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Thread: Question for the Atheists

  1. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by WokeUpDead View Post
    I can't speak for everyone but I'd imagine that's the case for most atheists at least. Believing in spirits and/or energies requires a pretty big leap of faith that doesn't seem very consistent with atheism.
    According to Dictionary.com, the definition of Atheism is:

    "–noun
    1.
    the doctrine or belief that there is no god.
    2.
    disbelief in the existence of a supreme being or beings. "

    It is NOT necessarily a skeptic of all things. But I hear where you're coming from - most people equate "atheist" with "ultimate skeptic," don't they?
    "The cosmos is also within us, we're made of star stuff.
    We are a way for the cosmos to know itself."

    Carl Sagan, as quoted by The Symphony of Science

  2. #12
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    I guess thats were my question is...how do you account for the gods that don't fall under the 'supreme being' definition. There are plenty of pagan deities that are more powerful than your average person, but not perfect all-knowing all-controlling beings. A doctor or college professor knows more than me, a body builder is certainly stronger than I am...but I don't categorically deny their existence. So are atheists speaking more to the abrahamic faiths version of god? Is it more directed toward intelligent design?

  3. #13
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    Quote Originally Posted by Malcolm View Post
    I guess thats were my question is...how do you account for the gods that don't fall under the 'supreme being' definition. There are plenty of pagan deities that are more powerful than your average person, but not perfect all-knowing all-controlling beings. A doctor or college professor knows more than me, a body builder is certainly stronger than I am...but I don't categorically deny their existence. So are atheists speaking more to the abrahamic faiths version of god? Is it more directed toward intelligent design?
    I think it might help to focus on the first part of the definition that Sequoia offered:

    "1. the doctrine or belief that there is no god."

    rather than the second. Most atheists don't believe in any deity, be they omnipotent, potent, or impotent.

    As for the rest, I'm finding a lot of differences between what people tend to think of as "classical" atheism (for lack of a better term) and the New Atheist school. New Atheists really do seem to be the ultimate skeptics; they're hardcore rationalist materialsts, believe in nothing that cannot be proven in controlled double-blind experiments, and have little tolerance for people who believe otherwise. Classical atheists disbelieve in god(s) and may also disbelieve in other spirits and supernatural beings or activities (like magic). Then again, they may believe in anything and everything that isn't god. As others have pointed out, atheism deals only with a person's belief regarding god(s), not anything else.
    If you're lucky you'll find something that reflects you,
    helps you feel your life protects you,
    cradles you and connects you to everything.
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  4. #14
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    I know this is an old thread... but I thought I'd share my take on the world.

    I'm an athiest. I do NOT believe in any diety of any sort. I do not believe in "magic".

    I do, however, believe in a large potential within humans. Science doesnt know everything yet, and we certainly don't know everything that the human brain is capable of. This belief lends me to accept that there is a lot of potential in us - how could I deny the possibility of something like telekinesis, just because I haven't seen proof of it? For all I know, maybe if someone can tap into more of their brain, maybe we can do something sort of like sonar that would physically move something. I don't know, and so I accept and somewhat believe in the possibilities. To me, this would even explain some past dieties - maybe they were people who were able to do something unique, and have thus been remembered.

    I also believe that there may be trace memories left in the molecules and atoms that make up everything, who is to say that parts of past experiences don't affect us? Ok. That sounded a bit rubbish and doesnt make sense, but I'm not sure how to describe it. I don't believe in reincarnation, but I believe that we are recycled. And as I am made up of millions of recycled molecules, I might still have trace amounts of those molecules pasts attached. It sounds a bit out there, and probably isn't what most athiests would believe, but I do.

    But as an athiest, I do not believe that there was anything at all that made the world or that rules over my life and the planet. I believe whole-heartedly that when I die, I will rot, and my molecules will be recycled. My soul will disappear.

  5. #15
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    I am a bit amused, for this is the second time I can quote from "dragon age origins" in a conversation.
    To quote, "the fact of their existence does not presuppose an intelligent design by some absentee father figure..." this would extend to the feminine as well.
    What am I reading? I don't know yet, you haven't asked a question! Open for readings, but just for fun.

  6. #16
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    I know this is kind of an old thread but...

    I was curious as to what you meant by this:

    Quote Originally Posted by Calicolynx View Post
    For all I know, maybe if someone can tap into more of their brain
    I dunno if you'll even see this, let alone feel like replying, but I was just curious what you meant by "tapping into more of their brain"

  7. #17
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    I agree with a lot of what Calicolynx says, so I might try to give my view on that...

    I have some fuzzy beliefs about "tapping into more of your brain" too... how I see it, it's mostly about using the power of your unconcsious to tap into intuitions that you might not have registered consciously. There are also a lot of capabilities that some humans have - particularly autistic people - that most people don't, and that to me suggests that the scope of what the human brain can do and compute is far beyond what we're using at the moment.

    But there are a lot of questions too about whether the human brain can affect matter, as in things outside of the person themselves. My dad is Catholic but he has experience with divination and even making certain things happen... like saying he will win a draw and then winning it. For him, the divination is to do with tapping into the knowledge you didn't realise your unconscious had, but the other stuff... for him, if something is hanging completely on chance, he believes that a person can use the power of their mind to make it fall one way or another. I'm not sure where I stand on that, but it's an interesting theory.


    Anyway, a general thought on this thread - I think it comes down to whether you are an atheist who believes in souls, or doesn't. I know people who are both. Personally, I don't think I believe in souls, at least as defined by most religions - therefore I don't believe in spirits. But I acknowledge that there are a lot of things I don't understand, and I think when it comes to "energies" and things like that, who knows what's possible... I would very much separate things like personal energy and universal energy from spirits or a spirit world, as I don't believe in one but feel quite open to the idea of the other.

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    Aine de Morrigan basically means the same as me! But I'll restate it in my own words.

    By 'tapping into your own brain' I mean that we really don't fully understand what our minds can do. I think there's a lot stored in there, and as Aine de Morrigan said "it's mostly about using the power of your unconcsious to tap into intuitions that you might not have registered consciously. " I can't say it better than that!

    We know so much about energy waves and things that they can do, and that some animals really do have a very subtle sensory reaction to the world around them. I just think it's possible that some people could potentially make more use of their brains than others. A lot of the abilities that some people have, could be due to differences in their brain usage. I don't attribute those sorts of abilities to anything divine, and I'm not always fully sure if I believe in it, but I think it's possible that it's just simply something that humans can do. I think that our minds carry a lot of cultural heritage and knowledge, and that when people can tap more into their subconscious, that they're able to access that and their own experience more freely, which could show up a lot as things like divination, because really, there's very little that goes on in the world that hasn't happen before, and responses/reactions are all probability.

    Ok so I think I am just getting more and more confusing; I'm not fully sure how to say what I think!

  9. #19
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    It's always nice to come across people with very similar beliefs to your own! What you said about animals with subtle sensory reactions is interesting, it's a very good point... It's quite possible that we're ignoring a lot of the sensory information we're receiving because we no longer need it in the same ways that we would have when we were first as evolved as we are now. And considering how much our brains have evolved, I don't see it as too much of a leap of the imagination to think that there are many seemingly strange things that the human brain can achieve.

    But yes it's a very confusing subject! xD

  10. #20
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    Quote Originally Posted by Sequoia View Post
    So often I've heard Atheism to equate to believe only in hard science fact, to the exclusion of any "mysteries," but is that the essence of Atheism?
    Not an atheist here, but was. And I know much about the philosophical differences on these subjects.
    Atheism is simple the lack of theistic belief. A lot of atheists in the west are very much focuses on the value of science, materialistic and mechanistic models of the universe, and philosophical humanism. And there is a distinct and vocal minority that take a philosophical stance of denying the existence of deities--which is "hard atheism", the kind that is talked about in the media most often.
    But atheism doesn't preclude any sort of mysticism or spiritual beliefs. Or even religion. Certain kinds of Buddhist and neopagan paths are atheistic. And Jainism is outright atheistic in its worldview. While both are highly spiritualistic and animistic.

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