I Like the Atheist Life (OT)


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Ice climber
the ghost
Oct 13, 2012 - 01:41pm PT


Somewhere out there
Oct 13, 2012 - 02:02pm PT
It's never ever happened ever nor will it ever happen

 No really… no need for a man made god. You are fooling yourself as much as you say other fool themselves…

There is no god

Social climber
the Wastelands
Oct 13, 2012 - 02:16pm PT
Blue said:
I chimed in when I noticed so many wrong presumptions concerning the Bible and my best friend Jesus. I thought we could maturely have a discussion on these matters

Blu, you have conclusively proved that you cannot have a "mature" discussion.

Case in point: I twice asked you a very simple question, how old is the earth?

You promised you would not answer using the bible creation story.

And then, when you finally did attempt an answer, just to shut me up I think, then you "immaturely" quoted the Bible in a long paragraph as your "answer" to my very very simple question.

Want to try it again? And this time do NOT use the bible to answer, how old is the earth?

two words, Blue "xxxxxxxx years"

Social climber
joshua tree
Oct 13, 2012 - 04:51pm PT
Norton; I think it's older than that!

I guess my explanation of the universe being eternal wasn't satisfactory to you?
Yes it is Bible backed but it hasn't been wrong to me yet! I just read an article about a hot young gun (mr. Burden? Bordoun?) has studied Einstein's original text in German. And with the help of computers and the theory of quantum. Is showing the possibility ofEinstein's theories to be wrong! And what if they are Norton? What if Einstein is all together wrong? What are you going to do then? Fall like the stack of cards you've propped up underneath you!

Jus Ask'in

Social climber
the Wastelands
Oct 13, 2012 - 05:14pm PT
So Blue, AGAIN you will NOT answer the simple question.

And I know why you won't.

Because you want so very badly to believe that every single word in the Bible is the word of god, so is HAS to be the truth.

And god said in the bible that the earth is 6000 years old and was "created" by god in only six days, because she was SO tired she had to rest on the seventh day.

But if you say the earth is six days old, then you know that you have zero credibility, that you deny and call a lie to lifetimes of rigorous scientific testing.

And IF you do say the CORRECT answer that the earth is 4.5 billion years old or so, then you are in a "trap" because you are then calling god and bible wrong

And you will NOT do that, and so you continue to duck and weave, shuck and jive, and avoid answering the simple question.

And you have the nerve to question the "maturity" of others posting here!

When all this time, you are showing your own immaturity by refusing to state loud and clear the "true" and "proven" age of our earth.

Now go dance around some other stuff, and end each opinion by saying you are "just asking" or "just shucking and jiving", or whatever

Trad climber
Oct 13, 2012 - 05:32pm PT
there is no god and khanom is his prophet...

btw, I am against organized religin, but there is a chance that there is out there an entity with god-like abilities, just a matter of definition. Do we owe that god anything? I don't think so...

(I know, I am gunna die and go to HELL!!!)

Social climber
joshua tree
Oct 13, 2012 - 07:11pm PT
Boy;for as smart as you're making yourself out to be. You're proving to me that your ability to convey what you read is poor at best. NO WHERE in my Bible does it say" the earth is 6000 years old and was built in six days. Relative to our time. If it does show me Mr. scholar!
Let me ask you this; if God did create the heavens and the earth on the first day. And the sun on the fourth day. How do you define a day? Else where in Genesis god mocks time. And says one of our days is like 1000 years to Him. Now you can try and take this one sentence literally. Or if you tie it to the rest of the paragraph and the rest of the Bible. God is merely disclosing that time is irrellavent to Him. You're in a huge crowd that stumble over one line in the Bible. Every line in the Bible is true as long as it is in respect with the ENTIRE Bible.
How about this you tell me how old the earth is. And in the next 10 to 20 years when science proves you wrong. You tell me how sorry you are for being a closed minded Trilobite.

Jus Defend'in

Oct 14, 2012 - 10:20am PT

Needed? You referring to some kind of necessity? Interesting . . . .

Sometimes you guys say some pretty funny things.

Whether one is a theist, an atheist, or whatever, what are you adding to the conversation to quip that X isn't necessary. It sounds like some kind of logical syllogism is being constructed to prove that something exists or does not exist. I don't think that has ever worked for anything. (See "existential fallacy.")

In throughout all of reality, What IS "necessary?"

(This should keep you busy for a while.)

Social climber
Oct 14, 2012 - 11:14am PT
For those sitting on the fence

Dr. Eben Alexander has taught at Harvard Medical School and has earned a strong reputation as a neurosurgeon. And while Alexander says he's long called himself a Christian, he never held deeply religious beliefs or a pronounced faith in the afterlife.
But after a week in a coma during the fall of 2008, during which his neocortex ceased to function, Alexander claims he experienced a life-changing visit to the afterlife, specifically heaven.
"According to current medical understanding of the brain and mind, there is absolutely no way that I could have experienced even a dim and limited consciousness during my time in the coma, much less the hyper-vivid and completely coherent odyssey I underwent," Alexander writes in the cover story of this week's edition of Newsweek.
Alexander says he first found himself floating above clouds before witnessing, "transparent, shimmering beings arced across the sky, leaving long, streamer like lines behind them."
He claims to have been escorted by an unknown female companion and says he communicated with these beings through a method of correspondence that transcended language. Alexander says the messages he received from those beings loosely translated as:
"You are loved and cherished, dearly, forever."
"You have nothing to fear."
"There is nothing you can do wrong."
From there, Alexander claims to have traveled to "an immense void, completely dark, infinite in size, yet also infinitely comforting." He believes this void was the home of God.
After recovering from his meningitis-induced coma, Alexander says he was reluctant to share his experience with his colleagues but found comfort inside the walls of his church. He's chronicled his experience in a new book, "Proof of Heaven: A neurosurgeon's journey into the afterlife," which will be published in late October.
"I'm still a doctor, and still a man of science every bit as much as I was before I had my experience," Alexander writes. "But on a deep level I'm very different from the person I was before, because I've caught a glimpse of this emerging picture of reality. And you can believe me when I tell you that it will be worth every bit of the work it will take us, and those who come after us, to get it right."

Ice climber
the ghost
Oct 14, 2012 - 11:22am PT
after a week in a coma during the fall of 2008, during which his neocortex ceased to function
Complete BS
Jebus H Bomz

Reno, Nuh VAAAA duh
Oct 14, 2012 - 11:40am PT
Religions would be much more tolerable if they didn't so often seek to invalidate every other view. In our country, religious radicals actively seek to turn back the clock on learning and societal progress, on the expansion of our civil rights and liberties. Your right to preach your imperfect understanding ends at my doorstep, and certainly does not belong in our classrooms, bedrooms, or the halls of our governmental institutions.

If we had more tolerant, less missionary religions, that would be one thing, but the firebrand, end of days BS we flock to in this country is the analog to those radical sects we see in the ME. Same people, slightly different robes and books.

Trad climber
Golden, CO
Oct 14, 2012 - 11:59am PT
Screwy thing is to be accused of not getting or not thoroughly grasping a bottom-up materialist, antecedent forward causal take on reality. I can recite those positions and can virtually assure you of the next words and the next argument that will come out of Craig's mouth. What, exactly, is there to "miss" on how a materialist views the world. What is not clear? Dorks toss off glib rants like "a (painfully) simplistic piece of inductive reasoning" - not realizing that reasoning is not the entire game. Not even close.

First of all, Largo, that first sentence exactly captures what it is about your writing and thinking about this subject that, I dunno, irks me. What you are saying could be said so much more simply. You seem to like to add words - adjectives and adverbs mostly, to your sentences that add obfuscation rather than clarity. I'm surprized you didn't somehow manage to use the word "ergo" as you do in so many of your posts (I'm pretty sure I have never used "ergo" in a sentence unless it was for comedy sake). Now, read any post by Ed Hartouni. Ed's writing is always clear and even if you don't agree on his positions, you are likely to learn something. IMO, every exchange between you and Ed has been won by Ed, hands down.

Now let's look at the rest of that paragraph, (I'm going to elect to forgive you on the childish "dork" diss.) You show that you do not really grasp the materialist "viewpoint" at all. Of the authors I cited, only one, Daniel Dennet, is a philosoper. Dawkins and Pinker are acclaimed thinkers and writers in evolutionary biology and liguistics and neurology. The thing is, what they write about is not exactly defending the materiastic viewpoint. That is the least interesting thing about being a materialst...whether it is true or not. It turns out, the world really is understandable and entirely consistent without the need for anything supernatural or super-materialistic (or involving the word "ergo" in a sentence). The materialistic world is interesting and novel, and I'm sure that we will never completely understand it. Read a book by Pinker or Dennet, and then get back to me.
High Fructose Corn Spirit

Gym climber
-A race of corn eaters
Oct 14, 2012 - 01:12pm PT

Anyone besides me notice that the quality of the posts seems to spike Sunday mornings? ;)


This is awesome!


Sport climber
The Big Wide Open Face
Oct 14, 2012 - 01:15pm PT
eeyonkee, you favor a facts and figures kind of approach and probably short circuit when things are not presented that way. I take another tact - not to confuse but because there is more to the game, much as you would have us simplify reality to mere data.

When you say, "The world really is understandable," what you mean, of course, is that material phenomenon is measurable, and we can induce "facts" about said phenomenon from those measurements. No contention here with that. However inherent in this belief is that this material and these measurements are the entire story. But it is you and yours, and not me, who is saying it MUST be the whole story lest we only can fall back to "God" and witchcraft.

My contention is that material is not the whole story, that you have no chance of understanding your own life via objective measuring - though you will understand processing very well indeed - and the way to understand same in not through discursive reasoning any more than we can understand climbing El Cap by dint of thinking about it, drawing fantastic topos, amassing all the facts and figures in tarnation - but still know nothing about El Cap ITSELF - we can easily see why.

So far as irking you - when you reveal the glib and facile hammering I take by not accepting the party line, I will have my fun in this exchange by screwing with language to that purpose. I'm never attacking a person. But a position. If you think my snide tone and dismissive tactics are accidental, don't forget that real estate I have on Mars - it's going cheap to you and yours. This is not all that serious after all.

Bu seriously for a moment, while you rambled on about Dennett, Dawkins, Pinker and the rest, at no time did you specifically state what you honestly believe I was not understanding about the Materialists philosophy. What do you imagine I am failing to understand - the breadth of their scholarship? The far ranging implications? Which ones do you imagine are lost on me? Time to pony up.

The reason I ask is that you don't know - of that we may be sure.

Dennett, in particular, I could go on about for hours, and anyone else professing a causal indeterminist view of consciousness and decisions making. I had to metabolize all of these guys endlessly in grad school, though my focus was more on Whitehead and James.

I feel Dennett is correct in desiring a philosophy of mind that is grounded in empirical research. The problem is that "mind" is greater than discursive functioning, but because he doesn't know that, and hasn't sat with the process long enough to experience as much for himself, he's left to noodle the process, so to speak, and his take on cognition is merely a positing on processing. As they say, atheists say there is no need for "God" to "explain" (quantify) reality. Pushed to the next step, we have a school insisting that there is no need for any conscious agency to "explain" decision making. Try selling that one in a court of law.

The fact is, Dennett, Dawkins, Pinker and all the rest share a common view on causation providing a mechanistic and materialistic take on reality. My point is not that they don't extrapolate out from there with all manner of examples and sorties here and there - into history, ethics, biology, law, politics, etc. - but rather their entire tottering inductive edifice is built on the belief that reality is fundamentally a material machine - with random and chaotic elements tossed in for "flavah," - but entirely "knowable" and quantifiable, and predictable.

What's more, this is part of the overarching belief system that the material and quantifiable machine approach, by which one "thing" is ALWAYS "created" by antecedent material causes, is the one and only true method of knowing. And this, as I've said all along, is not only the core of materialism, but the sacred heart of scientism as well.

What's screwy is that people insist that "scientism" short changes their take on life, that they don't fit into that camp, that they, themselves, are more.

Note, however, that when I ask for specific examples of where they differ from the forward causal, material/mechanistic view, there is nothing forthcoming. If you differ from the scientism camp - fine. Just tell us in what way. Do you see the causal chain broken somewhere? If so where, and how? Do you see causation working backward in time, or does it only happen A-B-C-D etc... Do you experience more than material? Do yo believe reality is more than a machine "that is really understandable?" Do you believe that there are phenomenon that cannot be measured? Do you believe there is a limit to quanification? If all of this is secondary to the life you lead, since all reality is quantifiable, quantify your life and tell me what it is. This is not a trick question. It is applying physicalism to the letter, believing as it does that the subjective IS the objective, that the map IS the territory. And yet when pressed to prove it, we see how the idea is absurd - as if we could measure our lives.

These are questions that get diverted by insisting that I don't understand the basic materialist/atheist position. But note how the questions remain unanswered, or deflected back to me by way of explaining away the inquiry.
None of this is "lost" me. It's as standard as an old shoe.


Social climber
joshua tree
Oct 14, 2012 - 01:41pm PT
I sympathize with you completely!
You being on the outside of the fishbowl looking in and seeing all the hypocrisy is a real turnoff. I being a believer in Jesus only wish to validate what I know to be true.
If I told you to take a left at the Great Roof. Wouldn't you stop me and question my topo?
Well just like bad beta is very much frowned upon in climbing. When a Christian hears bad beta about the Bible, it strikes a nerve deep in the soul. And it naturally becomes emotional.
At that point it's very important to stop and think. To remember the lessons given by Jesus. For your actions are your visible (material) means by which you validate your faith(Conscience).

Jus Sympathize'in
Jebus H Bomz

Reno, Nuh VAAAA duh
Oct 14, 2012 - 01:49pm PT
I hear what you're sayin' and respect your sort of perspective.
High Fructose Corn Spirit

Gym climber
-A race of corn eaters
Oct 14, 2012 - 03:53pm PT
Oh boy,

The question would be, Where to start?

The time, energy and interest are not infinite. :(


But here's just one, re: what the materialists supposedly believe...
reality is fundamentally a material machine - with random and chaotic elements tossed in for "flavah," - but entirely "knowable" and quantifiable, and predictable.

No. This supposition is incorrect. At best, it is a gross approx or caricature. As usual.


How's this for one variation... For starters, it is an idea.

Everything in our observable Cosmos is entirely caused (link: causation, causal dynamics) in terms of energy structures and forms some of which manifest in ways our evolved brains perceive or recognize as material.

Secondly, it is an "idea" (a) supported by science and (b) worthy of support - and defending - for getting on in our lives.

Some of those who support this idea, find it useful, astonishing, etc, - yes, like me - might identify with such appellations as... causalist, causal dynamicist, mechanist, physicalist, mechanistic naturalist, mechanistic evolutionist, etc. ( Which beats having no identification at all.)

Today, Felix Baumgartner successfully jumped from 130k feet, broke world records and pushed the proverbial envelope. The whole effort by Felix and his RedBull team succeeded because of their commitment in space and time to this idea.

Causality (aka causal dynamics or causal mechanics) rules. Get with it. It's the source. It rocks. :)

Maybe most importantly, at least for some discussions, we humans are a constituent part of nature and not "above the law" of these causal dynamics - e.g, in the ways many a traditional Abrahamic theist (whether a Frank Graham or a Taliban militant serving his warrior God) has believed for centuries upons centuries.

Now of course if you don't like it, or this declaration, you don't have to accept it. Of course you don't. Not as an idea. Not as a model. Not as a mode or norm of thinking. ( But, p.s., you'd be smart if you did.)

So what's useful here, where's the practical import? A commitment to this idea, for example could be helpful in contributing to a mode (or model) of thought in opposing this "dork" if you're a citizen with a mind to.

"Lies straight from the pit of hell," huh?



FYI: He's on the the House Science committee. (Yeah, you read it right.)

So people are liars or simpletons (or maybe just disinterested apathetic ninnies) who say beliefs concerning how the world works don't matter; or beliefs concerning how life works don't matter. To lives. To the health of democracies. To human performance.

Social climber
the Wastelands
Oct 14, 2012 - 03:56pm PT
The time, energy and interest is not infinite. :(

especially not on a Sunday afternoon with all the NFL games on the tube

Trad climber
Golden, CO
Oct 14, 2012 - 04:11pm PT

Here's an example of what I mean. Maybe you really understand biological evolution, and maybe you don't. The "laws" or component parts of evolution are fairly simple. They are things like survive, reproduce, get bombarded by cosmic rays that very occasionally change a bit of DNA which is usually a bad thing but sometimes is a good thing. When it's the good thing, it is typically because it confers either some better way to survive or something that gives YOU that extra something (say, with the ladies) so that the genes in your DNA preferentially survive. That's it. All of these parts are fundamentally mechanical (I much prefer the word, natural).

But from this simple natural model, the whole tree of life has come forth. Trillions of species and (I'm, guessing quintiillions of individual lives). There are all sorts of interesting things that we have found out about this. Things like that eyes and wings have evolved separately many times. There is nothing magical that needs to be invoked to explain these processes.

Consciousness is clearly part of this whole thing, and you probably never had a dog if you think it is exclusively in the realm of humans. I'm a geologist, not a neuroscientist, although I read books on all facets of science. The theory of evolution perfectly explains why we have "more consciousness" than dogs. How consiousness arises is a super-interesting scientific problem whose ultimate solution will not involve navel-gazing philosophy. It will turn out to be entirely consistent with the edifice of scientific knowledge and human understanding that came before it.

Edit: To answer your question about what it is you don't understand. It's this. Novel and complex things can seemingly come out of nowhere even with a "mechanistic" starting point. That's what you underestimate, IMO.
High Fructose Corn Spirit

Gym climber
-A race of corn eaters
Oct 14, 2012 - 05:45pm PT
a super-interesting scientific problem

Splitting hairs here (why preach to the choir? boring) but if the problem of consciousness is solved someday... I think it will be in the context of...

a super-interesting analytical bioengineering problem... and it will be solved at the hands of analytical bioengineering wonks. :)

We are each of us...
 a multitude (of cells), Sagan
 an analytical bioengineering marvel, hfcs.

Even this praying mantis outside my window right now eating a cricket bite by bite is a bioengineering marvel in its own style, lol.


P.S. "underestimate" is an appropriate word, here, I think.
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