Atheism: Belief or Position?

Healthy skepticism of ALL worldviews is good. Skeptical of non-belief like found in Atheism? Post your challenging questions. Responses are encouraged.

Is atheism a belief?

Yes
15
68%
No
5
23%
May be
2
9%
 
Total votes: 22

Thadeyus
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Re: Atheism: Belief or Position?

#46

Post by Thadeyus » Mon Jul 22, 2013 7:45 am

Kurieuo wrote:And our universe has a beginning does it not? Which science supports. So we have a material/physical universe that changes from one state to the next that is not eternal. If it were eternal then it would be in a change less "steady state".
Um...so "If a universe falls over in the dark-matter. Does any one hear a sound" ? y:-?

Just...still a little confused, is all.

Very much cheers to all.

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Kurieuo
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Re: Atheism: Belief or Position?

#47

Post by Kurieuo » Mon Jul 22, 2013 7:56 pm

Thadeyus wrote:
Kurieuo wrote:And our universe has a beginning does it not? Which science supports. So we have a material/physical universe that changes from one state to the next that is not eternal. If it were eternal then it would be in a change less "steady state".
Um...so "If a universe falls over in the dark-matter. Does any one hear a sound" ? y:-?

Just...still a little confused, is all.

Very much cheers to all.
The ambiguity is lost on me.
"Whoever will call on the name of the Lord will be saved." (Romans 10:13)

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Jac3510
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Re: Atheism: Belief or Position?

#48

Post by Jac3510 » Thu Jul 25, 2013 4:41 pm

Thadeyus wrote:*Raises hand*

Hello. :)

Sorry to have come into the thread very late.
Jac3510 wrote:Time is nothing more than the measurement of change. Where there is no change, there is no time.
This idea/concept has me intrigued.

Can you offer a possible example of some where/thing that has experienced no change and hence/possibly no time?

Very much cheers to all.
Not really, without getting into a very long and drawn out thread. The problem here is what such an example would even look like. Even if you had one thing you could isolate that didn't change at all, the fact that other things are changing around it means that thing at least changes insofar as its relation to other things change. So the only way to really posit a completely changeless entity is to posit a completely changeless universe, and the only way to do that is to either create some hypothetical situation in which the entire universe froze for a "period of time" (if that even makes any sense) or to posit a B-Theory of time. The closest thing I can think of to what you're asking about might be the singularity cosmologists are trying to get away from.

I would highly recommend reading this article: http://plato.stanford.edu/entries/time/ as it goes into this issue in great detail. The bottom line is that, like a great many issues, you have to choose between Aristotle and Plato here. And, as I think is usually the case, Aristotle got it right, and I think that science is progressively showing itself to be more easily understood on Aristotelian assumptions than Platonic. But I'm sure nothing I just said is very helpful to you, so, again, I would just recommend again reading the article I just linked to as well as the one at Notre Dame that I linked to a few posts back.
Thadeyus wrote:Thank you for your response. :)

Um...my thoughts are that matter does simply change. Simply by the interaction of matter. Vast tracts of our solar system seem quite content to roll around and here and there randomly smash into itself....

No 'Will' or 'Thought' about. As for 'External influence', how far afield does one have to go before there is no farther 'external influences' can be found?
Look at the part I put in bold and underlined. You're just begging the question. An interaction is a change by definition, so you can't appeal to interaction as the means for arguing that matter just changes.

Beyond that, you are also just incorrect on any level--scientific or philosophical. Matter does not just change. Change always requires an external agent to bring about the change. While we can demonstrate that philosophically, it's much easier to just point to a common understanding of modern science: if maximum entropy is reached in any closed system, all activity and all change ceases. That's because all change requires energy to power it.

So, no, matter does not just change. All change requires something else to change it. Some of those types of causal chains, however, require a First Cause by nature (since they are chains of instrumental causes--that is, the things bringing about change are instruments of something: think of a train engine pulling a series of box cars, so each boxcar is an instrument of the train engine). For reasons we've discussed in great detail, that necessitates there being a First Cause that is itself not caused by anything but is the source of all change. Such a Cause cannot have the potential for change, for if it could, then it would require an external agent to change it, meaning it would no longer be the First Cause. Any being, however, that has no potential for change is pure actuality, and in that case, for reasons we have discussed in some detail already, that being can only be identified with God.
Proinsias wrote:I don't think you are hearing me. Preference for ice cream is a moral issue
And that, brothers and sisters, is the kind of foolishness you get people who insist on denying biblical theism. A good illustration of any as the length people will go to avoid acknowledging basic truths.

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BryanH
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Re: Atheism: Belief or Position?

#49

Post by BryanH » Fri Jul 26, 2013 7:52 am

All change requires something else to change it
Let's assume this statement is false. What then?

How would you describe God if this statement was false?

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Re: Atheism: Belief or Position?

#50

Post by domokunrox » Fri Jul 26, 2013 10:12 am

BryanH wrote:Let's assume this statement is false. What then?
This is begging question down the line.

In order to detect falsehood, you MUST allegedly KNOW truth. Otherwise you are arguing from ignorance. Why should one believe in your theory of what is clearly circular logic?

Lets just go ahead and ignore that for a minute and indeed say all changes don't have an explanation other then in and of itself. Then you believe in phenomenalism.

So, heres your options
1. You're begging the question (for circular logic)
2. You're arguing from ignorance
3. You're a phenomenalist
BryanH wrote:How would you describe God if this statement was false?
This is called appeal to consequences.

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Re: Atheism: Belief or Position?

#51

Post by Thadeyus » Fri Jul 26, 2013 1:50 pm

To Jac3510,

Okay...having very quickly looked through your second link (The first link you specifically pointed out to me) I can honestly say that I'm throwing myself into the philosophical deep end. :)

Pretty much a good two thirds of all that essay is way over my head. Am slowly trying to expand my mind around it but...yeah... it's going to take a while.

So! Putting things back into my simple frames.

With regards to entropy.

My statement s thus: "We have the information that our reality started....and that eventually our reality will effectively end."

This is true, yes?

Very much cheers to you and yours.

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Jac3510
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Re: Atheism: Belief or Position?

#52

Post by Jac3510 » Fri Jul 26, 2013 9:39 pm

BryanH wrote:Let's assume this statement is false. What then?
You can't assume it's false. You may as well assume that it's false that triangles have three sides or that X can, in fact, be both X and ~X in the same way at the same time. You're just positing a contradiction.
How would you describe God if this statement was false?
Meaningless question, and not just about God. Replace God with "X" and you have exactly the same content.
Proinsias wrote:I don't think you are hearing me. Preference for ice cream is a moral issue
And that, brothers and sisters, is the kind of foolishness you get people who insist on denying biblical theism. A good illustration of any as the length people will go to avoid acknowledging basic truths.

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Jac3510
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Re: Atheism: Belief or Position?

#53

Post by Jac3510 » Fri Jul 26, 2013 9:41 pm

Thadeyus wrote:To Jac3510,

Okay...having very quickly looked through your second link (The first link you specifically pointed out to me) I can honestly say that I'm throwing myself into the philosophical deep end. :)

Pretty much a good two thirds of all that essay is way over my head. Am slowly trying to expand my mind around it but...yeah... it's going to take a while.
A priest I highly respect once said that it is rather easy to ask difficult questions. It is, unfortunately, rather difficult to understand their answers.
So! Putting things back into my simple frames.

With regards to entropy.

My statement s thus: "We have the information that our reality started....and that eventually our reality will effectively end."

This is true, yes?
True.
Proinsias wrote:I don't think you are hearing me. Preference for ice cream is a moral issue
And that, brothers and sisters, is the kind of foolishness you get people who insist on denying biblical theism. A good illustration of any as the length people will go to avoid acknowledging basic truths.

Thadeyus
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Re: Atheism: Belief or Position?

#54

Post by Thadeyus » Sat Jul 27, 2013 12:11 am

Jac3510 wrote:With regards to entropy.

My statement s thus: "We have the information that our reality started....and that eventually our reality will effectively end."

This is true, yes?

True.
*Continues to inflate mental water-wings/floaties.* ;)

My second statement is thus: "That which we recognize as 'Time' would seem to be an integral part of the above agreed upon reality."

I.E. Reality= 'Is' hence Time ='Is'

Very much cheers to all.

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Jac3510
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Re: Atheism: Belief or Position?

#55

Post by Jac3510 » Sat Jul 27, 2013 7:04 am

Thadeyus wrote:*Continues to inflate mental water-wings/floaties.* ;)

My second statement is thus: "That which we recognize as 'Time' would seem to be an integral part of the above agreed upon reality."

I.E. Reality= 'Is' hence Time ='Is'

Very much cheers to all.
True.
Proinsias wrote:I don't think you are hearing me. Preference for ice cream is a moral issue
And that, brothers and sisters, is the kind of foolishness you get people who insist on denying biblical theism. A good illustration of any as the length people will go to avoid acknowledging basic truths.

Thadeyus
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Re: Atheism: Belief or Position?

#56

Post by Thadeyus » Sat Jul 27, 2013 11:57 pm

*Looks at floaties/water wings*

Um..right...well...kind if glad that's worked out then.....

*Whistles innocently*

Very much cheers to all.

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Jac3510
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Re: Atheism: Belief or Position?

#57

Post by Jac3510 » Sun Jul 28, 2013 3:31 pm

Well, if working that out means we agree that time appears to be an integral part of our reality that came into existence a finite time ago (which I take to be the creation event) and will eventually go out of existence, then yes, I'm glad that worked out, too.
Proinsias wrote:I don't think you are hearing me. Preference for ice cream is a moral issue
And that, brothers and sisters, is the kind of foolishness you get people who insist on denying biblical theism. A good illustration of any as the length people will go to avoid acknowledging basic truths.

Thadeyus
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Re: Atheism: Belief or Position?

#58

Post by Thadeyus » Sun Jul 28, 2013 11:51 pm

Oh indeed! :)

We have a very nice common base line from which to further agree of disagree. :D

Very much cheers to all.

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Re: Atheism: Belief or Position?

#59

Post by fluster » Sun Aug 04, 2013 9:43 am

So, belief or position then?

Thadeyus
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Re: Atheism: Belief or Position?

#60

Post by Thadeyus » Sat Aug 10, 2013 8:52 pm

Sorry, I missed the above post by fluster .

Was it aimed at myself? Or a general, open question?

For my self, on the inside looking out, it's a position.

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