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WARNING: Political topic ahead : Swingers Discussion 366921011
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perfectmatch: You can't disagree. lol If it doesn't exist, it doesn't exist. But you're right, science would still be in the stone ages if people did not look beyond what was known. Just because something doesn't need contemplation, doesn't mean we can't. Even though, if it doesn't exist, it's pointless. lol

"To say that something doesn't exist without proof is meaningless"

You mean "To say something DOES exist, without proof is meaningless". The positive assertion needs the proof.

East Greenville PA
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PerfectMatch, love the off topic, because we have never seen a baby pigeon, and believe they are of the nonexistence theory.

Jerome PA
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ObladiOblada: Something nonexistant does not even need contemplation. If it doesn't exist, it doesn't exist. Again, the burden of proof is among those making the claim. There is no burden of proof placed on an atheist. One does not need to prove or disprove the existance of god(s). I made no argument based off of materialism. Just an analogy with a dog about burden of proof. If something exists, it has to be proveable. Wether by the 5 senses or some other means. If god were to speak into the mind of an atheist, that would be beyond the 5 senses and proof of existance (or insanity). Or an out of body experience.

"But proving the existence of God using materialism is a logical impossibility" Not really. God could take the form of material objects. Also, didn't God speak directly to Cain and Abel, Enoch and Noah?

"It's the equivalent of attempting to prove the existence of Spain with a tape measure" Perhaps a better analogy would be attempting to prove the existance of Heaven with a tape measure. ;)

East Greenville PA
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CuriousNew, Well, I have never known a religion that didn't require me to make basic assumptions. In fact, the area of apologetics I was most recently making myself familiar with is called "Presuppositional". That is, we ALL make presuppositions, why deny it? Let's put them out on the table and have them measured up against one another.

This, by the way, has also become one of the two areas under which I have come to be skeptical about Christianity (that is, hasn't anyone come up with a better argument than the two main areas of apologetics - presuppostionalism and evidentialism?). The other is the self-authenticating nature of its divine revelation.

Anyway, perhaps it is my own approach to religion and Christianity (and the authors I have read) that cause me to find very little difference between a philosophy and a religion.

Dan

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a_couple_in_pa> "It takes no faith to deny something nonexistant."

Huh. I think we're missing each other on opposite sides of the street. Without omniscience, an object's non-existence is unknown. It may be unprovable by means of the 5 senses, but there are lots of those kinds of things. The assumption upon which your argument rests is materialism. But proving the existence of God (who, at least by the Xian definition is spirit) using materialism is a logical impossibility. It's the equivalent of attempting to prove the existence of Spain with a tape measure.

Dan

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ObladiOblada: The definition "One who denies the existence of God or gods" makes it even more clear that there can be such a thing as an atheist. It takes no faith to deny something nonexistant. The burden of proof is on those making the claim of existance, since like you mentioned it's illogical and impossible to prove nonexistance. Therefore there can be such a thing as an atheist, until there is evidence proving the existance of God. Then the burden would fall on the atheist to prove his position.

I can tell you dogs exist. You could deny that. But I can show you a dog which you can hold. If you still denied its existance, then it would be up to you to prove that the dog you're holding doesn't really exist.

"Don't you just love these mind games?" No. They make my head hurt.

East Greenville PA
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"But emotions and relationships are universal experiences that can be shared, therefore even though the may be intangible, they are not a matter of faith."

They can also be denied.

"The natural law and reason (or logic) on which the Framers based their moral system is really unlike any religious faith. Much more akin to philosophy than religion."

Another matter of definitions, I think. I think there's a simple reason why the philosophy and religions topics share the same section of most bookstores. The both deal with hypotheticals and unprovables.

I'm curious, though, has there ever been a philosophy over which people were imprisoned or executed? Hmmm...

Dan

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a_couple_in_pa,

We'll probably be in a draw on definitions. I was using the root "theos" (Greek for "god") and you were using the segment "theism", whose suffix "ism" which brings the idea of "belief" into the term. Looking up "atheism" on dictionary dot com, you get the following: "One who disbelieves or denies the existence of God or gods." So, both definitions can be allowed. You used the former (belief) and I used the latter (denial).

Nevertheless, your own explanation exemplifies the possibility I was trying to explain in my assertion: if one were to come up with a proof that a god existed, atheism would cease. That's why I maintained that the best we could have is agnosticism. Proving the non-existence of something through time and space is nigh unto impossible - one would need to be omniscient to do so, and then what would you have? You'd be God! Thus you would disprove atheism by your own existence! LOL!

Don't you just love these mind games? 8^)

re: faith... The lack of logical proof and material evidence is also a matter that is subject to definition and discovery. I doubt very many people are consistent materialists. We often live our lives on the existence of the unprovable and materially inevident (such as emotions, relationships, etc.).

Dan

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ObladiOblada: Having no religion is possible to maintain. By definition, if you do not beleive in supernatural beings, or worship something, you have no religion. It's quite simple.

"the belief in NO God is a faith decision as well" Couldn't be farther from accurate. Faith is "Belief that does not rest on logical proof or material evidence". Therefore it doesn't take faith to not believe in something without material evidence. Would you say the belief that the Easter Bunny doesn't exist requires faith?

"In that way, there's no such thing as an atheist - because no-one can KNOW that there's no God." Incorrect. Atheists do not "know there's no god". They do not believe there is a god. Once there is proof, atheists would cease to exist. I assume you have no belief there is an Easter Bunny, but you can not prove there's no Easter Bunny. Then you are without belief in the existance of the Easter Bunny.

(a = without) (Theism= Belief in the existence of a god or gods, especially belief in a personal God as creator and ruler of the world)

East Greenville PA
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Freedom from religion... Let me pose a potentially controversial proposition:

What happens when the pursuit of freedom FROM religion becomes an expression of a religion itself? I believe the courts have recognized this to be the case in a couple of precedent-setting decisions that what was being expressed as a non-religious practice was, in fact, humanism - and the courts saw humanism as a religious belief.

One of the problems I see in attempting to divorce the civil sphere from religion is that I believe it's impossible to do. It can only attempt to free itself from CERTAIN religions, but the void of NO RELIGION is impossible to maintain.

That's why I argued that law is a codification of morality. I don't see that it's possible to be areligious - since the belief in NO God is a faith decision as well. We are limited, by the nature of life itself, from knowing that which is beyond the senses. In that way, there's no such thing as an atheist - because no-one can KNOW that there's no God. The best anyone can be is agnostic (gnosis = know; "not knowing").

Your thoughts, anyone?

Dan

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