims that religion does not make.

 

Without an interpretation we'd have no idea even whether we're looking for evidence of immortal's Christianity or mine, and this is going to affect the result of our search.

 

I don't know why immortal believes that Schroedinger's view is not based on any degree of real understanding, but I've heard worse said about him. Presumably, immortal, you've read Schroedinger. I find that most people dismiss him without bothering. Your comment suggests you've done the same. I am very sure that Schroedinger was a practitioner and not just a dilettante. His words make this clear.

 

At any rate, we can disagree strongly about the relation between science and religion, since I think there is one. Indeed. if there is no relationship then it must be because religion says nothing of any substance about the universe we live in. In reality religion says a lot about it. I never understand the idea that religion can make all these bold claims about the world and then say that these would have nothing to do with science. Of course they would. They are claims about the same world that the sciences study.

 

I feel that if one is sceptical then it is exactly the right approach to the Christian message, to look for evidence, and if one is a scientist then one is bound to start with the sciences. But the first job is to decide what that message actually is, more or less, otherwise the whole endeavour will be a waste of time. Once we have identified some clear claims then we can tease out some of their ramifications and test them.

Edited by PeterJ
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If we look for evidence of gravity, first we decide what gravity is and then we know what evidence we're looking for.

This is simply wrong. (One clue to this is that we still do not necessarily agree on exactly what gravity is.)

 

What actually occurs is that we make observations. Objects fall when we drop them. It is harder to push something up hill than down. Birds seem to expend energy to fly. Some things feel heavier than others. This is clearly evidence of something, but of what? There are another set of observations, at first seemingly unrelated. The planets revolve around the sun. The moon revolves around the Earth and other moons turn around Jupiter. Again, evidence of something going on, but what?

 

So we make observations, then we come up with a hypothesis. The observations are evidence which supports the hypothesis. We then make predictions and look for evidence that these predictions are either confirmed, or disproven. This is when interpretation occurs. Not at the outset, unless I am trying to cherry pick the evidence to a desired conclusion.

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Let me make sure I have this straight, God, the almighty creator of the universe, and everything in it, The God that knows all and sees all, the God who created all life not to mention the magnificent world we live on. The God who brought not only the planet we live on into existence but all matter and the forces of nature, the God who knows everyone's thoughts and actions, who is aware of the fall of every tiny bird to the most important human who ever lived.

 

This God cannot communicate with us clearly enough so that his word is exact and understandable? So we have to interpret his words to understand then and since nearly everyone interprets God's words differently to the point that people kill each other over who is interpreting his words correctly?

 

That's lame as hell guys... Then of course there are all those other Gods... Who are apparently just as lame as the Christian God... All the hundreds of Gods, all the tremendous volume of writings from all those Gods but none of them is clear enough not to require interpretations of those Gods writings as well....

 

It's more likely they are all wrong and the logical stance is there are no gods...

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It's not possible, mammals cannot reproduce naturally using parthenogenesis. (it's magic... you know... never believe it's not so... :rolleyes: )

 

Let my just my beret on and grow my moustache: Myth Busted.

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Well obviously those things are impossible according to scientific models and I am not going to use any of those models to argue in favour of those extraordinary claims made by religions of the world.

And this is why people like me find it so easy to dismiss you and treat your claims as nonsense.

 

 

God doesn't rely on scientific models, he doesn't need them.

Of course not, in much the same way that we don't rely on physics to help us explain the aerodynamic qualities of a flying unicorn. Science is not needed because the object being described is pure fiction.

 

If scientific models are the only road to reality then its quite easy to prove it just reduce the human mind to Brain and I will stop opposing your intolerance towards religious beliefs and will join the New atheism campaign.

It's been fairly amply demonstrated that science is the only road to reality, and yet you still cling to your religious ideas and have not joined the world of the non-theist. I call bullshit on this last statement from you. Your "if" clause has already been satisfied, and yet your "then" clause is not being acted upon by you.

 

 

The problem with scientists or professors like Schrodinger is that they lacked revelations and therefore didn't entertained the non-intellectual ways of looking at the world and failed to see the truth behind the people who followed their orthodox traditions and practices.

Nonsense. They just kept their revelations grounded in physical reality. That is not a flaw. That is a strength. They were able to ground their worldview in the universe itself, as opposed to tethering it to little more than personal imagination and wish thinking.

 


 

 

This is simply wrong. (One clue to this is that we still do not necessarily agree on exactly what gravity is.)

 

What actually occurs is that we make observations. Objects fall when we drop them. It is harder to push something up hill than down. Birds seem to expend energy to fly. Some things feel heavier than others. This is clearly evidence of something, but of what? There are another set of observations, at first seemingly unrelated. The planets revolve around the sun. The moon revolves around the Earth and other moons turn around Jupiter. Again, evidence of something going on, but what?

 

So we make observations, then we come up with a hypothesis. The observations are evidence which supports the hypothesis. We then make predictions and look for evidence that these predictions are either confirmed, or disproven. This is when interpretation occurs. Not at the outset, unless I am trying to cherry pick the evidence to a desired conclusion.

QFT. This is the critical point. We look first at the evidence available and then do our best to understand it, continually refining our knowledge to better match the reality around us. We start with the evidence... always.

 

However, consistently when speaking with theists, they seem to form an interpretation or hold a preconception and THEN go cherry-picking evidence that SEEMS to support it, all the while disregarding the evidence which contradicts it. This is the epitome of intellectual dishonesty.

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And this is why people like me find it so easy to dismiss you and treat your claims as nonsense.

 

 

Of course not, in much the same way that we don't rely on physics to help us explain the aerodynamic qualities of a flying unicorn. Science is not needed because the object being described is pure fiction.

 

 

It's been fairly amply demonstrated that science is the only road to reality, and yet you still cling to your religious ideas and have not joined the world of the non-theist. I call bullshit on this last statement from you. Your "if" clause has already been satisfied, and yet your "then" clause is not being acted upon by you.

 

 

Nonsense. They just kept their revelations grounded in physical reality. That is not a flaw. That is a strength. They were able to ground their worldview in the universe itself, as opposed to tethering it to little more than personal imagination and wish thinking.

 

 

There is a guy around here named as PeterJ and he said that "Schroedinger argued for over 30 years that the people of Upanishads have got it right" and this was the reason why I was being dragged into this kind of discussion. I never started this thread and I never claimed to have any evidence, all I am presenting here is a model of how one school of philosophical thought views the world and what are its conclusions. So lets separate the person from the idea or the model being presented. The question is to test such a model and it has nothing to do with dismissing me personally.

 

The people of Upanishads existed around 2500 years ago and by that evidence they were definitely just goat herders and here comes Schroedinger a 20th century physicist who was one of the founding father of one of the most intellectual theory mankind has ever achieved, the quantum physics and all along his life he gives importance to metaphysics, weird conjectures and to the world of the supernatural as described in upanishads.

 

Please kindly hear it from himself. This was his view of the world.

 

http://en.wikiquote.org/wiki/Erwin_Schr%C3%B6dinger

 

This is specifically to PeterJ -

 

He rejected traditional religious beliefs (Jewish, Christian, and Islamic) not on the basis of any reasoned argument, nor even with an expression of emotional antipathy, for he loved to use religious expressions and metaphors, but simply by saying that they are naive.

 

You asked me why do I reject the view of Schroedinger and its because of this above reason. I was not really aware of his view of the world nor I had read his works before, I opposed his view straight away because one doesn't need to read the entire work of a man, one can easily figure out his worldview from the few little words or claims that he makes and this above link proves what I had earlier said about Schroedinger, he rejected traditional religious models. A mistake which all scholars in the field make and only write gibberish in their books. They start with unity and say this is unity, that is unity and after reading the whole book you'll realize that the knowledge you gained from it is absolutely zero. Go get a book from a true philosopher.

 

This is what I find ridiculous about these scholars and scientists, they very well know something is terribly wrong and they argue for years and years writing piles of books on them defending the view of ancient goat herders and yet refuse to accept their simple view of the world just because they are naive and their view is hard enough to convince a mind which was developed rationally and logically. Shouting "this cannot be possible, this is nonsense" and yet they just accept only those truth of those ancient goat herders which suits their rational way of thinking and call it wisdom. This is what I find ridiculous about and when I find you quoting from these scientists turned philosophers, I am really afraid that you're misrepresenting the truth of those ancient school of philosophical thought.

 

If Schroedinger thinks that the people of Upanishads have got it right about the reality of the world then it inevitably leads to the following conclusions according to their view of the world as given in the Upanishads. Remember I am just presenting a model here and I am not presenting it as a fact.

 

1. The world is made up of just five elements i.e earth, water, air, space and fire.

 

2. The things described by physics don't really exist in the actual external physical world. There are no particles, no waves. These are all mere ideological abstractions, no greater reality should be attributed to them. If this is true then oxygen, nitrogen, hydrogen and all the elements in the

periodic table do not exist in the external physical world, they don't have a place for this in their model which indirectly implies they exist only in our minds.

 

3. There is no duality here. Mind and matter are all made up of a same kind of deity dust. So only deity dust exists. They don't have to worry about how a non-physical thing interacts with a physical thing. No, there is nothing non-physical or physical, everything is made up of deity dust.

 

4. They have a pantheon of gods and humans acquired the knowledge of Upanishads from Gods, they didn't discovered it out of the blue, the Gods gave them that knowledge. So saying that they don't exist is very ridiculous, if you deny the existence of Gods then don't defend the claims made by Upanishads because I find it ridiculous when you quote about schroedinger and Upanishads and call yourself an atheist. Don't misrepresent those schools of philosophical thought.

 

Their view completely reduces the reality of science to a sub case which emerges only when one observes the world through the sense organs which means the reality given by science only exist in our minds and physical things don't exist in the external physical world. This is the reason why I assert that the world described by science and the world described by religion are two completely different worlds and I find it obvious that the world of phenomena cannot be identical to the world of noumena. This means that "Brain" doesn't actually exist in the external physical world, it exists only in the simulation of our minds. Only Mind and those five elements are real.

 

This is their model of the world and these are its conclusions.

 

I find it ridiculous when scholars only accept the final conclusion or a part of the truth about Upanishads and ramble about the "unity" of the universe which cannot be understood through logic or thought and reject the naive irrational truths made by the same school of philosophical thought.

They are either misinformed or ignorant or desperately trying to fit such a model of the world with a model given by modern science which I find it very ridiculous and incorrect about what they are trying to do. You have to either believe in the unity of the universe and disbelieve that oxygen, nitrogen, atoms, quarks, photons exist in the external physical world or reject the unity of the universe and accept that physical things do exist in the external physical world.

 

The problem with scientists is that they cannot accept that the things described by science don't exist in the external physical world and hence they reject the traditional religious models and only accept the unity of the universe and Schroedinger did knew about this but he lacked revelations and hence he couldn't appreciate the truth of those traditional models.

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I don't want to get emboiled in a scientific and religious donnybrook; but it's things like this short video of a young prodigy that maintain my resolve as a waffling agnostic. That, rather than being a full blown atheist. Wanna watch, go to the very bottom. I believe it's her Mom speaking.

 

http://www.shangralafamilyfun.com/prodigy.html

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The problem with scientists is that they cannot accept that the things described by science don't exist in the external physical world and hence they reject the traditional religious models...

More likely, they're waiting for someone to demonstrate that an "external physical world" even exists before they waste any time on it, let alone use conjectures about it in place of empirically derived understandings.

 


 

...it's things like this short video of a young prodigy that maintain my resolve as a waffling agnostic. That, rather than being a full blown atheist.

Do you believe a god or gods exist? If no, then you're a "full-blown atheist" whether you realize it or not, no matter how waffley you are about it... If you're not theist, then you are not-theist, or a-theist, or atheist.

 

One mustn't have an active belief in the nonexistence of god or gods to be an atheist. For that label to apply, one simply doesn't actively believe that a god or gods exist. That's it. Atheists just don't believe in god or gods. You don't have to actively believe no gods exist for that term to apply to you.

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This is simply wrong. (One clue to this is that we still do not necessarily agree on exactly what gravity is.)

 

What actually occurs is that we make observations. Objects fall when we drop them. It is harder to push something up hill than down. Birds seem to expend energy to fly. Some things feel heavier than others. This is clearly evidence of something, but of what? There are another set of observations, at first seemingly unrelated. The planets revolve around the sun. The moon revolves around the Earth and other moons turn around Jupiter. Again, evidence of something going on, but what?

 

So we make observations, then we come up with a hypothesis. The observations are evidence which supports the hypothesis. We then make predictions and look for evidence that these predictions are either confirmed, or disproven. This is when interpretation occurs. Not at the outset, unless I am trying to cherry pick the evidence to a desired conclusion.

 

So, what evidence are we going to look for? Evidence that we cannot walk on water?

 

Unless we take the trouble to interpret the scriptures, to separate the ultimate from the relative, the didactic from the literal, the mythological from the historical, the allegorical from the metaphysical, the outer from the inner, the smoke and mirrors from the essential teachings, and quite a few other things, then we will have no idea of what would count as evidence or counterevidence, and looking for it would be a waste of time. If we were applying for research grant we wouldn't stand a chance.

 

We could do it your way if we were looking for counter-evidence for Chistianity, and this is the way we usually go about it. We try to falsify it, and chip away at its claims one by one. But to find evidence for Christianity would inevitably require that we define what Christianity is in the first place. This would require examining at least the two main interpretations of the New Testament teachings. They have very different ramifications, make very different claims and predictions, and are so different that many Christians have been killed by other Christians convinced that the other person's Christianty is the work of the Devil.

 

So we must decide which one we going to seek evidence for. And then we must investigate its ramifications for the sciences, in order to tease out some testable predictions. And then we'll have some idea of what evidence we're looking for.

 

Or so it seems to me.

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Surely you jest! This would never have been made obvious by the content of your posts. I am so glad you've clarified this for us and cleared us of our misconceptions.

 

...

 

Yes, news flash, jackass... this is a science forum, and faith is not only rejected, but mocked. If you use faith and expect to be taken seriously, this means that perhaps you're in the wrong place.

Er, no, perhaps you are. Certainly nobody should expect unjustified assertions to be accepted on SFN, but you should also know better than to think that blatant flaming belongs on SFN. We've been over this many times.

 

Enjoy your week's vacation.

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More likely, they're waiting for someone to demonstrate that an "external physical world" even exists before they waste any time on it, let alone use conjectures about it in place of empirically derived understandings.

 


 

 

Do you believe a god or gods exist? If no, then you're a "full-blown atheist" whether you realize it or not, no matter how waffley you are about it... If you're not theist, then you are not-theist, or a-theist, or atheist.

 

One mustn't have an active belief in the nonexistence of god or gods to be an atheist. For that label to apply, one simply doesn't actively believe that a god or gods exist. That's it. Atheists just don't believe in god or gods. You don't have to actively believe no gods exist for that term to apply to you.

 

Can I say that I'm not sure?

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Sure you can but that means you're an atheist. See, either you believe that there are in fact one or more gods or you're atheist.

I don't think it is as cut and dried as you make it out to be. Atheism is not a scientific unit of measure that does not vary. The meaning of words varies over time and location. Or, as in the example below from Wikipedia, it varies within the same paragraph.

 

Atheism is, in a broad sense, the rejection of belief in the existence of deities.[1] In a narrower sense, atheism is specifically the position that there are no deities.[2][3] Most inclusively, atheism is simply the absence of belief that any deities exist

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Atheism

 

In the broad sense as defined above, you have to reject belief in the existence of deities. Saying you are not sure would not make you an atheist.

 

In the most inclusive sense as defined above, you simply need lack of belief in deities. Saying you are not sure then would make you an atheist.

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I don't think it is as cut and dried as you make it out to be. Atheism is not a scientific unit of measure that does not vary. The meaning of words varies over time and location. Or, as in the example below from Wikipedia, it varies within the same paragraph.

 

 

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Atheism

 

In the broad sense as defined above, you have to reject belief in the existence of deities. Saying you are not sure would not make you an atheist.

 

In the most inclusive sense as defined above, you simply need lack of belief in deities. Saying you are not sure then would make you an atheist.

You're looking up the wrong word.

 

Theism, in the broadest sense, is the belief that at least one deity exists.

 

Clearly anyone that is not a theist is not-theist. That's all atheist means is not theist. To be theist means you believe in at least one god and maybe more, even though the definition of god may vary. Anyone that lacks belief cannot claim to be theist so is therefore not theist, i.e. atheist. The fact that one is atheist says nothing more about them than they lack belief in at least one deity. They may actively believe or even claim to know that there are no gods. Atheism covers everyone that lacks belief in at least one deity. Some make a distinction between weak atheism and strong atheism and/or positive versus negative atheism but they are all atheists regardless of the degree to which they are atheist.

 

I believe you're wrong.

Good. I guess these sources are wrong too then:

 

Definition of THEISM

: belief in the existence of a god or gods; specifically : belief in the existence of one God viewed as the creative source of the human race and the world who transcends yet is immanent in the world

the·ism   [thee-iz-uhm] noun

1.the belief in one God as the creator and ruler of the universe, without rejection of revelation ( distinguished from deism).

2.belief in the existence of a god or gods ( opposed to atheism).

the·ism (thzm) n.

Belief in the existence of a god or gods, especially belief in a personal God as creator and ruler of the world.

theist (one who believes in the existence of a god or gods)

 

It seems quite clear that one must believe in one or more gods to be theist. Now, are you trying to suggest someone can be a theist without being theist?

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Actually, isn't that's where "Agnosticism" fit in?

No. Agnosticism is about knowledge. It is about the belief that man could or could not ever know the truth about the existence of god. It is not a point on the axis of theism. An agnostic can be theist or not depending on whether or not they believe in one or more deities regardless of the belief that man could ever know the absolute truth. It is often used by fence sitters that don't want to admit they are atheist but most of them are actually agnostic atheists.

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You're looking up the wrong word.

 

Clearly anyone that is not a theist is not-theist. That's all atheist means is not theist.

 

Rigney said:

Can I say that I'm not sure?

To which you replied:

Sure you can but that means you're an atheist. See, either you believe that there are in fact one or more gods or you're atheist.

 

You are the one who declared him an atheist. I think it is rather disingenuous of you to claim that I was wrong to look up the definition of the word you used to describe rigney.

 

You used a lot of hand waving to trick me into ignoring the definition from Wikipedia of the word 'atheism' and instead use your personal definition. I think the fact you did that supports my view that the definition is not as clear cut as you make it out to be.

 

Clearly anyone that is not a theist is not-theist.

 

If it is that clear, then why didn't Wikipedia say it like that?

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If it is that clear, then why didn't Wikipedia say it like that?

Atheist is to theist as asynchronous is to synchronous. The a- prefix simply means not. Atheist simply means not-theist. The problem with trying to look up atheist is it is not a specific group of people with a common belief, it is everyone without the belief in deities. Atheism is very diverse, which your link to Wikipedia pointed out in the first paragraph, whereas theism is not.

 

You MUST believe in one or more deities to be theist, if you do not then you are not theist. What is confusing about that?

Edited by doG
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Atheist is to theist as asynchronous is to synchronous. The a- prefix simply means not. Atheist simply means not-theist. The problem with trying to look up atheist is it is not a specific group of people with a common belief, it is everyone without the belief in deities. Atheism is very diverse, which your link to Wikipedia pointed out in the first paragraph, whereas theism is not.

 

You MUST believe in one or more deities to be theist, if you do not then you are not theist. What is confusing about that?

No, the problem is that you are telling me it is a problem to look up the word atheism if I want the definition of the word atheism.

 

It gives me the same uneasy feeling I get when the mechanic tells me my car won't start but doesn't want me to try turning the key.

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No. Agnosticism is about knowledge. It is about the belief that man could or could not ever know the truth about the existence of god. It is not a point on the axis of theism. An agnostic can be theist or not depending on whether or not they believe in one or more deities regardless of the belief that man could ever know the absolute truth. It is often used by fence sitters that don't want to admit they are atheist but most of them are actually agnostic atheists.

 

But doG, rigney said

Can I say that I'm not sure?

Meaning, "I am not sure a god/gods exist". That's about knowledge too, isn't it? I am not sure -- I don't know.

 

I do see your point, and I agree. My definition of myself is that of a secular humanist, agnostic atheist, so I do get it.

 

I believe the question of a God never answers anything, so it's irrelevant. So, I guess, in some meaning, I believe "we can't ever know". But in my eyes, this is the same as saying we can't ever know if there are invisible pink unicorns that don't interact with anything. So what if there are?

 

That said, the point of agnosticism is that we don't know... and... it strikes me that this is what rigney said.

 

If 'theists' believe in a deity, and 'atheists' do not believe in a deity, there are people that are mid-way in between, that don't know if a deity exists at all (or don't care). What would you call those?

 

So the whole "either or" insistence is too forceful, I think. There is a middle ground.

 

~mooey

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