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Old 05-23-2013, 08:06 PM   #31
rufuspaul
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Default Re: Lol

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Originally Posted by FiveRings
Think we have everything figured out? That sounds like theists who are sure that a magic sky man magic'd everything into existence.

Most atheists say they don't know how everything got started. We're waiting for science to find out more and more about that. You guys are the ones who think you've got it all figured out, because of certain beliefs passed down from your parents to you from an old book of fairy tales written by desert savages who thought the Earth was flat.


Wrong. I certainly don't think I have anything figured out. I'm smart enough to realize that. Your little diatribe actually makes science your religion. Science is great. I have a scientific degree. I work in the health profession. I see the wonders of science every day.

When you hold a new born baby do you only think of the biologic processes that made this possible or does something higher stir inside you? When you listen to great music or read great literature does something move inside the depths of your soul that has no explanation? Or are you simply a series of chemical reactions?
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Old 05-24-2013, 08:55 AM   #32
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Default Re: Lol

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Originally Posted by rufuspaul
When you hold a new born baby do you only think of the biologic processes that made this possible or does something higher stir inside you? When you listen to great music or read great literature does something move inside the depths of your soul that has no explanation? Or are you simply a series of chemical reactions?

You say that as if we can mold our shared reality in this universe to whatever we feel is right or comfortable to us.

You certainly can try and do so, but that doesn't mean your being intellectually honest with our surroundings as we understand them, so far.

Why the rush to latch on to a supernatural explanation? Your questions are valid but you're making some giant leaps in logic in answering them. As man continues to unlock the mysteries of the human brain, it's only a matter of when (not if) we'll begin to form concrete evidence-backed answers to your questions. Why not wait to make that judgement until then? What's the rush?

What happens on that day if the evidence is directly in contrast to your present view of a supernaturally-guided universe? Will you be too self-invested to accept this new reality?

If it turns out that Yahweh or Vishnu are running the show, I don't see myself as having a choice between "believing" or "not believing". If the data shows it to be verifiably true, I'll be sitting in that pew right next to you.

As far as we know *right now*, we ARE a series of chemical reactions. What's wrong with that exactly?

Last edited by Take Your Lumps : 05-24-2013 at 09:00 AM.
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Old 05-24-2013, 09:11 AM   #33
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Default Re: Lol

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Originally Posted by Take Your Lumps
You say that as if we can mold our shared reality in this universe to whatever we feel is right or comfortable to us.

You certainly can try and do so, but that doesn't mean your being intellectually honest with our surroundings as we understand them, so far.

Why the rush to latch on to a supernatural explanation? Your questions are valid but you're making some giant leaps in logic in answering them. As man continues to unlock the mysteries of the human brain, it's only a matter of when (not if) we'll begin to form concrete evidence-backed answers to your questions. Why not wait to make that judgement until then? What's the rush?

What happens on that day if the evidence is directly in contrast to your present view of a supernaturally-guided universe? Will you be too self-invested to accept this new reality?

If it turns out that Yahweh or Vishnu are running the show, I don't see myself as having a choice between "believing" or "not believing". If the data shows it to be verifiably true, I'll be sitting in that pew right next to you.

As far as we know *right now*, we ARE a series of chemical reactions. What's wrong with that exactly?

Valid points. It's a personal thing. The point of the thread is that atheists can be some of the most "preachy" people out there. Believe what you believe. No need to belittle others who have different views.
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Old 05-24-2013, 10:20 AM   #34
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Default Re: Lol

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Originally Posted by rufuspaul
Valid points. It's a personal thing. The point of the thread is that atheists can be some of the most "preachy" people out there. Believe what you believe. No need to belittle others who have different views.

Agreed.

I sympathize with both sides actually. I get why some atheists can get frustrated with the idea of faith but it doesn't excuse some of the behavior, though there's plenty stupidity on both sides to go around. I must say it's easier to ignore some asshole on the internet than some asshole ringing your doorbell.

There are studies that suggest religious belief is a secondary effect of basic social cognition mechanisms.

This study is really fascinating. It really changed my view of religious belief:
http://www.pnas.org/content/106/51/21533.full.pdf

Basically, they set out to find out how believers think when they think about god's will and god's own beliefs.

The most interesting part for me were the questions they asked while the subjects were in MRI machines.

The three images below show the differences in brain region activity (yellow/orange spots) when comparing:

a) your own attitudes vs. estimation of the "average American" attitude
b) estimation of God's attitude vs. the "average American" attitude
c) and most interestingly for me, your own attitude vs. estimation of god's attitude.



My jaw dropped when I saw that third MRI image.

Thinking about god's beliefs appears to be statistically indistinguishable from thinking about your own beliefs, whatever your beliefs may be.

People like to think of religion as providing a moral compass. More and more studies are suggesting that, because religious belief appears to be egocentrically biased, unlike an actual compass which always points north, thoughts and beliefs about gods just point people further in the direction they're already facing.
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Old 05-24-2013, 11:37 AM   #35
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Default Re: Lol

Quote:
Originally Posted by Take Your Lumps
Agreed.

I sympathize with both sides actually. I get why some atheists can get frustrated with the idea of faith but it doesn't excuse some of the behavior, though there's plenty stupidity on both sides to go around. I must say it's easier to ignore some asshole on the internet than some asshole ringing your doorbell.

There are studies that suggest religious belief is a secondary effect of basic social cognition mechanisms.

This study is really fascinating. It really changed my view of religious belief:
http://www.pnas.org/content/106/51/21533.full.pdf

Basically, they set out to find out how believers think when they think about god's will and god's own beliefs.

The most interesting part for me were the questions they asked while the subjects were in MRI machines.

The three images below show the differences in brain region activity (yellow/orange spots) when comparing:

a) your own attitudes vs. estimation of the "average American" attitude
b) estimation of God's attitude vs. the "average American" attitude
c) and most interestingly for me, your own attitude vs. estimation of god's attitude.



My jaw dropped when I saw that third MRI image.

Thinking about god's beliefs appears to be statistically indistinguishable from thinking about your own beliefs, whatever your beliefs may be.

People like to think of religion as providing a moral compass. More and more studies are suggesting that, because religious belief appears to be egocentrically biased, unlike an actual compass which always points north, thoughts and beliefs about gods just point people further in the direction they're already facing.


Fascinating. Thanks for the link.
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Old 05-24-2013, 07:59 PM   #36
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Default Re: Lol

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Fascinating. Thanks for the link.

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Old 05-25-2013, 04:08 AM   #37
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Default Re: Lol

Quote:
Originally Posted by rufuspaul
Wrong. I certainly don't think I have anything figured out. I'm smart enough to realize that. Your little diatribe actually makes science your religion. Science is great. I have a scientific degree. I work in the health profession. I see the wonders of science every day.

When you hold a new born baby do you only think of the biologic processes that made this possible or does something higher stir inside you? When you listen to great music or read great literature does something move inside the depths of your soul that has no explanation? Or are you simply a series of chemical reactions?
What is a "soul"? You asked me about my soul so present me with evidence that such a thing exists.

What good reason does anyone have to think that we are anything more than a series of chemical reactions? I don't have any reason to believe I'm anything more than that, and I don't believe in the existence of free will either. Just because we don't know everything about the brain, that doesn't mean we should plug some god into our gaps in understanding. You're acting like you already have the answer (god did it), when you don't know the answer any more than I do. I'm waiting for the evidence to come in before I proclaim I know something I have no way of knowing like you are doing.
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Old 05-27-2013, 05:40 AM   #38
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Default Re: Lol

Quote:
Originally Posted by rufuspaul
Wrong. I certainly don't think I have anything figured out. I'm smart enough to realize that. Your little diatribe actually makes science your religion. Science is great. I have a scientific degree. I work in the health profession. I see the wonders of science every day.

When you hold a new born baby do you only think of the biologic processes that made this possible or does something higher stir inside you? When you listen to great music or read great literature does something move inside the depths of your soul that has no explanation? Or are you simply a series of chemical reactions?

I feel you.

A wise man once said (I think it was Wittgenstein but I'm not sure) that even when all scientific questions are answered, the problems of your life are not even touched.
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