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Do Atheists have any beliefs?
August 20, 2008
9:21 pm
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Worried_Dad

On the 20-Aug-08 you wrote:

"Hi Tez,

What exactly is your question here?"

Do Atheists have any beliefs? That is my question.

Guest_guest clearly stated on the 15-Aug-08 that atheists have no beliefs when he wrote:

"There's nothing to be made FUN of in athiesm, because we believe in nothing. How will you make fun of it then?"

Technically being an atheist myself, I thought the idea of atheists having no beliefs at all, though preposterous, was interesting and worth investigating. What do atheist's believe? What do atheists have in common? What differentiates them?

You can see how this opens up the religious commitment to faith in the belief in the non-existence of any God of the common definition, to investigation as being the only common ground binding all athiests together - can you not?

Does that clarify the question adequately for you WD?

August 20, 2008
9:33 pm
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Tez, here:

>> As you implied in another post, Guest_guest is challenged by his youthful lack of experience in life.

You meant to say I was basically stupid.

"No, I only said you are not there yet, you dont have enough experience".

Right

August 20, 2008
9:49 pm
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Worried_Dad
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Hi Tez,

The italics are all from Guest?

My best answer: Atheists do seem to have a belief in the nonexistence of God.

I'm pretty much a "never certain about anything" kind of guy, so I can't see having certainty about that one.

August 20, 2008
10:35 pm
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He messed up in the formatting. Only this part is from me:

"There's nothing to be made FUN of in athiesm, because we believe in nothing. How will you make fun of it then?"

August 20, 2008
10:37 pm
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Tez, by the way

You called Penn and Teller "gonorhea ridden whores" and "unfunny prostitutes". Whats stopping you from telling me explicitly I'm stupid? That's pretty small compared to what you called them.

August 21, 2008
1:59 am
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Worried_Dad

On 20-Aug-08 you asked:

"Hi Tez,

The italics are all from Guest? "

No. Guest_guest got it right this time, when he wrote:

"He messed up in the formatting."

August 21, 2008
2:01 am
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guest_guest

On the 20-Aug-08 you asked:

Whats stopping you from telling me explicitly I'm stupid?

Perhaps it is because I don't think that you are stupid.

August 21, 2008
2:15 am
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guest_guest

On the 20-Aug-08, you wrote:

"You meant to say I was basically stupid."

How is it that you think that you know better than I do what I meant to say?

Here, yet again, we have more of your projections of own your dysfunctional thinking onto me.

Please deal with your childhood parenting issues - that is the answer to your life's problems. How many times do I have to repeat this. Perhaps I am wrong and you are stupid after all. You seem determined to prove that you are stupid. I still don't believe that you are despite a hell of a lot of evidence to the contrary.

Besides, what has your stupidity, or otherwise, got to do with the topic of this thread?

Oh ... I see. If you really are stupid then that explains why on the 15-Aug-08 you wrote:

"There's nothing to be made FUN of in athiesm, because we believe in nothing. How will you make fun of it then?"

August 21, 2008
9:11 pm
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It seems that there isn't much more that can be said about quintessential atheism unless we deviate into the beliefs of one of the many subsets of the universal set of all atheists.

What about the question:

If there is no God who created the universe then from an atheist's perspective what caused the initial big bang?

Whoops - now we are likely to get a difference of opinion in this regard according to the subset of atheist to which we belong.

So it seems that atheists have little to say in this regard. Does this prove that atheists are most tolerant of the beliefs of fellow atheists? After all we don't seem to see 'holy' wars between atheists over differing atheistic beliefs like we see between theists. Is this because atheists feel much more secure in their beliefs?

August 21, 2008
11:05 pm
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free
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It's not logical to believe in nothing.

The logical response to the question of spiritual existence is agnosticism.

free

August 24, 2008
8:41 pm
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Free.

I agree with what you wrote in your last post.

Out of atheism, theism and agnosticism, the latter requires the least faith, but faith none-the-less. As I understand it, agnostics have faith in the veracity of their belief that we cannot know about the existence or otherwise of any God.

How someone who believes in absolutely nothing could function, I cannot even imagine.

Does a computer, that certainly functions, have both beliefs and faith in those beliefs as being true?

How do we differ from a computer in this regard?

August 24, 2008
11:48 pm
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Tell Tez: 1+1=2

He'll reply 5-3=2 as well however 8x2=16 but 4-4 is not 2. Integrating all these results results in a new theory. Do you know why?

mmmm, yea.

August 25, 2008
1:47 am
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Tez while trying to make babies:

Wife: Can you move over a little bit?

Tez: I could but the conditioning I received in my childhood causes my amygdala to go into convulsions which would further result in the increase of suffering.

Wife: Whatever. I'm going.

August 25, 2008
6:28 pm
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"Is that so? - Hakuin

August 25, 2008
6:32 pm
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"Yuppers" - Guest guest

August 25, 2008
6:37 pm
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We differ from a computer in the ability to think creatively and originally. Outside of our "programming"

free

August 25, 2008
7:21 pm
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Thanks Free for a meaningful reply. You obviously easily understood what I posted.

Unfortunately for Guest_guest, he wasn't able to do the same and abrogated responsibility for his hurt feelings - caused by his realization of his own shortcomings -on to me. But as usual I overlook his meanderings for he "knoweth not what he doeth"- JC? 🙂

What particularly grabbed my attention was what you wrote when you said:

"Outside of our "programming""

This cut and paste below from an article by Prof. David Loy addresses the issue of the nature of this very "programming" that, I believe, restricts our "ability to think creatively and originally" - as you put it.

Loy states:

" ... Nagarjuna addressed the philosophical controversies of his day, but the theoretical positions he criticized were based on ordinary ways in which we humans understand ourselves and our world. Our basic delusion is the taken-for-granted distinction between things and their activities. Deceived by language, we divide up the world into nouns and verbs, subjects and predicates. We understand the world as a collection of separate things, interacting in external space and time, arising and passing away. This delusion includes the way we think about ourselves, of course. We usually distinguish our self from our actions and from the events that happen to us—including illness, old age, and death, the classic examples of suffering that inspired the Buddha’s spiritual quest. Because we think of our own being as separate from events, and from everything else, we anticipate with dread the inevitable fate that awaits our individual selves.

AGAIN AND AGAIN in different ways, the Karikas refute this thought-constructed distinction between objects and processes by analyzing how that very distinction distorts our understanding of causality, motion, perception, time, and so forth. Nagarjuna’s basic approach is almost always the same: The particular distinction being examined is shown to be incomprehensible, because, having been made, the two different terms no longer fit back together. The basic problem, the source of our suffering, is that our commonsense ways of understanding ourselves as separate from but also in the world assume this delusive distinction.

For example, consider the relationship between the self and its ever-changing mental and physical states (one’s thoughts, emotions, bodily feelings, etc.). Is the self the same as those states, or different from them? We say, “I am hungry or angry, or confused,” which implies that “I” am constantly changing. But we also have a sense of an “I” that persists unchanged: the “I” that works is the same “I” that gets a paycheck at the end of the month. In everyday life we constantly fudge this inconsistency. Sometimes we understand ourselves one way, sometimes the other, but understanding ourselves as things that both change and stay the same is really a contradiction. Nagarjuna’s explanation for the inconsistency is that the self is shunya, “empty.” In modem terms, my sense of self is an impermanent, ever-changing construct. ... "

Taken from: 'Second Buddha : Nagarjuna - Buddhism's Greatest Philosopher' by David Loy who is Besl Professor of Ethics/Religion at Xavier University and a Zen teacher.

I find the above cut and paste mind blowing in its implications for the way we see the world.

August 25, 2008
7:25 pm
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Whats a difference between a hen and a zen?

One lays eggs and other doesnt do anything.

August 25, 2008
10:27 pm
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"There is nothing to be known about anything except an initially large, and forever expandable, web of relations to other things. Everything that can serve as a term of relation can be dissolved into another set of relations, and so on for ever. There are, so to speak, relations all the way down, all the way up, and all the way out in every direction: you never reach something which is not just one more nexus of relations."

Richard Rorty in Philosophy and Social Hope

August 25, 2008
11:25 pm
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castoff
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Wow, this is all so deep! I could ask for your input/advise on a lot. Guess I posted in the wrong spot first but I posted under dahli lama, 8/25, please respond. One thing I must say though is you can accuse Galton of "cooking the books" but Head Start has been pivital in advancing education and social skills in poverty stricken children who need exposure before entering a public school setting. It also serves children of low income parents who may be working 2 -3 jobs just to put food on the table and therefore can't, don't or won't due to other circumstances spend quality time reading with and teaching their children the skills to enhance their learning experiences in public school. It also exposes them to healthy habits they may not experience at home. Hand and dental hygiene, healthy food choices...Some children are enrolled in the program to take advantage of some of the progams offered - speech therapy for example. If a family has no insurance, all to common these days, it would definately behoove the child to correct or improve any speech impediments before beginning elementary education. Sorry to ramble on but obviously I am a very supporter of the Head Start program. I have seen it work. Both my children were in it, I volunteered there for 3 years, was a teachers assistant for a year while I earned my childhood associate credential and then it encouraged me to go back to school. Parents are required to volunteer so it encourages positive parent/child interaction also. Please support the Head Start mission wherever you are, particularly these days, americas children need all the preparation/support they can get.

August 26, 2008
9:56 am
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Castoff.

You've lost me here. How does your post relate to atheistic beliefs?

Or are you just looking for somewhere to get some exposure for your "Head Start mission"?

August 26, 2008
6:19 pm
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castoff
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Tez, sorry I rambled on but on the same token, I haven't posted on this site enough to know that I have to stick to the subject matter in the title> I was merely responding to the negativity of wizardofaus and wanted to clarify that head start isn't some kind of farce that was cooked up. That's all. Sorry for getting side tracked and for wasting anyones time.

August 27, 2008
10:49 pm
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castoff

On the 26-Aug-08 you wrote:

"Tez, sorry I rambled on but on the same token, I haven't posted on this site enough to know that I have to stick to the subject matter in the title."

I'm not sure that the Site Co-ordinator has laid down some rule that states that posts must contain material related directly to thread subject matter.

I'm no site policeman - I assure you. It is only unspoken etiquette as I understand it anyway. I'm as guilty as anyone of posting irrelevant material at times on many threads. You didn't upset me in any way. I was curious that there might have been some connection of which I was unaware.

No wuckin' furries, mate. 🙂

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