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Kevin Bonham
15-12-2008, 10:52 PM
This thread is for people to explain the beliefs and attitudes towards values of their particular strand of non-theistic belief.

This thread is not to be elevated into the usual arguments or debate into which is right or wrong!!!!!!!!

(I think Cameron's thread is a good idea so long as it has a counterpart! I will post my own little credo thingy tomorrow most likely.)

Rincewind
15-12-2008, 11:27 PM
The is off the cuff but...

My position is one of religious skepticism, in that I believe the claims of religion should be scrutinised with the same for of cold objectivity as any other claim. My own assessment of such scrutiny is that religious claims are often very mistaken, especially in the area of creation mythologies where the major world religions claims are generally incompatible (often incompatibilities exist between two branches of the one broad faith) and none should be treated with any more reverence or respect that any other.

Philosophically I lean more towards evidentialism than skepticism where I have a belief that the scientific method has been shown by strong inductive process to be a robust way to acquire new knowledge and that is my appeal to avoid the problem of establishing a foundation for assessing what constitutes evidence.

Regarding the issue that science can only address the material realm I would say the material realm is the only one that has any reasonable evidence for existing or being relevant. I certainly reject the idea that there is a mind external to the physical processes of the brain (dualism) and hence the dogma of an immortal soul is something I find just as superstitious as a belief in leprechauns.

I should stress that I find the universe an incredibly interesting an inspiring place and expanding mankind's understanding of it is a worthy goal. This include knowledge of abstract systems such as mathematics where some very interesting things seem to be going on.

Kevin Bonham
16-12-2008, 11:30 PM
My own credo thingy would be better called a dis-credo because my own belief system consists largely of disbeliefs.

In the specific field of non-theism I was what I consider a typical atheist (holding that the existence of God is unsubstantiated and very unlikely) for a long time. At some point I started asking questions about the meaning of the second word in the claim "God exists" that led me to the view that the claim is actually incoherent as well as false. At this point I would probably have been excommunicated from atheism for giving the side a bad name by being too extreme, except that atheism isn't organised enough to excommunicate anything.

In my late teens I used to follow a fairly common atheist path of arguing that Jesus was a pretty good guy politically and ethically speaking if you ignore the spritualist stuff and the bad things done by his followers. Following changes in my values from my early 20s onwards (principally motivated by the realisation that reason does not require one to have any particular set thereof) I ceased to hold this view and I now regard Jesus as his era's loose analogue of a modern-day cult political activist.

My view concerning values is that it is up to each individual to decide their own as a matter of subjective preference (doubtless influenced by their own life history), and that all objective morality systems are objectively false. Therefore my values are not generated by my non-theistic beliefs, but I do strongly oppose the kind of impositionism found in some theistic moralities; in the absence of a religious reason to do so it is hard to justify and easy to oppose actions that force the behaviour of some while generating no benefit to anybody else.

I consider the idea of an objective meaning in life to be another of the spooks thrown up by certain philosophers but not corresponding to anything real; meaning is typically something that a person either experiences subjectively or they don't, and that, to me, is available in a very great range of ways.

Desmond
17-12-2008, 08:51 AM
I don't really have a belief system. I think that is kind of the point...

We are born, we live for some years, we die. End of story. No afterlife, no second chance. It is what it is.

As for the beginning of the universe, I do not believe in the beginning. Possibly a beginning, i.e. transformation of the universe from one state to another through something like a big bang. I doubt it can be known, in the same way a butterfly cannot see its former self the caterpillar in the mirror.

Rincewind
17-12-2008, 10:26 AM
I doubt it can be known, in the same way a butterfly cannot see its former self the caterpillar in the mirror.

A butterfly contains all the genetic information necessary to create a caterpillar. ;)

MichaelBaron
17-12-2008, 10:36 AM
I never doubt existence of God as i am very sure that he (or she) exists. I do not think there can be any proof of God's existance/non-existance - we are supposed to be able to feel his presence. I simply feel that there is God and i do not require any proof. I find it hillarious when people (usually those with poor scientific record..but pretending to be able to analyze everything and turn it into a 3-authored research paper) approach Faith in the same way they approach Chemistry or Physics. To me, the very essence of Faith is its intangibility.

On the other hand, I do not feel i require middlemen between myself and God. Thats why i do not need a priest to pass my confessions and requests. I can do so directly!

Rincewind
17-12-2008, 10:38 AM
I never doubt existence of God as i am very sure that he (or she) exists.

I think you have posted in the wrong thread. The god bothers are here (http://www.chesschat.org/showthread.php?t=9208).

pappubahry
19-12-2008, 10:22 AM
I call myself a weak atheist. I don't believe that God exists, but I'm intrigued enough by the fine-tuning argument not to dismiss the possibility out of hand. In practice it means that any time I get involved in an argument with religious people, I appear strongly atheist, since I definitely don't believe in an interventionist God.

Mokum
05-01-2009, 06:32 PM
I would like to call myself a humanist rather than atheist, as the latter is only a negative term explaining what I do not belief in. In fact, I once saw my position best described as a 'theological non-cognivitist', which means that I don't consider the belief in a God in any form something that's worth arguing about, the idea is meaningless. Exactly like the idea of the tooth fairy, Santa Claus, or carrying an undetectable pineapple on your head. Unfortunately so many in our modern society still do subscribe to some belief system, and it plays such an important part in every day life, that I feel I am almost a 'forced' atheist, having to argue positions that shouldn't need arguing. If that sounds radical, maybe so, and so be it. I like to be seen as a humanist, which is a positive statement, because I love my life, I think it is wonderful and amazing, and its worth trying to make the world become a better place so everyone can share in the joy of just living, learning and watching their children be happy and grow up. We have a long way to go for that to happen.

morebeer
06-01-2009, 07:57 AM
"Metaphysics is as elaborate a waste of human intelligence as you can find outside an advertising agency" - Morebeer (Apologies to Raymond Chandler)

Rincewind
06-01-2009, 02:27 PM
"Metaphysics is as elaborate a waste of human intelligence as you can find outside an advertising agency" - Morebeer (Apologies to Raymond Chandler)

From Greg, the stop sign! (TISM)


The rich kid becomes a junkie
The poor kid an advertiser
What a tragic waste of potential -
Being a junkie's not so good either.

morebeer
06-01-2009, 02:32 PM
From Greg, the stop sign! (TISM)


The rich kid becomes a junkie
The poor kid an advertiser
What a tragic waste of potential -
Being a junkie's not so good either.

Just as long as he does not defecate on your face

Bruce Oates
12-01-2009, 11:43 AM
Non-theist sounds more politically correct than athiest, have the book "The God Delusion" by Richard Dawkins & find him more plausible than the guy who
writes the religious column in our "Chronicle".
Mums tend to push religion, mine tried to give me an appointment with god every sunday, but even as a child I thought it a waste of valuable play time.

I do believe scientists when they say one day they will be able to recreate
evolution, perhaps there will be a "God Award". A GA more prestigious than GM :)

Rincewind
12-01-2009, 02:30 PM
I do believe scientists when they say one day they will be able to recreate
evolution, perhaps there will be a "God Award". A GA more prestigious than GM :)

Reminds me of the Steve Martin film The Man with Two Brains (I think) where he plays your typical mad scientist and in one scene he is accused of "playing God". He retorts, "Well, somebody has to!"

On a slightly related note I noticed on the news last week that there has been some humanist/atheist advertising on English buses. The slogan is

There's probably no God - Now stop worrying and enjoy your life.

In the report of the story they mentioned that similar campaigns have run in other countries including Spain and Italy but on in Australia did not get off the ground. The details of the failing of this campaign was not clear. But apparently the advertising company APN Outdoor rejected the slogans "atheism celebrate reason" or "atheism - sleep in on Sunday mornings". Apparently there was also a kerfuffle with a similar campaign in Tasmania which was rejected by the state-owned Metro bus company.

An interesting website of http://www.thereprobablyisnt.com/ which has some news on the English bus campaign among other things.

Kevin Bonham
12-01-2009, 04:58 PM
On a slightly related note I noticed on the news last week that there has been some humanist/atheist advertising on English buses. The slogan is

There's probably no God - Now stop worrying and enjoy your life.

In the report of the story they mentioned that similar campaigns have run in other countries including Spain and Italy but on in Australia did not get off the ground. The details of the failing of this campaign was not clear. But apparently the advertising company APN Outdoor rejected the slogans "atheism – celebrate reason" or "atheism - sleep in on Sunday mornings". Apparently there was also a kerfuffle with a similar campaign in Tasmania which was rejected by the state-owned Metro bus company.

Yep; there is a thread on all this here (http://chesschat.org/showthread.php?t=9109).

Bruce Oates
22-01-2009, 04:25 PM
Thanks for the welcome Kevin and this thread is a very interesting one.

I grew up with a very strong interest in animals & nature & being raised
in the country gained a very practical insight into their instincts & behavior.
I made up my mind quite early that if a god created such a carnage where
creatures have to eat each other to survive & commit such pain & cruelty
doing it then he was certifiable.
I decided it had to have another explanation & evolution seemed the right fit.

I cannot accept the supernatural, there is a tidy sum of money offered by
the sceptics society for dillusionists with all sorts of special hocus but it
has yet to be claimed.

The beginning of matter in the universe still defies comprehension as something out
of nothing & we will most likely never find an answer before we revert back to stardust.

antichrist
24-01-2009, 10:02 AM
Thanks for the welcome Kevin and this thread is a very interesting one.

I grew up with a very strong interest in animals & nature & being raised
in the country gained a very practical insight into their instincts & behavior.
I made up my mind quite early that if a god created such a carnage where
creatures have to eat each other to survive & commit such pain & cruelty
doing it then he was certifiable.
I decided it had to have another explanation & evolution seemed the right fit.

I cannot accept the supernatural, there is a tidy sum of money offered by
the sceptics society for dillusionists with all sorts of special hocus but it
has yet to be claimed.

The beginning of matter in the universe still defies comprehension as something out
of nothing & we will most likely never find an answer before we revert back to stardust.

And the important thing is that it is not important that we find out such things. My grannie tuned her trannie to the Catholic Churches, but only once a week, except when the lightning was striking, lucky her antenna did not get struck. A little bit of anything (except nukes) does not hurt much, but she never tried to con anyone into it. Kept it to her self she did - no education did she, could not sign her name in any language, but she was not ignorant and fanatic enough to launch a campaign like some quite intelligent Creationists have, and their lying and misrepresentation all the way makes them immoralist.

Once only needs commonsense, wisdom and moderation on these matters. Not being a smart arse - ie smart coz has a education but arse coz only pushes shit.