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    May 2013
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  1. lan·guage    [lang-gwij] noun 1. a body of words and the systems for their use common to a people who are of the same community or nation, the same geographical area, or the same cultural tradition So, what do you think? Is music a language?
  2. Should "dying" languages be preserved and why? Should nations stress language uniformity? I'd like to see your take on these questions. I've been researching both sides of this never-ending debate and at first I found myself completely set on preserving dying languages. However after reading a few very well written articles I find that I don't feel as strongly that dying languages should be preserved. Any thoughts and opinions on the issue?
  3. mollypolly190

    Why don't you believe in God?

    Well as I said about the sharing the beliefs thing, I think that's quite a fundamental point - I'm not sharing any of my beliefs! The only person in the situation with beliefs would be you (and people who think the same thing as you). Atheism isn't a belief - it's not a deeply-held conviction or even really a 'thing'. It's just an absence of belief which, due to the insistence of people to make categories, has been given a name. Not believing something isn't an active state v.s. believing in something, which is. The thing with beliefs is that the burden of proof or explanation falls on people who have the beliefs. I mean, presumably there's a reason. Like if I told you I believed in Unicorns, you'd probably ask me why. You probably don't believe in unicorns because there's no evidence they've ever existed and we would surely have seen them if they did, or found fossils or evidence of some form or another (would be your answer). That unicorns don't exist isn't a 'belief' or a view or choice. It's just an absence. The person who is convinced that unicorns roam the earth? They're the only person with any explaining to do because the problem of understanding is that person A (the non-believer) has never seen any evidence of unicorns. The only way to really talk about if unicorns exist or not is for the person who reckons they have got evidence of unicorns (person B) to explain, because the burden of evidence is on them. So what I suppose I'm really trying to say is that atheism isn't something you can have an understanding or experience of - atheism is what you would think if you stripped your beliefs away, but it's not an entity or collection of ideas. The beliefs that you have separate you from a 'normal' person who doesn't come with some pre-packaged religious beliefs on the side It's an absence, more or less. Thank you so much for this clarification! I have never heard anyone describe it as vividly or accurately as you just did
  4. mollypolly190

    Why don't you believe in God?

    !! No need to apologise, I'm not offended by anything you said! I was just trying to answer your questions and continue the discussion. Threads aren't interesting if nobody disagrees with each other, the whole point of debating things is to make a case for your views, so don't feel worried about doing it. I like debating things Haha I apologize for apologizing! I just find myself in religious debates often in school with my peers and it's hard to argue my side without knowing the other side as well Of course I was raised in an environment that is quite different from many people in this thread and I have absolutely no understanding of atheism I find it hypocritical of myself to say that I respect other peoples choices and yet I don't fully understand them Thank you for sharing your beliefs, I need all the explanations I can get!
  5. mollypolly190

    Why don't you believe in God?

    My response to the fact that there might be a hole in me (!!!) would be exactly the same as citizenoftheuniverse's. If god is filling a 'hole' in some people then great for them, but I don't have a hole that needs filling. It's just a really weird thing to say. Seeing the world 'only through logic and the proven' isn't entirely true either. Certainly we all see the world emotionally as well, attach significance to things, have relationships, feel love, feel hate and so on. However my emotions are my own. I don't understand why there needs to be some other person in this equation or why there would be? If I love somebody then to be honest I find it slightly creepy to say that god is controlling me to love someone. The more likely explanation is that I love them because I know them, I care for them, I have things in common with them and at the end of the day, we're social animals and it's been advantageous to us over millennia to form attachments and bonds, as well as to be able to use negative social behaviours like hate. I don't think that my emotions are projected on me by some other being, or see why that seems like a reasonable thing to say And obviously I have no idea and actually nobody does, but if our 'selves' are a function of our physical bodies (which seems true), then when we die I suppose everything will just stop. It's a sweet thought that we continue on somehow, but I don't think it's likely - still, no harm in imagining what might happen if it makes you feel better about things. I fundamentally disagree with this quote ahah. Science cannot YET explain some things. Science isn't a 'thing', it's just tested observations of the world. Back in the day, 'science' could not explain why there were tides. So everybody assumed (for reasons which escape me entirely) that an invisible man was doing it. Now science can explain tides. Science is just the process of looking for and finding the explanation for something - and the more people look, the less and less things it seems are being done by the invisible man. It seems like an absolute madness to me to say that if we don't know why something's happening, it proves the existence of an invisible man. If we don't know why something is happening, what's wrong with just saying "we don't know"? I don't understand exactly how my TV works but it doesn't make me certain about the presence of little television pixies. As we discover how things work, 'god' is doing less and less of it. So why should we assume he was doing any to begin with? I find it a lot more likely (and consistent with the history of all human discovery) that we just don't understand something yet than that the explanation for anything is an invisible man. Also, people aren't 'jealous' of god being a step ahead or something. I find that quite a bizarre way to think about things!! Science is the process of discovering things - it's not like all the scientists are going to go "oh right well now that god's around, trying to discover things will stop because he's already beaten us to it". There are even religious scientists who have somehow managed to stay motivated despite the apparently depressing fact that god's got there first. I mean, if god got there first, he's very reluctant to share his knowledge with anybody or anyone (in fact, he never has). Are you suggesting that if all scientists were religious we'd have nobody doing any science at all because clearly the answer was 'god' all along?! I know I'm exaggerating what you just said, but either I've misunderstood what you meant or you'll have to admit it's a bit of an odd argument. I'd also like to point out that this is not a real life account of my beliefs. This is a real life account of the fact that I don't have beliefs in this area and am puzzled by the fact that other people do. If you say that we all have our own beliefs to be respected, then it basically becomes just a listening exercise because it's taboo to tell people that their beliefs are a bit mental or are right/wrong. Everybody just sits there and thinks their own beliefs still and pretends to be interested in other people's (or maybe they actually are interested, but the fact remains that they'd never change anything about their beliefs on the back of other people's and vice versa). At the end of the day, there's an absolute truth somewhere - either there is or there isn't a god, for instance. We can't all have equally valid opinions. Some of us are right and some of us are wrong, so it would be nonsensical to say that all beliefs are equal and deserve equal respect. A belief is a groundless supposition for which there is no evidence, so it's quite easy to not have any. And when the whole point is that I have no beliefs, I do find the good old patronising "your beliefs" language somewhat inaccurate. I'd like to apologize. It seems as though you have taken all of my statements personally and assume them to offend you. Again I apologize, I created this thread in an effort to understand atheism and as consequence our religious differences have already put us at a disagreement. As I said those used to be my views on atheism. Currently I don't know what to believe which is why I am trying to seek understanding directly from you all Yes, I do agree that you have exaggerated some of my statements but I am personally at fault for not being able to state them clearly and directly, I honestly do not want this thread to be a disagreement, I probably shouldn't have commented on these responses at all and let them play out. However you may call me somewhat ignorant about atheism and I am just trying to learn Please be patient, this is something I am unfamiliar with and I only want your views
  6. This is excellent, absolutely excellent I would love to see you expand more on the issue and if you ever do I would love to read it
  7. mollypolly190

    Why don't you believe in God?

    Thank you for this response, I would like the clarify that I didn't mean to offend you or to criticize atheism. I think that this is a great example of the gap of understanding between religious and non religious peoples. Inadvertently I immediately began to try and understate the idea of non-belief by comparing it to what I personally believe which is the central reason for the religious debate itself! Again, I would like to apologize, I in no way meant to be biased. I guess what I was trying to deduce for myself was how one aspect of my religion compared to the similar aspect of atheism. I made the assumption that because I believe in a greater power that anyone who didn't was missing out on something. To rephrase the question I originally asked: Atheists, have you ever considered that there is a greater power that humans and science cannot explain or has the issue never been raised because it is simply not something you believe? Also as to your point of higher intelligence correlation with religious belief: I myself come from a family of high intelligence and yet we all believe in God. I do understand that as education continues we tend to need facts and logic is all aspects of proving a thesis. I also recognize that science can explain a lot of things and yet it can't explain many others. I think that's the best part of the debate because people will so easily take one side without realizing that they really will never be able to fully prove or understand it! But myself as an example, even though I am a firm believer in the science of our current generation I also believe that there is something out there that is just greater than humans. This isn't to say I don't believe the Big Bang Theory, or the theory of evolution. I know personally that I don't believe 100% everything the Bible tells me and I also don't agree 100% with everything science tells me. Honestly that's what I love the most, I can agree with the facts but I still have a part inside of me that believes something out there is just much more powerful than humans. With this next statement I do NOT mean to offend anyone but I have noticed that scientists need to prove and believe that they are correct to be successful. So I see the rejection of religion as a basic need of the job for them so that they are able to concentrate on their work with the mindset that they are in charge and right. Nobody who wants to understand the theory of life wants to believe that something out there is one step ahead. Again, this isn't meant to offend. PLEASE understand that up until now that was my view of atheism, which I obviously see as biased and unfair to atheists as a whole. That's why I started this thread. I would love to hear your real life accounts of your belief and I want to be able to understand beyond my misconceptions
  8. mollypolly190

    Why don't you believe in God?

    I find through a lot of people I have asked this question to that this is their answer, so if you don't mind may I ask another? Just because you don't see the need to believe in God does that mean you believe in only logic and the proven?
  9. mollypolly190

    Why don't you believe in God?

    Thank you for answering! If you don't mind I'd like to ask a a few questions based on your response as a whole but more specifically this section. (If the following appears to offend you I apologize immensely, I mean in absolutely no way to judge your personal beliefs I just have a few questions that I would like to hear elaborated on by someone who does not believe in God) Mainly, I respect the fact that as an intellectual you try to understand your world better by seeing through only facts and logic, however do you feel that there is an empty portion of you correlated with the fact that you refute God based only on logic? This may make more sense in my head than to anyone who reads this but humans feel powerful emotions, such a love and hate. Personally I find that I cannot understand why I myself may love someone that another does not and I also can't find a concrete scientific explanation either. So hypothetically if this was true for you is it wrong to say that maybe those feelings have a "greater purpose" or that they were caused by something that could possibly be even more complicated than science itself? Also, without your belief in God do you also believe that once you die those very emotions you used to posses will just cease to exist completely? As a person of faith myself I am trying to understand the opposite side of my own beliefs, and I'm entirely grateful that everyone here is willingly and openly sharing their own!
  10. mollypolly190

    Why don't you believe in God?

    Thank you so much for your answer! I've been raised in a religious household my whole life and I've come to terms with the fact that my beliefs are mostly inherited from my parents. However I know many people who have the same history and grow up to find that they themselves do not believe in God. Yet I still hold strong in my beliefs because I have matured enough on my own to understanding my personal opinions on religion and I find that even without the guidance of my parents I would still believe in God. I am just extremely curious to hear the other side of the religion debate, and I'm really happy that you shared this with me
  11. mollypolly190

    Is murder bad?

    I completely agree with anyone who has said that such a question is very relative. Murder by definition is unlawful killing, however does that mean that there is such a thing as lawful killing? Well yes, in a sense it does. Under law there are certain exceptions to murder, self defense being a widely used example. So by lawful definition murder can be and is currently justified. However anything put through the legal system is debatable Some people strongly believe in the use of capital punishment while some people are completely opposed to it. And yet we still see cases of capital punishment being used. So in a sense generalized public opinion is what influences the laws and what is widely believed to be acceptable. So, in quick response to your question, by law murder is always bad but in certain cases it is acceptable. Basically this is saying that your personal opinion on the issue is always accepted and easily debated but that the masses have decided to reach beyond the basic moral issues of murder and looked at the causes and effects
  12. mollypolly190

    Why don't you believe in God?

    I just spent the last 30 minutes reading an old thread on God and the correlation between intelligence and religious beliefs. Personally, I am very well educated and top of my class and yet I still have strong religious beliefs. But this is besides the point, I only use myself as an example. This question is generally directed to anyone who is atheist, agnostic, or just is completely unsure! (But of course anyone feel free to answer, I'd also love to hear the religious side of the argument!) So, in essence of saving time I'll be direct; If anyone out there doesn't believe in God, why? I honestly just want to hear your opinion and what lead you to your beliefs. Was it lack of religious background, your education, a personal revelation? What reasons do you have for not believing in God and will your beliefs ever change? Do you look down upon people who do believe in God/how do you treat them and their beliefs? And please anyone who is religious feel free to comment the inverse! I'd like to see a very unbiased debate on the issue because I am genuinely curious and interested in your answers. Thank you all!

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