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  #1  
Old 08-27-2011, 04:43 PM
Linsinbigler's Avatar
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Default Atheism

Ok so scientists say that we are all theists or deists, but some say this is an unguided evolutionary thing so some have gone beyond evolution to embrace atheism, or so the story goes.

So the two questions are:

1. Is it "genetic" now because it was implanted either directly or by evolution
OR
2. Is it simply something unguidedly planted for this stage of evolutionary development

Also, as we observe human nature, we find then when we feel someone has slighted us, we also tend to pretend they do not exist, or to not acknowledge their existence. I see it all the time in my line of work. Is this what atheists have done? eg: "even if there is a God, I don't need him."

Should prove to be a lively discussion.
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  #2  
Old 08-27-2011, 07:55 PM
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Default Re: Atheism

Very interesting topic... I started writing a response, but soon realized it was getting too werid.... so I'll have to attempt this again tomorrow on a fresh mind.
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  #3  
Old 08-27-2011, 08:32 PM
Josiah
 
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Default Re: Atheism

Quote:
Originally Posted by Linsinbigler View Post
Ok so scientists say that we are all theists or deists, but some say this is an unguided evolutionary thing so some have gone beyond evolution to embrace atheism, or so the story goes.

So the two questions are:

1. Is it "genetic" now because it was implanted either directly or by evolution
OR
2. Is it simply something unguidedly planted for this stage of evolutionary development

Also, as we observe human nature, we find then when we feel someone has slighted us, we also tend to pretend they do not exist, or to not acknowledge their existence. I see it all the time in my line of work. Is this what atheists have done? eg: "even if there is a God, I don't need him."

Should prove to be a lively discussion.


MY experience with scientist (both as a student and since) lead me to embrace the following....


1) Scientist tend to think of faith and science quite seperately, as two different realms. There are some that have embraced certainty concepts of monism or pantheism (perhaps expressed in Hindu language) but most tend to be fairly traditional - it's just neatly compartmentalized - as I think (tragically) an increasingly common post-modern phenom.


2. Our epistemologies are quite different. Perhaps nothing has damaged the relationship between science and the church than the damnations from Christian funamentalists - more in the biological sciences than in the physical ones (well, geology too). In SOME ways, my science "side" agrees. The LAST ones that should 'fear' truth are Christians, the ones who MOST should embrace an unhindered quest for knowledge and truth should be Christians. MY experience: those scientists that no longer believe is NOT because of their education, it's because of how they have been treated by Christians. To paraphrase Gandhi, "Christianity I like, it's Christians I can't stand." I think a LOT of scientists feel that way.


3. In all my years of college, and now working with scientists, I've NEVER remotely "hid" my faith, indeed, I speak of it quite openly. RARELY have I experienced ANY negativity. But then I don't condemn with it or doubt with it. I speak "I messages" ("how I feel...." "in my life, this means....." "this helps me by......" ), I keep it profoundly practical and positive. It's amazing how many have engaged in discussions with me, maybe speaking of their childhood in the Catholic or Baptist or whatever church (and a pretty good percentage, as Buddhist or Muslim - a disproportional percentage of scientists known to be come from those backgrounds).


4. Those in theoretical physics often manage to swerve quite solidly into religion - some (for reasons unclear to me) even tend to embrace religious vocabulary when they do so. I understand this (although theoretical physics isn't my thing). There's at times a fuzzy line between metaphysics and theoretical physics. FRANKLY, the bugs the ____ out of me when these scientists to that. MY experience is that Christian theologians are typically HORRIBLE scientists and scientists are often HORRIBLE theologians - so much so that I go altogether out of my way to avoid theology when speaking with scientist and science with Christians. I TRY to be better at both (you're noting that I too tend to separate them in a post modern way that I'm not comfortable with) while not blending them. God is the CREATOR. The stuff of the universe is the CREATION. They touch - but they are not to be confused.


5. My sister has her Ph.D. in biology. My brother is about a year - maybe two - away from his Ph.D. in biology. BOTH seem their studies as profoundly religious, especially my sister. She speaks of "witnessing God at work." For ME - I don't tend to see it as such. Physics is wonderfully brilliant - but also filled with chaos. I remember when I'd go on hikes in the mountains, I would come upon some view that would cause a very spiritual epiphany to me - a very emotional, spiritual moment - marveling at God. Then I'd watch an animal catch another, just tormenting it and playing with it, leaving it dead. And wonder what this "says" about God.... I think I stopped wondering.... At THIS point in our understanding, things are chaotic and full of questions. And of course, it's not how God created it - it is a fallen creation. I do believe this - if I could enter a time machine and travel 1000 years in the future (and theoretically, who knows?), I think the current dream of a simple, unified "answer" to all will likely exist. I wonder what it will look like....I wonder what Christians will make of it? I think Christians will be blessed above all by truth - if indeed science can ever truly grasp that in any meaningful way (and we may not).







.

Last edited by Josiah : 08-27-2011 at 08:38 PM.
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  #4  
Old 08-27-2011, 09:27 PM
Linsinbigler's Avatar
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Default Re: Atheism

Quote:
Originally Posted by Josiah View Post
MY experience with scientist (both as a student and since) lead me to embrace the following....


1) Scientist tend to think of faith and science quite seperately, as two different realms. There are some that have embraced certainty concepts of monism or pantheism (perhaps expressed in Hindu language) but most tend to be fairly traditional - it's just neatly compartmentalized - as I think (tragically) an increasingly common post-modern phenom.


2. Our epistemologies are quite different. Perhaps nothing has damaged the relationship between science and the church than the damnations from Christian funamentalists - more in the biological sciences than in the physical ones (well, geology too). In SOME ways, my science "side" agrees. The LAST ones that should 'fear' truth are Christians, the ones who MOST should embrace an unhindered quest for knowledge and truth should be Christians. MY experience: those scientists that no longer believe is NOT because of their education, it's because of how they have been treated by Christians. To paraphrase Gandhi, "Christianity I like, it's Christians I can't stand." I think a LOT of scientists feel that way.


3. In all my years of college, and now working with scientists, I've NEVER remotely "hid" my faith, indeed, I speak of it quite openly. RARELY have I experienced ANY negativity. But then I don't condemn with it or doubt with it. I speak "I messages" ("how I feel...." "in my life, this means....." "this helps me by......" ), I keep it profoundly practical and positive. It's amazing how many have engaged in discussions with me, maybe speaking of their childhood in the Catholic or Baptist or whatever church (and a pretty good percentage, as Buddhist or Muslim - a disproportional percentage of scientists known to be come from those backgrounds).


4. Those in theoretical physics often manage to swerve quite solidly into religion - some (for reasons unclear to me) even tend to embrace religious vocabulary when they do so. I understand this (although theoretical physics isn't my thing). There's at times a fuzzy line between metaphysics and theoretical physics. FRANKLY, the bugs the ____ out of me when these scientists to that. MY experience is that Christian theologians are typically HORRIBLE scientists and scientists are often HORRIBLE theologians - so much so that I go altogether out of my way to avoid theology when speaking with scientist and science with Christians. I TRY to be better at both (you're noting that I too tend to separate them in a post modern way that I'm not comfortable with) while not blending them. God is the CREATOR. The stuff of the universe is the CREATION. They touch - but they are not to be confused.


5. My sister has her Ph.D. in biology. My brother is about a year - maybe two - away from his Ph.D. in biology. BOTH seem their studies as profoundly religious, especially my sister. She speaks of "witnessing God at work." For ME - I don't tend to see it as such. Physics is wonderfully brilliant - but also filled with chaos. I remember when I'd go on hikes in the mountains, I would come upon some view that would cause a very spiritual epiphany to me - a very emotional, spiritual moment - marveling at God. Then I'd watch an animal catch another, just tormenting it and playing with it, leaving it dead. And wonder what this "says" about God.... I think I stopped wondering.... At THIS point in our understanding, things are chaotic and full of questions. And of course, it's not how God created it - it is a fallen creation. I do believe this - if I could enter a time machine and travel 1000 years in the future (and theoretically, who knows?), I think the current dream of a simple, unified "answer" to all will likely exist. I wonder what it will look like....I wonder what Christians will make of it? I think Christians will be blessed above all by truth - if indeed science can ever truly grasp that in any meaningful way (and we may not).

Wow. Great post Josiah. Thank you. Very informative and right to the point
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  #5  
Old 08-28-2011, 07:37 AM
AFI
 
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Default Re: Atheism

It seems to me there are two conflicting forces at work here both caused by our development.

On one hand people have theories that we use God to explain things that we donít understand, seasons, storms, diseases, death, ect. If that is true then as we continue to develop and understand these things our need to use God to explain them goes down. So for example we no longer need to pray to a rain God because we understand and can track weather patterns and we know what naturally controls them. So based on this reasoning it is completely natural for an increase in atheism to coincide with an increase in knowledge about how our world and universe work.

On the hand by another line of reasoning the more we develop and learn about the world the more we replace simplistic explanations with the reality that is more complex then we could have imagined. One example that people love to use is the eye. Now studying this level of complexity can cause people to affirm their belief that there is a God that was at some level behind the creation of our universe. So for example theistic evolutionists would fall into this camp.

So while the first line of reasoning may help explain why people would be more likely to develop as an atheist now the second line of reasoning may explain why this hasnít happened as much as some people have predicted.
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  #6  
Old 08-28-2011, 07:40 AM
CatholicCrusader
 
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Default Re: Atheism

Quote:
Originally Posted by Mark View Post
... I started writing a response, but soon realized it was getting too werid.... .
Just go with it. I do.
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  #7  
Old 08-28-2011, 09:41 AM
Giuliano
 
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Default Re: Atheism

My own theory, based on other people's theories, myths, Bible, other books not in the canon, other religions, and my own experiences.

The genes of mankind were tampered with long ago to prevent the brain from working correctly. The "single eye" Jesus talks about is what I mean. The physical part was tampered with between the time of Adam and Noah; and this is like a malfunctioning indicator or control in your car. If the physical part isn't working, the spirit finds it very hard to "connect."

Specifically, there are connections not there between the pituitary and pineal glands. This makes people mostly spiritually blind. A great deal of the "genetics" we see in the Bible are there to preserve the line of genes which were less corrupted. This will sound mad, but my brain got rewired; and I know a women whose brain got rewired. She got headaches. I didn't. As I see it, man cannot rewire his own brain. I didn't rewire mine.

There is a book out now about a "global shift" in awareness. Julian Jaynes claims that people used to have a "bicameral mind." I haven't read the book since I think I know what his thesis anyway. I would disagree with his dating however. He claims that the bicameral mind was normal and found everywhere in man globally until at least 3000 years ago. I'd say it wasn't wiped out until Jesus did something.

I did read a book years ago called, The Greeks and the Irrational, by Eric Dodds. His main thesis is not what I wish to mention; but he does discuss this "bicameral mind" among the Greeks; and then he makes a surprising statement about how the world also seems to have shifted awareness about the same time the Greek awareness shifted.

The bicameral mind, according to Jaynes, involves the two hemispheres of the brain "talking" to each other. This fits nicely with Dodds' statement, based on Greek myths, how the Greeks saw their actions being controlled by the gods.

Now we read how the angel in Revelation preaches the Gospel to every nation, etc. I assert this happened. There was a global shift then across the globe which integrated the two hemispheres in the brain; and people started thinking differently. It also made it easier for them to "connect" with Heaven and the Holy Spirit; but it did not solve the problem of the "single eye." Men could have preached the Gospel all they wanted; but without the shift in awareness, it would have fallen on deaf ears. Do remember Peter said the prophecy in Joel was happening as he spoke. I assert this was happening across the world too.

Remember too that the High Priest was told he would see Jesus; and the Bible also says that those who pierced him would see him. It doesn't say with "physical eyes," however.

Go back now before Noah. If those people had survived, their "evil eyes" would have been so prevalent in human genes, no one could have made a spiritual connection. Indeed spirits would not want to be in those bodies -- they would no better than animals.

Skip forward now after the Flood to the tribes in which the males were eradicated by Israel. They had defective genes also -- the "mark of the beast." The women, if virgins and wiling to convert, could be salvaged. The Moabites and Ammonites were so degraded that even if the males did convert, their descendants via the male line were never allowed "in the congregation." But Ruth, being a woman, could be redeemed.

Remember that Israel was told not to attack anyone first. If the "beasts" attacked them, then they were sometimes told to wipe out the males. I assert that these people were not entirely human, that their spirits, if they had ever had any, had fled.

I also predict that another shift in awareness is coming. Joel's prophecy has more than one fulfillment. It may astound people that I believe the Holy Spirit can alter the brain and even alter the DNA, but I believe many things including that the Host is changed in a very real way. I also believe the human body can be filled with Light as St. Symeon wrote about. He had his "single eye" functioning right!

As one human body can be filled with Light, so too can the planet be; and each saint has contributed to this over time. It may be reaching the tipping point where the Light reaches "critical mass." When that happens, all mankind will "see" in a new way.

We have to remember that mankind was given dominion over the earth -- God is not going to tear the veil. That requires people or someone on the earth exercising lawful dominion -- just as Jesus did when another veil was rent. When "more" people want to enlightened than remain in darkness, then the Power of God can act on earth without violating the free will of mankind collectively. From what I see, I'd say the veil is wearing thin even now.

I fear the coming shift in awareness will not be as the New Agers see it. The powers of darkness are sore losers.

Get the "single eye" in the Light, and the whole body will be in the Light. "Flesh" cannot enter the kingdom, but there is something "in" flesh which while it rebels is still worth saving.

1 Corinthians 15:50 Now this I say, brethren, that flesh and blood cannot inherit the kingdom of God; neither doth corruption inherit incorruption.

Mark 13:20 And except that the Lord had shortened those days, no flesh should be saved: but for the elect's sake, whom he hath chosen, he hath shortened the days.


So yes, while I think there's a genetic component, I don't think it's as overwhelming "atheistic" the way it used to be. In fact, today I'd say we're lucky to have atheists -- many of whom are quite ethical -- instead of pagans who sacrificed babies. The human race has progressed tremendously. The "ethical atheist" is not far from the kingdom -- may even be closer than some of the delusional cases that pop up here from time to time. Yes, the brain can get rewired by the forces of darkness in a horrible fashion also if the heart is not pure.
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  #8  
Old 08-28-2011, 09:43 AM
Giuliano
 
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Default Re: Atheism

Quote:
Originally Posted by Mark View Post
Very interesting topic... I started writing a response, but soon realized it was getting too werid.... so I'll have to attempt this again tomorrow on a fresh mind.
Don't let that stop you. People will probably be laughing so hard at me, you'll look sane by comparison.
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  #9  
Old 08-28-2011, 11:05 AM
CatholicCrusader
 
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Default Re: Atheism

Quote:
Originally Posted by Giuliano View Post
Don't let that stop you. People will probably be laughing so hard at me, you'll look sane by comparison.
Did you finish that MP3?
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  #10  
Old 08-28-2011, 11:52 AM
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Default Re: Atheism

This is a rough draft version (basically unorganized ideas) - but all I have time for at the moment. It's a very interesting discussion and I've enjoyed reading the posts so far... here's what I have to contribute (for now).

I think what makes us different than all other animals is our ability to understand good/evil (and choose between the two)... furthermore, what makes us unique is our ability to "seek answers" to deep questions. This is our "soul" (heightened consciousness, whatever you want to call it) and it is not necessary for the survival of our species... all other animals survive fine without it (bugs, for example, will probably out survive us). Therefore, from a strictly evolutionary point of view, our unique consciousness is an accident/byproduct of the evolutionary process - not a survival requirement...

I'm sure atheist would agree that our unique consciousness is not a requirement for survival. I also assume atheists would agree that our consciousness is the masterpiece of the "evolutionary machine"... nothing in our physical reality is more complex/amazing/etc than our conscious minds'.

Now we've established two facts:

1. Our consciousness gives us the unique ability to understand good/evil and seek answers to questions pertaining to our existence.

2. Our consciousness is the masterpiece of evolution - whether you believe it was designed, evolved, whatever... nothing compares to the awesomeness of our conscious minds'.

*** So what's the "purpose" of this masterpiece we call consciousness? Well, it's designed to seek answers to "deep questions" (that cannot be asked by any other living thing) - thus, that's its purpose.

Now let's move to the "why?" A compulsion to seek answers implies a "void" within each of us that yearns to be filled... but why? I venture to say the "higher purpose" of our consciousness is to find those answers - to find God... otherwise, we are left wanting. God answers the why, therefore, He fills the void. An atheist attempts to fill the void with scientific facts - unfortunately, facts do not answer the "why" - only the "how" (and even then, it's lacking)... thus, they are left incomplete.

Summary: The greatest achievement of the evolving Universe is our unique consciousness which compels us to seek answers for the purpose of filling a void - a void that can only be filled by God... because everything else falls short. The ultimate purpose of creation, therefore, is to reveal God to our souls..... yet another "coincidence" of evolution i.e. we were created to seek God to complete us.

Last edited by Mark : 08-28-2011 at 11:55 AM.
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