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Are you a universist?

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Kostya

Re: Are you a universist?

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Quote:there are at least two major genres of atheists... those who are anti religion in all its forms, and those who still accept some sort of benign respect and awe for the universe a la sagan's "billions and billions!"I have to agree with Chris that your classification of atheists is unreasonable. I think that majority of the atheists and probably majority of the people on the planet would say that they do have deepest respect and feelings of awe before the nature and the universe. This is hardly a trait that could be used to classify atheists into separate groups. On the other hand, deepest disrespect for religion can be found among most of the atheists and some of the believers as well. It is my feeling (and I have no data other than my personal experiences to support this) therefore that most of the atheists will not support universism. Quote:Check this site out...deistnet.comDishonesty turns my stomach. Sagan is found on this list...but Sagan wasn't a deist. Simple mistake? I doubt.ChrisIsn't it amazing how most religions no matter how "open" they claim to be start with building of their pantheon? Unfortunately, some atheists are not very different www.visi.com/~markg/atheists.html I know that these lists are fun to look thru sometimes, but some of the people on these lists clearly have no business being there. Edited by: Kostya at: 9/7/03 3:32 am
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Chris OConnor

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Re: Causality

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Now that it is apparent I am talking to just myself in this thread I will comment on my last post.I said, "But "atheism" is the exact opposite of "theism."This is incorrect. I blundered. Atheism is NOT the opposite of theism.Theism is the affirmative claim that a god or gods exists.Atheism is NOT an affirmative claim that a god or gods does not exist. What I should have said is that strong atheism is the opposite of theism. Both are beliefs, while weak atheism, the umbrella defintion of atheism, is simply the lack of belief in a god or gods.Atheism, or weak atheism, is mans default position. All humans were born as implicit weak atheists. It is "implied" that we are born without the belief in a god or gods, simply because we have not been exposed to the concept and therefore cannot believe yet. Once we are exposed, and subsequently reject the belief, we then become explicit atheists. We "explicitly" reject the belief.Since I have been exposed to the concept and reject it I am an explicit atheist. Since I don't claim knowledge of whether or not a deity exist, I am agnostic. But I do not believe, so I am an explicit weak atheist.Chris "When once you have tasted flight, you will forever walk the earth with your eyes turned skyward,for there you have been, and there you will always want to be."
seanf 2003

All hail the giant gerbil

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Udcdeist - if you haven't been scared off, I'd like to say that i'm probably the only person on this site who supports you. It's difficult arguing with people this vehement, but it's worth doing. As for universism, while it doesn't match exactly with my ideas, it is one of the closest I've found so far. Chris - I'm very sorry that you can't repsect someone who believes in the giant gerbil. The idea that such a belief is bonkers seems pretty subjective to me. One of my myriad beliefs is that common sense is useless when trying to think reasonably. However, it's helpful for living.
Dom

My 2c

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Quote: (& no, I can't get those buttons to work) []... fortunately there are people willing to experiment to figure out what that safe religion of the future might be. There is no such thing as a safe religion.They're very territorial.
udcdeist

Re: Causality

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Man this is really driving you up the wall. Oh well. I've temporarily I think lost interest in this thread due to the focus on the worth of Deism. I don't really care about that debate, I've done it before - and it does kind of hit a brick wall with some people... I can go further in this discussion with you but I'm tuckered out right now.I may dredge this topic up days or weeks or months from now when I feel like discussing the intricacies of deist thought, past and present.But for now, in closing.Deists are not theists... Deists are rationalists. Rational religion is what we call it. The God we believe in is totally different from the theistic God... the Deist God is a first cause and we know nothing more about it because we rely on reason, and there is no evidence for anything else.I know that's like screetching my fingernails on a chalkboard to you. Sorry.seanf 2003, glad to hear it. Sign up at universist.meetup.com and pass the link on... eventually there will be enough folks in your area to get together and work on the future of rational religion. Edited by: udcdeist at: 9/9/03 6:03 pm
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Chris OConnor

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Re: Causality

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Quote:Deists are not theists... Deists are rationalists.We aren't strictly discussing the methodology used to form your beliefs. And what you consider to be a rational conclusion is pretty irrational to some people. You have never seen, tasted, felt, heard or sensed in any way a deity....yet you believe. Is this really rational? And feel free to dig for examples of a thing I believe in that I cannot see, taste, feel, hear or sense in any way. The wind? Love? Go this route and you'll be wrong. There isn't one. And also feel free to claim you are using inductive reasoning. You are not. A deity is a false analogy... that we can go into if you like.Yes, Deism is a heck of a lot more rational than Christianity, but you cannot avoid the fact that deists believe in deities and are theists. You can try...and you will succeed when you deal with people that are brand new to the discussion. But please don't think you've made a case for yourself on this thread. I refer simply to the "deism is not theism" claim, not on the validity of the deist position.I can fully understand why you don't want to be grouped in with people that take a flying fuck at a rolling donut...which is how I view faith. You are NOT like them and do NOT deserve to be grouped in with them. I also don't consider anything you have said to be even remotely unintelligent...just a bit irrational. Just a bit. Not much. And I admit you might be right.It might surprise you to know that I am almost a deist. This universe is too damn incredible to just exist...or so it seems to me. Something weird is happening that we haven't even begun to fathom. Perhaps there is an intelligent creator, or maybe an alien race planted life on our planet. Or maybe there are many universes or something else totally nutty and hard to comprehend. I just don't know, but I don't believe that nothing existed and then it went BOOM!I totally agree with you that all these manmade religions are absolute bullshit. It doesn't take a rocket scientist to figure this out. There is no evidence of a personal god that interacts with this planet. In fact, I am so confident that this type of deity doesn't exist I would gamble my life on it.But would I gamble my life that any type of creator doesn't exist? Heck no. All I am saying is that you are no longer just keeping an open mind when you become an actual believer in such a creator. You are now a theist. You actually believe a God exists. Why not remain optimistic? Be skeptical of personal claims of knowledge of gods or a god, but keep your mind open to the possibility. I view deists with a great deal of respect. They aren't gullible enough to fall for the scam of religion, but they aren't rational enough to refrain from believing in some sort of God. If there was a scale of rationality it might look like this...1. Strong atheist - slightly irrational, but the odds are in their favor2. Weak atheist - extremely rational
Kostya

Re: Are you a universist?

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What? No more biting and scratching? Is everyone here almost a deist or almost an atheist and the dividing line between them is ever so elusive? I don't think so.I am a strong atheist. Obviously, I do not agree with Chris's position that strong atheism is slightly irrational, but that is to be expected and that is not why I'm writing this. I suppose, I can understand if deists want to call themselves non-theists. I guess, under some unorthodox definition of the word and with some stretch of imagination one can agree with that. However, I do disagree with Chris and udcdeist that deism is a rational position. Chris calls it "slightly irrational." Well, if the following example of thinking is representative of deism in general (which I understand it might not be) than I have to say that it does not fall anywhere near my understanding of rational thought. Following text is a quote from udcdeist's own web site deism.org. It can be found in FAQ under "Are Deists similar to Atheists?" topic:Quote:...It is important to emphasize that the Deist belief in God is not a matter of faith, nor is it a matter of some heroic use of philosophy or science. That the universe came into being by the work of an intelligent power is simply the way our minds work, nothing else makes sense or feels comfortable....If making sense and feeling comfortable justifies belief in something I would like to ask what is the difference between deistic "rational" and good ol' faith?Am I missing something?Thank you. Edited by: Kostya at: 9/9/03 10:18 pm
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Re: Are you a universist?

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KostyaOk damnit. Good point. Deism is totally irrational. I just feel bad saying that to someone who is obviously quite bright and passionate about his beliefs. But you are completely correct. Just because something feels good doesn't make it true.And I almost always take the strong atheist position when in a casual debate. I feel like a strong atheist. In a formal debate I have yet to figure out a way to overcome the, "prove it" counter. Chris "When once you have tasted flight, you will forever walk the earth with your eyes turned skyward,for there you have been, and there you will always want to be."
Kostya

Re: Prove It

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Quote:In a formal debate I have yet to figure out a way to overcome the, "prove it" counter.I rarely participate in any kind of debates, so I am not very experienced at proving this kind of thing. To all the people who require that all proof must proceed by strict mathematical deduction, who claims that "negative cannot be proved", "you cannot be everywhere in the universe at the same time" and so on, I just have to say that such requirements of proof are completely unreasonable. In fact, no one can prove the existence or non-existence of even the basic everyday objects in empirical reality using the above standards of proof. There is another definition of "proof", the definition that is used by most of us to form our knowledge about reality. In this sense proof is simply having sufficient amount of evidence to establish a proposition. It is an equivalent of the legal principle of "proof beyond a reasonable doubt". For example, the conclusions drawn from applying of Negative Evidence Principle to proposition "God exists" constitutes a sufficient proof of position of strong atheism in my opinion. Edited by: Kostya at: 9/10/03 9:42 am
seanf 2003

deism

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I'd say that deism is rational in the same way that assuming the existence of other people or everyday objects is - these are rational beliefs because it's much more practically useful to believe them than an alternative. For some people, deism may be the same.
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