Atheism requires as much faith as rel...

Atheism requires as much faith as religion?

There are 244633 comments on the Webbunny tumblelog story from Jul 18, 2009, titled Atheism requires as much faith as religion?. In it, Webbunny tumblelog reports that:

Atheism requires as much faith as religion? bearvspuma : The only problem with this rationalization is that ita s assuming all athiests are so because theya re intelligent in the ways of science and reasoning and all people that believe in a form of god are unintelligent.

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havent forgotten

Lamoni, IA

#175088 Aug 20, 2013
LCNlin wrote:
<quoted text>
Yes, enjoyed your well thought out post.
Present Pope seems positive so far.
Thank you. You are interesting in your comments, and you will find that my quibbles with other atheists and my feud with Skeptic are accompanied with a friendliness towards persons who have fine ethical views (by my definition - which includes compassion in politics as well as personal life) even despite theological views I might disagree with. I am afraid it does not make me able to be a bridge between moral believers and moral nonbelievers in a forum like this - but I do think that bridge must be maintained on political matters - as it was in supporting civil rights bills in the l960's for example, when progressive religious leaders were in alliance with non-religious progressives.
The enemy is those who are those whose actions are cruel, not those whose views on this or that matter of doctrine we disagree with. Of course actions do include indoctrinating others with cruel views on ethics and claiming that they are derived from some true theology that cannot be disputed.
havent forgotten

Lamoni, IA

#175089 Aug 20, 2013
I_see_you wrote:
<quoted text>
Fred Phelps and that entire group are the perfect example of christians who are insane...many Christians push this far without a picket line...it's very scary.
I want to brag about my home town and my home state, please pardon! My town has a college (part of Graceland University) founded by one of the religious groups derived from Joseph Smith's group - once called Reorganized Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints (the monogamous ones who split off from plygamous Mormons who went on west), and now called Community of Christ. I have friends in that church though I am an agnostic atheist.

Students at that university put on a production of the Laramie Project - about the killing of the young gay man in Wyoming, and reactions to it. People from the Phelps group came to picket. They were on one side of the street. Many many students were on the other side of the street with signs saying God is Love.

On another occasion: Our local conservative Baptist minister spoke at a (poorly attended!) tea party rally and denounced the Phelps family for being haters.

A high school in Des Moines gave out scholarships honoring Matthew Shepherd. Phelps family folks came to picket and protest. Hundreds of high school students were on the other side of the street with signs opposing the Phelps family. The Des Moines Register published two large photos of the two groups on its front page.

Now I admit that among rightwing religious types and Republicans especially, there is strong anti-gay marriage fervor as part of the rightwing Christian political movement here. Its leader was not nominated for Governor (a pro-business interest type ex-Governor beat him in the primary), but they did defeat Iowa Supreme Court Justices who had voted to uphold gay marriage rights under the Iowa Constitution, but this was during an off-year election. In 2012 they did not defeat another such Justice.

I also admit that Steve King is from NW Iowa, land of fewest colleges in Iowa.

We are a battleground, and Ted Cruz came here recently to appeal to the ultra rightwing types, and Brown came to test the waters at the state fair. You will see how Republicans decide in 2016, when caucus returns come in.(Romney and Santorum essentially tied in 2012). But Obama carried the state both in 2008 and 2012. Biden campaigned in 2008 and openly supported gay rights here that early.

“Think&Care”

Since: Oct 07

Location hidden

#175090 Aug 20, 2013
havent forgotten wrote:
<quoted text> please explain a bit more about your phrase "the notion of causality is itself problematic".
What I mean is that it is rather difficult to give a precise definition of the phrase 'A causes B'. Hume talked about this and described some of the pitfalls of the concept.
I am a variety of determinist, and do not believe in free will.
Well, determinism, in the sense that the conditions of the universe at one time determine what the conditions will be at all times, is definitely false. Quantum events are inherently probabilistic and 'hidden variable' theories have been excluded by actual observations. I have not ever seen a decent definition of the term 'free will', although I have seen claims that determinism and free will are not mutually contradictory. Look up Dennett's book 'Freedom Evolves' for a discussion.
So what is your view regarding free will and causality, and what are the other problems regarding causality that you meant? I know that after does not mean because of.
And that is one of the problems: what exactly *does* it mean to say that something causes something else? As far as I can see, this quickly gets entangled with questions concerning the nature of physical laws and of time. And neither of these is a trivial issue.

“YO BOO”

Since: Sep 07

land of BOO

#175091 Aug 20, 2013
Hidingfromyou wrote:
<quoted text>
Hard to tell, really. He's writing and not speaking.
he's dumb
havent forgotten

Lamoni, IA

#175092 Aug 20, 2013
froggy wrote:
Support those who seek "truth" ---- doubt those who claim to have found it.
I agree with the last part. I support those who seek to find sufficient evidence regarding important matters that human beings can take action based on a sensible risk assessment of the consequences if one is mistaken . best example. global warming.

better to build windmills and be wrong, than to litter the earth with fracking and be mistaken.
havent forgotten

Lamoni, IA

#175093 Aug 20, 2013
thanks for your very interesting reply. I did not mean determinism in the sense you mentioned. Though I certainly think there are lots of variables we might not know about and not know we don't know. And I do think that chaos types of events do contribute to what happens. I read Hume as well, but not physics.
polymath257 wrote:
<quoted text>
What I mean is that it is rather difficult to give a precise definition of the phrase 'A causes B'. Hume talked about this and described some of the pitfalls of the concept.
<quoted text>
Well, determinism, in the sense that the conditions of the universe at one time determine what the conditions will be at all times, is definitely false. Quantum events are inherently probabilistic and 'hidden variable' theories have been excluded by actual observations. I have not ever seen a decent definition of the term 'free will', although I have seen claims that determinism and free will are not mutually contradictory. Look up Dennett's book 'Freedom Evolves' for a discussion.
<quoted text>
And that is one of the problems: what exactly *does* it mean to say that something causes something else? As far as I can see, this quickly gets entangled with questions concerning the nature of physical laws and of time. And neither of these is a trivial issue.

“There is no god!”

Since: Jun 12

Södertälje, Sweden

#175094 Aug 20, 2013
LCNlin wrote:
<quoted text>
In the United States the President
speaks of his faith.
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v =8uMbkKAmpNIXX
How about Sweden,
Is the King an atheist?
Crown Princess Victoria and Daniel Westling were married on June 19, 2010, in Stockholm. In conjunction with the wedding, Daniel Westling was given the title H.R.H. Prince Daniel, Duke of Västergötland.
They had been married for 18 months when they had their first child. The new heir to the Swedish throne, Princess Estelle Silvia Ewa Mary, was born at 04.26 on 24 February 2012, at Karolinska University Hospital in Stockholm.
The King of Sweden
The king, Carl XVI Gustaf, is the seventh monarch of the House of Bernadotte. He was born on April 30, 1946, the fifth child and only son of Crown Prince Gustaf Adolf and Princess Sibylla of Sachsen-Coburg-Gotha. The crown prince died in a plane crash in Denmark the following year.
At the age of four, Carl Gustaf became crown prince of Sweden when his great-grandfather Gustaf V died and was succeeded by the then 68-year-old Gustaf VI Adolf, the crown prince’s grandfather.
Gustaf Adolf died after serving as monarch for 23 years, and the 27-year-old crown prince became King Carl XVI Gustaf in 1973.
His motto is “For Sweden – with the times.”
Still the state is democratic and the prime minister is an atheist

“There is no god!”

Since: Jun 12

Södertälje, Sweden

#175095 Aug 20, 2013
havent forgotten wrote:
<quoted text> Hi. I do not agree with either you or the one you replied to. There are varieties of atheists, and varieties of Christians. Even our local conservative minister denounced the Phelps types at a local tea party rally (which was very sparsely attended, to my delight! Steve King territory is further NW in Iowa, closer to S Dakota.)
i know but i just wanted to make the fundamentalist a bit angry

“There is no god!”

Since: Jun 12

Södertälje, Sweden

#175096 Aug 20, 2013
LCNlin wrote:
Carl Gustaf was born at the Haga Palace, Solna, in Stockholm County.
He was christened at the Royal Chapel on 7 June 1946 by the Archbishop of Uppsala, Erling Eidem.
His godparents were the Crown Prince and Crown Princess of Denmark (his paternal uncle and aunt), the Crown Prince of Norway, Princess Juliana of the Netherlands, the King of Sweden (his patrilineal great-grandfather), the Hereditary Prince of Saxe-Coburg and Gotha (his maternal uncle), the Crown Prince and Crown Princess of Sweden (his paternal grandfather and stepgrandmother), and Count Folke and Countess Maria Bernadotte af Wisborg.
The state is a democracy and the prime minister is an atheist the king doesn't have any political powers

“Is that all you've got?”

Since: Jun 10

Location hidden

#175097 Aug 20, 2013
ChristineM wrote:
<quoted text>
That’s dunning kruger for you
Look who's talking.

“Think&Care”

Since: Oct 07

Location hidden

#175098 Aug 20, 2013
havent forgotten wrote:
thanks for your very interesting reply. I did not mean determinism in the sense you mentioned. Though I certainly think there are lots of variables we might not know about and not know we don't know. And I do think that chaos types of events do contribute to what happens. I read Hume as well, but not physics.<quoted text>
I am curious about your definition of the term 'determinism'. Some care is required in terminology, the term 'chaos' is used technically for certain types of evolution in deterministic systems (ones where initial conditions determine later ones).

One of the interesting aspects of the Bell inequalities is that they apply to *any* locally causal, realist system. In this, the term 'realist' means that things have definite properties at all times and 'locally causal' requires that all events are caused and the causes do not travel infinitely fast. It turns out that any such system will automatically obey certain inequalities in the correlations of certain observations. These inequalities are called Bell inequalities. It turns out that these inequalities are violated in the real word. In other words, the actual universe is either acausal, has causes that travel infinitely fast (which is sort of acausality also), or things do not have definite properties at all times.

Quantum mechanics is an acausal theory where particles often do not have definite properties and it also violates the Bell inequalities. it does agree with the observations.

“Is that all you've got?”

Since: Jun 10

Location hidden

#175099 Aug 20, 2013
Favorite Adversary wrote:
<quoted text>
Oh I understand what you're saying, but I do believe it's a matter of faith either way. Perhaps "faith" isn't the correct word to be debating. Think on this if you will:
Confidence in Probability
I don't know if this is an existing term or not,(if not, you heard it from me first- lol)but allow me to explain my position.
If you're an atheist, and you don't believe there's a God (any God) then there must be a reason. It can be an experiential reason (such as the case with Christine M - my condolences on the way you were treated Christine) or, because the atheist places more priority on other subjects such as science or philosophy, or a combination of both. The atheist consciously makes a choice to not believe based upon his or her respective confidence in competing thoughts, and/or negative experiences within a specific context in their lives.
Likewise, if one is a theist (Christian, Muslim, Jew, etc.) then one also may have a positive experience or find sufficient evidence to make a conscious choice to believe. Again, the choice is influenced by the experiential and/or evidence.
It all comes down to individual priority and confidence in probability. I find there is sufficient evidence to enjoy confidence in the probability that there is a God (yes, the Christian God), while you do not.
Faith is the word used, but in the final analysis, it's how much confidence we have in the probability and it's based upon choice that is rooted in experiences both good and bad.
There are many people who would be also be atheists if they had not had experiences that defied any rational explanation. And, no, I'm not describing schizophrenics. Not everyone who is a believer IS one "through" faith.

Since: Sep 08

Westcliffe, CO

#175100 Aug 20, 2013
Hmmmm, chaos in the larger scheme of things.

If you have a designed system to follow strict laws to accomplish something, then you a system of energy transfers following strict laws to accomplish something. Like electric can openers.

To make things more interesting you need to throw a little apparent chaos in it to get it out of its groove. Such can cause it to make decisions and proceed on a new track. I think they do this in some video games and other thingies.

A totally closed and ordered system goes nowhere, it just sits there and grinds. A Roomba would never work if all of its movements were preprogrammed. It's expected path has to be interrupted.

Of course chaos is never really chaos, it is just another pattern overlaying another. Like room arrangement over a Roomba's initial directed course.

Sometimes I think Topix atheists would prefer to be electric can openers.
havent forgotten

Lamoni, IA

#175101 Aug 20, 2013
Mikko wrote:
<quoted text>
i know but i just wanted to make the fundamentalist a bit angry
OK - this would be a perfect day to be in Sweden I think.

I remember a wonderful day in Stockholm in the summer - out on a big boat in the harbor, with music - a trumpet solo and birds following, and lovely sky and perfect weather. Now hot and humid in Iowa. I suspect that other than cold weather in winter and long nights, I would like Sweden, Norway, and Denmark best as nations. I did not like Belgium because of the skies so gray so much I think Scandinavian nations have best public policy, and msot tolerant views. US is full of horrid rightwing nuts.
Thinking

UK

#175102 Aug 20, 2013
You.
nanoanomaly wrote:
<quoted text>Look who's talking.

Since: Sep 08

Westcliffe, CO

#175103 Aug 20, 2013
havent forgotten wrote:
<quoted text> OK - this would be a perfect day to be in Sweden I think.
I remember a wonderful day in Stockholm in the summer - out on a big boat in the harbor, with music - a trumpet solo and birds following, and lovely sky and perfect weather. Now hot and humid in Iowa. I suspect that other than cold weather in winter and long nights, I would like Sweden, Norway, and Denmark best as nations. I did not like Belgium because of the skies so gray so much I think Scandinavian nations have best public policy, and msot tolerant views. US is full of horrid rightwing nuts.
Scandinavian nations have not experienced the 200+ years or scale of multiculturalism the USA has. Patience, you will get your share, and much faster.

Scandinavia and the US is the difference between a nice tony suburb and the inner city.
LCNlin

United States

#175104 Aug 20, 2013
Mikko wrote:
<quoted text>
Still the state is democratic and the prime minister is an atheist
Most likely Agnostic
but no big deal

Since: Sep 08

Westcliffe, CO

#175105 Aug 20, 2013
http://www.nytimes.com/2011/02/27/world/europ...

Regarding Sweden.

Be sure to read the comments of Mr. Miri and the other refugee on their expectations. They are both a long ways from their homes.

Speaking of expectations, this is closer to home for most of us. Be advised this is not just money, but also competition for availability of parts.

http://www.judicialwatch.org/blog/2013/08/ill...
havent forgotten

Lamoni, IA

#175106 Aug 20, 2013
polymath257 wrote:
<quoted text>
I am curious about your definition of the term 'determinism'. Some care is required in terminology, the term 'chaos' is used technically for certain types of evolution in deterministic systems (ones where initial conditions determine later ones).
One of the interesting aspects of the Bell inequalities is that they apply to *any* locally causal, realist system. In this, the term 'realist' means that things have definite properties at all times and 'locally causal' requires that all events are caused and the causes do not travel infinitely fast. It turns out that any such system will automatically obey certain inequalities in the correlations of certain observations. These inequalities are called Bell inequalities. It turns out that these inequalities are violated in the real word. In other words, the actual universe is either acausal, has causes that travel infinitely fast (which is sort of acausality also), or things do not have definite properties at all times.
Quantum mechanics is an acausal theory where particles often do not have definite properties and it also violates the Bell inequalities. it does agree with the observations.
well, as I explained, I have not studied physics. I just read lots of philosophy. My definition of determinism is very loose and that is why I refer to a variety of determinism and do not pin it down. I am more of an agnostic about more than just religion, and thus do not assert any sort of strict determinism or define it carefully - I use it more to complain against folks who believe in free will and sin and all the nonsense about people making choices and having to suffer for them. Since my emphasis is on ethics, that is the approach that is meaningful to me. Your emphasis is on physics - though I suspect your ethical views would be similar enough to mine that I would be comfortable with them - so you approach determinism in the context of science - which I candidly cannot keep up with.

My interest is in matters like what are the consequences for a criminal justice system, for child rearing, etc, if one disputes free will and believes in some type and degree of "determinism" on the human level - nature and nurture. I am not interested in nor able to follow the issue of determinism in the context of physics and the scientific explanations you revel in. That is not a criticism nor even an admission. Both aspects are extremely important in their own ways.
Thanks for your wonderful patience in trying to explain things in scientific terms however, and I trust others will understand them better than I do. At least you open my eyes and my mind to matters (that is a pun) which I would not normally read or think about.
I was raised as a very contented agnostic, and not knowing about God or the intricacies of nature never bothered me a bit. I just try to know the names of every evil Republican I want to see defeated somehow, and to be informed about public policy matters.
I think the ground on which we would meet with both approaches in the most interesting way, would be on the issue of global warming and climate change. I approach it as a matter of risk assessment.
What are the consequences if one is wrong, and acts accordingly - I am a climate change worrier, and that is sufficient. I do not need final proof, since I think final proof would be death by heatstroke or drowning, and a bit too late to be helpful.
havent forgotten

Lamoni, IA

#175107 Aug 20, 2013
Dave Nelson wrote:
<quoted text>
Scandinavian nations have not experienced the 200+ years or scale of multiculturalism the USA has. Patience, you will get your share, and much faster.
Scandinavia and the US is the difference between a nice tony suburb and the inner city.
I do not mind nice-enough folks from other cultures, or of other races. I object to rightwing nuts. I mostly objected to the Batista supporting Cubans, the Cruz types. I dislike rightwing nuts of all religions and groups however.

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