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xodarap replied 11 years ago (Dec 20th 2012, 7:30:56 pm)
"God" is a meme, that is to say it is a type of human behaviour pattern. Strictly speaking it is better to say that the word "God" is manifest and entailed in patterns of human behaviour which, generally speaking, fall into either one, but not both, of two rather different types of behaviour pattern. I say types of behaviour pattern because, us people being what we are, variability is normal. As an ex Christian I have real experience of both sides of the divide. True believers take the word God, or some particular name of their favoured deity, to be the real name of a person-like entity which really does exist. An atheist such as myself is more or less bound to describe the beliefs of true believers as a set of behaviours many of which are private mental behaviours of a particular kind. It is too hard and probably not worth the effort for me to try and pin down the most crucial aspects of true belief, but I think it is fair to say that naive realism is involved and, necessarily, a set of algorithms which are memes which the believer has taken in at some stage either consciously or not as the case may be. Atheists on the other hand do not take the word God, or some ...blah blah .. as real; it is just a concept that is taken far too seriously by the true believers. What atheists believe about the universe in general is not prescribed by any law, and almost none of it is irrefutably provable, except the logical necessity of _not_ engaging in the same kind of true beliefs as the true believers do. It is arguable that an atheist has access to more opportunities to be truly free. I base this assertion on my own assessment of what is critically involved in being human; the summary includes the following: The human universe is always potentially infinite, so long as it exists and we believe it to be so. I think that is possibly the most liberating thought a person can have. It works for me anyway. It is paradoxical however to the extent that our freedom, the very freedom I think is at issue, depends on our individual courage and willingness to stand by what we believe in. The true believer is likely to say at this point: "Ha ha! You see! You have to believe in something! " which is true enough but the true believers then seem unable to refrain from inferring that just because it is _possible_ to believe in a divine being therefore it is _better_ to do so. That proposition is pure guesswork however. I would say it is more reasonable not to fetter one's imagination with allegiance to unprovable yet unfalsifiable projections of someone else's power concept.
atypican replied 11 years ago (Dec 7th 2012, 11:27:04 pm)
Richard, This camp is for establishing consensus about -what god is-. It's starting to seem like you aren't too confused to recognize that god exists as a useful literary device. Since you can't see how imaginary beings exist conceptually, it's not all that surprising that you refuse to even admit that god exists as a concept. If you can admit that god exists as a fictional character, at least I've got you talking in terms of "what is", as opposed to the illogical practice of discussing things supposed not to exist. Besides the possibility of my assertion being confused or meaningless, there is also the possibility that you poorly understand it. atypican
richwil replied 11 years ago (Dec 7th 2012, 7:40:15 pm)
atypican You claim that "Whether discussing the nature of God or Santa Claus, one must logically start with admitting that the term describes something real". Not at all, Mr Claus is as fictional as god/s i.e. not real. You suspect that i "..would admit that god exists conceptually." No i do not. My position is that there are concepts of imaginary beings and it is the concepts that exist and not the beings. I do not see how imaginary beings exist conceptually: your assertion is confused or meaningless. cheers Richard
atypican replied 11 years ago (Dec 5th 2012, 10:47:01 pm)
richwil, Whether discussing the nature of God or Santa Claus, one must logically start with admitting that the term describes something real, even if perhaps misunderstood. An imaginary problem is a real problem. God exists, and if our ideas about what god is don't mature at a healthy rate, I'll say it's largely because we haven't through sound logic described what god is. I suspect that you would admit that god exists conceptually. This moves you out of the "God doesn't exist" camp into the camp discussing the characteristics of god. The position that there are "non-existent" or "unreal" things or beings is illogical to begin with.
Brent_Allsop replied 11 years ago (Dec 5th 2012, 9:40:38 pm)
Richwil said an atheist can talk about Santa Claus, but I believe it is much more than that. An atheist can point out that a vengeful God, is really a devil, not a god, and if you idealize any such, or are even OK with becoming such, and most importantly, if you seek to act like such by doing such things as flying planes into towers, you are still an evil, faithless devil. You are devilish if you make immoral cries like "God works in mysterious ways." to justify any evil, rather than hoping to overcome all such. So even if an atheist doesn't believe such exist, it is still critically important for them to engage in conversations about what kinds of Godly attributes are good, leading man kind to be the same, and what kinds of metaphorical attributes are bad, leading man to be a devil.
Brent_Allsop replied 11 years ago (Dec 5th 2012, 8:59:24 pm)
I'm in the "everything including us" is God (at least in embryo) camp, but also in the [http://canonizer.com/topic.asp/2/5 camp that hopes smart powerful guys don't have to hide from anyone]. So, even though I don't abandon my faith and accept that hiding gods exist YET, I can still talk about and discuss what an idealized god is or should be, in a metaphorical way. I can believe that anything that deviates from the attributes of this metaphorical god, (as in a God that hides from evil) should be considered a devil and you should be thought of as evil, or at best primitive, to the degree you still worship such, and so on.
richwil replied 11 years ago (Dec 5th 2012, 7:35:28 pm)
In response to atypican, i challenge the assertion that there is any logical contradiction in discussing the nature of a concept which one doesn't believe refers to a real being. We can discuss the nature of Santa Claus, can we not?
Damir replied 11 years ago (Dec 3rd 2012, 11:03:45 am)
Dear atypican, A concept of God implies many things. (Please note that I used "a concept", not "the concept" --- since there is so many concepts of God and we would not argue here if there was one only.) Consequently, a negative approach (God does not exist) --- has some relevance in this topic. It would also be --- a kind of --- dictatorial. In effect, denying atheists a say could be extended further: Only Catholics have right to speak about existence of God, for example. Do you really wish this? Have a nice day, Damir
atypican replied 11 years ago (Dec 3rd 2012, 8:37:25 am)
A person who does not believe that god exists cannot logically participate in discussions about the characteristics of god.