Research on Belief in God

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Buffalo Soldier said:
Lol, you don't debate about the fact of course since they are facts (proven facts, not dogmas), you use the facts to point out the craziness of instituted religions.
Fact: fossil. Dogma: creation.
Fact: brain. Dogma: soul
Fact: history. Non-fact: fairytales on which people base their whole life.

@BigMac: if we as humans can -unlike other animals- set aside our lust for meat based on ethics and morals, does that make us superior to other animals?
Atheists are chief at twisting facts. I'm not scared to deal with facts. Several post back someone mentioned Christians being sacred of fossils....I'm not scared of the fossil record. It is an atheist's biased opinion that fossils prove evolution. Here is a whole list of articles you can read on fossils....by creationist scientist who are not afraid to talk about this subject.

http://www.answersingenesis.org/get-answers#/topic/fossils
 
Maaaaaaaarten said:
So I'm curious, why do most atheists feel it moraly wrong to exploit humans in the same way they don't mind animals being exploited? After all, they feel humans are really just another species of animals.
Identity, largely, I'd think. And the cultural manufacture of consensus. But that doesn't fully answer your question. Is your "most atheists" anecdotal?
 
Eshnar said:
That's no proof of emotions nor suffering as we call it. Animals are surely aware of what happens to their bodies, and that's a physiological fact. But that's it, as far as we know. Do they feel "pain"? Surely they realize they're been attacked, or they're wounded, or they have a sickness, and react accordingly. That's not a proof that they feel what we feel, although it is surely a hint. It wouldn't be unreasonable to imagine that one day (not even too far away) we'll have robots full of sensors able to be completely aware of their internal and external body state. Perhaps even able to "be scared", meaning being able to run from potential dangers. Or being able to care about humans and interact with them. Does that mean those robots would feel "pain", or "fear", or "empathy"? Surely not, by the very definition of what we mean by "feeling".
To be completely correct, there's no actual proof that we all have a consciousness either (this is the paradox of the "zombie" - not those of the movies though ;) ), although just the thought seems very silly. On the outside we can only see actions. There's just no way to tell, unless we really "crack" the mistery of consciousness at a physiological level.
A rather strong hint, I would say.

A hint strong enough that virtually all humans act on the assumption that it is true (or else we'd have no laws against animal cruelty). Certainly, we can't prove with 100% certainty that animals are conscious or that they feel pain. We can't prove with 100% certainty pretty much anything. But that doesn't stop us from making assumptions based on reason and evidence.

Seeing as we can feel pain and have a very good understanding of our body, seeing as we understand we share a common ancestor with animals, and seeing as animals like mammals have brains and nervous systems equivalent to our own, seeing as they react to painful stimuli in much the same ways we humans do, I, paraphrasing what I said at the beginning of this discussion, think "we have good reasons to assume" that animals indeed feel pain.
 
rhubroma said:
What I don't get is how some can feel at all comfortable with getting all their information from one book, or to see in it a "revelation” that is anything other than the product of its authors.
I understand where you're coming from. Here's where I'm coming from....It is faith- I believe in the Bible because of faith....but it is not blind faith. I see overwhelming evidence for it. Outside of the Bible and inside of it. We have an enormous amount of manuscript evidence for the bible- more than we do for any other book in history. People love to talk about the "contradictions" in the bible....I've tried to answer some of the "apparent" ones in earlier posts. If you read the bible in it's entirety, and study it(sometimes getting into the original languages), you will see an amazing accuracy. I don't know of any "revelatory" books other than the Bible that have stood up to scrutiny the way the Bible has.

And on a side note- people love to talk about scientist and creationist as two separate things....like the two couldn't be one. Please understand that the are many many creationist scientist out there(who deal with facts), and they give very intelligent answers for why we believe what we believe.

In your free time here is an excellent debate between Christopher Hitchens and John Lennox.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qH68Y5MUGfo
 
Descender said:
A rather strong hint, I would say.

A hint strong enough that virtually all humans act on the assumption that it is true (or else we'd have no laws against animal cruelty). Certainly, we can't prove with 100% certainty that animals are conscious or that they feel pain. We can't prove with 100% certainty pretty much anything. But that doesn't stop us from making assumptions based on reason and evidence.

Seeing as we can feel pain and have a very good understanding of our body, seeing as we understand we share a common ancestor with animals, and seeing as animals like mammals have brains and nervous systems equivalent to our own, seeing as they react to painful stimuli in much the same ways we humans do, I, paraphrasing what I said at the beginning of this discussion, think "we have good reasons to assume" that animals indeed feel pain.

Not to mention the fact that's only in recent years that humans have even entertained--on a wide scale--the questions of what animals (and other life forms in general) feel and how. Sure, there've always been outliers, etc. who concern themselves with these problems, but it's not been a major public issue.

And even now that it is, it's mostly asked and answered in terms of human reassurance.
 
Buffalo Soldier said:
Lol, you don't debate about the fact of course since they are facts (proven facts, not dogmas), you use the facts to point out the craziness of instituted religions.
Fact: fossil. Dogma: creation.
Fact: brain. Dogma: soul
Fact: history. Non-fact: fairytales on which people base their whole life.

@BigMac: if we as humans can -unlike other animals- set aside our lust for meat based on ethics and morals, does that make us superior to other animals?
We can do so because we are, scientificly, intellectually superior to the rest of the fauna. Because our species evolved faster. But ultimately, no we're not superior. Only when we started to have the capability do ask questions such as what is the meaning of life? did we also start to think we are superior to animals.

Even the homo sapiens sapiens in its origin lived mainly by survival/reproduction instinct.

Also, our species can survive, and in fact live longer, on a vegetable based diet. Some other's organisms don't allow it and even if they had the mental capability to ''set aside the lust for meat'', it would take a mutation (implied evolution) for them to be able to do so.

We are superior intellectually, we're not superior overall as a species. The same way I don't feel superior to someone with an intellectual disability and who has an overall mental capability of a vegetable. Rien. Crap analogy I know, specially sinse it is inside the same species.

Also, in terms of importance, we are the lanterne rouge. We're the only uselless species to the ecosystem. Insects being the most important.
 
Maaaaaaaarten said:
Obviously these things have happened and they still happen, I'm just saying everybody agrees those things are moraly apprehensible.
I'll proceed on the assumption that you meant to say "reprehensible".

Everybody agrees that those things are morally reprehensible today. The moral zeitgeist has evolved and keeps evolving. What is now considered immoral was a perfectly accepted view just decades ago.

The philosopher Jeremy Bentham made this very same point very eloquently more than 200 years ago:

The day has been, I am sad to say in many places it is not yet past, in which the greater part of the species, under the denomination of slaves, have been treated by the law exactly upon the same footing, as, in England for example, the inferior races of animals are still. The day may come when the rest of the animal creation may acquire those rights which never could have been witholden from them but by the hand of tyranny. The French have already discovered that the blackness of the skin is no reason a human being should be abandoned without redress to the caprice of a tormentor. It may one day come to be recognised that the number of the legs, the villosity of the skin, or the termination of the os sacrum are reasons equally insufficient for abandoning a sensitive being to the same fate. What else is it that should trace the insuperable line? Is it the faculty of reason or perhaps the faculty of discourse? But a full-grown horse or dog, is beyond comparison a more rational, as well as a more conversable animal, than an infant of a day or a week or even a month, old. But suppose the case were otherwise, what would it avail? The question is not, Can they reason? nor, Can they talk? but, Can they suffer?

Jeremy Bentham, "Introduction to the Principles of Morals and Legislation", 1789
Maaaaaaaarten said:
If I look at my naturalistic/atheistic friends, none of them think it's morally apprehensible to have leather shoes, but all of them would think it morally apprehensible to have shoes made of a human skin. None of them would feel it wrong to own a cow and take its milk, but all of them would feel it wrong to own a woman and take her milk. So my conclusion is that, regardless of worldview, almost everybody thinks humans are superior.
Can we be friends? Now you now a naturalistic atheist that doesn't wear leather shoes or drinks milk. And as you know, I'm not the only one.

Maaaaaaaarten said:
That was the point of my post, I didn't even say anything about why I think humans are superior to animals. I just tried to show that regardless of worldview almost everybody at least acts as if they feel humans are superior to animals.

Though I disagree with him, BigMac at least shows that his actions are more in line with his words. So then I'd like to ask you the same questions. Do you feel it is unethical to forcefully restrain humans and have them serve our comforts? Do you feel the same about animals? If so, how does this relate to your actions, with regard to eating meat, using leather, drinking milk, owning animals, etc.?

So, again, you seem to have missed my point, because my post wasn't about this at all. It was about the fact that, at least in my experience, almost everybody, including naturalistic atheists, feels the same about the superiority of humans, judging by their actions.

But sure, if you want to know why I think humans are superior to animals; as a Christian I believe humans were created in the image of God and their value is derived from that. So it doesn't really have anything to do with the fact that I have the power to destroy animals, I don't really understand where you got that idea. I'm sure you feel my belief in this matter is silly and based on a fairy tail or whatever, but at least with regard to the issue at hand, it doesn't make me any more arrogant than your average naturalistic atheist, who doesn't mind animals being killed for his arbitrary comfort either.

So I'm curious, why do most atheists feel it moraly wrong to exploit humans in the same way they don't mind animals being exploited? After all, they feel humans are really just another species of animals.
Great point and excellent question.
 
BigMac said:
We are superior intellectually, we're not superior overall as a species. The same way I don't feel superior to someone with an intellectual disability and who has an overall mental capability of a vegetable. Rien. Crap analogy I know, specially sinse it is inside the same species.
What are you talking about. It is an excellent analogy.

Why does the fact that an individual is of the same species as us make a moral significance? There is a term for this prejudice: speciesism. The term might be new, but the idea isn't, as the Jeremy Bentham quote from my previous post shows.
 
Jspear said:
I understand where you're coming from. Here's where I'm coming from....It is faith- I believe in the Bible because of faith....but it is not blind faith. I see overwhelming evidence for it. Outside of the Bible and inside of it. We have an enormous amount of manuscript evidence for the bible- more than we do for any other book in history. People love to talk about the "contradictions" in the bible....I've tried to answer some of the "apparent" ones in earlier posts. If you read the bible in it's entirety, and study it(sometimes getting into the original languages), you will see an amazing accuracy. I don't know of any "revelatory" books other than the Bible that have stood up to scrutiny the way the Bible has.

And on a side note- people love to talk about scientist and creationist as two separate things....like the two couldn't be one. Please understand that the are many many creationist scientist out there(who deal with facts), and they give very intelligent answers for why we believe what we believe.

In your free time here is an excellent debate between Christopher Hitchens and John Lennox.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qH68Y5MUGfo
The key point you bring up is faith. Only faith permits one to move from rational philological concerns to belief in a text’s divine provenance. That is a rather huge mental leap for a secularist, for whom no such conclusion can be drawn, because it is metaphysical and thus lies beyond the sphere of reason.
 
Jan 27, 2013
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Netserk said:
So it's morally wrong to step on an ant?
Jainism in India
http://www.uwec.edu/geography/ivogeler/w111/articles/jainism.htm

Jainism prohibits killing, violence, or injury to any living thing. Orthodox Jain monks and nuns demonstrate this reverence for all life by wearing cloth masks over their faces to prevent them from accidentally inhaling tiny flying insects and sweeping the ground in front of them to avoid crushing any living organism under their feet.
 
Descender said:
A rather strong hint, I would say.

A hint strong enough that virtually all humans act on the assumption that it is true (or else we'd have no laws against animal cruelty). Certainly, we can't prove with 100% certainty that animals are conscious or that they feel pain. We can't prove with 100% certainty pretty much anything. But that doesn't stop us from making assumptions based on reason and evidence.
Virtually all humans act on the assumption that it is true for some species, and false from others, I would say (and I'm between them). For istance, as introduced by Netserk, ants are animals but very few of us consider them to be any worth of mercy. How many of us think, let's say, that worms have feelings? I suspect not many. Still both ants and worms do react to stimuli pretty much the way we do, that is the same way every living being do, if it's able to react.
We share common ancestors with any of them, not just animals. Also plants, fungi etc. So where's the line?
 
Echoes said:
Lol always the same with atheists. Debate on facts, as if facts could be debated.

Morality can be debated, which means religion. Facts can't because they are what they are, stubborn. You can ignore them, invent them but that would be lies. Atheists are masters in that field.

I think it illustrates what GK Chesterton argued on page 1 of his "Heretics". Modernists care for details and not for the whole. They care for tramcars, for zoos, for Modigliani paintings, for bricks in a wall, but not for the whole.

"Everything matters except everything."

"There is one thing that is infinitely more absurd and unpractical than burning a man for philosophy. This is the habit of saying that his philosophy does not matter, and this is done universally in the twentieth century, in the decadence of the great revolutionary period. General theories are everywhere condemned; the doctrine of the Rights of Man is dismissed with the doctrine of the Fall of Man. Atheism itself is too theological for us today. Revolution itself is too much of a system; liberty itself is too much of a restraint. We will have no generalizations. Mr Bernard Shaw has put the view in a perfect epigram: "The golden rule is that there is no golden rule." We are more and more to discuss details in art, politics, literature. A man's opinion on tramcars matters; his opinion on Botticelli matters; his opinion on all things does not matter. He may turn over and explore a million objects, but he must not find that strange object, the universe; for if he does he will have a religion, and be lost. Everything matters - except everything."

I tend to bow before a genius... :cool:
Ironic though, isn't it Echoes, that the same bigotry that led to the burning of untold others for their philosophy (heresy) - when the forces of religious tyranny could exact the necessary pressure to bear and bend the whole society to its will - is now under secularism scandalized and offended that its philosophy (orthodoxy) no longer matters.

As for the rest: pure philosophical hackwork and fascist rhetoric with it in its revolutionary, authoritarian and totalitarian tone.
 
rhubroma said:
The key point you bring up is faith. Only faith permits one to move from rational philological concerns to belief in a text’s divine provenance. That is a rather huge mental leap for a secularist, for whom no such conclusion can be drawn, because it is metaphysical and thus lies beyond the sphere of reason.
I said it in earlier posts, I'll say it again. Faith shouldn't be an issue for you, because you have faith too. Evolution doesn't explain origins....everything you believe about how this world came to be is unprovable, hence it requires that you have faith. There is no such thing as a faithless person. I have faith in the Bible. You have faith in whatever you call yourself.(Evolutionist, secular humanist, ect.)
 
Apr 12, 2009
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Maaaaaaaarten said:
So I'm curious, why do most atheists feel it moraly wrong to exploit humans in the same way they don't mind animals being exploited? After all, they feel humans are really just another species of animals.
You should read some books on evolutionary behavioral science. A lot of this is biology.

Basically human action is driven by the will to expand his gene pool. The best way of doing that is reproducing, and creating the best possible condition of your offspring to survive. But than also altruism is partly based on that: there is always a chance that other people share some of the same genes as you. Of course this is more obvious for a family member than for a total stranger, and there's a bigger chance people with the same ethnic roots have common genes.
And then there's different species, that are definitely unrelated to you. This is one of the reasons cannibalism is so uncommon for almost all animals, including humans.

That's about the eating. Exploiting on the other hand, is just a part of daily life for all humans.
 
Jan 27, 2013
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rhubroma said:
Ironic though, isn't it Echoes, that the same bigotry that led to the burning of untold others for their philosophy (heresy) - when the forces of religious tyranny could exact the necessary pressure to bear and bend the whole society to its will - is now under secularism scandalized and offended that its philosophy (orthodoxy) no longer matters.

As for the rest: pure philosophical hackwork and fascist rhetoric with it in its revolutionary, authoritarian and totalitarian tone.
I'm aware of Echoes views, Chesterton I'd have to look into and I'm aware of Shaw (Fabian Society) but based purely on what is written as it is written I'm missing what you're seeing.

oh well...

I still have "the truth is superior to provability" rolling around in my head so I'm reading it through that lens I suppose.
 
Eshnar said:
For istance, as introduced by Netserk, ants are animals but very few of us consider them to be any worth of mercy.
Speak for yourself. Ants are worthy of mercy, and I would certainly think there is something wrong with someone who goes around stepping on ants just cos, and I would consider someone mentally unwell if they thought it was ok to cause them pain.

Oh and there is a massive difference between killing an animal and hurting it, which surprisingly many of the comments seem to not understand. Death comes to all, and in the state of nature, most animals and especially insects live very short lives. The lives they do live are a constant struggle and full of distress.
 
Jspear said:
I said it in earlier posts, I'll say it again. Faith shouldn't be an issue for you, because you have faith too. Evolution doesn't explain origins....everything you believe about how this world came to be is unprovable, hence it requires that you have faith. There is no such thing as a faithless person. I have faith in the Bible. You have faith in whatever you call yourself.(Evolutionist, secular humanist, ect.)
My faith has a million times more proof to back it up than yours.

And the crucial difference, my faith is not burnt in. Atheists are open minded to having their mind change the second their beliefs are challenged by proof.

You guys on the other hand, continue to believe the exact same version of what happened, even when it is proved that it is absolutely impossible.
 
Jspear said:
I said it in earlier posts, I'll say it again. Faith shouldn't be an issue for you, because you have faith too. Evolution doesn't explain origins....everything you believe about how this world came to be is unprovable, hence it requires that you have faith. There is no such thing as a faithless person. I have faith in the Bible. You have faith in whatever you call yourself.(Evolutionist, secular humanist, ect.)
No, I have doubt.
 

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