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Author Topic:   Does an atheist have to believe in evolution?
robinrohan
Inactive Member


Message 46 of 64 (310888)
05-10-2006 8:27 PM
Reply to: Message 15 by NosyNed
05-08-2006 10:44 AM


Re: Before Darwin
I found this: hinduwebsite.com

The Charvaka system of thought believed neither in God nor in the after life of man. Their doctrines are traced to an ancient scripture called the Charvaka Dharma probably written by an author of the name of Charvaka. Reference to the Charvakas or the Lokayatas was found in some ancient Hindu and Buddhist Scriptures such as the Prabhodha Chandrodaya, an allegorical play in which a character sums up the beliefs of this school, and also the epics, the Ramayana and the Mahabharata.

One of the chief protagonists of this school existed during the time of the Buddha and his name was Ajita Kesakamabali. He recognized only four elements and declared that a combination of these four elements produced certain vitality called life, which is very much in tune with the modern theories of creation of life on earth. At the time of death these four elements would return to their respective sources, earth to earth, air to air and so on. There was no mystery of life beyond this. " When the body dies both fool and wise alike are cut off and perish. They do not survive after death."

ABE: delightfully simple.

This message has been edited by robinrohan, 05-10-2006 07:32 PM

This message has been edited by robinrohan, 05-10-2006 07:33 PM


This message is a reply to:
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Replies to this message:
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ohnhai
Member (Idle past 3570 days)
Posts: 649
From: Melbourne, Australia
Joined: 11-17-2004


Message 47 of 64 (310904)
05-10-2006 10:14 PM
Reply to: Message 42 by riVeRraT
05-10-2006 6:44 AM


RR writes:

OK fine, by definition you are correct. But 19 times out of 20 (or whatever #)you ask an atheist why they don't believe, you know what answer you'll get.

Again I think you are making the mistake in assuming lack of belief in one thing equates to an inability to believe in anything else. I personally believe in the scientific method, I have a lot of faith in it and its ability to hone in on a solid explanation of that we see around us.

Also its wrong to assume that an Atheist has any rational reason for his lack of belief in the divine. For instance if an Atheist doesn’t believe in God because “the pixie under the potting shed said God doesn’t exist” then he is as much an Atheist as the one that discounts God because of the lack of empirical data. However, you are right in saying that vast majority of Atheists will cite the lack of empirical data as the overriding reason for their lack of belief, but that does not mean that this worldview is actually required to be an Atheist.

Therefore, to reiterate the only thing that defines an Atheist as such is the lack of belief in the divine. He may hold this view for any rational or irrational reason he chooses, and lack of belief in the divine does not exclude the possibility that he may believe in many other things.


This message is a reply to:
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riVeRraT
Member (Idle past 327 days)
Posts: 5746
From: NY USA
Joined: 05-09-2004


Message 48 of 64 (310965)
05-11-2006 8:02 AM
Reply to: Message 43 by Quetzal
05-10-2006 8:10 AM


Re: To Believe or Not Believe - That is the Question
Really? I'm curious: what answer is that?

You can read through these forums, or just go ask 20 athiests.


This message is a reply to:
 Message 43 by Quetzal, posted 05-10-2006 8:10 AM Quetzal has responded

Replies to this message:
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riVeRraT
Member (Idle past 327 days)
Posts: 5746
From: NY USA
Joined: 05-09-2004


Message 49 of 64 (310966)
05-11-2006 8:04 AM
Reply to: Message 45 by nator
05-10-2006 8:03 PM


If you follow the conversation backwards by clicking on the little links that say replys to this message, or this message is in reply too, you can find out.

This message is a reply to:
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Replies to this message:
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riVeRraT
Member (Idle past 327 days)
Posts: 5746
From: NY USA
Joined: 05-09-2004


Message 50 of 64 (310969)
05-11-2006 8:21 AM
Reply to: Message 47 by ohnhai
05-10-2006 10:14 PM


I personally believe in the scientific method, I have a lot of faith in it and its ability to hone in on a solid explanation of that we see around us.

Honesty, I really respect you for putting it that way.
No joke.

Also its wrong to assume that an Atheist has any rational reason for his lack of belief in the divine.

Well, I am not assuming, just going by what I used to think, and by what others tell me. I am not making anything up.

For instance if an Atheist doesn’t believe in God because “the pixie under the potting shed said God doesn’t exist” then he is as much an Atheist as the one that discounts God because of the lack of empirical data.

Right, that is why I siad technically you are correct, but we both know that is the exception not the rule.

However, you are right in saying that vast majority of Atheists will cite the lack of empirical data as the overriding reason for their lack of belief, but that does not mean that this worldview is actually required to be an Atheist.

I agree.

Therefore, to reiterate the only thing that defines an Atheist as such is the lack of belief in the divine. He may hold this view for any rational or irrational reason he chooses, and lack of belief in the divine does not exclude the possibility that he may believe in many other things.

Technically yes. But by your own admission, most athiest use the reason of lack of empirical evidence. This is the logic that governs their lives, or way of thinking. Unless the logical ones are hypocrites, then it is safe to assume that they apply this logic to eveything. I bet if we took a survey, we would find this to be true, and after over 3000 posts in here and talking to athiests, this is the general line of thinking that an athiests has. To deny it, is almost a lie.

I am starting another thread in the coffee house to get some answers, I am curious.


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Quetzal
Member (Idle past 4280 days)
Posts: 3228
Joined: 01-09-2002


Message 51 of 64 (310974)
05-11-2006 8:40 AM
Reply to: Message 48 by riVeRraT
05-11-2006 8:02 AM


Re: To Believe or Not Believe - That is the Question
Since it was your assertion that you knew the answer that an atheist would give, perhaps you could provide a summation of (at least) your perception of the question. Telling me to go back through 4 years of posts simply doesn't address the question. I'm curious as to what YOU think atheists might say. Thanks.

This message is a reply to:
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riVeRraT
Member (Idle past 327 days)
Posts: 5746
From: NY USA
Joined: 05-09-2004


Message 52 of 64 (310977)
05-11-2006 8:43 AM
Reply to: Message 51 by Quetzal
05-11-2006 8:40 AM


Re: To Believe or Not Believe - That is the Question
I started another thread in the coffee house, and we can see.
I believe I stated what an athiests answer would be, even though my answer is technically incorrect.

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Funkaloyd
Inactive Member


Message 53 of 64 (311004)
05-11-2006 10:35 AM
Reply to: Message 50 by riVeRraT
05-11-2006 8:21 AM


riVeRraT writes:

that is the exception not the rule.

I wouldn't be surprised if the majority of atheists don't believe in gods because that would conflict with their religious beliefs (e.g. Buddhism). Maybe not so much in the West, though.


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nator
Member (Idle past 577 days)
Posts: 12961
From: Ann Arbor
Joined: 12-09-2001


Message 54 of 64 (311098)
05-11-2006 5:16 PM
Reply to: Message 49 by riVeRraT
05-11-2006 8:04 AM


quote:
OK fine, by definition you are correct. But 19 times out of 20 (or whatever #)you ask an atheist why they don't believe, you know what answer you'll get.

so, you mean, don't believe in the supernatiral?


This message is a reply to:
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riVeRraT
Member (Idle past 327 days)
Posts: 5746
From: NY USA
Joined: 05-09-2004


Message 55 of 64 (311135)
05-11-2006 6:19 PM
Reply to: Message 54 by nator
05-11-2006 5:16 PM


so, you mean, don't believe in the supernatiral?

supernatiral, chuckle.

The definition of an atheist is someone who doesn't believe in a divine being, god/gods. That is what we are talking about. The reasons why. Also if they "believe" in anything at all.


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robinrohan
Inactive Member


Message 56 of 64 (311319)
05-12-2006 1:03 AM
Reply to: Message 55 by riVeRraT
05-11-2006 6:19 PM


Also if they "believe" in anything at all.

Everybody believes in something. I, for example, believe in Logic.


This message is a reply to:
 Message 55 by riVeRraT, posted 05-11-2006 6:19 PM riVeRraT has responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 57 by riVeRraT, posted 05-12-2006 7:44 AM robinrohan has responded

  
riVeRraT
Member (Idle past 327 days)
Posts: 5746
From: NY USA
Joined: 05-09-2004


Message 57 of 64 (311347)
05-12-2006 7:44 AM
Reply to: Message 56 by robinrohan
05-12-2006 1:03 AM


Everybody believes in something. I, for example, believe in Logic.

Why do people always take things out of context?

Sure you could say that we all believe in something, since nothing is ever proven. But you know if I used that statement in the wrong thread, people would jump all over it.

You could say you have faith in science.

But not without evidence, that's my point.


This message is a reply to:
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JavaMan
Member (Idle past 727 days)
Posts: 475
From: York, England
Joined: 08-05-2005


Message 58 of 64 (311351)
05-12-2006 8:02 AM
Reply to: Message 46 by robinrohan
05-10-2006 8:27 PM


Re: Before Darwin
And what about this for pre-Darwinian atheism (from the Wikipedia article on the Epicurean writer, Lucretius):

Lucretius identifies superstition with the notion that the gods created our world or interfere with its operations in any way. Fear of such gods is banished by showing that the operations of the world can be accounted for entirely in terms of the purposeless motions of atoms through empty space, instead of in terms of the will of the gods. The fear of death is banished by showing that death is annihilation, and so, as a simple state of nothingness, death can be neither good nor bad. Lucretius also puts forward the 'symmetry argument' against the fear of death. In it, he says that people who fear the prospect of eternal non-existence after death should think back to the eternity of non-existence before their birth, which really wasn't so bad after all.


The true mystery of the world is the visible, not the invisible

This message is a reply to:
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robinrohan
Inactive Member


Message 59 of 64 (311529)
05-12-2006 6:20 PM
Reply to: Message 57 by riVeRraT
05-12-2006 7:44 AM


Sure you could say that we all believe in something, since nothing is ever proven. But you know if I used that statement in the wrong thread, people would jump all over it.

What on earth are you talking about? Logic is based on some axiomatic assumptions (such as the law of non-contradiction) that one just has to accept. I believe that one can rationally intuit these assumptions. But I can't prove the validity of rational intuition.

This shows I'm not a thorough-going nihilist, but other than that I think I'm very nihilistic.

The idea is to keep the assumptions to a minimum.

Of course I have feelings, such as moral feelings--or at least I think that's what they are. What are they based on logically? Nothing at all. Nonetheless they sometimes determine my behavior.

Everybody believes in something--that's my view.


This message is a reply to:
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Replies to this message:
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riVeRraT
Member (Idle past 327 days)
Posts: 5746
From: NY USA
Joined: 05-09-2004


Message 60 of 64 (311787)
05-14-2006 5:29 PM
Reply to: Message 59 by robinrohan
05-12-2006 6:20 PM


In other words, one could say that you "believe in gravity" since nothing is ever proven.

But jump off a bridge and you know what will "probably happen".


This message is a reply to:
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