82 posts in this topic

On 6/28/2022 at 5:30 PM, Luckspren said:

Hi! I'm a Christian. I love to argue, but have very little experience with people who believe radically different things from me, so I like that this thread exists. Stop me if I'm being offensive or overly argumentative... I'm a very curious person, so, here goes.

@Trutharchivist, what would you expect the coming of the Messiah to look like, based on what Christians call the Old Testament?

@Chaos, what do you believe about morality? Is it subjective or objective? How would you explain why Hitler was wrong?

@EmulatonStromenkiin

I'd be interested to hear you elaborate on that. Ditto @Rune

 

@Luckspren So yeah, so I’m a member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints (big surprise) and we believe that hell, to my understanding, is a place reserved for Satan and his followers as they cannot have bodies and are only spirits. Everyone on earth will be resurrected as all of us will have inherited our first estate-which is why we are even here on earth. That includes making it into some level of Heavenly glory. To us there are three levels (lowest to highest) Telestial, Terrestrial, and finally, Celestial. It’s also important to note that our Heavenly Father wants us to return to him and will show mercy. We believe that everyone will have an equal opportunity to receive the gospel and accept it.  I won’t really go super into detail but that’s the basics.  We also believe that we are the literal sons and daughters of God, our Heavenly Father and that the Christ is our brother.  We also don’t believe that the Godhead is one but three, distinct, separate beings-the Father, his Son, and the Holy Ghost. The Father and Son have real bodies of flesh and bone and we can become like them. In all things.  
I hope this elaborated enough for you! If you have any other questions I’d love to answer them.

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On 6/28/2022 at 5:30 PM, Luckspren said:

@Chaos, what do you believe about morality? Is it subjective or objective? How would you explain why Hitler was wrong?

Subjective. Proving something is objective is impossible. But generally we agree that certain things are bad. Really it comes down to, for me: be nice to others and don't hurt others. If you're hurting others, that's bad. Don't be a jerk to others. Obviously, causing genocide is very high up on that list.

Morality is not absolute. Ultimately it's what we all decide is moral or not. Our world is very different than one three thousand years or even two hundred years ago, and what was scandalous then need not necessarily be scandalous now. Don't be a jerk and overall you'll be okay. 

You can't have objective morality without being totally certain your beliefs are correct. If this is any of you, well, all I'll say is that there are millions or billions of people who don't care about your exact definition of morality in the slightest. Don't judge, be nice.

Oh, also importantly: if someone is being a total jerk to you (or, you know, attacking you) you are under no obligation to be nice to them anymore. Same reason that people have rights, but your rights do not extend to screwing over others in a variety of ways.

Pretty simple morality. I prefer it, because I feel like a lot of problems come from people feeling morally righteous to others. I'm not excluded, but I sure to minimize it.

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Posted (edited)

7 hours ago, Chaos said:

Morality is not absolute. Ultimately it's what we all decide is moral or not. Our world is very different than one three thousand years or even two hundred years ago, and what was scandalous then need not necessarily be scandalous now. Don't be a jerk and overall you'll be okay. 

If we all decide that being a jerk is okay, does that make it okay? Or would you say that being a jerk is actually wrong in an objective way? 

 

7 hours ago, Chaos said:

Oh, also importantly: if someone is being a total jerk to you (or, you know, attacking you) you are under no obligation to be nice to them anymore.

That implies that you start out with the obligation to be nice to others. Where do you get that obligation?

 

7 hours ago, Rune said:

The Father and Son have real bodies of flesh and bone and we can become like them. In all things.  

Is this concept from the Book of Mormon or is it a different interpretation of the Bible?

 

On 6/29/2022 at 3:00 AM, Nathrangking said:

The messiah will arise and restore the house of David to Israel and rebuild the temple. He will also usher in an era where wars will no longer be fought.

Is this the same thing as Judgement Day/End of the world or is it a different event altogether?

Edited by Luckspren
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26 minutes ago, Luckspren said:

Is this the same thing as Judgement Day/End of the world or is it a different event altogether?

That's the thing, is not a one time event. While in Judaism there are concepts of a judgement day and armageddon those two events are not this. After those things have taken place משיח בן דוד (the messiah descended from the line of David. will come. He brings with him this new era which is eternal essentially.

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2 hours ago, Luckspren said:

That implies that you start out with the obligation to be nice to others. Where do you get that obligation?

Because society tends to work better collaboratively. There doesn't need to be any external source for morality. When you do something wrong to someone, you can witness the pain you inflict. No divinity is required.

I'm not really interested in how this conversation is progressing, personally. This sort of philosophical navel-gazing is very pointless and irrelevant in my day to day life. I am happy to answer questions about non-belief, but I don't feel appreciated with people trying to dig in and effectively trying to "gotcha" me, which is what this feels like, and I don't think you need to do that. It is very frustrating, in fact. I don't feel the need to try and nitpick and find the logical inconsistencies in other people's beliefs, so I'll please ask you to respect my (lack of) belief.

Needless to say, many things religious people believe is required, and I'm doing just fine without God, sin, and any of that. It's utterly irrelevant to my day-to-day life. For any religious person or Christian reading here, I'll just say nonreligious people don't even think about sin as a useful concept at all. Never comes up. 

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9 hours ago, Chaos said:

I'll please ask you to respect my (lack of) belief.

I apologize for causing annoyance. I'll leave you alone.

 

On 6/29/2022 at 3:00 AM, Nathrangking said:

The messiah will arise and restore the house of David to Israel and rebuild the temple. He will also usher in an era where wars will no longer be fought.

Is this new era anything like the Christian concept of Earth becoming Heaven, or is it a completely different idea?

 

18 hours ago, Rune said:

@Luckspren So yeah, so I’m a member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints (big surprise) and we believe that hell, to my understanding, is a place reserved for Satan and his followers as they cannot have bodies and are only spirits. Everyone on earth will be resurrected as all of us will have inherited our first estate-which is why we are even here on earth. That includes making it into some level of Heavenly glory. To us there are three levels (lowest to highest) Telestial, Terrestrial, and finally, Celestial. It’s also important to note that our Heavenly Father wants us to return to him and will show mercy. We believe that everyone will have an equal opportunity to receive the gospel and accept it.  I won’t really go super into detail but that’s the basics. We also believe that we are the literal sons and daughters of God, our Heavenly Father and that the Christ is our brother.  We also don’t believe that the Godhead is one but three, distinct, separate beings-the Father, his Son, and the Holy Ghost. The Father and Son have real bodies of flesh and bone and we can become like them. In all things.  
I hope this elaborated enough for you! If you have any other questions I’d love to answer them.

Literally everyone makes it into Heaven? Even people like Hitler?

We can become like the Father and the Son in all things- would that include omniscience, omnipotence, and omnipresence?

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3 hours ago, Luckspren said:

Is this new era anything like the Christian concept of Earth becoming Heaven, or is it a completely different idea?

I could only make an educated guess as I'm not an expert on such doctrines. The answer is probably different as  Maimonides thinks that the world will still be the world post the arrival of the messiah. 

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4 hours ago, Luckspren said:

I apologize for causing annoyance. I'll leave you alone.

 

Is this new era anything like the Christian concept of Earth becoming Heaven, or is it a completely different idea?

 

Literally everyone makes it into Heaven? Even people like Hitler?

We can become like the Father and the Son in all things- would that include omniscience, omnipotence, and omnipresence?

So I do know that not everyone will make it and some will be sent to outer darkness (hell) and I would say it is pretty safe to say Hitler will be on that bus ride but I am not God so I do not make the decision as he is omnipotent, omniscience, etc. And yes, we do believe that a select few that lived  their lives the best they could will become Gods and Goddess-but only a select few. Also the three tiers will be different, with the terrestrial being like earth (but not on earth, it will be a part of the Celestial Kingdom). The Telestial will be in the middle and the Celestial is what most people think of when they think Heaven.  We all will reach out full potential as Gods and Goddesses. This may sound really weird but it makes sense logically to me and it is not really the focus of our church. That is on being as Christlike as possible in this life.  Also, these teachings can be found in our books of scripture (Book of Mormon, Doctrine and Covenants, and the Pearl of Great Price) as well as a little (I think? Not super knowledge on the Bible but am starting to read it more) in the Bible as long as it is translated correctly. I’m not saying we are better than other churches, just that I believe and know to be true that this is the church with the truth. (but that sounds like the others are worse so I’m sorry but it’s what I believe)

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On 7/1/2022 at 1:59 AM, Rune said:

So I do know that not everyone will make it and some will be sent to outer darkness (hell) and I would say it is pretty safe to say Hitler will be on that bus ride but I am not God so I do not make the decision as he is omnipotent, omniscience, etc. And yes, we do believe that a select few that lived  their lives the best they could will become Gods and Goddess-but only a select few. Also the three tiers will be different, with the terrestrial being like earth (but not on earth, it will be a part of the Celestial Kingdom). The Telestial will be in the middle and the Celestial is what most people think of when they think Heaven.  (1) We all will reach out full potential as Gods and Goddesses. (2) This may sound really weird but it makes sense logically to me and it is not really the focus of our church. That is on being as Christlike as possible in this life.  Also, these teachings can be found in our books of scripture (Book of Mormon, Doctrine and Covenants, and the Pearl of Great Price) as well as a little (I think?  (3) Not super knowledge on the Bible but am starting to read it more) in the Bible as long as it is translated correctly. (4) I’m not saying we are better than other churches, just that I believe and know to be true that this is the church with the truth. (but that sounds like the others are worse so I’m sorry but it’s what I believe)

1) Are these 'Gods' literally on a level with God, or would they be more like a Shard? (Immense power, but not omnisicient or omnipotent)

2) I think I'd have the same problem explaining some parts of Christian doctrine, I get it. 

3) Is the Bible considered to be more or less authoritative than the Book of Mormon etc? Would you say they contradict each other, or that the Bible is just incomplete or misinterpreted?

4) Same... I think everyone with different beliefs than me is wrong (Not evil or stupid or any such thing, just incorrect), that's just the way it is when you believe in absolute truth. Someone has to be at least more right than someone else. 

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On 6/30/2022 at 1:59 AM, Rune said:

@Luckspren So yeah, so I’m a member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints (big surprise) and we believe that hell, to my understanding, is a place reserved for Satan and his followers as they cannot have bodies and are only spirits. Everyone on earth will be resurrected as all of us will have inherited our first estate-which is why we are even here on earth. That includes making it into some level of Heavenly glory. To us there are three levels (lowest to highest) Telestial, Terrestrial, and finally, Celestial. It’s also important to note that our Heavenly Father wants us to return to him and will show mercy. We believe that everyone will have an equal opportunity to receive the gospel and accept it.  I won’t really go super into detail but that’s the basics.  We also believe that we are the literal sons and daughters of God, our Heavenly Father and that the Christ is our brother.  We also don’t believe that the Godhead is one but three, distinct, separate beings-the Father, his Son, and the Holy Ghost. The Father and Son have real bodies of flesh and bone and we can become like them. In all things.  
I hope this elaborated enough for you! If you have any other questions I’d love to answer them.

yes, this. Also, there is a level that none of us know enough to be able to achieve, which is near the level of Satan and his spirits, called outer darkness.

3 minutes ago, Luckspren said:

1) Are these 'Gods' literally on a level with God, or would they be more like a Shard? (Immense power, but not omnisicient or omnipotent)

2) I think I'd have the same problem explaining some parts of Christian doctrine, I get it. 

3) Is the Bible considered to be more or less authoritative than the Book of Mormon etc? Would you say they contradict each other, or that the Bible is just incomplete or misinterpreted?

4) Same... I think everyone with different beliefs than me is wrong (Not evil or stupid or any such thing, just incorrect), that's just the way it is when you believe in absolute truth. Someone has to be at least more right than someone else. 

1) I am unsure, It's weird, and we don't have much info on it. in my opinion (mine, not anyone else's), they would be on a level with God, omniscient/omnipotent. This gets into weird stuff regarding God's glory and how we as his children effect that, and I do not know enough about that to help much.

2)yea.

3) To my knowledge, the Bible is not less authoritative than the Book of Mormon, which is Another Testament of Jesus Christ. We believe that parts of the Bible were lost/misinterpreted during the Apostacy, or are translated in ways that don't quite make sense without proper knowledge of the time in which they were written. They should not contradict eachother.

This is my output, sorry I couldn't answer sooner.

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11 minutes ago, EmulatonStromenkiin said:

yes, this. Also, there is a level that none of us know enough to be able to achieve, which is near the level of Satan and his spirits, called outer darkness.

1) I am unsure, It's weird, and we don't have much info on it. in my opinion (mine, not anyone else's), they would be on a level with God, omniscient/omnipotent. This gets into weird stuff regarding God's glory and how we as his children effect that, and I do not know enough about that to help much.

2)yea.

3) To my knowledge, the Bible is not less authoritative than the Book of Mormon, which is Another Testament of Jesus Christ. We believe that parts of the Bible were lost/misinterpreted during the Apostacy, or are translated in ways that don't quite make sense without proper knowledge of the time in which they were written. They should not contradict eachother.

This is my output, sorry I couldn't answer sooner.

How could two beings be omnipotent at the same time? Or omniscient, actually- wouldn't that work like two Mistborn burning atium at the same time?

What's the Apostacy?

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1 minute ago, Luckspren said:

How could two beings be omnipotent at the same time? Or omniscient, actually- wouldn't that work like two Mistborn burning atium at the same time?

What's the Apostacy?

1) dunno. I think omniscient merely means all-seeing, so that would not be a problem. and omnipotent means all-knowing? don't see the interference. God probably thinks on a higher plane than we do, so it probably is not a problem. I think of that as a later-me problem(if it is one), because I don't know enough right now to deal with it, and it does not affect me right now.

2) The removal of the Priesthood from the earth following the death of the twelve apostles in the Bible.

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Just now, EmulatonStromenkiin said:

1) dunno. I think omniscient merely means all-seeing, so that would not be a problem. and omnipotent means all-knowing? don't see the interference. God probably thinks on a higher plane than we do, so it probably is not a problem. I think of that as a later-me problem(if it is one), because I don't know enough right now to deal with it, and it does not affect me right now.

Omnipotent means all-powerful, and omniscience means all-knowing.

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4 minutes ago, Nameless said:

Omnipotent means all-powerful, and omniscience means all-knowing.

ah. Still don't see a conflict, but thank you.

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1 hour ago, Luckspren said:

1) Are these 'Gods' literally on a level with God, or would they be more like a Shard? (Immense power, but not omnisicient or omnipotent)

2) I think I'd have the same problem explaining some parts of Christian doctrine, I get it. 

3) Is the Bible considered to be more or less authoritative than the Book of Mormon etc? Would you say they contradict each other, or that the Bible is just incomplete or misinterpreted?

4) Same... I think everyone with different beliefs than me is wrong (Not evil or stupid or any such thing, just incorrect), that's just the way it is when you believe in absolute truth. Someone has to be at least more right than someone else. 

1. I would say yes, we would be on a level very extremely close to that of God, we are His children and it is every parents wish for their child to be better than them and to achieve greater things.  Bear in mind that there is still much to be revealed in the future and we only have so much knowledge that has been given to us.

3. They are technically on the same level but the Bible has been translated multiple times by simple people without the inspiration of God and it has lost important truths over time whereas the Book of Mormon was translated through the power of God.

 

 Also, I don’t see any conflict with us being as God (omnipotent, omniscience, etc) as He is a separate being from the Son with a body of flesh and bone just like us, but perfected.

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1 hour ago, Rune said:

1. I would say yes, we would be on a level very extremely close to that of God, we are His children and it is every parents wish for their child to be better than them and to achieve greater things.  Bear in mind that there is still much to be revealed in the future and we only have so much knowledge that has been given to us.

3. They are technically on the same level but the Bible has been translated multiple times by simple people without the inspiration of God and it has lost important truths over time whereas the Book of Mormon was translated through the power of God.

 

 Also, I don’t see any conflict with us being as God (omnipotent, omniscience, etc) as He is a separate being from the Son with a body of flesh and bone just like us, but perfected.

How do we know the Bible translators didn't also have God's inspiration?

Two people are omniscient. Can they know exactly what the other will choose to do? Can said other choose not to do it because they know how the other will react... goes into a spiral. The omnipotence thing is similar but irrelevant because it would involve the omnipotent people trying to kill each other, doesn't apply here. 

God the Father's physical body is a concept from the Mormon scriptures?

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38 minutes ago, Luckspren said:

How do we know the Bible translators didn't also have God's inspiration?

Two people are omniscient. Can they know exactly what the other will choose to do? Can said other choose not to do it because they know how the other will react... goes into a spiral. The omnipotence thing is similar but irrelevant because it would involve the omnipotent people trying to kill each other, doesn't apply here. 

God the Father's physical body is a concept from the Mormon scriptures?

Some probably did, but stuff was lost, or just does not make sense without context we do not have. Things were changed, KJV is different from several other ones.

I'm going to assume that God is also infinitely wise, and by extension those that have power like that.

I got the God having a physical body from Genesis. Also, I'm not certain I understand your wording.

 

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44 minutes ago, Luckspren said:

How do we know the Bible translators didn't also have God's inspiration?

Two people are omniscient. Can they know exactly what the other will choose to do? Can said other choose not to do it because they know how the other will react... goes into a spiral. The omnipotence thing is similar but irrelevant because it would involve the omnipotent people trying to kill each other, doesn't apply here. 

God the Father's physical body is a concept from the Mormon scriptures?

It’s not that some translators couldn’t have had some inspiration but it is taught that they were not chosen by God to be the translators and therefore did not have the authority to be able to translate it perfectly, and Satan was doing all he could in that time to change them in any way including by there being people that wanted to make changes to suit their needs.

I don’t think that it really matters but yes I see your point but in the end you will have made a decision and that will undoubtedly be affected by your knowledge.

 Yes, it is taught to be one of the many lost truths that was restored through scripture and revelation. We believe the Godhead to be there, distinct, separate beings.

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Thanks, @Rune, @EmulatonStromenkiin, for answering all my random questions! 

This has given me a much better idea of the differences between our faiths; I'd like to try for the similarities. Here's the text of the Nicene Creed, the classic statement of the Christian faith and our doctrine of the Trinity: 

Spoiler

I believe in one God,
the Father almighty,
maker of heaven and earth,
of all things visible and invisible.

I believe in one Lord Jesus Christ,
the Only Begotten Son of God,
born of the Father before all ages.
God from God, Light from Light,
true God from true God,
begotten, not made, being of one substance with the Father;
through him all things were made.
For us men and for our salvation
he came down from heaven,

and by the Holy Spirit was incarnate of the Virgin Mary,
and became man.

For our sake he was crucified under Pontius Pilate,
he suffered death and was buried,
and rose again on the third day
in accordance with the Scriptures.
He ascended into heaven
and is seated at the right hand of the Father.
He will come again in glory
to judge the living and the dead
and his kingdom will have no end.

I believe in the Holy Spirit, the Lord, the giver of life,
who proceeds from the Father and the Son,
who with the Father and the Son is worshipped and glorified,
who has spoken through the prophets.

I believe in one holy, catholic and apostolic Church.
I confess one Baptism for the forgiveness of sins
and I look for to the resurrection of the dead
and the life of the world to come. Amen.

Would you agree with this?

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I think one way to think of faith is this " why not". The feeling of fullfillment and happyness that it gives is alone worth the sacrifices. And if we are wrong? what then. If we cease to exist and humanity eventually ceaces to exist does anything we do really matter. Here is the other thing. Everybody has a faith. Being an aethiest requires faith that you are right. Otherwise you would not be an aethiest. Being agnostic requires a faith that you truly do not have the answer. At the end of the day we have no statistics or information that can tell us how likely there is to be a God. Thus assuming that there naturally isnt one is a fallacy. So if everybody has a faith then what differentiates a religious persons belief that there is a god from an aethiests belief that there is not?

 

 

 

               

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4 hours ago, HOID WANTS INSTANT NOODLES said:

Being an aethiest requires faith that you are right. Otherwise you would not be an aethiest. Being agnostic requires a faith that you truly do not have the answer. At the end of the day we have no statistics or information that can tell us how likely there is to be a God. Thus assuming that there naturally isnt one is a fallacy. So if everybody has a faith then what differentiates a religious persons belief that there is a god from an aethiests belief that there is not?

I think this is a fundamental misunderstanding of the lack of religious belief, one that religious people often repeat about atheism that is not true. Atheism is fundamentally about a lack of belief and faith, rather than anything affirmative. This is a very different dynamic. Atheism does not seek to explain anything. It is not a leap of faith like religion requires. Atheism simply rejects the idea that there are gods, period. No more, no less. Seems too far-fetched for us (it really is a truly huge claim, after all).

I think this website puts it well:

 

Quote

 

Atheism is one thing: A lack of belief in gods.

Atheism is not an affirmative belief that there is no god nor does it answer any other question about what a person believes. It is simply a rejection of the assertion that there are gods. Atheism is too often defined incorrectly as a belief system. To be clear: Atheism is not a disbelief in gods or a denial of gods; it is a lack of belief in gods.

Older dictionaries define atheism as “a belief that there is no God.” Clearly, theistic influence taints these definitions. The fact that dictionaries define Atheism as “there is no God” betrays the (mono)theistic influence. Without the (mono)theistic influence, the definition would at least read “there are no gods.”

Atheism is not a belief system nor is it a religion.

While there are some religions that are atheistic (certain sects of Buddhism, for example), that does not mean that atheism is a religion. To put it in a more humorous way: If atheism is a religion, then not collecting stamps is a hobby.

 

For another sort of example, would say if someone doesn't believe in ghosts that this is a "belief"? It's the lack of one. If you think the moon is not made of cheese, that isn't a belief system. That's just you saying, "No thanks, I'm good."

Another comment that religious people say--which you did not say here, of course, but I wanted to add to this because this is another misconception of atheism--is that atheists "worship science" or "believe in science," which is also not true because science does not require religious devotion or belief. Scientific facts don't require my worship. It is simply taking data and testing hypotheses to match that data. The great thing is that science doesn't care what I think, what you think, or what anyone thinks. They are there completely independently of what you know or think. No one "believes" in general relativity. It is just an incontrovertible fact (with some asterisks where things break down). If I studied the subject, I could learn those details as well. I don't currently, but let me tell you, there are a ton of academics trying to show Einstein is wrong, and have been since its inception. If they made a better theory--that matched the predictions of GR and predicts more, and we can verify those new predictions as accurate--they get a Nobel prize and are remembered in science forever. I don't have to believe in it--I know it works, because your GPS depends on it. Same with evolution; you can certainly see if you look with an open mind that things have a common ancestor, and you need only look to this current pandemic to see viruses and bacteria being naturally selected right now, all the time. I'm not a biologist but there's no conspiracy going on here. This stuff has stood the test of time.

One way to think about this is that religion and science go at things from a totally opposite direction. Religion starts with a premise and seeks to explain data based off this premise. Science lacks the preconceived notions and looks at the story the data says. This is the difference between seeing sea fossils on mountains and assuming it was the Flood versus a more complicated, but nonsupernatural explanation that spawned the entire science of geology, which has been pretty useful!

4 hours ago, HOID WANTS INSTANT NOODLES said:

I think one way to think of faith is this " why not". The feeling of fullfillment and happyness that it gives is alone worth the sacrifices.

I can tell you are definitely a religious person from the way you speak here. That is totally fine, of course. Certainly if you get fulfillment and happiness through religion, that's great!

But here's the thing. Nonreligious people feel exactly as fulfilled and happy, all without any god or anything. I don't mean to speak for all nonreligious people, but I can say from my friend group that god would not solve any problems we actually have. I don't have to make any sacrifices there at all! This is a false dichotomy.

Why not believe? Well, firstly, you have to pick a god, which in itself seems completely insurmountable to me. There are lots of them and I could never be certain if I'm right or wrong--that's the leap of faith I'm talking about before, which atheists don't need to do. What if I'm wrong in picking my god of choice? See, if you simply look at scientific facts, I don't have to make any faith-based choices. And if there's some god/gods out there, I can say, "hey, at least I knew these things were certainly true, to the best of our abilities and I wasn't corrupted by all this other stuff."

Secondly, I think it is very easy to argue that though religion can certainly create fulfillment and happiness for sure, people themselves have done horrendous things for religion and gods. Tremendous hate, judgment, and bloodshed throughout history. I think there are many, many reasons why people would want nothing to do with any religion for these reasons. There are a lot of reasons why people would think this is an extremely dangerous thing.

I would strongly prefer to look at the world as it is without preconceived notions, look for the facts in data, and simply treat others with kindness and respect. That's all I need. Of course, the "treat others with kindness and respect" part is always challenging and is always a quest, but I don't need any god to help me with that. That isn't a necessary requirement.

There is nothing wrong with believing there is a god though! I'd just personally say, "hmmm, that seems like the hugest assumption, seems a bit much to me." That's atheism in a nutshell.

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So something I have never understood about atheism(and feel free to enlighten me) is why anyone would chose to think we are alone. Even if you don't belive in God, why not at least hope that there is something out there?

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2 hours ago, Chaos said:

I think this is a fundamental misunderstanding of the lack of religious belief, one that religious people often repeat about atheism that is not true. Atheism is fundamentally about a lack of belief and faith, rather than anything affirmative. This is a very different dynamic. Atheism does not seek to explain anything. It is not a leap of faith like religion requires. Atheism simply rejects the idea that there are gods, period. No more, no less. Seems too far-fetched for us (it really is a truly huge claim, after all).

I think this website puts it well:

 

For another sort of example, would say if someone doesn't believe in ghosts that this is a "belief"? It's the lack of one. If you think the moon is not made of cheese, that isn't a belief system. That's just you saying, "No thanks, I'm good."

Another comment that religious people say--which you did not say here, of course, but I wanted to add to this because this is another misconception of atheism--is that atheists "worship science" or "believe in science," which is also not true because science does not require religious devotion or belief. Scientific facts don't require my worship. It is simply taking data and testing hypotheses to match that data. The great thing is that science doesn't care what I think, what you think, or what anyone thinks. They are there completely independently of what you know or think. No one "believes" in general relativity. It is just an incontrovertible fact (with some asterisks where things break down). If I studied the subject, I could learn those details as well. I don't currently, but let me tell you, there are a ton of academics trying to show Einstein is wrong, and have been since its inception. If they made a better theory--that matched the predictions of GR and predicts more, and we can verify those new predictions as accurate--they get a Nobel prize and are remembered in science forever. I don't have to believe in it--I know it works, because your GPS depends on it. Same with evolution; you can certainly see if you look with an open mind that things have a common ancestor, and you need only look to this current pandemic to see viruses and bacteria being naturally selected right now, all the time. I'm not a biologist but there's no conspiracy going on here. This stuff has stood the test of time.

One way to think about this is that religion and science go at things from a totally opposite direction. Religion starts with a premise and seeks to explain data based off this premise. Science lacks the preconceived notions and looks at the story the data says. This is the difference between seeing sea fossils on mountains and assuming it was the Flood versus a more complicated, but nonsupernatural explanation that spawned the entire science of geology, which has been pretty useful!

I can tell you are definitely a religious person from the way you speak here. That is totally fine, of course. Certainly if you get fulfillment and happiness through religion, that's great!

But here's the thing. Nonreligious people feel exactly as fulfilled and happy, all without any god or anything. I don't mean to speak for all nonreligious people, but I can say from my friend grup that god would not solve any problems we actually have. I don't have to make any sacrifices there at all! This is a false dichotomy.

Why not believe? Well, firstly, you have to pick a god, which in itself seems completely insurmountable to me. There are lots of them and I could never be certain if I'm right or wrong--that's the leap of faith I'm talking about before, which atheists don't need to do. What if I'm wrong in picking my god of choice? See, if you simply look at scientific facts, I don't have to make any faith-based choices. And if there's some god/gods out there, I can say, "hey, at least I knew these things were certainy true, to the best of our abilities and I wasn't corrupted by all this other stuff."

Secondly, I think it is very easy to argue that though religion can certainly create fulfillment and happiness for sure, people themselves have done horrendous things for religion and gods. Tremendous hate, judgment, and bloodshed throughout history. I think there are many, many reasons why people would want nothing to do with any religion for these reasons. There are a lot of reasons why people would think this is an extremely dangerous thing.

I would strongly prefer to look at the world as it is without preconceived notions, look for the facts in data, and simply treat others with kindness and respect. That's all I need. Of course, the "treat others with kindness and respect" part is always challenging and is always a quest, but I don't need any god to help me with that. That isn't a necessary requirement.

There is nothing wrong with believing there is a god though! I'd just personally say, "hmmm, that seems like the hugest assumption, seems a bit much to me." That's atheism in a nutshell.

oh gosh, i didnt realize how preachy I came off there. I didnt really mean it that way if it seemed agressive. Allow me to clarify what I was saying.

 

There either is a God or there is not. This is an easy true false statement. 

What imperical information do we have on god being real? Essentialy none for either side.

I was talking less about faith in the religious sense and more about faith as a conviction that, although you cannot prove something indesputibly. It is true.

The world runs on this kind of faith, for example, "gravity always has existed and so tomorrow when I walk outside, I will not fly"(sad windrunner noises) We believe based off of what we have learned thus far that gravity will continue to function. Almost all decisions we make require some faith that the world will continue functioning. 

When we come to religion however we are thrown into the deep end. We do not nessicarily have the repeated ability to test if god exists. We cant handle this like a toddler dropping things repeatedly to see if they still fall (I guess in terms of god that would be repeatedly dying?) As we are unable to gather information on this topic than it is no more likely that there is a god than that there isn't

 

 

 

P.S 

I am absolutley freaking out about having The Chaos actually respond to my post. I have listened to every episode of shardcast all in all that is longer than just listening to the cosmere as an audiobook

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41 minutes ago, HOID WANTS INSTANT NOODLES said:

oh gosh, i didnt realize how preachy I came off there. I didnt really mean it that way if it seemed agressive. Allow me to clarify what I was saying.

There either is a God or there is not. This is an easy true false statement. 

What imperical information do we have on god being real? Essentialy none for either side.

I was talking less about faith in the religious sense and more about faith as a conviction that, although you cannot prove something indesputibly. It is true.

The world runs on this kind of faith, for example, "gravity always has existed and so tomorrow when I walk outside, I will not fly"(sad windrunner noises) We believe based off of what we have learned thus far that gravity will continue to function. Almost all decisions we make require some faith that the world will continue functioning. 

When we come to religion however we are thrown into the deep end. We do not nessicarily have the repeated ability to test if god exists. We cant handle this like a toddler dropping things repeatedly to see if they still fall (I guess in terms of god that would be repeatedly dying?) As we are unable to gather information on this topic than it is no more likely that there is a god than that there isn't

 

P.S 

I am absolutley freaking out about having The Chaos actually respond to my post. I have listened to every episode of shardcast all in all that is longer than just listening to the cosmere as an audiobook

Nah, it's all good. This thread, understandably, is very heavy on the religious/believer spectrum (though it really seems like the forums these days skews much more religious than the Discord server, interestingly), so I hope you don't mind me correcting you there on some things about non-belief. 

You're welcome!

1 hour ago, Frustration said:

So something I have never understood about atheism(and feel free to enlighten me) is why anyone would chose to think we are alone. Even if you don't belive in God, why not at least hope that there is something out there?

I mean from my perspective, though I can understand why someone would feel comforted with wanting something out there, it's pretty much the opposite to me: why do you need something out there? This doesn't affect my day-to-day life at all. When I was briefly agnostic, I felt at best there could be an entity outside of spacetime that can watch us, and maybe set this all up, but fundamentally couldn't act. But I don't know. It doesn't practically make a difference to me. I'm definitely at a solid, "I don't care at all and it would change nothing to me." (Also helps that I think it's so unlikely that I don't even need to worry about it.)

It doesn't help that I actively think that any afterlife is inherently a cruel thing. Our lives and existence should end and that does not need to be sad thing. These two things (a god and an afterlife) tend to go hand-in-hand, and both of these are extremely strange to me.

Us being alone is empowering. We have one life. One Earth. We legitimately could be the only life in our visible universe. So we have a critical duty to the universe itself to not screw things up and make sure we can thrive. If we're just some chess pieces on some grand game between entities we can barely fathom, I feel like that duty is immeasurably lessened. Someone else will take care of it, so our actions and decisions don't have consequences. 

Like, people have been saying for centuries the end times are near. Any year now! I feel like that tendency is really damaging. You don't think of the future if the end is immediately apparent. We absolutely need to think about the future generations and the next thousand or million years of our species and make sure they live. We're all that there is. Let's make it count. 

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12 hours ago, Luckspren said:

Thanks, @Rune, @EmulatonStromenkiin, for answering all my random questions! 

This has given me a much better idea of the differences between our faiths; I'd like to try for the similarities. Here's the text of the Nicene Creed, the classic statement of the Christian faith and our doctrine of the Trinity: 

  Hide contents

I believe in one God,
the Father almighty,
maker of heaven and earth,
of all things visible and invisible.

I believe in one Lord Jesus Christ,
the Only Begotten Son of God,
born of the Father before all ages.
God from God, Light from Light,
true God from true God,
begotten, not made, being of one substance with the Father;
through him all things were made.
For us men and for our salvation
he came down from heaven,

and by the Holy Spirit was incarnate of the Virgin Mary,
and became man.

For our sake he was crucified under Pontius Pilate,
he suffered death and was buried,
and rose again on the third day
in accordance with the Scriptures.
He ascended into heaven
and is seated at the right hand of the Father.
He will come again in glory
to judge the living and the dead
and his kingdom will have no end.

I believe in the Holy Spirit, the Lord, the giver of life,
who proceeds from the Father and the Son,
who with the Father and the Son is worshipped and glorified,
who has spoken through the prophets.

I believe in one holy, catholic and apostolic Church.
I confess one Baptism for the forgiveness of sins
and I look for to the resurrection of the dead
and the life of the world to come. Amen.

Would you agree with this?

Lets see:

I believe in one God,
the Father almighty,
maker of heaven and earth,
of all things visible and invisible.   ---   yes

I believe in one Lord Jesus Christ,
the Only Begotten Son of God,
born of the Father before all ages.
God from God, Light from Light,
true God from true God,
begotten, not made, being of one substance with the Father;
through him all things were made.
For us men and for our salvation
he came down from heaven,   ---   yes? wording is kinda thick

and by the Holy Spirit was incarnate of the Virgin Mary,
and became man.   ---   no, not at all, at least I don't think so.

For our sake he was crucified under Pontius Pilate,
he suffered death and was buried,
and rose again on the third day
in accordance with the Scriptures.
He ascended into heaven
and is seated at the right hand of the Father.
He will come again in glory
to judge the living and the dead
and his kingdom will have no end.   ---   yes, essentially. 

I believe in the Holy Spirit, the Lord, the giver of life,
who proceeds from the Father and the Son,
who with the Father and the Son is worshipped and glorified,
who has spoken through the prophets.   ---   kinda. problems with wording again.

I believe in one holy, catholic and apostolic Church.   ---   not underlined portion
I confess one Baptism for the forgiveness of sins.  ---   not gonna say more on this one until I have more info, b/c wording again.
and I look for to the resurrection of the dead.   ---   yes
and the life of the world to come. Amen.   ---   yes.

note that all responses are from my opinion and interpretation of the creed, results may vary.

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