If any god exists, then what purpose does religion serve?

93


Discussion by: achromat666

I've been pondering this a bit lately…

Every claim for any form of deity somehow predicates itself on a specific group of people who are said to have some special wisdom others lack, or privy to some information only given to a few.

Now, in cultural terms this can be easily explained: different cutlures living in different environments will come up with different ideas based on their own social norms. That special group are usually the ones that create the explanations that people follow through tradition. But there is always the charismatic leader, the people that are close to him/ her and this barrier between the believers and the belief because only a chosen few understand it.

So… if for the sake of argument any of the myriad of deities actually existed, how does it make sense that a god that demands the things typical of most worshipped deities that it's adherents must follow wouldn't simply go directly to the populace? What deity could actually benefits by having the information distorted, rewritten, reinterpreted and otherwise altered to serve the purpose of the clergy dispensing the drivel?

What deity would create followers not bright enough to understand its message to the point that a special group of people need to 'give' it to the flock? That has to be the least logical way for passing on information. Surely any deity worth his salt would be able to reveal himself to everyone and the mystery would be entirely unecessary.

This connection between the necessity for belief and the mysterious actions of any deity just makes less and less sense to me. The only reason faith exists in religious terms is because god in whatever capacity does not reveal himself for whatever reason, so followers accept what is told to them about god as a matter of faith. Why is any of that necessary for any god that is said to care for the affairs of mankind? Why would it work through the abhorrently backward method of fallible human recording methods though specific (and occasionally illiterate) chosen people in remote areas of the world?

The whole enterprise continues to seem to me a complete exercise in futility. But people base their lives on it.

Makes me scratch my head…

93 COMMENTS

  1. The whole enterprise continues to seem to me a complete exercise in futility. But people base their lives on it.
    Makes me scratch my head…

    Easy. Gods are man-made, and therefore reflect all the neuroses and powetripping fantasies, which basically means, act like petulent prized-arseholes. It’s the default mode of all top-down societies. All religions are basically scams. I thought that was well understood!

  2. What makes me scratch my head is why people are still pondering this. If you have a functioning brain and you actually use it by employing critical thinking and reason, it’s quite clear that the supernatural (which gods are part of) does not exist. You are wasting your time. But then again, here I sit and give an answer, so who’s wasting time now?

    • I would suggest that if “critical thinking” and “reason” were used, then ‘Intelligence’ would be a better idea than ‘luck and magic’.
      In reply to #2 by Hazmat:

      What makes me scratch my head is why people are still pondering this. If you have a functioning brain and you actually use it by employing critical thinking and reason, it’s quite clear that the supernatural (which gods are part of) does not exist. You are wasting your time. But then again, here I s…

  3. It’s such an obvious con, I’m amazed that anyone would fall for it. The rationale of all religions reminds me of a game invented by kids. The rules are fuzzy, so that if it looks as if the one initiating the game is likely to get out or caught, he can alter the rules of the game thus enabling him to stay “in” for as long as possible. The old ‘invisible dragon in the garage’ trick.

    • [First sentence removed by moderator to bring within Terms and Conditions.] To say that “it is obvious” is strange to say the least. Magic is not a better idea that Consciousness.
      In reply to #3 by Nitya:

      It’s such an obvious con, I’m amazed that anyone would fall for it. The rationale of all religions reminds me of a game invented by kids. The rules are fuzzy, so that if it looks as if the one initiating the game is likely to get out or caught, he can alter the rules of the game thus enabling him…

  4. I wholeheartedly agree and have wondered the same thing. One would think that the creator of the universe could handle simple communication fairly easily, especially now with everyone interconnected via satellites. Why need to send visions of angels to a selected person or leave a stone tablet that is then hidden away or blood dripping from the eyes of a Virgin Mary statue? We don’t need magic tricks or what amounts to fairy tales!

    I also find it odd that the greatest virtue to a supposed god/gods is not leading a quality life or giving to the poor, etc. Nope, it’s claiming to believe despite obvious serious problems with holy books and religions in general and/or with evidence hidden. I wonder what is the problem with the supposed one true god communicating directly, ending all doubt, clarifying a few things, and helping the people he supposedly loves so much? What harm would there be in that? People would no longer need the test of “faith,” which is, for me, ridiculous as the hallmark or benchmark. Maybe horrific events, such as the Holocaust, wouldn’t have happened if god had revealed himself and his wishes!

    If faith is the greatest achievement or requirement for man, then quite frankly, god needs to review his priorities, but then, I think the 10 Commandments need some reviewing, too, as they’re surely lacking and nonsensical! Oh, and the Bible needs major fixing as it’s full of errors and contradictions and some really scary stories that seem to run counter to what so many Christians claim. Have they actually truly read their book cover to cover? It’s got a whole lot of wicked stuff going on in there by their god himself, such as genocide, and if a person truly obeyed much of it, and followed it, they’d be in prison for murdering their child, etc., slavery would still be happening in the USA/Europe, etc. Or, should I follow some other holy book? Hello, God, are you there? Which one is correct? I really just need to know.

    Anyyway, why not end all of the crazy confusion and violence in his name? What if there is a god and the holy books were an anethema to him? Shouldn’t he speak up? Which god belief is correct? Does he approve of religion and, if so, which one? Which path does he want people to follow? Does he really want women wearing burqas? Does he care if nearly no Christian gives up their worldly goods and “follows him?” Does he even care? Does he find it amusing to do nothing when children starve to death or are beaten or used in sex trafficing? Does he send people to hell because they were born in a part of the world and, therefore, indoctrinated into a certain religion he doesn’t approve of? Why do animals suffer? What was the purpose of that? Why do awful people sometimes win the lottery and really great people die tragically young? Why take a child’s mother from him when he’s young and vulnerable? Why roundworms, Guinea worms, threadworms, tapeworms, and thousands of others? Why only seem to show up when humans couldn’t read or write, except for a few scribes, and during a time when communication was definitely challenging? Does god sit back and decide, “I’m going to have Teresa So-And-So die from a terrible form of brain cancer.” “Today, I think I’ll have Lloyd So-And-So slip and fall and break six ribs and his pelvis today.” “I think I’ll crash a plane and kill everybody on it except for one child.” Really? Because evidently “everything happens for a reason.”

    If I was god, I sure would set things straight! How tough can it be anyway? Well, I guess pretty tough if you don’t exist at all, and for me the proof is in the pudding, and I think the world is pretty much how I’d expect it to be with no god in charge.

    • In reply to #4 by Thinks4Herself:

      I wholeheartedly agree and have wondered the same thing. One would think that the creator of the universe could handle simple communication fairly easily, especially now with everyone interconnected via satellites. Why need to send visions of angels to a selected person or leave a stone tablet that is then hidden away or blood dripping from the eyes of a Virgin Mary statue? We don’t need magic tricks or what amounts to fairy tales!

      The communication is through the mind, (as all things are consciousness) I think you mentioning satellites shows, with the greatest of respect, your inadequacy on this subject. To compare something such as pure Consciousness with fairy tales (who were people) or magic (which is atheism’s idea) is just not acceptable, and childish to boot. Did you not know that some two thirds of the world believe? It appears to me that he communicates fairly well.

      I also find it odd that the greatest virtue to a supposed god/gods is not leading a quality life or giving to the poor, etc. Nope, it’s claiming to believe despite obvious serious problems with holy books and religions in general and/or with evidence hidden. I wonder what is the problem with the supposed one true god communicating directly, ending all doubt, clarifying a few things, and helping the people he supposedly loves so much? What harm would there be in that? People would no longer need the test of “faith,” which is, for me, ridiculous as the hallmark or benchmark. Maybe horrific events, such as the Holocaust, wouldn’t have happened if god had revealed himself and his wishes!

      There is no problem with the Text but there is a problem with understanding, that is clear. You are one example. I think you will find also, that the second commandment is to “Love your fellow man”, so I do not see how you come to that conclusion. As for it being the second and not the first, well, I suppose it would be difficult to keep a commandment of something you don’t believe in the first place (hence it is the second) Your comment on the love of God, ignores our own love for children. Do we not let them go out and enjoy themselves, and are there not bad things in the world. If we do that because we “love” them, then what is the difference in God giving us our freedom also? This also explains the reason there is suffering. As for him not explaining himself so much, I think you will find it is written down quite well. But one would have to ‘read it’ and then ‘do it’ which is the problem, and, is why we as a race, suffer. So there is no one to blame, I’m afraid, than us.

      If faith is the greatest achievement or requirement for man, then quite frankly, god needs to review his priorities, but then, I think the 10 Commandments need some reviewing, too, as they’re surely lacking and nonsensical! Oh, and the Bible needs major fixing as it’s full of errors and contradictions and some really scary stories that seem to run counter to what so many Christians claim. Have they actually truly read their book cover to cover? It’s got a whole lot of wicked stuff going on in there by their god himself, such as genocide, and if a person truly obeyed much of it, and followed it, they’d be in prison for murdering their child, etc., slavery would still be happening in the USA/Europe, etc. Or, should I follow some other holy book? Hello, God, are you there? Which one is correct? I really just need to know.

      As already stated, there are not contradictions, just what appear to be on the surface. As for the claim that God is doing bad things in the Old Testament, who do you think is making everything ‘tick’ now? Who is it that ultimately is making you, old, ill, and eventually, die? Slavery, by the way, might well have been misused by man, even thousands of years ago, but it was not seen then in the context that it is now. It was to help people who had nothing, and would be more akin to a servant, a helper. Man has, as is shown in you, a great way of misunderstanding everything.

      Anyyway, why not end all of the crazy confusion and violence in his name? What if there is a god and the holy books were an anethema to him? Shouldn’t he speak up?

      He does speak up, he is doing it through me. Are ‘you’ listening?

      Which god belief is correct? Does he approve of religion and, if so, which one? Which path does he want people to follow?

      There is only one way to the Father, but all ultimately help. All energy will return.

      Does he really want women wearing burqas?

      Women as with men should be covered up correctly, yes.

      Does he care if nearly no Christian gives up their worldly goods and “follows him?” Does he even care?

      Yes.

      Does he find it amusing to do nothing when children starve to death or are beaten or used in sex trafficing?

      No. Would you if you had children and they suffered? And if you gave them the evidence and the Scripture that they needed to stop this, but they would rather ignore it and do nothing about it, would this please you? What would you do? Force them? I don’t think so.

      Does he send people to hell because they were born in a part of the world and, therefore, indoctrinated into a certain religion he doesn’t approve of?

      Hell is a big subject, I have not got time for it here. But it is unlikely that it is as you think. All energy returns, science is in agreement with this as our atoms are reused.

      Why do animals suffer? What was the purpose of that? Why do awful people sometimes win the lottery and really great people die tragically young? Why take a child’s mother from him when he’s young and vulnerable? Why roundworms, Guinea worms, threadworms, tapeworms, and thousands of others? Why only seem to show up when humans couldn’t read or write, except for a few scribes, and during a time when communication was definitely challenging? Does god sit back and decide, “I’m going to have Teresa So-And-So die from a terrible form of brain cancer.” “Today, I think I’ll have Lloyd So-And-So slip and fall and break six ribs and his pelvis today.” “I think I’ll crash a plane and kill everybody on it except for one child.” Really? Because evidently “everything happens for a reason.”
      If I was god, I sure would set things straight! How tough can it be anyway? Well, I guess pretty tough if you don’t exist at all, and for me the proof is in the pudding, and I think the world is pretty much how I’d expect it to be with no god in charge

      Perhaps I could answer all of your complaints this way: It is a common thing of mankind, to always want someone to blame. What, I may ask, are you doing about all of these things? If you are not, then why do you think that someone else should? You, by the way, are part of the thing (God) you talk about. I think your basic ideology is flawed, hence the reason you don’t believe. i have tried to help. Perhaps this won’t be read by you anyway, and I doubt, if you are an atheist, that you will do anything about it, rather complain that someone else should.

      • In reply to #36 by Robert-Evans:

        atheism’s idea) is just not acceptable, and childish to boot. >

        Well, you are the one with the magic tree and talking snake so I don’t think you’re in a position to use terms like childish. Nor would I make the assumption that atheists are unacquainted with the scriptures. This is definitely not the case and I can guarantee that you will be inundated with evidence to the contrary if you continue along that path.

        • And you are the one with the misconceptions. Intelligence working through everything in the universe has to be a better answer than luck and magic.
          In reply to #49 by Nitya:

          In reply to #36 by Robert-Evans:

          atheism’s idea) is just not acceptable, and childish to boot. >

          Well, you are the one with the magic tree and talking snake so I don’t think you’re in a position to use terms like childish. Nor would I make the assumption that atheists are unacquainted with the sc…

      • In reply to #36 by Robert-Evans:

        It was to help people who had nothing, and would be more akin to a servant, a helper.

        Are the pyramid builders and lion fighters of the Coliseum part of this privileged population?

  5. I guess you have a point but I wonder what purpose a discussion like this has. i mean it’s obvious you don’t believe in god and neither do I so it’s kind of like a discussion that starts off “if Copernicus was wrong and the Earth really WAS the center of the universe then…” There are so many interesting actual topics to discuss it seems a waste of time to debate hypothetical falsehoods. The only purpose I can see is it makes people feel better about being atheists by spending time mocking how stupid people who aren’t atheists must be. Which ironically seems to me to be catering to the baser human instincts, the desire to segregate the world into “good people” and “bad people” which is I think quite likely one of the drives that gave us religion in the first place.

    • In reply to #5 by Red Dog:

      I guess you have a point but I wonder what purpose a discussion like this has. i mean it’s obvious you don’t believe in god and neither do I so it’s kind of like a discussion that starts off “if Copernicus was wrong and the Earth really WAS the center of the universe then…” There are so many inter…

      That sounds like the ‘world weary’ response from someone who joined RDFRS in 2010. Spare a thought for the many who, like #4 , joined yesterday. In many cases this is the first time an opportunity has presented itself, to articulate what one actually thinks. This is an extremely liberating feeling, and if don’t think anyone needs to be judged for doing so. I hope I’m not guilty of making an ad hominem attack .

    • In reply to #5 by Red Dog:

      Which ironically seems to me to be catering to the baser human instincts, the desire to segregate the world into “good people” and “bad people” which is I think quite likely one of the drives that gave us religion in the first place.

      Hi Red Dog.

      There is a wide continuum between Really Good & Really Bad humans, with many ways to decide where to put the dividing line.
      Having lived with all types of people in 3 countries for 63 years, I’ve made the fair decision to class all supernaturalists as being somewhere on the Bad side of the Decent Folk plateau most of us are on.

      I just don’t interact much – that I’m aware of – with many supernaturalists in my life & all the faithy stuff I see on my daily travels, I just tune those things & folk out & carry on…. Luckily in all my motor sport activities religion has virtually never came up in 40 years…. 8-))

      I may not be as conciliatory & forgiving as some folk, but I have only so much time in my one life, so I make decisions to help me to remain sane & productive with low interpersonal stress if possible – which excludes faithy folk. My only interactions with believers is at RDFRS & a couple of other sites where I’ve discussed reality with strong creationists, who I just don’t want to interact with anywhere else in my life – I did that bit when I grew up atheist among sectarian faith-heads on Clydeside, Scotland, a bit in Manchester, England, plus a 2 wk minibus hosteling tour around all of beautiful but sadly god-infected Ireland in 1969….

      Religion divides up the Good & Bad in hugely different ways to me, based on totally different premises, so they shouldn’t be conflated…. Mac.

      • In reply to #12 by CdnMacAtheist:

        made the fair decision to class all supernaturalists as being somewhere on the Bad side of the Decent Folk plateau most of us are on.>

        This has been comparable with my life experience as well, though not totally. I can think of three instances where I would consider individuals fit the ideal of the “good Christian”. I think they struggle very much with the views held by other parishioners, particularly the “right wing” political aspect that comes along with most religions ( except in Cuba, of course).

        On the other hand, some of the most unpleasant human beings ever to cross my path, have been ardent churchgoers! Of course, these divisions are totally irrelevant when it comes to the veracity of their dogma. I’m with Richard Dawkins, in that the truth or otherwise, is the most important aspect of the debate.

        • In reply to #13 by Nitya:

          In reply to #12 by CdnMacAtheist:

          I’m with Richard Dawkins, in that the truth or otherwise, is the most important aspect of the debate.

          And I’ve shifted on this over the years. I think the truth aspect of religion is critical to the unpicking of the fundamentalist delusions and is thus of great strategic help in the US and, say, the Middle East. But everywhere else the nonsense of the narratives is as nothing compared with the nonsense of the skewed morality and this is less susceptible to truth tests with the invocation of metaphorical justifications.

          I pretty much don’t mind Quakers believing in a few nonsense ideas, but the RCC who consider themselves entitled nay obliged to poison kids minds with ideas of original sin and hell (and no matter how metaphorically portrayed) are the purest poison.

          Now for me immorality is in my sights for more than wrongness of narrative facts, The plethora and varieties of religious narrative facts pretty much cancel themselves out. I believe most people live with their variously different lies because they are attracted mostly to the moral “aesthetic” attached. Denying a religious persons’ right to moral self satisfaction is the thing.

          • In reply to #21 by phil rimmer:

            I believe most people live with their variously different lies because they are attracted mostly to the moral “aesthetic” attached.>

            What constitutes moral behaviour in different religious groups is variable and arbitrary. Experiments have shown a consistency across the board, when it comes to on-the-spot decision making ( such as the railway carriage heading for disaster), but the moral implications of dress codes and food restrictions are of no value that I can see. I think our future moral guidelines are best set by ethicists.

            I’m happy to have my view of reality informed by scientific discovery and my perception of moral behaviour informed by ethicists who represent a cross-section of the community.

    • Where is your evidence that it is “hypothetical falsehoods”? One assumes you have none. I also don’t think that it is right to call people “stupid” just because they don’t believe in an ‘Origin.’ You, as an atheist are the one who thinks that everything is luck and magic; so what makes you better than someone who thinks it is Consciousness and Intelligence? I would have thought that your position is the one on decidedly shaky ground
      In reply to #5 by Red Dog:

      I guess you have a point but I wonder what purpose a discussion like this has. i mean it’s obvious you don’t believe in god and neither do I so it’s kind of like a discussion that starts off “if Copernicus was wrong and the Earth really WAS the center of the universe then…” There are so many inter…

  6. The Christian God certainly made an unimpressive entrance and exit. The Jewish one has yet to arrive. The Islamic God can’t be spoken of or depicted in any way, but his prophet rode a winged horse.

    Yes maybe God does work in mysterious ways ?

  7. So… if for the sake of argument any of the myriad of deities actually existed, how does it make sense that a god that demands the things typical of most worshipped deities that it’s adherents must follow wouldn’t simply go directly to the populace? What deity could actually benefits by having the information distorted, rewritten, reinterpreted and otherwise altered to serve the purpose of the clergy dispensing the drivel?

    To be honest, I’m not sure if you’re asking why a being with such powers would be so incompetent, or asking why followers would believe this to be the case. The first one’s easy enough: either the being is clumsy or clueless, or the being is somewhere between careless and callous towards humans, such that it wouldn’t care about making sense even if it was capable.

    The second one would require knowing the psychology of humans in general, and would take too long to explain even assuming I knew how to piece together the parts making up the explanation. A look into cognitive biases and evolutionary psychology would probably overwhelm you with potential answers, just for starters. For instance, in Kahneman’s Thinking, Fast and Slow, he describes mental systems of judging the world and how their particular styles of judging lead to systematic errors and ill-constructed ideas.

  8. Red Dog,

    I guess you have a point but I wonder what purpose a discussion like this has. i mean it’s obvious you don’t believe in god and neither do I so it’s kind of like a discussion that starts off “if Copernicus was wrong and the Earth really WAS the center of the universe then…” There are so many interesting actual topics to discuss it seems a waste of time to debate hypothetical falsehoods.

    Perhaps, but I wasn’t posting a hypothetical to be particularly cruel or petty. I’m merely fleshing out another in a long line of issues I have with theistic thinking. Even if I were a theistic person (which I was years ago) I would likely see another person’s faith as having inconsistencies and such even if i didn’t see them in my own.

    The only purpose I can see is it makes people feel better about being atheists by spending time mocking how stupid people who aren’t atheists must be. Which ironically seems to me to be catering to the baser human instincts, the desire to segregate the world into “good people” and “bad people” which is I think quite likely one of the drives that gave us religion in the first place.

    As I’ve said, mocking is not my intention, and the desire to segregate in the way you mention is every bit as much societal and cultural as it is religious. Obviously if I were to simply run down the list of things that didn’t make sense about religion as a whole we’d all be here for a while, but this one struck me as curious enough to post, for good or ill.

    After seeing some of my discussions get posted previously, most often I’m simply curious to see the types of responses.

    But agree or not I always respect your responses. It’s very easy to become complacent and just assume you’re right without really thinking things through or even giving much consideration to the other side of the argument. It keeps me mindful, if nothing else.

  9. You have made some very good points. Unfortunately most religious people don’t examine their beliefs critically. They are indoctinated at a very young age when of course they are very gullible. Their community believes in the same fairy tales, so they assume they must be true. If they do examine their religion at a later age and begin to have doubts, they fear they will be excluded from their community if they “come out”. And threats of going to hell are enough to stop some people from thinking too much about their beliefs.

    • It is true that many people do not fully examine their Scripture correctly, or if you like, “their beliefs”. But this does not mean there is no God, if that is what you are insinuating. Not all people are taught at a young age, what you call “indoctrination” is common to all humanity…we bring up our children the best way we know how. Calling it fairy tales, again shows your ignorance. Fairies were real, they were ‘people’. Whether any exist now or not, I have no idea. But to equate Conscious Energy with Fairies is just silly.
      In reply to #11 by David W:

      You have made some very good points. Unfortunately most religious people don’t examine their beliefs critically. They are indoctinated at a very young age when of course they are very gullible. Their community believes in the same fairy tales, so they assume they must be true. If they do examine the…

      • In reply to #39 by Robert-Evans:

        But to equate Conscious Energy with Fairies is just silly.

        Why exactly? Fairies are a well understood concept (type of mythical being or legendary creature in European folklore, a form of spirit, often described as metaphysical, supernatural or preternatural). Conscious Energy is not.

        • In reply to #52 by G_O_D:

          In reply to #39 by Robert-Evans:

          But to equate Conscious Energy with Fairies is just silly.

          Why exactly? Fairies are a well understood concept (type of mythical being or legendary creature in European folklore, a form of spirit, often described as metaphysical, supernatural or preternatural). Con…

          Fairies would also be biomechanically feasible, give or take a few liberties. A miniaturized human would be unlikely to actually last long, since breathing would be an issue due to the reduced surface area of the lungs, and heat loss would be dangerously rapid. However, a human-like insect or humanoid with adaptations for smaller body size could potentially have arisen, or at the very least we could theoretically engineer one using advanced genetics and embryological technology.

          It’d give the taxonomists one heck of a headache, though. Microhomo fae, anyone?

  10. If I were God I would appreciate RD and the like-minded for questioning and trying to understand the universe with all its complexity. It is astonishing that even many sober (conscious) believers are unable to grasp the idea that science is the path to God. Because it is the true way that leads to God and not all sorts of fallacies and imaginary fantasies of humanity. A religious person should ask himself a basic question: 100 billion galaxies with a hundred billion stars and many more billions of planets in it came into existence just for fun?

    In my opinion, the basic tragedy of a human is death. Religion’s all effort and doctrine is pointed toward giving reconciliation to humanity to live with this fact. We can add injustice, suffering and aging to the tragedy. Putting forward imagionary other world (heaven), judgement after life, or in non Abrahamaic religions, reencarnation etc. solves these problems from religious perspective. I suspect that all kinds of religious development in the world from paganism to Abrahamaic religions and Buddhism etc. accumulated in time a literature and tradition to tranquillize human tragedies. At the same time this approach have always benefited ruling elites to put order and maintain power in societies.

    In any case, we have a problem here, it deserves debate and atheism is not the final cure since we need to have a coherent theory that explains and gives correct answers to people to alleviate their tragedies. Otherwise religious doctrines will continue evolving and will always dominate over science and reason.

    • In reply to #14 by YesUCan:
      >

      In any case, we have a problem here, it deserves debate and atheism is not the final cure since we need to have a coherent theory that explains and gives correct answers to people to alleviate their tragedies.

      Atheism merely clears the supernatural obstructions out of the way so, an unbiased objective science based consideration of the issues can be begun.

      Otherwise religious doctrines will continue evolving and will always dominate over science and reason.

      Con-men will always want to make a living, so as long as the gullible uneducated can be groomed as customers, the profitable market for cheap and nasty pseudo-answers will be maintained.

      • In reply to #15 by Alan4discussion:

        Atheism merely clears the supernatural obstructions out of the way so, an unbiased objective science based consideration of the issues can be begun.

        I doubt that “an unbiased objective science based consideration of the issues” have begun based on atheism. There are many scientists who are not atheists.

        • In reply to #18 by YesUCan:

          In reply to #15 by Alan4discussion:

          Atheism merely clears the supernatural obstructions out of the way so, an unbiased objective science based consideration of the issues can be begun.

          I doubt that “an unbiased objective science based consideration of the issues” have begun based on atheism.

          Atheism (absence of belief in gods or evidence for gods), carries no biased preconceived dogmatic or ideological baggage to obstruct or confuse scientific investigations (although some individual atheists might.)

          There are many scientists who are not atheists.

          There are, – but some specialise in limited fields which do not impinge on their “faith”. Others compartmentalise their science and their faith to separate the contradictions in cognitive dissonance.

          Ultimately “faith” – Belief that does not rest on logical proof or material evidence., is incompatible with evidenced scientific methodology, so any input from “faith-thinking”, corrupts scientific investigations.

          • In reply to #23 by Alan4discussion:

            In reply to #18 by YesUCan:

            In reply to #15 by Alan4discussion:

            Atheism merely clears the supernatural obstructions out of the way so, an unbiased objective science based consideration of the issues can be begun.

            I doubt that “an unbiased objective science based consideration of the issues” have…

            I agree with the basic idea which is the basis of scientific methodology. But science needs more grounds to serve adequately to humanity. For example racism is not based on faith. Yet, when merged with science leads to catastrophies evidenced by Nazi science. Another example is the ideology that draws conclusions from the nature. Survival of the fittest. When you understand and apply it “erroneously” on human society, results you get become horrendous.

          • In reply to #38 by YesUCan:

            In reply to #23 by Alan4discussion:

            I agree with the basic idea which is the basis of scientific methodology. But science needs more grounds to serve adequately to humanity. For example racism is not based on faith.

            Surely racism is based on faith and bigotry! It is certainly not based on scientific evidence!

            Yet, when merged with science leads to catastrophies evidenced by Nazi science. Another example is the ideology that draws conclusions from the nature. Survival of the fittest.

            NAZI Social Darwinism was ideological pseudo-science!

            When you understand and apply it “erroneously” on human society, results you get become horrendous.

            The NAZI s applied it to their religious concept of a master-race and chosen people, as their various insignia show.

    • You should not think that being atheist means you “reason”. That is a fallacy and is not a help to open discussion.
      In reply to #14 by YesUCan:

      If I were God I would appreciate RD and the like-minded for questioning and trying to understand the universe with all its complexity. It is astonishing that even many sober (conscious) believers are unable to grasp the idea that science is the path to God. Because it is the true way that leads to G…

      • In reply to #40 by Robert-Evans:

        You should not think that being atheist means you “reason”. That is a fallacy and is not a help to open discussion.
        In reply to #14 by YesUCan:

        YesUCan – has been having a reasoned two-way discussion with me, while you have just been making unevidenced asserted opinions, which are approaching being “preaching”.

        Preaching is not allowed on this site. Evidenced reasoning is required here.

        Reasoning is a learned skill which in not inherent in either theism or atheism.

        Reasoning can be observed and analysed in the comments which are on record here.

        In reply to #39 by Robert-Evans:

        It is true that many people do not fully examine their Scripture correctly, or if you like, “their beliefs”.

        I know! It is often amusing to see theists who have not read or cannot understand their own holy books, making silly assertions to atheists who HAVE read them and understood them. (Dunning-Kruger effect)

        Not all people are taught at a young age, what you call “indoctrination” is common to all humanity…we bring up our children the best way we know how.

        I see you have no answer to my comment 29 about indoctrination by family and geographical or historical culture, relating to belief in different gods! Your comments seem to illustrate a very limited understanding of one version, of one god, to the exclusion of knowledge of any other viewpoints.

        Calling it fairy tales, again shows your ignorance.

        Not really??? No informed people think Biblical mythology is actually a historical record written at the time of supposed events. Only those who have not studied the history of those times, and are ignorant of all the independent historical records, do not know which sections of the bible were copied from earlier religions, or that the NT gospels were not written by the named authors!

        Fairies were real, they were ‘people’. Whether any exist now or not, I have no idea.

        You have no idea about them at all!

        The only evidence of fairies is photographs which were later admitted by the photographers to be fakes.

        But to equate Conscious Energy with Fairies is just silly.

        Just as silly as equating neurological god-delusions, with external gods in distant parts of the universe.

        It seems you do not understand “conscious energy” either.

        Neuroscience is a rather complex subject, but there are scientific explanations of how it works. Conscious energy is in the physics and biochemistry of the brain. There is no evidence of any other form of energy.

        @36 – He does speak up, he is doing it through me. Are ‘you’ listening?

        Based on a previously published study that indicated spiritual transcendence is associated with decreased right parietal lobe functioning, MU researchers replicated their findings. In addition, the researchers determined that other aspects of spiritual functioning are related to increased activity in the frontal lobe.

        But this does not mean there is no God, if that is what you are insinuating.

        Of course you have a god image built by indoctrination in the circular thinking in your brain – seemingly to the exclusion of knowledge of other cultures. You seem to be projecting your god-delusion all over the place, and speaking on its behalf, while substituting “faith-thinking” for reasoning!

        • I think you will find that you are preaching, not I, sir. I am mealy commenting on assertions some are making, to which they have no evidence, and therefore live by blind faith. There seems to be no “reasoning” ability within them to see this, such is there already made up mind.
          In reply to #47 by Alan4discussion:

          In reply to #40 by Robert-Evans:

          You should not think that being atheist means you “reason”. That is a fallacy and is not a help to open discussion.
          In reply to #14 by YesUCan:

          YesUCan – has been having a reasoned two-way discussion with me, while you have just been making unevidenced asserted o…

        • which are approaching being “preaching”.

          Perhaps you should say the same to others, who ‘claim’ that God is an “imaginary friend” just because they have not experienced it. Or does it only work one way. I suppose all religions are the same really, you all think your right and are not open to discussion.

          In reply to #47 by Alan4discussion:

          In reply to #40 by Robert-Evans:

          You should not think that being atheist means you “reason”. That is a fallacy and is not a help to open discussion.
          In reply to #14 by YesUCan:

          YesUCan – has been having a reasoned two-way discussion with me, while you have just been making unevidenced asserted o…

          • In reply to #90 by Robert-Evans:

            which are approaching being “preaching”.

            Perhaps you should say the same to others, who ‘claim’ that God is an “imaginary friend” just because they have not experienced it.

            Why would I do that, when I have already twice given you links to the confirmed evidence in neuroscience which explains where the “spiritual” imaginary friend resides in your brain!
            Links to which you have still not responded with any rational comments or questions.

            Or does it only work one way.

            No! Anyone can present evidence, citations to reference books, pasted quotations, or links to reputable university research to support their rationally presented claims. ** It’s just that you have not done so.**

            I suppose all religions are the same really,

            I already gave you a link (List of deities) which made it very clear they are not!

            It is comically clueless to think that Buddhists who do not believe that gods are necessary, can be equated with Hindus who believe in thousands of gods and goddesses, 51 Incan deities who require human sacrifices, Muslims who think they have to pray to their one god several times a day heads down facing Mecca, or the various cults of Christianity, Judaism, etc . – Just to mention a few.

            It becomes tedious when people won’t or can’t understand plain language which explains it to them, and they just keep asserting nonsense!

            you all think your right and are not open to discussion.

            Many people including myself are open to discussion, as is plain to see on numerous discussions readily accessible on this site.

            What we are unconvinced by, is assertions lacking evidence or reasoned cases.
            Personal opinions based on a lack of study, are of no use in understanding the world or the universe. -
            Especially if they are arguments or assertions, which have already been debunked by evidence which is readily available on record, – or even debunked by the comments and links of this discussion!

            @88 Also, I am not religious, as to be religious, one must believe in a religion.

            You comments clearly demonstrate that you are religious. You assert a deity and mention “The Bible”.

            as to be religious, one must believe in a religion.

            Not necessarily. A belief in mysticism or in god(s) is a religion, regardless of if it is a recognised group, which has a name attached to it or not.
            Despite numerous posted comments, you have not made your position clear on this apparent self contradiction.

      • In reply to #40 by Robert-Evans:

        You should not think that being atheist means you “reason”. That is a fallacy and is not a help to open discussion.
        In reply to #14 by YesUCan:

        So, what “reason” religion has?

        Religion is mixed with tradition, politics, ethics, philosophy etc. all dimensions of human life. Religion is an ideology which puts constant, immense pressure and threat on all social and individual life by taking alleged authority from god.

        We have no evidence that God gave this authority to people to rule over everything with all the fallacies claimed to be the God’s order. And there is also no evidence that God does not exist.

        What I can tell you is all what you believe in those books are a soup of literature, tradition, fiction of the past and perhaps a little history of its time. I recommend you to clear your mind from religious shackles. Don’t fear, God, by definition, never punishes the good.

  11. If I were God I would appreciate RD and the like-minded for questioning and trying to understand the universe with all its complexity. It is astonishing that even many sober (conscious) believers are unable to grasp the idea that science is the path to God. Because it is the true way that leads to God and not all sorts of fallacies and imaginary fantasies of humanity. A religious person should ask himself a basic question: 100 billion galaxies with a hundred billion stars and many more billions of planets in it came into existence just for fun?

    The ‘paths leading to god’ bit aside, it wouldn’t make much sense that any deity would choose to create through whatever process complex creatures that reason and deduce just to not have them question all aspects of existence including the deity itself. Such an act would be self defeating. I always found the idea of Lucifer and the other fallen angels to be among the most spurious of ideas because it doesn’t solve the problem of how creatures that are supposed to be obedient would simply start thinking for themselves. And they’re all supposed to be creations of the same deity. Is it that desperate for a opposing dialogue or point of view?

    I think it would be better phrased to say that science is the best method that leads to actual answers. I don’t even want to use the term truth because that gets misinterpreted far too often. But I think I get the gist of what you’re trying to say.

    In my opinion, the basic tragedy of a human is death. Religion’s all effort and doctrine is pointed toward giving reconciliation to humanity to live with this fact. We can add injustice, suffering and aging to the tragedy. Putting forward imagionary other world (heaven), judgement after life, or in non Abrahamaic religions, reencarnation etc. solves these problems from religious perspective. I suspect that all kinds of religious development in the world from paganism to Abrahamaic religions and Buddhism etc. accumulated in time a literature and tradition to tranquillize human tragedies. At the same time this approach have always benefited ruling elites to put order and maintain power in societies.

    Agreed, death is a massive part of the drive in most religions. It represents a primal fear of the unknown, something that no one has managed to give any concrete answers for, because after all, we are still alive. The dead don’t tend to offer much help, regardless of the ghost stories one hears.

    And absolutely, that fear drives the powerful into stronger influence to those willing to adhere, and gives the clergy more control over its flock.But overall, the single fear I think factors in more heavily in all societies than anything to fuel superstition.

    In any case, we have a problem here, it deserves debate and atheism is not the final cure since we need to have a coherent theory that explains and gives correct answers to people to alleviate their tragedies. Otherwise religious doctrines will continue evolving and will always dominate over science and reason.

    I think this is something of a misnomer. I don’t see atheism as an answer to anything, and it’s not supposed to be. It’s an opinion on a single subject, it just so happens that subject is very popular in many cultures and its adherents are very protective of it. Science and atheism are not one and the same, science is the logical application of acquired knowledge in a specific and accurate way and many who are scientists are atheistic but one does not equal the other.

    Psychologically speaking, there are ways to comfort people without relying on religion, and as there are countries that are largely non religious it is not impossible for cultures to move past that form of thinking. Like the older religions now relegated to myth, the current theistic practices will die out, and something else will take its place. The bigger question for me is what will replace it.

    What is needed to level the playing field as it were is a better perception of atheism and the actual non religious ways of seeing the world vs the perception many theists have.

    • In reply to #16 by achromat666:

      The ‘paths leading to god’ bit aside, it wouldn’t make much sense that any deity would choose to create through whatever process complex creatures that reason and deduce just to not have them question all aspects of existence including the deity itself. Such an act would be self defeating.

      Why God would create anything then? We may not be able to find the answer forever.

      I always found the idea of Lucifer and the other fallen angels to be among the most spurious of ideas because it doesn’t solve the problem of how creatures that are supposed to be obedient would simply start thinking for themselves. And they’re all supposed to be creations of the same deity. Is it that desperate for a opposing dialogue or point of view?

      Lucifer etc. are news from above. Since these are the themes of religious books and since these books were written by people, they are only as real as Zeus..

      I think this is something of a misnomer. I don’t see atheism as an answer to anything, and it’s not supposed to be. It’s an opinion on a single subject, it just so happens that subject is very popular in many cultures and its adherents are very protective of it. Science and atheism are not one and the same, science is the logical application of acquired knowledge in a specific and accurate way and many who are scientists are atheistic but one does not equal the other.

      Atheism, in contrast, an answer to all religions, which uphold the existence of one or more deities. Yes it is not the same with science.

  12. Personally I reject the concept of organised religions for this reason.

    Obviously we have the problem that religion pops up all over the place in virtually all human cultures. My own view is that if there actually is anything in religion it has to be extant and therefore apparent in its most basal format.
    For that we’d need to go to archaeology and anthropology, because in essence what we’re looking at is shamanism, with some reference to cave art and various artifacts of non-practical use (art).

  13. One would suppose that the reason was he did not want all to know. It would seem also then, baring in mind what you said, that there is something else going on, which is not at first apparent.

    • Hi Robert. So are you saying you think god doesn’t want certain people to know it exists? I thought, at least in the Abrahamic religions which I believe achormat is concerned with in the OP, that god was very keen on having a relationship with the people of the world. It’s hard to have a relationship with someone if they don’t know you exist. I’m sure anyone who’s ever had a crush on a famous movie star could attest to that.

      Also, the Abarhamic god punishes you if you worship the wrong iteration of it, and with cultural influences being as strong as they are, you think the least it could do would be to give you one incontrovertible sign during your life that your either on the right or wrong religious path.

      In reply to #24 by Robert-Evans:

      One would suppose that the reason was he did not want all to know. It would seem also then, baring in mind what you said, that there is something else going on, which is not at first apparent.

      • Hallo, there is a time for all people, but there is also a time when you might well be blind to such things, and in turn distant to him. Energy recycles itself, that in turn is you. All are punished for what we do wrong. Everything is Consciousness. You are the think you talk about.
        In reply to #30 by Ryan1306:

        Hi Robert. So are you saying you think god doesn’t want certain people to know it exists? I thought, at least in the Abrahamic religions which I believe achormat is concerned with in the OP, that god was very keen on having a relationship with the people of the world. It’s hard to have a relationshi…

  14. In reply to #1 by obzen:

    Easy. Gods are man-made

    You would have to have evidence of that, otherwise, as confident as you might sound, it is mere speculation.

    and therefore reflect all the neuroses and powetripping fantasies

    It is also possible that the “power-tripping” might also be seen in your comments.

    which basically means, act like petulent prized-arseholes. It’s the default mode of all top-down societies. All religions are basically scams. I thought that was well understood!

    The first sign of anyone who is not open to reason (something that atheist always claim) is descent. I might add again, that evidence should be given if you think that all religions are “scams”. Just because you do not agree, does not make it wrong. One should keep an open mind, that is the basis of reason.

    • In reply to #25 by Robert-Evans:

      In reply to #1 by obzen:

      Easy. Gods are man-made

      You would have to have evidence of that, otherwise, as confident as you might sound, it is mere speculation.

      Speculation ?? – Do you really believe in ALL the thousands of conflicting gods people have made up over the millennia?

      Here are just a few!

      List of deities

      Near East and North Africa

      • Ancient Near East
      • Ancient Egyptian deities
      • Mesopotamian deities
      • Kassite deities
      • Semitic gods: see El, Elohim
      • Assyro-Babylonian pantheon (see also Family tree of the Babylonian gods)
      • Canaanite deities
      • Anatolia
      • Hittite deities
      • Hurrian deities
      • Caucasus
      • Armenian deities

      . . . . . . . Or do you agree they are made up by the cultures which worshipped them?

      It looks like the contradictions are solid logical evidence that they can’t all be correct!

      @25 One should keep an open mind, that is the basis of reason.

      So do you have “an open mind” on ALL of these gods on the links and their rules and requirements actually existing, or do you only mean a mind uncritically “open to your assertions”?

      • Perhaps you think I haven’t wondered about this then. Yes all deities existed/exist. They are all part of the Fractal Nature of God, seen in many different Aspects.

        In reply to #29 by Alan4discussion:

        In reply to #25 by Robert-Evans:

        In reply to #1 by obzen:

        Easy. Gods are man-made

        You would have to have evidence of that, otherwise, as confident as you might sound, it is mere speculation.

        Speculation ?? – Do you really believe in ALL the thousands of conflicting gods people have made up over…

    • You would have to have evidence of that, otherwise, as confident as you might sound, it is mere speculation.

      Like many religious apologists you have got it the wrong way round. It’s the gods that are the mere speculation. Since there has never been any evidence for a god, it is merely common sense to assume that they are all man-made. Of course, most religious people will have no worries with assuming that the gods of others are man-made, after all they seem so silly.

      I think it’s obvious that Loki, Santa, Zeus, Spiderman, Thor, Batman, Yahweh, Superman, Allah and Wonder Woman and the Tooth Fairy are all man-made (or woman-made). Probably most people reading this post would also think that obvious. You yourself may also be dismissive of these characters, but you would probably want to keep an open mind with regard to one of them.

      Of course, its easy for children to shake any belief they may have had in Santa, but they often grow up with a continued belief in one particular super-hero, mainly because their authority figures seem so convinced in the same.

      In reply to #25 by Robert-Evans:

      In reply to #1 by obzen:

      Easy. Gods are man-made

      You would have to have evidence of that, otherwise, as confident as you might sound, it is mere speculation.

      and therefore reflect all the neuroses and powetripping fantasies

      It is also possible that the “power-tripping” might also be seen in your…

      • Like many religious apologists you have got it the wrong way round.

        I do not accept the title “religious” it is too ambiguous and negative nowadays. And I have not got anything the wrong way round.

        It’s the gods that are the mere speculation. Since there has never been any evidence for a god, it is merely common sense to assume that they are all man-made. Of course, most religious people will have no worries with assuming that the gods of others are man-made, after all they seem so silly.

        If you are claiming they are speculation, you would have to give evidence for that, not just being able to say, I can’t see them, which is effectively what you are saying. Are eyes can be fooled. You might be deluded, which the greatest of respect, sir/madam. The definition of “evidence” is “anything that leads one to a conclusion or judgement about a thing or things”. Thus a believer or a Bible would have to be counted as evidence. I am not saying you would accept it, but that is the definition, and it is, how do I put this without any MOD comments, PERHAPS not truthful, sir/madam. Of course the reality is within before it is without. So without this understanding, this “Inner Witness”, it is nigh on impossible to accept what is said and seen. I admit, some do not look into it very far, and this does not help

        All deities are real, they are Aspects of God, the Singularity from which we all come. Perhaps your understanding is not very good, (or is that ‘too’ personal a comment?)

        I think it’s obvious that Loki, Santa, Zeus, Spiderman, Thor, Batman, Yahweh, Superman, Allah and Wonder Woman and the Tooth Fairy are all man-made (or woman-made). Probably most people reading this post would also think that obvious. You yourself may also be dismissive of these characters, but you would probably want to keep an open mind with regard to one of them.

        Some are out of comic books. That seems somewhat disrespectful, sir/madam. You are comparing an answer of “Intelligence” with comic books! Intelligence is certainly a better idea than ‘luck and magic’. You must consider the alternative remember.

        Of course, its easy for children to shake any belief they may have had in Santa, but they often grow up with a continued belief in one particular super-hero, mainly because their authority figures seem so convinced in the same.

        And with good reason.

        In reply to #25 by Robert-Evans:
        In reply to #31 by Marktony:

        You would have to have evidence of that, otherwise, as confident as you might sound, it is mere speculation.

        Like many religious apologists you have got it the wrong way round. It’s the gods that are the mere speculation. Since there has never been any evidence for a god, it is merely common sense…

        • In reply to #72 by Robert-Evans:
          >

          The definition of “evidence” is “anything that leads one to a conclusion or judgement about a thing or things”.

          Wrong! That is the definition of deduction! “Anything” is not evidence.
          Evidence needs to be of substance and supporting the proposition.

          ev·i·dence noun, verb, -
          >
          – that which tends to prove or disprove something; ground for belief; proof.
          >
          – data presented to a court or jury in proof of the facts in issue and which may include the testimony of witnesses, records, documents, or objects.
          >
          – to make evident or clear; show clearly; manifest.

          Scientific evidence is confirmed by repeat testing, or it is rejected as flawed. Refuted claims are not “evidence”! Neither are fallacious arguments which do not support the claim.

          Thus a believer or a Bible would have to be counted as evidence. .. . . but that is the definition,

          That is not a definition a scientist or objective historian would use. The Bible is only evidence that ancient scribes wrote down mythology. There is no evidence that it is factual or historical. No NT gospels were written within decades or centuries of supposed events and none were written by the named authors – according to historians and biblical scholars. That is the evidence based position.

          Of course the reality is within before it is without. So without this understanding, this “Inner Witness”, it is nigh on impossible to accept what is said and seen. I admit, some do not look into it very far, and this does not help

          This is what is known as psychological projection. It is very clear that you are ONLY looking introspectively at your indoctrinated preconceptions, and certainly do not very far for EVIDENCE of history or science. Centuries of faith-based introspection made none of the discoveries of archaeology or modern science. It only provides god-magic as gap-fillers substituting for knowledge. Persistence with this leaves people with all filler and negligible knowledge.

          Robert-Evans @75 – I think you will find that you are preaching,

          In reply to #47 by Alan4discussion:

          Preaching is offering views without evidence or citations – which is precisely what you are doing.

          not I, sir. I am mealy commenting on assertions some are making, to which they have no evidence, and therefore live by blind faith.

          I provided evidence on a link to neurological research @47 which you claim to be replying to here!! What was the problem in understanding it so you cannot recognise the issue? I also provided a simple link to explain the basic workings of the Neuroscience of the brain.

          There seems to be no “reasoning” ability within them to see this, such is there already made up mind.

          Logical scientific minds are made up by a process of reasoning from a starting base of testable evidence.
          As I explained earlier, reasoning is a process of logic, not a badge of authority to be stuck on to your preconceived untested perceptions derived from blind “faith”.
          Self-referencing introspection does use circularity to self-confirm delusions and preconceptions.
          Research of the outside world/universe, is needed to actually produce evidence which matches external reality

          Some minds are indeed made up on the basis of evidence. No flat-Earth believer is likely to convince me the planet is not spherical by insisting his OPINION is correct! I will ask for evidence, and I know he WILL be unable to provide it – BECAUSE I have made a thorough investigation of the subject. Centuries of navel gazing were unable to accurately show if the Earth was flat or not. Introspective navel-gazing has been proved to be a totally unreliable source of information on numerous occasions.

          If you want to discuss the accuracy of the Bible or the nature of various gods, you will have to do some investigative study.
          No regulars on this site are impressed with asserted ignorance from people who have not done their homework on the topics they are pretending to understand. – as you are in the following quote!

          All deities are real, they are Aspects of God, the Singularity from which we all come.

          All those contradictory claims are real, – and you profess to preach on “reasoning”??!! List of deities -Seriously? You show no understanding of any of them. – Turtles all the way down – and fairies too???
          By Asherah! Have you read anything about any of those other religious beliefs? or do you just make ALL of it up as you go along?

          • In reply to #92 by achromat666:

            I’m not certain what I find more fascinating, the fact that you are in effect doing the very thing you accuse atheists of (examine opposing viewpoints with bias and close-minded thinking ) or the fact that you have yet to produce any evidence for a single claim.

            @47 – Preaching is not allowed on this site. Evidenced reasoning is required here.

            Robert-Evans: @75 – I think you will find that you are preaching,

            @79 – Preaching is offering views without evidence or citations – which is precisely what you are doing.

            While the exchange has illustrated various points about the nature of thinking and reasoning in debate, it seems the mods have finally lost patience with this, and various posts have disappeared.

        • I do not accept the title “religious” it is too ambiguous and negative nowadays. And I have not got anything the wrong way round.

          I’m afraid you will just have to lump that title because religious you certainly are. If the term is negative nowadays, maybe that’s because (borrowing from a source with which you may be familiar) the world around you is putting away such childish things as:

          1. Insisting that your imaginary friend is real because no-one can prove otherwise. Perhaps you also have a dragon in your garage.

          2. Claiming that your imaginary friend must be real because you have a book which was written by him/her.

          3. Claiming that your imaginary friend is the creator of the universe and he/she has communicated to you (perhaps via another or via a book) the rules by which you (and everyone else) should live.

          4. Claiming that those who are not inclined to take you seriously without some small scrap of evidence are deluded or have not looked into it very far and therefore have not discovered their “inner witness”.

          5. Claiming that despite the obvious contradictions in the rulebooks (see 3.) everyone’s imaginary friend is really an aspect of the same one “Singularity”!! And those without access to an “aspect” are obviously lacking in understanding.

          Some are out of comic books. That seems somewhat disrespectful, sir/madam. You are comparing an answer of “Intelligence” with comic books!

          Having read the bible and a few comic books, I got the impression that the comic book authors were of a far higher level of wisdom, intelligence and morals! BTW, Man of Steel is out on DVD – now there’s a comic book hero to knock the spots off your average imaginary friend. I suggest you watch it, then contrast and compare. And that reminds me of this video which you might find interesting:

          Still the Good Guys

          In reply to #72 by Robert-Evans:

          Like many religious apologists you have got it the wrong way round.

          I do not accept the title “religious” it is too ambiguous and negative nowadays. And I have not got anything the wrong way round.

          It’s the gods that are the mere speculation. Since there has never been any evidence for a god, it i…

          • In reply to #84 by Marktony:

            BTW, Man of Steel is out on DVD – now there’s a comic book hero to knock the spots off your average imaginary friend. I suggest you watch it, then contrast and compare.

            At the risk of going off-topic, Man of Steel is not the best that the Superman franchise has to offer. For an example of that, I’d choose the original Superman movie and the comics. The latest incarnation didn’t do it for me.

          • In reply to #85 by Zeuglodon:

            In reply to #84 by Marktony:

            BTW, Man of Steel is out on DVD – now there’s a comic book hero to knock the spots off your average imaginary friend. I suggest you watch it, then contrast and compare.

            At the risk of going off-topic, Man of Steel is not the best that the Superman franchise has to offe…

            At the risk of continuing to go OT, I just saw Man of Steel and I was surprised that I actually kind of liked it. I think my expectations were so low to begin with, most major new movies are such garbage, especially in action and Sci Fi it’s like most of the script writers have just given up on having a plot or characters that make any sense. But at least in the last Superman movie I knew who was being the bad guy and why. Plus Michael Shannon is awesome. I’ve liked him ever since he played the creepy real life manager of the Runaways in that movie. As long as I’m rambling now The Runaways, THAT was an awesome movie. People make fun of Stewart and rightly so for Twilight but I think she is a decent actress who went for a big paycheck. She really does a great job as Joan Jett.

          • I liked them all. The 1978 movie was a much different style to today’s Man of Steel – a little less serious? Gene Hackman was a great Lex Luthor:

            Otisburgh

            It’s like comparing Bonds – Sean Connery vs Roger Moore vs Daniel Craig. All great, but different.

            In reply to #85 by Zeuglodon:

            In reply to #84 by Marktony:

            BTW, Man of Steel is out on DVD – now there’s a comic book hero to knock the spots off your average imaginary friend. I suggest you watch it, then contrast and compare.

            At the risk of going off-topic, Man of Steel is not the best that the Superman franchise has to offe…

          • So this is the acclaimed atheist “reasoning” is it. No wonder you don’t understand.
            In reply to #85 by Zeuglodon:

            In reply to #84 by Marktony:

            BTW, Man of Steel is out on DVD – now there’s a comic book hero to knock the spots off your average imaginary friend. I suggest you watch it, then contrast and compare.

            At the risk of going off-topic, Man of Steel is not the best that the Superman franchise has to offe…

          • It is no use using a term “imaginary friend” unless you have some evidence to the contrary. Just because you have not experienced it, does not mean others have not. Also, I am not religious, as to be religious, one must believe in a religion. You have a normal atheist mindset; that which you call open, is closed, and you think that you understand everyone else’s point of view, even though you will have no spiritual understanding, hence the reason you can’t accept what I’m saying
            In reply to #84 by Marktony:

            I do not accept the title “religious” it is too ambiguous and negative nowadays. And I have not got anything the wrong way round.

            I’m afraid you will just have to lump that title because religious you certainly are. If the term is negative nowadays, maybe that’s because (borrowing from a source wit…

    • In reply to #25 by Robert-Evans:

      In reply to #1 by obzen:

      Easy. Gods are man-made

      You would have to have evidence of that, otherwise, as confident as you might sound, it is mere speculation.

      All attempts to prove a deity of some sort exists thus far encountered are either unsound or outright incoherent, assuming for the moment that the notion of a deity is itself actually coherent. The “Well, they might exist” argument proves nothing by itself because it appeals to ignorance, not knowledge, and is therefore null and void as an attempt to establish knowledge. Therefore, it is reasonable to conclude that gods are man-made, though for the sake of epistemological pedantics, it is probably best to indicate that this is a matter of justifiable confidence rather than of absolute certainty.

      • “You” do not prove a Deity. I think you will find it is the other way round. But to use the comments of others to me, ‘you are free to have your assumptions’.
        In reply to #45 by Zeuglodon:

        In reply to #25 by Robert-Evans:

        In reply to #1 by obzen:

        Easy. Gods are man-made

        You would have to have evidence of that, otherwise, as confident as you might sound, it is mere speculation.

        All attempts to prove a deity of some sort exists thus far encountered are either unsound or outright inc…

        • In reply to #74 by Robert-Evans:

          “You” do not prove a Deity. I think you will find it is the other way round.

          I think you will find that the burden of proof is on those claiming the existence of something, if only because they are claiming to have discovered and therefore to know something that other people don’t.

          So what is a Deity, what are its tangible features such that one could identify it, and what makes you so confident it exists? Merely stating that your “Inner Witness” detects it is a weak argument suggestive of overconfidence in your own introspection, so presumably you have more substantial arguments to justify said confidence.

          But to use the comments of others to me, ‘you are free to have your assumptions’.

          Again, what is a Deity, and what makes you so confident it exists?

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  16. First time participant so be gentle.

    I have often wondered (to myself) if religion is some by product collateral damage cause by evolution. Why in any society do most of the people not think. Why is there only a small percentage of spirited free thinkers. I guess around 10-15 percent. Why aren’t we all questioners like Richard and the people in these blogs. Why do people what “The Biggest Loser” on TV. So many whys. So short a life.

    So I wondered if there might have been some natural selection pressure towards populations where most of the people are blind followers with a small number with leadership potential. Consider two equal valleys with scattered villages. In one valley a charismatic leader in league with the tame local shaman have a population where the “follower” gene is strong. They are able to rouse and rally that population with the fear of god and the promise of rewards to “liberate” (attack and slaughter) the villages in the neighbouring valley who are independent minded free thinkers. A population composed mostly of followers will be a potent military and political force. They will get rich and prosper. The “follower” gene will be passed on whereas the “Free Thinkers” will die out.

    So maybe we’re bred to believe in religion. Maybe this is why Bertrand Russell summed up much more succinctly than I can when he said, “Most people would rather die than think. And most people do.”

    • I should add, that there is a delicious irony here if I am right that there is a natural selection pressure to breed followers. The creationists can only hold their extreme views because of evolution.

      Religion should be practiced by consenting adults in private.

    • In reply to #33 by David R Allen:

      First time participant so be gentle.

      I have often wondered (to myself) if religion is some by product collateral damage cause by evolution. Why in any society do most of the people not think. Why is there only a small percentage of spirited free thinkers. I guess around 10-15 percent. Why aren’…

      First of all, welcome to the site! I hope you enjoy your time here.

      Secondly, that’s an interesting idea, but it has been posed before, and unfortunately it has also been demonstrated to be incorrect, or at least incomplete. Attacking a rival clan or tribe is an extremely risky enterprise with some strong survival benefits, but that practically invites social loafers to reap the benefits without risking their necks. The more shrewd among the crowd are more likely to survive and reap the benefits, overrunning the followers who throw themselves into a risky situation. Moreover, that level of gullibility would be unlikely to appear, at least not without severe qualifiers to make sure they didn’t just follow any old charismatic leader that seized their ears.

      I’d probably amend it by either having most of the clan be related by blood (or joined by a common interest in, say, uniting families through marriage) and either related to the leader or able to oust him/her if he/she is exploiting them, or by having it so that the clan and the charismatic leader have to have at least some level of mutual trust and demonstrations of loyalty to avoid the former being exploited by the latter while also enabling the former to profit from the advice of the latter. Both put up mechanisms by which a level of trust and confidence can be encouraged on both sides, in the former case because of kinship ties and family obligations, and in the latter case because it tips it away from parasitism (which can prosper only under certain conditions) and towards mutual benefit, which removes the “social loafer” problem.

    • I can never understand why people think that “not” understanding, means you understand.
      In reply to #33 by David R Allen:

      First time participant so be gentle.

      I have often wondered (to myself) if religion is some by product collateral damage cause by evolution. Why in any society do most of the people not think. Why is there only a small percentage of spirited free thinkers. I guess around 10-15 percent. Why aren’…

  17. This subject was elaborated in “The God delusion” by prof.Dawkins. I see you have not read it. But, you still can. :) Of course that these “church middleman” are cheaters, as is their whole christianity. They are made up by the church and their only purpose is to divide people and take their money as much as they can. That way they accumulate power and that is very dangerous. By the way there are no charismatic people on this world, people themselves provide these features or characteristics to someone. ;) It usually means that person who think that someone is charismatic recognize its own inferiority towards that somebody,… why would you or anybody else do so? In my opinion whole christianity and other religious sects are based on this submission. People are so ready to submit themselves. Why? Because they do not want responsibilities,… they give up freedom for comfortable life. :)

  18. Where is your evidence that it is “hypothetical falsehoods”? One assumes you have none.

    Actually Robert his initial response was aimed at me, and my whole OP is a ‘hypothetical falsehood’ technically as I am a non believer.

    I also don’t think that it is right to call people “stupid” just because they don’t believe in an ‘Origin.’

    If you paid attention to the context of his response, he was actually calling for civility in my OP which you’re not even giving him. Though to be fair I did not think I was being uncivil.

    You, as an atheist are the one who thinks that everything is luck and magic; so what makes you better than someone who thinks it is Consciousness and Intelligence? I would have thought that your position is the one on decidedly shaky ground.

    Where are you getting luck and magic? Probability and physics are hardly the same thing as making up deities and simply giving them credit for everything

    Your speaking about this ‘through the mind’ bit, while interesting, is only evidence of what my OP illustrates: What would be the purpose of utilizing such an unreliable method as your unsubstantiated opinion of evidence to explain its existence? That explains literally nothing and is only a single perspective in millions of theists who have a different version of events than yours. How is that reliable? How could you support any such claim with anything beyond stating that’s just how you feel?

    What would be the point of secrecy and this fracturing of information? Amusement?

    A revealed god through specific doctrine and rite only serves the purpose of those who create and perpetuate those rituals and doctrine. The mystery and propitiations are pointless if this deity created everyone (especially those simply not inclined to theism, and those that are raised in different belief systems altogether).

    You are free to assume that such things exist and that they serve some purpose, but everything about how religion works serves the purposes of the people in control of a given faith as opposed to any presumed god.

  19. Did you not know that some two thirds of the world believe?

    This is not proof of anything, except that people believe something. And that population does not believe in the same deity across the board.

    • In reply to #42 by achromat666:

      Did you not know that some two thirds of the world believe?

      This is not proof of anything, except that people believe something. And that population does not believe in the same deity across the board.

      Not to mention that we actually do have evidence that the methods used to come to such conclusions and numbers cast serious doubt on their validity, not least of which is the weakness of appeals to authority, tradition, and revelation. Invoking an appeal to numbers is either a presumption that their methods are valid – which hasn’t been demonstrated, so in the absence of any confidence of expertise, in this case the appeal to numbers is irrelevant – or an implicit appeal to intimidation or discouragement: “This is right because two-thirds of the world think it is, and you’ve got them to contend with if you say otherwise.” Either way, it’s not a good argument.

  20. In reply to #32 by Nitya:

    In reply to #21 by phil rimmer:

    I think our future moral guidelines are best set by ethicists.

    I am not particularly keen on that, though their deliberations should be common currency. For me, I want people to feel that they have a daily obligation on moral matters to decide what they think and feel and to do so in the absence of what anybody else tells them they ought to think.

    The ethicist may choose to have us always push the bloke off the bridge to save the five on the platform. A simple least harm calculation. But there are other issues, not least the transgression of our evolved moral heuristics like “don’t hurt kin and as-if-kin”. Our moral heuristics if transgressed can lead to feelings of disgust and low self worth. Risking damage to a 99% successful wired in response may not net the least harm in a bigger picture.

    Moral failure, in my view, flows from a personal abdication of responsibility for moral matters depending instead on a look up table of dogma. I want to see morality as an everyday task, a due diligence of; have we done the best we can to mitigate harms; have we seen all the harms?; can we widen the group?

    Truly our individual moral concerns are not congruent one with another. Logic and philosophical musings will not make them so. They are akin to aesthetic tastes and are reflected, for instance, in our political predispositions. (These predispositions aren’t of themselves wrong as they are rather suited to particular and different situations. The left aesthetic suits abundance and low threat and the right aesthetic suits a marginal and threatened society. This evolutionary spread possibly allows us to make the most of things when we can and keep those things when times are hard. I make jokes about Rethuglicans now but I may thank them after the comet strike.) It is only decent that a morality is negotiated democratically.

    The caveat here is that education allows people to rise above their moral heuristics more and on those few occasions without long term harm. This is a good path in my view.

      • In reply to #51 by Peter Grant:

        In reply to #50 by phil rimmer:

        Ethicists are idealists, I want scientists setting our moral standards.

        Betterism is always better. But setting standards is personal. It is my job and its your job. Then we go vote accordingly.

          • In reply to #55 by Peter Grant:

            In reply to #54 by phil rimmer:

            Then we go vote accordingly.

            I’m not willing to leave something as important as moral truth up to democracy.

            Nor do I entirely. I am for the most part very happy with an independent and highly trained judiciary. I do not want to re-invent this but having psychologists and the like input to it more would be brilliant. (There are many wrong assumptions made about evidence and witness accounts. Much can be folded back into its prosecution from the effects of its judgments without recourse to politicians.) Beyond that its down to us and your panga.

          • In reply to #56 by phil rimmer:

            I am for the most part very happy with an independent and highly trained judiciary.

            Moral and legal rights both relate to the realm of conduct, but they are different ways of approaching the same problem. We need scientists to tell the lawyers important stuff like embryos are not people and higher animals also suffer.

          • We need scientists to tell the lawyers important stuff like embryos are not people and higher animals also suffer.

            And to tell the politicians who are making the laws. Doesn’t matter how great your knowledge of science and technology is, if your choice of elected representative is from a pool of professional politicians with limited real world experience and likely little interest in the sciences.

            Perhaps that old chestnut of a reformed second chamber could be useful. Somehow we need to slim it down to those with useful knowledge/experience. But how do you convince the appropriate people to apply – I often moan about politicians but it’s a pretty thankless task and I certainly would not want to be one myself, although the money is not bad. Maybe they could still be appointed but with quotas to ensure a good spread of people with background in the professions. And since I’m talking about the UK, we could swap out the bishops for a start.

            In reply to #57 by Peter Grant:

            In reply to #56 by phil rimmer:

            I am for the most part very happy with an independent and highly trained judiciary.

            Moral and legal rights both relate to the realm of conduct, but they are different ways of approaching the same problem. We need scientists to tell the lawyers important stuff like e…

          • In reply to #63 by Marktony:

            Unfortunately all our current crop of politicians are lawyers. Inevitably really, as they make a good case.

          • Not sure about the Lords, but apparently for MPs, it’s about 15% lawyers and 15% bankers. Maybe we need a quota system for them too?

            In reply to #64 by Nitya:

            In reply to #63 by Marktony:

            Unfortunately all our current crop of politicians are lawyers. Inevitably really, as they make a good case.

  21. But there is always the charismatic leader, the people that are close to him/ her and this barrier between the believers and the belief because only a chosen few understand it.

    …and notice how religions tell you that something is wrong with you (original sin, imperfect behavior, etc.) and that the WAY is the only WAY. If you consider behavior today, unrelated to religion, you will see parallel behavior. Trends, peer pressure, families, and other factors encourage individuals to mold themselves to the group. Cooperation is valued over lone wolf innovation. Even if the lone wolf innovator can contribute towards the advancement of society, pay attention to how these individuals are usually attacked or attempts are made at lowering them down to the status quo. Also, the average person will likely choose to purchase the “highly accepted” in-style, prestigious product over a more stylish, better quality one just because it give them the illusion of importance or being part of something bigger. People will tend to listen to the more popular person over the more invisible individual. Even children will gravitate towards licensed, familiar products over generic, unknown ones. …and I’m not pulling this info out of nowhere. Anyone involved in any industry that deals with this information will confirm this as common knowledge that can be backed up by POS data, psychologists, etc.) We have evolutionary drives that dictate our simple preferences. Many of us simply need to have someone tell us what to do, want, need, and follow. It’s a codependent relationship between those with who want a “group mind” and those who want control over others. …and what type of behavior do you see from those who want to control? They usually point out everyone else’s flaws telling them what to do when they themselves do not tend to their own garden.

    In recent decades, perhaps since the 60s, there is a movement towards individualized spirituality. As a former believer, I noticed that they cannot completely get away from the “fixing” behavior. They may reframe it as taking personal responsibility or the need to create ONENESS. They may claim to not have authoritarian leadership, which they frequently do not, but they still have leadership or the quest to find teachers and find ways to be more cooperative.

  22. This, more or less, was what Luther and I think even more Calvin thought – cut out the ‘middle men’ ie priests and have the scriptures and services in the vernacular, so that believers could hear and speak to God for themselves. Perhaps unsurprisingly reformers attacked at lot of what they saw as superstition and were branded by some as atheists. That terms seems strange from here and now, but at the time an almost total rejection of saintly and Marian cults, imagery, many miracle stories the denial of transubstantiation at Mass amounted to rejection of a large part of normal faith.
    Yet for all that the Reformation struck a chord with many, especially away from areas dominated by Catholicism political and ideologically . Of course, Protestantism wasn’t atheism – some of the most militantly religious branches of Christianity have a Calvinist ancestry. But I wonder if in the future the rise of ‘New Atheism’ will be seen to have had some foreshadowing in the Reformation – which arguably itself had medieval precursors.

    • In reply to #60 by steve_hopker:

      This, more or less, was what Luther and I think even more Calvin thought – cut out the ‘middle men’ ie priests and have the scriptures and services in the vernacular, so that believers could hear and speak to God for themselves. Perhaps unsurprisingly reformers attacked at lot of what they saw as s…

      Yes I’ve thought this for a while. That the earliest protestants, perhaps even some of the earliest Christians, were actually freethinkers. My conclusion is that the critical virtue is an open but rational mind. This is what should be taught in school not “faith”. But encouraging freethought means that the door to faith must never be barred even if we hope that door handle rusts away.

  23. The term “God”means precisely, “self-existence”(“ipsum esse in Latin after St.Thoma Aquinas, Avicenna (Muslim), Majmonides(Jew); therefore, it is the case of all existing entities.Logically, the term “being” means meta-principle and as such it cannot be even expressed in logical signs, terms-we must use in order to express anything in logical or mathematical language and its sings, terms; the term “cause” does not belong to logical (thererfore, scientific language); therefore one cannot codify all terms like “being”, “cause”, “the cause of being”; otherwise, what will they denote….material individual objects like John, a cat, a stone,a proces like evolution,e tc? But they have a meaning (Frege on: denoting and meaning). But will you deny the term “cause” has no meaning? Will you then communicate and explain anything to anyone? These terms have meaning bit they do not denote any concrete object (material); the tem “God” belongs to the same cathegory. Do you see ,,,light? No, you use (this) light to see a concrete object; therefore, from seeing the concrete object, in reductive inference you conclude the necessary existence of something called “light”. Atheists are short- educated logically and philosphically as you see.Merry Christmas

    • In reply to #62 by krzysztof.ciuba.79:

      The term “God”means precisely, “self-existence”(“ipsum esse in Latin after St.Thoma Aquinas, Avicenna (Muslim), Majmonides(Jew); therefore, it is the case of all existing entities.Logically, the term “being” means meta-principle and as such it cannot be even expressed in logical signs,… . . . . . .

      Ah! A fine example of WORD SALAD, inebriated by its own verbosity, posing as logical philosophy!

      the term “cause” does not belong to logical (thererfore, scientific language)

      This is simply asserted nonsense! Cause, effect, and the physics of the known universe, are known to science and very clearly defined in its laws and theories. .

      Will you then communicate and explain anything to anyone?

      No problem.

      These terms have meaning but they do not denote any concrete object (material); the term “God” belongs to the same category.

      That is not correct. – Gods, or more accurately god-delusions, are formed from the material electrons and biochemicals in material molecules of believers’ brains, – although there are gapologist stories of their supposed hidden existence elsewhere, – distracting observers from looking for them in the right places.

      Do you see ,,, light? No,

      Actually yes! We do see light. Material photons focussed by material lenses and detected by the material rods and cones in our eyes. We see light and interpret it with signals passed along material nerves to our material brains.

      you use (this) light to see a concrete object;

      That is certainly a possible function of optical vision, although we can equally well see a projected image.

      therefore, from seeing the concrete object, in reductive inference you conclude the necessary existence of something called “light”.

      Or in plain English:- “We recognise eyes detect light”!

      Light is necessary for optical vision, – unless you are a whale or bat using sonar in the dark!

      The spectrum of light can however be analysed without involving images of concrete objects. Indeed light invisible to humans can also be analysed using instruments.

      Atheists are short- educated logically and philosphically as you see.Merry Christmas

      The above line would be more coherent with punctuation, but would still be an example of the psychological projection of confused thinking, – following on from earlier pseudo-deepity ignorance of the physics of light, supposedly having some relevance to the hiding from scrutiny of god-delusions!

  24. It’s called a collective narcissism achromat666. Check out Wiki’s pages on narcissism, narcissistic personality disorder and collective narcissism and you will understand religion in a whole new light.

  25. I have spent over 35 years studying the first 31 verses of Genesis. I struggled with the same questions you presented. So I figured that if anyone is to believe the Torah or the transliteration of it then one must find the answer and support in the very first chapter. I’m not talking about the New testament. I’m still struggling with that. When I focused on the Anciet Hebrew root words I discovered that Genesis chapter 1 agrees with our current understanding of the science of everything. Which surprised the —– out of me. The first chapter was written by the Aaronid preists while the second chapter was written by the Jawhist tribe. I contend that the first chapter did not make any sense to the Jawhist Tribe. It would not even make a lick of sense to 19th century mankind. It wasn’t until the 20th century that we knew enough about how the Universe and life began that we could even begin to make sense any sense of chapter 1. The story of Adam and Eve in chapter 2 was an attempt to justify the perfection of God with their world reality.

    Ancient Hebrew uses prefixes (pictures) along with words so it forces everyone to make their own interpretation of what the verses are trying to say. Also, the ancient Hebrews had far fewer words than modern languages so that also forces an individual to make their own interpretation. The Aaronid preists refused to change a single word in Chapter 1. I wonder why the two tribes could not come together on this. I suspect the Aaronid priests were given their story by.. ?.. and simply refused to change it. I don’t think the Aaronid priests understood it either. So chapter 2 wound up basically saying – Well God made this perfect world but we screwed it up now we have to pay the consequences. It is not until the 20th century that we can understand chapter 1. – Sorry for being so long winded and it turns out that that story is in total agreement with 21st century science of everything – According to me – I may be wrong – Who knows?

    • In reply to #82 by Pkeeper:

      Sorry for being so long winded and it turns out that that story is in total agreement with 21st century science of everything – According to me – I may be wrong – Who knows?

      But only to those wearing “faith-interpretation-blinkers” who have absolutely no idea about 21st century science.

  26. It is no use using a term “imaginary friend” unless you have some evidence to the contrary. Just because you have not experienced it, does not mean others have not. Also, I am not religious, as to be religious, one must believe in a religion. You have a normal atheist mindset; that which you call open, is closed, and you think that you understand everyone else’s point of view, even though you will have no spiritual understanding, hence the reason you can’t accept what I’m saying

    I’m not certain what I find more fascinating, the fact that you are in effect doing the very thing you accuse atheists of (examine opposing viewpoints with bias and close-minded thinking ) or the fact that you have yet to produce any evidence for a single claim.

    So far all the responses from you and a couple others here have been the standard “I don’t see this issue the same way as everyone else so here is my unique and somehow all inclusive ideas about it” that labels anyone that doesn’t see merit in that idea as being both invalid and unreasonable. not proof of your position and certainly no validity of any god/designer/creative force notions.

    But to further break this down,

    It is no use using a term “imaginary friend” unless you have some evidence to the contrary. Just because you have not experienced it, does not mean others have not.

    Simply because someone has an experience does not mean that it is what they think it is. Alan has made mention and provided links for the ‘god’ spot that has been discovered and cognitive bias occurs across the board on a great number occasions, religious or not. So while no one here can verify or deny specific cases across the board, the fact that we have viable information regarding possible causes as opposed to simply acquiescing sight unseen it seems more prudent to take the more logical path rather than taking someone’s word for something that has not in any way been proven.

    Also, I am not religious, as to be religious, one must believe in a religion. You have a normal atheist mindset; that which you call open, is closed, and you think that you understand everyone else’s point of view, even though you will have no spiritual understanding, hence the reason you can’t accept what I’m saying.

    If you are not a religious person, why are you taking such offense to people thinking differently on the subject of gods and people’s ideas about them? Atheist or otherwise, they are points of view.

    What exactly is the difference between the ‘standard atheist view’ and your view of these matters? You say you have no religion but seem to take offense at people opposing the idea of any higher power. So is this a personal connection you think you have that you can demonstrate? Bear in mind the evidenced nature of this site via the mission statement. So if you claim to have said connection and cannot demonstrate it we have no reason to take it seriously.

    And maybe that’s what this boils down to… what reason do we have to take any variation of the theistic or designer/creator/deistic notion seriously? You accuse people of not having a ‘spiritual understanding’ without either clarifying your own or accepting that many on this site (like myself) came from religious backgrounds. how do you know what we know about spiritual understanding? The fact that we don’t accept it as being viable doesn’t preclude our understanding. It means we don’t agree.

    Big, big difference.

  27. to #66: if ‘you see light” sorry, the discussion has no sense; “material photons”-sic!!! Do you study at least physics at school? Wher are you from? To point out other nonsenses ….Sorry go to library and take a basic textbook on the methodology of sciences like A.Tarski, Intro to Logic, 1936, Warsaw (Warsaw-Lvov School of Logic)

    • In reply to #94 by krzysztof.ciuba.79:

      to #66: if ‘you see light” sorry, the discussion has no sense; “material photons”-sic!!! Do you study at least physics at school? Wher are you from? To point out other nonsenses ….Sorry go to library and take a basic textbook on the methodology of sciences.

      Could I suggest you take your own advice and study some modern physics! E=MC²

      Sorry go to library and take a basic textbook on the methodology of sciences like A.Tarski, Intro to Logic, 1936,

      Some of us have studied scientific advances beyond 1936, and with careers in science are very familiar with scientific methodology – Which should not be confused with the postmodernist verbosity of your earlier comment #62:.

      You could also re-read comment 66, pick up on the points you missed, and learn something about the biology of human vision, with eyes detecting light – and brains interpreting images using electro-biochemistry, – as explained on my Neuroscience link @#47

      Posturing ignorance does not impress on this site which promotes science and reasoning.

  28. A christian once told me that God was so powerful that the light from him would kill a human. He is invisible for a purpose. “Sin” was man fault so God gave “Free will” to let humans get on with it. This made no sense to me. When a child dies of a brain tumour aged three years old and only Science can help then I think that this “God” is just a nasty piece of work.

    If you are like me then you can understand that this world is not governed by a “God”. The forces of nature is cruel and very unkind to those who are weak. There is a purpose because the weak die of and the stronger gain a better change of survival. That is just one very small part of Evolution. Some people refuse to believe this because a child may die of a horrible illness which happens.

    The fact is that people need some sort of fairy story to tell them they are going to a better place when death occurs. It is a part of human nature. Religion gives this comfort !

  29. Since there are really unlimited gods that are not real and a new one being born every day, coincidentally this subject is depicted in many StarTreck(my moral compass) episodes this question was exposed very cleverly so as not to insult anyone, but still would say :

    scotty: “why do those people pray to the probe in the cave that produces electric power captain ? “

    captain: “they are less evolved and are unaware of technology, what ever they don’t understand, they think it’s a god”

    Atheists are more evolved…

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