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-   -   I need some questions answered about atheism (http://ravingatheists.com/forum/showthread.php?t=6795)

kattrocks 05-11-2005 06:40 PM

I need these questions answered by an atheist persepective. Please tell me if you need some clarity in questions.

1.What is the nature of God?
2.What is the nature of man?
3.How do you explain the presence of evil?
4.How do you fix evil?
5.What happens when you die?
6.What is your source for this information?
7.How reliable is your source?
8. What if you are wrong? What is the chance that atheism being wrong?

Thanks all!

HMS Beagle 05-11-2005 06:52 PM

Q1. Nothingness.
Q2. Mostly nothingness. More eloquently: "The cradle rocks above an abyss, and common sense tells us that our existence is but a brief crack of light between two eternities of darkness."--Nabokov
Q3. How do you explain the presence of good?
Q4. No one ever has, no one ever will.
Q5. Left alone, your corpse rots.
Q6. Everything I've ever read that made sense.
Q7. Silly question. Multiple sources.
Q8. If God exists, I'll be flabbergasted, period. Beyond that, who can predict? Mankind has posited far too many deities and afterlifes to guess which, if any, is right.

adelord 05-11-2005 07:15 PM

I guess this is a suitable topic for my first post on this board:



1.What is the nature of God?
A meme. Often used by social institutions for control and repression, and to validate the authority of the elite.
2.What is the nature of man?
Like a monkey, only aware of his own inevitable death.
3.How do you explain the presence of evil?
I don't agree with your implicit definition of evil. I'll answer the following instead. "Why do horrific acts, like mega-death crimes or child abuse happen?" On the large scale- bad systems of social organization. On the small scale- software glitches in a person's mind.
4.How do you fix evil?
On the large scale- find more humane systems for social organization. On the small scale- individual reprogramming.
5.What happens when you die?
The body rots, or is frozen, or burned, or is preserved with chemicals. Usually. The conception of self ceases with brain activity. There is no soul.
6.What is your source for this information?
A decent education, including how to compare the reliability of sources. Most recently, Edward O. Wilson's Consilience.
7.How reliable is your source?
The best I can possibly find.
8. What if you are wrong? What is the chance that atheism being wrong?
Slight to none, depending on the definition of atheism used. Some forms of Taoism, Buddhism, Core- (or pseudo-) Shamanism, strike me as being closer to "life philosophies" then "religion" in the Western sense.

kattrocks 05-11-2005 07:22 PM

Interesting, from the atheist perspective, how do you explain how evil happnes in today's world?

kattrocks 05-11-2005 07:30 PM

How has religious ideas lead to explain all the crimes and evil that exists?

schemanista 05-11-2005 07:32 PM

Quote:

kattrocks wrote
Interesting, from the atheist perspective, how do you explain how evil happnes in today's world?

How about primate psychology, competition for (sometimes artificially) scarce resources, and plain old "shit happens". It makes more sense to me than "It's all part of Gawd's Plan[tm]."

Colin Wilson's A Criminal History of Mankind is a fascinating read in this vein--if you can find a copy.

kattrocks 05-11-2005 07:35 PM

Do you believe that man is "good" or that man sins and is inheriently bad? Opinions?

baric 05-11-2005 07:37 PM

Quote:

kattrocks wrote
I need these questions answered by an atheist persepective. Please tell me if you need some clarity in questions.

1.What is the nature of God?
Unknown. No evidence of existence.
2.What is the nature of man?
varies by individual. some good, some bad
3.How do you explain the presence of evil?
evil men
4.How do you fix evil?
kill the evil men
5.What happens when you die?
your body reaches a state of equilibrium (a.k.a. you become one with the universe)
6.What is your source for this information?
observation and reason
7.How reliable is your source?
hard to say. Descarte wrestled with the reliability of our own senses and reason. I will say this:
"I know this: if life is illusion, then I am no less an illusion, and being thus, the illusion is real to me. I live, I burn with life, I love, I slay, and am content."
8. What if you are wrong?
I've been wrong before. The typical response is to recognize it, change your opinions accordingly and moveon. No big deal.
What is the chance that atheism being wrong?
>= 0%


Thanks all!

Glad I could help.

schemanista 05-11-2005 07:40 PM

Quote:

kattrocks wrote
Do you believe that man is "good" or that man sins and is inheriently bad? Opinions?

Neither. We have strong tendancies towards both social organization and, at a higher level, towards tribalism.

Everything else is contextual.

Opinions?

baric 05-11-2005 07:41 PM

Quote:

kattrocks wrote
Do you believe that man is "good" or that man sins and is inheriently bad? Opinions?

I will be happy to address this issue in great detail. But first, I want to make sure that we are talking about the same thing. How do you define "good" as opposed to "evil".

In other words, how do you recognize if an act is "good" or "evil". I have my own opinion, but answering the question won't make sense if you use a different definition of "good".

Also, what do you mean by "sin?"

Sir Sin-O-Lot 05-11-2005 07:43 PM

I don't believe in "sin" nor do I believe in an absolute morality. Morality and sin are whatever each person wishes to be "right" or "wrong".

schemanista 05-11-2005 07:46 PM

Quote:

1.What is the nature of God?
"Nature" of a Supernatural being? Does not compute.

Quote:

2.What is the nature of man?
He's a natural product of his immediate ancestors, his immediate environment and millions of years of evolution.

Quote:

3.How do you explain the presence of evil?
Define evil.

Quote:

4.How do you fix evil?
Define it so that it can be fixed. Then fix it.

Quote:

5.What happens when you die?
You decompose.

Quote:

6.What is your source for this information?
High school science courses. One undergraduate geology course, 20 years of reading, conversations with several scientists in my immediate circle of influence and ultimately the ability to access more than 9,000 years of accumulated historical, technical and scientific knowledge.

Quote:

7.How reliable is your source?
So far? Irrefutable.

Quote:

8. What if you are wrong? What is the chance that atheism being wrong?
Prove it wrong. Then I'll tell you.

kattrocks 05-11-2005 07:53 PM

Quote:

Sir Sin-O-Lot wrote
I don't believe in "sin" nor do I believe in an absolute morality. Morality and sin are whatever each person wishes to be "right" or "wrong".

How do we decide what is right and wrong is there is nothing to place our morals upon? Something could be acceptable to me but not to someone else, how do we decide. If I think it is right to kill someone and I go do it, I think its okay, but does that make it right?

baric 05-11-2005 07:55 PM

Quote:

kattrocks wrote
Quote:

Sir Sin-O-Lot wrote
I don't believe in "sin" nor do I believe in an absolute morality. Morality and sin are whatever each person wishes to be "right" or "wrong".

How do we decide what is right and wrong is there is nothing to place our morals upon? Something could be acceptable to me but not to someone else, how do we decide. If I think it is right to kill someone and I go do it, I think its okay, but does that make it right?

Absolutely not. That is why I asked you how you define what is 'good' and what is 'evil'. You seem to use the concept of 'sin' in your definition.

Believe it or not, there are ways to define good and evil without requiring a god or the concept of sin.

kattrocks 05-11-2005 07:56 PM

Evil is the lack of good. the world was created good(unflawed, beautiful, loving, and perfect), but the sinful and fallen of natureof man, being prideful and selfish (bad) brought evil into the world.


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