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Offlinewhiterastahippie
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questions for the atheist.
    #785355 - 07/30/02 12:30 AM (19 years, 1 month ago)

i will not defend my faith. i simply ask questions. cool?

what is existence?


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InvisibleMystical_Craven
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not an atheist, but what the hey [Re: whiterastahippie]
    #785372 - 07/30/02 12:54 AM (19 years, 1 month ago)

existence is mearly an individual's perception of reality


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"Only those who risk going too far can possibly find out how far one can go..." T.S. Eliot


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Offlinewhiterastahippie
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Re: not an atheist, but what the hey [Re: Mystical_Craven]
    #785402 - 07/30/02 01:41 AM (19 years, 1 month ago)

sso let me make sure i undersatnd you right. if you perceive yourself in any possible way, be it spiritual or physical, real, or an illusion...you still perceive SOMETHING about yourself, and therefore that is existence? is that what you are saying?


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OfflineSheepish
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Re: questions for the atheist. [Re: whiterastahippie]
    #785412 - 07/30/02 01:56 AM (19 years, 1 month ago)

Existence I guess is experiencing. Bit of a tricky thing to explain however.


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Offlinewhiterastahippie
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Re: questions for the atheist. [Re: Sheepish]
    #785414 - 07/30/02 02:01 AM (19 years, 1 month ago)

so what is it? is existence perceiving? or experiencing?
is it something you see and feel? or something you do? or is it both? an all around experience of every perceiving sense and every experiencing feeling?


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OfflineMAIA
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Re: questions for the atheist. [Re: whiterastahippie]
    #785416 - 07/30/02 02:05 AM (19 years, 1 month ago)

Existence is simply to be, it's the basic idea with wich we build reality, a rock exists because it is a rock.

MAIA


--------------------
Spiritual being, living a human experience ... The Shroomery Mandala



Use, do not abuse; neither abstinence nor excess ever renders man happy.
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OfflineSheepish
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Re: questions for the atheist. [Re: whiterastahippie]
    #785420 - 07/30/02 02:11 AM (19 years, 1 month ago)

Perception must be the greatest role in experiencing. We can see that this is happening, we feel the changes, and so on. But, I have often thought "how do we know we exist, if there is no one else to prove it". Everything we do in life seems to need some sort of confirmation that we are doing it. We breathe, and you feel the air go into your lungs; we see the colours, and our mind interepts them and so on. Usually based on the 5 senses. However, it gets tricky because when you dream, you undergo the senses, but only in your head. Yet, it feels as we exist at that moment.
But we also exist merely because we just exist. We just have to assume that we are existing.


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Offlinewhiterastahippie
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Re: questions for the atheist. [Re: Sheepish]
    #785426 - 07/30/02 02:19 AM (19 years, 1 month ago)

so basically you both said the same thing from different angles. okay good. "to exist is simply to exist."
"existence is TO BE"
cool braa, so to be is to exist.

why do we exist?


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OfflineSheepish
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Re: questions for the atheist. [Re: whiterastahippie]
    #785474 - 07/30/02 03:56 AM (19 years, 1 month ago)

Why we exist is a bit harder to grasp. No one knows entirely why. But I'm happy enough to know that I just exist right now. But try asking me these questions in the midst of a solid trip. It's a shame no one has these kind of discussions with me when I'm tripping.


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OfflineLOBO
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Re: questions for the atheist. [Re: MAIA]
    #785493 - 07/30/02 04:35 AM (19 years, 1 month ago)

Don't be so sure a rock is just a rock, I have seen a rock change it's regular form once (under the influence of shrooms) he he, But you may argue that it was me who change, but for me in that moment the rock changed, so it is all how we perceive things that makes the universe.
Did you know that bees see in the ultraviolet spectrum, I beet there view of the world is completely different that ours.
You see a rock is not just a rock, is energy, atoms held together, it moves (electrons spinning) different compositions of crystals etc, etc, and perhaps things that we still have no idea.
You see a rock is a miracle of creation. But is all how you perceive it, and our level of awakening.


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OfflineSheepish
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Re: questions for the atheist. [Re: LOBO]
    #785501 - 07/30/02 04:46 AM (19 years, 1 month ago)

Isn't it crazy to think that everything is made out of tiny little atoms?


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OfflineMAIA
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Re: questions for the atheist. [Re: LOBO]
    #785504 - 07/30/02 04:52 AM (19 years, 1 month ago)

The rock will continue to exist independently of the perception you have about it, the difference between the rock and you is that you are alive and you have intelligence but both exist. Existence, life and intelligence are the main factors that distinguish the several planes of reality.

MAIA


--------------------
Spiritual being, living a human experience ... The Shroomery Mandala



Use, do not abuse; neither abstinence nor excess ever renders man happy.
Voltaire


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Invisiblebuttonion
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Re: questions for the atheist. [Re: whiterastahippie]
    #785517 - 07/30/02 05:07 AM (19 years, 1 month ago)

Existence implies "existence of an object" something I am beginning to think is a fallacy. That is, static objects don't exist. Its the Taoist line of thinking- Everything is realitive. Example from previous post:

Evil depends on Good to exist (If there was no evil, how would we be able to gauge what is good? They're relative to one another)- the absence of one entails the absence of the other- their ultimate interdependence on each other suggests that neither ever existed unto itself- neither exists (inherently)

You can apply this to yourself also, which I think is what you are getting at. What you are depends on knowing what you are not to exist- the absence of one entails the absence of the other. They are like the peaks and valleys of a wave- one existing without the other, the implication that you are a stand alone thing existing unto yourself, makes no sense.

So what is existence? It is a fallicious assumption we make that things "are" by themselves.


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Concepts which have been proved to be useful in ordering things easily acquire such an authority over us that we forget their human origins and accept them as invariable.- Albert Einstein


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InvisibleSclorch
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Re: questions for the atheist. [Re: buttonion]
    #785623 - 07/30/02 07:00 AM (19 years, 1 month ago)

buttonion: That is, static objects don't exist.

Well, considering our knowledge (us being our species) of physics, I'd agree- atoms are essentially energy. But I think you're trying to refute objective reality. The nature of the word "static" is rooted in our everyday experience with objects consisting of atoms (ourselves included), which we all know are NOT static... they're just vibrating on the slower end of the matter/energy spectrum. I would say that since "static" refers to our everyday experience with the "hard stuff" (or objective reality, if you will), then "static" objects DO exist.

Its the Taoist line of thinking- Everything is relative.
We've gone over this, but you must've skipped class .
The statement 'everything is relative' is an absolute statement, therefore it is false if it is true. I love this stuff.

So what is existence? It is a fallicious assumption we make- that things "are" by themselves.

I don't understand how you can make this jump. My knowledge of physics (some of the experiments I have done myself) tells me that I am NOT making an assumption. I feel my knowledge is justified (and therefore true) by my own PERSONAL experience with certain physics experiments. It's more than most have to go on.

As far as the good and evil comment... I think evil is just a lazy and/or selfish mind, that's all. There really is no ultimate evil.

________________________________________________________________________

Two questions posed by the original poster:
1. What is existence?

I'd say that existence could refer to TWO things: subjective and objective reality.
I'm not sure which one you are looking for.
I think humans are in a unique situation. We exist as objects and we are aware of this subjectively. Some of us are even objectively aware of our subjective experience.


2. Why do we exist?

I'd say this is the ultimate epistemological question.
Some philosophers have argued that such questions are meaningless in that it assumes that we humans can actually figure out the answer. If you look at the question like that, then it's true- we can't prove how the universe started or what came before it or whatever.

I don't look at the question as they do though. I see Zen.
My answer to "why do we exist?": because we can.


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Note: In desperate need of a cure...


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InvisibleSwami
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Re: questions for the atheist. [Re: Sclorch]
    #785650 - 07/30/02 07:30 AM (19 years, 1 month ago)

My answer to "why do we exist?"...

So that we can have endless meaningless arguments on the Shroomery as to why we exist...


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The proof is in the pudding.


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OfflineHunabKu
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Re: questions for the atheist. [Re: whiterastahippie]
    #785727 - 07/30/02 08:35 AM (19 years, 1 month ago)

Existence is the conception of physical things and phenomena as transient manifestations of an underlying fundamental nature. This is not only a basic element of quantum field theory, but also a basic element of the Eastern world view ... the intuition behind the physicist's interpretation of the subatomic world, in terms of the quantum field, is closely paralleled by that of the Eastern mystic who interprets his or her experience of the world in terms of an ultimate underlying reality. So I can finish my Cheerios in the morning and face the empty bowl and suggest that I call the ultimate reality "Emptiness" or "the void" and affirm that it is a living Void which gives birth to an infinite variety of forms which it sustains and, eventually, reabsorbs. Thus I am the bowl and the Cheerio ... as above, so below. As for the Why of existence. It is an unknowable. A realm of believers and non-believers. An X. As the Hell's Angels maxim states: "Those that know, don't tell. Those that tell, don't know.


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Offlinewhiterastahippie
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Re: questions for the atheist. [Re: Sclorch]
    #785728 - 07/30/02 08:36 AM (19 years, 1 month ago)

so existence is subjective and objective.
we exist because we can.

was there a start to existence? or has everything always existed?


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Invisiblebuttonion
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Re: questions for the atheist. [Re: Sclorch]
    #785818 - 07/30/02 09:17 AM (19 years, 1 month ago)

I would say that since "static" refers to our everyday experience with the "hard stuff" (or objective reality, if you will), then "static" objects DO exist.

So you are saying that if there is an objective reality that underlies our perceptions, then this is a ?static object.? To be honest, I?m not quite sure where I stand on the whole ?does objective reality exist?? debate. As of now, I see it as a pointless question about some ?thing? that we do not currently have the capacity to comprehend. I don?t know? if you think that this is crucial to your argument then let me know.



We've gone over this, but you must've skipped class .
The statement 'everything is relative' is an absolute statement, therefore it is false if it is true. I love this stuff.


That?s an interesting point that I really have not thought about. I guess when I say ?everything is relative? I am referring to those things that are commonly assumed to be static objects are actually dependent on other ?objects? for their supposed existence. Examples of such things include ?tree?, ?self?, ?evil?, and ?planet?. Another way to think of it is those things that are the subjects of our sentences.

I don?t consider a proposition, or a statement about the relationship between things (e.g., everything is relative), to fall into the category of ?static objects? that I am talking about. Other examples are ?God exists?, ?I am on fire?, and ?I?m really not sure which I like the best: weed or shrooms.?

So I don?t see that the statement is false if it is true, because the proposition does not fall into the category of ?objects? that I am referring to. The statement itself might imply that the things that it refers to do exist, but since our language necessitates the use of a subject, I think this is about the best we can do to express the idea.



"So what is existence? It is a fallicious assumption we make- that things "are" by themselves."

I don't understand how you can make this jump.



Maybe the distinction between conventional existence and inherent existence is where the confusion lies. I probably should have clarified this. The inherent existence of an object suggests that the thing exists in and of itself, and is no way dependent on anything else (e.g., soul). To acknowledge that something exists by convention is to appreciate the arbitrariness of our delineation of this particular chunk of reality as a thing, something that is likely determined by the way humans were designed to perceive (e.g., the color green and the flatness of this chunk sets it off from this other chunk that is narrow and brown, let?s call everything that conforms to these specs a leaf). I think that the common use of the word existence is inheret existence with no appreciation for conventional existence.

So you are saying that things ?are? by themselves? What thing exists by itself?


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Concepts which have been proved to be useful in ordering things easily acquire such an authority over us that we forget their human origins and accept them as invariable.- Albert Einstein


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OfflineMAIA
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Re: questions for the atheist. [Re: whiterastahippie]
    #785828 - 07/30/02 09:24 AM (19 years, 1 month ago)

was there a start to existence? or has everything always existed?

As there isn't an objective answer, it all depends on what you believe. If we assume our reality/universe/existence had a start (big bang or whatever), is up to you to assume what existed before that start and is up to you to believe if something or "somebody" had to do with the creation of what we call reality.
Most used reasoning is to give too much importance to anything that comes up explaining the paradox of existence, those people relly on more questions and paradoxes instead of trying to find answers by themselfs, they try to justify their existence by creating beings/deities/objects wich are by themself unexplainable and they use them to try understanding what is unexplainable (i.e. religions), i refuse such reasoning, i believe we have evolved enough to believe in our own essense as a door, to reverse this whole subjectivity in something objective, trying to perceive the unexplainable without the unexplainable.

MAIA


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Spiritual being, living a human experience ... The Shroomery Mandala



Use, do not abuse; neither abstinence nor excess ever renders man happy.
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Invisiblesir tripsalot
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Re: questions for the atheist. [Re: whiterastahippie]
    #785866 - 07/30/02 09:41 AM (19 years, 1 month ago)

Super! You came up with a funky question to ask. Most athiest(me certainly) would welcome any ideas with open arms. Take myself for example if you are given the oportunity to gravitate to any religion you want, unless your family id part of one you dont choose any.
I ask you now. Does god have eyes? how many does he have if he does and what colour?


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"Little racoons and old possums 'n' stuff all live up in here. They've got to have a little place to sit." Bob Ross.


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OfflineDroz
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Re: questions for the atheist. [Re: whiterastahippie]
    #785990 - 07/30/02 11:03 AM (19 years, 1 month ago)

existence is everything.


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Evolution of Time.


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InvisibleMystical_Craven
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maybe a bit off topic, but... [Re: whiterastahippie]
    #786018 - 07/30/02 11:20 AM (19 years, 1 month ago)

Anyone here see the last eppisode to the Neon Genesis Evangelion series? A lot of what happens in that particular show deals with the topic at hand. I'd say it's worth checking out if you haven't seen it already. (the whole damn series is worth checking out actually)


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"Only those who risk going too far can possibly find out how far one can go..." T.S. Eliot


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Offlinewhiterastahippie
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Re: questions for the atheist. [Re: MAIA]
    #786129 - 07/30/02 12:07 PM (19 years, 1 month ago)

so let's say, for the sake of the post, that everything always existed in some form. but it changes over time, if there is indeed such thing as time.
everything is everything, and everything is nothing. everything has always been there. but the big bang brought about this era of existence that we presently live in, move in, breath in, and debate about. and try to figure out.

is there a soul? is a soul just awareness? or is it the part of us that continues on through each era and term of existence? is it non existent or is it the part of us that can touch everything? the part of us that is everything and eveyone and nothing?


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InvisibleSclorch
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Re: questions for the atheist. [Re: whiterastahippie]
    #787210 - 07/30/02 10:18 PM (19 years, 1 month ago)

What is a soul?
(to YOU, I have a dictionary)

This is my view:
It really doesn't matter if I believe in a soul or a God while I'm alive. It doesn't affect my life one way or another. Sure, maybe it would affect my social life, but I could go to church just like everyone else- I'd do everything a true believer does only I wouldn't believe... I'd be faking it, but this is just to prove a point. Nothing would be different. That being said, if I were to believe in a God, I'd prefer not to worship one that would punish others for not believing in "him"... they'd just be ignorant and missing out, right? No loss to me.

So, if my beliefs about God and souls don't affect my LIFE (only presumably my "afterlife"), why does it really matter what I believe in?

I really just don't give a fuck... I even feel that not believing in such things right now in my life would be worth missing out on a reward of an afterlife in some perfect cloudland. Is this so hard to comprehend?

Nevermind... preach on.


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Offlinewhiterastahippie
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Re: questions for the atheist. [Re: Sclorch]
    #787287 - 07/30/02 11:16 PM (19 years, 1 month ago)

preach on? hell no braa . i said i wasn't gonna preach, i'm just asking the questions i've always wanted to ask a freethinker. i've never gotten the chance, there has always been hostility on one side or the other or both.
so no soul because you don't really care right now? that's chill. so...
what is your moral code? what would you consider you moral worsts...things you will absolutly not do? what is wrong and right to each of you personally?


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Offlineerectronik
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Re: questions for the atheist. [Re: whiterastahippie]
    #787304 - 07/30/02 11:35 PM (19 years, 1 month ago)

Why do we exist?
Talk about looking a gift horse in the mouth.
I don't mean to sound silly, but that question implies that there is an answer, and that I care . I'm here. Fuck why. I'm living "why" with each breath.

Personally, I think some closer approximations of what I've found myself and others asking go a little something like this: Do I exist? and How?

I also like the question "what is existence?" I think existence is the ability to ask questions. Existence is pondering. Existence is mind.

That shouldn't hurt you men and women of God too much, should it?
I mean to say, I think God would like that answer, since it doesn't give humans all the credit. Sure, we all have minds, but we're not responsible







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"Hallucinogens can be like talking to a really talented salesman: beware of what you can sell yourself." - J.L.C.


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Offlinewhiterastahippie
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Re: questions for the atheist. [Re: erectronik]
    #787318 - 07/30/02 11:44 PM (19 years, 1 month ago)

it's all good man. i just wanna understand how you freethinkers think man. i'm tired of assuming. before i ever debate with one of you again, i want to understand. is that so bad? i'm not asking these questions with an answer in mind. peace braa.


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Offlinewhiterastahippie
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Re: questions for the atheist. [Re: whiterastahippie]
    #787429 - 07/31/02 02:18 AM (19 years, 1 month ago)

another question: what is your best proof for God's non-existence?


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Invisiblebuttonion
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Re: questions for the atheist. [Re: Sclorch]
    #787562 - 07/31/02 05:34 AM (19 years, 1 month ago)

Sclorch: Come on dude, don't leave me hanging. I'd really like to iron out this line of reasoning. So what do you think of my last post?


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Concepts which have been proved to be useful in ordering things easily acquire such an authority over us that we forget their human origins and accept them as invariable.- Albert Einstein


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OfflineMAIA
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Re: questions for the atheist. [Re: whiterastahippie]
    #787569 - 07/31/02 05:41 AM (19 years, 1 month ago)

There's no proof he exists, but i believe there's always a possibility. People who try to explain their existence base themself in beliefs, beliefs and truth are very diferent.
First you got to ask yourself what is a god. I've been trying to push theists on this one, but they seem to be unable or unwilling to give a universal definition of what it means to be a god.
I think a strong case could be done that a god by necessity is a supernatural being. Say a certain being is not supernatural. In that case the being must be natural, mustn't it? Does it make any sense to call a natural being a god? Aren't all natural beings by logical necessity products of nature?
If a being is a product of nature, I cannot by any means call that being a god, and I must remain an atheist.
So we have now defined gods as supernatural beings. This gives us the following argument:

1. Gods are supernatural beings (as defined above)
2. If nothing supernatural exists then there can be no gods (follows from 1)
3. Everything is natural (premise)
4. Therefore there exists nothing supernatural (follows from 3)
5. Therefore there are no gods (follows from 4 and 2 combined)

Proving that everything is natural takes a pretty long argument and this is were i differ from atheists, i consider the possibilty of the existence of a higher being because we cannot proove everything is "natural", science says there is no god because it is based on evidences that reflect the natural world, but scientific explanations have a similarity with religious explantions, they are both human psychological processes of thinking, they have a margin of error and failure, thus their acuracy is questionable and SHOULD be questionable. On the other hand, scientific explanations are more tangible in terms of proof than religious explanations but both should not be considered as absolute, thus not considered as thruths but as beliefs.

MAIA


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Spiritual being, living a human experience ... The Shroomery Mandala



Use, do not abuse; neither abstinence nor excess ever renders man happy.
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InvisibleWorld Spirit
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Re: questions for the atheist. [Re: MAIA]
    #787582 - 07/31/02 06:07 AM (19 years, 1 month ago)

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Re: questions for the atheist. [Re: whiterastahippie]
    #787629 - 07/31/02 06:48 AM (19 years, 1 month ago)

another question: what is your best proof for God's non-existence?

You can't prove non-existence. I could ask you for proof that Leprechans don't exist, the logic is the same.


Edited by Evolving (07/31/02 08:45 AM)


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InvisibleSwami
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Re: questions for the atheist. [Re: Sclorch]
    #787756 - 07/31/02 08:16 AM (19 years, 1 month ago)

It really doesn't matter if I believe in a soul or a God while I'm alive. It doesn't affect my life one way or another. Sure, maybe it would affect my social life, but I could go to church just like everyone else- I'd do everything a true believer does only I wouldn't believe... I'd be faking it, but this is just to prove a point. Nothing would be different.

You mean *gasp* that a difference that makes no difference is no difference?


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InvisibleSclorch
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Re: questions for the atheist. [Re: buttonion]
    #787791 - 07/31/02 08:51 AM (19 years, 1 month ago)

Come on dude, don't leave me hanging. I'd really like to iron out this line of reasoning. So what do you think of my last post?

You mean, this one?
So you are saying that things ?are? by themselves? What thing exists by itself?

This is all pretty vague, but I think I know what you're trying to say.
Existence is dependent only upon existence.
Things exist together, so nothing exists by itself (obviously; at least as far as THIS dimension is concerned. NOTE: no evidence of others).

And this:
I don?t consider a proposition, or a statement about the relationship between things (e.g., everything is relative), to fall into the category of ?static objects? that I am talking about.

So, everything doesn't refer to everything now... okay, whatever. So now you're just restating Einstein or something?


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OfflineMAIA
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Re: questions for the atheist. [Re: World Spirit]
    #787881 - 07/31/02 09:43 AM (19 years, 1 month ago)

I also have some defenitions,

"God"
(Anglo-Saxon God; German Gott; akin to Persian khoda; Hindu khooda).

God can variously be defined as:

the proper name of the one Supreme and Infinite Personal Being, the Creator and Ruler of the universe, to whom man owes obedience and worship;
the common or generic name of the several supposed beings to whom, in polytheistic religions, Divine attributes are ascribed and Divine worship rendered;
the name sometimes applied to an idol as the image or dwelling-place of a god.
The root-meaning of the name (from Gothic root gheu; Sanskrit hub or emu, "to invoke or to sacrifice to") is either "the one invoked" or "the one sacrificed to." From different Indo-Germanic roots (div, "to shine" or "give light"; thes in thessasthai "to implore") come the Indo-Iranian deva, Sanskrit dyaus (gen. divas), Latin deus, Greek theos, Irish and Gaelic dia, all of which are generic names; also Greek Zeus (gen. Dios, Latin Jupiter (jovpater), Old Teutonic Tiu or Tiw (surviving in Tuesday), Latin Janus, Diana, and other proper names of pagan deities. The common name most widely used in Semitic occurs as 'el in Hebrew, 'ilu in Babylonian, 'ilah in Arabic, etc.; and though scholars are not agreed on the point, the root-meaning most probably is "the strong or mighty one."

P.J. TONER
The Catholic Encyclopedia, Volume VI

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I meant an universal definition, you're giving me credit by accepting the plurality of the word and describing him in many ways. Different religions have very different ideas of what 'God' is like; they even disagree about basic issues such as how many gods there are, whether they're male or female. Those definitions are anedoctal evidences per se, how can they be universal ? A clear definition of 'God' and strong, compelling evidence is required, because the existence of God is an extraordinary claim and extraordinary claims require extraordinary evidence, not dictionary definitions.

MAIA


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Spiritual being, living a human experience ... The Shroomery Mandala



Use, do not abuse; neither abstinence nor excess ever renders man happy.
Voltaire


Edited by MAIA (07/31/02 09:47 AM)


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OfflineBullfrog1
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Re: questions for the atheist. [Re: whiterastahippie]
    #789670 - 08/01/02 04:34 AM (19 years, 1 month ago)

Rast,
I don't fully understand your question. To ask "what is existence?" is extremely vague. To you it means one thing, to me, another, and so on.
As far as an atheist label, I don't feel that word is very specific either.
If you mean that I don't believe in any canned religion, no I don't. Is that an agnostic, yes. Does an agnostic affirm a creator, yes. Even an atheist confirms a force.
George Lucas, who, by the way, is not my idol, was very much into mysticism. I tend to lean towards this "force" idea of what you refer to as god. It is also known as the "way", through Taoist philosophy. Eventually the buddhist corrupted Taoist philosophy with religious overtones.
As far as an "obedience" and "worship", no, not me. Respect for life, yes. Admit the unknown as creator and sustainer of life, by all means. That's ALL the we can do. I'll not debate "God". There's no debate. We all experience "IT", differently.

Bullfrog1


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OfflineMAIA
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Re: questions for the atheist. [Re: Bullfrog1]
    #789848 - 08/01/02 07:01 AM (19 years, 1 month ago)

"If you mean that I don't believe in any canned religion, no I don't. Is that an agnostic, yes. Does an agnostic affirm a creator, yes. Even an atheist confirms a force."

The main difference between an agnostic and an atheist is that the agnostic is opened to the possibility of the existence of god, the atheist refuses gods existence, this doens't close the door to be a spiritual person, many atheists are spiritual persons but i believe agnostics are more. Of course such definitions are very subjective as the nature of atheists and agnostics favor a non strict self knowlodge, thereof they might be defined in many ways.

MAIA


--------------------
Spiritual being, living a human experience ... The Shroomery Mandala



Use, do not abuse; neither abstinence nor excess ever renders man happy.
Voltaire


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