Happy Atheist Forum

Religion => Religion => Topic started by: Tank on September 04, 2011, 10:37:08 AM

Title: Why God?
Post by: Tank on September 04, 2011, 10:37:08 AM
Why God?

The majority of the human population appear to profess a belief in a God or Gods. Why is this? What is the root of God in the human psyche?

Consider our ancestors and what makes humans different from all other animals, our brains. What evolutionary advantage does our brain give us?  It gives us the ability to determine cause and predict effect. It gives us the ability to create and manipulate symbolic language. Thus 'Get up a tree there's a Rhino charging!' contains all the abstract symbolic information to potentially save the lives of a hunting party. Another example would be for a human to make a tool knowing that the sharp edge of a broken flint will cut skin and flesh.  We also have an imagination, the ability to create a fantasy and examine the unreal.  Along with these useful traits our brains come with some evolved deficiencies, autism, dreams and paranoia (the dark side of the imagination) to mention just three.

Consider 'original' belief systems, such as the animistic spiritual beliefs of isolated tribes throughout the world. Put yourself in their hut, at night, deep in a jungle where they were born. They dream and wake having no idea what a dream really is, they don't know it's an evolved 'housekeeping' process. All they know is there was a giant demon snake slithering after them. Why was a giant snake chasing them in their sleep? Original belief systems attribute causation to the unknown, spirits that control the unknown because all effects have causes; don't they? 

Cause and effect demand knowledge and understanding. Imagination underpins curiosity. Any of our ancestors that were not curious enough died of starvation, any of our ancestors that were too curious died of surprise. Consider some of our ancestors who have evolved abstract language and are self-aware, discussing one thing we all know; the sun rises.  However these ancestors did not understand why the sun rises. They have knowledge but not understanding. But in their experience all effects have a cause. So if the sun rises what causes it to rise? People don't like not knowing why something happens, it's almost psychologically painful to not know why something happens. It's called cognitive dissonance.

So why did cognitive dissonance start the path to God? When faced with knowledge but not understanding the mind can get distracted and confused. A distracted mind is often dangerous, more dangerous on average than a confident mind. Inaction is more likely to lead to failure of some sort than action. Sitting doing nothing will lead to failure, getting up and doing something may lead to success or failure. Only the confident 'do something' option has a possibility of success.  So if one person is distracted and reticent while the other is focused and confident the latter is slightly more likely to achieve a positive (survival/reproductive) outcome. 

So we have an animist original belief system wrapped around a mind with knowledge but no understanding of the true nature of reality. We have an evolutionary advantage to do something rather than nothing. Thus it is reasonable, in the circumstances, and evolutionarily advantageous to place a 'spirit' in any gap in understanding. I think this is why superstition survives because 'on average' to be superstitious is evolutionarily advantageous.

So why move from a spirit or animist world view to a 'concrete' God based world view? I think the 'alpha male syndrome' and tribalism push belief towards monotheism. Obviously there are plenty of pantheistic belief systems still around but while they were once in the majority they are now in the minority and continuing to decline.  Thus Gods become God. I think that Allah was once the top God in a pantheistic belief system; Mohamed simply promoted him and demoted all the others.

Now while the world was 'large' and ideas (memes) stayed apart and embedded in tribal folk law there were as many Gods as there were tribes/cultures.  Everybody had their own version of the first cause; the reason the sun came up every day.  Then written language arrived. This allowed the formalisation of ideas that could be consistently spread across the land and between generations. Superstitions became institutionalised into religions; concrete memes that existed beyond the tribe or any living individual. Memes persist through transmission between individuals. Children believe adults and in particular their parents. Families, and tribes, are entities that support meme transmission and reinforcement.

Humans respect authority; it's a trait that natural selection has driven into us for generation after generation. Take two mothers, each with a child. One mother shouts at her child 'Don't eat that!' and the child complies. The same happens between the other mother and child and the child eats any way, and dies. Thus children have evolved to be uncritical of what they are told by their parents and by extension adults in general and people perceived to be in authority. There is no such thing as a sceptical young child and some people don't appear to ever get past the gullible stage.

So we now have spirits in place of understanding, alpha male behaviour exacerbated by tribalism, an unwarranted respect for authority all mixed together and compounded by institutionalisation brought about by the written word. It is from this concoction that I contend the creation of the God meme was inevitable. The God meme flourishes because it is simple to understand, and thus easy to transmit, immensely emotionally satisfying (daddy is great and will always look after us) and common belief gives one a feeling of societal security. Once one has a God one has the potential to manipulate one's circumstances through ritual worship or personal prayer.  One gains a modicum of perceived control over the unknown e.g. "if I sacrifice this person the rains will come!"

It's no surprise to me that all religions hinge on a book. For some reason humans often attribute authority to something written down. It may be because we have become used to things being written down by intelligent people or people in authority or that our education systems are founded on books. Thus the book becomes the synthesis of the authority and in the case of the Koran this is absolute authority as the words are deemed to be those of Allah himself. 

Thus humans created God out of ignorance and need.
Title: Re: Why God?
Post by: Crow on September 04, 2011, 05:05:12 PM
Good read Tank.

Its also interesting to look at the timeline when most of popular religions today came into there origin, most were throughout the iron age of those cultures where a massive fundamental changes within society took place, those that weren't spawned in the iron age came about again during other fundamental shifts within societies. Is it possible that religion and the god concept is a way to help people adapt to cultural shifts and help the masses gain an understanding of the world that is rapidly changing around them?

"It is not the strongest of species that survive, nor the most intelligent, but the one most responsive to change." Charles Darwin
Title: Re: Why God?
Post by: Tank on September 04, 2011, 05:19:21 PM
That's an interesting thought that God changes with society, with the zeitgeist. I would think that any particular God is a pretty mutable meme, up to the point it get written down and institutionalised. After that it's a meme on its own!
Title: Re: Why God?
Post by: iSok on September 04, 2011, 06:44:49 PM
It was a good read Tank, thanks for putting your thoughts on paper.
Title: Re: Why God?
Post by: Tank on September 04, 2011, 07:14:21 PM
Quote from: iSok on September 04, 2011, 06:44:49 PM
It was a good read Tank, thanks for putting your thoughts on paper.
You're welcome :)
Title: Re: Why God?
Post by: Gawen on September 05, 2011, 03:01:20 AM
I would add, if I may...

If a man believes in the supernatural, he will account for phenomena by the supernatural. We know that formerly just about everything was accounted for in this way. The more ignorant man is and at odds with his environment and the less control he feels he has over it, the greater his belief in unseen superstitious/supernatural powers. For instance, an altar or shrine or a memorial has been erected to the 'spirit of the place'. For all we know, this may have simply been that on some occasion a person coming home drunk one night was frightened out of his wits by a barn owl he couldn't see clearly. Consequently the place attracted a reputation for being haunted and the altar was put up to placate the ghost of the 'dead person' who swooped from out of nowhere trying to take possession of the drunkard.

You open a humungous can/s of worms in the excellent OP, Tank. I will however confine myself as best I can to the gist of it.

Consider the early human, who subsisted on roots, plants and animals that could be killed with a simple club or stone and yet could kill him equally as well. Countless objects of terror surround our early ancestors. They stand next to rivers with no beginning or end, by bodies of water with one shore that feeds them and yet sometimes flood them out. There are beasts mightier than they. They suffer strange sicknesses. He is afraid of the sound of thunder, blinded by the lightning, and he hides from the growing black and menacing sky. Then, somewhere, sometime, a early human begged for the protection of the Unknown.

In the long dawn of humanity's awakening, the seeds of superstition were sown in the mind of man. How this happened, we do not know. But we do know the early humans thoroughly believed that everything happened in reference to them. He believed that by his actions he could anger or placate the wrath of the Unseen. Sometime along that long early road, he resorted to flattery and prayer and sacrifice to the unseen. Put in stone, bone or carved in wood, his idea of his God(s) and before long, he built an altar, then a hut, a hovel, a shrine and at last, a cathedral for these entities. Before these images he bowed and prayed, and at these shrines, he lavished his wealth, and sought, perhaps not eternal in the beginning, but nevertheless protection for himself and for the ones he loved.

And he made others believe as he did.
The few took advantage of the many and the few pretended or were deluded enough to eventually become intercessors between the helpless multitude and the Gods.

But why God? All religions report numerous and equally credible miracles. As Hume noted, the religions of the world have established themselves upon their miracles. Vanity, delusion, greed and zealotry have led to more than one 'pious fraud' supporting a holy and meritorious cause with gross embellishments and outright lies about witnessing miraculous events (Hume).

Testimony (a constant) depends on the intelligence and integrity of the testifier and the intelligence of the one who hears it. People, with the best of intentions, honestly bear false witness because they have been imposed upon by appearances, ignorance, vanity, greed and power hungry and are victims of delusion and illusion and their credulity, in many cases, believes everything except the truth. Another constant, and rather uniform in its sinisterness is the willingness of people at all times in all ages to desire wondrous events. They are more than willing to be deluded about them, to fabricate, create, embellish, enhance, and come to believe in the absolute truth of their own or others passions and heated over-imaginations.

The writers of the Synoptic Gospels tell us that Jesus set great value by marvels that no one is able to do today. Ministers cannot cast out devils, move mountains, wither fig trees, and they are affected by poison the same as any other. The writers of Jesus had a primitive idea of the value of magic. Did Jesus do the miraculous or have the writers sought to deceive the gullible, or, as is more likely, were over-credulous? It is important to remember that Jesus stressed the value of enchantment and advised his successors to conjure in his name. If the miraculous had not been connected with Jesus, it is most probable that he never would have been heard of. His ethical teachings alone would not have won for him the exalted position that has come from the stories of his miraculous birth, life and ascension.

Still I haven't answered "Why God?" and I may never answer it fully or to anyone's satisfaction. Yet, way way back, when reading and writing were unknown and history was hearsay handed down for generations, fragments of facts were taken for the whole, and the deductions drawn were sometimes honest...and...virtually nothing but the untruth was retold. Only the wonderful, the fantastic and the miraculous were kept. The more miraculous the story was, the greater the interest was generated. Storytellers and listeners were alike ignorant and alike honest. Way back then, nothing was known or suspected of the orderly course of nature because everything was at the mercy of a being, or entities, which were, ironically, controlled by the same passions that dominated the ancient man.

That is "Why God?", in part, way back then. It has only become more perverse in the last 1700 years.

Title: Re: Why God?
Post by: Tank on September 05, 2011, 07:17:18 AM
@ Gawen

Thanks for your input, most interesting, thoughtful and informative as usual.

Title: Re: Why God?
Post by: Stevil on September 05, 2011, 08:45:02 AM
To answer "Why God?", you need to ask "Why Me?"

It's a very simple intuitive philosophical question, exploding into a plethora of complicated, intricate and textured puzzles.
Who am I?
How come I am me and not someone else?
Have I always been?
Where will I go when my body fails?
Why am I in this body, in this time and place?
Where did I come from? Yeah, I know, Dad's jizz, Mum's egg in the oven. But I am more that just flesh and bone. I am master of this body I possess. With it's limits and flaws, I am not that mirrored reflection, I am much more.
Don't judge me on how I look, how dare you, this vessel is pure chance. It's what is on the inside that is my pride and joy, I've crafted and shaped myself, I've removed my constraints, I've expanded my horizons, expectations and imagination. I can control who I am, just not so much on what I look like.

But I am special, I am not someone else, I am me. I have consciousness and intelligence, creativity and personality. I am certainly no stupid animal. There is no-one quite like me, never has been, never will be again. I am special, I am unique.

But what chance was there of me being me. If a different sperm had made it to that egg, if mum hadn't been in the mood that day, if mum and dad had fallen for someone else instead, what about grandma and grandpa? if they hadn't got together. Wow, the mind boggles. The chances against me being born are stupidly horrendously infinitesimally small, almost negligible.

I shouldn't be here, I shouldn't be me. It just doesn't make sense that I am here.

But then someone tells me about god. It completely makes sense. God made me in his image, god made this place for me (I mean) us. I was meant to be, god had a plan and I was always going to be in it. God loves me and wants me to come to heaven with him afterwards. It's all part of god's plan, and now I know my purpose.

But then someone tells me about evolution. You've got to be fu%#ing kidding, right. You look like a damn monkey, me, god created me in his image, I'm special, not just some outrageous random chance, an evolved monkey for god's sake! God is bigger than you and me, he created us because he loves us, he loves me. I'm special I tell you, all of creation was made for me (I mean) us.  

You can shove that fu%#ing monkey up your a$$ you c@ck s&%king atheist, devil worshiping child of godless wh%re. F%$k you, who the F*%@ do you and your %&king d*&^% t%$^ pri#k.

You just need to believe you d%&kwad, you filthy p%$!n w*nk#r, go k&ll yo%$self, and sh*t and die.

God loves you, you know. God IS love, why are you such a blind p&n!sfaced jockstrap and deny this fact. God doesn't want your hate and lies. You monkey lover, why don't you just go back to the jungle where you belong, F&*ck You!



Title: Re: Why God?
Post by: Evilbeagle on September 05, 2011, 09:31:32 AM
Yawn , yawn, yawn !

Well, thats a very convincing argument, NOT.  :P
Title: Re: Why God?
Post by: Will on September 05, 2011, 09:34:16 AM
What the hell, Stevil?
Title: Re: Why God?
Post by: Tank on September 05, 2011, 09:46:05 AM
Stevil's post is about the human ego, and why it would lead man to create God in his image.
Title: Re: Why God?
Post by: Tank on September 05, 2011, 09:46:34 AM
Quote from: Evilbeagle on September 05, 2011, 09:31:32 AM
Yawn , yawn, yawn !

Well, thats a very convincing argument, NOT.  :P
Which one and why?
Title: Re: Why God?
Post by: Stevil on September 05, 2011, 10:01:53 AM
Quote from: Tank on September 05, 2011, 09:46:05 AM
Stevil's post is about the human ego, and why it would lead man to create God in his image.
Precisely,

But also trying to make sense of yourself. It is strange if you think about it too hard. Well, it is to me. Why me, why now?

I also do try to make sense of a theist's disdain or disbelief of having evolved from something less than human and the anger that can manifest at someone who suggests such a thing. Re-reading my post, its a bit over the top there. Sorry bout that.
Title: Re: Why God?
Post by: The Magic Pudding on September 05, 2011, 10:02:58 AM
Well I liked Stevil's post.

And I think "d%&kwad, you filthy p%$!n w*nk#r, go k&ll yo%$self, and sh*t and die" would make an excellent password.
Title: Re: Why God?
Post by: Asmodean on September 05, 2011, 12:54:27 PM
Just to answer a few points from a "why NOT god"-perspective

Quote from: Stevil on September 05, 2011, 08:45:02 AM
To answer "Why God?", you need to ask "Why Me?"
Simple answer involves a mommy and a daddy and bees and flowers.

QuoteWho am I?
The sum of my memories, actions and processed outside influence, boiling down to electrochemical reactions within my body.

QuoteHow come I am me and not someone else?
The near-infinite variability in genetic coding and the uniqueness of experiences.

QuoteHave I always been?
Always, since the moment of my birth (and for a time prior to that)

QuoteWhere will I go when my body fails?
Nowhere. The end is the end.

QuoteWhy am I in this body, in this time and place?
Bees and flowers were in this space and within this linear timeframe.

QuoteWhere did I come from? Yeah, I know, Dad's jizz, Mum's egg in the oven. But I am more that just flesh and bone. I am master of this body I possess. With it's limits and flaws, I am not that mirrored reflection, I am much more.
Yes. I am also what I mentioned before. The sum of my memories, experiences and processed outside influence.

QuoteDon't judge me on how I look, how dare you, this vessel is pure chance. It's what is on the inside that is my pride and joy, I've crafted and shaped myself, I've removed my constraints, I've expanded my horizons, expectations and imagination. I can control who I am, just not so much on what I look like.
Plastic surgery. Other than that, this does stroke my narcissism, so point approved.

QuoteBut I am special, I am not someone else, I am me. I have consciousness and intelligence, creativity and personality. I am certainly no stupid animal. There is no-one quite like me, never has been, never will be again. I am special, I am unique.
...About as unique as any stupid animal, except not quite as stupid as many.

... ...

Ran out of boredom. Sorry. :P
Title: Re: Why God?
Post by: Gawen on September 05, 2011, 02:04:14 PM
Tank, myself and stevil have three basically different approaches to "Why God?". I tried to expand on Tank's model which, I would say, basically comprises emotion and imagination as start points. Stevil brings up interesting points taking it further to ego. But then it occurred to me..."Why God?" is simply because we think.

It's easy to understand prehistoric man thinking something along the lines of:
The tiger is a very good hunter and fighter.
If I eat what the tiger does and do what the tiger does, maybe I'll be like the tiger.
Well, that didn't work so well, so if I eat the tiger maybe that will work.
I think it worked! I killed the tiger, but I'm still not quite like the tiger and these slashes on my body will take a long time to heal. Maybe if I wear bits and pieces of the tiger, it will help.
I have killed 3 tigers now. I eat his flesh. I wear his skin and teeth and claws.
I am the MAN! MANtiger! The people adore me now. I am the best fighter in the tribe and all the tribes near me. I may be the best fighter of any tribe! All the women want to be with me at night. The men have created for me a new position....Chief.

Add in the medicine man's new concept of spiritism/mysticism and the trend continues. But notice stevils addition in the model above...egocentrism. I am reminded of an old Beverly Hillbilly's episode. Granny is so proud of herself to have found a cure for the common cold; take doses of her tonic for 7-10 days and the cold goes away.

Because we think.

But we did not evolve to think completely logical. The caveman didn't think far enough to notice that the tiger doesn't become the gazelle and all they have done is become efficient in killings tigers. Granny didn't think far enough to see that the common cold went away after 7-10 days anyway and she has deluded (honestly) those close around her.

Because we think, therefore ego? Well, I don't know if that is exactly true and I'm sure it is much more involved and rather complicated, but it makes sense in the short run. Man thought about himself in the ancient past, I'm sure, just as he thinks about himself today. It's how much importance a man heaps upon himself and how much importance others heap upon him that make big differences.

Because we think, therefore imagination? One can have an imagination and not be egocentric. But somewhere along the timeline of evolving man superstition reared its ugly head. What did ancient man know of plate tectonics when the mountain blew up or split the ground, perhaps killing some? How did they get from the Unknown to something Known, but not understood? Because they think.
What did ancient man know of weather systems when the rain god dumped too much rain or not enough? Why do some of today's meteorologist go to church? Why the fuck does Rick Perry demand we pray for rain while he knows about weather systems?

Sorry, sometimes I get a bit worked up. I think, therefore emotion? We don't think logically. We have the capacity to be logical, but I really don't think that we can be totally logical all the time, with perhaps a few exceptions; those being extremely disciplined in controlling their emotions or perhaps (and don't think wrongly of me when I say this) idiot savants. So, we think with imagination, emotion, ego, unlogically...therefore delusion?

Read the history of those peoples that believed thoroughly and implicitly in the supernatural and superstiton. By their testimony, nothing was absurd. Laws of nature were violated; virgin births, men lived for hundreds of years, subsistence without food, water and sleep for more than a month, people coming back from the dead; thousands possessed with spirits controlled by the supernatural and thousands of confessions of impossible offenses. In the most solemn of religious courts, impossibilities were substantiated by tortured and willingly offered oaths, affirmations and confessions of men, women, and children. Decisions were made for everyday acts of life by which way birds flew, bones scattered on the ground, reading leaves in water and what Jesus (or the Pope) would do.

We think, therefore power.

One has to remember that these delusions were not only confined to ascetics or self deniers and peasants, but of nobles and kings and people in those times who were generally thought to be intelligent and educated. No one denied these superstitious wonders, for the reason that denial was sometimes a crime punishable generally with a hideous death and if they were not killed outright, the God/s would have them killed or tortured in the afterlife...and excommunication or to be shunned, locked up in stocks and thrown vegetables and curses at. Societies and nations became deluded, victims of ignorance, subjugated people (and not only their own), because of superstitious fears and above all because...

...they thought.
Title: Re: Why God?
Post by: Gawen on September 05, 2011, 02:12:20 PM
Quote from: Asmodean

Ran out of boredom. Sorry. :P
That is my greatest fear on the boards here. My long winded posts are too long and boring to read. But sometimes I just can't keep it simple because the subject matter is just to complicated.
Title: Re: Why God?
Post by: The Magic Pudding on September 05, 2011, 02:37:15 PM
Quote from: Gawen on September 05, 2011, 02:12:20 PMThat is my greatest fear on the boards here. My long winded posts are too long and boring to read. But sometimes I just can't keep it simple because the subject matter is just to complicated.

I don't think you should fear this, if others need thick volumes to express their views I think we can spare you a few paragraphs.  The forum needs such posts, it can't be all Doctor Who and Star Trek.

I haven't disagreed with any of the explanations and there are probably a few more that could be added.

Hopefully Stevil won't be discouraged from slipping into his satirical mode again.
Title: Re: Why God?
Post by: Crow on September 05, 2011, 02:38:44 PM
Why God? Because it is lazy!

Science time and time again has proved that nature is fundamentally lazy and adapts in the simplest way possible. To create a god (especially the monotheistic type) is laziness of the human mind in its prime. To jump to the conclusion that a god is responsible for that around us takes no intelligence, no imagination or creativity, and certainly no rigor or evidence. It is the simplest solution to the question of life and nature.
Title: Re: Why God?
Post by: Tank on September 05, 2011, 03:01:24 PM
Quote from: Crow on September 05, 2011, 02:38:44 PM
Why God? Because it is lazy!

Science time and time again has proved that nature is fundamentally lazy and adapts in the simplest way possible. To create a god (especially the monotheistic type) is laziness of the human mind in its prime. To jump to the conclusion that a god is responsible for that around us takes no intelligence, no imagination or creativity, and certainly no rigor or evidence. It is the simplest solution to the question of life and nature.
And it's even less effort if one can get somebody else to do the praying etc, for you in the shape of priests, nuns, monks and imams. While at the same time passing on responsibility for even thinking! Invoking God is, without a doubt, the easiest/lasiest way to explain anything.

Title: Re: Why God?
Post by: Gawen on September 05, 2011, 04:05:11 PM
Quote from: Crow on September 05, 2011, 02:38:44 PM
Why God? Because it is lazy!

Science time and time again has proved that nature is fundamentally lazy and adapts in the simplest way possible. To create a god (especially the monotheistic type) is laziness of the human mind in its prime. To jump to the conclusion that a god is responsible for that around us takes no intelligence, no imagination or creativity, and certainly no rigor or evidence. It is the simplest solution to the question of life and nature.
Yes, to posit a god most simple and lazy. It's the apologists that bring into the mix intellectually bankrupted creativity and imagination and no good evidence to describe said god.
Title: Re: Why God?
Post by: Gawen on September 05, 2011, 04:09:16 PM
Quote from: The Magic Pudding on September 05, 2011, 02:37:15 PM
Quote from: Gawen on September 05, 2011, 02:12:20 PMThat is my greatest fear on the boards here. My long winded posts are too long and boring to read. But sometimes I just can't keep it simple because the subject matter is just to complicated.

I don't think you should fear this, if others need thick volumes to express their views I think we can spare you a few paragraphs.  The forum needs such posts, it can't be all Doctor Who and Star Trek.
Still, in today's day and age where people want quick fixes, long posts are not what they look for. Still, I thank you.

QuoteI haven't disagreed with any of the explanations and there are probably a few more that could be added.
I have no doubt this thread could go many more pages, even while staying on topic.

QuoteHopefully Stevil won't be discouraged from slipping into his satirical mode again.
I hope this as well. The forum needs satire to keep topics lively and not boring.
Title: Re: Why God?
Post by: Asmodean on September 05, 2011, 04:52:18 PM
Quote from: The Magic Pudding on September 05, 2011, 02:37:15 PM
Quote from: Gawen on September 05, 2011, 02:12:20 PMThat is my greatest fear on the boards here. My long winded posts are too long and boring to read. But sometimes I just can't keep it simple because the subject matter is just to complicated.

I don't think you should fear this, if others need thick volumes to express their views I think we can spare you a few paragraphs.  The forum needs such posts, it can't be all Doctor Who and Star Trek.

I haven't disagreed with any of the explanations and there are probably a few more that could be added.

Hopefully Stevil won't be discouraged from slipping into his satirical mode again.
I second that.

As a disclaimer, me running out of boredom to reply further is not the same at all as me running out of boredom to read. Read, I usually do - even when the posts are long.
Title: Re: Why God?
Post by: xSilverPhinx on September 05, 2011, 06:45:13 PM
This has been an interesting thread to read. ;D

IMO, all of you have gotten it right.

I think that god as a concept was a result of psychological predispositions and how our thinking is wired and all theistic versions of god from cultures adapting the human predisposition towards believing in some sort of ultimate reality or creator. (a 'who' created existence and not a 'what')

I think that the 'one god' idea came first, and that it's mostly logically based and that leaders chose which of the many gods was in fact the 'one god' later to satisfy their own agendas.

People look for meaning in the universe, but they don't think rationally. Start asking the question 'why am I here' and, well...something more or less cohesive with human experience follows. We also know that we all die. That's the existential aspect to it.

Title: Re: Why God?
Post by: Stevil on September 05, 2011, 07:57:23 PM
What about the aspect of dealing with children's never ending questions and wanting to be a parent with all the answers.
Is that where myths come from? A way for parents to answer children's questions?
Is the old testament and hence the Abrahamic gods' inception simply a way to answer children's questions.
Title: Re: Why God?
Post by: Sweetdeath on September 05, 2011, 08:52:29 PM
Quote from: Stevil on September 05, 2011, 07:57:23 PM
What about the aspect of dealing with children's never ending questions and wanting to be a parent with all the answers.
Is that where myths come from? A way for parents to answer children's questions?
Is the old testament and hence the Abrahamic gods' inception simply a way to answer children's questions.


I always find it to do more harm than good to lie to children about death, reproducing, etc instead of  just telling them the hard facts.  Sheesh.   I don't believe in sugar coating anything.
Title: Re: Why God?
Post by: Stevil on September 05, 2011, 10:09:26 PM
Quote from: Asmodean on September 05, 2011, 12:54:27 PM

QuoteDon't judge me on how I look, how dare you, this vessel is pure chance. It's what is on the inside that is my pride and joy, I've crafted and shaped myself, I've removed my constraints, I've expanded my horizons, expectations and imagination. I can control who I am, just not so much on what I look like.
Plastic surgery. Other than that, this does stroke my narcissism, so point approved.
It was a bit of a rush job actually, I had a baby and an infant both screaming for my attention.

What I was trying to get to was the invention of the mind and soul, as being something in existence but separate from the physical. A metaphysical existence.
I can see why some people think they are more than the sum of the parts, and how this metaphysical existence can lead to belief in a metaphysical god and afterlife.
Title: Re: Why God?
Post by: Tristan Jay on September 06, 2011, 07:44:00 AM
I think this has been a very interesting topic so far, and seemed to connect in a way to what I read in Joseph Campbell's first volume of Masks of God, Primitive Mythology.

There are a lot of ideas that get jumbled up in the book and don't seem to flow and transition effectively, but a couple of things are intriguing from standpoint of trying to imagine the roots of cultural superstition and spirituality.  One thing he talks about is how the human life cycle must have seemed like an extraordinary enigma. 

Assume for a moment that primitive yet thinking minds don't put two and two together and figure out that it's the combination of male and female that results in conception (and I believe there have still been societies up into modern times who didn't figure it out), but they're still trying to work out the cause and effect of the world around them, then all they can assume from what they observe is that females are the ones with the power of creation.  They might as well conclude that the female body is a gateway from beyond to the Earthly existence, you enter or re-enter the world through that "creative magic."  Burial rituals, which I believe is associated with early developing culture and intelligence, is described in the book as prepping the body of a dead person for their re-awakening, or their journey back to...wherever.  Campbell also talks about how baffling it must have seemed to the primitive mind that females' cycles were syncronized with the phases of the moon; they are in tune with the known universe in an unknown, mysterious, "magical" way.  The males were probably envious or fearful of the phenomenon.

I can't recall the particulars, but he goes through a loose narrative about males "hijacking" spirituality; understanding how fearful they felt, and how fear controlled them, they turned the tables and developed elaborate rituals to make sure that life continued to progress in a way that was desirable to their way of life (and themselves more particularly).  Their part in the rituals were highly secretive, males only, and the knowledge they are to face in their rite of passage would terrify the females, so females are strictly forbidden, and their fear of the male rituals is cultivated.

Along a different thread, Campbell talks about Shaman as being the types of humans who were imaginative, but perhaps not the most physically able of a community.  Here he develops a narrative where the less physical, yet highly imaginative types seize power away from the "survival and prospering of the fittest" mentality.  Shaman are imaginative, storytellers, have a good sense of showmanship, and they learn what their stronger, tougher fellows fear.  Exploiting that fear is the only way to carve their own niche in the community, a way of life that is not one of being jostled out of the way or tossed around.  So they cultivated the appearance of having powers and knowledge over the unknown elements that the stronger people feared; and the strong ones finally feared him.

Another part of the thing with Shaman is their training would involve putting the body under extreme stress; starvation, exposure to heat, ensuring a lack of sleep (and sometimes a magic mushroom thrown in for a trip).  All the kind of activities associated with having a revelation of enlightenment in the stories of plenty of Sacred religious founders.  They are also the kind of thing results in hallucinations, with or without the mushroom.

Most of the above is a long winded exploration of using spirituality; harnessing the unknown and grafting a structure onto it for the purpose of...political power.  There is a vein of cynicism toward organized religion and spiritual viewpoints on Joseph Campbell's part throughout the book, though his professed aim is to eschew common assumptions about spirituality and try to trace it's development throughout human history, trying to approach it as ruthlessly scientifically or objectively as possible.

Along another thread, Campbell talks about the Deification of humans; the God-Kings and Pharoahs.  I can't remember how this aspect connected with the previous elements above, in terms of historical context.  I was vaguely amused/horrified at the Deicidal practices of some of these cultures; in some ways it reminded me of my own ideas about effective leadership...a leader should be a servant to those he leads.  My most effective leadership moments have emerged from efforts to serve a group I ended up leading.  Of course, Deicide is an extreme situation of taking the matter out of the hands of the leader's own choice, regarding how much the leader is supposed to serve and sacrifice.  Interestingly, the core of Christianity seems to conform with this pattern of Deicide in service to humanity.  I've wondered since reading those passages from Primitive Mythology about the communal psychological drive to lift someone up, Deify and make them a King, and then sacrifice them for the good (or perhaps, satisfaction?) of the community.  On a totally unrelated note, it makes me wonder if modern American pop-culture is a "safe" manifestation of the same communal psychological drive: we set up a Celebrity on high, put them on a pedestal, then we tear them to shreds when they become weak or vulnerable or meltdown (or whatever).  I don't like the impulses I feel inside me when I see it happen, and I turn away.

I'm sorry if it doesn't really feed back into the actual topic, I can't really tie in what I've paraphrased above with the God concept taking root in early human thought and evolving to what it is today.  Hopefully it's of some interest, but I can't fathom making these thoughts more coherent than they are as I've presented them.  For what it's worth, I've found all of the long posts of everyone else in this topic to be gripping, thought provoking, and engaging reads.
Title: Re: Why God?
Post by: Tank on September 06, 2011, 09:59:07 AM
TJ

I think your observations are very apropos to the subject. My initial thoughts behind the OP were along the lines of starting a discussion rather than presenting a conclusion so your inputs are very welcome; as are everybody's.

Over the last few years of discussing theism from an atheist perspective I have become unsatisfied with the argument 'I'm an atheist because there is no evidence for the supernatural.' My lack of satisfaction with this argument has nothing to do with feeling it is not accurate, far from it. I find it unsatisfactory in that it provides no insight into why the majority of humans publicly profess a belief in the supernatural in the form of god or gods.

From a logical perspective one can't prove beyond doubt that god does not exit. I would say one can prove it beyond 'reasonable doubt' but not everybody is reasonable. So we still face the dichotomy that believing in god is an unreasonable position yet the majority of people still hold that position. So this thread is about why the majority of people do believe in god and what the human roots of that belief are.

I don't think one can expect people to stop believing in god simply from a personal 'I'm right, you're wrong.' discussion. If one is to argue that gods do not exist one has to effectively explain why some people still believe they do and then break that belief down in a logical and emotionally satisfactory way.

So the aim of this thread is to discuss/discover the roots of theistic belief in a naturalistic world and then to explain why it unreasonable to hold to the view that gods exist. One cannot prove that 'God' does not exist but I think one can produce a persuasive argument that 'God' is a product of the evolution of the human mind and thus not real.
             
Title: Re: Why God?
Post by: Too Few Lions on September 06, 2011, 01:33:07 PM
While I think you're right about most things in your hypostheis Tank, personally I think it's unfair to conclude that 'us humans created God out of ignorance and need'. I think that may be a major reason why the belief in gods persists today, but it might not be the reason why people originally started to believe in their existence.

To me, it doesn't seem illogical or ignorant for people to have believed in gods thousands of years ago, when people lacked the technology and scientific knowledge we have today. It seems perfectly logical for people to have believed that the Earth was flat, or that the Sun traversed through a domed sky that was fixed with stars on its outer wall. That's how things appear to be.

When you look back at the earliest known historical religions, I don't think they were that far removed from being the science of their day. The priests of Egypt and Mesopotamia were also astronomers, and I don't think it's unreasonable for them to have believed the Sun, Moon, stars and planets were also gods. The Egyptians knew that when Sirius first rose in the night sky, the Nile would flood, they then linked the two and Sirius was seen as being directly linked to the annual flooding of the Nile.

In Egypt, China, India and Mesopotamia there seems to have been a belief in 'as above, so below', that the heavens mirrored the earth, and the movement of the heavenly bodies directly influenced the world below. This belief still exists, plenty of people still believe in the superstition of astrology, sometimes even atheists! we find similar beliefs in shamanic and other quite basic and traditional societies, often dwellings are built in styles that are seen as a microcosm of the cosmos (as they view it), so it's clearly quite an ancient belief. I suspect it's something to do with the human brain's ability and need to create patterns, which of course has also lead us on the path of scientific discovery.

While religion and the belief in gods undoubtedly predates these civilizations, obviously it's very difficult to know quite what any prehistoric people believed in, as they haven't left us any written evidence of it. But I suspect the belief in the gods living in the heavens (which is still with us today in many religions) considerably predates the earliest historical civilizations, as I find it hard to imagine they came up with complex cosmologies out of the blue. Like most ideologies, religious beliefs tend to be built on older religious beliefs.

Of course the evidence from historical socities only dates back 5000 years, and humankind is maybe forty times older than that, but I think that the same desire to see patterns and correlations in the universe, and desire to explain the world that we now manifest in science was maybe partly at the root of the belief in gods thousands of years ago. Evidence has been put forward to suggest that some paleolithic cave paintings may represent ancient constellations, which may or may not be true, but is feasible.

You can also ask the rather intersesting question of when did people first start to believe in gods? Is it something that only our species has done, or did homo erectus, Neanderthal man and others also believe in their own gods? Was the part of the brain that leads to the belief in gods suitably developed in other human species?
Title: Re: Why God?
Post by: Tank on September 06, 2011, 01:59:52 PM
TFL

I agree with all you have said in your post. I didn't mean to demean our ancestors by calling them ignorant, they were not willfully ignorant but lacked the technologies and world view to challenge their own lack of understanding.

I think your point about pattern matching is also extremely relevent to this matter. We want to see patterns, we are evolved to see patterns, and often create patterns and associations where none actually exist. Humans often confuse coincidence with causation, your point about Sirius being a perfect example. Prayers being answered is another example where one takes the statistically insignificant percentage that appear to be answered as proof where it is really just coincidental. The same goes for astrology too.
Title: Re: Why God?
Post by: Too Few Lions on September 06, 2011, 05:40:47 PM
very true, your original post is really good, I just wanted to add that little bit. I think the belief in gods (particularly in the heavens) wasn't unreasonable or inherently illogical a few thousand years ago, although obviously that's not the case in our modern age!
Title: Re: Why God?
Post by: Tank on September 06, 2011, 06:10:57 PM
Quote from: Too Few Lions on September 06, 2011, 05:40:47 PM
very true, your original post is really good, I just wanted to add that little bit. I think the belief in gods (particularly in the heavens) wasn't unreasonable or inherently illogical a few thousand years ago, although obviously that's not the case in our modern age!
I agree that superstition/belief/faith are the default behaviours when faced with a lack of accurate understanding/information.
Title: Re: Why God?
Post by: xSilverPhinx on September 06, 2011, 07:06:22 PM
Quote from: Too Few Lions on September 06, 2011, 01:33:07 PM
You can also ask the rather intersesting question of when did people first start to believe in gods? Is it something that only our species has done, or did homo erectus, Neanderthal man and others also believe in their own gods? Was the part of the brain that leads to the belief in gods suitably developed in other human species?

Apparently Neanderthals buried their dead, so it's possible that they believed in some sort of "unworldly realty" for the "unworldy soul". Doesn't say much if they believed in any gods, though.
Title: Re: Why God?
Post by: Stevil on September 06, 2011, 08:05:29 PM
Quote from: Too Few Lions on September 06, 2011, 01:33:07 PM
I think it's unfair to conclude that 'us humans created God out of ignorance and need'.
Let's say that religion has been around for over 6,000 years. There are well over 6 billion people on the planet today.
With all this time and all these people, no-one has found any evidence or proof of any of the gods.

Some of the main theistic "proofs" implore the god of the gaps.
e.g. Cosmological Argument, Fine tuning argument, complexity argument.

God 100% completely comes from ignorance. I challenge you to prove otherwise.
Title: Re: Why God?
Post by: Tank on September 06, 2011, 09:24:18 PM
ISoK I have split off your derail into its own thread. Please do not attempt to distupt serious threads with derails.

Split thread can be found here http://www.happyatheistforum.com/forum/index.php?topic=8221.0
Title: Re: Why God?
Post by: Gawen on September 07, 2011, 01:03:08 AM
Quote from: Too Few Lions on September 06, 2011, 01:33:07 PM
While I think you're right about most things in your hypostheis Tank, personally I think it's unfair to conclude that 'us humans created God out of ignorance and need'. I think that may be a major reason why the belief in gods persists today, but it might not be the reason why people originally started to believe in their existence.

To me, it doesn't seem illogical or ignorant for people to have believed in gods thousands of years ago, when people lacked the technology and scientific knowledge we have today.

Technology has nothing to do with it. Ignorance, credulity and evidence has everything to do with it. Early man has the same problem theists have today...faith. There was no proof whatsoever for early man to believe there was a mountain god or a spirit of the river and the like. Because they didn't know the 'scientific' how's and why's of lightning, it is still illogical for them to "believe" in a lightning god without evidence of the lightning god itself.  It is perfectly logical to think that early humans created the gods out of ignorance and need.
Title: Re: Why God?
Post by: Sweetdeath on September 07, 2011, 07:17:52 AM
Quote from: xSilverPhinx on September 06, 2011, 07:06:22 PM
Quote from: Too Few Lions on September 06, 2011, 01:33:07 PM
You can also ask the rather intersesting question of when did people first start to believe in gods? Is it something that only our species has done, or did homo erectus, Neanderthal man and others also believe in their own gods? Was the part of the brain that leads to the belief in gods suitably developed in other human species?

Apparently Neanderthals buried their dead, so it's possible that they believed in some sort of "unworldly realty" for the "unworldy soul". Doesn't say much if they believed in any gods, though.


I ju st saw a documentary about the origin of man, and this was mentiomed!  They also offered the pit (where they threw the dead) a shiny rock.  No, seriously! xD
Title: Re: Why God?
Post by: The Magic Pudding on September 07, 2011, 11:00:51 AM
If someone says they saw Zeus's arm appear from a cloud just before the lighting struck, that would be evidence.
Someone telling the village that Jesus took the form of a goat and assured him the pope truly is infallible is evidence.

As for the first person to find god, well I blame mushrooms.

While I'm being disagreeable there's probably much creativity going into god creation and maintenance.  After all there's all those inconsistencies to be explained away, improved super powers and adventures to be attributed.

Title: Re: Why God?
Post by: Too Few Lions on September 07, 2011, 01:09:54 PM
Quote from: Gawen on September 07, 2011, 01:03:08 AM
Quote from: Too Few Lions on September 06, 2011, 01:33:07 PM
While I think you're right about most things in your hypostheis Tank, personally I think it's unfair to conclude that 'us humans created God out of ignorance and need'. I think that may be a major reason why the belief in gods persists today, but it might not be the reason why people originally started to believe in their existence.

To me, it doesn't seem illogical or ignorant for people to have believed in gods thousands of years ago, when people lacked the technology and scientific knowledge we have today.

Technology has nothing to do with it. Ignorance, credulity and evidence has everything to do with it. Early man has the same problem theists have today...faith. There was no proof whatsoever for early man to believe there was a mountain god or a spirit of the river and the like. Because they didn't know the 'scientific' how's and why's of lightning, it is still illogical for them to "believe" in a lightning god without evidence of the lightning god itself.  It is perfectly logical to think that early humans created the gods out of ignorance and need.

technology has everything to do with it. If you didn't know what the Sun, Moon, stars and planets are, why wouldn't you consider them gods? 5000 years ago, how could anyone have known that the Earth was round or that it rotated around the Sun, or that the Sun was a giant ball of helium and hydrogen. Science and technology have helped us to explain the Universe, but people didn't have that luxury 5-6,000 years ago, they explained the cosmos through myths.

I think it was perfectly logical for people to believe in a flat Earth, then a geocentric model of the cosmos. They then saw the heavenly bodies that inhabited the celestial dome as gods / heavenly rulers and to explained their movement through myths and stories.

Obviously there was also faith and supersition in there too, but there was a strong element of science in ancient religion (particularly mathematics and astronomy). My point was I don't think it was inherently ignorant for people to believe in gods thousands of years ago as there was no scientific explanation for the existence of the cosmos, the movement of the heavens or anything else. Before 5000 years ago there wasn't even any writing.

I don't think many Greeks who were reasonably educated or intelligent ever seriously thought that lightning was Zeus throwing thunderbolts down from heaven. He was a celestial sky god, and lightning comes from the sky, therefore it became one of his attributes and he was often depicted with a keraunos in his hand.
Title: Re: Why God?
Post by: Tank on September 07, 2011, 01:34:24 PM
I would contend that technology has speeded up the demise of superstition. The classic case being the creation of the lens and the tools to make it. Personally I would count the lens as being one of the most important technological developments ever. Initially for the telescope and microscope. These two pieces of scientific equipment opened up the perception of humanity to the universe and the microscopic. Thus the moons of Jupiter and bacteria were discovered, one destroyed geocentrism and the other the 'demon theory' of disease and started the route to modern medicine.

I would agree that logically technology is not needed to disprove the supernatural, there is plenty of obvious stuff around that just needs intelligence and critical thinking to convince one that the supernatural does not exist. However the number of people intelligent enough and with suitable mental skills is so low that anything they said would be shouted down by the superstitious rabble, as it often still is today. However for most people it's very difficult to deny what they see with your own eyes, so seeing Jupiter's moons or a bacteria are a very persuasive demonstration of reality. Trying to argue somebody from a position they are emotionally bound to using logic is much more difficult.

So technology is not needed to disprove god. However imagine walking across America or catching a jet airliner to do the same. Which is quicker and easier?
Title: Re: Why God?
Post by: DeterminedJuliet on September 07, 2011, 03:20:46 PM
Very interesting reads, I enjoyed all of them.

I'd also like to add that beyond confusing cause and effect, humans tend to confuse correlation and effect very readily. When it comes to religion, you can best see this in a long tradition of "sympathetic magic". If you keep a pile of rags in the corner of your house and you discover that rats start springing from them, you come to believe that the rats were literally created out of the pile of rags. This may seem to be a logical assumption, since every time you leave rags in an area, you find rats there. There is a strong correlation, and you take that to be evidence for your superstition.



Title: Re: Why God?
Post by: Too Few Lions on September 07, 2011, 03:51:17 PM
Quote from: Tank on September 07, 2011, 01:34:24 PM
I would contend that technology has speeded up the demise of superstition. The classic case being the creation of the lens and the tools to make it. Personally I would count the lens as being one of the most important technological developments ever. Initially for the telescope and microscope. These two pieces of scientific equipment opened up the perception of humanity to the universe and the microscopic. Thus the moons of Jupiter and bacteria were discovered, one destroyed geocentrism and the other the 'demon theory' of disease and started the route to modern medicine.

I couldn't agree more. Both allowed us to realise the vast scale of the universe that people thousands of years ago could never have imagined.

I was reading about the Antikythera mechanism last week, which is a fascinating example of the importance of the movement of the stars and heavenly bodies to the ancient Greeks, and ancient astronomy;

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Antikythera_mechanism
Title: Re: Why God?
Post by: xSilverPhinx on September 07, 2011, 04:26:06 PM
Apparently not only people are superstitious animals. Look up B.F. Skinner's superstitious pidgeons if you're interested.

I take the evolutionary biological approach (since we evolved, it's a good place to start, and it makes a lot of sense). Superstition is a result of our brains doing what they evolved to do.
Title: Re: Why God?
Post by: Gawen on September 08, 2011, 12:59:23 AM
Quote from: Too Few Lions

technology has everything to do with it.
No no no, TFL. You're mixing two different things. The supernatural cannot be verified as can the sun, moon, etc. That's why I didn't use the rest of your post.


Title: Re: Why God?
Post by: Too Few Lions on September 08, 2011, 10:56:01 AM
Quote from: Gawen on September 08, 2011, 12:59:23 AM
Quote from: Too Few Lions

technology has everything to do with it.
No no no, TFL. You're mixing two different things. The supernatural cannot be verified as can the sun, moon, etc. That's why I didn't use the rest of your post

??? I'm not sure it's me that's mixing things up! I never said that the supernatural could be verified. My point was that people 5000 years ago didn't have the technology we have today in order to know what the Sun, Moon, stars etc actually are, or even to know that the Earth was round or that it rotates around the Sun, or a million other things we take as common knowledge. Therefore it doesn't seem unreasonable or illogical to me for the heavenly bodies to have been considered gods. Even as an atheist in the 21st century I think the night sky can be quite awe inspiring, particularly if you get away from all the modern light interference. If I'd have lived 5000 years ago I suspect I may well have thought the Sun and stars were gods too.
Title: Re: Why God?
Post by: Gawen on September 08, 2011, 01:01:11 PM
TFL,
I went back to reread your initial post - I see the fault and it is mine. Sorry. It's not that you were "mixing" it up, it was a seeming contradiction. You say:


Quotepersonally I think it's unfair to conclude that 'us humans created God out of ignorance and need'.

To me, it doesn't seem illogical or ignorant for people to have believed in gods thousands of years ago, when people lacked the technology and scientific knowledge we have today.
If a person doesn't have the knowledge of how lightning forms, he is ignorant of the facts and illogical to posit a god forms lightning from that ignorance when there is a plethora of "reasons" lightning may be formed (all of those wrong as well).

It's no different than some Christians believe the big bang started from a god. It is these Christians ignorance of the facts and their need to have it explained and form fit their worldview that makes Tank's assertion stand out. The only intellectually honest answer for the big bang occurring and how in ancient times lightning formed is "I don't know". So, it's not unfair at all to say that ancient man's reasons were born of ignorance when they didn't have the knowledge and needed to explain phenomena they didn't understand.
Title: Re: Why God?
Post by: Stevil on September 09, 2011, 01:56:22 AM
Something I have noticed about human behavior is that people like answers. If they don't have enough information, then they make do with what they have got and simply make up the answer as a best guess. This is conditioned into our psych

For example:
MARY'S FATHER HAS FIVE DAUGHTERS:
1.        NANA, 2. NENE, 3. NINI,  4. NONO, AND ???
2.        WHAT IS THE NAME OF THE FIFTH DAUGHTER?

BTW - If you know the answer, please don't post it. We know how smart you are. I just want people to see if they jump to conclusions here. Some people will, some won't.

When my wife and myself answered this, I knew what the answer was, but my wife guessed the answer. I found it interesting that she guessed the answer, I mean, if she didn't know, why didn't she either state that she didn't know or re-read the question and think it through until she did know the answer. Why make a wild guess?
Title: Re: Why God?
Post by: xSilverPhinx on September 09, 2011, 04:39:54 AM
My guess would be she either thought she knew the answer or felt that she had nothing to loose if she got it wrong.

Basing it on my own experience, I guess answers all the time, but when there isn't that much to loose. During an exam, for instance, I can easily become paralysed because I'm reluctant to guess, because if I get it wrong, I would have a lot to loose by not gaining anything. During exercises though, I guess like there's no tomorrow...
Title: Re: Why God?
Post by: Asmodean on September 09, 2011, 05:00:02 AM
Quote from: Stevil on September 09, 2011, 01:56:22 AM
We know how smart you are. I just want people to see if they jump to conclusions here. Some people will, some won't.
I don't get it... The answer is gi...

QuoteBTW - If you know the answer, please don't post it.
...Oh.  :(
Title: Re: Why God?
Post by: xSilverPhinx on September 09, 2011, 05:39:37 AM
Quote from: Asmodean on September 09, 2011, 05:00:02 AM
Quote from: Stevil on September 09, 2011, 01:56:22 AM
We know how smart you are. I just want people to see if they jump to conclusions here. Some people will, some won't.
I don't get it... The answer is gi...

QuoteBTW - If you know the answer, please don't post it.
...Oh.  :(

Come on, he put the answer there, it's ???

;)
Title: Re: Why God?
Post by: Sweetdeath on September 09, 2011, 06:03:53 AM
I think I know the answer.  I think.
Title: Re: Why God?
Post by: Asmodean on September 09, 2011, 06:17:45 AM
Quote from: xSilverPhinx on September 09, 2011, 05:39:37 AM
Come on, he put the answer there, it's ???
...Yes, that is what I don't get.
Title: Re: Why God?
Post by: Tank on September 09, 2011, 09:02:45 AM
Quote from: Stevil on September 09, 2011, 01:56:22 AM
Something I have noticed about human behavior is that people like answers. If they don't have enough information, then they make do with what they have got and simply make up the answer as a best guess. This is conditioned into our psych

{snip}
This is so true. For decades I have seen business people substitute common-sense/gut-feel in place of hard data and research. Mainly because it's easier, cheaper and quicker to guess than actually put in the effort to find out. The effect was to create a 'superstition' about the market place, guess after guess based on assumption after assumption all devoid of any reference to reality. Add in an authority figure (the boss) who has to like/approve the consensus and can sack you if you hold a differing opinion and you have a recipe for institutionalised stupidity.  See any similarities with theistic thought processes?
Title: Re: Why God?
Post by: Too Few Lions on September 09, 2011, 11:14:49 AM
Quote from: Stevil on September 09, 2011, 01:56:22 AM
Something I have noticed about human behavior is that people like answers. If they don't have enough information, then they make do with what they have got and simply make up the answer as a best guess. This is conditioned into our psych
too true, it still goes on even in academic / scientific research. People make theories based on how they see the evidence, which itself may be influenced by their personal beliefs, and then try and find evidence that backs up that model, sometimes choosing to ignore evidence that refutes it. Plus a lot of people have egos, and quite often they're out to make a name for themselves.

The plus side with science or history is that someone else can come along with a better theory and hopefully that replaces the less accurate one. The trouble with something like the Bible or the Quran is that people are basing their beliefs on a book written 1300-2500 years ago when human understanding of the universe was very different to what it is today.
Title: Re: Why God?
Post by: Stevil on September 09, 2011, 11:16:48 AM
Quote from: xSilverPhinx on September 09, 2011, 04:39:54 AM
My guess would be she either thought she knew the answer
I agree with this. She thought she knew the answer. But how could have she known, given the answer that she came up with?
She couldn't have known because there was no evidence to suggest her answer was correct. She made a wild assumption and followed a pattern that she had observed but who is to say that this pattern was not just coincidental. (This is somewhat like the Catholic assumption that Jesus didn't want ordained women, his twelve apostles were men therefore he must have not wanted women to be ordained)
This is deriving knowledge from patterns from very small sample sets.

The dilemma theists find themselves in is that they cannot simply ask their god for clarification. They have been taught not to expect to be able to do this. So instead they look for clues in their scripture. But scriptures are often missing much needed detail, even Catholics agree that scripture is incomplete so they then resort to tradition or simply making stuff up as in the "without sin" nature of their beloved virgin Mary. This is really scraping the bottom of the barrel. I'm sure if they found some lost scriptures that provided clarity then they would take the new scripture over their tradition or made up stuff. If their god all of a sudden started talking to them then they would gladly have that override scripture, so they would understand how weak the knowledge derived from tradition and made up stuff is and also how weak the knowledge derived from scripture is. But they don't have this so they cling life and limb to their tradition and made up stuff, because they are forced to, if they want to continue to believe in their deity.

So my big conclusion here is that they want to believe in a deity.
That's why god. Not to do with fact or knowledge but a want.
The want is likely based on emotion, ego, desire for answers, desire to instil children with a morality, desire for existence to be derived from a universal good.
Title: Re: Why God?
Post by: Stevil on September 09, 2011, 11:20:06 AM
Quote from: Too Few Lions on September 09, 2011, 11:14:49 AM
The plus side with science or history is that someone else can come along with a better theory
The biggest plus side of the scientific method is that the evidence is documented in all its glory so that others can try to recreate it or try to refute it. Skepticism is extremely important to keep scientific theories honest.
Title: Re: Why God?
Post by: Too Few Lions on September 09, 2011, 11:41:10 AM
Quote from: Stevil on September 09, 2011, 11:16:48 AM
So my big conclusion here is that they want to believe in a deity.
That's why god. Not to do with fact or knowledge but a want.
The want is likely based on emotion, ego, desire for answers, desire to instil children with a morality, desire for existence to be derived from a universal good.
I think that's definitely a major reason (particularly nowadays). I also would suspect there's something in peoples' genes / brain wiring as to whether they're more likely to be believers or skeptics.

Personally I also think there was a touch of Isaac Newton to religion thousands of years ago. Much as he's considered one of the most famous scientists ever, he was also very religious. Would we consider him ignorant? He said "Gravity explains the motions of the planets, but it cannot explain who set the planets in motion." which I think was partly at the root of ancient religion. People studied the heavens, saw that the Sun, Moon, planets, stars moved in an orderly and predictable way and assumed there had to be a force moving them and bringing order to the cosmos. This was a world without machines, for something to be put in motion and regulated motion at that, people thought there must have been a prime mover.
Title: Re: Why God?
Post by: Stevil on September 11, 2011, 02:49:33 AM
Quote from: Too Few Lions on September 09, 2011, 11:41:10 AM
for something to be put in motion and regulated motion at that, people thought there must have been a prime mover.
But of course we now know that if there are two system's in space consisting of mass then they attract each other and will eventually move towards each other, unless of course there is a greater force keeping them apart.

(BTW) Movement is a relative concept as we don't know how to work out what an absolute stationary point is.
Title: Re: Why God?
Post by: Stevil on September 11, 2011, 03:34:17 AM
Back to why god.

So if a person tells you that they believe in god because all the evidence points to god then we know that this person is lying to themselves with regards to their reason to believe.
There is no evidence, even theists know this.

If they state they know there is a god because of the complexity of the universe or the infinite regression issue then again this person is lying to themselves.
Theists know that scientists and cosmologists do not have all the answers to the universe, they know there are many great mysteries and that deriving knowledge from the gaps is therefore dishonest.

If they state they know god exists because of answered prayer, again they are lying to themselves. There is no measurable difference with regards to the statistical probability of an event whether prayed for or not. Of course, theists already know this. If you ask them for references to studies on prayer, they will tell you that prayer doesn't work like this. It is never answered in a tangible, measurable way.

If they state they know god exists because of miracles, well, miracles in a lot of ways are highly unprobable outcomes but always possible. Never seen a human grow a limb back have you? In many ways this is an argument of god of the gaps, or a desire to feel blessed by god. I'm not sure if theists know better here but superstition is an intuitive human trait. Ever met sportspeople wearing a particular set of sox, carrying out some ritual or abstaining from sex before the big game?

Really, to me the only honest reason for a theist to believe in a god is with regards to their claim of a "personal experience". To an outsider it seems to be delusional, simply a chemical imbalance or a response to a traumatic event. But to the person experiencing it, it must seem very real.
i never know how they tie this experience into a particular religion or denomination.

But really they are simply looking for reasons to justify their wants. No-one will simply admit to believing in something just because they want to believe in it.



Title: Re: Why God?
Post by: The Magic Pudding on September 11, 2011, 03:40:59 AM
Quote from: Stevil on September 11, 2011, 02:49:33 AM
(BTW) Movement is a relative concept as we don't know how to work out what an absolute stationary point is.

There it is an official stationary point, it's a 1987 Woolloomooloo post office queue.
The queue was moved to a BIPM vault in 1992, none of those in the queue seemed to notice.
Title: Re: Why God?
Post by: Too Few Lions on September 13, 2011, 05:05:37 PM
Quote from: Stevil on September 11, 2011, 02:49:33 AM
Quote from: Too Few Lions on September 09, 2011, 11:41:10 AM
for something to be put in motion and regulated motion at that, people thought there must have been a prime mover.
But of course we now know that if there are two system's in space consisting of mass then they attract each other and will eventually move towards each other, unless of course there is a greater force keeping them apart.

(BTW) Movement is a relative concept as we don't know how to work out what an absolute stationary point is.
true, but in the ancient model of the universe there were two stationary points. Firstly the Earth which was believed to be set fast and unmovable, and secondly the pole star / celestial pole, which appears to be steadfast in the heavens and which all the other stars revolve around.
Title: Re: Why God?
Post by: Tank on December 05, 2011, 08:49:59 AM
Bump for n00bs.
Title: Re: Why God?
Post by: not your typical... on December 06, 2011, 09:27:18 PM
Quote from: Stevil on September 05, 2011, 08:45:02 AM
To answer "Why God?", you need to ask "Why Me?"

It's a very simple intuitive philosophical question, exploding into a plethora of complicated, intricate and textured puzzles.
Who am I?
How come I am me and not someone else?
Have I always been?
Where will I go when my body fails?
Why am I in this body, in this time and place?
Where did I come from? Yeah, I know, Dad's jizz, Mum's egg in the oven. But I am more that just flesh and bone. I am master of this body I possess. With it's limits and flaws, I am not that mirrored reflection, I am much more.
Don't judge me on how I look, how dare you, this vessel is pure chance. It's what is on the inside that is my pride and joy, I've crafted and shaped myself, I've removed my constraints, I've expanded my horizons, expectations and imagination. I can control who I am, just not so much on what I look like.

But I am special, I am not someone else, I am me. I have consciousness and intelligence, creativity and personality. I am certainly no stupid animal. There is no-one quite like me, never has been, never will be again. I am special, I am unique.

But what chance was there of me being me. If a different sperm had made it to that egg, if mum hadn't been in the mood that day, if mum and dad had fallen for someone else instead, what about grandma and grandpa? if they hadn't got together. Wow, the mind boggles. The chances against me being born are stupidly horrendously infinitesimally small, almost negligible.

I shouldn't be here, I shouldn't be me. It just doesn't make sense that I am here.

But then someone tells me about god. It completely makes sense. God made me in his image, god made this place for me (I mean) us. I was meant to be, god had a plan and I was always going to be in it. God loves me and wants me to come to heaven with him afterwards. It's all part of god's plan, and now I know my purpose.

But then someone tells me about evolution. You've got to be fu%#ing kidding, right. You look like a damn monkey, me, god created me in his image, I'm special, not just some outrageous random chance, an evolved monkey for god's sake! God is bigger than you and me, he created us because he loves us, he loves me. I'm special I tell you, all of creation was made for me (I mean) us.  

You can shove that fu%#ing monkey up your a$$ you c@ck s&%king atheist, devil worshiping child of godless wh%re. F%$k you, who the F*%@ do you and your %&king d*&^% t%$^ pri#k.

You just need to believe you d%&kwad, you filthy p%$!n w*nk#r, go k&ll yo%$self, and sh*t and die.

God loves you, you know. God IS love, why are you such a blind p&n!sfaced jockstrap and deny this fact. God doesn't want your hate and lies. You monkey lover, why don't you just go back to the jungle where you belong, F&*ck You!
HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA! Made my day that much brighter. And I think one of the main reasons people still believe is as a security blanket. So that if God is real, and heaven as well as hell do exists, by believing one is guaranteed as spot in Heaven.
Title: Re: Why God?
Post by: MadBomr101 on December 07, 2011, 01:49:37 AM
Quote from: Stevil on September 05, 2011, 08:45:02 AMHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA! Made my day that much brighter. And I think one of the main reasons people still believe is as a security blanket. So that if God is real, and heaven as well as hell do exists, by believing one is guaranteed as spot in Heaven.

It's Pacal's Wager.  I think a lot of people drink the Xian kool-aid just in case.
Title: Re: Why God?
Post by: Pharaoh Cat on December 26, 2011, 12:23:16 PM
I will add the fact that people often need to believe in a just universe.  They need to believe justice is part of the overall cause and effect of nature.  And so the murderer dies of illness or accident and this is attributed to angry ghosts, or vengeance demons, or the August Supreme Emperor of Jade.  A universe indifferent to murder is unthinkable to many.  The atheist accepts that if humans fail to avenge murder, then murder will go forever unavenged, for neither bacteria nor viruses, nor gravity nor the laws of motion, nor poisonous nor mighty-jawed beasts, nor weather on land or sea, cares a whit for our mourning.
   


     
Title: Re: Why God?
Post by: Stevil on December 27, 2011, 09:57:01 AM
Quote from: Pharaoh Cat on December 26, 2011, 12:23:16 PM
I will add the fact that people often need to believe in a just universe.  They need to believe justice is part of the overall cause and effect of nature.  And so the murderer dies of illness or accident and this is attributed to angry ghosts, or vengeance demons, or the August Supreme Emperor of Jade.  A universe indifferent to murder is unthinkable to many.  The atheist accepts that if humans fail to avenge murder, then murder will go forever unavenged, for neither bacteria nor viruses, nor gravity nor the laws of motion, nor poisonous nor mighty-jawed beasts, nor weather on land or sea, cares a whit for our mourning.
Very good post.
Title: Re: Why God?
Post by: Pharaoh Cat on December 29, 2011, 03:03:17 AM
If you're an atheist, you acknowledge that your life will have no purpose, no justice, no hope, no beauty, and no wisdom, unless you put yourself out on a limb, exposed, vulnerable, fallible, unsure.  The theist, by contrast, dares no such thing, but looks instead to God for purpose by fiat, justice by fiat, hope and beauty and wisdom by fiat.
Title: Re: Why God?
Post by: Asmodean on December 29, 2011, 03:27:18 AM
Quote from: Pharaoh Cat on December 29, 2011, 03:03:17 AM
fiat.

Dreadful cars. The Asmos, they do things by Volkswagen  ;D
Title: Re: Why God?
Post by: Twentythree on December 29, 2011, 09:30:22 PM
I would imagine that the root of religion comes from 2 very basic evolutionary tools. Reciprocal altruism and societal hierarchy or dominance. So in order for a community of proto humans to exist they would have had to develop the very basic forms of reciprocal altruism. A basic principal that says I do a thing for you, you do a thing for me or better yet, I give you something and I will receive something in return (You pick my ticks and I'll pick yours).

Primitive humans got everything they needed from the earth, it stands to reason then that if I wanted something from the earth i.e food or water, it would make sense in my primitive mind that if I give the earth something, I will get what I want from the earth. This could have been the birth of ritual and sacrifice. I give the earth my precious blood, or a special song or dance then in turn I should get what I want from the earth. If you couple this with a tendency toward hierarchal dominance in a group then the alpha of the group will be the one who is responsible for the protection of the group. This would impart a special social responsibility to the alpha of the group to engage in a tit for tat type of reciprocal altruism with the earth. The earth then gives to the alpha, the alpha then gives to the group, in one fell swoop both chiefs and gods are born and the nearly constant theme that chiefs/kings/pharos are as gods or the portal to gods has begun.
It did not have to be the whole earth in the beginning either it could have been something as simple as a river. We live near this river. We get precious water and food from the river. The river cannot get to the forest so I will take precious and beautiful things form the forest, such as food, flowers etc. and give it to the river. If I give it to the river the river should run strong and clean and give us food because that is what I want from the river. I believe my chief has the most influence with the river so instead I will give precious things form the forest to the chief, the chief will then give to the river the river will continue to give us food and water.

This could be even more the case in agrarian groups where the influence of the river is seasonal. Some yeas we come by this place and the river is full of clean water and food. Other years we come by and the water is dirty and the food is foul. If I give I shall receive and therefore when we are in the plains I will collect berries and flowers to give to the river. I will please the river and the river will want to please me so next time we visit it will be full of food and clean water.

It is not hard then to see why soon thereafter ritual sacrifice and the erection of temples for gods and chiefs alike became the norm in virtually all ancient human societies. I build you a temple you give me rain. If you were to couple group dominance and altruism with imagination then it is not hard to see how a chief could be bestowed with all sorts of powers. Give a gift to the chief and he will give you a baby. When that chief dies you then give gifts to the altar of the chief and so on and so forth. Until we are where we are today. God the ultimate alpha responsible for all woes and joys on earth. We sacrifice mortal compulsion in hopes that we will be given all the things we need in this life and beyond. It is a reciprocal altruistic relationship that modern humans have with god. I give you my time, love, devotion, I make sacrifices by refraining from perceived evils all in the hopes that I will get what's coming to me in the end.
Title: Re: Why God?
Post by: Sweetdeath on December 30, 2011, 01:51:55 AM
Quote from: Pharaoh Cat on December 29, 2011, 03:03:17 AM
If you're an atheist, you acknowledge that your life will have no purpose, no justice, no hope, no beauty, and no wisdom, unless you put yourself out on a limb, exposed, vulnerable, fallible, unsure.  The theist, by contrast, dares no such thing, but looks instead to God for purpose by fiat, justice by fiat, hope and beauty and wisdom by fiat.


I've actually heard theists say that  everything in their lives is because of god and fate. I control my own life. If they want to  believe that, I say wow. Pretty lazy.
Title: Re: Why God?
Post by: Pharaoh Cat on December 30, 2011, 09:59:07 AM
Quote from: Twentythree on December 29, 2011, 09:30:22 PM
Primitive humans got everything they needed from the earth, it stands to reason then that if I wanted something from the earth i.e food or water, it would make sense in my primitive mind that if I give the earth something, I will get what I want from the earth.

That's interesting.  It implies a failure to distinguish accurately between the animate and inanimate - and here's the really interesting part, for me: I have observed this in my cat!  I play with her often using a toy, a long, stuffed plushy.  I wrestle her with it and chase her with it.  She seems to love these games.  I have seen her on many occasions attack the toy with gusto, when I wasn't playing with her, and the toy was lying there on the floor, immobile.  I get the distinct impression that she expects or at least hopes the toy will wrestle her or chase her even when it's not in my hand!  I think she fails to distinguish accurately between the animate and inanimate.

Title: Re: Why God?
Post by: Pharaoh Cat on December 31, 2011, 03:08:57 AM
I think another reason for wanting to believe in God might be the idea that somehow it provides a better answer to the endless string of "Why" questions a child might ask about the universe. 

Curious Kate: "Why does every action have an equal and opposite reaction?"
Theist: "God."
Atheist: "That's just the way it is."

Curious Kate: "Why is there anything rather than nothing?"
Theist: "God."
Atheist: "That's just the way it is."

But of course the God answer is merely a delaying tactic. 

Curious Kate: "Why does an object at rest tend to stay at rest?"
Theist: "God."
Curious Kate: "But why did God do that?"
Theist: "That's just the way He rolls."
Curious Kate: "Why is there a God at all?"
Theist: "That's just the way it is."

I have sympathy for the discomfort some feel when confronted with the answer, "That's just the way it is."  I feel that discomfort myself.  I hate acknowledging that some things just are - that some attributes or elements of reality are fundamental, axiomatic, inexplicable.  But that's just the way it is.

Not too long ago I expressed bewilderment as to why it didn't seem to bug anyone that an army of glorified amoebas in our skulls, connected so chemicals can flow between them, learn language, learn science, learn math.  Why do microscopic blobs networked into a web via dendrites learn sports, learn geography, learn manners, learn logic?  The answer seems to be, "That's just the way it is."  Sapience seems to be a fundamental, axiomatic, inexplicable principle of reality when microbes chain themselves together and pass chemicals back and forth.  I hate that answer.  But I think that answer may be correct.  It may be that sapience in a healthy brain just is.  As the universe just is.  As the laws of motion just are.





Title: Re: Why God?
Post by: Ecurb Noselrub on December 31, 2011, 03:58:46 AM
Quote from: Pharaoh Cat on December 30, 2011, 09:59:07 AM
 I think she fails to distinguish accurately between the animate and inanimate.

She has no theory of minds.
Title: Re: Why God?
Post by: Pharaoh Cat on December 31, 2011, 08:39:29 AM
I think another reason people subscribe to the God concept would be the rationale it provides for trusting in progress.  If some intelligent force is in control of events, we have reason to hope for an inexorable rising and advancing.  Without God, life can and very well may descend or retreat. 

In the wild, if shedding complexity yields sufficient advantage in terms of needing fewer calories, or being less vulnerable to germ or poison, or being smaller and thus able to adventure in some niche or hide in some refuge previously too small for you, then reduced complexity may proliferate, and the species that might otherwise have continued to rise and advance all the way to technology might instead descend and retreat into a life not unlike that of a squirrel's. 

As with creatures in the wild, so too with human civilization.  In our cities and towns, catering or submitting to stupidity may enable economic or political safety or gain.  If so, stupidity will proliferate, not only naturally, but also by design, as those who benefit push society at bottom, middle, and top, in the direction of imbecility, and a civilization that might otherwise have built cities on Mars might instead sink down into the bread and circuses of an imploding empire.

If retrogression wins, retrogression proliferates.  But God wouldn't let that happen, right?
Title: Re: Why God?
Post by: Pharaoh Cat on December 31, 2011, 03:21:11 PM
Finally, I think people believe in God so as to gain an imagined increase in power.  An atheist faces the world with nothing but the muscular, intellectual, and emotional strength inherent in the self and one's allies.  A believer imagines being able to transcend these limitations.  What our muscles cannot lift, pull, or push, God can.  What our intellects cannot answer, solve, or outsmart, God can.  What our emotions cannot bear, God can.  We need only believe and pray, and we will have omnipotence and omniscience augmenting our efforts, or even our lack of efforts.

This is precisely the area where faith and atheism contend most often and most robustly.  The believer prays, and nothing happens.  No outside force swoops in and alters the situation to the believer's advantage.  Everything stays the same or gets worse.  No factors emerge but those which already were present or latent in the situation all along.  The believer's power turns out to be what an atheist would always have assumed it was.  The believer can lift, pull and push with human efficacy; answer, solve, and outsmart within human cognitive limits; bear pressure with human courage.  The believer's power can transcend self, but only in this: a little help from one's friends.  As the believer comes to terms with this, the possibility of honesty arises, honesty with the self, and perhaps, if fear doesn't win, the illusion of invisible aid is shed, and another atheist walks the earth, self-reliant, tribe-reliant, world-defiant.


Title: Re: Why God?
Post by: Twentythree on January 03, 2012, 10:21:42 PM
Quote from: Pharaoh Cat on December 31, 2011, 08:39:29 AM
I think another reason people subscribe to the God concept would be the rationale it provides for trusting in progress.  If some intelligent force is in control of events, we have reason to hope for an inexorable rising and advancing.  Without God, life can and very well may descend or retreat. 

In the wild, if shedding complexity yields sufficient advantage in terms of needing fewer calories, or being less vulnerable to germ or poison, or being smaller and thus able to adventure in some niche or hide in some refuge previously too small for you, then reduced complexity may proliferate, and the species that might otherwise have continued to rise and advance all the way to technology might instead descend and retreat into a life not unlike that of a squirrel's. 

As with creatures in the wild, so too with human civilization.  In our cities and towns, catering or submitting to stupidity may enable economic or political safety or gain.  If so, stupidity will proliferate, not only naturally, but also by design, as those who benefit push society at bottom, middle, and top, in the direction of imbecility, and a civilization that might otherwise have built cities on Mars might instead sink down into the bread and circuses of an imploding empire.

If retrogression wins, retrogression proliferates.  But God wouldn't let that happen, right?


Not necessarily. History has been punctuated with sever backslides in intellect and technological progress. If you look at the reformation, or the Spanish inquisition or the dark ages all of these periods of time were marked by religious extremism. Even today in some of the most religious regions of the world, technological progress and civil liberties grind to a halt. On the other had the renaissance, counterreformation or the enlightenment period that followed the inquisition were all intellectual revolts against religiously dominated monarchies. So I think that god or at least extremist religious adherence has a hugely negative impact on society. That is why Christian fundamentalism is so frightening in the US today. These fundamentalists are against everything from gay marriage to birth control and those are things that anyone with an intellectual perspective will tell you are not only basic human rights but necessary for the further success of our civilization on this planet. I have a feeling that the united states is dangerously close to a regression if not a full blown collapse. In light of our economic problems and the rise of religious fundamentalism we may be in store for some rough times ahead.

I digress. I really think that as I stated before god is a primitive concept based on hegemony and reciprocal altruism. However religious tendencies seem to be evolved as sort of a hyper tribalism. In tribes the most important people are family. And the further removed from the nucleus of the family you are the less likely it will be that you will reap any of the familial benefits of evolved kin altruism. This ultimately leads to small disparate tribes.  As populations grew success of these tribes hinged on their ability to coalesce into a single unified tribe. There is no better way for this to happen then for natural selection to favor those who will unwittingly follow their leader, creating a type of family super cell or a deeper tribalism based on following the alpha, as soon as the alpha concept evolved to encompass the idea of the supernatural then the necessary reinforcement for both: belief in the false and unwavering devotion, were destined to follow. However, as Dawkins describes as part of his hawks and doves analogy, a population of all believers will suffer from sinister infiltration of even one non believer so in order to reach an ESS there has to be a sufficient number of faithers (made up term) and a sufficient number of non faithers in order to stabilize the population in an environment. If this pendulum swings too greatly in either direction the population suffers until it reaches a new equilibrium. All of the examples above are of times when the population of believers at least those with significant societal influence became the majority. Hence an eventual revolution of intellect to restore the balance of faith based tribalism and intellectual individualism within human populations restoring it to a state of equilibrium.

As a side note I have found that equilibrium is probably one of the most difficult concepts for people to understand about evolution. A majority of the people I talk to have the impression that evolution means "to make better". But that's not the case, evolution will never make the "best" lifeform but it will always make the most stable life form. And just as you stated in your post sometimes that means unevolving (if that is a real thing) eyes, as is the case with cave dwelling animals like salamanders or bats. Or unevolving movable digits as is the case with water dwelling mammals. Evolution does not look to make anything better it only looks to make things stable in regard to their environment.
Title: Re: Why God?
Post by: Twentythree on January 03, 2012, 10:28:45 PM
Quote from: Pharaoh Cat on December 31, 2011, 03:21:11 PM
Finally, I think people believe in God so as to gain an imagined increase in power.  An atheist faces the world with nothing but the muscular, intellectual, and emotional strength inherent in the self and one's allies.  A believer imagines being able to transcend these limitations.  What our muscles cannot lift, pull, or push, God can.  What our intellects cannot answer, solve, or outsmart, God can.  What our emotions cannot bear, God can.  We need only believe and pray, and we will have omnipotence and omniscience augmenting our efforts, or even our lack of efforts.

This is precisely the area where faith and atheism contend most often and most robustly.  The believer prays, and nothing happens.  No outside force swoops in and alters the situation to the believer's advantage.  Everything stays the same or gets worse.  No factors emerge but those which already were present or latent in the situation all along.  The believer's power turns out to be what an atheist would always have assumed it was.  The believer can lift, pull and push with human efficacy; answer, solve, and outsmart within human cognitive limits; bear pressure with human courage.  The believer's power can transcend self, but only in this: a little help from one's friends.  As the believer comes to terms with this, the possibility of honesty arises, honesty with the self, and perhaps, if fear doesn't win, the illusion of invisible aid is shed, and another atheist walks the earth, self-reliant, tribe-reliant, world-defiant.




I'm not sure if I agree with a sense of increased personal power. I think that a majority of world religions teach modesty and humility. So I do not think believers often think that with their faith comes any sort of increase in distinctly human attributes. Where religion does come in hand is in the way in which believers view concepts such as mortality and isolation. A true believer will not fear death as they are under the impression that death is actually better or comparable to living, if you have lived in accordance to the religious laws you have been given. These same individuals through faith have no fear of isolation. They know that they can use their faith to build and fortify more networks of believers on basically that virtue alone. They do not have to be overly concerned with being particularly interesting, helpful, loyal or kind in order to build relationships. The hyper tribalism of religion will do that for them. This of course in sot saying the religious people are not kind and loyal and interesting and helpful. It's just stating that in their worldview, death and loneliness are not as debilitating or frightening as it may be for someone who believes that life is finite, and has to rely on their own personal merits for forge and sustain all their relationships. This may not increase the believers individual physical or intellectual prowess but it may give them as a group psychological edge under certain conditions. This was probably even more true in early human societies and is another reason that the propensity for religious faith could have been selected for in nature.
Title: Re: Why God?
Post by: Stevil on January 15, 2012, 08:58:17 PM
I see religion as the tool used to bestow morals as a "way to behave" and possibly as a "way to judge". The ultimate reason for this is survival. People whom act "immorally" as judged by society risk violent retaliation or prison. Children struggle with reason and so are taught morals allowing them to avoid "immoral" actions and hence the consequences.

Thinking about the concept of Natural Law which is really just a recognition that groups or individuals within society will resort to violence if certain abilities (rights) are violated, irregardless of what the law states as legally right.
For example if it were legal to keep people as slaves, these slaves would deem their ability (right) to freedom as having been violated. They will seek to regain this ability, potentially via the use of violence.

So we live in a violent society with many individuals capable of violence. Some will act violently because of selfish reasons, some will act violently because their abilities (rights) have been unjustly violated, some will act violently in order to support other society members whose abilities (rights) have been unjustly violated.

As an amoralist a person needs to invoke reason, consideration and thought with regards to developing personal values or in order to decide how to behave within society. It is recognised by many governments that this type of thinking is easier for an adult to do and much more difficult for a child or adolescent. Proof of this is the distinction between being tried in court as an adult (with severe consequences) as opposed to be tried as a juvenile (with mild consequences).

In terms of survival, it makes sense for parents (whom have a vested interest in the survival of their dependents), to teach their children how to behave and hence avoid members of society reacting violently towards their children in response to actions performed by their children.
So parents then teach their own personal values to their children. Personal values and morals are similar in concept, they both act as a quick reference with regards to how a person chooses the actions they perform in society. Morals go a step further with regards to how one judges others within society. Personal values are subject to change via reason and thoughtful consideration as each personal value ultimately represents a reasoned and thoughtful justification. Morals are only justified in so far as what is deemed as morally wrong or morally right.
Many parent recognise that they are no authority when it comes to understanding social behavior and understanding all the actions that society might react adversely to. Hence they look towards wiser people for guidance on values for themselves and to teach to their children.
Religion fills this requirement. But because religion don't feel the need to justify the taught values, they become a moral code.

Title: Re: Why God?
Post by: Liar For Jesus on January 18, 2012, 02:52:53 PM
'I see religion as the tool used to bestow morals as a "way to behave" and possibly as a "way to judge". '

REPLY:  What do you think about people having an absolute moral code written on their fibre especially on major issues such as murder always being wrong , cheating always being wrong, incest always being wrong, et al... in all Civilizations thruout the World ?   Isnt it intrinsic IN everyone as far as the way to behave  (exemplified by the way we EXPECT others to treat us ?).  What do you think ?
Title: Re: Why God?
Post by: McQ on January 18, 2012, 03:52:03 PM
Quote from: Struggling Atheist on January 18, 2012, 02:52:53 PM
'I see religion as the tool used to bestow morals as a "way to behave" and possibly as a "way to judge". '

REPLY:  What do you think about people having an absolute moral code written on their fibre especially on major issues such as murder always being wrong , cheating always being wrong, incest always being wrong, et al... in all Civilizations thruout the World ?   Isnt it intrinsic IN everyone as far as the way to behave  (exemplified by the way we EXPECT others to treat us ?).  What do you think ?

Really? Evidence that this is true? Can you point to something that specifically says that all civilizations throughout all time having all of these things as being wrong?
Title: Re: Why God?
Post by: Too Few Lions on January 18, 2012, 04:01:31 PM
Quote from: Struggling Atheist on January 18, 2012, 02:52:53 PM
'I see religion as the tool used to bestow morals as a "way to behave" and possibly as a "way to judge". '

REPLY:  What do you think about people having an absolute moral code written on their fibre especially on major issues such as murder always being wrong , cheating always being wrong, incest always being wrong, et al... in all Civilizations thruout the World ?   Isnt it intrinsic IN everyone as far as the way to behave  (exemplified by the way we EXPECT others to treat us ?).  What do you think ?
I disagree that those things are hardwired absolute moral codes

1: murder always being wrong. 'Murder' may be considered wrong, but killing someone isn't necessarily considered wrong in a lot of societies throughout history eg war, assassination, human sacrifice, gladiatorial contests, capital punishment. Murder is by definition the name given to the act of killing someone when society doesn't sapprove of the killing, therefore it would be considered wrong by definition.

2: cheating always being wrong. Really? It's not a crime anywhere in the western world, so it's not considered that serious an issue, plus plenty of people do it. A lot of societies have been far more liberal about their sexuality than we are, plus there are and have been polyamorous and polygamous societies throughout history, as well as hareems, communes, open relationships, sacred prostitute priestesses etc etc. sometimes the same sort of behaviour is accepted where there are different interpretations of what constitutes a relationship.

3: incest always being wrong. Tell that to the pharaohs and many other royal families throughout history. Royal blood was considered special, and often sacred as the king was sometimes seen as being the son of the god(s), and couldn't be mixed with commoner blood. Given that we began living in small societies/tribes or family units, incest must have happened at times in our distant past.

But all of these are fairly obvious laws that help maintain society and civilization, you clearly can't have a society function when everyone's going around screwing everyone else over, and killing, raping and thieving all the time. They're also clearly not inbuilt morals as plenty of people break these laws. If everyone was hardwired with these moral codes there'd be no need for the laws as no-one would murder, rape, steal or cheat in the first place.

As an aside, I'm considering joing a Christian forum under the username 'Wavering Christian'...
Title: Re: Why God?
Post by: Asmodean on January 18, 2012, 05:18:47 PM
Quote from: Too Few Lions on January 18, 2012, 04:01:31 PM
'Wavering Christian'...
Yes, that same thought, it crossed The Asmo's mind as well.
Title: Re: Why God?
Post by: Tank on October 18, 2012, 10:25:52 AM
Bump for n00bs  ;D
Title: Re: Why God?
Post by: belfastlc on November 10, 2012, 05:02:23 PM
God post Tank. Well presented, good points.

I'm a big fan of well-reasoned attacks on God. I usually have to endure such halh-assed attacks on God that it's a treat to read a good one.

I imagine you'd rather not read a critique from me on this so I'll hold off. But if you would (like to hear what would be the basic Christian defense) I think I could work one up for you -- if for only to practice knocking that down as well....

Let me know if you are up for it....

Best,
James
Title: Re: Why God?
Post by: therealgimp on February 12, 2013, 02:46:38 AM
Tank thanks for posting. Well, thought and clear. Stevil, up the dosage, man. Really.
Title: Re: Why God?
Post by: Stevil on February 12, 2013, 05:08:20 AM
Quote from: therealgimp on February 12, 2013, 02:46:38 AM
Tank thanks for posting. Well, thought and clear. Stevil, up the dosage, man. Really.
He he he. Bwaa harr har
Bahaha.
Title: Re: Why God?
Post by: therealgimp on March 03, 2013, 07:05:48 AM
Quote from: Stevil on February 12, 2013, 05:08:20 AM
Quote from: therealgimp on February 12, 2013, 02:46:38 AM
Tank thanks for posting. Well, thought and clear. Stevil, up the dosage, man. Really.
He he he. Bwaa harr har
Bahaha.

Stevil, you laughed at me. You laughed at me, man. I'm not sure whether this indicates genuine humor or is a side-effect of whatever it is afflicts you at the moment.  :-\
Title: Re: Why God?
Post by: Stevil on March 03, 2013, 07:44:14 AM
Quote from: therealgimp on March 03, 2013, 07:05:48 AM
Quote from: Stevil on February 12, 2013, 05:08:20 AM
Quote from: therealgimp on February 12, 2013, 02:46:38 AM
Tank thanks for posting. Well, thought and clear. Stevil, up the dosage, man. Really.
He he he. Bwaa harr har
Bahaha.

Stevil, you laughed at me. You laughed at me, man. I'm not sure whether this indicates genuine humor or is a side-effect of whatever it is afflicts you at the moment.  :-\
Mwarrrr haarrrrr harrr, Coherent thoughts evade me, mwarrr harrr.
Teee, heee,   ho ho ho. Merry anti Christ mass.
Title: Re: Why God?
Post by: Sweetdeath on March 03, 2013, 08:36:16 AM
Quote from: Stevil on March 03, 2013, 07:44:14 AM
Quote from: therealgimp on March 03, 2013, 07:05:48 AM
Quote from: Stevil on February 12, 2013, 05:08:20 AM
Quote from: therealgimp on February 12, 2013, 02:46:38 AM
Tank thanks for posting. Well, thought and clear. Stevil, up the dosage, man. Really.
He he he. Bwaa harr har
Bahaha.

Stevil, you laughed at me. You laughed at me, man. I'm not sure whether this indicates genuine humor or is a side-effect of whatever it is afflicts you at the moment.  :-\
Mwarrrr haarrrrr harrr, Coherent thoughts evade me, mwarrr harrr.
Teee, heee,   ho ho ho. Merry anti Christ mass.
???
Title: Re: Why God?
Post by: technolud on March 04, 2013, 02:34:13 AM
Quote from: therealgimp on March 03, 2013, 07:05:48 AM
Quote from: Stevil on February 12, 2013, 05:08:20 AM
Quote from: therealgimp on February 12, 2013, 02:46:38 AM
Tank thanks for posting. Well, thought and clear. Stevil, up the dosage, man. Really.
He he he. Bwaa harr har
Bahaha.

Stevil, you laughed at me. You laughed at me, man. I'm not sure whether this indicates genuine humor or is a side-effect of whatever it is afflicts you at the moment.  :-\

Just first read this thread.  Tank, your original post is a thing of beauty and light.

To therealgimp, I think Stevil is just going along with your joke.
Title: Re: Why God?
Post by: Stevil on March 04, 2013, 02:46:57 AM
Quote from: technolud on March 04, 2013, 02:34:13 AM
Just first read this thread.  Tank, your original post is a thing of beauty and light.

To therealgimp, I think Stevil is just going along with your joke.

Was hoping he could understand Over The Top Satire without having to explain it to him, otherwise I have quite a reputation I have to live up to.
Title: Re: Why God?
Post by: Silly Quotient on April 14, 2013, 02:40:48 AM
I enjoyed reading your post, Tank.

I think religion was inevitable. There are so many origin and god stories from different cultures throughout our development, though certainly there has also always been the skeptic.
If I were a hunter-gatherer 15,000 years ago I would have no understanding whatsoever as to why I was there, how to live and how/what to think. I could see how any idea pulled out of an authoritative ass could be turned into a god. I would think that earthquakes, storms, and floods would be quite horrifying to the ignorant human of the past (even the recent past).

Ego, the drive for power, the consolidation and might of tribes, defining the uniqueness of nations, all an evolution of ideas of how to meld society--so vitriolic and volatile--with an understanding of the craziness and scariness of life. But if you go backward through that list: nations that are successful are secular; tribes and communities that thrive are open-minded and tolerant; the drive for power has checks-and-balances; and all that is left is narcissism, self-righteousness, and twisted personalities. In other words, the ascent of religion is over, and is now in a regressive evolution.

The reasonable question 15,000 years ago might very well have been "why NOT god(s)?", for there was no better explanation. However, your question "why god?" is far more indicative of the progress and development we have made as a species.
Title: Re: Why God?
Post by: Tank on June 27, 2013, 05:42:34 PM
Why God? (http://atheismafrica.wordpress.com/2013/06/27/why-god/)

QuoteOur knowledge of god(s) is at best based only on hearsay and anecdotal evidence. If God doesn't exist, why do people continue to believe? Chris Jarvis goes hunting and gathering...

You may recognise the article ;D
Title: Re: Why God?
Post by: Davin on June 27, 2013, 05:59:23 PM
It's a very reasonable possibility that draws from what we know about human psychology. I think that is the most reasonable explanation for the "existence" of a god or gods.

Oh yeah, and a nicely written article.
Title: Re: Why God?
Post by: Velma on June 27, 2013, 07:12:37 PM
That is a very good article.  I need to print that out and study it until I get the basic points firmly planted in my brain.

Oh, nice picture too.
Title: Re: Why God?
Post by: OldGit on June 27, 2013, 07:36:54 PM
It's nicely written and contains some interesting ideas.  I'd never thought of the rôle of dreams before.  Anyway, who is this bloke Jarvis?  I've never heard of him.  ;D
Title: Re: Why God?
Post by: Sandra Craft on June 27, 2013, 11:16:12 PM
Quote from: OldGit on June 27, 2013, 07:36:54 PM
Anyway, who is this bloke Jarvis?  I've never heard of him.  ;D

The "Chris" part sounds familiar tho.  What's with the pipe?

My favorite line: 
QuoteWhen faced with knowledge but not understanding the mind can get distracted and confused.

I may write that on my bathroom mirror as a mantra.

Title: Re: Why God?
Post by: Kody on June 28, 2013, 12:07:08 AM
Not a bad article, considering the author.
Title: Re: Why God?
Post by: Crow on June 28, 2013, 03:01:01 AM
TLDR (will do later). But that reminds me I need to visit the Capuchin Crypt.
Title: Re: Why God?
Post by: Amicale on June 28, 2013, 05:03:33 AM
Very good article, Chris! I enjoyed reading it!

I think what you said about children not being skeptical and believing their parents is true. For the most part, believing parents and other authority figures have probably helped keep children alive over the millennia - and as you point out (or what I got from it), extending this trust to the gods/a god continued the process.

It's only been fairly recently that (some) people have encouraged their kids to doubt, ask questions and to be skeptical. Maybe on the whole, this'll serve kids better in this generation than it did in the past.

Anyway, I appreciated the article!
Title: Re: Why God?
Post by: Icarus on June 28, 2013, 05:21:02 AM
I approve of the article too. Thanks Chris.
Title: Re: Why God?
Post by: Niya on June 28, 2013, 06:24:53 AM
I thought it was a good article for a general overview.
But really, I assumed most people here know the content already. One look at tribalism and its pretty easy to see why a monkey or a jaguar or a sun and many other god/gods are worshipped.

The article in my view only shows how a religion may have evolved (and certainly it has). But it fails to mention that not all religions are that old and not all have roots in tribalism. Consequently, I don't see that it proves there is no God based on its opening statement, only that religion may have/may be could evolve like this. Over generalization in my opinion.
Title: Re: Why God?
Post by: Tank on June 28, 2013, 08:22:50 AM
Quote from: Niya on June 28, 2013, 06:24:53 AM
I thought it was a good article for a general overview.
But really, I assumed most people here know the content already. One look at tribalism and its pretty easy to see why a monkey or a jaguar or a sun and many other god/gods are worshipped.

The article in my view only shows how a religion may have evolved (and certainly it has). But it fails to mention that not all religions are that old and not all have roots in tribalism. Consequently, I don't see that it proves there is no God based on its opening statement, only that religion may have/may be could evolve like this. Over generalization in my opinion.
Recent God(s) are simple adaptations of the original God meme. Mormonism/Scientology being prime examples of meme evolution. I would disagree about the tribalism as well. Social behaviour, a given in all but the most autistic humans, is the basis of tribalism. Atheism is becoming noticeably tribal and if you want other examples how about 'Mums Net' or in the UK 'Fathers for justice' or the fan following of any celebrity, sports person or team. Tribalism is a core psychological pillar of being human.

And yes it is a generalised opinion, that's what it was meant to be. It's not an academic article.
Title: Re: Why God?
Post by: Tank on June 28, 2013, 08:25:19 AM
Quote from: Kody on June 28, 2013, 12:07:08 AM
Not a bad article, considering the author.
;D
Title: Re: Why God?
Post by: Niya on June 28, 2013, 09:00:56 AM
Quote from: Tank on June 28, 2013, 08:22:50 AM
Quote from: Niya on June 28, 2013, 06:24:53 AM
I thought it was a good article for a general overview.
But really, I assumed most people here know the content already. One look at tribalism and its pretty easy to see why a monkey or a jaguar or a sun and many other god/gods are worshipped.

The article in my view only shows how a religion may have evolved (and certainly it has). But it fails to mention that not all religions are that old and not all have roots in tribalism. Consequently, I don't see that it proves there is no God based on its opening statement, only that religion may have/may be could evolve like this. Over generalization in my opinion.
Recent God(s) are simple adaptations of the original God meme. Mormonism/Scientology being prime examples of meme evolution. I would disagree about the tribalism as well. Social behaviour, a given in all but the most autistic humans, is the basis of tribalism. Atheism is becoming noticeably tribal and if you want other examples how about 'Mums Net' or in the UK 'Fathers for justice' or the fan following of any celebrity, sports person or team. Tribalism is a core psychological pillar of being human.


I was using the word tribalism, as in ancient actual tribes. I see, you are using term in a more broad sense.

QuoteAnd yes it is a generalised opinion, that's what it was meant to be. It's not an academic article.
Hmm, I don't know how to respond. If its general then it overlooks a technicality. That is what I meant to say. I liked some of the points as they were insightful but the opening statement was something that caught me. All of this, history/evolution of a religion does not necessarily negate that no God exists, I found it strange that the author gathered that as a conclusion from his thoughts where they only showed how the God meme have/could have evolved.

One interesting question is, when did this God meme, started everywhere humans were. For example, the indians worshiped, the aztecs worshipped Gods. Yet they were separated from the rest of the world.

Perhaps the concept of God is as old as humanity itself but then this is mere speculation. I however understand why to a non-believer this might make sense.
Title: Re: Why God?
Post by: Tank on June 28, 2013, 09:10:10 AM
Quote from: Niya on June 28, 2013, 09:00:56 AM
Quote from: Tank on June 28, 2013, 08:22:50 AM
Quote from: Niya on June 28, 2013, 06:24:53 AM
I thought it was a good article for a general overview.
But really, I assumed most people here know the content already. One look at tribalism and its pretty easy to see why a monkey or a jaguar or a sun and many other god/gods are worshipped.

The article in my view only shows how a religion may have evolved (and certainly it has). But it fails to mention that not all religions are that old and not all have roots in tribalism. Consequently, I don't see that it proves there is no God based on its opening statement, only that religion may have/may be could evolve like this. Over generalization in my opinion.
Recent God(s) are simple adaptations of the original God meme. Mormonism/Scientology being prime examples of meme evolution. I would disagree about the tribalism as well. Social behaviour, a given in all but the most autistic humans, is the basis of tribalism. Atheism is becoming noticeably tribal and if you want other examples how about 'Mums Net' or in the UK 'Fathers for justice' or the fan following of any celebrity, sports person or team. Tribalism is a core psychological pillar of being human.


I was using the word tribalism, as in ancient actual tribes. I see, you are using term in a more broad sense.

QuoteAnd yes it is a generalised opinion, that's what it was meant to be. It's not an academic article.
Hmm, I don't know how to respond. If its general then it overlooks a technicality. That is what I meant to say. I liked some of the points as they were insightful but the opening statement was something that caught me. All of this, history/evolution of a religion does not necessarily negate that no God exists, I found it strange that the author gathered that as a conclusion from his thoughts where they only showed how the God meme have/could have evolved.

One interesting question is, when did this God meme, started everywhere humans were. For example, the indians worshiped, the aztecs worshipped Gods. Yet they were separated from the rest of the world.

Perhaps the concept of God is as old as humanity itself but then this is mere speculation. I however understand why to a non-believer this might make sense.
I'll let you ponder on this.
Title: Re: Why God?
Post by: Niya on June 28, 2013, 10:54:22 AM
Quote from: Tank on June 28, 2013, 09:10:10 AM
Quote from: Niya on June 28, 2013, 09:00:56 AM
Quote from: Tank on June 28, 2013, 08:22:50 AM
Quote from: Niya on June 28, 2013, 06:24:53 AM
I thought it was a good article for a general overview.
But really, I assumed most people here know the content already. One look at tribalism and its pretty easy to see why a monkey or a jaguar or a sun and many other god/gods are worshipped.

The article in my view only shows how a religion may have evolved (and certainly it has). But it fails to mention that not all religions are that old and not all have roots in tribalism. Consequently, I don't see that it proves there is no God based on its opening statement, only that religion may have/may be could evolve like this. Over generalization in my opinion.
Recent God(s) are simple adaptations of the original God meme. Mormonism/Scientology being prime examples of meme evolution. I would disagree about the tribalism as well. Social behaviour, a given in all but the most autistic humans, is the basis of tribalism. Atheism is becoming noticeably tribal and if you want other examples how about 'Mums Net' or in the UK 'Fathers for justice' or the fan following of any celebrity, sports person or team. Tribalism is a core psychological pillar of being human.


I was using the word tribalism, as in ancient actual tribes. I see, you are using term in a more broad sense.

QuoteAnd yes it is a generalised opinion, that's what it was meant to be. It's not an academic article.
Hmm, I don't know how to respond. If its general then it overlooks a technicality. That is what I meant to say. I liked some of the points as they were insightful but the opening statement was something that caught me. All of this, history/evolution of a religion does not necessarily negate that no God exists, I found it strange that the author gathered that as a conclusion from his thoughts where they only showed how the God meme have/could have evolved.

One interesting question is, when did this God meme, started everywhere humans were. For example, the indians worshiped, the aztecs worshipped Gods. Yet they were separated from the rest of the world.

Perhaps the concept of God is as old as humanity itself but then this is mere speculation. I however understand why to a non-believer this might make sense.
I'll let you ponder on this.
I do, most of the time.
Title: Re: Why God?
Post by: Kody on June 28, 2013, 12:16:05 PM
Quote from: Niya on June 28, 2013, 06:24:53 AM
All of this, history/evolution of a religion does not necessarily negate that no God exists, I found it strange that the author gathered that as a conclusion from his thoughts where they only showed how the God meme have/could have evolved.

Consider that this is an opinion piece and tank is a 6 on the Dawkins scale. He doesn't believe 100% that no God exists, he finds it highly improbable. We know that you cannot disprove God, all we can do is give reasons why we find it improbable. Remember this when trying to decipher the thoughts of agnostic atheists.
Title: Re: Why God?
Post by: Tank on June 28, 2013, 12:22:34 PM
Quote from: Kody on June 28, 2013, 12:16:05 PM
Quote from: Niya on June 28, 2013, 06:24:53 AM
All of this, history/evolution of a religion does not necessarily negate that no God exists, I found it strange that the author gathered that as a conclusion from his thoughts where they only showed how the God meme have/could have evolved.

Consider that this is an opinion piece and tank is a 6 on the Dawkins scale. He doesn't believe 100% that no God exists, he finds it highly improbable. We know that you cannot disprove God, all we can do is give reasons why we find it improbable. Remember this when trying to decipher the thoughts of agnostic atheists.
Good points.
Title: Re: Why God?
Post by: Niya on June 28, 2013, 12:30:28 PM
Quote from: Kody on June 28, 2013, 12:16:05 PM
Quote from: Niya on June 28, 2013, 06:24:53 AM
All of this, history/evolution of a religion does not necessarily negate that no God exists, I found it strange that the author gathered that as a conclusion from his thoughts where they only showed how the God meme have/could have evolved.

Consider that this is an opinion piece and tank is a 6 on the Dawkins scale. He doesn't believe 100% that no God exists, he finds it highly improbable. We know that you cannot disprove God, all we can do is give reasons why we find it improbable. Remember this when trying to decipher the thoughts of agnostic atheists.

Lol Chris, I didn't recognize you were the author. The skype pic was very dim. That is why I kept referring to you in the third person.  :P
Title: Re: Why God?
Post by: Tank on June 28, 2013, 12:38:34 PM
Quote from: Niya on June 28, 2013, 12:30:28 PM
Quote from: Kody on June 28, 2013, 12:16:05 PM
Quote from: Niya on June 28, 2013, 06:24:53 AM
All of this, history/evolution of a religion does not necessarily negate that no God exists, I found it strange that the author gathered that as a conclusion from his thoughts where they only showed how the God meme have/could have evolved.

Consider that this is an opinion piece and tank is a 6 on the Dawkins scale. He doesn't believe 100% that no God exists, he finds it highly improbable. We know that you cannot disprove God, all we can do is give reasons why we find it improbable. Remember this when trying to decipher the thoughts of agnostic atheists.

Lol Chris, I didn't recognize you were the author. The skype pic was very dim. That is why I kept referring to you in the third person.  :P
I'm not 100% sure if Davin has worked out it's me either  ;D
Title: Re: Why God?
Post by: Niya on June 28, 2013, 12:40:13 PM
Quote from: Kody on June 28, 2013, 12:16:05 PM
Quote from: Niya on June 28, 2013, 06:24:53 AM
All of this, history/evolution of a religion does not necessarily negate that no God exists, I found it strange that the author gathered that as a conclusion from his thoughts where they only showed how the God meme have/could have evolved.

Consider that this is an opinion piece and tank is a 6 on the Dawkins scale. He doesn't believe 100% that no God exists, he finds it highly improbable. We know that you cannot disprove God, all we can do is give reasons why we find it improbable. Remember this when trying to decipher the thoughts of agnostic atheists.

Point noted. Thank you.
Title: Re: Why God?
Post by: Niya on June 28, 2013, 01:09:23 PM
Quote from: Tank on June 28, 2013, 12:38:34 PM
Quote from: Niya on June 28, 2013, 12:30:28 PM
Quote from: Kody on June 28, 2013, 12:16:05 PM
Quote from: Niya on June 28, 2013, 06:24:53 AM
All of this, history/evolution of a religion does not necessarily negate that no God exists, I found it strange that the author gathered that as a conclusion from his thoughts where they only showed how the God meme have/could have evolved.

Consider that this is an opinion piece and tank is a 6 on the Dawkins scale. He doesn't believe 100% that no God exists, he finds it highly improbable. We know that you cannot disprove God, all we can do is give reasons why we find it improbable. Remember this when trying to decipher the thoughts of agnostic atheists.

Lol Chris, I didn't recognize you were the author. The skype pic was very dim. That is why I kept referring to you in the third person.  :P
I'm not 100% sure if Davin has worked out it's me either  ;D

;D he will now.

Title: Re: Why God?
Post by: Davin on June 28, 2013, 05:04:52 PM
Quote from: Niya on June 28, 2013, 01:09:23 PM
Quote from: Tank on June 28, 2013, 12:38:34 PM
Quote from: Niya on June 28, 2013, 12:30:28 PM
Quote from: Kody on June 28, 2013, 12:16:05 PM
Quote from: Niya on June 28, 2013, 06:24:53 AM
All of this, history/evolution of a religion does not necessarily negate that no God exists, I found it strange that the author gathered that as a conclusion from his thoughts where they only showed how the God meme have/could have evolved.

Consider that this is an opinion piece and tank is a 6 on the Dawkins scale. He doesn't believe 100% that no God exists, he finds it highly improbable. We know that you cannot disprove God, all we can do is give reasons why we find it improbable. Remember this when trying to decipher the thoughts of agnostic atheists.

Lol Chris, I didn't recognize you were the author. The skype pic was very dim. That is why I kept referring to you in the third person.  :P
I'm not 100% sure if Davin has worked out it's me either  ;D

;D he will now.
I did from reading the first post and then the author name, but I don't care who the author is when critiquing an article/story/book/post.
Title: Re: Why God?
Post by: xSilverPhinx on June 28, 2013, 05:19:20 PM
 ;D It's so cool that your article got published on another site.  8)  Are you going to link it in your "Why God?" thread?

(very mild organizational OCD talking)  :P

Title: Re: Why God?
Post by: Tank on June 28, 2013, 08:51:44 PM
Quote from: Davin on June 28, 2013, 05:04:52 PM
Quote from: Niya on June 28, 2013, 01:09:23 PM
Quote from: Tank on June 28, 2013, 12:38:34 PM
Quote from: Niya on June 28, 2013, 12:30:28 PM
Quote from: Kody on June 28, 2013, 12:16:05 PM
Quote from: Niya on June 28, 2013, 06:24:53 AM
All of this, history/evolution of a religion does not necessarily negate that no God exists, I found it strange that the author gathered that as a conclusion from his thoughts where they only showed how the God meme have/could have evolved.

Consider that this is an opinion piece and tank is a 6 on the Dawkins scale. He doesn't believe 100% that no God exists, he finds it highly improbable. We know that you cannot disprove God, all we can do is give reasons why we find it improbable. Remember this when trying to decipher the thoughts of agnostic atheists.

Lol Chris, I didn't recognize you were the author. The skype pic was very dim. That is why I kept referring to you in the third person.  :P
I'm not 100% sure if Davin has worked out it's me either  ;D

;D he will now.
I did from reading the first post and then the author name, but I don't care who the author is when critiquing an article/story/book/post.
I did wonder if that was the case which is why I didn't remark on your comment.
Title: Re: Why God?
Post by: Tank on June 28, 2013, 08:52:23 PM
Quote from: xSilverPhinx on June 28, 2013, 05:19:20 PM
;D It's so cool that your article got published on another site.  8)  Are you going to link it in your "Why God?" thread?

(very mild organizational OCD talking)  :P


Go on. You do it.  ;D
Title: Re: Why God?
Post by: technolud on June 29, 2013, 12:44:13 AM
I read the article before the thread and was going to respond that Tank's earlier explanation on this forum was better.  But maybe I was wrong....
Title: Re: Why God?
Post by: Tank on June 29, 2013, 11:04:40 AM
Quote from: Tank on June 28, 2013, 08:52:23 PM
Quote from: xSilverPhinx on June 28, 2013, 05:19:20 PM
;D It's so cool that your article got published on another site.  8)  Are you going to link it in your "Why God?" thread?

(very mild organizational OCD talking)  :P


Go on. You do it.  ;D
I merged the threads.
Title: Re: Why God?
Post by: xSilverPhinx on July 01, 2013, 06:13:42 PM
Quote from: Tank on June 29, 2013, 11:04:40 AM
Quote from: Tank on June 28, 2013, 08:52:23 PM
Quote from: xSilverPhinx on June 28, 2013, 05:19:20 PM
;D It's so cool that your article got published on another site.  8)  Are you going to link it in your "Why God?" thread?

(very mild organizational OCD talking)  :P


Go on. You do it.  ;D
I merged the threads.

Cool ;D Thanks ;D
Title: Re: Why God?
Post by: Old Seer on December 02, 2013, 01:45:32 AM
Excellent, and very similar to our understanding. God = ignorance of force. When one weighs the total usage of the term "God", God is reduced to the "applications of Force". The term is derived then, from the ignorance of (for instance) what makes a tree fall. God = a term to describe something not (originally ) understood or unknown, but of course---a few millennium ago before science came to a study. The term over time then, becomes hidden and is applied to a personage that has powers misunderstood and cannot be true, typically, a use for leaders to keep followers following by attaching themselves to the false entity to maintain authority over the masses by deceit claiming they have authority from a higher power to lead because they are chosen to special specifications. Then---those leading become force and it's no longer a matter of gravity and a tree.
Title: Re: Why God?
Post by: Lekatt on November 18, 2014, 04:55:45 PM
The concept of God fulfills the concept of man. Man thinks what am I doing here, is it all a joke. A few bits of stuff come together and behold "me." Is there no purpose to my life? What do I do with life. I could pile up sums of money for others to spend when I am gone. Gone where, into nothingness. No I can not stand to think of this so I will let God think for me.


Title: Re: Why God?
Post by: Sweetdeath on November 18, 2014, 05:38:14 PM
I enjoy thinking for myself. The 'everything happens for a reason' way of thinking is the most irritating of all.
Title: Re: Why God?
Post by: Lekatt on November 18, 2014, 06:25:32 PM
I believe everyone thinks for themselves. Everyone chooses what he will believe and not believe.
As for cause and effect. Does every effect have a cause. If so then there is a reason. But if effects spontaneously happen then maybe not. The big bang was an explosion of chaos that ended in order.
How could we be here otherwise?
Title: Re: Why God?
Post by: Papasito Bruno on November 18, 2014, 06:54:13 PM
Quote from: Lekatt on November 18, 2014, 04:55:45 PM
The concept of God fulfills the concept of man. Man thinks what am I doing here, is it all a joke. A few bits of stuff come together and behold "me." Is there no purpose to my life? What do I do with life. I could pile up sums of money for others to spend when I am gone. Gone where, into nothingness. No I can not stand to think of this so I will let God think for me.



I hear this a lot from Christians, but Bruno if there is no god, than what is the purpose to your life?

To experience it to the fullest extent I am capable of, to love those close to me as much as I can, and to squeeze as much life out my existence as I can.
I get up in the morning, I hug my son and wife, I work hard for those who employ me so as to make the lives of our families better. I have fun with my friends, and I wonder at the stars, and gasp at the beauty of the world.
I cry when someone I love dies, and try to comfort those who are sick, or in need of help when I can.
I try to live my life the best way I can, without malice, or anger, or ill-will toward anyone, and I hope that when I do pass away that I've somehow left the word in a tiny bit better shape than how I found it.

But to those who believe in God what is your purpose, what is your reason for life? To make life harder for those who don't believe as you do, or who are born differently from you?
Is it to pass laws forbidding people who love each other to marry?
Is it to yell disgusting things out your car window in the name of your god to my sister and her partner as we walk down the street because they happen to be holding hands?

Is it to amass huge fortunes of money over centuries like the Catholic Church?
Or like the huge mega churches here in the US and other parts of the world?

I wish there was something more, an after-life, but wishing for something doesn't make it true.

I would give my life right now, this very fucking moment if I could spend just one day with my father, my two children, and my wife.

Because he died too young, and didn't see me get married, or meet his grandchildren. And if I could just see them all together one time, to see the smile on their faces, and just see that twinkle in his eyes as he looks toward me and nods his approval, because they are wonderful and beautiful children, and my wife and I have been married almost 24 years, and I know how much he would have loved her, and how proud he would be of my kids, and of me.

Wanting this doesn't change anything, the fierce will of my desire ins't going to make it come true. And you know what? I'm okay with that, because just the thought of it is enough to help me deal with his death, and to feel the love I still have for him in my heart.

That's my fucking purpose.
Title: Re: Why God?
Post by: Lekatt on November 18, 2014, 09:54:52 PM
Quote from: Bruno on November 18, 2014, 06:54:13 PM
Quote from: Lekatt on November 18, 2014, 04:55:45 PM
The concept of God fulfills the concept of man. Man thinks what am I doing here, is it all a joke. A few bits of stuff come together and behold "me." Is there no purpose to my life? What do I do with life. I could pile up sums of money for others to spend when I am gone. Gone where, into nothingness. No I can not stand to think of this so I will let God think for me.



I hear this a lot from Christians, but Bruno if there is no god, than what is the purpose to your life?

To experience it to the fullest extent I am capable of, to love those close to me as much as I can, and to squeeze as much life out my existence as I can.
I get up in the morning, I hug my son and wife, I work hard for those who employ me so as to make the lives of our families better. I have fun with my friends, and I wonder at the stars, and gasp at the beauty of the world.
I cry when someone I love dies, and try to comfort those who are sick, or in need of help when I can.
I try to live my life the best way I can, without malice, or anger, or ill-will toward anyone, and I hope that when I do pass away that I've somehow left the word in a tiny bit better shape than how I found it.

But to those who believe in God what is your purpose, what is your reason for life? To make life harder for those who don't believe as you do, or who are born differently from you?
Is it to pass laws forbidding people who love each other to marry?
Is it to yell disgusting things out your car window in the name of your god to my sister and her partner as we walk down the street because they happen to be holding hands?

Is it to amass huge fortunes of money over centuries like the Catholic Church?
Or like the huge mega churches here in the US and other parts of the world?

I wish there was something more, an after-life, but wishing for something doesn't make it true.

I would give my life right now, this very fucking moment if I could spend just one day with my father, my two children, and my wife.

Because he died too young, and didn't see me get married, or meet his grandchildren. And if I could just see them all together one time, to see the smile on their faces, and just see that twinkle in his eyes as he looks toward me and nods his approval, because they are wonderful and beautiful children, and my wife and I have been married almost 24 years, and I know how much he would have loved her, and how proud he would be of my kids, and of me.

Wanting this doesn't change anything, the fierce will of my desire ins't going to make it come true. And you know what? I'm okay with that, because just the thought of it is enough to help me deal with his death, and to feel the love I still have for him in my heart.

That's my fucking purpose.




First of all I am not a Christian, and have no desire to be one. I think what you wrote is absolutely beautiful and shows you are a great person with love in your heart. I would not change a word of it.

I also believe you will have your wish. No judgements, just complete acceptance, will be yours.
Title: Re: Why God?
Post by: Firebird on November 19, 2014, 02:33:17 AM
Quote from: Bruno on November 18, 2014, 06:54:13 PM

I hear this a lot from Christians, but Bruno if there is no god, than what is the purpose to your life?

To experience it to the fullest extent I am capable of, to love those close to me as much as I can, and to squeeze as much life out my existence as I can.
I get up in the morning, I hug my son and wife, I work hard for those who employ me so as to make the lives of our families better. I have fun with my friends, and I wonder at the stars, and gasp at the beauty of the world.
I cry when someone I love dies, and try to comfort those who are sick, or in need of help when I can.
I try to live my life the best way I can, without malice, or anger, or ill-will toward anyone, and I hope that when I do pass away that I've somehow left the word in a tiny bit better shape than how I found it.

But to those who believe in God what is your purpose, what is your reason for life? To make life harder for those who don't believe as you do, or who are born differently from you?
Is it to pass laws forbidding people who love each other to marry?
Is it to yell disgusting things out your car window in the name of your god to my sister and her partner as we walk down the street because they happen to be holding hands?

Is it to amass huge fortunes of money over centuries like the Catholic Church?
Or like the huge mega churches here in the US and other parts of the world?

I wish there was something more, an after-life, but wishing for something doesn't make it true.

I would give my life right now, this very fucking moment if I could spend just one day with my father, my two children, and my wife.

Because he died too young, and didn't see me get married, or meet his grandchildren. And if I could just see them all together one time, to see the smile on their faces, and just see that twinkle in his eyes as he looks toward me and nods his approval, because they are wonderful and beautiful children, and my wife and I have been married almost 24 years, and I know how much he would have loved her, and how proud he would be of my kids, and of me.

Wanting this doesn't change anything, the fierce will of my desire ins't going to make it come true. And you know what? I'm okay with that, because just the thought of it is enough to help me deal with his death, and to feel the love I still have for him in my heart.

That's my fucking purpose.


That was beautiful. Bravo.
Title: Re: Why God?
Post by: OldGit on November 19, 2014, 10:25:53 AM
Good post, Bruno.

I also get frustrated with the arguments beginning, "But if there's no god, then ..."

They're usually wrong (e.g. the 'no God, no morality' nonsense), but right or wrong, we have to deal with the proposed problem in some more practical way than by inventing a sky-daddy to fix it.
Title: Re: Why God?
Post by: Papasito Bruno on November 19, 2014, 03:59:25 PM
Quote from: Lekatt on November 18, 2014, 09:54:52 PM
Quote from: Bruno on November 18, 2014, 06:54:13 PM
Quote from: Lekatt on November 18, 2014, 04:55:45 PM
The concept of God fulfills the concept of man. Man thinks what am I doing here, is it all a joke. A few bits of stuff come together and behold "me." Is there no purpose to my life? What do I do with life. I could pile up sums of money for others to spend when I am gone. Gone where, into nothingness. No I can not stand to think of this so I will let God think for me.



I hear this a lot from Christians, but Bruno if there is no god, than what is the purpose to your life?

To experience it to the fullest extent I am capable of, to love those close to me as much as I can, and to squeeze as much life out my existence as I can.
I get up in the morning, I hug my son and wife, I work hard for those who employ me so as to make the lives of our families better. I have fun with my friends, and I wonder at the stars, and gasp at the beauty of the world.
I cry when someone I love dies, and try to comfort those who are sick, or in need of help when I can.
I try to live my life the best way I can, without malice, or anger, or ill-will toward anyone, and I hope that when I do pass away that I've somehow left the word in a tiny bit better shape than how I found it.

But to those who believe in God what is your purpose, what is your reason for life? To make life harder for those who don't believe as you do, or who are born differently from you?
Is it to pass laws forbidding people who love each other to marry?
Is it to yell disgusting things out your car window in the name of your god to my sister and her partner as we walk down the street because they happen to be holding hands?

Is it to amass huge fortunes of money over centuries like the Catholic Church?
Or like the huge mega churches here in the US and other parts of the world?

I wish there was something more, an after-life, but wishing for something doesn't make it true.

I would give my life right now, this very fucking moment if I could spend just one day with my father, my two children, and my wife.

Because he died too young, and didn't see me get married, or meet his grandchildren. And if I could just see them all together one time, to see the smile on their faces, and just see that twinkle in his eyes as he looks toward me and nods his approval, because they are wonderful and beautiful children, and my wife and I have been married almost 24 years, and I know how much he would have loved her, and how proud he would be of my kids, and of me.

Wanting this doesn't change anything, the fierce will of my desire ins't going to make it come true. And you know what? I'm okay with that, because just the thought of it is enough to help me deal with his death, and to feel the love I still have for him in my heart.

That's my fucking purpose.




First of all I am not a Christian, and have no desire to be one. I think what you wrote is absolutely beautiful and shows you are a great person with love in your heart. I would not change a word of it.

I also believe you will have your wish. No judgements, just complete acceptance, will be yours.

Although I quoted you originally in my post, I really didn't mean to direct that towards you Lekatt, I was actually focused in on the "no purpose in life" you had written and not your entire post.



I also didn't mean to refer to you as a christian either, probably should have wrote believers instead, but it has been christians in the past who have flung that statement at me and they are really who I was responding to when I wrote my response.

Thank you for the kind words (Same to Firebird and OldGit) I appreciate it. However, I don't share your view that my wish will come true, but thanks anyway.

Title: Re: Why God?
Post by: Lekatt on November 19, 2014, 05:11:14 PM
Bruno
I am not offended by anything you said. I don't have many beliefs about this world. Only what I have experienced I believe in. I know that beliefs can destroy people and I have spent the last 20 years of my life helping others "get over" bad beliefs. I have stopped quite a few suicides from those who felt life was over for them. I know this is not you. One of the worst beliefs is that something bad will happen at death. It was disappointing when I was in Hospice work to not see the family visiting. Many times I was the only one there. The fear of death is second in the list of things people fear the most.
Title: Re: Why God?
Post by: Tank on April 21, 2015, 05:38:04 PM
I agree  ;D

(https://fbcdn-sphotos-c-a.akamaihd.net/hphotos-ak-xta1/v/t1.0-9/19620_848649285214144_505938466545848501_n.jpg?oh=dd5377d6cbc608e09500ee4f4a94bbfa&oe=55A396B9&__gda__=1440383717_8dbe7f04d02901517892504e918b6099)
Title: Re: Why God?
Post by: Essie Mae on October 08, 2016, 02:59:05 PM
Quote from: Lekatt on November 18, 2014, 06:25:32 PM
I believe everyone thinks for themselves. Everyone chooses what he will believe and not believe

Not if they get you young enough
Title: Re: Why God?
Post by: Tank on October 08, 2016, 08:26:42 PM
Quote from: Essie Mae on October 08, 2016, 02:59:05 PM
Quote from: Lekatt on November 18, 2014, 06:25:32 PM
I believe everyone thinks for themselves. Everyone chooses what he will believe and not believe

Not if they get you young enough
So true.
Title: Re: Why God?
Post by: Sandra Craft on October 09, 2016, 02:34:43 AM
Quote from: Tank on October 08, 2016, 08:26:42 PM
Quote from: Essie Mae on October 08, 2016, 02:59:05 PM
Quote from: Lekatt on November 18, 2014, 06:25:32 PM
I believe everyone thinks for themselves. Everyone chooses what he will believe and not believe

Not if they get you young enough
So true.

I can't agree with this.  I was churched from day one and it still didn't take, despite my own best efforts to co-operate.  I think we tend to under-estimate the number of people who would have chosen religion anyway, even if they hadn't been raised in one, and are simply comfortable with what they know.
Title: Re: Why God?
Post by: Tank on October 09, 2016, 04:28:23 PM
Quote from: BooksCatsEtc on October 09, 2016, 02:34:43 AM
Quote from: Tank on October 08, 2016, 08:26:42 PM
Quote from: Essie Mae on October 08, 2016, 02:59:05 PM
Quote from: Lekatt on November 18, 2014, 06:25:32 PM
I believe everyone thinks for themselves. Everyone chooses what he will believe and not believe

Not if they get you young enough
So true.

I can't agree with this.  I was churched from day one and it still didn't take, despite my own best efforts to co-operate.  I think we tend to under-estimate the number of people who would have chosen religion anyway, even if they hadn't been raised in one, and are simply comfortable with what they know.
Generalisations are generally wrong.
Title: Re: Why God?
Post by: Essie Mae on October 20, 2016, 11:23:22 PM
Quote from: BooksCatsEtc on October 09, 2016, 02:34:43 AM
Quote from: Tank on October 08, 2016, 08:26:42 PM
Quote from: Essie Mae on October 08, 2016, 02:59:05 PM
Quote from: Lekatt on November 18, 2014, 06:25:32 PM
I believe everyone thinks for themselves. Everyone chooses what he will believe and not believe

Not if they get you young enough
So true.

I can't agree with this.  I was churched from day one and it still didn't take, despite my own best efforts to co-operate.  I think we tend to under-estimate the number of people who would have chosen religion anyway, even if they hadn't been raised in one, and are simply comfortable with what they know.

I don't know Books, I was genuinely and deeply frightened into the kingdom, there really wasn't much comfort there, and I always, always felt that I didn't measure up. Whatever my reasons (not that reason came into it), for staying for nearly 60 years, perhaps it was a perverse way of punishing myself for not being good enough. Anyway, the shackles are gone now and life is good in spite of not coming out to my family, who are still there, ironically because of me.
Title: Re: Why God?
Post by: Sandra Craft on October 20, 2016, 11:26:52 PM
Quote from: Essie Mae on October 20, 2016, 11:23:22 PM
I don't know Books, I was genuinely and deeply frightened into the kingdom, there really wasn't much comfort there, and I always, always felt that I didn't measure up. Whatever my reasons (not that reason came into it), for staying for nearly 60 years, perhaps it was a perverse way of punishing myself for not being good enough. Anyway, the shackles are gone now and life is good in spite of not coming out to my family, who are still there, ironically because of me.

I'm not denying that for some of us religion isn't a fit, or may be just an unthinking habit but I do think we tend to disregard the number of people for whom it is comforting simply because that isn't our experience.
Title: Re: Why God?
Post by: Essie Mae on October 21, 2016, 08:18:45 PM
Well that's true. I have met 2 or 3  people n the past who have said quite openly that they believed because they wanted to. One of them also said she didn't believe we could 'have come from monkeysn' because she didn't want to.
Title: Re: Why God?
Post by: Asmodean on October 21, 2016, 10:32:23 PM
That's stupid. Also, those who believe that the consensus among biologists is that h. sapiens sapiens originated from monkeys are mockably ignorant if they happen to be over the age of like... Twelve. Still, as long as that person does not try to inflict her non-relationship with facts on others, I'm disinclined to care.
Title: Re: Why God?
Post by: Icarus on October 21, 2016, 11:29:25 PM
Quote from: Asmodean on October 21, 2016, 10:32:23 PM
That's stupid. Also, those who believe that the consensus among biologists is that h. sapiens sapiens originated from monkeys are mockably ignorant if they happen to be over the age of like... Twelve. Still, as long as that person does not try to inflict her non-relationship with facts on others, I'm disinclined to care.

The Asmo has once again gone to the meaty center of the subject. Who knew that a lump of clay could be so shrewd and insightful?
Title: Re: Why God?
Post by: Asmodean on October 22, 2016, 01:17:55 AM
He is, but in this case, He's simply implying that some people are just dumb to a greater degree than necessary, but that their stupidity is between them and their god unless they try to rub some off on His insightfully-shrewd rump.
Title: Re: Why God?
Post by: Ecurb Noselrub on October 22, 2016, 02:04:03 AM
Since I don't know what another person's experience is, I'm disinclined to judge.
Title: Re: Why God?
Post by: Asmodean on October 22, 2016, 03:14:37 AM
Quote from: Ecurb Noselrub on October 22, 2016, 02:04:03 AM
Since I don't know what another person's experience is, I'm disinclined to judge.
Does their experience matter? I did define a reasonably objective standard of measurement for the purpose of this discussion; the basic understanding of the evolutionary tree of h. sapiens sapiens in accordance with the standing scientific consensus. An individual's experience in this regard does not indicate whether or not they are stupid. What it does is answer the question why they are the way they are. My point is; you can measure and compare stupidity. As such, you don't need to get all judgemental when saying that someone or something is stupid, nor do you need to account for variables outside the scope of the question "is this shit stupid?"

Of course, one can delve into the murky waters of philosophy and ask whether a person holding a stupid view is therefore stupid, but I don't really like philosophy, so I limit myself to saying that yes, in that particular regard, they are.

...

That is, if that is what your reply is directed at. If you are talking about me judging someone's believing what they want to believe as a stupid position to hold, well... I can justify that too, with high degree of objectivity. I don't think that's necessary though, given no causal link between what a person wants and what is.

If your reply is to someone else entirely, then... carry on.  ;)
Title: Re: Why God?
Post by: Sandra Craft on October 22, 2016, 03:56:43 AM
Quote from: Essie Mae on October 21, 2016, 08:18:45 PM
Well that's true. I have met 2 or 3  people n the past who have said quite openly that they believed because they wanted to. One of them also said she didn't believe we could 'have come from monkeysn' because she didn't want to.

Yeah, I've met a lot of people who have trouble with the idea of humans being primates rather than a special creation, and who honestly just do not understand evolution beyond the level of a Chick tract.  What gets me is these same people have no trouble seeing the family resemblance between a donkey and a zebra.

But I know that's asking too much -- from what I've seen, belief rarely has anything to do with intelligence or logic, it answers purely emotional needs.  Needs some of us do not have, or do not need answered in that way.  But for other people, many other people, it appears to give them exactly what they need.
Title: Re: Why God?
Post by: Asmodean on October 22, 2016, 04:47:51 AM
Quote from: BooksCatsEtc on October 22, 2016, 03:56:43 AM
[Belief] answers purely emotional needs.  Needs some of us do not have, or do not need answered in that way.  But for other people, many other people, it appears to give them exactly what they need.
:headscratch: The Asmo is going to go do some of that philosophy He dislikes regarding that there.
Title: Re: Why God?
Post by: Sandra Craft on October 22, 2016, 10:41:45 AM
Quote from: Asmodean on October 22, 2016, 04:47:51 AM
Quote from: BooksCatsEtc on October 22, 2016, 03:56:43 AM
[Belief] answers purely emotional needs.  Needs some of us do not have, or do not need answered in that way.  But for other people, many other people, it appears to give them exactly what they need.
:headscratch: The Asmo is going to go do some of that philosophy He dislikes regarding that there.

Well, I'm definitely sorry now.
Title: Re: Why God?
Post by: Asmodean on October 22, 2016, 11:52:44 AM
Quote from: BooksCatsEtc on October 22, 2016, 10:41:45 AM
Well, I'm definitely sorry now.
Why?! The Asmo does enjoy puzzling out such things, then figuring out if His reasoning was correct. That last bit does not rely on philosophy, so it's perfectly acceptable.  :)
Title: Re: Why God?
Post by: Sandra Craft on October 22, 2016, 02:10:04 PM
Quote from: Asmodean on October 22, 2016, 11:52:44 AM
Quote from: BooksCatsEtc on October 22, 2016, 10:41:45 AM
Well, I'm definitely sorry now.
Why?! The Asmo does enjoy puzzling out such things, then figuring out if His reasoning was correct. That last bit does not rely on philosophy, so it's perfectly acceptable.  :)

I hate philosophy, it's so rarely worth any time or effort and I'm sorry to cause it in anyone.  Also, I feel some tedious questions may be coming my way.
Title: Re: Why God?
Post by: Ecurb Noselrub on October 22, 2016, 04:23:23 PM
Quote from: Asmodean on October 22, 2016, 03:14:37 AM
Quote from: Ecurb Noselrub on October 22, 2016, 02:04:03 AM
Since I don't know what another person's experience is, I'm disinclined to judge.
Does their experience matter? I did define a reasonably objective standard of measurement for the purpose of this discussion; the basic understanding of the evolutionary tree of h. sapiens sapiens in accordance with the standing scientific consensus. An individual's experience in this regard does not indicate whether or not they are stupid. What it does is answer the question why they are the way they are. My point is; you can measure and compare stupidity. As such, you don't need to get all judgemental when saying that someone or something is stupid, nor do you need to account for variables outside the scope of the question "is this shit stupid?"

Of course, one can delve into the murky waters of philosophy and ask whether a person holding a stupid view is therefore stupid, but I don't really like philosophy, so I limit myself to saying that yes, in that particular regard, they are.

...

That is, if that is what your reply is directed at. If you are talking about me judging someone's believing what they want to believe as a stupid position to hold, well... I can justify that too, with high degree of objectivity. I don't think that's necessary though, given no causal link between what a person wants and what is.

If your reply is to someone else entirely, then... carry on.  ;)

I was commenting more on Books' post about people's experience of religion.  I agree that if something is objectively, factually wrong people should be called on it.  Not sure that makes them stupid - just wrong.  But religious experience falls somewhere outside the realm of those things capable of purely objective analysis. 
Title: Re: Why God?
Post by: Sandra Craft on October 31, 2016, 02:51:29 AM
I realize this is a bit Johnny-come-lately, but I came across this post by a former Xtian that addresses the whole religious comfort issue:
Letting Go of a God who Holds Everything (http://www.patheos.com/blogs/godlessindixie/2016/10/30/letting-go-of-a-god-who-holds-everything/).

from the blog post:
QuoteIn the end it will be the psychological needs of the reader which determine how this book is interpreted, whether we admit it or not. Most read it as a daily horoscope, oops I mean devotional, opening its pages each morning in hopes of finding a message from God for their individual needs today. It's a magic book, you see, and God will use it to speak to each of us individually, giving us exactly what we need for the day.

I remember thinking like this, and I remember how much comfort it brought me at the time. I learned to read the Bible as if it were God speaking to me personally, as if the whole book were in some way written out in order for me to know what to do from day to day. And sure, I knew that wasn't really true, ultimately. I knew it was written for other people at other times and places, but I believed God could still do both: speak to them and speak to me at the same time. That was the kind of God I believed in.

And you know what? That really met a deep psychological need. If you've never been inside that world, you may not appreciate how powerful that can be.
Title: Re: Why God?
Post by: Icarus on October 31, 2016, 03:11:44 AM
I think that Julia Sweeny does a lengthy skit called "letting go of God". She is funnier.
Title: Re: Why God?
Post by: Essie Mae on October 31, 2016, 05:57:05 PM
Quote from: Icarus on October 31, 2016, 03:11:44 AM
I think that Julia Sweeny does a lengthy skit called "letting go of God". She is funnier.

Happened to watch this just a couple of days ago, and I agree. Not sure I agree with her stance on religion being not all bad. Yes, there is some good; I know an ex-drug addict who had her life completely turned round about 30 years ago, and she as maintained the change but it's still all about mind control and fear inducement.
Title: Re: Why God?
Post by: existentialcrisis on December 09, 2016, 04:51:53 PM
Science is unlocking the reason.

1. It's in our DNA as an evolutionary trait. It's called pareidolia.

2. Humans look for patterns in nature to fill in the gaps. The less control we have, the more we see a cosmic figure. They did tests about it. Hence more belief among the poor.

3. It's linked with the linguistic part of the brain, in the neocortex. As we evolved it got more complex as an additional structure to our reptilian brain.

Watch through the wormhole with Morgan Freeman. Episode is called: Did we create God or did God create us?
Title: Re: Why God?
Post by: Arturo on December 09, 2016, 05:55:09 PM
Quote from: existentialcrisis on December 09, 2016, 04:51:53 PM
Science is unlocking the reason.

1. It's in our DNA as an evolutionary trait. It's called pareidolia.

2. Humans look for patterns in nature to fill in the gaps. The less control we have, the more we see a cosmic figure. They did tests about it. Hence more belief among the poor.

3. It's linked with the linguistic part of the brain, in the neocortex. As we evolved it got more complex as an additional structure to our reptilian brain.

Watch through the wormhole with Morgan Freeman. Episode is called: Did we create God or did God create us?

So the Morgan Freeman show is what you are using as a source for your points?
Title: Re: Why God?
Post by: Arturo on February 07, 2017, 09:53:55 AM
There is something I recall from the film "The Unbelievers". It was called something to that affect anyway. But the point is was that the people who feel they have no control over there lives are the group that has more people who are religious. And there are more liars in this group also.
Title: Re: Why God?
Post by: Dave on February 07, 2017, 10:50:18 AM
Quote from: Apathy on February 07, 2017, 09:53:55 AM
There is something I recall from the film "The Unbelievers". It was called something to that affect anyway. But the point is was that the people who feel they have no control over there lives are the group that has more people who are religious. And there are more liars in this group also.

Hmm, "You hae to be a fatalist to believe in life ever after".

Does that work?

:D
Title: Re: Why God?
Post by: Essie Mae on February 07, 2017, 10:04:45 PM
Quote from: Gloucester on February 07, 2017, 10:50:18 AM
Quote from: Apathy on February 07, 2017, 09:53:55 AM
There is something I recall from the film "The Unbelievers". It was called something to that affect anyway. But the point is was that the people who feel they have no control over there lives are the group that has more people who are religious. And there are more liars in this group also.

Hmm, "You hae to be a fatalist to believe in life ever after".

Does that work?

:D

It does work for fatalists but there are a lot of otherwise intelligent and knowledgeable Christians, and other believers, some of them very powerful, out there who believe in life ever after. They all encourage each other and say it a lot in order to keep their belief alive.
Title: Re: Why God?
Post by: drfreemlizard on June 16, 2018, 07:39:04 PM
Group think, in other words. But isn't that a sword that cuts in both directions? Christians group think themselves into a belief in God, atheists group think themselves into believing there is no God.

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Title: Re: Why God?
Post by: Tank on June 16, 2018, 08:20:41 PM
Quote from: drfreemlizard on June 16, 2018, 07:39:04 PM
Group think, in other words. But isn't that a sword that cuts in both directions? Christians group think themselves into a belief in God, atheists group think themselves into believing there is no God.

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Dfl. You have no evidence to support your position that gods exist. If you did the world would hear nothing else from you and Christianity would rule the world. There is no equality between theists (all kinds) claiming something exists and having no evidence to support that claim and atheists simply asking theists to provide evidence or they won't believe what theists assert and claim.

This is what theists sound like.

"Would you buy this car?

Hi! I have a great car. It's the best car there has ever been made.
Can I see the car please?
No! But trust me it's the best car ever made!
Have you seen the car?
Yes. It is beautiful!
Where is the car?
In my head!
Pardon. Did you say in your head?
Yes. It was marvellous I saw it when I went to the showroom last Sunday with all the other car salesmen.
But the car was there?
No. I saw it in my minds eye. It was so beautiful.
OK. How much does it cost?
Oh it's free. You just have to join the sales team.
So if I join the sales team I get a free car?
Yes. But you need to pay a subscription to join the team. It's not much just 10% of your earnings.
Ok. So I join the sales team and get a free car, but I have to pay a subscription?
Yes.
Ok. When do I get the car?
When you die.
What the fuck?
I have the owners manual and it says you get the greatest car ever built, for free, subject to a weekly subscription to be on the sales team, when you die.
Please leave."

Perpetually bleating on and on about their personal faith in ancient myths and legends. There is no evidence to support the claim that Jesus was divine or Allah exists nor even Neptune, Horus or Thor. All theistic beliefs are unsupportable assertions. 

Religion relies on group think. Atheism on the other hand is not a group you join just because you want to. Atheism is not a cause but an effect of rational thought and scepticism. One comes to an atheistic world view because there is no evidence to the contrary just infinite unsupportable claims based on institutionalised superstition.
Title: Re: Why God?
Post by: Sandra Craft on June 16, 2018, 08:34:22 PM
Quote from: drfreemlizard on June 16, 2018, 07:39:04 PM
Group think, in other words. But isn't that a sword that cuts in both directions? Christians group think themselves into a belief in God, atheists group think themselves into believing there is no God.

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Atheists (most of us anyway) reject theist claims about gods due to lack of evidence, or at least a compelling argument to believe in one without evidence.  And considering how many of us came to that conclusion from a theist background, before we'd ever heard an atheist speak or read an atheist book, I don't think there's much group think going on about it.

If a being presented itself to the world, demonstrated conclusively that it could create worlds instantaneously out of nothing and override the laws of physics on this world, or did whatever was needed to demonstrate it could be considered a god, and some atheists still refused to believe it, then there might be some group think going on in atheism.
Title: Re: Why God?
Post by: Dave on June 16, 2018, 08:45:54 PM
Quote from: drfreemlizard on June 16, 2018, 07:39:04 PM
Group think, in other words. But isn't that a sword that cuts in both directions? Christians group think themselves into a belief in God, atheists group think themselves into believing there is no God.

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Oho! To indulge in true "group think" you have to get into groups and produce concepts that others will accept without much question. Theists, except the very few that I have heard of who have a unique, personal concept of "God" etc, more regularly gather in Bible meetings/readings, services etc to indulge in a mutual faith-battery boost. Reaffirmation of a common belief that has fairly rigid, pre-set rules and members hesitate to "rock the boat". True "group think."

Atheists, even humanists, are more likely to argue over philosophical meanings and understandings but mostly come to a friendly concensus in the end. Or not. Atheism is consesual by nature when in groups, they might share a core understanding about the nature of Life, The Universe and Everything but the nitty-gritty can get nit-picky. Still a tad surprised more of my nits gave not been picked.  :grin:

OK, two theists might argue whether the OT Bible is "Revealed Truth" or pure allegory - but such might as well be members of totally different religions.
Title: Re: Why God?
Post by: drfreemlizard on June 16, 2018, 09:00:54 PM
Wait just a minute. You are saying we Christians sit around in clusters repeating our mantras over and over, but that ignores the broad spectrum of denominations within the Christian church. We do have some basic principles on which we agree, but those aside there are some pretty sharp variations.

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Title: Re: Why God?
Post by: Tank on June 16, 2018, 09:17:15 PM
Quote from: drfreemlizard on June 16, 2018, 09:00:54 PM
Wait just a minute. You are saying we Christians sit around in clusters repeating our mantras over and over, but that ignores the broad spectrum of denominations within the Christian church. We do have some basic principles on which we agree, but those aside there are some pretty sharp variations.

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No I'm saying that theism relies on group think. Atheism does not.

I don't care what religion, major or minor group, cult or sect that individual theist belongs to that's their issue. I'm an equally opportunity atheist. No evidence? Go talk to a tree. I don't care what your mythology tells you to believe that's your issue, not mine. Any claims of differentiation between religions or sects within religions is just special pleading between them and of absolutely no interest to me at all.

Now if you want to discuss theism vs atheism in a general sense start an appropriate thread please.
Title: Re: Why God?
Post by: Bluenose on June 16, 2018, 09:23:10 PM
Quote from: drfreemlizard on June 16, 2018, 09:00:54 PM
Wait just a minute. You are saying we Christians sit around in clusters repeating our mantras over and over, but that ignores the broad spectrum of denominations within the Christian church. We do have some basic principles on which we agree, but those aside there are some pretty sharp variations.

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Yes, the most important thing on which AFAIK all xtians agree is that there is a god.  However this is an assertion without a shred of evidence.  An atheist is what you become once you apply your critical faculties to your prior beliefs.  I was brought up firmly xtian, but I eventually realised that there was simply no evidence and that I could easily explain many of the supposedly miraculous happenings in the bible - especially the new testament - without needing any supernatural intervention, only everyday human nature.
Title: Re: Why God?
Post by: Dave on June 16, 2018, 09:51:29 PM
Quote from: drfreemlizard on June 16, 2018, 09:00:54 PM
Wait just a minute. You are saying we Christians sit around in clusters repeating our mantras over and over, but that ignores the broad spectrum of denominations within the Christian church. We do have some basic principles on which we agree, but those aside there are some pretty sharp variations.

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Yeah, perhaps my brush was a bit broad!

Would you say it is not a common practice for Christians, Muslims, Jews, Hindus, Sikhs, Buddhists etc, of all denominations and sects within their faith, to form into regular groups for mutual worship? As I said before most atheists see no fundamental difference between the major religions, possibly between any belief or faith system based on the supernatural. Such organised and regulated behaviour is bound to feature high in the perceptions of atheists.

Christians, Muslims and Jews exist in an uneasy world where some groups in each might welcome their fellow "The One True God" followers whereas other groups would shoot, blow or chop them limb from limb - for the greater glory of "The One True God." I will grant that Christians have largely grown out of such practices and are more likely to be victims in some countries these days. Buddhists, Hindus and Muslims seem to enjoy mutual, three cornered, antipathy.

Does not say much for the power of good in faith and belief does it? Not even within the same faith in some cases.

As I said elsewhere we can only really talk in generalities here. Good people usually reside below the public horizon, probably quietly doing millions of good deeds every day. The likes of Phelps and his gang at the Westboro church are the other side of the coin. All call themselves Christians. So the temptation is to cherry pick the more visible outrageous parts of theism for attention. Just as many theists chose the likes of Stalin and Pol Pot as examples of atheists and lump us all together. Hitler believed in "God" according to some authorities.

If "God" has no control over human nature what use is he, except to give some a purpose, justification, prop etc that they cannot find within themselves?
Title: Re: Why God?
Post by: Arturo on June 16, 2018, 09:57:12 PM
There are probably some Atheists out there who rely on group thinking because they don't have the means or desire to actually research things on their own and come to that conclusion. Atheism and religion are hot topic issues. So becoming emotionally charged might just be for one reason self identifying Atheists don't resign themselves to logic. But true Atheism comes from logical conclusion.

It doesn't take much to be a Christian. Just agree with everyone else around you and you'll congregate. Learn how to get people to agree with you and you can become a bishop. Get strangers to agree with you and give you money and then you're a pastor.
Title: Re: Why God?
Post by: Dave on June 16, 2018, 10:35:07 PM
Quote from: Sandra Craft on June 16, 2018, 08:34:22 PM
Quote from: drfreemlizard on June 16, 2018, 07:39:04 PM
Group think, in other words. But isn't that a sword that cuts in both directions? Christians group think themselves into a belief in God, atheists group think themselves into believing there is no God.

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Atheists (most of us anyway) reject theist claims about gods due to lack of evidence, or at least a compelling argument to believe in one without evidence.  And considering how many of us came to that conclusion from a theist background, before we'd ever heard an atheist speak or read an atheist book, I don't think there's much group think going on about it.

If a being presented itself to the world, demonstrated conclusively that it could create worlds instantaneously out of nothing and override the laws of physics on this world, or did whatever was needed to demonstrate it could be considered a god, and some atheists still refused to believe it, then there might be some group think going on in atheism.

Sandy, in a couple of your "catch-up" posts you have reiterated things that have been covered over the past couple of days (I never read all the forgoing posts either!) so we might well be accused of "group think" there by some. We all think the same thing, roughly. But though we exchange ideas with fellow atheists over years, maybe, holding onto some, letting others slip, we do not get together in groups solely organised to reinforce "right thinking" in the minds of those assembled.

If that "anti-diety" group of atheists assembled for the purpose of plotting and planning their strategy against the deity, talking one another into a mutually agreed set of actions, "group think" might have occurred. It is not an essential part of any strategy planning group, a decent consensus, even with minor dissensions, can serve just as well.
Title: Re: Why God?
Post by: Sandra Craft on June 17, 2018, 01:17:40 AM
Quote from: Dave on June 16, 2018, 10:35:07 PM

Sandy, in a couple of your "catch-up" posts you have reiterated things that have been covered over the past couple of days (I never read all the forgoing posts either!) so we might well be accused of "group think" there by some. We all think the same thing, roughly. But though we exchange ideas with fellow atheists over years, maybe, holding onto some, letting others slip, we do not get together in groups solely organised to reinforce "right thinking" in the minds of those assembled.

Yes, that occurred to me when I went back and read some of the posts I'd missed.  I wonder also if one of the reasons there's so much general agreement among atheists about atheism is that there's so little to it.  It isn't complicated or involved, unlike just about any religion you could name, so there isn't a lot of room for variation.
Title: Re: Why God?
Post by: drfreemlizard on June 17, 2018, 01:22:09 AM
I think you have us (at least Christians, I cannot really speak for other theists) a bit backwards. We meet because we believe there is a God and He both desires and deserves worship, not the other way around.

And how do you account for people who are not raised in a theist environment, or who are but leave it for many years, only to later return? I think of C. S. Lewis, who described himself as the most reluctant convert in all England, as well as others.

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Title: Re: Why God?
Post by: Tank on June 17, 2018, 06:26:38 AM
Quote from: drfreemlizard on June 17, 2018, 01:22:09 AM
I think you have us (at least Christians, I cannot really speak for other theists) a bit backwards. We meet because we believe there is a God and He both desires and deserves worship, not the other way around.
The very ideal of group think.

Quote
And how do you account for people who are not raised in a theist environment, or who are but leave it for many years, only to later return? I think of C. S. Lewis, who described himself as the most reluctant convert in all England, as well as others.
Some humans are fickle and eventually return to the indoctrination they received in their childhood. Humans are not machines designed to be perfect. We are evolved creatures will all the faults that brings. We have emotions and religions have evolved to be extremely emotionally seductive and as some people age they settle for emotional comfort and return to a childhood state. Some of course may effectively take Pascals Wager as they come closer to the inevitability of their death.
Title: Re: Why God?
Post by: xSilverPhinx on June 17, 2018, 03:50:11 PM
Quote from: drfreemlizard on June 16, 2018, 07:39:04 PM
Group think, in other words. But isn't that a sword that cuts in both directions? Christians group think themselves into a belief in God, atheists group think themselves into believing there is no God.

Sent from my SCH-I435 using Tapatalk

:eyebrow:

So adults generally agreeing that Santa Claus does not go around on his sleigh pulled by flying reindeer to distribute toys to millions of children is considered group think?

Title: Re: Why God?
Post by: Dave on June 17, 2018, 03:59:55 PM
Quote from: Sandra Craft on June 17, 2018, 01:17:40 AM
Quote from: Dave on June 16, 2018, 10:35:07 PM

Sandy, in a couple of your "catch-up" posts you have reiterated things that have been covered over the past couple of days (I never read all the forgoing posts either!) so we might well be accused of "group think" there by some. We all think the same thing, roughly. But though we exchange ideas with fellow atheists over years, maybe, holding onto some, letting others slip, we do not get together in groups solely organised to reinforce "right thinking" in the minds of those assembled.

Yes, that occurred to me when I went back and read some of the posts I'd missed.  I wonder also if one of the reasons there's so much general agreement among atheists about atheism is that there's so little to it.  It isn't complicated or involved, unlike just about any religion you could name, so there isn't a lot of room for variation.

Good thinking, Sandy.

Will steal that one!
Title: Re: Why God?
Post by: Recusant on June 17, 2018, 08:56:12 PM
Quote from: xSilverPhinx on June 17, 2018, 03:50:11 PM
Quote from: drfreemlizard on June 16, 2018, 07:39:04 PM
Group think, in other words. But isn't that a sword that cuts in both directions? Christians group think themselves into a belief in God, atheists group think themselves into believing there is no God.

:eyebrow:

So adults generally agreeing that Santa Claus does not go around on his sleigh pulled by flying reindeer to distribute toys to millions of children is considered group think?

:lol: :cheers: :brava:
Title: Re: Why God?
Post by: Dave on June 17, 2018, 09:01:33 PM
Quote from: Recusant on June 17, 2018, 08:56:12 PM
Quote from: xSilverPhinx on June 17, 2018, 03:50:11 PM
Quote from: drfreemlizard on June 16, 2018, 07:39:04 PM
Group think, in other words. But isn't that a sword that cuts in both directions? Christians group think themselves into a belief in God, atheists group think themselves into believing there is no God.

:eyebrow:

So adults generally agreeing that Santa Claus does not go around on his sleigh pulled by flying reindeer to distribute toys to millions of children is considered group think?

:lol: :cheers: :brava:

Seconded!
Title: Re: Why God?
Post by: Velma on June 18, 2018, 12:54:04 AM
Quote from: Dave on June 17, 2018, 09:01:33 PM
Quote from: Recusant on June 17, 2018, 08:56:12 PM
Quote from: xSilverPhinx on June 17, 2018, 03:50:11 PM
Quote from: drfreemlizard on June 16, 2018, 07:39:04 PM
Group think, in other words. But isn't that a sword that cuts in both directions? Christians group think themselves into a belief in God, atheists group think themselves into believing there is no God.

:eyebrow:

So adults generally agreeing that Santa Claus does not go around on his sleigh pulled by flying reindeer to distribute toys to millions of children is considered group think?

:lol: :cheers: :brava:

Seconded!
And thirded! (I don't care if is is a thing or not!  ;D )
Title: Re: Why God?
Post by: Arturo on June 18, 2018, 01:08:32 AM
Quote from: Velma on June 18, 2018, 12:54:04 AM
Quote from: Dave on June 17, 2018, 09:01:33 PM
Quote from: Recusant on June 17, 2018, 08:56:12 PM
Quote from: xSilverPhinx on June 17, 2018, 03:50:11 PM
Quote from: drfreemlizard on June 16, 2018, 07:39:04 PM
Group think, in other words. But isn't that a sword that cuts in both directions? Christians group think themselves into a belief in God, atheists group think themselves into believing there is no God.

:eyebrow:

So adults generally agreeing that Santa Claus does not go around on his sleigh pulled by flying reindeer to distribute toys to millions of children is considered group think?

:lol: :cheers: :brava:

Seconded!
And thirded! (I don't care if is is a thing or not!  ;D )

Fourthded then  ;D
Title: Re: Why God?
Post by: Recusant on June 18, 2018, 09:16:29 AM
In before "see! see! groupthink, right there!"   :grin:
Title: Re: Why God?
Post by: Dave on June 18, 2018, 10:13:51 AM
Quote from: Recusant on June 18, 2018, 09:16:29 AM
In before "see! see! groupthink, right there!"   :grin:

Not do sure that exactly meets the criteria of true groupthink. I was trying to drag up that subject from my memory of the college psychology unit (could have dug the notes out of the box in the attic . . .) Instead I looked online and found this.
https://www.khanacademy.org/test-prep/mcat/behavior/social-psychology/v/conformity-and-groupthink
Unfortunately the video is not shareable.

Seems that for true groupthink there needs to be an authoratarian group leader. Peer pressure can have similar effects but I don't think we suffer from that, when we agree, we agree - when we don't we have the option to argue it out without personal damage. Unless, of course, we step over the arbritary line and get suspended or banned. Luckily a rare occurence and possibly open to appeal.

Group confirmity. Seems a bit less well defined, but if otyers have an opinion it is not worth fighting over . . . Maybe "consensus" fits as well.

Now, what kind of group, other than political, industrial or military, has "an authoratarian figure" determining the subject and leading the direction of the debate I wonder?

In the realm of religion there are always "independants", those who chose not to attend church but worship slone, in their own way. But, they still obey an "ultimate authority" to maintain their spiritual integrity. I once lived next door to a flat used as a "house church", a dozen or so people in their 20s who did not want a vicar to tell them what to think, deciding on a kind of democracy with no designated leader. Apart from thrir dinging they were no problem and skways packed it in by about 8pm. But I could often hear wht they said if I turned the TV off. Ignoring the prayers and hymns it was soon obvious that there was a scale of assertiveness accross the group. There was a subtle but de facto leader who managed to steer the discussion no matter who was nominally "in the chair" for that session. But I would guess this happens in any group situation, my one experience of a humanist group showed this - there was a high potential for clashes had I remained in it!

Groups love leaders, even covert ones. But online groups do not normally have the pressures of face-to-face ones. We can respectfully diasagree but will, rightly, be expected to qualify and justify our point of dissent. Maybe to amicably agree to disagree. Or we can have a minor shouting match and go away mutually disgruntled.

And we have no "ultimate authority",  no, "He who must be obeyed!" No overiding confirmity to adhere to.
Title: Re: Why God?
Post by: xSilverPhinx on June 18, 2018, 10:14:29 PM
Quote from: Recusant on June 18, 2018, 09:16:29 AM
In before "see! see! groupthink, right there!"   :grin:

:snicker1:

I was waiting for it! :P
Title: Re: Why God?
Post by: Icarus on June 19, 2018, 12:50:47 AM
Repent ye sinners. So many of us are  are going to burn in hell.http://www.pewresearch.org/fact-tank/2018/06/13/younger-people-are-less-religious-than-older-ones-in-many-countries-especially-in-the-u-s-and-europe/
Title: Re: Why God?
Post by: Arturo on June 19, 2018, 01:50:32 AM
Quote from: Icarus on June 19, 2018, 12:50:47 AM
Repent ye sinners. So many of us are  are going to burn in hell.http://www.pewresearch.org/fact-tank/2018/06/13/younger-people-are-less-religious-than-older-ones-in-many-countries-especially-in-the-u-s-and-europe/

Something about "Are we there yet?" comes to mind. And the Dad always said "NO!"

So I guess skydaddy is technically correct in this situation. The best kind of correct.

(https://cdn.discordapp.com/attachments/437777305729892362/458278409500491798/gRk1uZm.gif)
Title: Re: Why God?
Post by: Randy on June 13, 2020, 05:45:49 PM
Once again, resurrecting an old thread but I thought I'd give a personal answer. It probably fits the mold of quite a few.

When I was a teenager, I was short, thin, had a face full of acne, shy, and depressed. I didn't know what depression was until some forty plus years later.

I remember the day I was "saved". I was in high school, a private Christian school although I don't remember which year. But I remember the headmaster / preacher / owner of the school praying with me to allow Jesus into my heart. I felt love.

Now many of us have thought other's loved us. We "felt" it only to be rejected. It wasn't until later that I realized "love" is a subjective feeling. Subjective may not be the word I'm looking for but it is the only one that comes to mind.

My parents didn't understand me, or so I thought. My mother thought I needed counseling which I probably did but my dad wouldn't have it. Bigger kids bullied me, girls made fun of me, and the only thing I had going for me was my grades. I had friends who were in the outcast group like me.

But here was someone who loved me no matter what I looked like, no matter how I dressed, someone who would accept me just as I am. I had a personal invisible friend who watched over me. Suddenly my mood changed.

I think I was still depressed, pretty sure I was, but I had someone who would listen to me.

I am making an assumption here, however, had I not been suffering from depression, I doubt I would have needed a "crutch".

So maybe one answer to "Why God?" is simply that some need someone who is always there for them.
Title: Re: Why God?
Post by: No one on June 13, 2020, 06:37:31 PM
god is nothing more than the culmination of mankind's arrogance, fear, and ignorance.

Basically, humans are Linus, and god is that security blanket.
Title: Re: Why God?
Post by: Randy on June 13, 2020, 06:39:38 PM
God was a security blanket until he unraveled.
Title: Re: Why God?
Post by: No one on June 13, 2020, 06:43:12 PM
Humans have been known to be the root cause of a break down.
Title: Re: Why God?
Post by: Vivacious on June 15, 2020, 12:36:31 AM
Awesome write up tank, thanks 😊
Title: Re: Why God?
Post by: Icarus on July 28, 2020, 12:34:59 AM
Here is an interesting snippet about how we may have arrived at the beliefs in omniscient and judgemental gods.

The article mentions that the display of religious symbols is believed to promote trust by others who might be involved in a transaction. 

For my own mental bent, Perhaps an unfair one,  I an hesitant to do business with a merchant or service person who prominently displays their fish symbol.

https://getpocket.com/explore/item/big-gods-came-after-the-rise-of-civilisations-not-before-finds-study-using-huge-historical-database?utm_source=pocket-newtab
Title: Re: Why God?
Post by: Randy on July 28, 2020, 02:40:23 AM
Quote from: Icarus on July 28, 2020, 12:34:59 AM
For my own mental bent, Perhaps an unfair one,  I an hesitant to do business with a merchant or service person who prominently displays their fish symbol.
I don't either. I feel like I'm going to be preached at or something of the sort.
Title: Re: Why God?
Post by: Recusant on July 28, 2020, 05:53:20 AM
Alternate link: "Big gods came after the rise of civilisations, not before, finds study using huge historical database" | The Conversation (https://theconversation.com/big-gods-came-after-the-rise-of-civilisations-not-before-finds-study-using-huge-historical-database-113801)

QuoteNew research we've just published in the journal Nature reveals that moralising gods come later than many people thought, well after the sharpest rises in social complexity in world history. In other words, gods who care about whether we are good or bad did not drive the initial rise of civilisations – but came later.

[Ibid. (https://theconversation.com/big-gods-came-after-the-rise-of-civilisations-not-before-finds-study-using-huge-historical-database-113801)]

For those who are interested in the paper itself, there is a link in the article with an access token. It's the bolded phrase above and can be found about 2/3 into the article, in the second paragraph under the heading "Sifting through history."

QuoteOur statistical analysis showed that beliefs in supernatural punishment tend to appear only when societies make the transition from simple to complex, around the time when the overall population exceed about a million individuals.

[Ibid. (https://theconversation.com/big-gods-came-after-the-rise-of-civilisations-not-before-finds-study-using-huge-historical-database-113801)]

I did a quick search of the paper, and thought the way they dealt with the Inca empire was unsatisfying. It breaks with their model, and I'd think that they'd give serious consideration as to why that is. They dismiss it as "short-lived" and appear to take that as a point in their favor, when it was not a failure on the part of the empire that abbreviated its existence, but the Spanish.
Title: Re: Why God?
Post by: Recusant on July 29, 2020, 05:05:39 AM
Quote from: Randy on July 28, 2020, 02:40:23 AM
Quote from: Icarus on July 28, 2020, 12:34:59 AM
For my own mental bent, Perhaps an unfair one,  I an hesitant to do business with a merchant or service person who prominently displays their fish symbol.
I don't either. I feel like I'm going to be preached at or something of the sort.

If I were a mountebank, I'd certainly make a point of displaying my Christianity, though in a "tasteful" way. For some of my potential marks it would lend credibility and incline them to give me the benefit of the doubt. Most of those like Icarus and you who would see the ichthys* and be inclined to avoid my pitch, I'd just as soon not deal with, anyway.

*The name of the common Christian fish symbol.
Title: Re: Why God?
Post by: Old Seer on July 30, 2020, 04:20:53 AM
Quote from: Icarus on July 28, 2020, 12:34:59 AM
Here is an interesting snippet about how we may have arrived at the beliefs in omniscient and judgemental gods.

The article mentions that the display of religious symbols is believed to promote trust by others who might be involved in a transaction. 

For my own mental bent, Perhaps an unfair one,  I an hesitant to do business with a merchant or service person who prominently displays their fish symbol.

https://getpocket.com/explore/item/big-gods-came-after-the-rise-of-civilisations-not-before-finds-study-using-huge-historical-database?utm_source=pocket-newtab
The article is quite spot on, and very inline with our biblical findings. We determined that civilization "was" a/the religion instituted by Nimrod, the founder of Babylon.  In the biblical context civilization for the near and middle east was Nimrod's invention.
Title: Re: Why God?
Post by: Old Seer on July 30, 2020, 04:35:24 AM
Tank. Did you write the OP or did you find what's there from another source. If it's your original input I'm impressed. Much of it is what we  (OS) would agree on.
Title: Re: Why God?
Post by: Tank on July 30, 2020, 08:18:26 AM
Quote from: Old Seer on July 30, 2020, 04:35:24 AM
Tank. Did you write the OP or did you find what's there from another source. If it's your original input I'm impressed. Much of it is what we  (OS) would agree on.

All my own thoughts.

I also find your question a little impertinent as it implies I would plagiarise.
Title: Re: Why God?
Post by: Old Seer on July 30, 2020, 02:00:39 PM
I know you didn't plagiarizer. There's to many differences, but I had a hunch it may cross your mind. Even if you were todo so I wouldn't care. We don't copyright anything.
Title: Re: Why God?
Post by: billy rubin on July 31, 2020, 08:04:00 PM
Quote from: Randy on June 13, 2020, 05:45:49 PM

I remember the day I was "saved". I was in high school, a private Christian school although I don't remember which year. But I remember the headmaster / preacher / owner of the school praying with me to allow Jesus into my heart. I felt love.


lol

my number two son was saved a while back, when he was about seven. he came home from christian education camp (my wife was running it at the meetinghouse) and the other kids were howling. he was trying to look very inconspicuous.

what's up?

ask starbuck! ask starbuck!

starbuck, what are they laughing at?

nuttin

tell him! tell him!

starbuck didn't want to. eventually, looking down at his feet, in a very small voice, he said

. . . i asked jesus into my heart.

why did you do that?

they were giving away bibles, and i wanted one.

quakers don't do that sort of thing much, even the theist ones, so starbuck is th eonly one of my kids who is officially saved

Title: Re: Why God?
Post by: Randy on August 01, 2020, 03:42:53 AM
Has he ever renounced his savior?
Title: Re: Why God?
Post by: billy rubin on August 01, 2020, 01:34:30 PM
to be honest, i havent asked him. he s 18 now, and i believe he is currently agnostic
Title: Re: Why God?
Post by: Icarus on August 30, 2020, 10:27:40 PM
Here are a few words about another kind of pandemic. Once an inconsequential belief pattern for the less sophisticated, The matter has become much more than the harmless babbling of a few insecure people.

https://religionnews.com/2020/08/17/qanon-the-alternative-religion-thats-coming-to-your-church/

Title: Re: Why God?
Post by: Randy on August 31, 2020, 12:23:24 AM
I'd dare say that Qanon has become something to worry about. I've only recently heard about them but their message infiltrates a lot of people. Heck, I don't even think they have a message but a bunch of conspiracy theories. I don't even know why they are called theories, they are more like hypotheses.
Title: Re: Why God?
Post by: Sandra Craft on August 31, 2020, 04:15:36 AM
Quote from: Randy on August 31, 2020, 12:23:24 AM
I'd dare say that Qanon has become something to worry about. I've only recently heard about them but their message infiltrates a lot of people. Heck, I don't even think they have a message but a bunch of conspiracy theories. I don't even know why they are called theories, they are more like hypotheses.

I don't think the average person has a single clue what a hypotheses is, much less the difference between it and a theory.
Title: Re: Why God?
Post by: Randy on August 31, 2020, 02:39:45 PM
Quote from: Sandra Craft on August 31, 2020, 04:15:36 AM
Quote from: Randy on August 31, 2020, 12:23:24 AM
I'd dare say that Qanon has become something to worry about. I've only recently heard about them but their message infiltrates a lot of people. Heck, I don't even think they have a message but a bunch of conspiracy theories. I don't even know why they are called theories, they are more like hypotheses.

I don't think the average person has a single clue what a hypotheses is, much less the difference between it and a theory.
You're right. It's just that the lack of distinction seems to say that a theory is just a guess.  It's amazing how people will pick up on conspiracy theories as fact but the theory of evolution is just a guess in their minds.
Title: Re: Why God?
Post by: Sandra Craft on August 31, 2020, 04:15:15 PM
Quote from: Randy on August 31, 2020, 02:39:45 PM
It's amazing how people will pick up on conspiracy theories as fact but the theory of evolution is just a guess in their minds.

It makes me weep.
Title: Re: Why God?
Post by: Icarus on September 01, 2020, 06:33:32 AM
Some of the conspiracy theories are pitifully absurd.  One that sticks in my mind is the one about Mayfair furniture.  Mayfair advertises numerous cabinets.  Each of them has some kind of name. The conspiracy people say that the names are code words that apply to a certain kind of child. The child is to be sold and will have their blood drained and used as a vaccine for use by members of the cabal.

It is said that the word cabal  came from a committee of five ministers under Charles II.  The committee surnames happen to begin with the letters  C,A,B,A,L. 
Title: Re: Why God?
Post by: Randy on September 01, 2020, 04:39:04 PM
And people really believes this tripe? I knew that some conspiracy theories were way out there but this one takes the cake.
Title: Re: Why God?
Post by: Bluenose on September 02, 2020, 01:45:51 AM
Quote from: Randy on September 01, 2020, 04:39:04 PM
And people really believes this tripe? I knew that some conspiracy theories were way out there but this one takes the cake.

It's no more stupid than believing 5G causes Covid 19.  But then the idiots will believe almost anything it seems...
Title: Re: Why God?
Post by: Tank on September 02, 2020, 08:16:45 AM
Quote from: Bluenose on September 02, 2020, 01:45:51 AM
Quote from: Randy on September 01, 2020, 04:39:04 PM
And people really believes this tripe? I knew that some conspiracy theories were way out there but this one takes the cake.

It's no more stupid than believing 5G causes Covid 19.  But then the idiots will believe almost anything it seems...

Drop bears?
Title: Re: Why God?
Post by: Bluenose on September 02, 2020, 09:02:37 AM
Quote from: Tank on September 02, 2020, 08:16:45 AM
Quote from: Bluenose on September 02, 2020, 01:45:51 AM
Quote from: Randy on September 01, 2020, 04:39:04 PM
And people really believes this tripe? I knew that some conspiracy theories were way out there but this one takes the cake.

It's no more stupid than believing 5G causes Covid 19.  But then the idiots will believe almost anything it seems...

Drop bears?

Yeah, but Drop Bears are REAL!!! ::)
Title: Re: Why God?
Post by: Icarus on November 24, 2020, 06:01:45 PM
More why God stuff is addressed here.  https://getpocket.com/explore/item/big-gods-came-after-the-rise-of-civilisations-not-before-finds-study-using-huge-historical-database?utm_source=pocket-newtab

Title: Re: Why God?
Post by: Randy on November 24, 2020, 06:10:56 PM
I found the read intriguing. Well worth looking at.
Title: Re: Why Atheism?
Post by: Sandra Craft on November 29, 2020, 01:15:28 AM
Quote from: Bluenose on September 02, 2020, 09:02:37 AM
Quote from: Tank on September 02, 2020, 08:16:45 AM
Quote from: Bluenose on September 02, 2020, 01:45:51 AM
Quote from: Randy on September 01, 2020, 04:39:04 PM
And people really believes this tripe? I knew that some conspiracy theories were way out there but this one takes the cake.

It's no more stupid than believing 5G causes Covid 19.  But then the idiots will believe almost anything it seems...

Drop bears?

Yeah, but Drop Bears are REAL!!! ::)

Can confirm, Bluenose showed me a picture of one!
Title: Re: Why God?
Post by: Icarus on December 11, 2020, 12:27:17 AM
God plays around with his toys about this time of year.  An annual phenomena is called the Christmas Star.  It is an unusually bright object in the sky. Christians see it as a sign of............whatever they want it to be.

It is not a star at all. It is the conjunction of two planets, Saturn and Jupiter.   This year, on or about December 21 the "star" will be as near a perfect conjunction as has happened in 800 years.  One planet will hide neatly behind the other and together they will produce a brilliant image in the southern sky.  ( southern sky....depending where you are on our pale blue marble)

Astrology types might become flummoxed
Title: Re: Why God?
Post by: Recusant on July 15, 2021, 10:43:45 PM
Thread split here. For commentary speculating on atheism as an unrecognised disability and responses thereto see the Anteroom board. Or not.  :lol:
Title: Re: Why God?
Post by: Dark Lightning on July 15, 2021, 10:52:38 PM
 :???: I figure that the Dump for Crazy Troll Posts would be the destination.  ;)
Title: Re: Why God?
Post by: Recusant on July 15, 2021, 11:03:12 PM
Nobody expects the Anteroom.  :snicker1:
Title: Re: Why God?
Post by: No one on July 15, 2021, 11:27:06 PM
Tank likes the anteroom, too bad you can't torquemada moving threads there.
Title: Re: Why God?
Post by: Gnostic Christian Bishop on December 10, 2021, 10:38:52 PM
Quote from: Tank on September 04, 2011, 10:37:08 AM
Why God?


Almost all of us feel material dualism or a body/soul reality is what we are living.

We have an ideal or fittest material human in mind,  and it would seem to follow that we would also have an ideal or fittest soul theory n mind.

Do you think in body/soul terms?

Regards
DL 
Title: Re: Why God?
Post by: billy rubin on December 10, 2021, 11:01:22 PM
Quote from: Gnostic Christian Bishop on December 10, 2021, 10:38:52 PM
Quote from: Tank on September 04, 2011, 10:37:08 AM
Why God?


Almost all of us feel material dualism or a body/soul reality is what we are living.

We have an ideal or fittest material human in mind,  and it would seem to follow that we would also have an ideal or fittest soul theory n mind.

Do you think in body/soul terms?

Regards
DL

hey gnostic

pleased to meet you.

you didnt direct your question to me but i am curious.

why do you think people feel a body/soul duality?

it does not appear to be my experience
Title: Re: Why God?
Post by: Icarus on December 10, 2021, 11:47:01 PM
I am not at all conscious of any sort of body/soul relationship. I submit that there are far more of us than religious people are capable of recognizing.  The body/soul belief is probably a source of comfort to adherents of religious faiths.

That subject could easily become the source of a lengthy philosophic exchange.   



Title: Re: Why God?
Post by: Icarus on December 11, 2021, 12:09:30 AM
Here is a semi-interesting read about people who are pretty sure of the body soul thing.  If nothing else, their village is a quaint and neatly kept place to practice the medium craft.   (Vid dredged from my continuously expanding E mail in box.)     

https://www.atlasobscura.com/articles/spiritualism-medium-test-lily-dale?utm_source=Atlas+Obscura+Daily+Newsletter&utm_campaign=d6d905c3dc-EMAIL_CAMPAIGN_2021_12_10&utm_medium=email&utm_term=0_f36db9c480-d6d905c3dc-70717773&mc_cid=d6d905c3dc&mc_eid=3b6a429c72raft.
inbox
Title: Re: Why God?
Post by: billy rubin on December 11, 2021, 12:53:18 AM
cant read it through the ads, icarus
Title: Re: Why God?
Post by: Old Seer on December 11, 2021, 02:47:54 PM
Quote from: Gnostic Christian Bishop on December 10, 2021, 10:38:52 PM
Quote from: Tank on September 04, 2011, 10:37:08 AM
Why God?


Almost all of us feel material dualism or a body/soul reality is what we are living.

We have an ideal or fittest material human in mind,  and it would seem to follow that we would also have an ideal or fittest soul theory n mind.

Do you think in body/soul terms?

Regards
DL
It may depend upon one's perspective of reality, or who's reality one is drawn to or agrees with. This should be taken to the anteroom, I think. For me the anteroom show up only if I'm logged in.
Title: Re: Why God?
Post by: Gnostic Christian Bishop on December 11, 2021, 09:23:19 PM
Quote from: billy rubin on December 10, 2021, 11:01:22 PM
Quote from: Gnostic Christian Bishop on December 10, 2021, 10:38:52 PM
Quote from: Tank on September 04, 2011, 10:37:08 AM
Why God?


Almost all of us feel material dualism or a body/soul reality is what we are living.

We have an ideal or fittest material human in mind,  and it would seem to follow that we would also have an ideal or fittest soul theory n mind.

Do you think in body/soul terms?

Regards
DL

hey gnostic

pleased to meet you.

you didnt direct your question to me but i am curious.

why do you think people feel a body/soul duality?

it does not appear to be my experience

Ditto on the greetings buddy.

I am going by what I see around me as well as the stats.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0IqYHiejTVM

I see religions using our ways of thinking against us. Especially when the religious get to young minds and corrupt them with supernatural beliefs.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aWx_uVDh4Cw&t=134s

Regards
DL


Title: Re: Why God?
Post by: billy rubin on December 12, 2021, 02:42:12 AM
so what exactly is a body/soul duality?
Title: Re: Why God?
Post by: Gnostic Christian Bishop on December 12, 2021, 06:38:01 PM
Quote from: billy rubin on December 12, 2021, 02:42:12 AM
so what exactly is a body/soul duality?

These refer to that issuer.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0IqYHiejTVM

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aWx_uVDh4Cw&t=134s

Regards
DL
Title: Re: Why God?
Post by: billy rubin on December 12, 2021, 08:55:06 PM
im not much of a video person, gnostic.

can you summarize your thoughts?
Title: Re: Why God?
Post by: Ecurb Noselrub on December 15, 2021, 03:31:35 AM
Yes, give it to us in 250 words.
Title: Re: Why God?
Post by: Magdalena on December 15, 2021, 07:41:54 AM
I'm fine with a 50-word sentence.  :shrug:
Title: Re: Why God?
Post by: Gnostic Christian Bishop on December 17, 2021, 09:07:45 PM
Quote from: billy rubin on December 12, 2021, 08:55:06 PM
im not much of a video person, gnostic.

can you summarize your thoughts?

Material man wants to be King.

Our spiritual side wants to be God.

Regards
DL
Title: Re: Why God?
Post by: billy rubin on December 18, 2021, 08:41:11 PM
Quote from: Gnostic Christian Bishop on December 17, 2021, 09:07:45 PM
Quote from: billy rubin on December 12, 2021, 08:55:06 PM
im not much of a video person, gnostic.

can you summarize your thoughts?

Material man wants to be King.

Our spiritual side wants to be God.

Regards
DL

okay. thank you.
Title: Re: Why God?
Post by: billyportne on February 12, 2022, 10:41:15 PM
According to C. S. Lewis, author of "Mere Christianity", primitive humans created Sky Gods as a result of numinous awe, the superstitious idea that powerful beings were the cause of thunder, lightning and other natural phenomena they couldn't explain.

According to the Apostle Paul, we have no excuse for not believing that God exists. We can see the world he created, and that should cause us to take a leap of faith. Then he contradicts himself by claiming that faith must be based on what we cannot see.

Despite the fact that Paul's brain was more evolved than the brains of our primitive ancestors, his operated in the same superstitious way. Despite the fact that we now have a rational, scientific way to investigate and understand natural phenomena, the brains of millions of people still operate in a primitive, superstitious way.

We don't need a Sky God to explain gaps in our knowledge of the natural world. And there's nothing up there in the sky or down here on the ground that compels us to worship a god in fear and awe. A beautiful sunrise, stars twinkling in the night sky, a majestic mountain, a frozen waterfall, colorful birds tending their nest, thunder, lightning, cheese cake, great sex... those are some of the things that trigger awe in my brain.

Here's a story that demonstrates, at least to my satisfaction, that humans can leap to a superstitious conclusion whether they have a big brain or not. I call it... 

Reality—What a Concept!

The Lone Ranger and Tonto went camping in the desert. They set up their tent and fell asleep. Several hours later, Tonto woke the Lone Ranger.
"Kemo Sabe, look up. What you see?"
"Uh, millions of stars."
"What that tell you, Kemo Sabe?"
Well, astronomically it tells me there are millions of galaxies in the universe. Astronomically, it tells me that Saturn is in Leo. Time wise, it tells me it's about a quarter past three in the morning. Theologically, it tells me that God is awesome and that we are small and insignificant. And meteorologically it tells me that tomorrow will be a bright sunny day. What does it tell you, Tonto?"
"Kemo Sabe! You dumber than buffalo. It means someone stole our tent!"
Title: Re: Why God?
Post by: Icarus on February 13, 2022, 05:29:04 AM
 ^ :puppysnicker: For the Kemo Sabe bit.
Title: Re: Why God?
Post by: Tank on February 13, 2022, 01:15:40 PM
Quote from: billyportne on February 12, 2022, 10:41:15 PM
According to C. S. Lewis, author of "Mere Christianity", primitive humans created Sky Gods as a result of numinous awe, the superstitious idea that powerful beings were the cause of thunder, lightning and other natural phenomena they couldn't explain.

According to the Apostle Paul, we have no excuse for not believing that God exists. We can see the world he created, and that should cause us to take a leap of faith. Then he contradicts himself by claiming that faith must be based on what we cannot see.

Despite the fact that Paul's brain was more evolved than the brains of our primitive ancestors, his operated in the same superstitious way. Despite the fact that we now have a rational, scientific way to investigate and understand natural phenomena, the brains of millions of people still operate in a primitive, superstitious way.

We don't need a Sky God to explain gaps in our knowledge of the natural world. And there's nothing up there in the sky or down here on the ground that compels us to worship a god in fear and awe. A beautiful sunrise, stars twinkling in the night sky, a majestic mountain, a frozen waterfall, colorful birds tending their nest, thunder, lightning, cheese cake, great sex... those are some of the things that trigger awe in my brain.

Here's a story that demonstrates, at least to my satisfaction, that humans can leap to a superstitious conclusion whether they have a big brain or not. I call it... 

Reality—What a Concept!

The Lone Ranger and Tonto went camping in the desert. They set up their tent and fell asleep. Several hours later, Tonto woke the Lone Ranger.
"Kemo Sabe, look up. What you see?"
"Uh, millions of stars."
"What that tell you, Kemo Sabe?"
Well, astronomically it tells me there are millions of galaxies in the universe. Astronomically, it tells me that Saturn is in Leo. Time wise, it tells me it's about a quarter past three in the morning. Theologically, it tells me that God is awesome and that we are small and insignificant. And meteorologically it tells me that tomorrow will be a bright sunny day. What does it tell you, Tonto?"
"Kemo Sabe! You dumber than buffalo. It means someone stole our tent!"

I think one of the problems humanity faces is that all the brains of people still operate in a primitive, superstitious way when we are first born. That's the point were religions re-infect the next generation. When rabbits give birth the fleas of the mother congregate on her nose and jump onto the new borns' as she licks them clean. A similar process happens as children grow.

Many people never lose their necessary childhood gullibility.
Title: Re: Why God?
Post by: No one on February 13, 2022, 02:40:34 PM
One needs to think, in order to overcome gullibility.
Title: Re: Why God?
Post by: Papasito Bruno on February 25, 2022, 07:42:23 PM
I was having lunch today, and I asked "shall I have an extra vegan meatball?" Then I looked randomly at my bowl of pasta. The fettuccine was in the shape of a smile ;D

A sure sign from the great FSM that they approved of more meatballs.

Ramen
Title: Re: Why God?
Post by: Magdalena on February 26, 2022, 06:40:45 PM
Quote from: Papasito Bruno on February 25, 2022, 07:42:23 PM
I was having lunch today, and I asked "shall I have an extra vegan meatball?" Then I looked randomly at my bowl of pasta. The fettuccine was in the shape of a smile ;D

A sure sign from the great FSM that they approved of more meatballs.

Ramen

;D
(https://i.redd.it/znu61pmjo2a31.jpg)
Title: Re: Why God?
Post by: Papasito Bruno on February 27, 2022, 12:59:19 AM
Holy Friday

O Lord of Noodliest Noodles,

Please bless us on this holiest of holy days; Friday.
On this day, which we devote to You,
May our noodles never go soft. (Looking at you Bad Penny II)
My all of your loyal followers be touched by Your noodly appendage,
And may our grog ever be cool and drinkable in Thy name.

RAmen.
Title: Re: Why God?
Post by: Magdalena on February 27, 2022, 05:32:06 AM
Quote from: Papasito Bruno on February 27, 2022, 12:59:19 AM
Holy Friday

O Lord of Noodliest Noodles,

Please bless us on this holiest of holy days; Friday.
On this day, which we devote to You,
Bless his Holy Oodles Of Noodliest Noodles.

Quote from: Papasito Bruno on February 27, 2022, 12:59:19 AM
May our noodles never go soft. (Looking at you Bad Penny II)
That's not necessary

Quote from: Papasito Bruno on February 27, 2022, 12:59:19 AM
My all of your loyal followers be touched by Your noodly appendage,
With consent, of course.


Quote from: Papasito Bruno on February 27, 2022, 12:59:19 AM
And may our grog ever be cool and drinkable in Thy name.

RAmen.

RAmen.

(https://i.gifer.com/73IT.gif)
If that's OK with you.
Title: Re: Why God?
Post by: Magdalena on February 27, 2022, 06:05:47 AM
(https://i.chzbgr.com/full/8026432256/hD2042403/say-your-prayers)
This prayer should go to Dionysus, Bless His Holy Plump Cabernet Grapes.  :notsure:
Title: Re: Why God?
Post by: No one on February 27, 2022, 02:49:57 PM
Not sure how to break it to you Raps, but that's not Cabernet. (https://www.happyatheistforum.com/forum/proxy.php?request=http%3A%2F%2Fweb.stardock.net%2Fimages%2Fsmiles%2Fthemes%2Fdigicons%2FGagged.png&hash=9b545d9c6babbe58bf3eb16c42e338f7edf55876)
Title: Re: Why God?
Post by: Papasito Bruno on February 27, 2022, 03:26:09 PM
Quote from: No one on February 27, 2022, 02:49:57 PM
Not sure how to break it to you Raps, but that's not Cabernet. (https://www.happyatheistforum.com/forum/proxy.php?request=http%3A%2F%2Fweb.stardock.net%2Fimages%2Fsmiles%2Fthemes%2Fdigicons%2FGagged.png&hash=9b545d9c6babbe58bf3eb16c42e338f7edf55876)

She's a typical apologist, the prayer specifically mentions lager, but she interprets it as cabernet to fit it with what she finds as a truth.

She's not a true Pastafarianism...she's a herectic! :devil:

By the way Star Trek predicted the cell phone, tablets, laptops, and video phones and computer games; therefore Gene Roddenberry must be god.
Title: Re: Why God?
Post by: Magdalena on February 27, 2022, 05:57:22 PM
Quote from: Papasito Bruno on February 27, 2022, 03:26:09 PM
Quote from: No one on February 27, 2022, 02:49:57 PM
Not sure how to break it to you Raps, but that's not Cabernet. (https://www.happyatheistforum.com/forum/proxy.php?request=http%3A%2F%2Fweb.stardock.net%2Fimages%2Fsmiles%2Fthemes%2Fdigicons%2FGagged.png&hash=9b545d9c6babbe58bf3eb16c42e338f7edf55876)

She's a typical apologist, the prayer specifically mentions lager, but she interprets it as cabernet to fit it with what she finds as a truth.

She's not a true Pastafarianism...she's a herectic! :devil:

By the way, Star Trek predicted the cell phone, tablets, laptops, and video phones, and computer games; therefore Gene Roddenberry must be god.

(https://thumbs.gfycat.com/NervousSpryAzurevase-max-1mb.gif)

Look, maybe PB's, Holy Banana is not as longanimous as we think. Maybe The Pink Unicorn's Hooves aren't as Holy as we think. Maybe The Flying Spaghetti Monster's Holy Noodles are not the Noodliest.

Maybe Jesus' Holy Blood is not red wine and white wine is not his Holy...Plasma, and maybe Dionysus does not have Holy Cabernet Grapes, but no one can deny that they are Holy and Plump!
:rant1:

I will erect a temple for Dyonisus where everyone will be welcomed, the herectic and the heretic, Bless their Holy Spelling Errors, and the Rastafarians, Bless their Holy Cannabis Buds. Especially the lager drinkers bless their Holy Beer Belly.
:beer:
Title: Re: Why God?
Post by: hermes2015 on February 28, 2022, 05:13:41 AM
Quote from: Magdalena on February 27, 2022, 05:57:22 PM
......
Look, maybe PB's, Holy Banana is not as longanimous as we think.
...

Don't you think we should settle this question once and for all by calling in an expert witness in these matters, one who would be willing to investigate and testify on a pro bono (pro boner?) basis? If only we could find such a generous expert on male appendages!
Title: Re: Why God?
Post by: Tank on February 28, 2022, 08:51:43 AM
:rofl:
Title: Re: Why God?
Post by: Papasito Bruno on February 28, 2022, 01:26:23 PM
Quote from: hermes2015 on February 28, 2022, 05:13:41 AM
Quote from: Magdalena on February 27, 2022, 05:57:22 PM
......
Look, maybe PB's, Holy Banana is not as longanimous as we think.
...

Don't you think we should settle this question once and for all by calling in an expert witness in these matters, one who would be willing to investigate and testify on a pro bono (pro boner?) basis? If only we could find such a generous expert on male appendages!

I would be willing to submit to an examination by such a witness, however. They would have to prove stated "Expert" witness status. Not sure how we would go about establishing such credibility...we need a lawyer I think?   :sherlock3:

Title: Re: Why God?
Post by: Magdalena on February 28, 2022, 04:39:23 PM
Quote from: Papasito Bruno on February 28, 2022, 01:26:23 PM
Quote from: hermes2015 on February 28, 2022, 05:13:41 AM
Quote from: Magdalena on February 27, 2022, 05:57:22 PM
......
Look, maybe PB's, Holy Banana is not as longanimous as we think.
...

Don't you think we should settle this question once and for all by calling in an expert witness in these matters, one who would be willing to investigate and testify on a pro bono (pro boner?) basis? If only we could find such a generous expert on male appendages!

I would be willing to submit to an examination by such a witness, however. They would have to prove stated "Expert" witness status. Not sure how we would go about establishing such credibility...we need a lawyer I think?   :sherlock3:
...

You guys don't need a pro boner expert witness or a lawyer. You guys need a dictionary or a thesaurus.

longanimous
Pronunciation /ˌlɒŋˈɡanɪməs/
ADJECTIVE
Patient, forbearing; enduring, long-suffering.

Someone has to torture the banana to see if it will endure long-suffering.
(https://www.missmalini.com/content/images/media/VtYBsekKkX0T6/giphy.gif)
Title: Re: Why God?
Post by: Magdalena on February 28, 2022, 04:46:24 PM
^^^
I think I just found the answer to: "Why God?"
...Because of people like us.  :grin:
Title: Re: Why God?
Post by: hermes2015 on March 01, 2022, 07:05:19 AM
Quote from: Magdalena on February 28, 2022, 04:39:23 PM
Quote from: Papasito Bruno on February 28, 2022, 01:26:23 PM
Quote from: hermes2015 on February 28, 2022, 05:13:41 AM
Quote from: Magdalena on February 27, 2022, 05:57:22 PM
......
Look, maybe PB's, Holy Banana is not as longanimous as we think.
...

Don't you think we should settle this question once and for all by calling in an expert witness in these matters, one who would be willing to investigate and testify on a pro bono (pro boner?) basis? If only we could find such a generous expert on male appendages!

I would be willing to submit to an examination by such a witness, however. They would have to prove stated "Expert" witness status. Not sure how we would go about establishing such credibility...we need a lawyer I think?   :sherlock3:
...

You guys don't need a pro boner expert witness or a lawyer. You guys need a dictionary or a thesaurus.

longanimous
Pronunciation /ˌlɒŋˈɡanɪməs/
ADJECTIVE
Patient, forbearing; enduring, long-suffering.

Someone has to torture the banana to see if it will endure long-suffering.
(https://www.missmalini.com/content/images/media/VtYBsekKkX0T6/giphy.gif)

A soldier shows us how it's done.

(https://i.imgur.com/zzZRx3c.gif)
Title: Re: Why God?
Post by: No one on March 01, 2022, 11:04:19 AM
That's a peculiar method for producing banana cream.
Title: Re: Why God?
Post by: hermes2015 on March 01, 2022, 11:50:28 AM
Quote from: No one on March 01, 2022, 11:04:19 AM
That's a peculiar method for producing banana cream.

Trust me, it works.
Title: Re: Why God?
Post by: No one on March 01, 2022, 12:07:37 PM
Does it work for plantains as well?
Title: Re: Why God?
Post by: Papasito Bruno on March 01, 2022, 01:51:45 PM
Quote from: hermes2015 on March 01, 2022, 07:05:19 AM


A soldier shows us how it's done.

(https://i.imgur.com/zzZRx3c.gif)
[/quote]

That's a Marine ;D
Title: Re: Why God?
Post by: hermes2015 on March 01, 2022, 04:31:59 PM
Quote from: Papasito Bruno on March 01, 2022, 01:51:45 PM
Quote from: hermes2015 on March 01, 2022, 07:05:19 AM


A soldier shows us how it's done.

(https://i.imgur.com/zzZRx3c.gif)

That's a Marine ;D
[/quote]

I stand corrected. But I'm not picky.  :evilgrin:
Title: Re: Why God?
Post by: Magdalena on March 01, 2022, 05:31:28 PM
I was thinking...
Could we move this whole "longanimous banana" conversation, here:
Topic: Re: Why God? Troll post.
:grin:
Please.
Title: Re: Why God?
Post by: Magdalena on March 01, 2022, 05:42:17 PM
Quote from: Papasito Bruno on March 01, 2022, 01:51:45 PM

That's a Marine ;D

Thank you for paying attention to the details.  ;D
Title: Re: Why God?
Post by: billy rubin on March 01, 2022, 07:37:25 PM
i love plantains.

i keep em until theyre black and the fruit flies are wondering whats so nice in the kitchen. bread em with the same batter i use for fried bananas except no sugar. deep fry.

i dunno what to do with green plantains. i should experiment more
Title: Re: Why God?
Post by: Magdalena on March 01, 2022, 08:14:26 PM
Quote from: billy rubin on March 01, 2022, 07:37:25 PM
i love plantains.

i keep em until theyre black and the fruit flies are wondering whats so nice in the kitchen. bread em with the same batter i use for fried bananas except no sugar. deep fry.

i dunno what to do with green plantains. i should experiment more

:oooh-me!:
I can help with that!

I love them too!
Here you go, Kevin. With love, from me to you.
:hug2:
https://eng.cocinamerica.com/recipes/salvadorean-empanadas/ (https://eng.cocinamerica.com/recipes/salvadorean-empanadas/)
Title: Re: Why God?
Post by: billy rubin on March 02, 2022, 01:56:26 AM
ive never heard of doing them that way

but ive never been to el salvador.

i shallinvestigate
Title: Re: Why God?
Post by: Papasito Bruno on March 02, 2022, 03:56:12 PM
Quote from: hermes2015 on March 01, 2022, 04:31:59 PM
Quote from: Papasito Bruno on March 01, 2022, 01:51:45 PM
Quote from: hermes2015 on March 01, 2022, 07:05:19 AM


A soldier shows us how it's done.

(https://i.imgur.com/zzZRx3c.gif)

That's a Marine ;D


Hermes,

I was at my desk here in the office yesterday morning when I first saw your video of the Marine demonstrating how to properly consume a banana, and I kid you not I was actually eating a banana myself when I saw this!

I started to laugh out load, and then I began to choke on the banana I was eating, and it took me about 30 seconds or longer to clear my throat.

I got up and went into our kitchen to get a drink a water, and as I walking out one of my co-workers asked me what was so funny. He said he heard my outburst, and said it must of been really funny!

I had to lie, and I said, "Oh, my wife sent me a funny text which caught me off-guard". He then asks, "what she say"?
I'm like, "Oh it was kind of personal, I don't think you would get it"
(I don't think he would have found the Marine video funny, plus he's one of the Associate Partners soooo noooo wasn't going to show him)

Anyway thank you for the laugh that was perfect ;D

Quote from: Magdalena on March 01, 2022, 05:31:28 PM
I was thinking...
Could we move this whole "longanimous banana" conversation, here:
Topic: Re: Why God? Troll post.
:grin:
Please.

Yes, I agree that this is a great location to have the "Longanimous Banana" conversation. In fact I was thinking instead of a Flying Spaghetti Monster God, we here at HAF could invent/discover our own diety.

Introducing the "Church of the Divine Longanimous Banana". 

We could have multiple gods, like banana gods, plantain gods, maybe even a cucumber goddess?

I would even be willing to don my priestly vestments again, and become Father of the Longanimous Banana!!

:far out:
Title: Re: Why God?
Post by: hermes2015 on March 02, 2022, 05:44:54 PM
Quote from: Papasito Bruno on March 02, 2022, 03:56:12 PM
...
Anyway thank you for the laugh that was perfect ;D
....

:thumbsup:
Title: Re: Why God?
Post by: Gnostic Christian Bishop on May 01, 2022, 07:08:35 PM
Quote from: Tank on September 04, 2011, 10:37:08 AMWhy God?

The majority of the human population appear to profess a belief in a God or Gods. Why is this? What is the root of God in the human psyche?



There are two main factors for having te highest possible God.

One is what they are calling the Princess Alice experiment and the other is our material dualism thinking. Mind/body or body/soul or body spirit thinking.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aWx_uVDh4Cw

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0IqYHiejTVM

When born, our DNA tells us, correctly, that we are the fittest of our genetic line.

That if you can see our material dualism working, will also have us think we are the fittest God.

Regards
DL