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Neither a theist nor an atheist.

untermensche

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You would take both seriously since they both convey the truth.

But in the case of a bridge, we know how bridges arise. We don't have a clue how universes arise and there is no accepted scientific explanation for how they do. There is no "better" explanation to accept. There are only opinions. That is why saying "I don't know" is just as good.

No, the difference is between working on the basis that an explanation is possible, and dismissing the question with a wave of the hand. To say that something might have been done by a magic man we know nothing about using magic methods which are incomprehensible to us is effectively just the same as saying 'I don't know, and I don't want to". Theism and agnosticism are merely different ways of asserting the same thing: 'Materialism is wrong, because God".
There is a difference between saying that this or that conception of god is ridiculous and absurd and saying I know how the universe arose.

The question is: How did this universe and therefore me get here?

The question isn't about gods.

And the only possible honest answer is; I don't know.
 

untermensche

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And the only possible honest answer is; I don't know.
"I don't know, let's find out!" or "I don't know, let's make shit up."?
When you say I don't know you are saying I don't believe these stories about gods. If you believed them, you'd know.

But just because every human story about gods is worthless that doesn't help explain how the universe and more importantly, me, got here.

I still don't know.

Just because physicists tell me all about what happened after the Big Bang, I still don't know. If they say the universe just popped into existence without any cause at all, I don't take them at their word, they have no evidence of the event or one like it, and I still don't know.
 

jonJ

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And the only possible honest answer is; I don't know.
"I don't know, let's find out!" or "I don't know, let's make shit up."?
When you say I don't know you are saying I don't believe these stories about gods. If you believed them, you'd know.

But just because every human story about gods is worthless that doesn't help explain how the universe and more importantly, me, got here.

I still don't know.

Just because physicists tell me all about what happened after the Big Bang, I still don't know. If they say the universe just popped into existence without any cause at all, I don't take them at their word, they have no evidence of the event or one like it, and I still don't know.

If believing in stories about gods told me how a universe was made, I'd be able to make a universe. That's what 'explanation' means. Unless stories about people doing things with magic tell me how to do magic, they're not explanations.
 

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If believing in stories about gods told me how a universe was made, I'd be able to make a universe. That's what 'explanation' means. Unless stories about people doing things with magic tell me how to do magic, they're not explanations.
If you don't have the ability to do something, explaining how something is done is not going to give you that ability.
 

untermensche

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And the only possible honest answer is; I don't know.
"I don't know, let's find out!" or "I don't know, let's make shit up."?
When you say I don't know you are saying I don't believe these stories about gods. If you believed them, you'd know.

But just because every human story about gods is worthless that doesn't help explain how the universe and more importantly, me, got here.

I still don't know.

Just because physicists tell me all about what happened after the Big Bang, I still don't know. If they say the universe just popped into existence without any cause at all, I don't take them at their word, they have no evidence of the event or one like it, and I still don't know.

If believing in stories about gods told me how a universe was made, I'd be able to make a universe. That's what 'explanation' means. Unless stories about people doing things with magic tell me how to do magic, they're not explanations.
I assume there is some explanation. So all I could ever say is; "I don't know".

And I don't know is I don't know.

It isn't, I know for certain this or that.
 

jonJ

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If believing in stories about gods told me how a universe was made, I'd be able to make a universe. That's what 'explanation' means. Unless stories about people doing things with magic tell me how to do magic, they're not explanations.
If you don't have the ability to do something, explaining how something is done is not going to give you that ability.

If I have the resources to do it, it is. What else does 'explain' mean?

Explaining to me how God made the universe from the materials he had on hand would give me the power to recreate the universe from those materials by doing the same things as God. If it doesn't do that, it's not an explanation.
 

Jimmy Higgins

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Based on the OP, you seem to fall squarely into the agnostic category, or as I like to call it, The Pragmatic Atheist.
the false dichotomy of atheism vs theism is like the false dichotomy of selfless vs selfish. Its all-or-nothing.
The false dichotomy of atheism v theism? That isn't a false dichotomy. Just because an question is indeterminate, doesn't mean that it isn't a yes/no question.

The middle path, on the other hand, is cooperation vs competition.
You are mistaking a childishly misunderstood view of a tenet of Buddhism with wisdom.
 

Kharakov

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If believing in stories about gods told me how a universe was made, I'd be able to make a universe. That's what 'explanation' means. Unless stories about people doing things with magic tell me how to do magic, they're not explanations.
If you don't have the ability to do something, explaining how something is done is not going to give you that ability.

If I have the resources to do it, it is. What else does 'explain' mean?
Umm, explain means telling how something is done. An explanation does not guarantee that someone will be able to do something, or that someone has the resources to do something.

Explaining to me how God made the universe from the materials he had on hand would give me the power to recreate the universe from those materials by doing the same things as God. If it doesn't do that, it's not an explanation.
What, so you want the power of God, do you? hehehe...
 

untermensche

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Explaining to me how God made the universe from the materials he had on hand would give me the power to recreate the universe from those materials by doing the same things as God. If it doesn't do that, it's not an explanation.
If I gave you a baseball could you throw a no-hitter for the Mets?
 

Tom Sawyer

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Explaining to me how God made the universe from the materials he had on hand would give me the power to recreate the universe from those materials by doing the same things as God. If it doesn't do that, it's not an explanation.
If I gave you a baseball could you throw a no-hitter for the Mets?

I could, but I'm just awesome that way.
 

jonJ

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If believing in stories about gods told me how a universe was made, I'd be able to make a universe. That's what 'explanation' means. Unless stories about people doing things with magic tell me how to do magic, they're not explanations.
If you don't have the ability to do something, explaining how something is done is not going to give you that ability.

If I have the resources to do it, it is. What else does 'explain' mean?
Umm, explain means telling how something is done. An explanation does not guarantee that someone will be able to do something, or that someone has the resources to do something.

Explaining to me how God made the universe from the materials he had on hand would give me the power to recreate the universe from those materials by doing the same things as God. If it doesn't do that, it's not an explanation.
What, so you want the power of God, do you? hehehe...

If you tell me how to cook a cheesecake in Chinese, it's not an explanation, because I don't speak Chinese.
If you tell me how to do something using magic, and don't tell me how to do magic, it's not an explanation.

Once the creation of the universe by God has been explained to me, then given the same powers and resources as God, I can re-create the universe. If I can't do that, then it wasn't an explanation, merely an attribution.
 

jonJ

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Explaining to me how God made the universe from the materials he had on hand would give me the power to recreate the universe from those materials by doing the same things as God. If it doesn't do that, it's not an explanation.
If I gave you a baseball could you throw a no-hitter for the Mets?

If you adequately explained how it was done, and gave me the resources to do it, yes.
 

untermensche

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Explaining to me how God made the universe from the materials he had on hand would give me the power to recreate the universe from those materials by doing the same things as God. If it doesn't do that, it's not an explanation.
If I gave you a baseball could you throw a no-hitter for the Mets?
If you adequately explained how it was done, and gave me the resources to do it, yes.
The resources are the baseball.

That's all any other pitcher uses.

And of course there are many people who could explain the proper way to pitch a baseball.

Is that all it takes?
 

Kharakov

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Once the creation of the universe by God has been explained to me, then given the same powers and resources as God, I can re-create the universe.
Ohh, but that's different then simply getting an explanation. Totally different. You kept on arguing that an explanation would allow you to do something, and I had to explain that without the power to do what was explained, you couldn't do it.

In fact, my explanation, if you understand it, should teach you that you cannot do what you do not have the power to do, even if you are told how to do it.

- - - Updated - - -

If I gave you a baseball could you throw a no-hitter for the Mets?
If you adequately explained how it was done, and gave me the resources to do it, yes.
The resources are the baseball.

That's all any other pitcher uses.

And of course there are many people who could explain the proper way to pitch a baseball.

Is that all it takes?

Pretty sure he's hinting around at you providing him with some juice. Which, BTW, if you have, I'll try.
 

jonJ

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Explaining to me how God made the universe from the materials he had on hand would give me the power to recreate the universe from those materials by doing the same things as God. If it doesn't do that, it's not an explanation.
If I gave you a baseball could you throw a no-hitter for the Mets?
If you adequately explained how it was done, and gave me the resources to do it, yes.
The resources are the baseball.

That's all any other pitcher uses.

And of course there are many people who could explain the proper way to pitch a baseball.

Is that all it takes?

The pitcher has muscles that have been developed in a certain way. He has connections in his brain which have developed over many years of practice. He has a high degree of familiarity with the conditions in which he will pitch, and acquired skills in observing and predicting the behaviour of the batter. All of which means that explaining how to throw a no-hitter for the Mets is not a trivial job, even if you knew how to do it. It might take years, like 'explaining' how to be a successful brain surgeon. But if you can explain it adequately, and if I have the time and the neural capacity and the muscular potential, then yes, I can do it, given more or less the same amount of high-level practice. If I can't do it, given the same resources as someone who can, then you haven't explained it successfully.

But 'explaining the proper way to pitch a baseball' is not the same as 'explaining how to throw a no-hitter for the Mets', and I don't know anyone who would be silly enough to think it was.
 

untermensche

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Explaining to me how God made the universe from the materials he had on hand would give me the power to recreate the universe from those materials by doing the same things as God. If it doesn't do that, it's not an explanation.
If I gave you a baseball could you throw a no-hitter for the Mets?
If you adequately explained how it was done, and gave me the resources to do it, yes.
The resources are the baseball.

That's all any other pitcher uses.

And of course there are many people who could explain the proper way to pitch a baseball.

Is that all it takes?

The pitcher has muscles that have been developed in a certain way. He has connections in his brain which have developed over many years of practice. He has a high degree of familiarity with the conditions in which he will pitch, and acquired skills in observing and predicting the behaviour of the batter. All of which means that explaining how to throw a no-hitter for the Mets is not a trivial job, even if you knew how to do it. It might take years, like 'explaining' how to be a successful brain surgeon. But if you can explain it adequately, and if I have the time and the neural capacity and the muscular potential, then yes, I can do it, given more or less the same amount of high-level practice. If I can't do it, given the same resources as someone who can, then you haven't explained it successfully.

But 'explaining the proper way to pitch a baseball' is not the same as 'explaining how to throw a no-hitter for the Mets', and I don't know anyone who would be silly enough to think it was.
You obviously want more than an explanation and resources.

Your position is absurd.
 

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And here we have another one who doesn't understand the meaning of the word atheism (or agnosticism for that matter).

Atheist do not discount the possibility of Creation with a capital t. We don't discount the possibility that there is some god; we just don't *believe* there is. A lack of belief in the existence of something is NOT the same as an active belief in its non-existence. So if you, like us, don't believe in a god, but keep open the possibility that some kind of god MAY exist, then congratulations... you're an atheist.

Agnostics are NOT the middle road between theism and atheism. An agnostic believes that it is absolutely *impossible* to know one way or the other whether god exists or not. However, an agnostic is still either an atheist or a theist; they still either believe or do not believe, they just tack on the added qualifier that they think it's impossible to *know with certainty*.

Greetings dystopian,

Thank you for highlighting,though must say.. it is similar to preaching to the converted. Perhaps you misunderstood that I did understand the meanings of Atheism and Agnosticism, which you have kindly put the effort into explaining. Apologies if from my little previous post thats what it seemed. Anyway I am actually the Agnostic (if you will) that believes (and not maybe ) there is some sort of level of 'Existence by Intention'. While believing at the same time that we are NOT capable to find such proof.This is where I see the impossible.
 

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As a follower of the middle path I consider myself to be neither a theist nor an atheist.

No I'm not agnostic either.

Sometimes the answer to the question is that it's the wrong question to be asking.

Whats north of the North Pole? Whats 1/0? Have you stopped beating your wife?

What is a married bachelor? The same thing as someone who is neither theist nor atheist.

There are those among us who have a belief system including supernatural beings sometimes called gods. Some among these, in turn, hold that one or more of these has particular characteristics including, often, names. Those who believe that particular gods with particular names are distinguished from deists. These people are called theists. Those who do not so believe are atheists -- simply the opposite of theists.

I, myself, believe that the best answer is "I don't know." This is a reasoned conclusion and applies as well to others.

We actually see the past. The moon is not there now. It was there when the light from the sun bounced off it. We see Alpha Centauri as it was two years ago. We see the past and only the past. But there is a limit to how far we can see. There is a wall. The last scattering surface which we see as cosmic microwave background radiation. Beyond that we can only peer with logic, reason and math. We have reached the realm of could-have-been. And no one can ever know in any sense what preceded that (if "precede" even makes sense like asking what is north of the North Pole). We are on a one-way trip through spacetime. What drifts beyond the horizon is never to be seen again.

Literally anything can occupy that realm "before." However, our math can peer beyond to explain how it must have been to find that wall. We can peer with that math down to 1 Planck time. And then math cannot handle any equation with the idea "over time" when time equals zero. The microscope of math we have been peering with has lost focus. So the realm of could-have-been has shrunk to a size so small a proton is millions of times as large. But it is still there.

How could anyone know if there were a god there. How could anyone know that it is not a computer simulating a universe. Could it be that empty spacetime got bored? Could it be that mind preceded matter? Could it be that there is a mirror reality where time runs the other way from zero? We would "see" if we could see beyond the horizon that they are shrinking toward us. To them, of course, time flows away from zero and it is we who are shrinking. There might be no time zero. The time-line is then an open interval. There's always room "before" in the same sense that for each moment there is room in spacetime "after." Put anything you want in there. Speculate at will. YMMV
 
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so have you stopped beating your wife? Yes or no?
Or are you agnostic about it?

or are you a wife beater that doesn't beat his wife?

it's got to be one of those. There aren't any other possibilities. :)
 

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so have you stopped beating your wife? Yes or no?
Or are you agnostic about it?

or are you a wife beater that doesn't beat his wife?

it's got to be one of those. There aren't any other possibilities. :)
Maybe i missed it, did you ever try to explain or identify what 'the middle path' would be?
 

George S

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so have you stopped beating your wife? Yes or no?
Or are you agnostic about it?
Not "yes," not "no," not "agnostic," and not...
or are you a wife beater that doesn't beat his wife?

it's got to be one of those. There aren't any other possibilities. :)

Oh, I see, a smiley. A joke. Ha. Ha.

You have a point here?
 

George S

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Jokes often take advantage of a word having two meanings. Agnostic, informally, means I have not made up my mind. Agnostic in formal Philosophy means denial of the possibility of gnosis (Greek for knowledge). In one context, gnostic revelation by any god. In another context the possibility of any being being omniscient.

Obviously the question is not directly answered but the presupposition of the question (you have beaten your wife in the past) is counter-attacked. "Prove I have previously beaten my wife, which I have not, and then I will answer your question. Until then your question is meaningless."
 

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so have you stopped beating your wife? Yes or no?
Or are you agnostic about it?

or are you a wife beater that doesn't beat his wife?

it's got to be one of those. There aren't any other possibilities. :)

In what way is this example related to, "The Christian God is defined as a 6,000 year old creater of the universe that wears a white hat and long white beard. He imbued his son with superpowers, such as walking on water and raising the dead - including his own dead body. This God is all-powerful, all-good, and all-knowing (despite the observation of the existance of evil). There is a 24(?) volume set of books that richly defines (although contradictorly) this character. Do you beleve this well-defined entity exists, yes or no?"

Also, "The gbledegook God of blah is a married bachelor that takes the physical shape of a square circle. Do you beleve gbledegook exist, yes or no?"

We can repeat this excercise for every defined god ever written or spoken about. If your answer is "No" to ALL of them. Then you are an Atheist. You may be a "Weak Atheist" or a "Strong Atheist"... but you are at the very least, a Weak Atheist.

Don't let the work "Weak" bother you... (nor the word Atheist - as the majority of people on the planet are, but are afraid of the label - much like you). It mearly means that you lack belief (or Don't beleive) in any god that has been sufficiently described (with an open mind to any new / ad hoc / definition of one, sufficeint to make an existance claim on).

Does this clear up your confusion about what Atheism is about?

I guess I just could have asked you the name of the God you beleive in, and if you cannot name one, then you are a Weak Atheist until you claim that no creator God can exist (that is, the whole god-concept is a paradox / cannot exist) - and then you are a Strong Atheist.

I don't beleive in Agnostism... the stance that one CANNOT know. Given a definition, you CAN know.
 

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Look, it's not that I believe in God, I just don't not believe in God.

That is weak atheism.

I don't believe in any theos (god with a name and god-properties). I have diligently searched about 50 years now.
I don't believe there can be no god.
I do believe that no one can know about the supernatural. All we have access to is the natural. If natural laws could be suspended locally it is not repeatable in any testable experiment. For example, prayer studies show that prayer is not effective. (Although those who knew they were being prayed-for did less well than those who were not and also worse than those who didn't know. [The psychology is that if you know you are being prayed-for you must be serious, and the body reacts accordingly.])

Neither you nor I nor anyone can know the negative. That is, the statement that there is no god is strong atheism. Weak atheists just don't know. Why? No credible evidence.
 

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My view is that atheism is just the flip side of theism.


A theist declares a god exists and demands to know what you believe. If you engage you are then drawn into a duality and are defined by the theist.


True intellectual freedom begins with'neither an atheist nor a theist be'.


Reject the question itself. I reject both atheism and theism as equally absurd arguments. What has to be resisted is the encroachment of religion into science and other public aspects of society like education ad the legal system.


If you mean Buddha's middle way it doesnot apply. The middle way is a moral code. If you take Buddhism as religion it is a religious code. No sex outside of marriage. No intoxicating substances. Honesty in speech an action. And so on.


The middle way has a lot in common withthe Christian moralities of ordinary social behavior.
 

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Look, it's not that I believe in God, I just don't not believe in God.
What is with the singular term and the capitalization? Even if there is god(s), doesn't have to be a personal one that would care about capitalization.
 

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No, it's gibberish. For any given proposition, you either believe it or you don't.

It's not just gibberish. It's gibberish that people expect to receive praise for spouting.

Self contradictory perhaps. It can be interpreted as non-belief in god and it is not final. Or Grandi series-like belief and non-belief alternate quite quickly, quickly enough that the writer of the first half and second half had different states of mind.

I'm pushing to recover, aren't I. :(
 

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you are demanding a yes or no answer to a question that doesn't have a yes or no answer.
the concept of God like the concept of ni--er is too poorly defined

if I asked you whether black people exist then the answer would be yes or no.

the false dichotomy of atheism vs theism is like the false dichotomy of selfless vs selfish. Its all-or-nothing.

The middle path, on the other hand, is cooperation vs competition.

Actually, the question of whether or not God exists is a yes or no question. He's either a real being or he's not. .
Only if you're reacting against some stupid judeo christian model.
I like Joseph Campbells idea that all concepts of god are metaphors. The whole idea of god being a person is just a metaphor.
Once you rally against that idea you give some credence to the whole stupid idea.
Forget the stupid christians jews and moslems..what the fuck would they know about god? they are idiots, they think god is a person.

IMHO we should or could stop letting christians jews and moslems define the rules.

Why should we let them define the categories and then react against that??
 

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Why should we let them define the categories and then react against that??
Well, whatever your definition of what collection of powers and intentions would qualify as a 'god,' it either exists solely as one or more thoughts in human brains, or it exists independently of the humans thinking about it, right?
How's this: DO you believe that god*& would continue to exist if all humanity perished?

If the answer to that is not either yes or no, what else is there?





*plural or singular
&for whatever definition you would use this label to identify
 

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What is with the singular term and the capitalization? Even if there is god(s), doesn't have to be a personal one that would care about capitalization.

Eh... I was using "God" like a name/title and writing in English.
Oh.
I thought you were tugging no one in particular's leg, in that for all his denials, he capitalizes and singularizes 'God,' probably because that's how he was raised by society to use it.
 

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Actually, the question of whether or not God exists is a yes or no question. He's either a real being or he's not. .
Only if you're reacting against some stupid judeo christian model.
I like Joseph Campbells idea that all concepts of god are metaphors. The whole idea of god being a person is just a metaphor.
Once you rally against that idea you give some credence to the whole stupid idea.
Forget the stupid christians jews and moslems..what the fuck would they know about god? they are idiots, they think god is a person.

IMHO we should or could stop letting christians jews and moslems define the rules.

Why should we let them define the categories and then react against that??

It seems like some people have a really hard time coming to terms with the fact they don't believe in God. They seem to know and understand they don't believe in God, but they haven't really figured out that's not a deficiency. They've been trained to hold to that "Everyone needs to have faith in something" kind of bullshit, and they've got the label that says "God" on it, but no God to stick it on and they think they've got to find something to put that label on, because everyone needs something to act as their god.

No. They really don't.

If you don't want to swallow the Judeo-Christian-Muslim bullshit, then don't swallow it. If you don't believe in God then don't believe in God. You don't need to pretend "God" actually refers to some real thing. The idea that you need to believe in some kind of god even if its not really a god is as much a lie as any particular god is.
 

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Basic Beliefs
antitheist anarchist
I can believe in an imaginary being. Can I not? If not, then just who answers the questions you ask of yourself.

You are. And being human are self-aware. Thou Art.

At least I suppose so. Unless you are a computer, in which case the pronoun shifts to "it."

Judeo-Christian ethic is all about sin and DNA. Apparently sin is transmitted down genetic lines just as genes are. A gene for sin, imagine that! Let us imagine, further, a female born without any of the many genes for sin. She has a sinless son! Jesus! You believe that my father's sin is my sin? You believe my mother's sin is my sin, too? Is that not the very definition of prejudice? Pre-judgement based on factors attributable to chance, not choice.
 
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