Atheist Q/A (because everyone else has one)

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Re: Atheist Q/A (because everyone else has one)

Postby Oba-rai » Wed Sep 05, 2012 7:46 am

JJJJ, why do you sacrifice orphans and drain their blood?
they may be copper,
annoying little coins! but,
they might be giants.
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Re: Atheist Q/A (because everyone else has one)

Postby Kait » Wed Sep 05, 2012 12:41 pm

JJJJ, why do you hate God? Hating God means you will go to Hell.
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Re: Atheist Q/A (because everyone else has one)

Postby bookworm » Thu Sep 06, 2012 1:24 pm

jasonjannajerryjohn wrote:The same can be said for you. If I were on your side, atheists would seem pretty dumb because anything that keeps people from believing in God and other religious beliefs must be fallacious if those religious beliefs were truth.
No, because to me they aren’t equal both ways. (I’m beginning to see that to you they may be, and that is clearing some things up.)
In my mind it is more difficult to be religious. (Whereas you seem to believe it’s difficult to abandon it.)
So I can appreciate the atheist’s position in that there are so many religions, and so many ideas, it’s perfectly understandable to not yet have fully grasped whatever it is that will get your personal attention. And so in the meantime, you have no position on any. That’s quite reasonable.
Atheism on the other hand is black and white. Either God exists or He doesn’t, and if he doesn’t, all religions are wrong. So there’s nothing to get hung up on, you should just drop it all without issue.
It’s apparent that I’m not explaining my thinking adequately, but do you see what I’m at least saying here? This may be solely my own mind, but to me the position I’m attempting to describe is rather straightforward.
At any rate, you have given some thought provoking responses that I thank you for. It hasn’t totally cleared things up for me, but it has helped me understand that perhaps there are other ways to view these things depending on your mindset. As I said, this is the only view I personally could hold, but if you and others could see it differently then that would explain some things.
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Re: Atheist Q/A (because everyone else has one)

Postby Kait » Fri Sep 07, 2012 3:54 pm

Until you've both been religious and abandoned religion, I'm not sure you can really say which is harder.

Have done both, abandoning religion is 1000 times harder than being religious ever was. I'm pretty sure anyone who has been through both things would tell you the exact same thing.
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Re: Atheist Q/A (because everyone else has one)

Postby Tea Ess » Fri Sep 07, 2012 8:19 pm

Well, I believe that would depend on the life of faith you lived. I would be willing to bet that a lot of my brothers and sisters in Christ in other countries have it a lot harder right now than we do.

I am also curious if anyone here saw Bill Nye's recent video. If you did, what did you think of the statements he made and the overall impression he was trying to give? I would be happy to share my thoughts after a few other people have given their opinions.

Also, AiG made a video in response, challenging Bill Nye's statements. Did this seem like a reasonable reply to you? If not, what problems did you have with it?

Quad J (since that seems to be the most common abbreviation), it's fine. It has given me time to contemplate the posts so far.
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Re: Atheist Q/A (because everyone else has one)

Postby jasonjannajerryjohn » Fri Sep 07, 2012 8:54 pm

It's easier in the United States, one of the most Christian countries in the world, and a good majority of Europe to be Christian than somewhere else like say Egypt or Saudi Arabia.

I do agree with Bill Nye in that I don't think that creationism should be taught in public schools. I don't think that it is appropriate to be teaching a creation myth as fact to impressionable children especially in a science classroom. Science is supposed to be about what is verifiable, what you can back up with hard evidence. Not mythology and superstition. If you want to teach creation myths to children, that is fine. Just keep it in a religious studies class or a history class. Those are excellent, and indeed necessary, places to talk about religious beliefs and how they influence the world. Creation should be taught in public schools, in religion and history classes. Not in the science classroom because it really isn't science. No more than astrology or magic.
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Re: Atheist Q/A (because everyone else has one)

Postby Tea Ess » Mon Sep 10, 2012 8:18 pm

http://www.josephus.org/question.htm

Quad-J: This website page has some different views and explanations on the writings of Josephus. It seemed to have a rather reasonable perspective, so I thought I would share it with you. I just found it, so I have no idea if it is credible or not. I also was only able to skim it, as I must retire early tonight.

EDIT: If anyone wants to add their opinion to Bill Nye's video against creation, now would be the time to do so.
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Re: Atheist Q/A (because everyone else has one)

Postby ~JCGJ~ » Tue Sep 11, 2012 1:13 pm

jasonjannajerryjohn wrote:It's easier in the United States, one of the most Christian countries in the world, and a good majority of Europe to be Christian than somewhere else like say Egypt or Saudi Arabia.

I do agree with Bill Nye in that I don't think that creationism should be taught in public schools. I don't think that it is appropriate to be teaching a creation myth as fact to impressionable children especially in a science classroom. Science is supposed to be about what is verifiable, what you can back up with hard evidence. Not mythology and superstition. If you want to teach creation myths to children, that is fine. Just keep it in a religious studies class or a history class. Those are excellent, and indeed necessary, places to talk about religious beliefs and how they influence the world. Creation should be taught in public schools, in religion and history classes. Not in the science classroom because it really isn't science. No more than astrology or magic.

Ok, fair enough.

However, I do believe that they should present Evolution etc. as a Theory (if not a Hypothesis), and not as cold, hard fact, because it isn't hard fact. It is simply one of the best explainations we have come up with that describes how we came to be... Not fact.

I personally believe that the children in the Public School system should be presented with all the eveidence supporting Atheistic Evolution, Christian Creationism, Islamic Creationism etc. (in an un-biased way... Image), so they can choose for themselves which is the more viable Theory.
If Evolution truely is the best Theory, then (when presented with the evidence supporting all theories) Evolution should win out.
Again, it's the survival of the fittest. If all arguments are presented fairly, then the strongest arguement will win.
However, if one argument is severly undermined (ie. Creation), then obviously it will win.
I am simply saying that people should be presented with a choice between Theories; not have one certain Theory shoved down their throats as cold hard fact.
The same can be said for the church...

I agree that the Church does indeed brainwash their children, but I also believe that the scientific comunity/public school system does just as much brainwashing as the Church.
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Re: Atheist Q/A (because everyone else has one)

Postby bookworm » Tue Sep 11, 2012 1:44 pm

~JCGJ~ wrote:I agree that the Church does indeed brainwash their children
That’s a tricky choice of words. It technically is correct, but remember that the Church believes to teach the objective truth. It’s kind of like saying my math teacher brainwashed me into believing 2x2=4.
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Re: Atheist Q/A (because everyone else has one)

Postby ~JCGJ~ » Tue Sep 11, 2012 2:16 pm

Except that "2x2=4" is a 100% proveable, un-doubtable fact, whereas much of what the Church teaches is objective and must be taken in faith.

Now, don't get me wrong, I personally believe much of what the Church says to be true, I'm simple playing "Devil's Advocate" here...
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Re: Atheist Q/A (because everyone else has one)

Postby bookworm » Tue Sep 11, 2012 3:29 pm

Understood. But Church teachings are also believed to be un-doubtable fact, which is why they are taught as such.
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Re: Atheist Q/A (because everyone else has one)

Postby jasonjannajerryjohn » Tue Sep 11, 2012 3:44 pm

~JCGJ~ wrote:However, I do believe that they should present Evolution etc. as a Theory (if not a Hypothesis), and not as cold, hard fact, because it isn't hard fact. It is simply one of the best explainations we have come up with that describes how we came to be... Not fact.


I feel like I've gone over this before in this thread: a "theory" in science is a hypothesis with a large amount of data and research supporting it. It is as close to a fact that you can get because all ideas can be overturned if new evidence shows it to be incorrect. There are gravitational theory, germ theory, quantum theory, and numerous others. Evolution is indeed a theory, but not in the way that you mean the word.

In a science classroom you teach things as if they are fact to children because you don't have time to go into all the evidence or other things. They can look that up on their own, but in a science classroom you don't have time to do these things. And you generally don't use phrases like "according to the best evidence," "based on current evidence," or "as close as we can tell," because those phrases make people think you don't really know what you're talking about even though you do. It's the best available position based on evidence, but to non scientists, that phrase can make people think that scientists have no idea what they're saying. It's the same reason why art critics don't use phrases like "in my opinion," because it makes them look like they don't really have an opinion. There is no way to get an objective opinion on art, that's why it's called an opinion. However art critics don't talk like that.

Also in a science classroom, you don't have a whole lot of time. You've usually got about a semester or maybe a year to go over the basics of whatever science you're talking about. You, unfortunately, don't have time to go over all the evidence for each thing. It's an overview course, not a specific detail course. The great thing about science is that all of that information is available to anyone who wants it thanks to the internet and libraries.


~JCGJ~ wrote:I personally believe that the children in the Public School system should be presented with all the eveidence supporting Atheistic Evolution, Christian Creationism, Islamic Creationism etc. (in an un-biased way... Image), so they can choose for themselves which is the more viable Theory.


They shouldn't be taught creation myths in a biology classroom. No more than they should be taught astrology in astronomy class. Or geo-centrism in astronomy. Or the idea that the earth is flat in geography. Children should be taught these ideas in other classes but not in science where you are trying to teach them about the way the world works. I do think that it's very important for children to learn about various religions and their beliefs and mythologies. It is extremely important. If you don't know anything about religion, you don't really understand most of history, sociology, psychology, or the way politics work.

~JCGJ~ wrote:If Evolution truely is the best Theory, then (when presented with the evidence supporting all theories) Evolution should win out.
Again, it's the survival of the fittest. If all arguments are presented fairly, then the strongest arguement will win.
However, if one argument is severly undermined (ie. Creation), then obviously it will win.


That is not necessarily true. You forget the fact that many people don't want to believe various scientific ideas. People like to believe in magic or things they can't explain. They like to believe myths about how the world came to be or other myths. They don't want to have that neat little world interrupted. And children are especially that way, they believe whatever myths you tell them and those myths solidify in their mind for years to come. Children have an increased sense of imagination than adults, it is much easier for them to adopt magical thinking than adults. Thus it is even more important to not teach magical things as if they were fact to children, especially in a public school setting and especially in a science classroom. We need to teach them various magical belief systems. But not as fact and certainly not in a science classroom.

~JCGJ~ wrote:I am simply saying that people should be presented with a choice between Theories; not have one certain Theory shoved down their throats as cold hard fact.
The same can be said for the church...


Well as I said, the word "theory" here is used in a very different way than the scientific definition. You're using the word "theory" as a guess, which in science it certainly isn't. Theory is an idea that attempts to explain a large body of evidence. Basically a hypothesis that works for many different experiments and evidence. It isn't a guess, it's the closest we can get to fact.

~JCGJ~ wrote:I agree that the Church does indeed brainwash their children, but I also believe that the scientific comunity/public school system does just as much brainwashing as the Church.


Well that of course depends on your definition of "brainwashing." The things the scientific community teaches can generally be backed up by hard data. And most every scientist will encourage you not to take their word for it and to go look it up for yourself. They encourage you to question what they say and be skeptical. You are free to go look it up, the information is right there for you to look if you really want to know.

The Church does no such thing. It is generally encouraged that you don't look into various church doctrines and beliefs. It's generally encouraged that you don't question those beliefs you've been taught. It's generally encouraged that you don't question the very basic premises like: 1. God exists. 2. Jesus is 100% God and 100% man. 3. Jesus came back to life after being executed. And so on and so forth. You're generally supposed to not question these things.

So it seems the church is doing the "brainwashing" not the scientific community. Of course that depends on your definition.
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Re: Atheist Q/A (because everyone else has one)

Postby Astronomer » Tue Sep 11, 2012 5:14 pm

A church is like a classroom. Those who have questioned their beliefs and find them true will learn from it. Those who have no care for it will let it pass in then out of their minds. The pastor shouldn't discourage questioning beliefs, that would be turning the church into a cult. He/she merely assumes that the congregation has questioned their beliefs and so teaches them in a like manner. If people disagree with what he/she says, then they are free to go. Children, on the other hand, probably have been taken to church against their will once or more times and therefore will either completely ignore the pastor, or listen and be, as you say, 'brainwashed' (which would be taking everything the pastor says to be true). However, once they grow older, they will question those beliefs (you did, I have, everyone does). Children should be given a bit more credit, I think.
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Re: Atheist Q/A (because everyone else has one)

Postby jasonjannajerryjohn » Tue Sep 11, 2012 6:19 pm

Not everyone questions. I think you give humanity to much credit. ;)

Children are programmed to accept everything people in authority tell them. Not necessarily do whatever they're told, but to accept it as true. They may run out into the middle of the street out of curiosity even though they're told they'll get hurt. This is a useful adaptation when it comes to socialization and survival, but not so useful when it comes to trying to teach children the way the world works. That combined with the fact that children are more imaginative than adults makes it very difficult to teach children without the preconceived religious and magical beliefs getting in the way.
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Re: Atheist Q/A (because everyone else has one)

Postby Astronomer » Wed Sep 12, 2012 4:21 pm

All right, I am willing to concede the point that not everyone questions, though I would say that a fair amount of people do.

I am curious to your opinion of Intelligent Design being taught in the classroom. Would you be for or against that happening?
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Re: Atheist Q/A (because everyone else has one)

Postby jasonjannajerryjohn » Wed Sep 12, 2012 5:41 pm

I just answered this literally within the last ten posts:

jasonjannajerryjohn wrote:I do agree with Bill Nye in that I don't think that creationism should be taught in public schools. I don't think that it is appropriate to be teaching a creation myth as fact to impressionable children especially in a science classroom. Science is supposed to be about what is verifiable, what you can back up with hard evidence. Not mythology and superstition. If you want to teach creation myths to children, that is fine. Just keep it in a religious studies class or a history class. Those are excellent, and indeed necessary, places to talk about religious beliefs and how they influence the world. Creation should be taught in public schools, in religion and history classes. Not in the science classroom because it really isn't science. No more than astrology or magic.


jasonjannajerryjohn wrote:
~JCGJ~ wrote:However, I do believe that they should present Evolution etc. as a Theory (if not a Hypothesis), and not as cold, hard fact, because it isn't hard fact. It is simply one of the best explainations we have come up with that describes how we came to be... Not fact.


I feel like I've gone over this before in this thread: a "theory" in science is a hypothesis with a large amount of data and research supporting it. It is as close to a fact that you can get because all ideas can be overturned if new evidence shows it to be incorrect. There are gravitational theory, germ theory, quantum theory, and numerous others. Evolution is indeed a theory, but not in the way that you mean the word.

In a science classroom you teach things as if they are fact to children because you don't have time to go into all the evidence or other things. They can look that up on their own, but in a science classroom you don't have time to do these things. And you generally don't use phrases like "according to the best evidence," "based on current evidence," or "as close as we can tell," because those phrases make people think you don't really know what you're talking about even though you do. It's the best available position based on evidence, but to non scientists, that phrase can make people think that scientists have no idea what they're saying. It's the same reason why art critics don't use phrases like "in my opinion," because it makes them look like they don't really have an opinion. There is no way to get an objective opinion on art, that's why it's called an opinion. However art critics don't talk like that.

Also in a science classroom, you don't have a whole lot of time. You've usually got about a semester or maybe a year to go over the basics of whatever science you're talking about. You, unfortunately, don't have time to go over all the evidence for each thing. It's an overview course, not a specific detail course. The great thing about science is that all of that information is available to anyone who wants it thanks to the internet and libraries.


~JCGJ~ wrote:I personally believe that the children in the Public School system should be presented with all the eveidence supporting Atheistic Evolution, Christian Creationism, Islamic Creationism etc. (in an un-biased way... Image), so they can choose for themselves which is the more viable Theory.


They shouldn't be taught creation myths in a biology classroom. No more than they should be taught astrology in astronomy class. Or geo-centrism in astronomy. Or the idea that the earth is flat in geography. Children should be taught these ideas in other classes but not in science where you are trying to teach them about the way the world works. I do think that it's very important for children to learn about various religions and their beliefs and mythologies. It is extremely important. If you don't know anything about religion, you don't really understand most of history, sociology, psychology, or the way politics work.

~JCGJ~ wrote:If Evolution truely is the best Theory, then (when presented with the evidence supporting all theories) Evolution should win out.
Again, it's the survival of the fittest. If all arguments are presented fairly, then the strongest arguement will win.
However, if one argument is severly undermined (ie. Creation), then obviously it will win.


That is not necessarily true. You forget the fact that many people don't want to believe various scientific ideas. People like to believe in magic or things they can't explain. They like to believe myths about how the world came to be or other myths. They don't want to have that neat little world interrupted. And children are especially that way, they believe whatever myths you tell them and those myths solidify in their mind for years to come. Children have an increased sense of imagination than adults, it is much easier for them to adopt magical thinking than adults. Thus it is even more important to not teach magical things as if they were fact to children, especially in a public school setting and especially in a science classroom. We need to teach them various magical belief systems. But not as fact and certainly not in a science classroom.

~JCGJ~ wrote:I am simply saying that people should be presented with a choice between Theories; not have one certain Theory shoved down their throats as cold hard fact.
The same can be said for the church...


Well as I said, the word "theory" here is used in a very different way than the scientific definition. You're using the word "theory" as a guess, which in science it certainly isn't. Theory is an idea that attempts to explain a large body of evidence. Basically a hypothesis that works for many different experiments and evidence. It isn't a guess, it's the closest we can get to fact.

~JCGJ~ wrote:I agree that the Church does indeed brainwash their children, but I also believe that the scientific comunity/public school system does just as much brainwashing as the Church.


Well that of course depends on your definition of "brainwashing." The things the scientific community teaches can generally be backed up by hard data. And most every scientist will encourage you not to take their word for it and to go look it up for yourself. They encourage you to question what they say and be skeptical. You are free to go look it up, the information is right there for you to look if you really want to know.

The Church does no such thing. It is generally encouraged that you don't look into various church doctrines and beliefs. It's generally encouraged that you don't question those beliefs you've been taught. It's generally encouraged that you don't question the very basic premises like: 1. God exists. 2. Jesus is 100% God and 100% man. 3. Jesus came back to life after being executed. And so on and so forth. You're generally supposed to not question these things.

So it seems the church is doing the "brainwashing" not the scientific community. Of course that depends on your definition.
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Re: Atheist Q/A (because everyone else has one)

Postby 31899 » Wed Sep 12, 2012 6:58 pm

I would like to make a note on something slightly off-topic

JJJJ wrote:The Church does no such thing. It is generally encouraged that you don't look into various church doctrines and beliefs. It's generally encouraged that you don't question those beliefs you've been taught. It's generally encouraged that you don't question the very basic premises like: 1. God exists. 2. Jesus is 100% God and 100% man. 3. Jesus came back to life after being executed. And so on and so forth. You're generally supposed to not question these things.
If one is in a good Church, that church will encourage the person to explore their own faith and ask LOTS of questions.
Last edited by 31899 on Wed Sep 12, 2012 7:00 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Atheist Q/A (because everyone else has one)

Postby Astronomer » Wed Sep 12, 2012 7:20 pm

I'm unsure how that answered my question. That seems directed toward creationism being taught in the classroom. I'm asking about Intelligent Design. Many scientists find that it is nearly impossible for life to spring from nothing, so obviously some sort of intelligent design was necessary. What is your opinion of something/someone starting life's evolution?
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Re: Atheist Q/A (because everyone else has one)

Postby John Chrysostom » Wed Sep 12, 2012 7:31 pm

Really? Intelligent Design is just Creationism with a slightly different name. Every point JJJJ made about Creationism applies to Intelligent Design.

Question for JJJJ: I was just reading a book and a phrase stuck out to me and I realized I had seen it many times before. One of the characters said something like it's hard to believe in God when x happens or when He let x happen. Do you agree that the idea that belief in God is hard justifies or is a good argument for atheism?
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Re: Atheist Q/A (because everyone else has one)

Postby jasonjannajerryjohn » Thu Sep 13, 2012 3:47 pm

Astronomer wrote:I'm unsure how that answered my question. That seems directed toward creationism being taught in the classroom. I'm asking about Intelligent Design. Many scientists find that it is nearly impossible for life to spring from nothing, so obviously some sort of intelligent design was necessary. What is your opinion of something/someone starting life's evolution?


Well as Rand pointed out, ID is, historically and logically, creationism repackaged but trying to take all the religious words out of it. It was an attempt to make it seem less religious in nature, even though it really still is religious. As for origins of life, I'm not exactly qualified to talk about that. How life can come from non-life. But even if we don't know how it works, that's no reason to automatically conclude that something or someone started the process. Not knowing right now simply means we don't know right now. There's no reason to jump in and say something started that process any more than there is to say that I don't know how computers work therefore magic.

Ayn Rand wrote:Question for JJJJ: I was just reading a book and a phrase stuck out to me and I realized I had seen it many times before. One of the characters said something like it's hard to believe in God when x happens or when He let x happen. Do you agree that the idea that belief in God is hard justifies or is a good argument for atheism?


I do agree that it is hard to believe in the God of the Bible given all the morally wrong things he does and allows to happen. But no, just because it's hard to believe something doesn't mean it doesn't exist. God could exist and be evil just as much as he could exist and be good. That's not the reason i reject the assertion nor do I think is it a good reason to reject the belief in God.
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