The Cleveland Freethinkers Message Board › Have you ever had a "doubting atheist" moment?

Have you ever had a "doubting atheist" moment?

Mark T.
user 4783078
Cleveland, OH
Post #: 565
There are several more infamous Atheists that I am glad "not to know"...... Ghengis Khan, Pol Pot, Kim Il Jong, just to name a few.

Jules, you seem to enjoy bringing people like that up as some sort of "refutation" of atheism (at least that is how I perceive it).

1) please present us with evidence that atrocities committed by Stalin, etc., were committed "in the name of atheism"

2) explain how wrongdoings by these atheists would demonstrate that God is more than a figment of the imagination

I suppose ones "moral compass" could be set by Government of the State...IRS, Police, FBI etc.
but then are we saying ...under penalty of law...you MUST do the right thing , so I will do the right thing?

This concept has been used for both good and ill... but is it any worse than a "moral compass" based upon childish ideas of eternal rewards and eternal punishments, "enforced" by an imaginary god-thingee? Perhaps we should ask Al-Qaeda.
Mark R. O.
MROrel
Cleveland, OH
Post #: 90
Re: Eric- Definitely sounds like a flashback to me! Heavily dogmatic religion is mind-consuming, and I can see how it can easily cause aftereffects. I thank my creators, mom and dad, for not immersing me in religious bullpoop.

Re: Mark O.- You said "I believe the same evidence exists for God as against."

I bet you can't logically justify that opinion without making stuff up.


Mark:


Using the scientific method - Step 1. Ask a question: Can such a think as God exists?

Step 2. Formulate an hypothesis: God exists.

Step 3. Test the hypothesis by doing an experiment.

Step 4. Analyze the data and draw a conclusion.

Steps 1 and 2 are simple to complete. Step 3 Is a bit tricky.
If one is looking for something quantifiable and this entity
(for the lack of a better word) believes in *freewill and this
entity is 'All powerful', then we are stopped at this point.

From a critical thinking perspective, also referred to as informal
logic, given: every effect has a cause. E.g. I was born
because my parents were born. The Earth was created because
the universe was created. Since, it is generally accepted that
something can not be created from nothing, we are left to ask
what created the universe? What was the first cause. If one
accepts the 'Big Bang" theory and energy can neither be created
or destroyed, how is it that energy exists? What was the first
cause?

If the answer is left as an unknown, how can one answer in
the positive or negative? Hence, the evidence is as valid for
a God as it is valid against.

*Freewill by this I mean the ability to choose to believe in "God"
or not.

M. Orel
P.S.

My internet service has been disconnected and can not be
reconnected until January 17. I will be using my mother's
computer or the library's until my service is restored.
My e-mail address remains the same.
A former member
Post #: 15
In retrospect, I guess, I would rather emulate Mother Teresa as opposed to Stalin. She would certainly seem to be more electable.


Electable? I'm not so sure, Jul.


















We should also read this book together:

http://www.amazon.com...­


Josh III
A former member
Post #: 210
Ok ...just checking out the various replies. As a newcommer, I wonder ... since I believe most Atheists seem to come from some previous religious background ..... is that where their "moral compass" was set?
You seem to be implying that a moral compass could only come from religion. I have never believed and was never indoctrinated into any religion or formal philosophy or creed of morality. I believe I have a moral compass that most would approve of. I am sure many who know me would attest to that. So where did I get it from?

Even, Engels, Marx, Lenin, Stalin, Chaiman Mao, and Castro seemed to have come have come to their Atheism from a previous religious connection. Where did they "re-set" their moral compass to acheive the attrocities associated with their state and secular power as Atheists?
You are assuming they had to re-set it. You are assuming they were ever good people and you are assuming that their religion and then lack of was associated with some change in their morality if a change did occur.

The Golden Rule, the centre-piece of all religions, from Zoroastrianism, Buddhism, Judaism, Christianity, Islam, Mormonisn and Reform Bahai....."Do unto your neighbour as you would have him do onto you" is most certainly embraced by many fine Atheists, at least the ones I know.
I agree that many religions give at least lip-service to the golden rule, but I think saying it's the center piece of all religions is a bold claim. Christianity (in most versions) does not require good works to be saved. The god of Christianity seems to value supplication to Christ over being good to fellow human beings. Of course people can debate this until the cows come home. Nevertheless, I think your claim is unsubstantiated.

There are several more infamous Atheists that I am glad "not to know"...... Ghengis Khan, Pol Pot, Kim Il Jong, just to name a few.
Why are you fixated on a few infamous people who felt that religious dogma was a challenge to their political dogma, that worship and supplication to a god was a challenge to worship and supplication to them and this had to forbid its exercise in their societies? It's really pretty damn rude to keep asserting the relevancy of these people in a community of mostly atheists after many of us have pointed out to you why it's a canard regarding atheism and religion and which *makes* people moral or which is correct or most anything else. No one claims all atheists are moral, so why keep bringing it up?

I suppose ones "moral compass" could be set by Government of the State...IRS, Police, FBI etc.
but then are we saying ...under penalty of law...you MUST do the right thing , so I will do the right thing?
You are aware that many of us here did grow up without a religion to "set" our moral compass as you seem to imply is necessary. Your suggestion that I am only moral because of the state is pretty damn insulting and I think you should re-think and apologize. Furthermore, moral behavior due to the state is just moral behavior, it is not moral motivation, and I would claim someone only motivated for these reasons are not moral people.

Interesting...so the question is: Where is the "Moral Compass" set"
Mark Orel mentions "conscience" ...perhaps that's a better word. How then does an Atheist set his conscience for the moral high-ground?
You again assume that people raised with religion have it set by religion. I disagree. I think that can be an influence as can observation of others, societal factors, etc. But I think the biggest determinant is biology. Evolving a drive toward moral behavior would have helped humans work together as a social species. We see it in other social animals as well. Furthermore, there are scientific studies that show that in solving moral puzzles, people of all different beliefs and backgrounds tend to solve them all the same way, supporting the idea of certain innate moral processes.

I suggest looking into the works of http://www.wjh.harvar...­ (Check out the links inside)

Another interesting twist in the research- http://www.wired.com/...­
More resources and explanations:
http://en.wikipedia.o...­
One of Josh Greene's papers:
http://www.google.com...­

More research on biology and morality http://www.ted.com/ta...­

Furthermore I would argue that most people who think their morality is religion based actually have secular based morality. Why do I say this? Because almost no one tries to adhere to and agrees with everything in their holy books. Instead, people use their own minds and the minds of other humans to filter what the books say through a secular sense of morality to determine what parts they should follow and what parts they should ignore (you know, like the stoning children who disrespect their parents part, and the evil shit said about non-believers in the New Testament. http://skepticsannota...­ for much, much, more.)

And that's a good thing that people filter. It's what keeps all Christians from being like Fred Phelps and all Muslims from flying planes into skyscrapers. But sometimes the filter isn't strong enough. And that's partly why adopting a secular morality is superior to a religious one. There are some great talks on secular vs. religious morality out there.
http://www.youtube.co...­

http://www.usatoday.c...­

I'm sure and and others here could point to many other sources to learn more about these issues.
A former member
Post #: 211
Mark O said,
If the answer is left as an unknown, how can one answer in
the positive or negative? Hence, the evidence is as valid for
a God as it is valid against.
First, as part of your scientific examination left out a critical part- making a prediction based on the hypothesis. (and this assumes definition of the god has been completed).

Your "hence" is incorrect. No data is no data. So no positive claim that the hypothesis is true can be made. Hence, my atheism. And some would go further to say that based on certain claims about certain claims, that predictions can be made and that they have not borne fruit. You seem to imply (and correct me if I am wrong) that there is some 50/50 chance that there is a god. Elsewhere you said there was equal evidence for vs. against. No. There is no evidence. Kind of reminds me of this video-
http://www.youtube.co...­
Mark R. O.
MROrel
Cleveland, OH
Post #: 91
From the minute I freed myself from the shackles of religion and superstition I never looked back. I am free to think, doubt and question. And as I do those things not one superstition has given light to evidence for itself. It is not a matter of doubting my Atheism. It is a matter of you proving your god. Meanwhile I will be promoting reality.


Sam:

Who's reality will you be promoting. Reality is a
relative or subjective term. To define reality one
requires an observer who stands outside of that
reality.


M. Orel
Mark R. O.
MROrel
Cleveland, OH
Post #: 92
Mark O said,
If the answer is left as an unknown, how can one answer in
the positive or negative? Hence, the evidence is as valid for
a God as it is valid against.
First, as part of your scientific examination left out a critical part- making a prediction based on the hypothesis. (and this assumes definition of the god has been completed).

Your "hence" is incorrect. No data is no data. So no positive claim that the hypothesis is true can be made. Hence, my atheism. And some would go further to say that based on certain claims about certain claims, that predictions can be made and that they have not borne fruit. You seem to imply (and correct me if I am wrong) that there is some 50/50 chance that there is a god. Elsewhere you said there was equal evidence for vs. against. No. There is no evidence. Kind of reminds me of this video-
http://www.youtube.co...­

Ginger:

No data or evidence simply means the question is open. If
the question is open, then all we are left with is our beliefs.
And a belief in God is just as valid as to believe God does
not exist.

Show me in a logical form, why God cannot be assumed to exist.


M. Orel
Sam S.
secuhumatheist
Cleveland, OH
Post #: 25
Mark O, when I say reality I mean metaphysical naturalism. It is true you can base your reality on unsubstantiated evidence. But I prefer basing my reality on what I know is real.
Mark T.
user 4783078
Cleveland, OH
Post #: 566
Mark O.- your last post was addressed to G, but I'm going to respond anyway...

You said: "No data or evidence simply means the question is open... And a belief in God is just as valid as to believe God does not exist"

I should say not. I submit to you the whole of human knowledge based on the best tools we have for objectively understanding the universe, science (from the endeavors of the earliest naturalist philosophers through today's established scientific truths) and mathematics.

We have data. LOTS and lots of data on everything from the quantum world to the farthest reaches of the observable universe. In ALL of this huge compendium of data, there exists not a single solitary SPECK of evidence that might support the idea that deities might exist. None, nada, zero, zilch. Based on empirical observation and conclusions about our universe based on the scientific method, the ONLY logical assumption would be that gods do not exist.

You also said: "Show me in a logical form, why God cannot be assumed to exist."

You can assume all you want- but in order for the assumption to be logical, there must be credible grounds on which to base the assumption. There are no credible grounds or good reasons to assume that gods exist- therefore to assume that gods exist is illogical.





A former member
Post #: 8
I think it's safe to assume that there is no proof for a God as depicted in the Bible as interpreted by traditional Christianity (e.g., we have not yet found a gray bearded man in the sky).

But who's to say that's what God is? What about those who define God as nature? The laws of physics? Whatever (not "whoever") it is that created everything? As love? The "stuff" that connects everything in the universe?
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