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Raf

Is atheism a religion?

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58 minutes ago, TLC said:

Perhaps you'll allow me to say that is an assumption on your part.  But you're not alone, by any means.  It's just not my view of it.

sure...I would like to add though -  it might be more than an assumption (which lacks proof) since it can be logically deduced from verses 26 to 28 that mankind was given rulership over sea creatures, birds, livestock etc., and were to fill the earth and subdue it  - the application appears to be global:

 Then God said, “Let us make mankind in our image, in our likeness, so that they may rule over the fish in the sea and the birds in the sky, over the livestock and all the wild animals, and over all the creatures that move along the ground.” So God created mankind in his own image,  in the image of God he created them;  male and female he created them.  God blessed them and said to them, “Be fruitful and increase in number; fill the earth and subdue it. Rule over the fish in the sea and the birds in the sky and over every living creature that moves on the ground.”…Genesis 1: 26 -28 NIV

Whereas in Genesis 3: 23 it refers to a specific location on earthSo the Lord God banished him from the Garden of Eden to work the ground from which he had been taken…now granted - after the Fall, I think it may have taken a lot more hard work for people to subdue...control...conquer...master...govern...and be faithful stewards of this world - - but it is a work in progress :rolleyes: .

...anyway - thinking that mankind still has this global mandate is not without support elsewhere…as it says in Psalm 115: 16 The highest heavens belong to the Lord, but the earth he has given to mankind…so it appears to me the mandate may have ever rescinded – even after being banished from Eden...and perhaps Romans 13 can be seen in this light of mankind ruling as well - which speaks of government as being something instituted by God...not any particular form of government but simply as an established, organized way of managing social beings  - (that's us :biglaugh: ).

...and like you said - this is just my viewpoint as well

Edited by T-Bone
typos

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6 hours ago, TLC said:

why and/or why would anyone draw a line and say that no life after death isn't just as "scientifically proven" as anything else that you seem to think is?

Because it requires proving a negative.

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3 hours ago, T-Bone said:

Whereas in Genesis 3: 23 it refers to a specific location on earth

No, it doesn't.  That was the point of my post (which was evidently lost in translation.) 

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1 hour ago, waysider said:

Because it requires proving a negative.

Obviously you either didn't read, or didn't grasp, the point of my post.

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40 minutes ago, TLC said:

Obviously you either didn't read, or didn't grasp, the point of my post.

.I read your post and grasped the point of it. I'm simply answering the question you posed.

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Okay, so you read it.  But no, you most assuredly missed the point of it, or you wouldn't have ignored the "if all of that is true, then..." part of the question.

Because what it all boils down to is this:  when it comes to science, proving anything is an impossibility.

(Just google that, if you don't believe me...)

Edited by TLC

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I am not going to object to going off topic on this thread, seeing as the conversation flowed rather naturally and the topic itself is so narrow that staying on it too strictly would be dull. Explore away.

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On ‎4‎/‎16‎/‎2018 at 12:32 PM, Raf said:

I always heard:

Philosophy gives you questions that cannot be answered. Religion gives you answers that cannot be questioned.

I think that’s right…probably why I find myself sitting on the fence between philosophy and religion (although it does tend to give me a sore bu++ :rolleyes: ) - since I like challenging some of the answers that religion provides.

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On ‎4‎/‎17‎/‎2018 at 6:03 PM, Raf said:

The truth is, there are a LOT of good questions here.

How do you define atheism?

How do you define religion?

How do you define god?

All need answers.

Well…when you put it like that, I’m tempted to forget about any “scholarly references” and just let my 2-bit brain ramble…ergo…hence…thus…

Religion: my idea of what makes a religion is a belief in something beyond the five senses; it is something I hold onto even though there is no proof. I tend to think one of the essential elements in any religion is faith – ya gotta have faith.

God: to me that’s something superhuman…a higher power…an idea I was introduced to at an early age by my parents.

Atheism: relative to the my own 2-bit concepts of religion and God – I am inclined to think atheism is NOT a religion – since faith is not required to accept the fact that everything we perceive simply means that’s all there is.

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By your definitions, T-Bone, I agree.

I no longer believe in the supernatural (as most commonly defined).

And kudos to you for recognizing our approach to so-called "faith."

I do recognize that different people define faith differently, so definitions are needed there too. 

Everybody has "faith," if you define faith the way some of us did. Everybody believes something. But there's an enormous difference between believing the sun will "rise" tomorrow and believing that this has only been happening for thousands of years. Believing the sun will rise is evidence-based. Believing it has only been happening for thousands of years (as opposed to a few billion) is contrary to evidence and requires a belief that an alternative explanation that defies evidence is correct.

Define evidence. And away we go!

...

But when you define faith as "believing something despite there being 'no proof,'" it gives us one less thing to argue about.

Atheism is not a religion because it does not entail belief in the supernatural.

Humanism is a worldview and philosophy, not a religion.

But if we were to switch gears and talk about these same words as defined by government, I would switch gears and argue that humanism IS a religion. Not that it entails a belief in the supernatural, but that it is entitled to the same protections and privileges as religion when it comes to government recognition. If you're not allowed to deny me a job based on my religious beliefs, but you are allowed to deny me a job based on my being an atheist, that is a violation of my rights. Not because atheism is a religion, but because as far as government is concerned, atheism and humanism should be entitled to the same protections. Government should not be allowed to say "Atheism is not a religion and is therefore atheists are not entitled to freedom from persecution or discrimination."

And lest you think that's a trivial argument: not really. Multiple states have constitutional provisions depriving atheists of the right to hold elected office. Those provisions are illegal and unenforceable, but that has not always been the case. They are only unenforceable because atheists stood up for their rights and won.

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The point with government, I would agree in that context.  Not sure you begin with definitions.   Most of us intuitively know atheists/humanists etc. should not be discriminated against.  So constitutional documents can be modified accordingly.

I think context would frame how to define terms. 

 

 

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On 4/18/2018 at 3:21 AM, TLC said:

Because what it all boils down to is this:  when it comes to science, proving anything is an impossibility.

I'm always leery of all encompassing statements.

Back in my university days, an astronomy TA tried to tell me you can't really know anything.

My response: "If we can't really know anything, how do you know we can't really know anything?"

Same difference with your quote above: If we can't prove anything, then we can't prove we can't prove anything, which opens the possibility things can be proven.

(Still there?)

Science is actually based on proof. Oh, there are theories, but theories have to sooner or later be proven. And not just once. Again and again.

Edited by So_crates

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The difficulty here probably resides in defining (or reaching an agreement on) what "proof" is and isn't.  And there's no escaping the subjectivity that's necessarily involved in determining how much evidence is or will be deemed "sufficient" to either establish something as being true, or (perhaps more realistically) to produce a common belief (and acceptance) of it being true.  Apart from the word of God, at what point does the impossible ever succumb or capitulate to mere statistical odds of improbability?

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Are you saying proof is a group effort?

Or is this the "is mathematics objective or subjective?" question?

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2 hours ago, So_crates said:

I'm always leery of all encompassing statements.

Back in my university days, an astronomy TA tried to tell me you can't really know anything.

My response: "If we can't really know anything, how do you know we can't really know anything?"

Same difference with your quote above: If we can't prove anything, then we can't prove we can't prove anything, which opens the possibility things can be proven.

(Still there?)

Science is actually based on proof. Oh, there are theories, but theories have to sooner or later be proven. And not just once. Again and again.

Theorems, proofs, and expanding our understanding of the universe based upon science.  This brings up to me an interesting topic - that of Stephen Hawking.  

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Stephen_Hawking

A brilliant mind with ALS - Lou Gehrig's disease - a degenerative disease that gradually paralyzed Stephen over decades.   Hawking in the last year of his life (he died less than 2 months ago made significant scientific contributions to modern physics and how people view the Universe.  

https://www.universetoday.com/139167/heres-stephen-hawkings-final-theory-about-the-big-bang/

I like the science that expands the mind as opposed to the pseudo-science that restricts the mind.

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2 hours ago, TLC said:

The difficulty here probably resides in defining (or reaching an agreement on) what "proof" is and isn't.  And there's no escaping the subjectivity that's necessarily involved in determining how much evidence is or will be deemed "sufficient" to either establish something as being true, or (perhaps more realistically) to produce a common belief (and acceptance) of it being true.  Apart from the word of God, at what point does the impossible ever succumb or capitulate to mere statistical odds of improbability?

For me proof is an objective thing.

As with most scientific thought one of the elements of proof is predictability. How do we know two atoms of hydrogen and one atom of oxygen make water? It's been done billions of times and will be done billions more. How do we know gravity exists? Apples fell before Newton and they continue to fall to this day.

That's why cold fusion fell flat. The scientists say they created it once, but nobody could replicate their experiment. (My theory: The original scientists unknowingly used a dirty test tube and whatever was in that test tube before served as a catalyst that helped create cold fusion. Nobody knows what dirtied the test tube so we'll never know what the catalyst was.)

Edited by So_crates

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10 minutes ago, So_crates said:

For me proof is an objective thing.

So, I take it that you've (subjectively) chosen to disassociation yourself with any and all subjective aspects of what "proof" can mean or how it is defined...

nice.

or, perhaps I should say... how convenient.

Well, maybe this will add a bit more objectivity to the mix:

https://www.forbes.com/sites/startswithabang/2017/11/22/scientific-proof-is-a-myth/#58d86edf2fb1

 

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1 hour ago, Bolshevik said:

Are you saying proof is a group effort?

Or is this the "is mathematics objective or subjective?" question?

As mathematics defines itself by (or within) intrinsic rules, our subjective interpretation is not only unnecessary, it removes it from the category of mathematics. 

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3 minutes ago, TLC said:

As mathematics defines itself by (or within) intrinsic rules, our subjective interpretation is not only unnecessary, it removes it from the category of mathematics. 

Ah, but can you remove mathematics from the mathematician?   If a problem is solved in the woods and nobody sees or hears it, does anyone care?  Thus intrinsic logic is bound to the extrinsic Illogical subjective nature of the human psyche.

Personally, I prefer my subjective love of mathematics to allow it to transform into a higher form of poetic expression, the haiku:

arc - parabola
life - our parabolic bow 
ends that never meet
:spy:

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43 minutes ago, TLC said:

As mathematics defines itself by (or within) intrinsic rules, our subjective interpretation is not only unnecessary, it removes it from the category of mathematics. 

Math defines itself?   So does math determine the universe?  Or does math describe the universe?  Certainly is a useful tool.

We are built to look for patterns.  We see patterns of math.  But did the patterns of math shape the universe to make us to see it?  

Or maybe matter and energy follow rules that result in patterns we call math.  I feel less cross-eyed there.

 

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2 hours ago, TLC said:

 

So, I take it that you've (subjectively) chosen to disassociation yourself with any and all subjective aspects of what "proof" can mean or how it is defined...

nice.

or, perhaps I should say... how convenient.

Well, maybe this will add a bit more objectivity to the mix:

https://www.forbes.com/sites/startswithabang/2017/11/22/scientific-proof-is-a-myth/#58d86edf2fb1

 

Another time, back in my university days, a grad student and I were discussing postmodernism.

It was her assertation that there was no reality, only perceptions.

"No reality, only perceptions," I repeated. "So if there are only perceptions, I go into a class and do what I percieve is "A" work, but you claim its "D" work.  What makes one perception more valid than the other?"

"The one with the authority," she responded.

"But if all you have is perception, then authority too must be a perception."

She just kind of shook and walked away.

There is something out there, beyond my skin, that is more than my perception.

Newton percieved the apple, but something moved the apple seperate from Newton.

E=MC squared is a phenomenon that exists whether we percive it or not

Edited by So_crates

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On ‎5‎/‎3‎/‎2018 at 7:46 AM, Raf said:

(SNIP)...Humanism is a worldview and philosophy, not a religion.

But if we were to switch gears and talk about these same words as defined by government, I would switch gears and argue that humanism IS a religion. Not that it entails a belief in the supernatural, but that it is entitled to the same protections and privileges as religion when it comes to government recognition. If you're not allowed to deny me a job based on my religious beliefs, but you are allowed to deny me a job based on my being an atheist, that is a violation of my rights. Not because atheism is a religion, but because as far as government is concerned, atheism and humanism should be entitled to the same protections. Government should not be allowed to say "Atheism is not a religion and is therefore atheists are not entitled to freedom from persecution or discrimination."

And lest you think that's a trivial argument: not really. Multiple states have constitutional provisions depriving atheists of the right to hold elected office. Those provisions are illegal and unenforceable, but that has not always been the case. They are only unenforceable because atheists stood up for their rights and won.

Wow – that is news to me – and after reading Chockfull’s link to S. Hawking – I wanted to quote from it – then I will circle back to your comment…

Hawking said  “There is a fundamental difference between religion, which is based on authority, [and] science, which is based on observation and reason.” That reminded me of some things said earlier on this thread – of religion providing the answers that you cannot (or may not) question…so in the instance you gave of multiple states having constitutional provisions barring atheists from holding an elected office – perhaps I am politically very naïve, but I thought our government had something of a separation of church and state, but what you’ve described sounds almost like these states were exercising sort of a religious authority…and I don’t think it’s that much of a stretch to reduce “religion” down to its most basic level…as an interest, belief, or an activity that is very important to a person or group – even if that “religion” or worldview is humanism…it should still be allowed the freedom of religion.  

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