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Being 'Born-Again' Linked to More Brain Atrophy: Study
LennyLen
Member #5,313
December 2004
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Stas B. said:

How do you "believe" that something doesn't exist?

The same way that you believe anything else.

Specter Phoenix
Member #1,425
July 2001
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"Born again Christians" aren't what you need to worry about. You need to worry about the street preachers that say God is going to kills us because a few days later they will walk into the local Walmart and start shooting it up. When asked about it they will say, "God told me it was a good idea!"

"Can't a man even talk to himself without being interrupted?" -Krull(1983)
"Through vengence I was born. Through war I was trained. Through love I was found. Through death I was released. Through release I was given a purpose." -- Specter Phoenix
"Programming == AWESOME the rest is just tools to accomplish it."
END OF LINE

SiegeLord
Member #7,827
October 2006
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subjective belief

Nothing wrong with subjective belief, it is in fact the cornerstone of the scientific method as practiced by scientists. There's nothing wrong with having subjective beliefs... they key bit is that you must allow your subjective beliefs to be adjusted by incoming evidence.

"For in much wisdom is much grief: and he that increases knowledge increases sorrow."-Ecclesiastes 1:18
[SiegeLord's Abode][Codes]:[DAllegro5]:[RustAllegro]

Evert
Member #794
November 2000
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I would call option b agnostic.

bamccaig said:

That seems vague. :-/ Do they mean atheists or people that "don't know" or "don't care"? >:

It's not unclear at all. It's basically their "none of the above" category. The gist of what they're saying seems to be that it's healthier to be protestant than anything else. Probably because of this:

Quote:

when you feel your beliefs and values are somewhat at odds with those of society as a whole, it may contribute to long-term stress that could have implications for the brain

or in other words, if you feel that you don't fit in (for which your particular religious beliefs are nowhere near the only variable) you experience stress. Long-term stress is bad for your health. Both of which are no-brainers. In short, a waste of good reasearch time and money.

Stas B.
Member #9,615
March 2008

LennyLen said:

Stas B. said:
How do you "believe" that something doesn't exist?

The same way that you believe anything else.

To believe in something, you need some kind of reason. Some kind of evidence. I'm not talking about the scientific kind. Any kind will do. Now, what kind of evidence can you possibly have for the non-existance of something? Unless we're talking about something that can be reduced to a mathematical or logical abstraction and proven contradictory, you can't have evidence for the non-existance of something. I've never heard anyone saying "I believe that god doesn't exist". People just say "I don't believe that god exists".

Arthur Kalliokoski
Second in Command
February 2005
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There have been hundreds if not thousands of other ghods invented by superstitious charlatans, such as Zeus or Ishtar, so by believing in one ghod you're 99.9% atheist anyway. And before you say "he's the one true ghod", ask yourself why kids seem to know that the ghod that their parents brainwashed them with is the right one, no matter which ghod it is. And if you think about it, all kids are born atheists anyway.

{"name":"R6MMl.jpg","src":"\/\/djungxnpq2nug.cloudfront.net\/image\/cache\/8\/e\/8e82efe77764caaee5c8c68c9b28b361.jpg","w":461,"h":367,"tn":"\/\/djungxnpq2nug.cloudfront.net\/image\/cache\/8\/e\/8e82efe77764caaee5c8c68c9b28b361"}R6MMl.jpg

“Throughout history, poverty is the normal condition of man. Advances which permit this norm to be exceeded — here and there, now and then — are the work of an extremely small minority, frequently despised, often condemned, and almost always opposed by all right-thinking people. Whenever this tiny minority is kept from creating, or (as sometimes happens) is driven out of a society, the people then slip back into abject poverty. This is known as "bad luck.”

― Robert A. Heinlein

Stas B.
Member #9,615
March 2008

Don't get me wrong. I'm not trying to say that it's valid to believe in deities because you can't prove they don't exist. I'm just saying that people reject the concept of god because it's superfluous and lacks valid evidence, not because they "positively believe" that god doesn't exist. A sentence like "atheists believe that god doesn't exists" sounds like a theist's try to bring atheism to down his level. ("What's the difference between positively believing that something exists and positively believing that something doesn't?")

[EDIT]

The reason I'm saying this is because I felt that the undertone of the post was "I don't buy Christianity but I don't outright reject the concept of god and neither should you, because positively believing that god doesn't exist is as bad as positively believing that god does exist." Most people who reject god actually have a valid reason to do so, not some arbitrary belief.

Specter Phoenix
Member #1,425
July 2001
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Arthur Kalliokoski:
Nice picture. Though it is no secret why religion was never in Star Trek.

Wikipedia Quote:

Quote:

Although Roddenberry was raised as a Southern Baptist, he instead considered himself a humanist and agnostic. He saw religion as the cause of many wars and human suffering.[22] Brannon Braga has said that Roddenberry made it known to the writers of Star Trek and Star Trek: The Next Generation that religion and mystical thinking were not to be included, and that in Roddenberry's vision of Earth's future, everyone was an atheist and better for it.[23] However, Roddenberry was clearly not punctilious in this regard, and some religious references exist in various episodes of both series under his watch. The original series episodes "Bread and Circuses", "Who Mourns for Adonais?" and "The Ultimate Computer", and the Star Trek: The Next Generation episodes "Data's Day" and "Where Silence Has Lease" are examples. On the other hand, "Metamorphosis", "The Empath", "Who Watches the Watchers", and several others reflect his agnostic views.

"Can't a man even talk to himself without being interrupted?" -Krull(1983)
"Through vengence I was born. Through war I was trained. Through love I was found. Through death I was released. Through release I was given a purpose." -- Specter Phoenix
"Programming == AWESOME the rest is just tools to accomplish it."
END OF LINE

LennyLen
Member #5,313
December 2004
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Stas B. said:

To believe in something, you need some kind of reason. Some kind of evidence. I'm not talking about the scientific kind. Any kind will do. Now, what kind of evidence can you possibly have for the non-existance of something? Unless we're talking about something that can be reduced to a mathematical or logical abstraction and proven contradictory, you can't have evidence for the non-existance of something. I've never heard anyone saying "I believe that god doesn't exist". People just say "I don't believe that god exists".

If belief requires proof, then no, you couldn't believe in the non-existence of something. I don't know why you think that belief requires proof however. In fact, The Oxford English Dictionary even defines belief as the acceptance that something is true or exists, especially without proof.

Stas B.
Member #9,615
March 2008

I didn't say it requires an actual proof, but what reason could a person have to "believe" that something does not exist? As I said, it could only be based on a logical argument (not necessarily a valid one) since things that don't exist don't leave tangible evidence for their non-existance. This exception does not apply in the context of this thread and I'll explain why: A person could say "The Christian god does not exist because he's supposed to answear prayers and experiments demonstrate that he doesn't". As any Christian would tell you, that's a belief, not a concrete proof, because the apparent idleness of god could have any number of underlaying reasons. However, the holder of such a belief may very well be a Buddhist, for example. What makes one an atheist is the rejection of the entire concept of some supreme deity. It's apparent enough that you can't have a logical argument for the non-existance of all possible deities that I've never met an atheist who believes they have one. ???

LennyLen
Member #5,313
December 2004
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Stas B. said:

What makes one an atheist is the rejection of the entire concept of some supreme deity. It's apparent enough that you can't have a logical argument for the non-existance of all possible deities that I've never met an atheist who believes they have one.

I agree, you can't have a logical argument for it. I just don't agree that a logical reason is needed to believe something. There are many illogical beliefs.

Stas B.
Member #9,615
March 2008

LennyLen said:

I agree, you can't have a logical argument for it. I just don't agree that a logical reason is needed to believe something. There are many illogical beliefs.

I guess you're right. You could technically have some invalid pseudo-logical reasons to believe that some abstract concept is false in principle. It's just unintuitive. It's like saying "I believe pink jello does not exist somewhere in outer space". People don't generally do that.

Tobias Dammers
Member #2,604
August 2002
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Stas B. said:

You could technically have some invalid pseudo-logical reasons to believe that some abstract concept is false in principle.

I choose not to believe in anything without having a good reason. And I'll go with Ockam's Razor on the God hypothesis - as with any hypothesis, the burden of proof on those who propose it. In this case, most of the proponents fail on the preliminary definitions already.

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Trent Gamblin
Member #261
April 2000
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Why would you expect the supernatural to behave based on human rules?

Stas B.
Member #9,615
March 2008

I choose not to believe in anything without having a good reason. And I'll go with Ockam's Razor on the God hypothesis - as with any hypothesis, the burden of proof on those who propose it. In this case, most of the proponents fail on the preliminary definitions already.

In that case, you don't believe in the existence of X. As you noted yourself, that's different from believing in the non-existence of X.

Why would you expect the supernatural to behave based on human rules?

You would not expect anything at all from the supernatural. If it does not obey the rules of logic, you can't reason about it by definition and your belief is irrational. It's in no way different from a schizophreniac believing in deamons that tell him to murder.

Trent Gamblin
Member #261
April 2000
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Ya, if any of that made any sense I would comment, but I'm going to hide this thread now.

Arthur Kalliokoski
Second in Command
February 2005
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i.e. "LA LA LA I can't hear you!"

“Throughout history, poverty is the normal condition of man. Advances which permit this norm to be exceeded — here and there, now and then — are the work of an extremely small minority, frequently despised, often condemned, and almost always opposed by all right-thinking people. Whenever this tiny minority is kept from creating, or (as sometimes happens) is driven out of a society, the people then slip back into abject poverty. This is known as "bad luck.”

― Robert A. Heinlein

SiegeLord
Member #7,827
October 2006
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There is no difference between not believing a god exists and believing it does not exist, if you take subjective belief to be the subjective probability, as you must to be coherent. The equivalence of those two statements comes from the axioms of probability. The god must either exist or not exist, so the probability of it existing and the probability of it not existing sum to 1. When you claim that you don't believe god exists, you are assigning the probability of god existing. When you claim that you believe god does not exist, you are assigning the probability of god not existing. Since they both sum to one, those statements are ultimately equivalent.

Now that is all if you think subjective beliefs are probabilities. I welcome your efforts to disprove decades of work on the topic and show a different treatment of beliefs :P.

"For in much wisdom is much grief: and he that increases knowledge increases sorrow."-Ecclesiastes 1:18
[SiegeLord's Abode][Codes]:[DAllegro5]:[RustAllegro]

Stas B.
Member #9,615
March 2008

Ya, if any of that made any sense I would comment, but I'm going to hide this thread now.

It makes perfect sense. Natural is everything that obeys the laws of the universe. The laws of the universe are the laws of logic. Supernatural is anything that is not bound by the laws of the natural. I.e., the supernatural does not necessarily obey the rules of logic. How can you reason about the nature of something that does not obey the laws you reason with? How do you conclude that it is "good" and that it "loves" you and that it wants you to pray and worship it? That's insane in every sense of the world. The only reason they don't lock you people up is that you're a majority. :P

Feel free not to reply anymore. It makes you look all the more silly.

[EDIT]

SiegeLord said:

The equivalence of those two statements comes from the axioms of probability. The god must either exist or not exist, so the probability of it existing and the probability of it not existing sum to 1. When you claim that you don't believe god exists, you are assigning the probability of god existing.

I do not assign ANY probability. That's exactly my point. There is no probability for something to exist. It either does or it does not.

In fact, here's a better way to demonstrate why what you're saying is absurd. If I'm not aware of the concept of X, I do not believe that X exists. That's obviously different from believing that X does not exist because it requires having a concept of X.

Thomas Fjellstrom
Member #476
June 2000
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Stas B. said:

Feel free not to reply anymore. It makes you look all the more silly.

Or you since he used the "Hide thread" option :P means he won't even see the thread anymore.

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"If you can't think of a better solution, don't try to make a better solution." -- weapon_S
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Arthur Kalliokoski
Second in Command
February 2005
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SiegeLord said:

There is no difference between not believing a god exists and believing it does not exist, if you take subjective belief to be the subjective probability, as you must to be coherent.

That applies to the Flying Spaghetti Monster (bless his noodley goodness) as well, doesn't it?

“Throughout history, poverty is the normal condition of man. Advances which permit this norm to be exceeded — here and there, now and then — are the work of an extremely small minority, frequently despised, often condemned, and almost always opposed by all right-thinking people. Whenever this tiny minority is kept from creating, or (as sometimes happens) is driven out of a society, the people then slip back into abject poverty. This is known as "bad luck.”

― Robert A. Heinlein

Stas B.
Member #9,615
March 2008

Or you since he used the "Hide thread" option means he won't even see the thread anymore.

What do I care, really? If I can ridicule him without him being able to defend his position, all the merrier. I wouldn't be surprised if he's bluffing about hiding this thread, but it doesn't really matter. I just felt like elaborating on my statement for anyone else who may be confused by it.

SiegeLord
Member #7,827
October 2006
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Stas B. said:

I do not assign ANY probability. That's exactly my point. There is no probability for something to exist. It either does or it does not.

But you don't know, do you? In fact you can never know for sure, since if you see god with your eyes or experience god through an internal revelation it could just be a psychotic episode. Still, you can observe things in the world and use that evidence to form a belief for existence of god. You can absolutely never know it for sure though, so talking about the actual existence of god without taking into account of all the uncertainties that are definitely also involved.

That is of course logical arguments aside... but those are beside the point. I just showed you how you can believe soundly, coherently and rationally in something's non-existence. There is plenty of evidence of god non-existing (it's literally everything you've experienced to date).

That applies to the Flying Spaghetti Monster (bless his noodley goodness) as well, doesn't it?

Sure. It applies to pretty much everything (logical proofs aside, although I'm sure you can think of some treatment of logic that uses probabilities).

I believe FSM does not exist = probability of FSM not existing is very high.
I don't believe FSM exists = probability of FSM existing is very low.

"For in much wisdom is much grief: and he that increases knowledge increases sorrow."-Ecclesiastes 1:18
[SiegeLord's Abode][Codes]:[DAllegro5]:[RustAllegro]

Arthur Kalliokoski
Second in Command
February 2005
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SiegeLord said:

I believe FSM does not exist = probability of FSM not existing is very high.
I don't believe FSM exists = probability of FSM existing is very low.

So there is no independent reality? But that would imply several realities due to the plethora of beliefs.

“Throughout history, poverty is the normal condition of man. Advances which permit this norm to be exceeded — here and there, now and then — are the work of an extremely small minority, frequently despised, often condemned, and almost always opposed by all right-thinking people. Whenever this tiny minority is kept from creating, or (as sometimes happens) is driven out of a society, the people then slip back into abject poverty. This is known as "bad luck.”

― Robert A. Heinlein

SiegeLord
Member #7,827
October 2006
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So there is no independent reality?

No, there is. But we observe it through imperfect senses. We are also limited by the fact that we don't have infinite time to observe it.

Quote:

But that would imply several realities due to the plethora of beliefs.

I think the proper way to think of it is that there are multiple beliefs of what reality is. You can pool beliefs of multiple people to get a better estimate of what is actually out there in the world. The fact that you can do that seems to argue against multiple independent realities.

"For in much wisdom is much grief: and he that increases knowledge increases sorrow."-Ecclesiastes 1:18
[SiegeLord's Abode][Codes]:[DAllegro5]:[RustAllegro]



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