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midniterider

Suspension of disbelief.

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9 hours ago, Joshpantera said:

nor does morality drop down from a supernatural entity up and away, beyond the observable universe

What kind of morality would be provided by a god who allows the rape of ten-year-old sex slaves?

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10 hours ago, Joshpantera said:

 

Endgarcito, once this sets in it's very difficult to go back to wondering in amazement as to where morality comes from. Or where babies come from, for the same reason.

 

Babies don't drop down from a stork, nor does morality drop down from a supernatural entity up and away, beyond the observable universe. It's obvious and apparent. It's well explained and not very mysterious. And yet, still today, we find people racking their brains over questions like how morality can exist unless a supernatural, all good god exists. But then again we find people who think the world is flat. So there you have it. 

 

Bottom line: 

 

1) Spherical earth.

2) Sexual reproduction.

3) Social evolution.

 

Bada bing, bada bang, mystery solved!!!

 

How about this, Josh?

 

Just as humans display a range of inherited and acquired traits, so there may well be a range of empathetic feeling within humans.  We can see this displayed by looking at the opposite ends of the spectrum.  There are some, like Mother Theresa of Calcutta, who show deep empathy to everyone, no matter what.  Conversely, there are psychopaths, who have no empathy within them at all and who perform inhuman acts of cruelty and indifference.  

 

Perhaps those who prefer to believe that morality drops down from a supernatural agent have trouble finding empathy for others within themselves?  But, once they settle on this belief, a kind of key turns within their psyche, unlocking their deep store of empathy.  Then, they can behave with great empathy to others.  But belief in the supernatural is the only key that will fit their lock and change them.  The supernatural agent doesn't have to be real, it just has to be real to them

 

Does that sound feasible?

 

Thank you.

 

Walter.

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13 hours ago, TheRedneckProfessor said:

What kind of morality would be provided by a god who allows the rape of ten-year-old sex slaves?

 

A morality that apparently would strain the very meaning of morality. And by default, remain immoral in comparison. 

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On 12/8/2019 at 9:05 AM, WalterP said:

Perhaps those who prefer to believe that morality drops down from a supernatural agent have trouble finding empathy for others within themselves?  But, once they settle on this belief, a kind of key turns within their psyche, unlocking their deep store of empathy.  Then, they can behave with great empathy to others.  But belief in the supernatural is the only key that will fit their lock and change them.  The supernatural agent doesn't have to be real, it just has to be real to them

 

Does that sound feasible?

 

Well, a lot these same said people will often profess how horrible they would be if there were no god. And then go to lengths to make dramatic examples. They like to say that if there were no god, they'd run amok raping, murdering, stealing, because what does it matter if there's no god. They can behave within empathy, and yet they sound like total monsters being help back by an imaginary being. And worse, a good number of them do actually give in to these dark thoughts and desires. They just pray about it and chalk it up to being, "sinners," never ceasing their "sins." We have so many examples around here of this. People who have had religion beaten in to them by some other self righteous people. And at the same time raped, abused, tortured and other atrocities by these same said, and so called "christians," who are merely "sinners." 

 

The whole imaginary friend thing is a crutch. A crutch that all too often fails to restrain the beastly nature in people. That causes me to seriously question what's the use in letting it continue unchecked? If people don't have their imaginary friend, they'll run amok. But far too many of them run amok anyways, regardless of their imaginary friend and regardless of their belief in the existence of an imaginary hell. These imaginary threats don't stop them from acting out. They only give a crutch to where these people will continue to act out over and over again, and then forgive themselves within their own inner dialogue, until they do it again. Then they forgive themselves in their own minds again and again, as they continue to act out. The acting out continues regardless. 

 

I bet there's some guilty eye's reading this post. Guilty christians who I'm speaking right at. Some of which regularly read our forums. And confess versions of the above on their own forums. As if it's some badge of honor to speak of 'what a degenerate they'd be without god.' They are dark minded people congregated around common superstition in my opinion. And I find it sad, very sad that that is the only way in which they can find "morality." A morality that wasn't ever very moral to begin with......

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Edgarcito, also consider that there are primitive tribes who never heard of "our" God, but are very peaceful, moral people.  Read about the Hadza tribe in Africa.  Where did their morality come from?  Rational, critical thinking people can figure out what is in their best interest. It seems there needs to be a concern for others,  as well as a concern for self.  Empathy.  

 

I see you are visiting the forum, but not addressing these posts.  I hope our input is helpful.

 

Along these lines, also consider that the doctrine of original sin is a self fulfilling prophecy.  If you believe you are inherently evil, or incomplete, and need an infallible deity to guide you, then you will likely act that way.  But if you believe you are an important, equal part of a whole, and believe you have reasoning ability,  just like everyone else, you will be more likely to think and act in ways to benefit yourself, and the whole of society.

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Here's the thing: I wasn't necessarily a horrible person as a christian.  I wasn't out secretly molesting kids or murdering crack heads for fun.  But I was extremely dishonest, both intellectually and interpersonally.  I would lie, manipulate, steal, cheat... it didn't matter; because I could get jesus to forgive me without ever having to apologize to my victims. 

 

After my deconversion, I suddenly realized, "people need to be able to trust me; but they can't!"  This was several years after deconversion.  I started monitoring my own words, thoughts, and actions.  Wow!  What a shock.  I now teach my sons that honesty is when my words, thoughts, and actions all agree with each other; and integrity is when I force them to agree, though they'd (sometimes) rather not.

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So where did that morality come from?  god had nearly 30 years to say, "yeah, I was serious about that whole 'thou shalt not lie' thing"; but he never did.  I had the power of the holy spirit, which was supposed to convict me of sins; but I never felt so much as the slightest pang of conscience.

 

It happened one Friday afternoon, after work.  I had stopped by a local "mom 'n' pop" shop to buy bacon and such for a good, hearty country breakfast for Saturday morning.  The little old lady rang up my groceries, bagged everything up; and I went to hand her my debit card, only to find out that they did not accept cards, only cash or personal checks.

 

I went to start putting the food back onto the shelves; but the little old lady stopped me.  "John, we've known your family for years; you just go ahead and take that stuff, and you can pay us next time you come through these parts."

 

That moment struck me hard.  It was the first time in my life I ever understood how it felt to be trusted.  I took the food on home, drive back into town to get cash from an ATM; and paid the bill Saturday morning before ever bacon touched pan.

 

That's how it happened for me, without god's, angels, saints, or sinners.

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On 12/9/2019 at 6:55 AM, TheRedneckProfessor said:

Here's the thing: I wasn't necessarily a horrible person as a christian.  I wasn't out secretly molesting kids or murdering crack heads for fun.  But I was extremely dishonest, both intellectually and interpersonally.  I would lie, manipulate, steal, cheat... it didn't matter; because I could get jesus to forgive me without ever having to apologize to my victims

 

After my deconversion, I suddenly realized, "people need to be able to trust me; but they can't!"  This was several years after deconversion.  I started monitoring my own words, thoughts, and actions.  Wow!  What a shock.  I now teach my sons that honesty is when my words, thoughts, and actions all agree with each other; and integrity is when I force them to agree, though they'd (sometimes) rather not.

 

Lesser offense, same mentality. I think of that poor women who came here a while back posting about her abusive father. Depraved lunatic. The torture he put her through. And it's no different than a lie, cheat or thief. Never mind, the imaginary being will sweep it under the rug until next time. Then sweep it under the rug again. And kick the can right on through a given life time. If left unchecked and unchanged. 

 

As a society, I do hope we can mature into mass identifying the problem here. Put the heat strongly on theistic thinking. Box it into a corner. Eradicate the problem. While at the same time elevating an actual sense of human morality and decency as it's happening and provoking social evolution. According to how we perceive human morality and decency in the contemporary period, at this time. Rather than towing along these bronze age myths full of indecent and immoral acts of both god and men, and parading it around as, "good." 

 

End, please try and follow along closely. 

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3 hours ago, Joshpantera said:

And it's no different than a lie, cheat or thief.

That's another issue with god's "morality".  Every "sin" carries equal weight.  Murder is no different from stealing a paperclip from the office.  And, worse still, Hitler and Pol Pot will endure the same eternal hellfire as our ten-year-old sex slave.  How could our sense of justice, inextricably linked to our sense of morality, ever have come from such a monstrous fiend?

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8 hours ago, Joshpantera said:

 

As a society, I do hope we can mature into mass identifying the problem here. Put the heat strongly on theistic thinking. Box it into a corner. Eradicate the problem. While at the same time elevating an actual sense of human morality and decency as it's happening and provoking social evolution. 

 

 

This is a topic that I think about a lot, and which Josh and I and some others have discussed from time to time.

 

I think there are growing signs that humans as a species are beginning to move away from theism.  That's a tall order, giving up age-old beliefs in deities.  But the hits have been coming for centuries now and are accumulating faster just in this new century.  The rise of science beginning in the 17th century, the understanding of evolution by natural selection in the 19th, advances in anthropology and archaeology in the 20th and the rapid spread of information and ideas in the 21st. All combined with an increasing rejection of old moral codes associated with religions, especially related to what people do in the privacy of their bedrooms, and especially among younger people.

 

The new atheists were good at making the intellectual case against gods, but they seemed to think that once the evidence was produced, atheism would spread inexorably.  But a simple lack of belief in gods isn't enough to fill the vacuum left by religions that guided people in so many aspects of their lives for better or worse.  What I find very encouraging now is the growth - mostly in best-selling books or on social media - of schools of thought that DO guide people in living better lives but without any mention of or reliance on the supernatural. I see people, who might be called Life Coaches, gaining large followings, and what they teach covers a broad spectrum with guidance on physical, mental, emotional and "spiritual" health (many of these personalities seem to pop up on the Joe Rogan podcast sooner or later, by the way). The common factor I am seeing is that, while few if any of these movements are explicitly atheistic, god, prayer and complex moral codes are notably absent.  So they are tailor-made for those who are inclined to reject the god-beliefs.  Among these new influencers are people like Ryan Holiday and other promoters of the philosphy of Stoicism.  I'm also noticing an uptick in articles and books on a modern form of Epicureanism.  Both these ancient philosophies are often misunderstood because of stereotypes associated with them, but the huge growth of interest in them is one of the hallmarks of our time, it seems to me.  And there are many others, some pretty new-age-y, others quite down to earth.  Philosophies like Stoicism are not incompatible with theism or even Christianity, and they can appeal to the godly and the godless alike.  This can allow them to wean some people away from theism if they can see that the good stuff is in the philosophy and way of life itself, internal to the human being, no deity needed.  Making theism obsolete rather than attacking it head-on.

 

So it's likely that a religion like Christianity will be replaced, not by any one philosophy or movement or religion, but by a splintered range of "movements", philosophical schools etc that appeal to various kinds of people.  I can even see the social aspects of religions being replaced by regular gatherings of like-minded people, with motivational speakers, classes for kids - and of course food and drink!

 

So I guess what I hope and expect to see flourish goes beyond mere atheism, to the rise of positive life-philosophies that leave theism behind.  I think that's the key.

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Ohh I missed this thread while I was away.

 

On ‎11‎/‎29‎/‎2019 at 8:39 AM, midniterider said:

It seems to be an assumption that a person can only have one religious/non-religious mindset at a time.  And that one cannot just suspend disbelief at a moment's notice. And that changing one's belief (or non-belief or acceptance of a different mindset) 'requires' months or  years of gradual change. There's also an idea that floats around that people are supposed to choose a side. 

 

I've also heard someone say that something they read instantly destroyed their belief. The  house of cards imploded. Does this mean they went from full belief to full non-belief? Or from shaky belief to non-belief? And if one can flip from belief to non-belief, can they flip right back? Can they alternate?

 

 

I would say most of the time the process is more gradual than instant. To instantly change a core belief would require a pretty huge piece of evidence to the contrary. For example say they found Jesus's body, and verified it was him, well upon reading that you might instantly lose your belief that Jesus rose from the dead, but usually it's a slower process.

 

On ‎11‎/‎29‎/‎2019 at 8:39 AM, midniterider said:

I think it was LF and I who were discussing pagan beliefs and whether or not I 'really' believed in a pagan deity and magic .... or if I simply found them very entertaining but still retained my sanity (haha). As an atheist it is probably extremely difficult to impossible to suspend disbelief even momentarily...as an agnostic it is much easier to temporarily assume a belief, at least for a short period of ritual.

 

Yep I think that was us in a thread on woo way back when.

 

I am an agnostic atheist - what do you make of that? Remember agnostic merely is the state of not knowing for certainty - not a frame of mind where you can accept or reject belief's on a whim.

 

On ‎11‎/‎29‎/‎2019 at 8:39 AM, midniterider said:

So, atheists, do you ever have moments where you accept woo? Even for a half second? :) 

 

No. If I accept something I usually have good supporting reasons for it. (I hope) I don't go - oh a guy did telekinesis  
on TV, Yep I believe.

 

On ‎11‎/‎29‎/‎2019 at 8:39 AM, midniterider said:

My other question that goes with it is can you turn belief off and on at will? If not, why not? 

 

Personal opinion: No I don't think so. For instance right now try and truly, honestly believe that I am God. Did you truly believe? I doubt it. Ok now try and stop believing something you accept as fact - say the spherical earth. Do you suddenly think the earth is flat? Like really honestly believe that? Again I doubt it.

 

I don't think beliefs can be switched off and on. I think they are more things you become convinced of.  

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21 hours ago, Joshpantera said:

...run a muck...run a muck...run a muck....

 

Great post, but I thought you may want to know that the term is actually "run amok." ;)

 

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On ‎12‎/‎9‎/‎2019 at 11:10 AM, TheRedneckProfessor said:

That's another issue with god's "morality".  Every "sin" carries equal weight.  Murder is no different from stealing a paperclip from the office.  And, worse still, Hitler and Pol Pot will endure the same eternal hellfire as our ten-year-old sex slave.  How could our sense of justice, inextricably linked to our sense of morality, ever have come from such a monstrous fiend?

Look, from an absolute view....sin -> death.  There would have to be some something that takes away sin from the equation.  From this standpoint, any sin is death....

 

Hold my horse....I forgot I'm supposed to write more gooder for S, the grumpy lawyer that presses me to strive to do better.

 

From what I gather about the Christian story, to reside with God requires that somehow He allow sin temporarily in His presence and that also we atone for this sin.  To reside  with God would mean payment for those behaviors that don't match His mechanism that produces life/eternal life.    God has apparently given humanity rules in the past for residing/life/eternal life and rules for atonement as well.  From this perspective, assigning sin a negative value(s), any net negative sum would lead to death.....i.e. any action outside of this mechanism leads to death.   

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15 minutes ago, Edgarcito said:

Look, from an absolute view....sin -> death.  There would have to be some something that takes away sin from the equation.  From this standpoint, any sin is death....

1.  Prove, or at least provide credible evidence, that sin is a real thing.

 

2.  Explain how you go from "sin equals death" to eternal hellfire and conscious torment.

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6 minutes ago, TheRedneckProfessor said:

1.  Prove, or at least provide credible evidence, that sin is a real thing.

 

2.  Explain how you go from "sin equals death" to eternal hellfire and conscious torment.

I edited....please re-read sir.  Thanks.

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42 minutes ago, TheRedneckProfessor said:

1.  Prove, or at least provide credible evidence, that sin is a real thing.

 

2.  Explain how you go from "sin equals death" to eternal hellfire and conscious torment.

 1)  Sin is an assumption, I suppose, that there are actual physical facts/mechanisms that lead to life and death, both physical and spiritual....much like morality and health governed by laws and physicians.......facts being discovered that make us question our morality.  Again, the assumption is that there is a complete definition of all that leads to life or death.....that God holds.

 

As an extra thought.....is morality provable? 

 

 

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1 hour ago, Edgarcito said:

is morality provable? 

Morality is demonstrable.

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5 hours ago, Edgarcito said:

 1)  Sin is an assumption, I suppose, that there are actual physical facts/mechanisms that lead to life and death, both physical and spiritual....much like morality and health governed by laws and physicians.......facts being discovered that make us question our morality.  Again, the assumption is that there is a complete definition of all that leads to life or death.....that God holds.

 

Why start with an assumption when you can start with something that is demonstrable?

 

Quote

As an extra thought.....is morality provable? 

 

 

 

The Prof said it.  Morality is demonstrable.

 

We demonstrate our morality by the way we behave towards others.

 

Perhaps you could demonstrate your morality by citing an example?

 

Either as Edgarcito or as End?

 

Thank you.

 

Walter.

 

 

 

  

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On 12/9/2019 at 1:46 PM, TABA said:

 

So it's likely that a religion like Christianity will be replaced, not by any one philosophy or movement or religion, but by a splintered range of "movements", philosophical schools etc that appeal to various kinds of people.  I can even see the social aspects of religions being replaced by regular gatherings of like-minded people, with motivational speakers, classes for kids - and of course food and drink!

 

So I guess what I hope and expect to see flourish goes beyond mere atheism, to the rise of positive life-philosophies that leave theism behind.  I think that's the key.

 

That sounds like the Unitarian Universalist church.  I attended one years ago, but eventually quit going.  I agreed with their philosophy, but didn't fit socially.

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Edgarcito, I am beginning to believe you just like to argue.   Even though it may be hard for you to do, perhaps you need to just sit back and let things soak in for a while.  

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Here's a question @Edgarcito. Can someone be all good, and all moral, and yet order other people to carry out immoral acts? 

 

Morality has always been relevant to time and place. Did the jews consider it immoral to hurl stones at another person until they brutally beat them to death with said stones? They were sanctioned by scripture - and assumed that sanctioned by scripture was sanctioned by god - to execute people in this barbaric manner. It didn't break their bronze age moral code. It was instead a way of enforcing their bronze age moral code. And staying on good terms with their god. 

 

Today, we have moved away from hanging, beheading, and even sought to leave behind death penalties altogether due to our EVOLVING social thoughts on what is and is not MORAL to do to one another. Morality is not static. It shows no signs of being handed down from a supreme being fully intact as some past eternal, hard fact of existence or law of the universe.

 

It's 100% what we decide it is as societies. And bible, as we've been outlining, has become outdated and irrelevant as a social moral code. It sanctions slavery, society now does not. It sanctions death by stoning. Society now does not (aside from barbaric regions of the world). It sanctions polygamy, society now does not. It sanctions genocide, society now does not. 

 

You get the idea, don't you? 

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10 hours ago, Weezer said:

Edgarcito, I am beginning to believe you just like to argue.   Even though it may be hard for you to do, perhaps you need to just sit back and let things soak in for a while.  

That's right W, I know the answer already....  I'm looking for a physical/chemical mechanisms that are responsible for, as the Prof says, demonstrable.  Morality is this chemistry, joy I that chemistry, etc.  Then the arguments here would be substantiated.  I doubt we will ever understand....too complex I'm betting.  Not a biggie.

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1 hour ago, Edgarcito said:

Morality is this chemistry, joy I that chemistry, etc

You look for chemistry because you're a chemist.  I'm betting you look for evidence of jesus for a similar reason.

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