Hey Religious Believers, Where’s Your Evidence?

From Alternet:

What evidence do religious believers have for their beliefs?

And when they’re asked what evidence they have, how do believers respond?

In my conversations with religious believers, I’ll often ask, “Why do you think God or the supernatural exists? What makes you think this is true? What evidence do you have for this belief?” Partly I’m just curious; I want to know why people believe what they do. Plus, I think it’s a valid question: it’s certainly one I’d ask about any other claim or opinion. And if I’m wrong about my atheism — if there’s good evidence for religion that I haven’t seen yet — I want to know. I’m game. Show me the money.

But when I ask these questions, I almost never get a straight answer.

What I typically get is a startling assortment of conversational gambits deflecting the question.

I get excuses for why believers shouldn’t have to provide evidence. Vague references to other people who supposedly have evidence, without actually pointing to said evidence. Irrelevant tirades about mean atheists. Venomous anger at how disrespectful and intolerant I am to even ask the question.

Today, I want to chronicle some of these conversational gambits and point out their logical flaws. I want to point out the fiendishly clever ways that they armor religion against the expectation — a completely reasonable expectation, an expectation we have about every other kind of claim — that it back itself up with evidence.

And I want to talk about why believers resort to them.

Whatever You Do, Don’t Show Me the Money

[Read more at Alternet]

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  • Word Eater

    Religion has no proof or evidence. That's the point, isn't it?

    Philosophy doesn't have evidence, either, but that doesn't stop folks from studying it, learning from it, and devising new ways of thinking.

    • GoodDoktorBad

      There is a big difference between philosophy and religion. Philosophy is based on evidence. The evidence of
      personal experience. For each of us, with our opinions, the wisdom gained from personal experience is all each individual life can ever process or in turn express. Philosophy begs to be questioned and tested. Religions generally abhor serious questions. The irony is that religion is based largly on philosophy. Philosophy exists because of questions and tests. But too many questions and tests could mean the death of religion.

      Am I an athiest? I prefer to think of anything beyond my understanding falls under the realm of “God”. So, I try to become a little more “God-like” everyday. Jesus may be a great guy, but I personally have never met the man or his Dad, that I am aware of…
      If say, the philosophy of Jesus is wise, in that it promotes harmony and prosperity for all, I ask, what is more important, the wisdom of the words or the man who said them? If Joe Shmoe said it would the words be less true? Jesus Christ Superstar indeed. Did Jesus want your adoration or simply your ear? Christianity is permeated with idol worship, exalting Jesus higher than the philosophy he may have preached. Religion is like going to a movie, suspension of dis-belief is necessary to
      experience the illusion and thrills.

  • WTFER

    This is a tired argument. You say “Give me proof!” Believer replies, “I have no proof only faith.” You say “How can you devote your life to that which you have no evidence of” they reply “faith.” etc. etc.

    The basis of religion is faith not logic or proof. Demonstrate superior logic by not asking believers for proof.

    You wouldn't ask a child for proof of Peter Pan, it would be pointless.

    Why engage in circular arguments when you know what the response will be? Maybe you are not as strong in your atheism as they are in their Peter Panism or whatever mythology it is they subscribe to. Maybe youre longing to be convinced.

    Lack of proof is weak argument against faith as the whole idea of faith is belief without proof.

    you will have better luck asking a hot dog to wash your car than you will obtaining hard evidence from a believer.

    If you are so sure of your position why ask for proof. It makes one seems uninformed to ask for proof or validation in someones belief in a faith based religion.

    If goal is to “shake up their belief” I believe a new tactic is in order.

    • Dennis In SoCal

      “Shazbot, Nanoo, Nanoo” – “Live Long and Prosper”!

    • Ian

      The goal is not to shake up a belief, but to show that faith itself is invalid.

      • Tuna Ghost

        Invalid how? In that it is not an argument that will yield the proper true/false truth values? Invalid as a form of evidence? Look, the fact is, religion and God are not synonymous. Rail all you like against an organized form of spiritual and metaphysical belief, but look to history for the reasons why people have organized their beliefs–it was an integral part of society becoming society. Wether or not we have outgrown that particular piece of human society is a debate for another time. Debating the existence of God is like debating about metaphysical systems–terms like “evidence” and “proof” are next to meaningless. Because something is unprovable does not make it false. Although people smirk when I say it, it is a logical fallacy to assume that absence of evidence is evidence of absence.

        You got a beef with religion, take the fight to religion. Stop running around telling everyone “God isn't real!” and acting like your the first teenager to come to this conclusion. Define “god” and then we can have a discussion on the possibility of its existence.

        • Ian_wa_us

          Alright, I agree that the myriad definitions of God might make atheism an untenable position. God as defined by organized religion, as a creator, as an omnipotent being, these are the definitions that atheism tends to focus on, and they are the definitions that I am referring to.
          At the other side of the spectrum, most people, most people being adherents to an organized religion, agree with my definition of god, and this is why I did not take the time to define the term.

          • Tuna Ghost

            Fair enough, but the problem is most people (and this is not hyperbole, I truly believe this) do not know what it is the profess to believe. Like Twain said: “In religion and politics people's beliefs and convictions are in almost every case gotten at second-hand, and without examination, from authorities who have not themselves examined the questions at issue but have taken them at second-hand from other non-examiners, whose opinions about them were not worth a brass farthing.”

            Atheists tend to focus on those definitions because they are by and large the most annoying and the easiest to dispute. They do not, however, get at the heart of how religion functions for most religious people in their everyday lives.

  • PB

    Atheism is as much a pile of dogmatic ignorance as religion. Why are all these religion bashing posts happening on disinfo? Distractions from the actual truth, imo..

    • Dennis in SoCal

      “IMAGINE, NO RELIGION – JOHN LENNON – (But he was watched and investigated by the FBI (Fumbling Bumbling Idiots) for Communist Activities when the President of the USA was visiting with a Chinese Communist Leader Moa Se Tung.

      • http://www.reverbnation.com/chrisrobinson Chris

        agreed! JL WAS CORRECT. and the FBI stuff only proves the religious-right' FEAR and paranoia.

        If you forget the communism and democracy-ism and look only a religion – you'll see that the Chinese did what the Americans profess to do, that is SEPARATING CHURCH FROM LAW. as far as i can tell, its been a stabilizing thing in the world when it is the major religions perpetuating the major wars and discrimination and injustice. (i've never had to worry about a chinese “holy war”)..

        Everything to do with religion is a distortion of truth. Their nature is to do, or be, what they accuse others of doing or being. History has proved this over and and over again.

        oh yeah, and when Russia alowed religion to flourish again, all the news i saw was of a return to prejudice and a new revived religious aristocracy. In Australia, nobody admits that its still a “Catholic Vs Potestant and fuck everyone else” aristocracy. You only see it when you are not part of it or when you finally reject it.

        “no need for greed and hunger – a brotherhood and sisterhood of man”
        no religion = no bullshit

    • Ian

      Ok, either you have a God out there, or you don't. One is true, the other is not. If neither is true, what is?

      • http://www.reverbnation.com/chrisrobinson chris

        just answer the question ian, instead of complicating it.
        You are obviously religious so here it is again:

        “Where's your evidence?”

        • http://www.myspace.com/awhitedingo A White Dingo

          I think religious peope created the term “Agnostic” for people who refuse to join a religious cub but claim to believe in “a god”.. ie: the convertable… That could be what you are noticing?

          fact – there is no god out there

          The alternatives are only limited only by the imagination (and imagination is usually stifled by those who believe in god or any religion) and are PROVABLE by evidence and known as “discoveries”.

          We have discovered that the world is round. We have discovered that religion is not truth.

      • PB

        Perhaps both conditions can be true. One needs also to define “God”. Atheism seems pretty focused on defining itself in contrast to Christianity. The back and forth between Atheists and Christians is boring and stupid.

        • Ian

          Perhaps the back and forth between Atheists and Christians is boring. That is not my ultimate argument though. Instead, as I wrote to musicARTstar in a previous post, I am much more concerned with the state of the deluded mind, than the delusion itself. So more than an argument between religion, more specifically, Christianity, and Atheism, It is an argument between rationality and irrationality. The argument is therefor not limited to religious debates, which strike you as uninteresting, but anywhere ideas are created and shared.
          And unless you are suggesting that god exists in a superposition, in which case he really wouldn't be able to do anything, I don't see how he can both exist and not exist. But I agree, to talk about him, we do need to define God. Because the predominant religion in America is Christianity, I assumed to use the christian definition. But the definitions provided by Judaism, Islam or possibly Hinduism would strike me as applicable.

  • Forrest

    I'm sure you have asked these very questions to a believer and received a straight answer. The fact that it doesn't measure up to your standards, and I highly doubt that any answer someone could give would ever satisfy you, doesn't mean that their belief is any less valid.

    I spent the majority of my life as a Militant Atheist. I'm now a Christian. How? Because I've experienced things that I know to be God, from God, or by God. I have no scientific proof of this. Nor can I ever. But I know without a shadow of a doubt what it is I've felt and seen. You cannot take that from me.

    The questions you ought to be asking are not “What proof do you have” and “Why do you believe in something you have no evidence of” but rather “Why do I feel driven to deny something special to someone else?” and “What right do I have, any more than they, to criticize someone's beliefs and dearly held faith”.

    • Ian

      If we agree that truth is not relative–and this truly is a point of contention–then we all have the right, indeed the duty, to criticize the “beliefs and dearly held faith” of our fellow human beings. Doing so helps direct our perception to what is actually true, instead of what simply appears to be true. However, criticizing our peers need not entail insult or scorn. It can be an attempt to help strengthen our peers by allowing them to consider alternative perspectives; it can be an attempt to clarify a position; it can be an attempt to convince our peers that they are wrong, for their own benefit.

      Just because a belief is special or sacred does not make it any more right. Einstein's belief in a deterministic future has not stopped quantum physicists from creating effective equations which assume a probabilistic universe. The belief in a flat world–for risk of sounding cliched–did not hinder Columbus's voyage to the new world. For the most part, it appears that truth does not depend on belief, or sacredness of belief.

      Those who spend hundreds of dollars on fortune telling or seances or ineffective homeopathic treatments are being exploited because of their beliefs. It seems to me more an act of charity than an act of selfishness to help them realize that they are being robbed. The same goes for those who believe in more mainstream religion. And the same goes for atheists.

      Everyone needs to join the church of the flying spaghetti monster. Duh.

    • Ian

      Forrest seems to argue, correct me if I'm wrong, that the standards of the author are too high. Provided that the standards of the author are consistent with those of science, the author's standards are set to eliminate reasonable doubt, no more, no less. There is acceptable evidence that would suggest the existence of a god. Show me a religious group that has never gotten sick, or that has won every battle it has ever entered. That would be a damn good argument for the existence of God. It would be enough to convince me at least, that there is something of value in religion. But that evidence has yet to be uncovered.

      So believers must rely on anecdotal evidence, which, in any other arena, would be considered inadequate. And for good reason. If I said that, because I ate one bad piece of cheese from Wal-Mart and got sick, all cheese is bad, my evidence would obviously not be enough to prove my conclusion. It might even offend some cheese lovers. It is the same for religion. Even if you have never gotten sick, never been hurt despite numerous opportunities, that doesn't prove that god exists. Any number of other factors, just pure chance even, could explain your particular phenomenon. This is not to say God is not a possible answer, just that the evidence provided does not point to God alone.

      • http://www.myspace.com/awhitedingo A White Dingo

        “How blessed are the cheesemakers!” (monty python: life of brian)

        its funny how he (forrest) gets emotional about trying to re-word the original question.

        we know how “dear” it is.. but would he respect someone who loved “the devil” as much as he seems to love “the god”. I think i'll start to worship “The Great Dingo From Europa” – the christian dominators might understand that better than Athiesm…

  • Ace

    Atheism is by choice. And so is religion. Both sides can debate/argue about it forever and no one is going to prove anything. If you believe there's a God, so be it. If you choose to be in denial about God, so be it. If you think God is a fictional “Santa Claus” poppy cock fairy tale, so be it. If you want to be an atheist, that's your business. If you want to be a believer, that's your business. If you want to ramble on about this and that “Prove it” crap, then you're just wasting your time because neither side is going to prove anything to the other.. By the way… Albert Einstein (if you don't know who that is, Google it) once said this… “Science without religion is lame. Religion without science is blind.”

    • Ian

      I don't think that the atheist is burdened with proof, he only needs to show that the evidence of the Hindu, Christian, Muslim is inadequate. If not, I could go around postulating the existence of invisible flying ponies and other fairy tale creatures, demanding that the rational thinkers prove that my fantasies do not exist.

      But even with the burden of proof firmly set on the shoulders of the religious, the atheist has still made a number of powerful arguments to weaken the God Hypothesis. For example, the overwhelming improbability of it's existence.

  • Dennis in SoCal

    Um, Did you know that Jesus was hung on a Medieval Torture Device (called a cross) by the Romans because he would not accept Ceasar as his people's (supposedly Jews) leader. – I hear in side news that they're calling for the arrest of Pastor Rick Warren of Saddleback Church in Orange County California for espousing hatred (for gays) and supporting Naziism because he also advocated the destruction of all other religions except his own (Christianity) because of his support for the Ugandan Anti-Gay Bill.

    • Tuna Ghost

      Ostensibly, Jesus of Nazareth was executed for sedition against Rome, a popular charge at the time–keep in mind many Jews did not accept Rome's relatively easy-going brand of imperialism. Also, let's remember that (as the story goes anyway) it was the Jewish authorities that requested Pontias Pilate to execute Jesus, and that Jesus' bit on paying taxes–“Give to Caesar what belongs to Caesar”–would seem to suggest that he couldn't give a flying fuck what earthly empire was around at the time.

      And I have no idea what you're getting at with the bit about Rick Warren, besides that he's a chump.

      • GoodDoktorBad

        State sanctioned crucifiction, ” a popular charge at the time” is a “relatively easy-going brand of imperialism”?
        I have no idea what you're getting at with this babble…

        • Tuna Ghost

          Merely correcting Dennis's account of the traditional understanding of the crucifiction, Doktor. As for the rest of your questions, even a cursory glance at history would reveal that, yes, all things considered Roman occupation was relatively easy-going.

          • GoodDoktorBad

            Unless your a rebel Jew or other law breaker, I don't think they would agree. Of course this is just hyperbole. A matter of perspective.
            Personally, I don't even know if Jesus ever existed, from what I've read, gathered and experienced ,it seems pretty unlikely. You mentioned the Counsel of Nicea, where they decided to call the character Jesus “divine”.
            Basically a strategy meeting for the continuation and consolidation of power.
            I think its an interesting note that what was once “The Roman Empire” is now reincarnated as the Roman Catholic Church . Its power and influence permeat society still today, although, of late the church has lost alot of followers (parish closings all over the U.S.) and have a shortage of students for the priesthood. Vatican city is the soveriegn seat of the Roman Empire. What does it all mean? I'm open to ideas…..and corrections.

          • Tuna Ghost

            As for the likelihood of Jesus ever having existed, as I've noted elsewhere the historocity of Jesus is a murky area. What few non-christian accounts we have of his existence suffer from rather obvious interference from later Christians (Josephus and Tractitus, to name two accounts. It seems strange from a historical perspective that Josephus, a Pharisic Jew, would have such laudatory comments about Jesus), and if one is not going to believe anything written by Christians on the subject then one is left with pretty much nothing. But given that messiahs were cropping up fairly frequently at the time, and the powder keg political situation of area (tense political situation in the Middle East? The hell you say!), it doesn't seem surprising to this fish that there was once a teacher who lived and taught in the area and was eventually tried and executed for Sedition against Rome, or that a cult sprung from his life and (reported) teachings.

            Re: the council of Nicea, by then the early Church had already split into “Orthodox” groups, thereby relegating the other more gnostic influenced groups into the “unorthodox” bin. The very early church had all kinds of wacky ideas about Christ, but the ones that held him as a divine figure eventually became labelled Orhtodox (the reasons why are more political and organizational than anything else, really). By the time of the Nicean Council (325 CE) the apostle Paul and his letters had by then already had their influence, separating Christ from the Jews and generally laying down what would become the canon of the Catholic Church. The Nicean Council was to decide which books were to be collected into what we know today as the Bible (later revisions are why books like Sirach and Micah are in the Catholic Bibles but not in more modern versions) and lay down what the official canon would be.

            Re: the Catholic Church as the reincarnated Roman Empire, I'm curious as to why you find the two so similar, aside from location and a prediliction towards Latin. It's not as if priests are walking around with the Fasces or Eagle. I'm unsure what good viewing the Catholic Church as a renewed Roman Empire could be in the modern age.

          • GoodDoktorBad

            Its really just more of a curiousity of what the origins of power and wealth emanated from and what connections, if any , may exist between the ancient and the modern empires of “Rome”. My little brain is thirsty.

  • Dennis in SoCal

    “God please protact me from your religious fanatic followers that do not know who they are and what they do”. Did your son Jesus not say “Forgive them Father for they 'know not' what they do”.
    “God is an INVISABLE SPIRIT that CANNOT be SEEN by HUMAN EYES” – JESUS CHRIST
    “ALL THE PEOPLE THAT TEACH IN THE SYNAGOGUES (CHURCHES) AND ON THE STREETS ARE HYPOCRITES”.

  • Shannon Hensley

    If a dead man got up right in front of your eyes and told you everything you needed to know about God, Spirits, and everything you can't see, you would not believe him unless God opened your mind to what had just been said (Predestination). I know God has opened your mind to some of His precepts. The fact that you still searching shows that. Without Him installing in your character the instincts you need you would not have had the curiosity to wonder. Ask yourself if your question is moot and no matter what evidence is presented you will refuse to believe. Just be careful to treat everybody as fair as you can.

    • GoodDoktorBad

      If a dead man got up right in front of my eyes, I'd be inclined to listen to him since presumably he has “seen the other side”, right? He might have some first hand info eh? Still, personal experience is all each of has to go on other than the often seemingly wacky words and deeds of others.
      It seems that there must be some force or beginning, so if you like, call it God. Whatever “It” is, its bigger than all of our silly ideas and precepts, even yours, Father Hensley.

    • http://www.myspace.com/awhitedingo A White Dingo

      chritians dont treat athiests fairly

      every religion inherits the faults of the religion they broke away from so chrisians,jews and moslems are all the same to an athiest (or valid historian or sociologist or artist or humanist or scientist). They are so obsessed with their club and imaginary god that athiests are sociallogicaly shunned and censored.

      stick your “predestination” right up your “trans-substantiation” ~ god is a metaphore at best and a delusion or punishment at worst ~ it is not a “he” ~ it is not real at all but its believers insist that it is and take our rights and freedom from us to enforce a way of thinking and obeying.

      Pat me on the head an i'll bite your bloody arm off.. grrr

      • GoodDoktorBad

        I was tempted to “go for the throat” with Hensley too. He takes an annoyingly patronizing and pious tone.
        I'll admit, I too get a bit worked up sometimes and “go off” on people. I also realize that “being a dick about it”
        doesn't help make my point. I doesn't give credibility to your rantings either…

        • http://www.myspace.com/awhitedingo A White Dingo

          rantings? ok – so i mistakenly replied to Ian instead of Shannon – the message is the same whether i growl, bark, snap, smile, or spell properly. I'll allow myself some emotion because i don't claim to believe in “forgiveness” either. i don't forgive the mess christians have made of our society by their rantings being accepted as fact or law (or art).

          • GoodDoktorBad

            Its cool man. Perhaps “rantings” was antagonistic. How could that happen in this thread?
            I have that annoying habit of “being a dick about it”. Oooops! I slipped into the pit of hypocrasy once again.
            I need a bong hit…

        • god is bullshit

          you have to be a dick about it when all else is ignored, sidelined and rewritten by the manipulative religious nuts who twist whatever you say in an attempt to alter the meaning of whatever the non-religious may say.

          • GoodDoktorBad

            As you say. Indeed.

    • Ian

      Shannon, If you presented me with legitimate evidence of God's influence, say a study that shows a correlation between the prayers of a congregation and the healthiness of the the prayed-for, and I would gladly change my dastardly ways. But that evidence is not forthcoming. Perhaps I am predestined to burn in hell for all eternity, no?

  • Gregory

    Well…anyone with a sufficient amount of gray matter and patience can have an experience that cannot be explained through science that lies in the realm of the paranormal. (Supernatural is not a good term since any manifestation would be parts of nature. Paranormal is a better term as we all have agreed [part of the problem] what “normal” is so in that defined reality tunnel anything that doesn't seem normal can be called Paranormal. There are many layers to reality, our physical universe is only one.)

    We've been doing this for thousands of years. It doesn't take faith or belief, you just have to find the information out there that has been pass down the millennia and follow the steps. It's as easy as following a recipe in the cook book.

    Here's a list of the gods/goddesses I've met, or at least been in the same “room” with:

    Lugh
    Brigid
    Aine
    The Morrigan
    Cernunnos
    Odin
    The Nine Fates/Norns
    Merlin
    Jesus
    Ganesha
    A composite god representing several Old Testament prophets, I call him Ishmael

    And no…I can't proof this…it's something you have to experience, but anyone can. Just follow the instructions that are out there online. Go ahead, all the cool kids are doing it.

    Also, anyone one, even a few idiots, can do basic magic with sigils. I refer you to Grant Morrison's Pop Magic…here's a link. http://www.grant-morrison.com/index.php?option=

    Now go have fun you cute little atheists, you. (Pats on head and coos softly.) One day, you can join in the human experience with the rest of us.

    fiat lux

    • Tuna Ghost

      easy now, questioning prevalent belief structures is certainly part of the human experience, and iconoclasts are a necessary part of how society works. How exactly is regurgitating RAW and Grant Morisson better than being an atheist?

      • Gregory

        It's not regurgitating. I'm giving some real world reference points for people to know that atheism is without merit. RAW and Morrison are just two more modern examples of people carrying forward what we as a race has known for thousands of years. People didn't create myths to answer questions like why do the seasons change or what is that big bright thing in the sky or lightning, etc. It's about trying to understand the deeper realities behind the superficial reality that people call “normal.”

        Atheism is without merit…it's not better or worse than any ideology. It is irrational. Because any Tuna Ghost or White Dingo can cure himself of it just by trying. It doesn't require faith or belief it just requires effort and a divorcing of oneself from ego and taking the blinders off. The world is a lot stranger than atheists and mainstream religious folks want to accept. There's a bigger world out there, but many folks are stuck in their ideological boxes because that's a safe place to be.

        That's why I say join in the human experience. Because humanity's history is not religions like Xianity and Atheism…it's about a real connection between our “normal” reality and the other layers of reality. Focusing on superficiality is mistaking the wallpaper for the wall.

        fiat lux

        • Ian_wa_us

          Perhaps Strong Atheism is irrational. Saying that you believe God doesn't exist is probably a little irrational. But Weak Atheists, don't purport to know if God is real, they just don't believe he is. You wouldn't say that a lack of belief in something you've never heard of is irrational. You wouldn't say that a disbelief in boogie monsters is irrational. Nor is it an ideology as it is simply a statement of disbelief.

        • http://www.myspace.com/awhitedingo A White Dingo

          You calling me “irrational” is like me calling you “ugly” (and after noticing your comment.. you are.)

          I managed to “cure” myself and “divorce” myself from religion AND whatever it is you are on about after great effort, determination, investigation and even study.

          Athiesm is not irrational.. you are.

          • smitty

            Rude!!!

    • GoodDoktorBad

      I've heard witches have a special place in hell spinning mischief for the devil. Somebody said it, it must be true.
      Watch out! (Pats on head and coos softly.)
      Smoooooches!

      • http://www.myspace.com/awhitedingo A White Dingo

        can i bite him now?

        • GoodDoktorBad

          Do as White dingo willeth…

    • http://www.myspace.com/awhitedingo a white dingo

      what a patronizing dickhead…

      “supernatural” cannot exist beause there is ONLY NATURE

      “paranormal” can only be defined by what is “normal” and that again boils down to NATURE ONLY

      There is NOTHING ABOVE NATURE

      and death is final

      The opposite is unprovable. god is bunk.

      • Tuna Ghost

        unprovable doesn't mean false, genius

        • http://www.myspace.com/awhitedingo A White Dingo

          ok – false then ( thankyou but 'genius' is another perceptual steotype isnt it? ;) – i'll continue to avoid the religious person's concept of “human experience” and remain a not-so-humble dingo (woof). wake me up when their holy war is over.. zzzzz ps: I've heard that Tuna are pretty clever too?

          • Tuna Ghost

            except where nets are involved, unfortunately…

          • http://www.myspace.com/awhitedingo A White Dingo

            … hearty LOL !

          • h3llo41

            how do you know the world around you exist White Dingo? how do you know that there is only the world of nature?

          • http://www.myspace.com/awhitedingo A White Dingo

            hey h3llo41 ~ i maintain that the universe is nature – all matter and forces (discovered and undiscovered) are nature. everything we do is nature – everything that exists is nature. as i see it, nature is everything, and the way that everything interacts etc.. we live, we die.. planets live and die.. stars live and die.. matter forms, deforms and reforms things including life – its just nature and nothing can happen or exist that isn't part of that process and matter. i don't believe in more than 3 dimentions either.. despite some recently accepted scientific theories. To me, a dimention is (like religious concepts) just a metaphore for things too complicated for our little brains.

          • jb

            Guest> who created all this nature?? what being or supernatural force or was this nature eternal ? You denigrate love because you do not have any nor will you try to express any. Your understandings are juvenile. your speech is that of a petulant child. You give nothing, Knownothing and will not admit to yourself that there may be merit in falling on your face and crying out to jesus to give you undestanding . Yo are caught in a prison of pride and anger and the Devil whispers into your ear. Nothing can reach you because you lash out at all attempts. What is even worse for you is reading your stuff i get the impression you enjoy inflicting pain and torment, It gives you a charge when you defeat sloppy logic. No one but God can help you and you refuse to reach out to him.

      • jb

        dear dingo, your comment that the supernatural cannot exist is rather strange. Tell me what is the weight of a thought or how many joules of energy are contained in a mothers love for her child. And if you say after your death their is nothing what then existed before all life? could nothing, vacuuum and emptiness, create everything,? Or rather is the space time continuem a contstruct of the Eternal One for us mortal beings? What is more logical the big bang, from nothing, or “before Adam was I am.”
        Jesus said “seek and you shall find” so what are you waiting for. In the mean time do not be surprised when we who have found our Lord and God do not wish to join you out in that cold place you have insisted on camping in.

        • http://www.myspace.com/awhitedingo A White Dingo

          As for you “jb” i'd like to say thanks for dropping in with a great example of christian manipulation and bullshit. I notice you leave no reference to a real page or contact, so i also think you are gutless in that regard.. but thats just my opinion.. I'll identify key words from your text and respond.

          1) “dear dingo” – this turns out to be sarcasm – i'm not dear to you at all.. far from it. i insult your religion with my refusal to swallow it, so you respond by preparing to denigrate me subtly while pandering to your followers shared delusions. Politeness masking what is the same as swearing at me.. Oh dear.. us Athiests are so bad mannered aren't we?…hmm?

          2) “rather strange” – so anyone who doesn't share your imaginative and unprovable concepts of “supernatural” must be “strange”? I think belief in the supernatural, while it seems to be natural, is strange for supposedly intelligent, educated or rational adults. you call this Athiest “strange” and i respond that i firmly believe religious beliefs are self induced or shared psychosis or hypnosis, totally self or group induced and often VERY strange (and deranged in the extreme).

          3) “the weight of a thought” well weight requires gravity, but the mass of a thought is perhaps not as measurable or signifigant as the energy of a thought. i suggest you are wasting yours to preach to me – and especially to try and elicit empathy with bullshit like “a mothers love”.. bloody sexist too.. what about a child's hatred or a parent's abuse? Anyway – a thought is little more than an electrical impulse within a living brain. The closest i can percieve to a higher life form is if it turns out that the galaxy works the same way as a living collective.. or theoritically, a brain.. but even that can't be discussed when you lot always swamp every discussion with your god or jeezuz crap and all its emotional and social bullshit and prejudice. Christianity is no more than lessons in lying and twisting the truth. same for the other two related religions who share simillar scripts..

          4) “after death” you are gone. something else gets to feed off your molecules. your energy cannot survive because it has no veshicle to hold it together.

          5) “big bang – emptiness of space” SPACE IS NEVER EMPTY – only the space between matter seems empty to us from our perspective in size, distance and lifespan (individual humans and the species itself). The universe is the collection of all matter and i happen to think its nature is to form life (eg – us). the only question we could possibly agree to discuss here is 'are the earth/sun/galaxy forms of life?' if so, then the aztecs were correct to worship the sun, but i think that like christianity, it fell for the same mistake of social control by fear and domination (and torture and punishment). I've heard that lame reasoning before – your attempt to discredit scientific discovery by giving your god credit for making a big bang… “yawn…” So what? you pick an irrelevant unprovable point to avoid the “proof” asked for in the original blogg, and argue for arguments sake.

          6) i don't give a flying fuck what your jesus said no more. just quoting him at me makes me feel like puking with disgust – or at best frustration that i am futily trying to talk to the hypnotized.
          go and do that in your own church stop throwing it at everyone else. did you notice that this blogg posed a question? hmm? (you insult me = i insult you, dickhead)

          7) “cold place” – man – its summertime here.. we got fires and floods, but i wouldn't call it cold. I have a deeper love and happiness than i'd ever want to share with the likes of you – but its interesting how you paint a picture of me with words designed to make me look cold and suffering because i don't believe your bullshit. well thats you in maximum bullshit mode there. You sound like one suffering from the 'hypno-happiness' of their religion, looking for minds to manipulate.

          BTW did anyone notice that the aussie catholics are currently trying to prove that praying to a dead woman can cure cancer? and worse.. they get their roman “pope” leader to ratify it, calling it “sainthood” and our politicians now grovel to it all because so many rich people are in that religion.. Religion is worse than cancer when it comes to society and any sustainable or equitable or just future IMHO.

          Your comment is (as described in the original blogg) “fiendishly clever” at masking your “tirade” and “deflecting the question”.

          • smitty

            Wow, you just totally went off, using language and interpretations that do nothing but make you look morally inept. At least the Christians don't use that kind of language, which, by the way is completely inappropriate and uncalled for.

          • http://www.reverbnation.com/chrisrobinson musicARTstar

            so you are the language expert now? part of the problem is tyhat religions claim ownership (yet different perceptions) of “morality”. Most Christians have no idea how much they offend others in their quest to ban whatever they see as offensive, they are more provocative than Moslems and Jews who don't seem to share a doctrine of ramming it into the faces of those who don't agree. “morally inept”.. a good description of xristianity if you want my opinion (and you obviously need it – because the dingo is spot on). PS – there's nuthing rong wit my spellig if you can reedit.

          • jb

            the point you neatly dodged was can nothingness create being. All your talk about molecules and planets and stars as “beings” or “gods” is typical of the smeared thoughts of a drug user. A rock does not think. God is eternal “before there was God” is the ultimate oxymoron. You postulate that matter is etermnal. but matter is not consciousness. then you impute a cosmic consciousness to matter, which is another way of saying “God”, but this god you define with your own rules to where he is not the Great Jehova.

            That is great Guest!! create your own eternal consious enetity to support a warped logic system and deny the real one.
            Seek and Ye shall find. deny and you will not. Your choice..

  • GoodDoktorBad

    I think athiests get angry with religion (religious folk) for a few reasons. Religion is in power, and has been for as long as anyone can remember. Athiests have long been treated as heritical and treated as fools, and for what? For asking too many questions. For seeking reason. For using the mind “God” supposedly gave them.
    For wondering. For watering the seeds of doubt in the minds of “believers”.
    Athiests and Non- Athiests grapple with the same questions of their own existence. (“Who am I, Where did I come from, What is this place, What is Life?, etc.”) Some accept the ideas they were taught, others investigate further. People have an inate desire for truth, I believe.

    I don't think there are many “true athiests” any more than I think there are many “true believers”. Most people have had doubts that are contrary to there “beliefs”. As Forrest mentioned, he used to be a “militant athiest” and is now a Christian, I've also heard the reverse of that story. Christian turned Athiest.
    We all vasilate in our minds and behaviour no matter what club we belong to, Believer or Athiest.

    One last note, you don't need to be an Athiest to think religion is generally bunk. If God exists, with respect, God is not bunk. However, religion is more of an insult to the concept of God, in my opinion, and of course, I could be wrong…

    • http://www.myspace.com/awhitedingo A White Dingo

      you ARE wrong..

      Athiests are often just people who have discovered the cold hard truth (about the myth of gods and religions) for themselves and they get harrassed and offended by people who either love a religion or myth, or who don't believe it but get social “advantages” by pretending to.

      it is not a club -relgion is a club
      Nature is not bunk – god is bunk

      • ILoveCO2

        Sounds like you should be running the world. Mr. Know-It-All.

        • http://www.myspace.com/awhitedingo A White Dingo

          or running away from it.. if only i could.

      • GoodDoktorBad

        I was mistaken, White Dingo is GOD. He is all knowing.
        Praise the words of White Dingo! Please tell all your secrets O' great one…
        I am but a fool. Whoa is me, Great White Dingo!
        Forgive me my indiscretions. I bow to thee………..

        Its seems you have enough arrogance and stupidity to start your own religion, coupled with your absolute
        infalibility. It seems like tyranny is right up your alley. “The Church of The White Dingo” has a certain ring to it. Good luck with that…

        • http://www.myspace.com/awhitedingo A White Dingo

          your sarcasm has proved my point, and answered your own question about why athiests get angry with the likes of you.

          I have to put it in the only terms you understand. absolute bluntness, rudeness, childishness and obnoxiousness, emotion and arrogance. So yeah.. you can start donating immediately (ffft)..

          smartarse

          • GoodDoktorBad

            Out of the billions of possibilities, I merely admit the rather small possibility that a “God” could indeed exist in some form or other. I capitilaze the word “God” because it is generally accepted as a proper noun especially when used in reference to religion. In the terms of religion, I am an athiest. I simply don't like to wear the the all-encompassing cloak of the label Athiest. I'm hear to discuss things mainly, maybe blow off a little steam as well.

            If you had bothered to read and process my other posts on this page you would already know this, and despite your irrational anger with me presently, I actually agree with much of what you say. I'm not sure what your thing is. Take a deep breath man.

          • http://www.myspace.com/awhitedingo A White Dingo

            maybe i was getting tired of the topic.. i did read it, but when i saw an attempt to allow for the possibility of there being a god (depite religions) i saw an agnostic, not an athiest and got quite cranky. I stopped trying to allow for that a long time ago.. even created my own theories as to what electro/light/gravitational/chemical/magnetic/galaxial forces might lead someone to think there was a god.. but then it turned into a sci-fi novel and i had no time or money to write it, so its suspended.. I've also got theories that conflict with some current science trends – and would much rather argue wth a scientist than a religious nut.

            BUT in the meantime (having taken a deep breath) – Seeing as Atheists have no rights to object to the christian domination of the legal system on “religious grounds”.. I choose to no longer see your comments about “The Great White Dingo” as sarcasic, and happily crown myself as god of my own universe. (you can start to praise me again now..;) So from this point on, i'll have a go at choosing to be “religious” in order to secure my legal right to object to anything at all on “religious grounds”..

            I suppose to validate my new position as head of this new galaxian church, i should begin to write myself a new bible and later i can come back and finally answer the great question contained in the original blogg heading!

            Evidence later – First let me have your complete and utter blind faith.. ok?
            Here we go (worship me – if you don't i'll add in a virgin to makeit more appealing)

            A reading from the holy book of dingonian psalms (draft only;)

            The Great Dingo is my shepherd
            I shall not want to bleat much longer
            She taunteth me with devilish eyes
            and maketh me walk backwards
            In patures brown – she stalks me down
            and yes she is much stronger
            She separateth me from my flock
            and desireth to rip out my fleecy throat
            I will fear no other creature
            For the Great White Dingo is hungry
            i will take her into my heart.. nose and teeth first…

            ~~ well, like i said, its only a draft but enough to get started.

            All donations will eventually be tax deductable and if i get too much money I'll establish a “save the children” WhiteDingo fund and merrily preech contempt for all other religions.

            ok – i gotta go now and try to move some mountain somewhere..

            <:^P

          • GoodDoktorBad

            Pretty silly stuff but then religion is a sick joke in itself.
            “The Church of White Dingo”, if crafted well, could probably rival the riduclulousness of other religions.
            You may want to insert a dark enemy (ie.”the devil”) into your doctrine, to scare people into your loving but hungry maw.
            You could be tax-exempt!
            It's GOOD to be the Ding (king)!
            Hee Hee!

          • http://www.myspace.com/awhitedingo A White Dingo

            <:^D .. heh heh.. actually i wrote a song “there's no such thing as a king” for a musical i once produced but decided to remove it because i was selling it to people who believe in kings.. Naaa – i wouldn't bother to make a devil.. evil would simply exist among humans in the form of religions.

          • GoodDoktorBad

            Aww, cmon, “banality of evil” stories are so powerful. And so bloody tasty! Tender, bleating, blood engorged sheep are the best I hear…

  • antoinewesley

    I agree with Forrest.

    But here is Azrael Ondi Ahman's response to the “Hey Religious Believers, Where’s Your Evidence?” article.
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=y7Xry9AGhLE&feat

    “Logic can only tell you what is false, not what is true.” — Azrael Ondi Ahman

    • GoodDoktorBad

      “Logic can only tell you what is false, not what is true.” — Azrael Ondi Ahman

      “Nor is Life a fucking metaphor.” -GoodDoktorBad

  • thisinfo

    I too agree with Forrest. And I do have proof, personal, unavoidable truth. I was healed of a skin condition, that otherwise would have been impossible (if naturally removed there would have been physical evidence). I have been hit by 2 cars, I have taken cement to the head, and I have had light fixtures fall on me, and I have walked away unscathed. I Praise God, daily, I feel the Holy Spirit inside of me.

    God does not want you to be afraid to ask for proof, but don't ask religious followers, hypocrites, and the “righteous” for proof. Ask God, ask God to reveal Himself to you and He will.

    • Ian

      well, to refute… Your evidence is anecdotal and not representative of all christian believers, and does not take into account other applicable variables that might have affected the outcome.

      I don't know what skin condition you're talking about, but perhaps it did disappear without leaving physical evidence. That could be attributed to a number of circumstances, genetic predisposition for example. That you have been hit by two cars could be attributed to God, or to the possibility that the cars weren't moving very fast, that you have strong bones, or any other number of factors. Both examples could be attributed to God, but I don't think that you have provided enough evidence to show that God is the only valid factor.

      And then there's the fact that your evidence is anecdotal. It is from personal experience only. Thousands of people are hit by cars every year. Of those people, I doubt that any correlation exists between a belief in the christian god and the level of injury. It is important to realize that, in order to isolate a variable, in this case God's influence, we must take large samples of the population, otherwise random chance is bound to affect our results.

      • http://www.reverbnation.com/chrisrobinson chris

        umm.. Ian.. it's great to see you refuting the religious superstitions but to give god a capital “G” is to acknowledge that it exists..(when it certainly does not). Sorry i misinterpreted your first reply – but i still believe Atheism is not a “team” but default state of defiance or refusal to accept religous lies. We are so dfifferent that i mistook you for a relgious person at first. Also apologies for my typing but its such a hot day my keyboard keys are all sticking.. :-P

        • Ian

          Atheism isn't a team, if you ask me it is just the lack of belief in a deity, perhaps a state of disbelief. It is also probably right. It is a pity that more people do not realize this, but I think worse than hordes of the deluded is the state of the religious mind. It has been trained to reject reason and accept a half-baked excuse for an explanation simply because the explanation was forwarded by a pastor. Any other explanation, no matter how obviously true, must be discarded if it conflicts with the system of belief. It is this self-inflicted blindness, more than the delusion itself, which I can't stomach.

          But we see the, “I'm right and I don't care what you say” attitude everywhere, not just in religion. While I am sure that you do care what others have to say, granted that it is not complete bullshit, the “I know when I'm right,” argument could be used just as effectively by the religious as by you. Perhaps atheism is a “simple truth,” but Christianity is a simple lie, and we can't tell the difference if both sides are using the same straw man attacks.

          That is what I meant when I said that you were giving atheism the reputation of a dogmatic belief system.

          Granted I was a bit of dick in that post. I apologize.

          • http://www.reverbnation.com/chrisrobinson Chris

            thanks mate – 'preciate it :-) and i hear what you're sayin. This topic of discussion brings out the worst in everyone.. i gave up and sent my dingo in.. ;) (for the imaginary kingdom and power and glory are hers. heheh) Most athiests i know wouldn't bother to participate in this kind of rap.. its always a dead end.. but i think at times its important so we don't feel totally isolated for our refusal to believe what we know, feel or believe to be totally wrong – and enforced as right.
            peace.

            ps – athiests and religious are invited to go get my free songs before i delete the christmas ones again.. the link is on my name.. Have a good season. we can all agree on peace and disagree on what creates it! ;)
            I've come to like the Disinfo web..

          • http://www.myspace.com/awhitedingo A White Dingo

            and i'm sooooooo glad you deleted the christmas ones.. they were shitful anyway..

    • http://www.myspace.com/awhitedingo A White Dingo

      no “he” won't.

      a god is something you create in your own head
      it will do whatever you want or believe it to do

      there are harder things than your accidents to understand or explain and no metaphore can ask for anything that your subconcious isn't telling it to ask for

      ffft why do i bother – you can't argue with someone sufering from religious delusion

      • thisinfo

        Of course there are harder things to understand, but I'm not going to speak on things that haven't happened to me.

        Ian- I can not speak for every Christian just as you cannot speak for every Atheist or every human.

        God isn't going to fit into neat little boxes for scientific examination. If God was something that was actually created in man's head, don't you think man would be able to explain the ins and outs a little better?

        You will never see or understand that which you do not allow yourself to see and understand. Period.

        • http://www.myspace.com/awhitedingo A White Dingo

          Seen it all.. understood it all.. then woke up and realized just how wrong it all is. (more than once)

          The more i see of mainstream and off-shot religion, or the belief in god, the more i understand how wrong it is.
          The less i see of it the happier i am.

          There will never be real evidence for a god and everytime evidence is put forward against it, there is a flood of words to discredit the evil-one who spoke against the MOB (religious people) – that much never changes.

          Another problem here is that religious followers are so easily led and misled ~ like Ian said. So frustrating. we have to shut up and show “respect” for “saced things” but that “respect” is rarely returned or alternatives accepted by the religious.

          If i pretended to be religious i would have no trouble getting a job – they got all the money, institutions and poltical control and assets of dead people.. i could do it.. but i wouldn't. i know ALL the words and tricks and twists and answers so i know it is all bullshit.. i know too many people who also think its all bullshit, but go through all the motions just for the advancemnt of their caeer, or maintenance of their control over someone else. Like santa.. its understandable to tell children stories to help them be “safe” or “good”.. but to continually have to swallow it as an adult is an insult and offence to those who know better. and knowing better is not being anyone's “sheep”.. or being told how to think or what imaginary thing to imagine.

          .. but thanks for not calling me hurtful names.. and thankyou for not misrepresenting or misquoting me (the usual response to athiesm by religious people)

          Have a nice argument! :-P

        • http://www.myspace.com/awhitedingo A White Dingo

          .. and no man will ever understand a period.. ;)

  • Istumbledthissite

    I am a christian. The evidence I have for my beliefs are these combined: 1) The bible – a collection of historical accounts and doccuments of things that really happened (additional evidence of the accredibility of these accounts can be found elsewhere) written by real people, inspired by the living God. 2) The world we live in and can see, feel, hear etc – so immensely wonderfull yet in desperate need of rescue from itself. 3) yes Im gna say it – faith and personal experience – which without the evidence of the bible and the world I probably wouldnt have. Ofcourse I can't leave God himself out, He is the reason for my belief as He himself has chosen to reveal himself to me as he can to you if you sincerly ask him to. If you are thinking about looking into the evidence itself I would start with Jesus. Who was he? There are plenty of doccuments and pieces of evidence about him outside of the bible, you cannot deny his exsistance. So was he mad? was he bad? or was he infact who he said he was – the son of God sent to reconcile us to God so that we can KNOW him and be his children forever. xxxxxxx

    • Tuna Ghost

      ah, for future reference, when attempting to convince someone of the reality of “The Living God” I wouldn't use something like the Bible. Ever hear of the Nicaean council? Also, the historocity of Jesus is muddy waters, that isn't something you want to get into with someone who actually knows any, um, real history.

    • http://www.myspace.com/awhitedingo A White Dingo

      son of god? or son of a bitch?

      one is possible and the other is not.

      a bible is only good for kindling or toilet paper when you realise how it is used as a weapon of torture both physical and emotional as well as social.

      its hard to discover your beliefs are wrong.. but they are.. you might discover to for yourself oneday and say “That bloody dingo was right after all”… Now will you praise and worship the dingo if i say the same bullshit some poor deluded bastard did 200 years ago?

      thank your god for athiesm – its all you have left when the god “vanishes in a puff of logic” (hitchhikers guide to the galaxy)

      Put that bloody bible back in the fiction section if you insist on keeping it.

    • Ian

      This is weird because I was under the impression that the world we live in is proof of the validity of Pastafarianism. The Gospel of the Flying Spaghetti Monster is completely legitimate. It has documented a number of occurrences which have really happened, like the decline in the number of pirates worldwide. Additional evidence of the credibility of these accounts can be found elsewhere. It has been inspired by the living FSM, and written by real people. And I too have had personal experiences.

      You can't honestly believe that your evidence is valid. If it was, you would have to agree that my evidence is also indicative of the FSM. On what basis do you reject other religions, such as Islam or Judaism?

  • http://www.reverbnation.com/chrisrobinson Chris

    A briliant article.So true! And these comments/replies only PROVE YOU RIGHT.. They are complaining and avoidng the truth to “defend their (bloody) religion” – defending the indfencable.. Religion is an opssive mind-fucking lie and athiesm is the only truth on the subject. There is no evidence because there is no god (and i'm no fool – incase you wanna throw another stupid bible quote at me). religion =opression. Religion exists to twist the truth and maintain loyalty for life because it is LIVES (and your inheritance) they wish to steal, along with political power and control.Their “mission” is to convince other people that black is white – Athiesm is NOT a religion.. it is ANTI or NONreligion. Its what you get when you discover the reality that religion is a con and a lie. So many IRRELEVANT TIRADES against such a simple truth. The reason they complain is their FEAR of the reality that they are in fact wrong in the essence of their belief, often held since childhood. Athiesm=Fact ~ Religion=Fiction. end of story. You are brave to speak the truth against so many who are so misled , mistaught and sadly mistaken. Thankyou for this article.

    • Ian

      Hey Chris, It's people like you, stating in unequivocal terms that you are right and they are wrong, who give atheism the reputation of a dogmatic belief system. Come on man, you aren't winning any battles by ignoring the arguments of the other side.

      • http://www.reverbnation.com/chrisrobinson Chris

        people like me? how presumptious of you..

        “Dogma?” That's a religious word, so you keep it for yourself and your opposing religions please.

        “Winning battles?” no, again, thats the obsession of the religious mentality who's nature it is to make arguments and wars to maintain their convenient status quo (all those great jobs?).

        “come on?” no – go away and stop trying to persude me to join you.

        “ignoring arguments?” yes – i've had a lifetime and a bellyful of your religious arguments. I grew up in a religiosly obsessed family in a religiously polarized society and have grown to see it for what it is; a con and a scam for the most greedy and power hungry people. Those who believed and followed innocently got ripped off by the dominant greedy ones (priest -lawyer etc..) and at the end of their life of believing, they too conceded it was a waste of time. I've studied it, taught it in their school system and even sold music that system (the songs are on my page if you have any blood godwill left).. SO there is NO argument. I know when i'm right – i know fact from fiction – i know religion is a dogma of fiction dressed as fact. It's the “battle” mentality of religions that keeps them dominating and frustrating science, education, law, politics and humanites (fields they like to own or control), leaving Athiests to be abanonded – discounted, discredited, shunned or harrassed. It is anti-democratic too.. the way religions create a false majority by constantly dominating all discourse.. (as you are doing here)

        Perhaps i was wrong about Raymond's blogg being “brave”.. perhaps i was stupid to invite people to argue the same old tired arguments and refute what i know to be true. There is no such thing as god, or supernatural. There is only nature made up of things you can prove. Everything else is fantasy .

        NO MORE PERSONAL ATTACKS OR PLEADINGS PLEASE.
        I CAME HERE ONLY TO SUPPORT A SIMPLE FACT AND QUESTION FROM RAYMOND
        argue with each other – not me.

        • Tuna Ghost

          Have you ever attempted to pretend to be on the other side of an argument and spat the most ridiculous, poorly spelled and poorly thought-out criticisms, and generally make yourself and by proxy your views looks childish and immature in the hopes that no one will take “your” side seriously, thus earning a victory for your real team? This is what it looks like.

          • http://www.reverbnation.com/chrisrobinson Chris

            * sigh * what do you want? a published thesis? sorry.. i have a real life (and a fucked up sticky keyboard)

        • smitty

          dude, learn how to spell if you at least want to “seem” intelligent!

          • http://www.reverbnation.com/chrisrobinson musicARTstar

            dude – wot the fuk are you? i don't care what you think about me.
            You've obviously got nothing to contribute, and you look like a
            gutless intimidating snob annoying people who say what you don't wanna
            hear. I fart in your general direction.. fffffffffffffft

            Comments like yours make me wonder why i bothererd participating. I
            should have expected this low level of interaction. Go talk to your
            dog, dickhead.

    • Cconsta3

      “Atheism is NOT a religion..it is ANTI or NONreligion”

      Atheism is a religion. And the reason for this is that it is based on an ” undeniable truth ” that god doesn't exist. It is a belief, much like all religions, that cannot be proven or disproved. The closest thing to a Non religion would be Buddhism, in which the belief is a distraction, a crutch. Your misguided comments are just as transparent as a ranting christian, Muslim, or Jew.

      • shane bessenecker

        I think i agree with u,, as some people have said, that some of them atheist are mentally ill, but that’s one’s opinion, i personaly think that she, he, it, (or whatever you choose to call her exist in all of us, an that we are definetly not seperated from what i choose to call her,, the ”eternal lovelight” that exist deep withinside the hearts and minds of all of us an everything that’s alive on earth.an in the universe an beyond as the divine inspiration is hard to explain but that’s just another possibility.. as i’m extremely open to all of the posabilities..an ya might want to check out that alan watts on internet archive called jesus and his religion.. or the religion about him?  It’s the best one i like..of him. He’ was also a good freind of leary’s whom he learned alot from on the eastern an western religion an philosophy a student of comparitive religion an a great Zen philosopher check it out an then give me your opinion as i’m a free thinker an remember that  these are all just possabilities.. but i thought that leary was the closest to the truth. ;)

  • 5by5

    I'm going to go with the radical idea that “I don't know” what happens after we die.

    I do know there are laws in nature like conservation of energy that might play a role, but that's a VERY far step from finding an invisible sky god that likes to sentence people to eternal damnation.

    I also know that science has now proven that while the Big Bang may have been the beginning of our universe, it wasn't the beginning of everything, and that there are a myriad of additional universes and at least 11 dimensions.

    So maybe “god” is an absentee landlord from ours, because he's baby-sitting one of his other universes? Perhaps, but the notion of god is that he/she/it is omnipotent, omnipresent, and all-powerful, so if he can't manage all of them, then clearly, he's/she/it's not “god”.

    Truth be told, the only thing more improbable than the vast diversity in existence, is the notion of a god somehow outside of all of it.

    Maybe that whole Flying Spaghetti Monster thing is the right idea. At least that would be tasty. :-)

    What do you prefer, a god with marinara sauce or al panna?

  • willigis

    okay here's some thoughts:

    my entire socio-emotional life can't be proven as valid, logical, positive or even real. therefore it does not exist, i am an idiot for believing it does and my intransigence on this point will ruin the world. (until it gets reinterpreted through something like advanced bio-mathematics.)

    the above article kinda suggests that people who believe in the supernatural are the same people who believe in a god, gods or even God. they are not all the same but seem to get treated equally. note that there are people who believe in the concept of god but not in anything supernatural, and vice versa. i guess the website i've stumbled upon is dedicated to declaiming all of these categories of believers. it seems like a strangely broad brush to paint with, insisting that everyone from aussie aborigines to the arctic natives, christians, hindus, buddhists, muslims, etc., are all wrong and stupidly misled. i mean it seems strange to me (but i can't cough up some definitive proof of why it seems so strange.) i guess this includes martin luther king jr., abraham lincoln, isaac newton, all satanists, freemasons, alcoholics anonymous members, new-agers and every traditional society in known history that i can think of. it's disturbing to think that none of them got it right.

    as for proof of something supernatural that's impossible because as soon as science establishes a new bit of info it automatically becomes part of the laws of nature. what once appeared mystical or miraculous just gets moved into the wonders-of-modern-science category. this will continue to happen but science only explains how and not why if you know what i mean. for example, for generations some native americans knew that trees were, like them, created by a creative force that they knew of as the Creator. they also somehow knew that certain tree parts had certain uses for people, like willow bark as pain medicine. turns out that modern chemists can explain most but not all of how salicin from willows works as an antiinflammatory. what they can't explain is how the first cherokee(?) dude was inspired to try it, not to mention why pain and pain medicine even exist. the natives had answers. maybe there are scientific answers too. seems like science will march forward disproving part of the old knowledge/mythology, explaining part of it and never really touching part of it. notice that ever since science went independent it's been trying to explain the origins of the universe as if they could ever get to the bottom of things, as in “just wait till the latest space-telescope or particle accelerator finally explain our origin”. i like how people have always used any means available to wrestle with big questions, often coming up with similar answers independently.

    BUT . . . there is a lot more to existence than anyone knows about, much less understands.(even science has this little problem with dark matter and dark energy.) most “psychic” stuff seems to be hoaxy but there are some things that are repeatable experiments with no explanations. there's one university experiment i've heard of where people could somehow tell with 60% accuracy whether or not they were being stared at by someone behind a soundproof, one-way glass. maybe string theory will explain this some day.

    is love supernatural? it is for now therefor we should stay away from it.

    • Ian

      I disagree. I could prove, or at least provide scientific evidence of your existence rather easily; I'd begin with the post you just made. Now, if you're referring to a existence in general, perhaps describing a nihilist worldview, then certainly, we all make some assumptions of existence. I don't know how to deal with the assumption that things do indeed exist, but, if anything in this world can be held self-evident, it is that we exist.

      If we define “supernatural” to mean something unexplainable by scientific understanding, then God and ghosts fall under the supernatural category. That something is supernatural does not mean that it is without observable and measurable influence, simply that the influence cannot be explained.

      The paintbrush is broad, yes, but monotheistic religions, such as the ones that dominate our society today, use a paintbrush just as wide as the one employed by the Atheist, except for one bristle. They too argue that all religions are bunk, except for their own. Also, Atheism does not paint the believer as stupid, simply incorrect. Being wrong was the default. It is only through years of scientific inquiry that we have become less wrong. Thus it should not be disturbing that so many of our ancestors got it wrong, or even that so many of us continue to get it wrong.

      You can prove that something supernatural exists simply by measuring its influence. The influence of God might be experienced in the form of answered prayers or flying pigs or water turning into wine. To show its influence is not to explain it with science.

      Science often does take a stab at why. The dreaded theory of evolution might explain that pain arose as a mechanism to discourage self-mutilation.

      Science marches on a path to discover more knowledge, not to disprove ancient mythology and legend.

      Whether something can or cannot be explained by science is not the point of Atheism. It's that God simply doesn't appear to exist. We can't explain how people can tell when someone is staring at them through a sound-proof wall, but that doesn't mean that the data suddenly disappears. But if staring at someone across the same sound-proof one-way wall yielded 50-50 percent results, and you argued that this was proof that people can tell when they are being stared at, well, you'd sound like a Christian.

      • willigis

        well that looks like a fair response in most ways – rather unlike so many followers of this website who go way beyond identifying incorrectness as idiocy.

        meanwhile i thought the sarcasm in my first and last paragraphs was obvious. my mistake. either i went too far or not far enough. charitably allow me to re-phrase: my socio-emotional life can't quite be proven as valid, logical or positive but it might exist. similarly G-d cannot quite be proven as valid, logical or positive but It might exist.

        god and ghosts do fall under the same category for some atheists.

        this difficulty of monotheism in “our society today” seems to be quite universal. (many atheists also use the bristle that paints their own doctrine as the only true one.) if you or i with our views lived in pantheistic europe or bhuddistic tibet a 1000+ yrs ago we would feel quite dominated and scorned. if we lived within the religious expectations of the roman or mongol or aztec empires we wouldn't be happy campers. if we lived in atheist china today we wouldn't be happy campers. it's as if religion has been neither a help nor a hindrance in our urge for independence. and even more likely that whenever we get a taste of autonomy and/or wealth our emotional satisfaction decreases, as suggested by surveys in several countries.

        i think science marches in different directions. sometimes it does set out to disprove old “knowledge”. sometimes it sets out to prove it. most often it seems to go where the money is. that may be natural or even okay but its disappointing to those of us more interested in Truth than marketable technology. archaeologists have been scouring the middle east for generations hoping to prove the unproven parts of the bible, sometimes they have a sort of success. the pagan city of troy was pure mythology until such people proved the naysayers wrong. some times the old legends are true. being wrong isn't always the default. i heard a bbc interview about a california universty study which set out to disprove the “religious right” belief that sexually active teenage girls turn out to have similar daughters due to social reasons rather than genetic. the results don't matter so much as the fact that science marches in any direction. it's even fickle. see for example how many times it changed it's “definitive” understanding of the pro and cons of eating eggs withing just a few decades. i would have been just as well off taking food advice from someone's jewish grandmother.

        if evolution provides a defense against accidental injury i could have two questions that i would love to see any scientist answer today: why don't we just be honest and call it providence? and are accidents really accidental? yes eventually science may even take a stab at explaining why propogation of any species matters. many religions and philosophies have already poured over that question, often in a vague, unsatisfactory way. moreover they've spent time thinking about morals which science can't discuss using their own toolbox and vocabulary. the question i would pose to anyone reading this is: is there such a thing as absolute right? or absolute wrong?

        elswhere i guess you're saying that things supernatural may be known to exist even without any scientific analysis.(?) i think i can agree.

        finally, “It's that God simply doesn't appear to exist.” this sounds alot more like an agnostic statement. it's a fair conclusion to come to in some circumstances. “We can't explain how people can tell when someone is staring at them through a sound-proof wall, but that doesn't mean that the data suddenly disappears.” i think that this could be paraphrased as saying that 'just because some phenomena can't be explained doesn't make it non-existent.' (?).

        nuff for now,
        thanks for discussion

      • http://www.myspace.com/awhitedingo A White Dingo

        well said .. even though i don't fit the norm, and do like to form my own theories and criticize the christian who tries to influence me with their rhetoric. we do exist.. with as many little understood intricacies of communication and exchanges of energy as has the rest of the “animal kingdom”. I think that so many centuries of teaching each other that we are different to animals has made us neglect to notice the senses we have which are natural – and mistake them as supernatural (eg the “esp” could just be our own natural “antennae” working)… Some animals might think we humans are 'god' and others might think we are a walking pile of food.. i still think apparent esp would be a natural thing if ever it was proven to be measurable at all. (woof!)

    • http://www.myspace.com/awhitedingo A White Dingo

      laws of nature like laws of humans are intended to be updated and improved upon.. unlike religious laws of tradition for control's sake.

      there's no such thing as no explanation – there's only improving explanations that build as things are proved and disproved..

      love is natural – thats why religions claim ownership of it (and abuse that self-given position every time).

      yeah – stay away from superstitious love – definately.

  • Alice

    I guess for religious beliefs the whole basis is that its a feeling, intuition if you may. Its not “Look here is a flower. Flowers are real. I believe flowers exist because I can see it, feel it, smell it”. Its having a feeling that our human senses aren't strong enough to see the full expansion of the universe and the wonder beyond what can not be explained. Its something that comes from the invisible entity of the soul and not the tangible object of the brain. Even scientists have to admit that some things just can not be explained as of yet. Maybe as our scientific technology improves with time such things as a belief in God or Gods will become trivial. But for now, religion is that which CAN NOT be explained and asking a religious person why they believe in what they do is always going to sound ridiculous to someone who looks merely at facts and visible evidence. Deeply religious people have a difference perspective than scientific people do. Its all about how you see the world. From your mind or from your heart.

    • Ian_wa_us

      The existence of God, of ghosts, of religious postulates in general, may be unexplainable. Whatever the case, they have also not been observed. It is the lack of observation that needs to be dealt with, and it is the reason why the faithful are hounded by the faithless to provide evidence. The scientist should not disregard a phenomenon simply because it has yet to be explained, but if there is no phenomenon, well, there is nothing to disregard.

      Now, this is not completely true. Obviously there is something there to be observed. That feeling that you are referring to, or perhaps the feeling of love that engulfs a religious adherent, those can be observed. But they do not point solely toward the existence of God. Any myriad of proposals exist to explain why the religious feel loved when they pray. Self-delusion is one. Whatever the case, a Muslim feels just as loved as a Christian when he prays, so feeling loved doesn't really equate with an observation that points toward one God.

      And experiencing the world from our hearts–by this I assume you mean emotional centers–is just fine, indeed, it is a beautiful way to go from day to day. But when experiencing the world with our hearts becomes thinking with our hearts, it seems to me that we just get into a bloody mess. Emotion is a method we evolved to *shortcut* understanding. It is a visceral response, meant to enable us to survive. Interpreting the world with this facility will provide results that get us through the day, but that are rather unrefined at best.

    • god is bullshit

      a heart is a blood-pump. a mind is where you think and feel.

  • h3llo41

    The writer's question of “why religious people think God exist” isn't a very good one, it would be like asking some one why they think the theory of the Big Bang is correct. They don't know the answers, they're not experts, they just believe in it. The real experts in the Big Bang theory is the Scientists who studies them, and correspond to that, the experts of why God exist is people like Jesus, or Moses e.g.
    We all know that there're no such thing as a giant bearded man in the sky, making people out of clay, but these days, people believe that God is like a spirit, controlling aspect of our life and afterlife e.g. There are no proof that this God spirit exist, but there are also no proof that this spirit DOESNT exist either. How do you know there are no afterlife? how do you know that this spirit is not controlling what you do? heck, science can't even explain whether you exist or not… thats right, you could be living in a made up world, where nothing around you is real, and what's out of your sight doesnt continue to exist.
    Now, before you call me an ignorant Christian, I'm NOT at all religious, and I definitely believe in science. But this religion stuff cant really be prove or disprove.

  • fedupwiththefed

    Quick – show me your evidence that there isn't G-d…hurry … trying to deflect the question…then there must be G-d since you can't produce evidence that he/she/it doesn't exist. Everyone should be allowed to believe or not believe. Quick – show me your evidence that love exists…can't? Therefore, no love I suppose; that is what I dislike about atheisism…it so cynical, reactionary, and devoid of lovliness. I subscribe to no religion, but I would take religion over sterile atheisism any day.

    “Jesus loves the little children, all the children of the world”…Where's the love in atheism? “Nobody loves the little children, get used to it” would be the new mantra

    • Chrisscross

      Have you seen what's going on in India? Children roam the streets begging for food. Maybe Jesus loved all the children when he lived on this Earth but now, no one cares about these children.

      • Tuna Ghost

        Hate to break it to you, but children starving in the streets is not limited to India, nor to this century. It's very likely there were children starving to death in the same cities at the same times as Jesus is reported to have walked through them (or ridden an ass, as the case may be). I'm not sure what your point is.

        • Ian_wa_us

          Perhaps he is saying that a nice story is hardly any substitute for truth. People are still starving and dying despite the supposed love of Jesus Christ.

          • Tuna Ghost

            Of course, people are still starving and dying despite every other achievement by man, I'm not sure what Christ's love for children have to do with it. Show me the man who said Christ's love will fill your belly (apart from the Gospels' “eat of me and never be hungry again” bit) and I'll kick him in the balls for you.

          • http://www.myspace.com/awhitedingo A White Dingo

            lets cut to the eating flesh and drinking blood bit.. dingo's love that shit ;)

      • http://www.myspace.com/awhitedingo A White Dingo

        and a child starving is worse than an adult starving?

    • Ian_wa_us

      But I could show you evidence of love! I could show you beautiful sunsets over snow covered hills. I could show you a sister and brother holding hands and spinning in circles and then tumbling to the floor.

      Atheism is devoid of God, and apart from this, it is nothing else. It is not meant to be a religion, it is not meant to teach beautiful stories. Secular Humanism, Naturalism, Atheistic Buddhism, any number belief systems exist without the God postulate. There can be loveliness without God.

    • http://www.myspace.com/awhitedingo A White Dingo

      always on about “little children” – begging people to drop their rationality by cheap emotive one-shots.. well how many church and boarding schools and families proved their “little children” obsessions to be incestuous or abusive? the answer is most of them. i agree people should retain their right to believe whatever they believe (or not believe).. but i'm trying to point out the imbalance and injustice caused by allowing religions to dominate LAW and POLITICS and EDUCATION and SCIENCE and ART and LITERATURE and even TV! ~~~~ happy deflecting.. (and a happy new year to any other readers starting to get annoyed at this thread..) There's love in Athiesm ~ a love of freedom from religion.

      • fedupwiththefed

        Whie Dingo: your animus only proves my point and reinforces what I already perceive. The hostility you show in your thread is typical of the hatefulness that atheist hold for people who DISAGREE with them. I'm not even religious, but I'm not an atheist either. One reason I don't care for atheism is that every atheist I know is a smart-ass know it all – full of misery. Another reason is that it just seems a reaction to religion (like the other side of the coin so to speak). You may think you hatred of religion is high minded, but I disagree. To me, atheism is just as petty as the religions that it rejects. I don't know where in the world you live, but most of us are free from religion. I live in North Texas and the law has yet to round me up for my lack of faith; but let them find out my affection for marijuana and to the jailhouse I go. You think atheist are discriminated against – try being a pothead. I'm sure you will chalk up my thoughts to my obvious deficiencies as a southerner gentleman(stupid, mouth-breathing, waste of life, and every other name I have been called for daring to point out the immaturity in the secular humanist ideology) but I don't even get the point of atheism. Is it to stamp out religion? Then what, we all live in utopia? Organized religion is flawed because it is a human instituion. All human institutions, in my opinion, are flawed because they invariably suffer from the lack that humans suffer from: fear, greed, envy, and hatred.

        White Dingo – next time you respond to one of my posts, could you please at least show some respect for another fellow human being instead of your verbal assualt. There is absolutley no civility on disinfo threads. Remember, we are not in a jungle canopy, but instead we are on the internet. Have a happy new year.

        • http://www.myspace.com/awhitedingo A White Dingo

          i don't wanna stamp out religion – i just hope it can be restricted
          from dominating law logic anbd art (like the ridiculous pot
          prohibition which doesn't work and is just more opression frfom the
          religious right).

          i don't hold hatred for people who happen to believe – but i hate what
          they believe and the ones who manipulate everyone they can to keep
          others believing (and following, and donating) what i know is bullshit
          (despite people here saying i should not speak so definately when i am
          definite).

          i'm not full of misery – and suffer more prejudice for my athiesm than
          the average aboriginal person does for being black.

          because its the internet, i'm speaking with deep honesty. in real life
          (the jungle) – i can't be so honest and end up having to just smile or
          shutup to avoid constant conflict and denigration from non-athiests.

          i wish people on this thread would stop stereotyping athiests this way
          - so i guess all we can do is stereotype the stereotypist.

          Have a merry new year and a happy new joint. The christians here don't
          smoke pot but they drink themselves stupid all the time. I have to
          agree with you on the stupidity of the prohibition laws but again, i
          can only blame religious influence on LAW again for that.

          No i'm not religious about my athiesm.. i love it and treasure it and
          wish society could go back to the aspiration of separation of church
          and state – when laws (and science and art) improve in freedom and
          reality.

          thats all

    • http://www.reality.com/ god is bullshit

      how can you say you subscribe to no religion ~ then quote some jesus quote and call athiests religious? sounds protestant to me…

  • Donovan

    myspace.com/stellarman

  • biogord

    Organised religion is a mechanism for social control. That does not necessarily mean a higher level of organisational complexity does not exist above us. For some understanding of this principle look into “the game of life”, non-linear dynamics, and chaos theory.

    For a personal experience try the ayahuasca drug DMT – I was an atheistic evolutionary biologist before I tried it, now I am a theist who believes in a fractal cosmic consciousness along the lines of the work of Nassim Haramein.

  • Mr. Furious

    This is one of the stupidest posts I've ever read. I'm not even religious, but all this anti-religion propoganda being posted on disinfo for the past month is really making me question my desire to visit this site.

    Atheists are beginning to come off as the most fundamental, small-minded, fascist people in the country right now. Their definitions of “God” are so puny that it's laughable. Of course there's no proof that there's a God/Higher Power/Consciousness/whatever anybody wants to call it, no one can deny that. There is proof that there is no grey-beard, old white man in the sky. But that's a piss-poor definition of a God. What does exist is evidence. And if you're more curious on the subject, try reading a book by any of the following: C.G. Jung, Alan Watts, Joseph Campbell, Chuang Tzu, Thomas Merton, Meister Eckhardt, Lao-Tzu, D.T. Suzuki. Their definition of God is so far beyond your comprehension, it's not even fair.

    • god is bullshit

      its required to please the religious audience or help them understand anything other than their brainwashing.

      facism, fundaMentalism and small mindedness are christian (and other religious) flaws. you can't generalize and stereotype Athists when the only thing they have in common with each other is their DISbelief in the god lie.

  • Gar guest

    Ask and you will receive . Don't ask the believers, ask God.

    • Tuna Ghost

      See, I like this sort of challenge. Really invest something of yourself in your search, and you may be surprised at what you find. I bet at the least you'll learn something about yourself and how you interact with the nonphysical parts of your life.

      • http://www.reverbnation.com/chrisrobinson musicARTstar

        “non-physical” – ??? that's even more arguable than the comment imploring people to ask their imagination..

  • non believer

    theres no god ,its all man made

    • http://www.myspace.com/awhitedingo A White Dingo

      yup :)

  • non believer

    their never was a God

    • Tuna Ghost

      Wow thanks for being a part of this discussion

    • http://www.myspace.com/awhitedingo A White Dingo

      you got it :)

  • Venus Summers

    Those religious types always bring up the children, but when you bring up all the molestation in the church, they dont want to talk about it……Im a former victim of a priest, so god loves the little children does he?…So does his leaders of the church……..One day all the christians are going to be held accountable…….I hope im the one to hand out the judgement!…..Its a shame when they say its there religion, buut they dont live by it…….remember god wants them to drive a bentley ……lmao

  • Venus Summers

    Remember jesus walked with 12 men…and was never married…..today he would be called a homo, not the son of god!…….No evidence that he ever even lived….ask a jew who jesus is, theyll tell you (nobody)!

    • Tuna Ghost

      NIce use of hatespeech to get your point across. It's awesome that you joined our conversation. Feel free to fuck off any time now.

    • http://twitter.com/jewbird Sam Jew

      What about the woman weeping at the foot of the cross?

  • Eric Eversee

    You are right, ask nearly any religious person where there proof is and they'll claim its in the bible/torah/veda/etc…and ask them where proof is outside of their books….say, cite that you could write a book and claim it was gods word….no one would know…show me proof…they wouldnt have it. They have (blind) FAITH…

    Now I don't live on faith, and I am VERY spiritual, but not religious…I am a mystic, and pursue Altered States of Consciousness solely for the experience of feeling close to the spirit/tao/god/etc…

    Its a leading popular theory the last 15 years among historians and even longer among mckenna fans, that PSYCHEDELICS (possibly both internal and more likely external) are the reason for most of our…sophisticated evolution, like speech, art, music, RELIGION…and some of the more extreme would say the reason…THE STILL EXISTING PROOF….for our evolution from monkey to man itself

  • TSSOOMA

    Faith does not, by definition, require “evidence” to exist. I imagine that all those whom you question are saying to themselves. “Poor man, poor sad man, he has no faith. It would be best if I did not let him know in what a desperate situation he really is. Let us tell him something, anything so that he is not cast into despair and despondency.” As Faith exists without evidence, by definition, you are asking an impossible to answer question. Rather than upbraid theses people for replying to your nonsensical riddle with further nonsensical riddles riddles you should be grateful for their tolerance and compassion.

    • Ian_wa_us

      We're not saying that “faith” doesn't exist. We are saying that God doesn't. That faith by definition rejects evidence actually weakens the argument that God exists.
      But God need not exist without evidence. Indeed, by the definitions provided by the Abrahamic religions, there should be much evidence of his existence, whether faith comes into the equation or not.

      • Tuna Ghost

        how exactly would you say the Abrahamic religions define God, and what makes you believe they do so?

        • Ian_wa_us

          Well, I am certainly not a religious scholar, but I think I would be safe to say that according to said religions, God created the world, and actively participates in its development. I can't get more specific than that, but the Torah, the Bible, and presumably the Koran all have creation stories orchestrated by God, and stories of God's continued involvement in the world.

          • Tuna Ghost

            Well a definition of God would certainly be of use to someone attempting to convince people that God isn't real, one would think. And I'm afraid that there is, as of yet, no real definition agreed upon by all the Abrahamic faiths and sub-sects. Eventually the debate boils down to something much more like metaphysics than religion which, as noted earlier, is impossible to verify (metaphysics, that is). That doesn't make it false or meaningless or illogical, it just means the investigation has shifted to a place where the rules of engagement are different.

            I think the claim that bothers most atheists is that God, whatever he is, has a will and continues to enforce it upon the physical world to this day. Despite what some folks say, no one thinks that God is resorting to truly supernatural means to accomplish this; no one sees God flying around through the air shooting lightning from his fingers, casting sinners into a nearby lake of fire. When God acts upon the world, according to those that believe such a thing happens, we experience it as a natural occurence. Which leads to people retroactively assigning divine providence to natural occurences, and that is terribly annoying to me, but I try to view it as people searching for meaning in the things that happen. Religious people are not alone in this attempt. Some people are just better at that than others.

            So: asking for evidence that God is real is like asking for evidence that the Doctrine of Temporal Parts is real, or that Liebniz's ideas of our universe as a fractal four-dimensional super-solid is real. It's a pointless endeavour. It's essentially asking for evidence of a perspective. Problems may arise when someone asks for some example of explanatory power that this perspective endows, but whatever.

            The reasons why people search for a reason, a will, in the events around them is a bigger debate than just religion, I think.

          • http://www.myspace.com/awhitedingo A White Dingo

            if those scientific theories are presented as theories then its good science.
            if they are presented as fact then they are just being another damned religion.
            only a religion can be absolute about a god thing.

            only science can be relied on to validate or invalidate any phenominon but the science has weakened more than the dollar, with the barrage of religious manipulation and dominance and prejudices. Its human nature to seek “the big answers” and its also human nature to believe in lies taught as truth by one's trusted childhood carers. religion=abuse and if i sound religious in my anti-religion then its just a little virtual fire thrown back at their fire (dressed as water).. words words words.. metaphysics is just working theories.. it may prove to be wrong but its still better than any superstition or religion. its not a debate to me.. debating is how the religious do their manipulating and disintegrating of valid enterprises.

            and who says a tuna can't outsmart a net occasionally ? ;)

            Happy new year 2Uall. No hard feelings – unless you are religious.

  • eileenworkman

    Your first question – why do you think God or the “supernatural” exists? poses a false question for me. That's because in my view god isn't “supernatural” at all. God is extraordinarily natural – the same way water is to a fish. Water surrounds the fish and infuses the fish, and is SO natural and all-pervasive that the fish fails to even notice its presence!

    I realize some of the antiquated religions misperceive God as a supernatural “being out there” but that is not the god force I know in my spiritual experience. What I refer to as “god” is the energy of life itself – the self-organizing infinite, eternal and intelligent field that both flows through and contains ALL things – what we call “animate” and what we call “inanimate” both, because to me the difference between the two is simply a matter of convenient human perspective. (Viewed through an electron microscope a grain of sand comes to life with movement, internal organization, intention and energy.)

    God is, for me, the creative energy field that shapes, instructs and defines the “play dough” of matter. It is a self-evolving, self-aware, fractalized (yet utterly differentiating) blueprint for all of reality. It is what enters this world of form through the doorway of birth and exits it through the doorway we call death. It is that which eternally consumes experiences and converts them into wisdom on an infinite scale, and that which creatively responds to its own creations in an endless feedback loop of evolution. Because it is infinite and eternal it is not in the form of a “being,” which would bound it and make it finite. Nor is it “out there” and not right here, because that too would place restrictions on its infinite aspect. It is, for me, the essence of “beingness” itself, the IAM of what we call life. It has no beginning, no end and no opposite.

    Does that help?

    • eileenworkman

      PS – the “proof” is that you are…therefore there MUST be an IAM.

    • http://www.reverbnation.com/chrisrobinson musicARTstar

      i don't think its a false question. I tried to wear this comprehension of a god but discovered for myself that its untrue. What you see as divine providence, i see as nature's constant shift towards equilibrium. You describe a thing which i believe to be no-thing.

      “Fractalized”? you mean fragmented? Fractal calculations are proof that randomness is definable and recreatable (ie – proof that god is not responsible for the pretty patterns in nature).. “differentiating”? sorry – no matter how hard i try i cannot accept that some “god” has “blueprints” for every possible random collection of molecules. Just because there are energies in matter – there's no need to attribute this to a god, and it conflicts with any studies of those energies by closing the minds and discussions involved in balanced research. I'm sure you get lots of warm and fuzzies from the concept you've imagined, but i get the same warm and fuzzies with the awesomeness of nature as it is. Beginning and end of a universe is irrelevant, and personifying it is not necessary. You live – you die and all else is your living imagination. The universe is more wonderous without a god to stifle all scientific and artistic perceptions of it.

      You see nature as god? Looks to me like you're twisting what you discover of nature to make it fit with a concept of a god. Tribal beliefs in loads of countries share this perception. What i'm saying (and have come to learn) is that sociology reveals the need for such (religious) stories and beliefs as ways of passing knowledge about the land (ie mapping it, using it, navigating it.. eg a river made by a giant lizzard may be untrue but can show you the shape of the river)) and outlining RULES for behaviour (ie – don't fuk your sister, or steal things etc etc.. kinship and tribal boundary rules). BUT ANY element of a “god” is only for children – or the very very simple minded who require simple simple answers. The real world is more interesting without a god concept to cloud, frustrate and restrict it. Thats what i discovered after study, and thats why i bothered to join in this blogg.

      “differentiated” LOL – thats a trendy word for teachers (like genre was in the nineties).. Living things can differentiate – and living things are born and die without any “iam's” required.
      “fractals” – that was a trendy word for scientists, sci-fiers and TV philosiphers in the nineties when they were researching the algorithm for computer randomness generation which resulted in an ARTform. People got excited because it added to proof that there is no god – but the burden of proof is on those who believe in it. Atheism is NOT believing it, no ,matter how much people twist it, drill it, and push it onto you.

      does that help?

      • eileenworkman

        It seems to me that you're still trying to “box in” a definition of god as a being, a personage “who” is responsible for patterning, creating and controlling the universe – thus enabling you to reject the existence of such a person and remain comfortable in your atheism.

        I say the patterns themselves, the energy field itself, is a better definition for god if one must give a label to the mystery that is life. I personally don't like to use the word “god” in these discussions because I believe it's been overused and highly misunderstood, but since we're in that space I'll continue to play the game.

        I'm curious how you think living things can be born, exist and die without an “I am” as an integral part of their reality. I find that an exceptionally bizarre statement, since every living thing has its own unique perspective, its own form of consciousness or window onto the world. I personally perceive consciousness as an infinite and eternal field that experiences reality from all directions by observing it through an infinite number of windows, with each window being the perspective of an individuated life form. One window closes, another one opens. Nothing is ever lost or destroyed, and all the information gathered and observed by consciousness itself through each window is collected by the totality so the totality of the field can feed back into material reality whatever happens next based on the sum totality of all that has gone before.

        Modern science bears out this theory, if you've studied quantum physics. Quantum physics reveals the existence of quantum entanglement, which demonstrates that everything is One interconnected field. I suspect that part of the present error in human thinking that is limiting our advancement is our false sense of separation. We imagine ourselves walking “on” the universe but not in it, if that makes sense. We see ourselves as isolated from it, as observers rather than active participants, when in fact we are both.

        Whatever label you wish to give the field of which we are a part, the field (the totality) contains all objects, all energy and all information in the universe.

        Frankly, I don't look to that description as “comforting” at all, nor do I embrace it as a personal god. In my experience there is no “me,” so there is no person for any god to have a personal relationship with – my consciousness is merely an infinitesimal fragment of the infinite consciousness that permeates it all. I look to that with awe, reverence, wonder, and with a deep respect for the immensity of the unknown.

        My personal process has been to keep an open mind about all these things, realizing I could be partly or entirely wrong – as could everyone else. To me though, to say something definitively does NOT exist – with or without proof of its existence – is to close the door on the possibility, which seems foolish in a universe so vast and filled with unknowns. You may be entirely right in your assessment that the world is all a happy, random accident with no purpose behind it whatsoever. You may also be very, very wrong.

        I sense intuitively that there IS a purpose behind it all, which is why we've been gifted with reason, intelligence, imagination, emotions, physical dexterity and the capacity to wonder and question. Whether or not I'm correct in that assessment, I choose to live my life as if there is a higher purpose for humanity, and that our present purpose is to actively evolve our own consciousnesses to the point where we can knowingly participate in our own evolutionary development as we shift ourselves away from our baser animal natures and toward a more peaceful, loving, joyful, kind, compassionate and patient way of being. That those qualities “feel” good to the vast majority of us implies we're collectively programmed to enjoy those sensations; that fear, hatred, anger, impatience, hostility and the like don't “feel” good means we've been programmed to avoid them. Programmed by what? Evolution? A higher purpose? Random accident? Who knows?

        But I tend to go with the “flow” of creation, whatever label you wish to give it, thus I gravitate toward happiness and away from those things that cause suffering. That's enough for me to manage at this stage of my life. I don't much care who believes what, or why, nor do I “need” anyone else to agree with me for me to feel comfortable in my own “not knowing.” What I care about most these days is how I choose to show up in the world. I know I'm getting valuable lessons from somewhere; what name I call my teacher is not important. That I learn the lessons being imparted and become the best person I can possibly be…is.

        Regards,
        Eileen

        • http://www.reverbnation.com/chrisrobinson musicARTstar

          hey Eileen. i get it.. just don't agree with certain things, thats all. My reply to reading this comment was sent via email and landed as a second reply to Tuna Ghost further down the page instead of here. Cheers.

  • tonyviner

    He is there because I said so, that is all the proof that I need, why should I care about physical proof when I KNOW that he is there? Hey all of you silly scientists, where is your proof that we exist? I am an atheist but the simplest way to put this to rest for me is the “you can't prove you're right and I can't prove I'm right” argument but when you let reason take over it seems to say that it is highly improbable that an invisible man (or whatever he has been represented by over the years) made all of this possible. It is astonishing the number of people that you will come across that are otherwise very smart and rational but somehow think that some sky fairy created us in a week six-thousand years ago.

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?ref=profile&id=636931474#/profile.php?v=info&ref=profile&id=636931474 Jeffrey Richey

    I don't know about “religion” but I am always afraid that these outspoken atheists are something worse than agnostic. Agnosticism at least leaves room for mysticism. But sorry atheists lack any such evidence of their own that the universe is absolutely and irrefutably devoid of the sacred. The question of “evidence of religious truths” is so reductive, so base and cliche that I find it deplorable that someone could be so boring in the year 2010. Well, the author did write this in the last decade. Maybe we should give them some time to catch up to the mystery of which they have no idea eternally engulfing them.

    • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?ref=profile&id=636931474#/profile.php?v=info&ref=profile&id=636931474 Jeffrey Richey

      Atheism is based in the outdated mode of argumentation known as “reason,” which relies on “proof” and “evidence,” of an empirical nature in a vein attempt to determine what actually “is.” Little do such Cosmic Schmucks realize that reason, evidence and proof are a religion of their own, the New Inquisition of the (western) Enlightenment. These atheists might as well be Freemasons. They believe in the same bullshit.

    • http://www.reverbnation.com/chrisrobinson musicARTstar

      your post makes me feel so stifled.. typical non-athiest.. trying to create a stereotype where none exists.

      i'll go back to my “eternal engulfment” and be happier without a god. its funny how you still try to say you don't know about religion when you perfectly represent it with your typecasting of my non-belief.

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?ref=profile&id=636931474#/profile.php?v=info&ref=profile&id=636931474 Jeffrey Richey

    But if you're really as neurotic about gathering the evidence as I am, then I just have one word for you: dimethyltryptamine.

    • http://www.reverbnation.com/chrisrobinson musicARTstar

      Fortunately most of us are not as neurotic about it as you describe yourself. .. you might need that drug to sooth a brain which has been poisened by religious bullshit.. Its funny to me how some religious people don't like to call their belief religious.. i suppose John Lennon's song “imagine” was so popular and true that it embarrases non-athiests.

      • Tuna Ghost

        whats the matter? Afraid of new experiences? What if you could have a spirtual (not necessarily religious) experience that was unlike anything you had experienced before? If that option was open to you, would you take it or just be content to live in a smaller,.less meaningful world?

        • http://www.reverbnation.com/chrisrobinson musicARTstar

          i prefer imagination to spirituality ~ i believe spirits are imaginary, which gives me more creative options than anyone who thinks they are real, hence my world and contentment are larger and more meaningful than someone who restricts their imagination with religion (or spirits – or belief in a deity or angels or supernatural or religious-politicians or spagetti monsters or “the force” or even a Great White Dingo or Great Pumpkin). A spiritual experience is an imagined experience only.. whether its induced with drugs or religion or delusion or just a good or bad vibe. I'm open to any scientific discoveries and not bound to anyone elses boring imagination or rhetoric. There's no such thing as a spiritual experience that is not religious – unless its a metaphore for a deeply emotional experience (IMHO – H=highest, not humble!).

          • Tuna Ghost

            …you're working with some very unorthodox definitions, ones that almost anyone who has done research would dispute. No such thing as a spiritual experience that is not a religious experience? Say what? That is so off the wall I don't even know where to begin. I don't think you have a real working definition for religion, God or spirituality.

          • http://www.reverbnation.com/chrisrobinson musicARTstar

            yep – and i worked hard to make it that way – and i don't want any
            such definition. I know its unorthodox and i never want to sit on any
            religious believers wall again. I like your metaphore.. once the egg
            is broken nothing can put it together again. religion, god or
            spirituality are the same thing to me, and are partly the subject of
            the blogg.

            Just so you don't think i'm too biased.. i also include sport and any
            “clubs of allegience” as religions. I know its unpopular to say it,
            but i can't help but read the word “ritual” in the word “spiRitual”
            and thats why i brush religion and spirituality the same way.. the
            belief that we can ask anything of forces other than just interact
            with them via our own life choices is one i don't share. and i don't
            believe in spirits other than an energy or feeling created by living
            things (and Jack Daniels..). But i gotta admit, i like the Bhudist and
            Hindu concepts of Karma – but i look at that scientificaly too, as
            what goes around comes around.. etc etc. I also like how those
            religions aren't expansionistic like the main western arabic ones are.
            I liked the irish druids stories of nature being personified, but the
            irish are best of all at telling bullshit stories that sound true…
            and when i studied Aboriginal “spirituality” it led to dozens of
            conflicting spirit stories with only a few concepts common to all
            tribes.

            I've been offered spiritual experiences in little bottles and continue
            to decline ~ but i'll smoke a peace pipe anyday.

            anyhow ~ whatever.. Have a nice life..

        • http://www.reverbnation.com/chrisrobinson musicARTstar

          well i suppose we just have to agree to disagree, and hope this can
          ultimately transpire to live and let live. our beliefs are opposite. i
          can understand yours, Eileen, and have seen it that way.. its just
          that now, i don't anymore. but i still say that religion robs people
          of their money, their trust and life – and imposes its will on
          “unbelievers” or “non conformists” more than Athiesm.
          Spiritualism=Opression or control of another persons imagination or
          behaviour to suit the spiritualist. Thats my experience. I also
          empathize with the commenter who spoke in this blog of their abuse at
          the hands of clergy, but was politely told to fuk off (i think their
          spelling was not “propa”?). Anyway.. i've said all i can say on the
          subject. anything more is just to point out the ways people avoid the
          question, as mentioned in the original post.

          • eileenworkman

            Music,

            I too get where you're coming from. I was born and raised Catholic and left the church in disgust while in college over the dogma, teachings and stories I found ridiculous. I then became an agnostic who studied physics for a deeper understanding of reality, and later switched to atheism as my understanding of physics evolved. A couple of years later I came full circle to what I can only term “spiritual,” as my exploration of the natural world expanded along with my recognition of the built-in limitations of the scientific method.

            (BTW, I believe in scientific experimentation and have used my own body as a human guinea pig when it come to gaining an understanding of certain substances. Ingesting DMT is an amazing study in the expansion of consciousness and the exploration of the inner realms of the psyche. Impossible to understand unless you've tried it. Those who haven't experimented with it often dismiss it as a “hallucination,” but what IS a hallucination? It is, in fact, a journey into the previously unknown space and uncharted territory of one's own consciousness. Having ingested the sacred drink ayahuasca several times in shamanic settings, I can attest to the fact that the inner realms of consciousness are indeed infinite and timeless, and not to be lightly dismissed as trivial or immaterial. It may not be an experience for everyone, but for one who is at all curious about whether the “I” operating inside the material self is finite or infinite, it is definitely a good way to find out!)

            In all my studies and explorations, I have found pure science too limiting in that by definition it only considers the objective for serious study and evaluation. That isn't a fault so much as a self-proscribed limitation in its capacities. Personally, I can't imagine we'll ever develop a “grand unified theory of everything” if we – based on scientific definition – leave the subjective aspect of life out of the larger equation. Somehow, the unification of the subjective and the objective MUST be accomplished if we hope to truly understand the world in which we operate. Religion doesn't do it, as it favors subjectivity over objectivity. Science doesn't do it. as it chooses the opposite approach. These polarities, while they each have purpose, are both unbalanced and therefore inaccurate interpretations of reality.

            Spirituality then, which acknowledges the scientific truths of objective reality (unlike traditional religions) but also honors the very real existence and experience of the subjective “aliveness” inherent in all things, may be the answer we're ALL seeking. And you can forget your fear of “ritual,” at least where I'm concerned! I am the least ritualistic person I know! I am willing to try it all, learn from it all and let it go when it's served it's usefulness. To put rituals between one's own objective self and the experience of one's subjective consciousness is simply to create additional false separations.

            Science is, for me, only half of the equation. It's an important half, to be sure, but it can't get us to the entirety of life. To understand a cat through the scientific method we must kill it, dissect it and examine its organic workings. Doing so, however, we must sacrifice the crucial aspect that makes it a cat – it's aliveness, it's nature, it's inherent unpredictability. I suspect that what quantum physics only touches on when it reaches the planck's distance (quantum foam) and has such difficulty explaining is the unpredictability of the quantum field itself, because the field at that level is one unified essence that contains consciousness and thus has the power of responsiveness to its objectified environment. What we perceive as “random” and “chaotic” behaviors may simply be conscious decisions for which we can't pinpoint the reason. That doesn't mean one doesn't exist, though, any more than my not knowing all your reasons for your infinite number of choices and actions means they don't exist.

            Anyway, it seems to me there will, in time be a merging of the objective and the subjective in human understanding, as they are neither separate nor separable when it comes to explaining our reality. Until then, dialogs like these help open the door for the sharing of ideas, which is good for us all. Perhaps someone somewhere who is reading this will be inspired by our inability to unify the objective and subjective, and will come up with a new way to view the totality that satisfies that need. One can hope…!

            Regards,
            Eileen

          • http://www.reverbnation.com/chrisrobinson musicARTstar

            Thanks Eileen.

            This is much easier to read than most “religious believers” answers,
            so i won't insult or belittle your ideas, because i can see it this
            way, even though i don't agree (and yes – i despise catholocism and
            its impact is the opposite of everything it speaks – but it has
            invaded society and science so badly and caused most of the mess we're
            in. it exists ONLY to take advantage of people's trust). I
            particularly disagre that our life force is infinate – and think that
            conciousness is just a manifestation of a life energy, which dies when
            the life does.

            I agree that science is limited – but imagination isn't. That, to me
            explains all things associated with “spirit”. I just see it as
            interacting living energies. IMHO conciousness=imagination (or
            perception).

            I'm more fascinated by “time” than by “life forces” which i believe
            are finite. The only thing infinite is “space” because by definition,
            space=emptiness. Time is limitless, but every living thing has its own
            timespan, based on its evolutionary environment. If there exists a
            life form like ours on a planet/star which revolves slowly around the
            inner galaxy – and they could see us – we may be “moving” too quickly
            for them to see us as more than a blur.. again, that theory is based
            on the idea that the galaxy revolves (and it might not).. Either way -
            we're on our own. Its also possible that another earth has developed
            the ability to observe us but we haven't got compatible technology to
            know about it. Or its possible that after humans have died out on
            earth, and the planet has spiraled out to where the red-planet is,
            that more humans will grow on earth or Venus and they will study what
            we leave behind.. Still – we're on our own..

            The only theory (of my own) i can see resolving the differences is
            that if the galaxy (or planet) were found to be a life form. Are we
            just like a virus living on a cell of a giant floating brain? Such a
            discovery could explain these energies described as “spiritual” which
            people percieve in nature (and humanity). But until its proven, i
            still don't believe my own best theory. Inner space and outer space go
            virtually infinitely, but each pattern is a reflection of the other..

            If not a brain, the other possibiliity for the galaxy being a life
            form, is it being like a collective life (like a bleubottle or a
            garden), which means its nature is to grow and attract other smaller
            life forms (like us).

            It could just turn out to be lifeless soup in which we are like the
            bugs stuck in it..

            but you're right about this sharing of ideas.. it might be worth it,
            but its an endless dialogue untill something irrefutable is discovered
            either way, and the burden of proof is on religious believers because
            they push their drug (or bullshit) onto non believers all too often,
            getting credit where it is not due.

            I still think there is no god – no afterlife – no spirits – and even
            if something of so-called “biblical” proportions happened in front of
            me, I'd still seek an explanation based on the REAL WORLD of matter
            and energies, and discount anything else as imagination or metaphore
            or conjecture.

            I'd love to think that this dialogue could help sew the seeds of doubt
            in any RBs who might read it. But brainwashing is the only expertise
            of religions.

            Hitchhikers Guide to the Galaxy by Douglas Adams… puts it perfectly

            “and god dissapeared in a puff of logic”

          • eileenworkman

            Very nice, Music!

            I like your thinking. We're probably more in agreement than not, and I suspect any issues are more likely due to languaging/semantics rather than ideologies or beliefs.

            I do happen to believe the entire universe is “alive.” For me, what we term “life” is merely our description of a single slice of the continuum of a singular energetic field. Is “life” defined by the existence of order, structure, intentionality and a finite life cycle (time span of existence?) Does it define something that has the power to direct its own energy internally or select its own energy sources? Is it about reproductive capacity, the ability to grow, change form and dissolve? Does it define something that is conscious as we know and experience consciousness? Who knows? There is really no good definition for the term “alive.”

            For me, when I realized that every atom is structured, has an internal depth that seems to be infinite (as we are unable to break matter down to a “smallest” particle no matter how hard or fast we smash it,) is energized, behaves according to well-established universal principles, is in constant motion in a non-random fashion and serves a specific universal purpose, I realized I couldn't say with any certainty that everything isn't alive. Life for me these days resembles a rainbow – where do we draw the dividing line for an infinite spectrum of colors? We do so by convention, mostly, and for our own convenience, not with genuine accuracy or an objective sense of truth. The rainbow itself can't be separated as neatly as we'd like – AND it contains colors we aren't even able to see with our limited visual bandwidth.

            One thing I've learned is that the more sophisticated our technical instruments become, the more aware we become of just how limited is our sensory perspective. Therefore I'm hesitant to label our understanding of reality as anywhere near “complete” based on human perception alone. Our senses actually act as filters to LIMIT our intake of data, not as expansive devices to reveal to us the everything of the all! That much data would be utterly overwhelming to our puny little brains, and we'd be receiving information that wasn't pertinent to our existence but only cluttered up our brain cells for no good reason.

            So…I am confident there is MUCH more to reality that lies beyond our ordinary sensory perceptions and our present instrumentation's capacity to grasp. Does it matter? Perhaps not. Then again, perhaps it is the larger part of reality that we're precluded from observing at this early stage in our intellectual evolution.

            As for your theory that we are on “our own,” all I can say is that the entire universe is integrally interconnected. The planet and sun form a relationship that enables us to thrive. We can't survive without the biosphere, flora and fauna that are integral to the feedback loop of planetary life. The galaxy and sun form another relationship that enables the sun to thrive. Who knows what goes on in galactic space weather, but there are clouds and gasses and temperature shifts that, over the VERY long cycle of our sun's rotation through the galaxy, may impact us in seasonal ways not yet realized by humanity, as we're a very young species. The galaxy too is a member of a galactic cluster in motion, which in turn belongs to a supergalactic chain, and on it goes. Nothing that I've seen is ever “on its own,” nor is there any such thing as a genuine “closed system” outside of physics textbooks. That sense of isolation you're expressing is therefore an internal feeling, not an objective truth.

            The newish biology field of epigenetics is discovering how external reality “turns on” our genetic coding in response to changing external conditions, and that much of our programming does not originate in our genes but comes to us from reality itself. It's not random either, because specific external changes will trigger specific (and repeatable) genetic changes in larvae, ova, embryos and so on. It seems we are precisely what we are because the world is exactly as it is – not on our own at all.

            Consciousness also, does not seem to me to be a mere epiphenomenon of the brain. (Have you seen Jill Bolte Taylor's “Ted” presentation on her experience? She's a neuroscientist, and it's well worth watching. http://www.ted.com/talks/lang/eng/jill_bolte_ta…)

            Our specific set of thoughts may be a result of our individuated experience and observations, but the field of consciousness may be more like a wave frequency flowing through the universe and the brain more like a transmitter/receiver for a specific wavelength from that field of energy. Think of salmon knowing when to spawn and where; think of corals knowing when to bloom; think of turtles that have never known the ocean finding their way to the shore and diving in. Could it be they are tuning into the frequency of their species? Because we don't “learn” most of our knowledge that way doesn't mean it doesn't happen!

            If so, that would explain why people of so-called “higher” or genius consciousnesses (Jesus, Buddha, Gandhi, Socrates, Plato, Einstein, Tesla, etc.) appear to come up with totally new ways of perceiving the world and how it works – their brains, by virtue of “good usage” develop the capacity to “tune in” to higher frequency wavelengths that would normally be beyond the capacity of the standard human brain to receive. It's a theory, but one worth considering as it explains things like gestalt moments, artistic and imaginative endeavors and creative geniuses who experience brilliant revelations without having worked out the “proofs” behind those suddenly self-evident truths. It also explains the ongoing evolution of human consciousness, the 100th monkey syndrome, etc.

            Last but not least, if physics teaches us anything it is that nothing in our universe is ever lost or destroyed, it only changes form. The universe is the ultimate efficient recycler. Why would that hold true for matter and energy, but not consciousness? If matter is a denser form of energy (E=MC squared) then consciousness may simply be a lighter form of energy. Solid/liquid/gas. Makes sense to me. We haven't yet proved it though, because science isn't really looking in that direction. But give them time…it wouldn't surprise me in the least if that hypothesis doesn't come up on someone's investigative radar very soon.

            Anyhow, I enjoy sharing these ideas with you and am glad to continue our dialogue!

            Regards,
            Eileen

            New studies are being done in this arena all the time, and time will reveal if they are

      • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?ref=profile&id=636931474#/profile.php?v=info&ref=profile&id=636931474 Jefe con Leche

        DMT is not a drug, it's a neurotransmitter that exists in every mammal and nearly every form of plant life on Earth. And John Lennon was a Cosmic Schmuck of Astronomical Proportions.

        • http://www.reverbnation.com/chrisrobinson musicARTstar

          so dmt is contributing to the proof of the non existance of any god or
          spirit then.
          just watch the RB's try and twist into the opposite…

          i know about neurotransmitters – but fail to see how dmt could prove
          anything other than the fact that god and spirits are fantasy.

          i don't know whether john lennon was a schmuck or not – but the
          reality is that a large number of religious people adore his song
          imploring people to find peace without it.

  • markus

    Do what thou wilt shall be the whole of the Law.

    Why does everybody always want to push their beliefs on everybody else?
    Just let everybody believe what they want. Who cares what another believes? It's not your job to change others.
    So, practice tolerance or be judged.
    As easy as that.

    • Tuna Ghost

      what if my will includes pulling you to my side? Do you not see the irony in the phrase “practice tolerance OR BE JUDGED”? What if my beliefs include intolerance? Will you be tolerant of them, or break your own rule and practice intolerance? Are you suggesting moral relativity here?

      • markus

        Now, considering that your comment is nothing but trolling around in a forum, I should not even respond to your inadequately thought out comment, but I will do it anyway.
        The main problem here is the same as it goes for everything else in my life.
        If I want something from you, I will seek you out.
        If you come to my door and bother me, I will consider it an invasion into my privacy.
        One could easily argue that my religion says that it is ok to beat you into a pulp if I don't like your viewpoint.
        Does that make it okay? No, it does not.
        Also, you speak of your “will”. Who are you to push your “will” on anybody else? Did you watch too much Lord of the Rings and suffer from a Sauron complex?
        There is no irony in my comment that one could see. You stay out of my life, you don't push “anything” on me; whether it be goods or faith or anything else. And there won't be a problem.
        The only thing that you have shown with your comment is that you condone behavior that nobody with any critical thinking will appreciate.
        Have fun on Sunday morning kneeling in the pews.

        • Tuna Ghost

          …wow. Look, kid, it's like this: irony is defined as the discrepancy between what is said/written and what the actual state of affairs is. Thus, the phrase “INTOLERANCE WILL NOT BE TOLERATED”, which ostensibly means that intolerance is forbidden, and will be treated with intolerance, yielding yet more intolerance. Hence the irony.

          The phrase “do as thou wilt” is often used, I've found, by people who haven't actually examined where the phrase comes from or what context in which it was used.

      • http://www.myspace.com/awhitedingo A White Dingo

        relativity ~ i've often thought of it as a metaphore for social phenominon as well as physics..

    • eileenworkman

      There is a huge difference between “pushing beliefs” and sharing ideas. One involves emotion and ego – you “must” see things my way because I am right and you are wrong. The other is an open discourse – perhaps I may learn something from you or you may learn something from me, or – better yet – we'll both learn something of value and each come away much improved for our having shared.

      It's vital to know which experience you're engaged in when you're engaging!

      Personally, I try to avoid the former, since the very close-mindedness of the other individual means there's not much learning in it for me. I don't wish to “defend” what I presume to be true; I prefer to challenge my positions as frequently as possible with intelligence and logic and reason and insight. If my beliefs are true, they tend to stand up to intelligent scrutiny. If they're not, I'd rather know sooner than later, so I can come closer to the truth.

      When confronted with someone who wishes to attack my ideas in an illogical way (i.e. “The Bible says so”) I choose to withdraw from the discussion, as there is nothing to be gained by either party in quarreling with a closed mind. No judgment is necessary! Simply the discernment that continuing the conversation would be a waste of time, as it would likely only strengthen the closed mind's position and offer nothing of value to genuinely challenge my own.

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?ref=profile&id=636931474#/profile.php?v=info&ref=profile&id=636931474 Jeffrey Richey

    Atheism is reason-oriented. Reason is an outdated dinosaur game. Get with the Bauharoque dude…

    Editorial: How to make reason more reasonable

    How humans dared to know

    The 21st-century passion for “Enlightenment values” owes a lot to the 18th century. Philosopher A. C. Grayling discusses where those values come from and what they mean today

    1: Reason stands against values and morals

    Shaping a moral and humane world requires more than reason, says Archbishop Rowan Williams

    2: No one actually uses reason

    If we had to think logically about everything we did, we'd never do anything at all, says neuroscientist Chris Frith. Watch a related video

    3: I hear “reason”, I see lies

    Science is routinely co-opted by governments and corporations to subvert people's ability to make their own decisions, say sociologist David Miller and linguist Noam Chomsky. Watch a related video and hear the full interview (28MB MP3).

    4: Reason excludes creativity and intuition

    Reason is lost without art, says Turner prizewinner Keith Tyson. Watch a related video.

    5: Whose reason is it anyway?

    Real people don't live their lives according to cold rationality, says bioethicist Tom Shakespeare. Watch a related video.

    6: Reason destroys itself

    Even in formal mathematics, reason breaks its own rules, says mathematician Roger Penrose. Watch a related video.

    7: Reason is just another faith

    Unconditional reliance on a single authority is never sensible, says philosopher Mary Midgley.

    http://www.newscientist.com/article/dn14312-sev

    Amen.

    • http://www.myspace.com/awhitedingo A White Dingo

      bullshit. total bullshit. manipulative crap – stereotyping athiests

      give up dude.. this isn't proof of anything except your ability to persuade people.

      so many words – so little to say

      once again the religious person twists the truth to make it fit their stereotypical view of the world.

      most of the best art is anti-religious.. i could go on but i've had enough of this whole subject now..

      once again the athiest loses the battle of words because the religious person just keeps the bullshit coming until we give up and live our real (and happy or otherwise) life without becoming obsessed with changing peoples beliefs as religious people are..

      everything religious people say is a brainwashed LIE and the opposite in meaning. eg. ENLIGHTENMENT usually (historically) means MASSACRE or INVASION.

      .. and whats your reason for trying to define the word reason? (don't answer.. that was rehtoric)

      My final word is to agree with the blogger “don't show me the money” (fucking literalists)

      • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?ref=profile&id=636931474#/profile.php?v=info&ref=profile&id=636931474 Jeffrey Richey

        What does “don't show me the money” even mean in this case?

        • http://www.myspace.com/awhitedingo A White Dingo

          you just don't get it.. a mind stuffed with religion is a mind closed to the real world and real life.

          don't worry.. one day you might realize you were wrong (as most religious believers find out when they die and their life is rewritten and assets stolen by their church to perpetuate the ongoing deception.

          did you know that the catholics can cure cancer now? Sinead O'Conner may have been wrong to say the pope is the antichrist – because any antichrist that comes along would be a happy, fair and open-minded person and get my vote.

          deprogram thine self

          Fin.

      • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?ref=profile&id=636931474#/profile.php?v=info&ref=profile&id=636931474 Jeffrey Richey

        Very well put. Eloquent. I like the part where you say “give up dude…” It was very compelling argumentation.

        For someone who promotes reason, you seem to have no idea how to use it. Clear the cobwebs out of your brain and you might even discover some mysterious insights that you can't explain away with science.

        Isn't the blogger interested in changing peoples beliefs? And isn't that basically what you were trying to do in every other post you made until now when you arbitrarily decided to change tactics because you've finally realized that you can't to save your tits? What else is the point of this blogging other than to engage in dialectic and maybe change some minds, maybe even turn some narrow Reality Tunnels into far-reaching Labyrinths of Mystery?

        • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?ref=profile&id=636931474#/profile.php?v=info&ref=profile&id=636931474 Jeffrey Richey

          Sorry, typo: I mean to say “you can't ARGUE to save your tits”

        • http://www.myspace.com/awhitedingo A White Dingo

          a mystery is something you DONT KNOW and it's dangerous stupidity to
          place your LOVE TRUST HOPE and BELIEF in a mystery. religion is
          dangerous.

          what initiates and perpetuates the worst and longest wars? -> bloody religion

          what tortures and abuses the innocent? religion

          worshiping a devil or worshiping a god is no different. why worship anything?

          religion=abuse
          religous believers=sadly decieved
          religion promoters=liars

          athiesm = acceptance of the truth that religion is bullshit

          you can have your labrynth, mate. i like to know where i really am and
          what is really going on, and if i don't then its just a mystery which
          might reveal itself later via discoveries of fact.

          now piss off and go play in a war somewhere – thats the only thing
          religion is good for – when they kill each other off, the athiests
          will inherit the earth.

          • Jeffrey Richey

            Capitalist greed, resource wars and geopolitics are the reason for all of those. Religion happens to fuel a lot of people's convictions and biases, but theists and atheists and religious and secular alike all have their own unique biases. Everyone fights for their own, one way or another.

            I'd say the vast majority of wars, abuse, manipulation and exploitation have their causes in the control of materials/resources by ownership, private property and capitalist interests, which in turn have their own deeper root causes in human neurosis, psychosis, ignorance, confusion and folly. Certain religions or paths or mystical teachings, I'm thinking Buddhism especially here (which is a religion with a path and mystical teachings), have the uprooting of those causes as their main focus. Mysticism and religion seek to transform people from base, crude, cunning and deceiving, greedy and gluttonous and irreverent schmucks, into empathic, compassionate, generous, cooperative, selfless and benevolent deities of wisdom. I know that none of this jives with your preferred vocab, but at least it may get through to whoever else may read it.

          • http://www.myspace.com/awhitedingo A White Dingo

            hahahahahahahahahahahhahahahahha!!!!! yeah.. sure.. whatever you say..

            “those causes” you list ARE religion.

            “show me the money” and i'll show you either a religious person or
            someone cashing in on or manipulating them for their gullability.

            you wanna convince others who read this? i'm sorry.. most people have
            made up their mind (unless they happen to be agnostic)..

            all those things you listed are rhetoric. i don't expect to convince
            or change anyone.. all i'm doing is saying there's an equal opposite
            to EVERYTHING i've ever heard or read from ANY religion.

            if you've never experienced that opposite (the BAD SIDE of religions)
            then perhaps you just can never understand that. Most of those
            “transformations” you mention are people trying to gain interpersonal
            or social acceptance, or trying to get out of some sort of trouble and
            having to convince a religious representative that they are
            trustworthy. That in itself is the essence of the social problem we
            call “religion”.

            The keys to wealth and power and freedom have been stolen by religions
            time and time again – then buried in corporate conglomerations under
            control of the religion opressor. You might convince someone needing
            companionship – but you won't convince anyone who KNOWS BETTER and
            that's called ATHEISM.

            religion is more offensive and repulsive than anything the religious
            people get banned from television – or books. and athiests are more
            tolerant because you don't see us constantly imposing our beliefs on
            you by manipulating courts and governments and social institutions and
            language and music and art.

            i resisted my urge to just say “get fucked wanker”, so if anything i
            said doesn't translate well for you, the last quotation should
            suffice. (grrrrrrrrrrrrrrrr)

          • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?ref=profile&id=636931474#/profile.php?v=info&ref=profile&id=636931474 Jeffrey Richey

            Notice how A White Dildo completely avoids the foundation of my argument: that the real causes of the worlds problems (as long as we're thinking along those lines) are predominantly found in conflicts over property and resources, concerning who will profit from what. This is known as “profit motive” and if you look really carefully into your tiny brain you'll actually see that “profit motive” is really what you find so suspicious about religion – not religion itself. Why would you be so angry at something if it were merely absurd? It's really the wealth and power that religions wield that frightens you out of your little britches. No?

            Profit motive is a form of psychosis characterized by gain and greed as one's sole purpose for existence. It is the reason that capitalism destroys the integrity of everything it touches. Take the current global economy for instance – it is crumbling because it has lost its integrity due to the abstract number crunching and speculative investment of a finance-oriented economy that doesn't produce anything tangible except for stupid fat rich assholes.

            If you understood anything about the context in which religions arise, then you might be able to begin to say something – but you demonstrate time and again that you are only a dolt with a keyboard and too much access to communication's technology so that other people actually have to be exposed your rhetorical fart storm.

            If you ever wanted to make a serious scholarly into religion, Islam would actually be an excellent place to start. Islam arose out of a context where Arabic nomadic people were transitioning to a more sedentary lifestyle where suddenly everyone had to learn how to get along with each other and not just be totally cutthroat crazy nomads all the time. Muhammad the Profit worked to change people's ideas of what is acceptable and ethical, and promoted religious and social change that was communal, cooperative and, for its time, very progressive.

            If religious mania is good for anything it'd be whipping people into a frenzy enough to throw one more big, violent revolution and shake those capitalist whores down to their knees once and for all.

          • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?ref=profile&id=636931474#/profile.php?v=info&ref=profile&id=636931474 Jeffrey Richey

            That one line should read “a serious scholarly INQUIRY,” Mr. Dildo, just to clarify.

          • http://www.myspace.com/awhitedingo A White Dingo

            no. religion exists to satisfy the desire of weak to have control over
            the strong. its a control-freak society – power for power's sake. i
            detest religion and your foundation is irrelevant. The religious
            instutional rape of children had nothing to do with profit – only
            greed for power over others, so your “foundation” is quick-sand.. you
            won't be sucking me in.. but in trypical religious form, you are
            trying pretty hard to suck someone in.. “whipping people into a
            frenzy?” that sounds about right. fuhque.

          • Ian_wa_us

            Jeffrey, you have made some excellent points. I'm not sure I agree with everything you have said thus far, specifically that religion is a vehicle to transcend the baseness of human desire, but you have certainly given me much to think about.

            It seems to me that religion, at least most western religion–I know very little about eastern religion–is as much a vehicle for capitalistic self-serving as the next institution. Perhaps it began as a method to disperse ethical content, a proposed system to transcend the greed innate in humanity. However, it appears that time has corrupted the systems of religion just as time has corrupted our dual-federalist state.

            Much more interesting though is the dogmatism you have exposed in the atheists on this site, and likely, atheists in general. I think that it is the dogmatism within religion that most repulses me, but apparently it is not unique to the God-fearing.

          • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?ref=profile&id=636931474#/profile.php?v=info&ref=profile&id=636931474 Jeffrey Richey

            I would be the first to admit the truth of what you say about most mainstream Western religions, but part of my point is that people use those cases to generalize and denounce religion itself, when it's all about the people and motives behind a religion that determine its power and influence.

            I'm not against reason per se, but I've been trying to voice an opposing viewpoint to the atheists' glorification of reason uber alles.

            Behind my defense of religious traditions and mystical paths (and the overall mystical view of life, of which reason is only a fraction) I have in mind mostly the more esoteric and body-mind oriented paths such as Tantra, Buddhism, Alchemy, Saivism – all of which can be said to hold religious and mystical attributes, and which arguably go deeper than any secular Humanist or otherwise rational psychology can to address the problems of suffering, of projecting illusion, of self-deceit, etc., with the goal of bringing about inner tranquility and perhaps even to cultivate the wisdom and compassion to help lead others to their own psychic liberation.

            I graduated from a B.A. Philosophy program recently, so I am versed well enough in reason to have some distaste for it. As I mentioned in earlier posts, some of the philosophers I appreciated most were those who went to great lengths to condemn paths of “progress” that were guided by the purported objectivity of reason. I mentioned Theodor Adorno and Max Horkheimer, Herbert Marcuse (the Frankfurt School), but Martin Heidegger is also a key figure (and Marcuse's teacher) who warned against the trappings of reason, as he put it, seeing the world as “standing reserve,” as material resources always already for utility – in other words, never being in the world for itself or seeing it for its spontaneous “presencing.”

          • http://www.myspace.com/awhitedingo A White Dingo

            who the fuck are you? i think your comment is seriously fucked up. you don’t know me – you don’t know what i’ve survived at the poxy hands of the religious – or what i’ve studied. You presumptuous little dick. go preach somewhere where you’ll have brainless little followers to agree with you. Dont try to twist my opinions or words into merely anti-capatlist – apart from the capatilism – its the catholicism and theism i oppose. Religion is a lie. Everything it says is a lie. Now go away and play with your own white dildo.

    • http://www.reverbnation.com/chrisrobinson musicARTstar

      Jeffrey, perhaps in the 18th century it was “not safe” for philosophers to speak against religion?

      If so then its possible an argument against “reason” could have been a veil for an arguement against “religion” for someone not allowed to speak against it or suffer social isolation (as still happens today…)

      In any case.. your listed statements are only true when the “R” word 'reason' is replaced with the word 'religion'. Religion is a lie – religious believers actually believe their own bullshit and get quite upset when its challenged,.

      I give this blogg title ten out of ten. It reminds me of the signs i heard of (on the news) on busses in new zealand saying “There is no god – so just be happy!”

      Praise the Dingo!

      • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?ref=profile&id=636931474#/profile.php?v=info&ref=profile&id=636931474 Jeffrey Richey

        That may be true of 18th century philosophers, but the list of 7 Reasons Against Reason I posted were from a recent article in New Scientist, and I doubt they have any need to fear speaking out against religion.

        I'm not saying atheists don't have a point, I just think their point is thoughtless, boring and cliche. Sure, fundamentalist religious believers will stumble and stammer and get flustered when asked to provide evidence – but this is no surprise and it's nothing new or noteworthy. This is just a boring post from another outspoken pseudo-skeptic who doesn't realize the irony and hypocrisy of their own cognitive crusading.

        I'm saying the world is a lot more interesting than theistic-atheistic dualities allow and if we are going to have this debate lets make it about something more interesting and relevant than reductive and simplistic banter of “God does so exist!” and “Nuh uh, prove it!” Religion, the universe and life have a lot more going on than whether or not God or spirit or sacredness exists. Meaning, communication, intelligence and life itself are great mysteries. We have no idea one way or the other whether things which we have no way of detecting or measuring actually exist or not, so what's the point in crusading around and saying 'THEY CERTAINLY DON'T EXIST! AND LOOK AT ALL THE TROUBLE THESE THINGS THAT DON'T EXIST ARE CAUSING!”

        My fascination with religion is it's ability to transform people – for better or worse. I just don't see the world suddenly turning into passionate and ambitious atheists as any way to “fix,” if that's what you're trying to do with your “reason.” That seems to be the only view of the world “reason” is capable of thing. Something is wrong. Must fix. Processing programming… “Mystical experience??” DOES NOT COMPUTE! ERROR! ERROR!

      • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?ref=profile&id=636931474#/profile.php?v=info&ref=profile&id=636931474 Jeffrey Richey

        I think you're confused about the 18th century. Those philosophers PROMOTED reason (think Enlightenment era ideals) as a veiled attack on religion. They often had to make good with the church by doing elegant and complex proofs for God's existence, ironically, but Descartes for instance spoke of the “mask” behind which he had to write. So I think you have it quite backwards.

        And, beyond that, the critique of reason has been a cornerstone of contemporary Postmodern thought, starting with the Existentialists, and the Frankfurt School social critics who showed what good use of calculative reason the Nazis and Phrenologists and Social Darwinians made. Horkheimer and Adorno of the Frankfurt School wrote their monumental against reason with the Dialectic of Enlightenment, which, if you hold as much stock in reason as you seem to, you should definitely consider reading.

        We've been trying “reason” for centuries, at least since the Enlightenment, and it has got us the cold calculation of Fascism and the rigid and all-encompassing intrusion of National Socialism. What should we do next with our great gift of higher thinking?

        • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?ref=profile&id=636931474#/profile.php?v=info&ref=profile&id=636931474 Jeffrey Richey

          “monumental POLEMIC against reason” is how that line should read. Damn this format with no editing features…

        • http://www.reverbnation.com/chrisrobinson musicARTstar

          some people just have to have the last word.. don't they?

        • http://www.reverbnation.com/chrisrobinson musicARTstar

          religion=facism

        • Ian_wa_us

          Perhaps reason isn't the answer to all our woes, but it still kicks ass on everything else we've got.

          The cold calculation of Fascism was not a direct result of reason, but instead a result of the deeper vices that all humans seem to share. Eugenics might have had its toes in reason, but the real problem was that the “best and brightest” breeders were chosen on a subjective basis.

          • Ian_wa_us

            Um, that is to say, “best and brightest” can only ever be a subjective choice. Eugenics is therefore bound to fail.

    • Ian_wa_us

      1. Reason doesn't stand against values and morals. Evolution, a “reasonable” proposition, can be used as the basis of our values and morals. “Shaping a moral and humane world requires more than reason, says Archbishop Rowan Williams:” Many utilitarians would beg to differ, and evolutionary biologists might also disagree.

      2. I agree with your second point to some degree. Reasoning is too time consuming for most of our day to day activities. We evolved a system of shortcuts and behavioral scripts that allow reason, a time consuming process, to be used only sparingly. But this does not discount the fact that reason gets us closer to the truth than emotional responses.

      3. Your third point is an argument against politicians, not against reason. We all know that the power-hungry lie. The answer to this is an educated public. An educated public implies a reasonable public.

      4. Perhaps reason is not all encompassing. But simply because art and beauty and creativity are not products of rationality does not mean that reason is any less formidable. And besides, reason is beginning to dissect even the arts. We can make predictions about music and expression because we have formed a science around the subjects. Reason aids in the creative processes as well. Of course, the scientific deconstruction of art has led to capitalistic exploitation of the artist's elements, but that is an argument for another time.

      5. see 2.

      6. Penrose wasn't arguing against reason in his video. He was saying that in mathematics, one must consider two contradictory ideas at the same time. on the face of it, this may seem unreasonable, but I don't think you would consider it a legitimate argument against reason.

      7. Scientism is just another faith. That was Midgely's real argument! Reason on the other hand, seemed pretty well untouched by her arguments. but to be sure, unconditional reliance on reason would get us all killed; just look at point two.

      • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?ref=profile&id=636931474#/profile.php?v=info&ref=profile&id=636931474 Jeffrey Richey

        1. Reason alone, I would say, does stand IN CONTRAST TO values and morals. With evolution, on the level of reason we are looking at random mutations leading to favorable traits for survival. That would lead us to assume that survival is the main purpose of existence. I'm not sure how desirable a morality or ethical co code that would produce. It seems we already have survival-based morality with capitalist economics – and we can all see where that has got us. Reason alone can not provide the values you allude to. We must necessarily project our subjective attitudes and beliefs onto some template that would vaguely resemble reason (like your evolution example).

        2. “Reason gets us closer to the truth,” only if you are defining “truth” in a ratio-centric way. But some genius guy once said “Beauty is truth and truth beauty.” Can we derive aesthetic experience from reason? Some certainly would point to the elegance of math equations, the visually stunning fractal patterns, the golden ratio, etc. But to see these occasions of natural beauty merely as representations of reason seems a bit reductive.

        3. The point of this is that reason is contentious enough, malleable enough, to say just about anything – and the more reasonable you can make something sound the more you will deceive and manipulate even the intelligentsia if they haven't a shred of critical consciousness to accompany their reason. A public thinks they are educated if their rationale is mirrored in the rest of society. But if we're all following each other based on consensus of what is “reasonable,” then how do we know we aren't being manipulated by reason itself?

        4. You're point about “predicting” the arts with scientific formulations, and crafting art and culture in such ways is crucial, and you give a nod to that when you refer to how capitalists have used this to their advantage. Do we necessarily want art and music to be predictable based on sets of data? What is the nature of innovation and novelty in that case? The most mediocre artists are always the ones who do everything according to the production formula for success, and the greatest artists are the ones who break the mold and give us something totally unpredictable and paradigm shattering.

        6. There are other arguments that show the internal irrationality of reason. Parmenides, for example.

        Ian, thanks for an intelligent response! Very refreshing…

        • Tuna Ghost

          If I didn't know any better, I'd say a rational, intelligent discussion just grew out of the manure of this comments page! And it only took about a 150 posts!

          Well done, you two. It's about goddam time.

          Regarding point 4, I'm curious about the phrase “We can make predictions about music and expression because we have formed a science around the subjects.”, which neither of you seem to take any issue with–maybe I'm out of the loop (I've also got a BA in philosophy but alas, not one in any scientific field), but although you take notice of capitalists using these sciences (which sciences, can I ask? Not to snark, I'm generally curious) to their advantage, it seems that they are only predicting the direction of the public's taste rather than, as Jeffrey points out, actual novelty and innovation.

          • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?ref=profile&id=636931474#/profile.php?v=info&ref=profile&id=636931474 Jeffrey Richey

            Leave it to the disinfo heads…

        • Tuna Ghost

          that said, on the subject of creativity and science:

          http://vimeo.com/7441291

          Lecture titled “The Algorithmic Principle Behind Curiosity and Creativity”

          • Ian_wa_us

            Hey, that movie blew my mind, which is ironic because I was the one who originally posted that creativity has a science surrounding it. Thanks.

        • Ian_wa_us

          1. If we agree that animals do not construct systems of ethics, we can agree that they are motivated ultimately by a desire to survive and to reproduce. However they do not necessarily evolve selfish or “immoral” strategies of survival. Often, the most effective means of survival is cooperation, as is seen with packs of wolves, or flocks of birds, and so on. The survival of the group provides a benefit to the individual, and so traits that have the effect, “protect the flock” are selected for. This is a terribly flawed example, but the gist of the evolution of morality can be discerned. I am drawing much of this from Richard Dawkins The Selfish Gene. If you ever have the time to flip through the book, he makes the argument much more fluently than I.

          Before I continue, I have to say that I'm not completely sure what “reason” refers to in the context of our conversation. I'm assuming that reason encompasses the scientific process, logic, and evidence-based thinking.

          As long as we have a goal, a well-defined problem to solve, reason will be applicable. If a morality seeks to reduce the suffering in the world, then reason can create an effective moral system. If, at the base of things, we say that our goal is the replication of our genes, reason creates systems that are similar to the ethics that we share.

          But if we do not have reason guiding the process by which we create our ethical systems, what then? What guides us to say that something is wrong and something is right? By what standard can we decide that it is not okay to shoot political dissidents for example?

          2. Truth is another of these ill-defined words. I'll suggest that “truth” is an accurate and useful description of the universe. That however, is still a ratio-centric definition. What if I said that reason increases our understanding of the universe, and allows us to predict things within the universe as well? The physical sciences for example, describing the way and the force with which an apple falls.

          3. Reason, as long as it is a rigorous combination of logic and scientific process and evidence, does not fall prey to the thoughts and expectations of the masses. Indeed, the scientific process was developed as a safeguard against such manipulation. But I will concede that, as irrational beings, we are often manipulated by reasonable-sounding arguments. Though these things sound like reason however, scientific and reasonable they are not.

          4. Whether we want art to be systematic or not, reason is making it so. Art is not intangible. It is not outside the reach of reason. But perhaps it should be. The creative process, the act of producing something beautiful, the act of touching someone's soul, should not be subject to reason. It should not be something that we distill into simple algorithms to be used methodically. But because art is not chaos we can and do distill its processes. There are only so many paradigms to be shattered.

          And the same to you Jeffrey. It's nice to talk about more than God's non-existence.

          • Tuna Ghost

            Regarding morality and reason: while I agree that evolution has provided numerous species with cooperation-based survival strategies, it's difficult and likely unhelpful to assign any sort of morality to them. The sort of moral systems employed by human societies, the complex ones that are not seen in the rest of the animal kingdom, are more a result of the emergence of Culture–something that has given us a shortcut in the intelligence-enhancing/complex cognition-enabling department as a species. It's tempting to claim that Culture arose out of the cooperation-based survival strategies that some primate species engage in, but it's more accurate to say that it was enabled by the arrival of consciousness in our brains. Dan Dennett has a lot to say on this subject, far too much for me to go into here.

            At any rate, debating reason and morality will always be difficult until we can agree on the existence (or non-existence) of moral facts, which will open up an entire new can or worms…if there are such a thing as moral facts, we can come to them by reason, but reason can also be used very easily to show that most of the moral facts we take for granted aren't as solid as we like to believe. There's a philosopher whose name I can't recall right now who theorized that there are no moral facts that can be proven, but we've set up a (mostly) functioning system that relies on them anyway–which leads one to all sorts of questions, really. Wish I could remember dude's name…

            The problem with the children of Reason, such as logic and the Scientific Process and a whole host of other stuff, is that they can take us to very unreasonable places. The mathematician Goedel and his famous theorems displayed that any complex logical system is not and cannot be both consistent and complete, which means that either logical systems are inherently flawed, or that there are somethings that simply cannot be proven.

  • Mok

    You know what would be undeniable proof that god exist? An event that would make all atheist believe?

    “If god made all religious people's computers non-functional for all time!”

    Yep, if we all noticed that there was no more religious crap on the internet ever again, we would have no choice but to believe it had something to do with the divine.

  • http://www.myspace.com/awhitedingo A White Dingo

    who the fuck are you? i think your comment is seriously fucked up. you don’t know me – you don’t know what i’ve survived at the poxy hands of the religious – or what i’ve studied. You presumptuous little dick. go preach somewhere where you’ll have brainless little followers to agree with you. Dont try to twist my opinions or words into merely anti-capatlist – apart from the capatilism – its the catholicism and theism i oppose. Religion is a lie. Everything it says is a lie. Now go away and play with your own white dildo.

  • John

    The guy that wrote this article is a total gay meth head, I know him!

  • jb

    the point you neatly dodged was can nothingness create being. All your talk about molecules and planets and stars as “beings” or “gods” is typical of the smeared thoughts of a drug user. A rock does not think. God is eternal “before there was God” is the ultimate oxymoron. You postulate that matter is etermnal. but matter is not consciousness. then you impute a cosmic consciousness to matter, which is another way of saying “God”, but this god you define with your own rules to where he is not the Great Jehova.

    That is great Guest!! create your own eternal consious enetity to support a warped logic system and deny the real one.
    Seek and Ye shall find. deny and you will not. Your choice..

  • jb

    Guest> who created all this nature?? what being or supernatural force or was this nature eternal ? You denigrate love because you do not have any nor will you try to express any. Your understandings are juvenile. your speech is that of a petulant child. You give nothing, Knownothing and will not admit to yourself that there may be merit in falling on your face and crying out to jesus to give you undestanding . Yo are caught in a prison of pride and anger and the Devil whispers into your ear. Nothing can reach you because you lash out at all attempts. What is even worse for you is reading your stuff i get the impression you enjoy inflicting pain and torment, It gives you a charge when you defeat sloppy logic. No one but God can help you and you refuse to reach out to him.

  • unholy

    To jb: “All of the people that teach in the synagogues (churches) and on the streets are hypocrites”. – Jesus Christ (said this). “God is an invisable spirit that cannot be seen by human eyes”. – Jesus Christ said this
      If god is invisable and cannot be seen and you are a human (of which you are) then you cannot see God.

     “The Nephilim were in the earth in those days and afterwards, the men and heroes of reknown”.

     The Sumarians were on the earth 6000 years before the Egyptians and the Egyptians were here 2000 years before the bible was even written about or thought of in anyones mind therefore the Christianity MYTH does not hold water at all because they believe the earth was created only 6000 years go therefore the dates negate anything that they will tell you or try to make you believe. The Christians do not own the earth and they cannot force you to believe in what is not true in the first place because they were not here at the beginning of time or the creation of the earth. Nothing was here at the biginning of the creation of the earth, so therefore who is this God person anyway because it was not Jesus Christ because Jesus was the SON of God. But God is INVISABLE.
     There is a female mummy that is out there that has been carbon dated to be over 1 Million years old called Lucy therefore humans have been on the earth for over 1 MILLION years not only 6000 years. 

  • unholy

    To jb: “All of the people that teach in the synagogues (churches) and on the streets are hypocrites”. – Jesus Christ (said this). “God is an invisable spirit that cannot be seen by human eyes”. – Jesus Christ said this
      If god is invisable and cannot be seen and you are a human (of which you are) then you cannot see God.

     “The Nephilim were in the earth in those days and afterwards, the men and heroes of reknown”.

     The Sumarians were on the earth 6000 years before the Egyptians and the Egyptians were here 2000 years before the bible was even written about or thought of in anyones mind therefore the Christianity MYTH does not hold water at all because they believe the earth was created only 6000 years go therefore the dates negate anything that they will tell you or try to make you believe. The Christians do not own the earth and they cannot force you to believe in what is not true in the first place because they were not here at the beginning of time or the creation of the earth. Nothing was here at the biginning of the creation of the earth, so therefore who is this God person anyway because it was not Jesus Christ because Jesus was the SON of God. But God is INVISABLE.
     There is a female mummy that is out there that has been carbon dated to be over 1 Million years old called Lucy therefore humans have been on the earth for over 1 MILLION years not only 6000 years. 

  • shane bessenecker

    making sence!

  • shane bessenecker

    making sence!

    • shane bessenecker

      YA buddy, i wanted to say,  that i thought you were on the ball an simular to a speech on ”internet archive”,     check it out, an then once your their, type in Alan Watts and look for the  alan watts called, Jesus an his religion…Or the religion about him?  Which he’s right on the ball — as he’s read all the eastern biooks that were written before the holy bible who’s an experiencer who holds a master’s in theology an a doctrate in divinaty who was also a professor an a preist at one time in britain until he saw what the fuck that was all about, an then he went to the east.– an this great speech he gave, which is his best one on religion an the bible,,as it kinda reminds me of that old saying,  that once you have a very clear understanding on why U don’t believe in the other religions..   then you’ll really have the full understanding on why i don’t believes in yours!  Check it out, an then once your on internet archive.push in the audio of that alan watts who’s kind   of an atheist  an maybe not.. but in some people’s eyes he is.. as he was also a student of comparitive religion an a Zen Philosopher.. so i think he knows what he’s talking about! Check it out people an specially to the person who wrote the statement above an write back if u can.;)

  • shane bessenecker

    YA buddy, i wanted to say,  that i thought you were on the ball an simular to a speech on ”internet archive”,     check it out, an then once your their, type in Alan Watts and look for the  alan watts called, Jesus an his religion…Or the religion about him?  Which he’s right on the ball — as he’s read all the eastern biooks that were written before the holy bible who’s an experiencer who holds a master’s in theology an a doctrate in divinaty who was also a professor an a preist at one time in britain until he saw what the fuck that was all about, an then he went to the east.– an this great speech he gave, which is his best one on religion an the bible,,as it kinda reminds me of that old saying,  that once you have a very clear understanding on why U don’t believe in the other religions..   then you’ll really have the full understanding on why i don’t believes in yours!  Check it out, an then once your on internet archive.push in the audio of that alan watts who’s kind   of an atheist  an maybe not.. but in some people’s eyes he is.. as he was also a student of comparitive religion an a Zen Philosopher.. so i think he knows what he’s talking about! Check it out people an specially to the person who wrote the statement above an write back if u can.;)

  • shane bessenecker

    I think i agree with u,, as some people have said, that some of them atheist are mentally ill, but that’s one’s opinion, i personaly think that she, he, it, (or whatever you choose to call her exist in all of us, an that we are definetly not seperated from what i choose to call her,, the ”eternal lovelight” that exist deep withinside the hearts and minds of all of us an everything that’s alive on earth.an in the universe an beyond as the divine inspiration is hard to explain but that’s just another possibility.. as i’m extremely open to all of the posabilities..an ya might want to check out that alan watts on internet archive called jesus and his religion.. or the religion about him?  It’s the best one i like..of him. He’ was also a good freind of leary’s whom he learned alot from on the eastern an western religion an philosophy a student of comparitive religion an a great Zen philosopher check it out an then give me your opinion as i’m a free thinker an remember that  these are all just possabilities.. but i thought that leary was the closest to the truth. ;)

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