I don't care about "proof."

  1. Philosophy Forum
  2. » Young Philosophers Forum
  3. » I don't care about "proof."

Get Email Updates Email this Topic Print this Page

Reply Sat 14 Nov, 2009 08:59 am
As I was browsing the forums, I noticed that just about every other post is about God-bashing God, upholding God, disproving the Atheist theories, proving Christian ideology, etc. Doesn't really matter when they're about, just the concept of everyone thinking they're right just because of their beliefs; just because they were taught something and believe it to be true.

I am agnostic, but I will never say there is absolutely no God. Why? I am a human with a progressing high school education, and on the grand scheme of things, know nothing. Even those older than I am essentially know nothing. You may be intelligent, researched, passionate, or talented, but it doesn't adequately equip you with the means to determine whether or not such a powerfully hypothetical entity such as God exists! Let alone an entire religion. We are only human. There is no way we can thoroughly prove that something like this exists or does not exist.

Why can't everyone accept that multiple beliefs exist, except the fact that we are all merely human, and be tolerant of everyone? Why is everyone so set on proving what they believe in and disproving what others do?
 
Pangloss
 
Reply Sat 14 Nov, 2009 10:51 am
@weidersenmeier,
Because, for some, God's existence is incredibly important, and they can't help themselves from such speculation. For others, such a debate allows for a lively argument, and so they participate for this. And still others probably just like to bash the supposed ignorance of those who disagree with whatever faith position they hold.

I'm with you. I don't really care to know, and I don't think I can know one way or the other. So I just ignore these debates when I can...but sometimes it's very hard to resist.

The other night I was out walking my dog, and was accosted by a couple of mormons, who were on their mission to convert people, or at least gather their contact information for extra cookie points at the church. They got right down to business and first asked me if I believe in God; when I said "no", they looked stunned, as if it was unbelievable that someone could even claim such a thing, let alone think it.

I was then told by one of these kids, who was barely out of high school and thought he had solved the meaning of existence, that 'disbelief in God' still requires faith. Of course I had to rectify this misunderstanding, and then ended up debating these two on God for the next 20 minutes on the street corner. Anyway, I generally leave it alone, unless these guys bring it right to me, then there's no choice. I refused to give them any contact info of course, but I still get the pamphlets from them and Jehovah's witnesses all the time, giving me a choice between their church and hell. :sarcastic:
 
prothero
 
Reply Sat 14 Nov, 2009 11:44 am
@weidersenmeier,
There is no proof of god or for that matter of the absence of god.
Proofs of the nature and action of the divine are a waste of time.
That is not to say that philosophical speculation about the possiblity of god and of divine action are a "silly waste of time" but a certain degree of respect and humility should be maintained.
Presumably such discussions are participated in willingly. Likewise in a philosophy forum presumably such philosophical speculations do not ignore reason, science or established fact. It is not just "that is my opinion" but a willingness to present reasoned discussion and polite exchange of views.
 
manored
 
Reply Sat 14 Nov, 2009 12:36 pm
@weidersenmeier,
weidersenmeier;103437 wrote:

Why can't everyone accept that multiple beliefs exist, except the fact that we are all merely human, and be tolerant of everyone? Why is everyone so set on proving what they believe in and disproving what others do?
Humans always want to be an inch ahead of other humans, thats why. Off course, you wont fell you are ideologically ahead of someone if they dont agree with you =)

Pangloss;103456 wrote:
Because, for some, God's existence is incredibly important, and they can't help themselves from such speculation. For others, such a debate allows for a lively argument, and so they participate for this. And still others probably just like to bash the supposed ignorance of those who disagree with whatever faith position they hold.
There is also, sadly, those whose religion demans the conversion of others, much to the grief of these "others" =)

Pangloss;103456 wrote:

I was then told by one of these kids, who was barely out of high school and thought he had solved the meaning of existence, that 'disbelief in God' still requires faith. Of course I had to rectify this misunderstanding, and then ended up debating these two on God for the next 20 minutes on the street corner. Anyway, I generally leave it alone, unless these guys bring it right to me, then there's no choice. I refused to give them any contact info of course, but I still get the pamphlets from them and Jehovah's witnesses all the time, giving me a choice between their church and hell. :sarcastic:
The idea of a infinitely loving god that sends people who dont follow him to an infinitely horrible place is hilarious, isnt it? =)

The next time a christian tells me god is all love and forgiveness I will probally do something like bursting in laughter and telling then to go read the bible.
 
Poseidon
 
Reply Sat 14 Nov, 2009 03:11 pm
@weidersenmeier,
Well, the Theory is that if the most important thing in life, is yourself, and this is magnified over society, then such a society will collapse.

If one believes that one is an animal, then you will only care for fickle physical pleasure. You will have no qualms about pretending to be a doctor, and then harvesting your 'patients' for body parts. Can you see where this leads?
On the T-shirt of the one columbine killer, read "Survival of the fittest"

If you believe you are merely a physical animal, you will have no problem with killing someone else - like your parents - to collect the inheritance, for example. (See the Mendez brothers)

No judgement in the afterlife, means that ethics is just a con.
And if ethics is just a con, then society will collapse.
So if you believe in God, the world you live in will be better than if you do not.

Ironically, this is true regardless of wether God exists or not.
So I agree, proof is not really important.

Its functional to believe in God.
And more irony - that itself is proof of God.
 
Caroline
 
Reply Sat 14 Nov, 2009 03:38 pm
@Poseidon,
Poseidon;103521 wrote:
If you believe you are merely a physical animal, you will have no problem with killing someone else - like your parents - to collect the inheritance, for example. (See the Mendez brothers)
If you look further into the Menenedez case you'll also find the father was an extreme bully and judging by the amount of lead pumped into the body I would say this murder was driven by anger, it is true they enjoyed the inheritence after but this wasn't the sole reason behind this murder. Same as the Columbine massacre, two kids who were made to feel like outcasts by their class mates, again murder and suicide driven by anger.

Poseidon;103521 wrote:
No judgement in the afterlife, means that ethics is just a con.
Ethics isn't religion, ethics is a code that we live by so we can survive, it's not religous. True society would collapse if we did not have ethics, we know the difference between right and wrong and most of us choose to live by it whether we are religous or not.

Poseidon;103521 wrote:
Its functional to believe in God.
But that is not the reason why some people believe in God.
Poseidon;103521 wrote:

Ironically, this is true regardless of wether God exists or not.
I agree.
 
prothero
 
Reply Sat 14 Nov, 2009 03:57 pm
@Poseidon,
Poseidon;103521 wrote:
No judgement in the afterlife, means that ethics is just a con.
And if ethics is just a con, then society will collapse.
So if you believe in God, the world you live in will be better than if you do not..

Well that depends on your vision of god and divine will.
Much harm has been done in the name of god and religion.

If your vision of the divine is of a compassionate loving god and it inspires you to be loving and compassionate, I would say that is a helpful and not harmful belief. If you think man was created in the divine image and god values each and every life, and it inspires you to a view of human rights and human dignity then I see no objection.

If your vision of the divine is a jealous, ruler, tyrant who enlist your aid in eliminating from the world those who act or believe differently than you; I would say that is a dangerous and harmful belief.

Unfortunately both harmful and beneficial beliefs come from religious notions of divine nature and divine will.

I think that the notion one does good in this life to secure reward in the afterlife is really not very ethical. One does good because it is the right thing to do, because it is in keeping with the creation of value; not in the hope of reward in some other dimension after death.
 
manored
 
Reply Mon 16 Nov, 2009 04:38 pm
@Poseidon,
Poseidon;103521 wrote:
Well, the Theory is that if the most important thing in life, is yourself, and this is magnified over society, then such a society will collapse.

If one believes that one is an animal, then you will only care for fickle physical pleasure. You will have no qualms about pretending to be a doctor, and then harvesting your 'patients' for body parts. Can you see where this leads?
On the T-shirt of the one columbine killer, read "Survival of the fittest"
It depends of whenever you get yourself a greater purpose or not. You dont need to believe in god to have a greater purpose.

prothero;103536 wrote:

I think that the notion one does good in this life to secure reward in the afterlife is really not very ethical. One does good because it is the right thing to do, because it is in keeping with the creation of value; not in the hope of reward in some other dimension after death.
All actions come from a desire for reward, even altruistic ones. You may want to be admired by others, or just saciate your help-the-next instincts, but you want something =)
 
TickTockMan
 
Reply Mon 16 Nov, 2009 06:56 pm
@weidersenmeier,
weidersenmeier;103437 wrote:


Why can't everyone accept that multiple beliefs exist, except the fact that we are all merely human, and be tolerant of everyone? Why is everyone so set on proving what they believe in and disproving what others do?


It doesn't work this way, and no amount of wishing will ever make it so.

If you suggest to a religious fundamentalist that they should be tolerant of everyone, you are asking them to disregard what they take to be the Word of God, and that they should just go ahead and accept things like homosexuality and abortion (which would be for many exactly the same thing as saying murder is okay) because we're all merely human. In essence, you would be asking them to accept the very things that their faith demands that they not accept at the risk of damning their immortal soul for all of eternity.

Basically, as I see it here, you would have everyone, from the most devout and fundamental Theist to the hardest of Atheists become Pantheistic Agnostics.

In other words, Theists would need to not believe in their version of God (and His rules) not quite much and start accepting other people's version of God (and his rules, which may contradict some of their other God's rules) as well, and Atheists would need to start maybe believing just a wee little bit in all manner of gods and goddesses.

For many people, accepting the fact that multiple beliefs exist is not the solution. It's the damn problem. In the mind of many, there are are many beliefs, but only one truth. Theirs.
 
kennethamy
 
Reply Mon 16 Nov, 2009 07:19 pm
@manored,
manored;103935 wrote:

All actions come from a desire for reward, even altruistic ones. You may want to be admired by others, or just saciate your help-the-next instincts, but you want something =)


You seem to be saying that all voluntary actions are voluntary. And, I agree. Who wouldn't?
 
manored
 
Reply Tue 17 Nov, 2009 06:11 pm
@kennethamy,
kennethamy;103959 wrote:
You seem to be saying that all voluntary actions are voluntary. And, I agree. Who wouldn't?
Well, thats a nice way of putting it =)

The point I was trying to get at is that I dont think people who do good to go to heaven are less good than people who do good because they want.
 
Strodgers
 
Reply Tue 17 Nov, 2009 06:56 pm
@weidersenmeier,
I saw this comic strip, probably 'Frank and Ernest', which had the two and a third character, this third character made a pile of rocks next to 'F&E' pile and prayed. Frank said that 'Oog', or whatever, thought his rocks were God, which was ridiculous, since Frank's pile was the true God. In a sense I would say both are right, not because it's true, but because it's comfortable in believing in one, possibly to comfort the living because of dead kin or friends. I agree that no one knows, except God of course, however we should respect others and still philosophically debate it because it's a good way to find out about us.

Now for the bad news: Weidersenmeier, You just inadvertently started a debate on Religion. What I've read so far though, it appears to be a debate about debating on religion.
 
TickTockMan
 
Reply Tue 17 Nov, 2009 08:11 pm
@Strodgers,
Strodgers;104170 wrote:
however we should respect others


Should we respect others even if their beliefs are harmful to others? What if their belief stipulates that because of your belief or lifestyle you need to be killed?
 
Krumple
 
Reply Tue 17 Nov, 2009 11:05 pm
@weidersenmeier,
weidersenmeier;103437 wrote:
Why can't everyone accept that multiple beliefs exist, except the fact that we are all merely human, and be tolerant of everyone? Why is everyone so set on proving what they believe in and disproving what others do?


Because some use it as leverage to put forth their political actions or promotions. Basing your life style around your belief is one thing but forcing everyone else to adopt that same life style because of your belief is wrong. This is what I object to. I really have no problem with anyone practicing any religion or doing what ever they want. But when it is required of me to do the same, I protest.
 
EvidenceVsFaith
 
Reply Wed 18 Nov, 2009 05:04 pm
@weidersenmeier,
@ the OP,

Excellent opening post. I thank you very much for it.

I must say that I completely agree with you that we cannot absolutely know whether God exists or doesn't exist. So it's down to a matter of probability, not absolute knowledge. "In a way, probability is 'reasonability' " - I ponder to myself.

EvF
 
Strodgers
 
Reply Wed 18 Nov, 2009 06:17 pm
@TickTockMan,
TickTockMan;104190 wrote:
Should we respect others even if their beliefs are harmful to others? What if their belief stipulates that because of your belief or lifestyle you need to be killed?



Ummm, What?!?!?!?!?!?!

I do not believe I wrote that.


Quote:
however we should respect others and still philosophically debate it because it's a good way to find out about us.
Respect others in their opinions and philosophically debate it.
 
TickTockMan
 
Reply Thu 19 Nov, 2009 11:39 am
@Strodgers,
Strodgers;104394 wrote:
Ummm, What?!?!?!?!?!?!

I do not believe I wrote that.


Respect others in their opinions and philosophically debate it.


My question though is still the same. Should we respect others in their religious opinions (or beliefs) if part of their belief system says that those who do not believe as they do should be destroyed?

Should I respect the opinion of one who says black people (or any race, really, that is not their own) are inferior?

It's all well and good to say we should respect everyone's beliefs and opinions, but how far should one go with this? Some beliefs and opinions are pretty vile.
 
kennethamy
 
Reply Thu 19 Nov, 2009 11:58 am
@TickTockMan,
TickTockMan;104496 wrote:
My question though is still the same. Should we respect others in their religious opinions (or beliefs) if part of their belief system says that those who do not believe as they do should be destroyed?

Should I respect the opinion of one who says black people (or any race, really, that is not their own) are inferior?

It's all well and good to say we should respect everyone's beliefs and opinions, but how far should one go with this? Some beliefs and opinions are pretty vile.


Yes. I have never understood why I should respect stupid or uninformed opinions. What would the justification for that be?
 
Didymos Thomas
 
Reply Thu 19 Nov, 2009 12:04 pm
@kennethamy,
TickTockMan;104190 wrote:
Should we respect others even if their beliefs are harmful to others? What if their belief stipulates that because of your belief or lifestyle you need to be killed?


Of course you should respect them. They are still human beings.

We can respect a person while disagreeing. We can respect a person while actively working to deny them certain expressions of their beliefs - we can respect a person's humanity while also preventing said person from killing others.

When someone believes, for whatever reason, that other people should be killed for their lifestyle, that person is being disrespectful of another's humanity. Committing the very same mistake will not solve any problems, not in the long term.
 
TickTockMan
 
Reply Thu 19 Nov, 2009 12:43 pm
@Didymos Thomas,
Didymos Thomas;104501 wrote:
Of course you should respect them. They are still human beings.

We can respect a person while disagreeing. We can respect a person while actively working to deny them certain expressions of their beliefs - we can respect a person's humanity while also preventing said person from killing others.

When someone believes, for whatever reason, that other people should be killed for their lifestyle, that person is being disrespectful of another's humanity. Committing the very same mistake will not solve any problems, not in the long term.


I suppose I should respect folks like Pol Pot and Idi Amin, then, because they are still human beings?

Killers of the 20th Century

It seems to me that a great deal of suffering could have been avoided in the long run if some of these people had been given assistance in shuffling off their mortal coil very early in the game.

Good grief, even Buddhism makes some allowance for killing (I believe it is referenced in Cleary's Soul of the Samurai, but I don't have that book handy so I can't verify).
 
 

 
  1. Philosophy Forum
  2. » Young Philosophers Forum
  3. » I don't care about "proof."
Copyright © 2021 MadLab, LLC :: Terms of Service :: Privacy Policy :: Page generated in 0.02 seconds on 03/03/2021 at 09:45:40