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 Post subject: Re: What I would Say to an Atheist
PostPosted: Fri Aug 23, 2013 11:20 am 
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my conscience won't let me accept that i don't own a pony. but i can't afford to buy one, so i just concentrate on believing that a pony does exist somewhere that belongs to me. ponies are special.


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 Post subject: Re: What I would Say to an Atheist
PostPosted: Fri Aug 23, 2013 1:26 pm 
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angsty wrote:
Maksutov wrote:
Wonderful post, Elphaba. I share your views.


Indeed. Well said, and thank you.

Yes. Well done, Elphaba.

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 Post subject: Re: What I would Say to an Atheist
PostPosted: Fri Aug 23, 2013 2:25 pm 
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As an atheist, and in many ways because of it, my conscience does require I work toward an improved world for both this and future generations, a world that will keep improving as time goes on. To me, this means doing whatever I can to ensure all living beings have a good quality of life. While there are a number of effective disciplines that address this, the most powerful tool we have to discover effective solutions to poor quality of life issues is science, and thus, I work toward this improved future by promoting science in as many ways as I can.

Today, this means supporting the science that will preserve the planet, eliminate poverty, improve healthcare, provide world-wide education, make space on the planet for both humans and non-humans, and much more. I have no idea what the issues will be far in the future, but I do believe if quality of life is maintained until life no longer exists, it will have been primarily due to science.

The thing is, you are looking for a way to ensure "good things" last for eternity, though you have never, despite having been asked numerous times, defined what those good things are. Or, if have you, I've missed it in the deluge of posts you've written on this subject.

But you know it is impossible for mankind to ensure these "good things" will last forever, and that feels so tragic that you, like most people, wish it weren't so. So you rely on a supernatural being to grant you your wish, and you call that being god. But that god is every bit as much a fantasy as Santa Claus or the Tooth Fairy. Our universe will go extinct, and there are no magic wands to wave to make it otherwise.

I assure you, you don't have to believe in a god to realize how beyond miraculous it is that we, our fellow beings, our planet, our universe, and our consciousness came to exist. I also assure you many atheists, including me, feel that same tragedy you do that it will all one day disappear. So, no, I am not fine knowing the next generation is one step closer to extinction. But it is what it is, and the fact is, I believe life is much more wondrous and precious to me precisely because it will one day cease to exist.

In fact, I know that if I believed a supernatural being would ensure all living beings, or all "good things," whatever that means, would last for eternity, it would diminish that profound sense of awe and wonder I have for all that is good about life today. For me, it would do the exact opposite of what it seems to do for you.

Finally, you ask this same question in some variation every couple of months. Why?

Elphaba

Edited to add "have" to sentence



Not to argue, but discuss. I respect your opinion, but it does not deal with a persons heart and what man is capable of. And the fact that mankind just does not get along. I have an answer which most here would reject...and I understand that, and am not here to push it...but what is your answer to a persons heart, the wicked side?

Thanks
MG

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 Post subject: Re: What I would Say to an Atheist
PostPosted: Fri Aug 23, 2013 2:58 pm 
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What I would say to an Atheist... given the choice to believe the concocted translations of a human (Joseph Smith) who was proven to be a charlatan vs. the belief there is no God, you're probably correct.

Conversely, you exist and there must be a reason you exist.

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 Post subject: Re: What I would Say to an Atheist
PostPosted: Fri Aug 23, 2013 2:59 pm 
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KevinSim wrote:
If nothing good lasts forever, then that means a time will come when the state of the universe will be essentially as if humanity had never existed. My conscience won't let me accept that fate for the universe. My conscience forces me to take one of two approaches. Either I must become the person that figures out how to preserve some good things forever, or else I must assume that person already exists, and attempt to unite with that person in Her/His efforts to preserve some good things forever. I recognize that the first approach is beyond me, so I have concentrated on the second one. This is the entire reason why I believe in God.


This is a really poor reason for believing in God. A good reason for believing in God is good evidence God exists. I think deep down you know the church is not true but continue to try and convince yourself. I think the idea of non-existence really troubles you. We both know science is not going to figure out how to stop the aging process in our lifetimes which means we are both going to die and maybe not exist anymore. No one really knows if we can save anything forever, but how does believing in a non-existent God solve the problem. You would be better spent trying to make the world a better place that will allow humanity to continue and be happy in their lives. If the problem can be solved it will be sometime in the future, but it will take longer with more people wasting their time as you are. If it makes you happy then fine. I think being happy is important, but it doesn't really sound like you really believe based on your posts, or at least you continue to have serious doubts.

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 Post subject: Re: What I would Say to an Atheist
PostPosted: Fri Aug 23, 2013 3:00 pm 
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Ceeboo wrote:
What I would say to an atheist?

"Why do monkeys still exist?" :biggrin:



Same reason humans do. :biggrin:

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 Post subject: Re: What I would Say to an Atheist
PostPosted: Fri Aug 23, 2013 3:09 pm 
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KevinSim wrote:
If nothing good lasts forever, then that means a time will come when the state of the universe will be essentially as if humanity had never existed. My conscience won't let me accept that fate for the universe. My conscience forces me to take one of two approaches. Either I must become the person that figures out how to preserve some good things forever, or else I must assume that person already exists, and attempt to unite with that person in Her/His efforts to preserve some good things forever. I recognize that the first approach is beyond me, so I have concentrated on the second one.

This is the entire reason why I believe in God.

Really? That's the only reason? It's not because you see evidence of such a being's existence?

Well, I am an agnostic atheist because I don't see any actual evidence of any deities. And I will only ever believe in one again if I do see such evidence. Any attempt to convince myself to believe (or an attempt by others), because it's supposedly a good idea, is just not going to work.



(Edit: I see Themis was thinking along the same lines. )

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 Post subject: Re: What I would Say to an Atheist
PostPosted: Fri Aug 23, 2013 3:40 pm 
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KevinSim wrote:
If nothing good lasts forever, then that means a time will come when the state of the universe will be essentially as if humanity had never existed.


why? This is just a non sequiter.

::::
Since dinosaurs went extinct, it is as if they never existed.


Look, since I do not extend in the vertical direction more than 6 feet and 2 inches, it is as if I had no height at all. My vanity can't live with that.
(this last one is a joke inspired by the essential unity of the notions of length and time in special relativity. Every bodily human life is roughly extended in both space and time. You demand that it be infinite only in the temporal sense?)

There are places that I am not. So, it is as if I were nowhere (I want it all or nothing!!! Whaaaah!!)

If a story ends, it is as if there wasn't a story. (all novels should have an infinite number of pages or it is as if they had zero pages)


:::::

On the other hand maybe this is more like it:

"If nothing good lasts forever, then that means a time will come when the state of the universe will be essentially as if humanity had never existed in every way except for the fact that humanity did exist. That is, the sentence seems to be true in no way at all.

Better yet:

When it comes to life, I'll take what I can get. How about you?

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 Post subject: Re: What I would Say to an Atheist
PostPosted: Fri Aug 23, 2013 8:10 pm 
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Tarski wrote:
KevinSim wrote:
If nothing good lasts forever, then that means a time will come when the state of the universe will be essentially as if humanity had never existed.


why? This is just a non sequiter.

::::
Since dinosaurs went extinct, it is as if they never existed.


Look, since I do not extend in the vertical direction more than 6 feet and 2 inches, it is as if I had no height at all. My vanity can't live with that.
(this last one is a joke inspired by the essential unity of the notions of length and time in special relativity. Every bodily human life is roughly extended in both space and time. You demand that it be infinite only in the temporal sense?)

There are places that I am not. So, it is as if I were nowhere (I want it all or nothing!!! Whaaaah!!)

If a story ends, it is as if there wasn't a story. (all novels should have an infinite number of pages or it is as if they had zero pages)


:::::

On the other hand maybe this is more like it:

"If nothing good lasts forever, then that means a time will come when the state of the universe will be essentially as if humanity had never existed in every way except for the fact that humanity did exist. That is, the sentence seems to be true in no way at all.

Better yet:

When it comes to life, I'll take what I can get. How about you?


I like how you think, Tarski. :smile:

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 Post subject: Re: What I would Say to an Atheist
PostPosted: Fri Aug 23, 2013 8:57 pm 
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Tarski wrote:


Look, since I do not extend in the vertical direction more than 6 feet and 2 inches, it is as if I had no height at all. My vanity can't live with that.
(this last one is a joke inspired by the essential unity of the notions of length and time in special relativity. Every bodily human life is roughly extended in both space and time. You demand that it be infinite only in the temporal sense?)


"A human being is a part of a whole, called by us _universe_, a part limited in time and space. He experiences himself, his thoughts and feelings as something separated from the rest... a kind of optical delusion of his consciousness. This delusion is a kind of prison for us, restricting us to our personal desires and to affection for a few persons nearest to us. Our task must be to free ourselves from this prison by widening our circle of compassion to embrace all living creatures and the whole of nature in its beauty." - Albert Einstein


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 Post subject: Re: What I would Say to an Atheist
PostPosted: Fri Aug 23, 2013 9:37 pm 
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your remarks seem to say "something" "good" must last forever in order to ever have had any value at all. Shouldn't that be "everything" good? If not, what "good" things can be tossed out and which ones are critical to preserve forever? A quadrillion years in the future, when you've had your own planet millions of times over, are you going to remember and contemplate every happy conversation with family members from earth eons ago? And what about every good thing since then? And if all good things don't necessarily need to last forever, which ones can be thrown out and which ones kept? What's the criteria for that?


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 Post subject: Re: What I would Say to an Atheist
PostPosted: Sun Aug 25, 2013 12:29 am 
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Markk wrote:
Not to argue, but discuss. I respect your opinion, but it does not deal with a persons heart and what man is capable of. And the fact that mankind just does not get along. I have an answer which most here would reject...and I understand that, and am not here to push it...but what is your answer to a persons heart, the wicked side?

Thanks
MG
Hi Markk,

I've read your post a few times now, and am not sure what you're asking me. I get the part about mankind not getting along but am confused by the rest of it, So, would you please expand on it so I can better understand?

Thanks,
Elphaba

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 Post subject: Re: What I would Say to an Atheist
PostPosted: Sun Aug 25, 2013 4:16 am 
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KevinSim wrote:
If nothing good lasts forever, then that means a time will come when the state of the universe will be essentially as if humanity had never existed. My conscience won't let me accept that fate for the universe.

I don't have a million dollars in the bank. My conscience won't let me accept that fate for myself. Therefore, according to KevinSim logic, I do indeed have a million dollars in the bank.

Quote:
Is the next generation after us just one step closer to the extinction of the species?

Yes.

Quote:
Can your conscience live with that?

Yes.

Quote:
Or does your conscience require you to work toward an improved world for future generations?

Yes. Why do you think that sentence contradicts the one immediately above it?

Quote:
And a world that will keep on improving as time goes on?

Yes.

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 Post subject: Re: What I would Say to an Atheist
PostPosted: Sun Aug 25, 2013 8:56 am 
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