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guzzle
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08 Jun 2015, 8:11 am

DentArthurDent wrote:
The only issue I have with meditation and Tai Chi is that I do not do more of them. However the benefits of this kind of exercise are clearly mundane, and any "spiritual' experience is purely speculative.


Tai Chi is not my thing either actually. If I do it properly it releases so much emotion that I laugh and cry at the same time leaving me emotionally drained. Nothing remotely mundane about that outcome :mrgreen:

Meditation to me is to listen to the wind. It's the only time my brain allows me some peace...

Spiritual experiences are subjective. To claim any different is speculation...



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08 Jun 2015, 8:45 am

Arthur, you may have some idea of my beliefs, but do you have any idea of my spiritual experience? It seems to me that you have decided that the human mind can understand all things. That is obviously not the case and you must know it. Please excuse the contradiction of words. Are you are telling me something which is outside the limits of human comprehension cannot exist?



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08 Jun 2015, 8:54 am

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'Grebels', can you see what you have done here? You agree that we need to get rid of the cultural baggage that is associated with the concept of God, but then you go on about Jesus and the Bible! Jesus, the Bible and all of that is cultural baggage, of the sort we need to do away with and transcend.


Perhaps we needed to define our terms here. I felt the need to separate the natural power and the glory from the spiritual. Many people will see the natural power of the Church and think that is it.



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08 Jun 2015, 4:08 pm

Lintar wrote:
Janissy wrote:
You made an unwarranted leap here. "If material reality is all there is" does not imply we have no free will and determinism predominates.


So how does free will work then? Perhaps you yourself do still accept the notion of free will, but I have heard many, many atheists over the years say they simply cannot accept the idea due to the fact that they also believe that everything is predetermined, physical, subject to the law of cause and effect and that, even if we like to think we have free will, we actually don't.


Atheism is just not believing in God. Even though there are atheists who also don't believe in free will, that does not link the two beliefs. I don't have to check in with a group mind to align my beliefs.

So how would it work? Free will is just the ability to choose between different courses of action. It requires consciousness, which seems to be an emergent property of brains that are at a certain level of complexity (I'm carefully leaving out what the level is because I don't know which other animals are also conscious). When a being (person, dog? dolphin?) makes a decision, neurons conduct electrical impulses. That is purely natural and doesn't need the intervention of a God. It is also (to me) free will. There are constraints: you can't just decide to think in a way that goes against your neurology (or WP wouldn't exist) and you can't decide to do things that are impossible for you even if you think very hard (as probably every person who woke up out of a coma and discovered paralysis has probably tried to will a hand or leg to move).

The existence of hormones, neurotransmitters and other chemicals can influence but they aren't absolute. I can will myself to do something even if I don't have much energy for it, but the sudden presence of adrenaline sure makes that a lot easier. Even so, willing myself to do something even in the absence of adrenaline is free will.


Janissy wrote:
But in any case, let's drop the materialism label you have attached to me and all other atheists because it is clearly coming with some baggage I am not even aware of, having never studied it.


Lintar wrote:
Baggage? No, there's no hostility here. Why must we drop the 'materialism label'? Has the label become obsolete? Has it become an embarrassment, or a hindrance?


It is a hindrance because it causes some people, such as you, to assume I have certain beliefs I don't have just because other people also having the same label have those beliefs. The assumption that as an atheist I wouldn't believe in free will is an example of that baggage. It is a hindrance in that I have to cut through other's assumptions: that I think everybody is a predetermined automaton, that I must not actually love anyone and other absurdities. The tight clinging to this belief that all these things are bundled with atheism is a hindrance.

Janissy wrote:
Here is what I believe: Everything that happens can be accounted for by laws of the natural world. Do not try to swap in material for natural. They are not the same.


Quote:
I use the word 'material' but you prefer 'natural', but aren't the two terms considered to be synonymous for most practical purposes? What would you consider to be natural, but not material or the consequence of material entities, processes or phenomena?


Would energy be a consequence of material entities/processes/phenomena? Does the electric charge of subatomic particles mean that "electric charge" is a material consequence? Somebody stronger in physics than I am can tackle that. But since I am not sure, "natural" as an umbrella term covers it more firmly for me than "material".

Janissy wrote:
With that out of the way you can drop the idea that if I am an atheist I must also be a determinist and disbelieve in free will. There is a giant gap between determinism and not accepting the influence of hormones and neurotransmitters. Free will fits pretty easily in that giant gap.*

*Hormones, neurotransmitters and other aspects of neurobiology influence what we think and do but certainly not to the extent that we have no free will.


Lintar wrote:
Yes, I agree, free will is real. Many - not all, but many - of the more vocal atheists though would disagree with us about this.


So? You keep forgetting that atheism isn't a religion and so there is no canon I have to follow.



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08 Jun 2015, 7:58 pm

there is no god to speak, if there was the world would not be the way it is now.


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08 Jun 2015, 10:19 pm

...plot-twist ! The world is the way it is because of that god ! :wink:

autismthinker21 wrote:
there is no god to speak, if there was the world would not be the way it is now.


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08 Jun 2015, 10:23 pm

DentArthurDent wrote:
It is absurd to suggest a strongly held belief, (what is it you said about the existence of souls being as clear as day) that has absolutely no empirical evidence to back it up, is in the same category as conjecture based upon a large volume of evidence.


I guess that's one of the differences between the two of us. Personal, first-hand experience for me is just as important as empirical evidence, but you seem to think that if something cannot be demonstrated to be true 'empirically', it by default is non-existent which, on the face of it, is patently absurd if only because that claim itself - i.e. only that which can be demonstrated empirically - cannot itself be demonstrated empirically. It is a philosophical proposition, not a scientific claim, and it is one that I do not accept because it doesn't make any sense to begin with.

DentArthurDent wrote:
The difference between you and I is that I present the evidence and my understanding of it in an intellectually honest manner, if you disagree with his statement so how. Judging by the above post of yours and other fallacious statements you have made you do not.


No, this isn't true. Now you are just whining.

DentArthurDent wrote:
Basically it would seem yet another exercise in futility to discuss anything further with you.


In other words, you have nothing to offer that can actually counter any of the claims I have here made, and have therefore decided to just quietly slink away from the discussion. Okay, Good Bye! :roll:



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08 Jun 2015, 10:45 pm

Janissy wrote:
Would energy be a consequence of material entities/processes/phenomena? Does the electric charge of subatomic particles mean that "electric charge" is a material consequence? Somebody stronger in physics than I am can tackle that. But since I am not sure, "natural" as an umbrella term covers it more firmly for me than "material".


Energy is only ever physical, and is simply that which is required for work to be done either within, or upon, a system. The answer to your first question within what I quote from you above is 'yes'. The answer to the second one about charge is also 'yes'. Classical physics, relativity and Q.M. are all examples of purely physical (a.k.a. material, natural) descriptions of how the natural, physical reality we are all so familiar with works, and why.



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08 Jun 2015, 10:49 pm

autismthinker21 wrote:
there is no god to speak, if there was the world would not be the way it is now.


This is straight from the Richard Dawkins school of apologetics, for he also seems to think that he could have given God a hint or two when it came to creating the universe. So, in your view, how should our reality be if we accept the proposition that there is a God?



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08 Jun 2015, 10:59 pm

Janissy wrote:
You keep forgetting that atheism isn't a religion and so there is no canon I have to follow.


Actually, I never did forget that atheism is nothing more than an absence of belief in god(s), but I have observed a disturbing (in my view) consistency of belief in other things that the vast majority of self-styled atheists have, and this can be attributed to the logical consequences that follow from the belief that God is not real. For example, a complete absence of an acceptance of the intrinsic value and sacredness of human life, which leads them to accept as being normal the abominable practices of euthanasia and abortion.



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08 Jun 2015, 11:01 pm

Janissy wrote:
You keep forgetting that atheism isn't a religion and so there is no canon I have to follow.


Actually, I never did forget that atheism is nothing more than an absence of belief in god(s), but I have observed a disturbing (in my view) consistency of belief in other things that the vast majority of self-styled atheists have, and this can be attributed to the logical consequences that follow from the belief that God is not real. For example, a complete absence of an acceptance of the intrinsic value and sacredness of human life, which leads them to accept as being normal the abominable practices of euthanasia and abortion.



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08 Jun 2015, 11:02 pm

Sorry about the double post. It does that for some reason. :(



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11 Jun 2015, 9:40 am

Ban-Dodger wrote:
...plot-twist ! The world is the way it is because of that god ! :wink:
autismthinker21 wrote:
there is no god to speak, if there was the world would not be the way it is now.
Obviously, it's His fault because He made you free to be what you are.

Tut tut! If He was only as smart as you are you'd be a robot.



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11 Jun 2015, 10:33 am

^^^

Just popped up to say Hi;

Me and God ALL THAT IS;

That's short for Haiku...;)

And proof THAT GOD exists..:)


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11 Jun 2015, 6:48 pm

It's become very quiet here. Where have all of the cocky, self-righteous atheists gone? If it is, as so many of them claim, easy to show that the concept of God is itself incoherent, illogical and invalid (and that therefore God obviously doesn't exist), then why have they not thus far succeeded in demonstrating this?

Oh well, tearing apart their arguments (if I can actually call them that) was fun while it lasted :mrgreen:



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11 Jun 2015, 7:44 pm

Lintar wrote:
It's become very quiet here. Where have all of the cocky, self-righteous atheists gone? If it is, as so many of them claim, easy to show that the concept of God is itself incoherent, illogical and invalid (and that therefore God obviously doesn't exist), then why have they not thus far succeeded in demonstrating this?

Oh well, tearing apart their arguments (if I can actually call them that) was fun while it lasted :mrgreen:

It's not our need or desire to disprove something that doesn't exist. You're the ones making extraordinary claims. Hence you have to provide extraordinary evidence...

Also, if you want a debate, you could go to this link and debate atheists to your hearts content. Be warned though, they'll tear you up.
http://www.thethinkingatheist.com/forum ... ism?page=2