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Does God Exist? No.

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17th Sep 2009, 18:58  

Caine says:

I'm another No.

17th Sep 2009, 19:06

crickson says:

There isn't an option for "Probably not"? The Atheist bus project people will be unhappy!

The Guardian has has a good run of posts from Adam Rutherford on Alpha.

http://www.guardian.co.uk/profile/adamrutherford

I actually attended an alpha course a couple of years ago and Adam Rutherford's experiences closely mirrored my own.

17th Sep 2009, 19:08

billion says:

I pass this every day on the way to work. most unsatisfactory options. can anyone spot the bias...?

*edit: crickson you probably know this already, but it was the alpha course that inspired the rather silly athiest bus campaign in the first place. the campaign led to even sillier counter-bus advertising from the religious side.

17th Sep 2009, 19:10

Twiglet says:

But of course! Carlos Santana is God. BS argues for Richie Blackmore and not half an hour ago I was convinced that Elvis Costello was in fact the omnipotent one.

As I've said before we live in a pantheistic rock god universe. Why should there be only one..?

17th Sep 2009, 19:22

SLG says:

Pantheism Rocks.....................ha ha ha ha ha ha ahahhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh

17th Sep 2009, 21:50

bronxelf says:

billion- how could one *miss* the bias?

Feh.

17th Sep 2009, 21:53

billion says:

b'elf - I was being a tad ironic, as usual...

17th Sep 2009, 22:06

afternoon says:

GOD IS DEAD.

17th Sep 2009, 23:18

SLG says:

Nietzsche, Nietzsche, Nietzsche...........
nur,nur,nur, nur, nuuuuuuur nur!

17th Sep 2009, 23:28

bronxelf says:

billion- the sad part is I can think of a lot of people who would claim there's no bias because there's both a yes and a no on the board.

18th Sep 2009, 00:37

billion says:

I think the question's wrong.

18th Sep 2009, 12:50

bronxelf says:

What do you think the question should be?

18th Sep 2009, 12:51

billion says:

clearly the question on the poster is unanswerable, because no-one knows. more sensible questions to ask, which might inspire more interesting debate would be:

why would you think a god exists?

what do "belief", "god", and "exist" mean?

does unwavering belief in god adversely affect your reasoning?

why are gods so central to religions?

why does religion inspire so much conflict?

etc...

18th Sep 2009, 13:04

bronxelf says:

All of those are certainly more interesting questions. I think though that the people who put up the billboard aren't interested in real questions or interesting debate.

Which is too bad, really.

18th Sep 2009, 13:14

jc1000000 says:

God does exist because if he didnt exist, who would hear the trees falling in the forest?

18th Sep 2009, 14:24

billion says:

jc - most other animals have receptors that would be able to detect falling trees!

18th Sep 2009, 14:39

jc1000000 says:

Yep, you've pretty much countered the Berkeley argument by invoking all the little animals - it's the funniest proof of God argument ever - you kinda have to admire it.

Excpet he'd probably argue that all the little animals are God too... his eyes and ears to hear the falling trees and therefore percieve his existence, the perfect creation that he is :)

18th Sep 2009, 15:23

billion says:

hehe :)

I was actually pointing to the opposite of that argument - that without humans, god and religion wouldn't exist, because human brains are the only place where god (the concept, at least) definitely resides. "all the little animals" would still be able to hear the falling trees, but wouldn't bother themselves with the question of whether god exists, until their brains had evolved sufficiently to do so. and then they'd start arguing.

18th Sep 2009, 15:48

taniwha says:

Sure, humans are reflexive and animals aren't and so the concept of God probably does require a brain of a certain size or type. It doesn't dismiss the assertion by many that they experience the presence of God in a palpable and visceral fashion.

18th Sep 2009, 16:35

SLG says:

I love the word visceral. I'm with billion on this one.

18th Sep 2009, 16:39

billion says:

if I ever feel the presence of god I expect nothing less than a visceral experience, else I'll be asking for my money back. but how could I know if it was really god I was in the presence of? and what if it turned out to be the wrong god, like shiva or thor?

18th Sep 2009, 16:47

Caine says:

Billion, the problem of the 'wrong god' never comes up because the god people manufacture is *always* a reflection of the person. Their god always has their morals, likes and dislikes and has the same opinions on matters as they do.

“I contend that we are both atheists. I just believe in one fewer god than you do. When you understand why you dismiss all the other possible gods, you will understand why I dismiss yours.” -- Stephen F. Roberts

18th Sep 2009, 17:04

taniwha says:

Caine - I'm not sure that I agree with you there. Crises of faith or even the difficulties believers have with religion seem to arise out of encounters with a God who appears to have morals, values and behaviours that are quite different. Spong's work deals with this idea in a pretty thought provoking way.

The Roberts' quote is wonderful though. Very challenging proposition. I'm not sure that it necessarily leads to atheism though. It could equally lead towards an expanded conception of God.

18th Sep 2009, 17:25

afternoon says:

What would make me really happy was if this picture, and the ensuing debate, were to make it to the top of Google for the phrase "Does God Exist?"

Of course it will never happen. But if it were done I would really be jolly happy indeed.

18th Sep 2009, 17:49

GOD says:

Of course I bloody exist, and if you don't start groveling you will find you have a nasty case of piles.

How would that be for evidence, infidels.

18th Sep 2009, 17:51

nige says:

Judging by God's comment I think you're well on the way, afternoon. heheh.

18th Sep 2009, 18:11

Caine says:

Taniwha, I'd agree if we were talking only about people who are unafraid to think. There are a great many religious people here who put very little value on thinking, and even less on knowledge and education. Thinking, knowledge and education can lead to questioning religion and god, and is viewed to be a tactic of the devil. There was a recent write up in about the sin and vice of curiosity: http://fish.blogs.nytimes.com/2009/09/14/does-curiosity-kill-more-than-the-cat/?ref=global-home
It's fairly mild in comparison to much of what is preached here in the States, such as the guy who routinely preaches prayer for the death of our president; but the insidious message is quite plain - thinking is a bad thing.

18th Sep 2009, 19:28

SLG says:

this is what I have missed on Moblog................... a good juicy, philosophical debate. Course that requires thnking you naughty people.

18th Sep 2009, 20:22

billion says:

caine - the bias apparent in the above poster, and the zeal of the people you describe, is surely one of the big problems with religion - it is so often in the hands of people who will go to extreme lengths to prove or disprove its validity. I'm sure you know what I mean by extreme lengths. it's rare to hear a sensible argument on the subject of religion without people resorting to haughtiness and verbosity. I wonder why this is? why does god matter so much to people when his existence can neither be proved nor disproved?

18th Sep 2009, 20:55

SLG says:

Perhaps because those that want to believe just cant accept the answer................................ whatever it is!

18th Sep 2009, 20:57

Caine says:

Billion, it's a real problem here - people who want a theocracy in place; end-timers who want to "help" the rapture take place (this involves a nasty war); people fighting constantly to bar evolution from being taught in school, frothing at the mouth about the "homosexual agenda", etc. Over 40% of Americans don't believe in evolution and waaay too many idiots seem to think Prez Obama is the antichrist.

Quite honestly, I don't care what people want to believe or do believe; I just wish they would keep it where it belongs - at home and at their church. As for the defensiveness which borders on the insane? Good question - apparently, god needs much defending. And much help. Can't seem to do much on its/his/her own these days.

Recently, a secular organization put an ad in um, Iowa (I think) which said "Don't believe in God? You're not alone" with an url at the bottom. That's it. The furor over it was nuts. The billboard company took the ad down, a lawsuit had to be threatened, the ad went back up. The ad was also placed on a couple of buses. Then there was a huge story about a bus driver who was suspended because she refused to drive a bus with that ad. She was "standing up for god!" She returned to work and stated that if she got "that" bus again, she'd refuse to drive. This merited many articles in papers all over. This stuff is daily fare.

18th Sep 2009, 21:39

Caine says:

Oh, and this is an interesting interview to watch (video) http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/22425001/vp/32886436#32886436|336988

Frank Schaeffer with Rachel Maddow. Schaeffer is a conservative christian himself; his father was primarily responsible for the rise of the christian right in this country. He bears quite a bit of responsibility himself. He's now trying to undo some of that damage, but it's too little too late. The picture he gives of what's going on in this country is accurate, and altogether chilling. However, we live with this crap every single day, so it tends to lose its impact a bit.

18th Sep 2009, 22:08

billion says:

caine, I can empathise - I hear about these things from the american media and yet they seem so unreal, it must be tough being caught in the middle of it all.

and yes, a similar bus story occurred in london recently - a driver refused to drive a bus with the atheist bus campaign advert on it, which led to a bit of a media ripple. talking of buses, a friend of mine was on the london bus that was blown up by islamic extremists in '05 (she survived).

I think a lot more work needs to be put into understanding the psychology of religious belief. any thoughts?

18th Sep 2009, 23:55

Caine says:

Oh, yeah, plenty of thoughts. It's really not that difficult to understand the psychology or POV of religion and those who believe in it, whether that belief is cultural, mild or fervent. Better people than me have written plenty on the subject. *I* can understand it, *you* can understand it - the problem lies with those who believe - they have no wish to understand outside a proscribed precept of rules and a way of thought.

To me, a fundamentalist is a fundamentalist, full stop. However, if an attempt is made to point this out to a fundamentalist, it all comes down to something along these lines: "No, it's not the same at all! I'm a [insert religious identity here] and they are [insert rival religious identity here]! My god is the right god, theirs is wrong!" blah, blah, blah, blah blah.

19th Sep 2009, 00:08

billion says:

hmm... I can't think of any kind of fundamentalism that's good, so let's put that to the side. one thing I'd mention is that it's certainly not clear whether either religion or atheism make one a better person. for every good christian there's a bad athiest, and vice versa.

19th Sep 2009, 00:54

Caine says:

Oh, I don't know. In my experience, atheists tend to be on the more ethical side of life; but that's anecdotal, which doesn't count for much. I don't go ahead and do shit I know is wrong because ol' sky daddy will forgive me; I'm aware that it is this life that counts, not a mythical worshipfest after I'm dead. I'm very aware I'm accountable and responsible for the things I do, and all the atheists I know are the same. I know a whole lot of them too. Still anecdotal though. ;) Basically, I think using your brain and thinking critically often does lead to one being a 'better' person, for a given value of 'better' - that's a tricky word, because there needs to be agreement as to what it constitutes.

19th Sep 2009, 01:02

Jonester says:

Hey I was in the 'NO' camp until I saw Gods comments.

19th Sep 2009, 05:40

Abbie Frog says:

I am not sure whether god is real or not because loads of people say he is and some people say he isn't real! Over all the years scientist's have been trying to see if god really real!

20th Sep 2009, 10:27

Anonymous says:

Isn't it funny how simple it is for people to
trash God and then wonder why the world's going
to hell.

22nd Sep 2009, 10:28

afternoon says:

The world is not going to hell. That's simply a falsehood, "good ole days" misty-eyed romanticism.

22nd Sep 2009, 12:30

Rich says:

Are you slagging off the lovely, lovely past? NOOOOO.


Oh wait, carry on.

22nd Sep 2009, 12:46

hildegard says:

The Alpha course is most perplexing - it's profoundly heretical & I really can't understand how it has so infested the Anglican church - you'd think a Xian sect of British origin would be more careful after all the bother Pelagius caused. Surely there has to be a limit to how low one will stoop just to get bums on pews?

Taniwha - "humans are reflexive and animals aren't" big ol' sweeping statement there. Do we know that now? I'll grant you that humans are the only animal we know that asks, "What is Dasein?" but I do tend to think that's because we're the only animals who speak much german. ;)

Anon - ROFLMAO.
(Didn't want to confuse you by straying from the intellectual level of your contributuion.)

22nd Sep 2009, 13:31

Chris Doney says:

What Bias?

Yes Or No?

Why would you need 'Probably not'

Are you not sure of yourself?

27th Sep 2009, 21:25

Caine says:

What bias? If the bias was any more obvious, it would be chewing your arse off. The question presupposes the existence of god. Not just god either, but the christian god Yahweh. There have been thousands of gods, a majority of them long pre-dating good ol' psychopathic Yahweh. A better question would have been "Is there evidence for the existence of deities?"

15th Oct 2009, 07:28

Puddlepuff says:

"NO", but I'm here so not to worry!

15th Oct 2009, 07:33

Jonathan says:

Even if god does exist, I would expect it to be intelligent enough to realise that without a certain standard of proof there is no way I could reasonably believe it, and therefore not be a dick just because I don't.

10th May 2010, 11:57

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