How many of you believe or do not believe in God?

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Re: How many of you believe or do not believe in God?

Postby skoptic » Thu Sep 30, 2010 9:47 pm

This is all far too highbrow :-) .. as a man who studied theology and philiosphy at uni .. i would like to add this

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LZJ-_OTv ... re=related

(crass swearing and australian humour warning....)
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Re: How many of you believe or do not believe in God?

Postby JP » Fri Oct 01, 2010 6:52 am

soniczip wrote:this is the most important question and, imho, nobody could give a clear empirical answer, of course. for which, like fallen_horse and alistar, i don’t understand how could the atheist position be sustained.


i think that boils down to the fact of how hard it is to understand that time is not an objective physical "thing", which makes things like "what came before" or any kind of infinity related thinking very difficult. I would recommend reading something like stephen hawkins theoretical physics books aimed at general public to understand (or more importantly, to stop thinking that you DO understand) time and infinity :D

but in general unanswered questions are not a problem for atheism and science based worldview. Unanswered problems ARE a problem in all religions because they pose to answer them all, science is fine with unaswered and unknown things, and just work to solve them.

If you think historically just 500 years back things we take as trivial everyday knowledge now were totally unknown back then and i bet in the pub discussion between an atheist and someone who wanted to cling onto some kind of belief they were quoted as "proof" of why atheist position doesnt work, "but you cant KNOW where does the sun pop up from every morning" :D

in the end, i don't define myself in respect to the post's question. or, if you want, i'm possibilistic and prepared to change my mind or direction if given good reasons (or illuminations :lol: )


because atheism is not a religion what you say above has to be an essential part of it. You have to change your position in front of evidence - otherwise it would just be another religion (which do not change their positions no matter what the evidence is).
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Re: How many of you believe or do not believe in God?

Postby JP » Fri Oct 01, 2010 7:04 am

skoptic wrote:This is all far too highbrow :-) .. as a man who studied theology and philiosphy at uni .. i would like to add this

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LZJ-_OTv ... re=related

(crass swearing and australian humour warning....)


Jim Jeffries is my fav comedian :D CLASSIC!
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Re: How many of you believe or do not believe in God?

Postby soniczip » Fri Oct 01, 2010 8:05 am

JP wrote:
soniczip wrote:this is the most important question and, imho, nobody could give a clear empirical answer, of course. for which, like fallen_horse and alistar, i don’t understand how could the atheist position be sustained.


i think that boils down to the fact of how hard it is to understand that time is not an objective physical "thing", which makes things like "what came before" or any kind of infinity related thinking very difficult. I would recommend reading something like stephen hawkins theoretical physics books aimed at general public to understand (or more importantly, to stop thinking that you DO understand) time and infinity :D

but in general unanswered questions are not a problem for atheism and science based worldview. Unanswered problems ARE a problem in all religions because they pose to answer them all, science is fine with unaswered and unknown things, and just work to solve them.

i'm interested in hypothesis. i understand that some questions can't be be answered rationally.

JP wrote:
soniczip wrote:in the end, i don't define myself in respect to the post's question. or, if you want, i'm possibilistic and prepared to change my mind or direction if given good reasons (or illuminations :lol: )


because atheism is not a religion what you say above has to be an essential part of it. You have to change your position in front of evidence - otherwise it would just be another religion (which do not change their positions no matter what the evidence is).

so, i am an atheist now!? :D but i still don't see where the evidence is ... i mean the evidence of the nonexistence of god.
i'm focusing on some kind of stuff
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Re: How many of you believe or do not believe in God?

Postby JP » Fri Oct 01, 2010 8:43 am

soniczip wrote: i mean the evidence of the nonexistence of god.


cant really prove a negative (prove there are no pink elephants!), but since there is no evidence FOR the existance of god, or any kind of testable hypothesis for it, it may as well not exist.
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Re: How many of you believe or do not believe in God?

Postby XkillerX » Fri Oct 01, 2010 8:51 am

But, after all, VF has proven the existence of the invisible blonde unicorn, so I crown the lot of you are actually true believers.

In the invisible blonde unicorn.

Toh-foo.
Next time, I'll spend the money on drugs instead.
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Re: How many of you believe or do not believe in God?

Postby sandra » Thu Feb 02, 2012 1:02 pm

I have found this thread, not sure if it's dead but I thought I would add my two cents. I'm a rabbinical student in Philadelphia. I'm have met a few people that are surprised that 1) women are and can be Rabbis; 2) there are black rabbis and 3) I'm also queer and yes you can be an out Gay, Lesbian, Transgendered person...and be a Rabbi. With that said, even though I am a rabbinical student and will be a Rabbi in about 6 years. I find the question do you believe in God challenging. For me it's not quiet as simple as a yes or a no. My reason for becoming a rabbi has a lot to do with preserving and teaching the tradition and Judaism is not just a religion. Judaism unlike other religious traditions is also about peoplehood. One can be an atheist and still be a Jew. During my six years in rabbinical school I will hopefully find a more succinct answer about God.
Anyway thanks for reading. If anyone has any questions about Judaism, dietary laws, etc. I'd be happy to answer :D
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Re: How many of you believe or do not believe in God?

Postby beforewisdom » Thu Feb 02, 2012 1:11 pm

Sandra;

I have a friend from college who is a rabbi, an agnostic and who has a stay at home husband. In my opinion, it is possible for her to be all of those things because of people who dared to question religion. I can't see any of those things being possible in orthodox Judiasm. For myself, when questioning religious beliefs, such as who can be a rabbi, I decided to question the whole thing and became an atheist as a teenager.

No disrespect to you, Judiasm, Christianity or anything else.

"The plural of anecdote is not data." (Roger Brinner)
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Re: How many of you believe or do not believe in God?

Postby sandra » Thu Feb 02, 2012 1:18 pm

No disrespect taken. Like I said if you have any questions I'd be happy to answer them :D
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Re: How many of you believe or do not believe in God?

Postby Fallen_Horse » Thu Feb 02, 2012 8:00 pm

Hi Sandra!

I'm still not sure about this whole concept of 'atheist Jew'. To me, a Jew is someone who practices the Jewish faith, AKA Judaism. Someone of 'Jewish' descent would simply be Israeli.

So a follower of Judaism = Jew
A 'Jew' by blood or genetics = Israeli

I believe the term 'Israeli' fits because that is the country which blood/genetic Jews have claimed as their land. If being Jewish isn't simply about the religion, then what would the term be for someone who is religiously Jewish but not blood/genetically?
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Re: How many of you believe or do not believe in God?

Postby sandra » Thu Feb 02, 2012 8:48 pm

Fallen_Horse wrote:Hi Sandra!

I'm still not sure about this whole concept of 'atheist Jew'. To me, a Jew is someone who practices the Jewish faith, AKA Judaism. Someone of 'Jewish' descent would simply be Israeli.

So a follower of Judaism = Jew
A 'Jew' by blood or genetics = Israeli

I believe the term 'Israeli' fits because that is the country which blood/genetic Jews have claimed as their land. If being Jewish isn't simply about the religion, then what would the term be for someone who is religiously Jewish but not blood/genetically?
Fallen_Horse, that's ok a lot of people do not understand. Judaism is a faith, it's also a faith tradition and a peoplehood. One could say that Christianity came along and created a religion but before that there were groups of people and one group were Jews, hebrews, Israelites what ever you want to call them. My religious tradition says that Judaism is a people and a religious tradition.

Today the term Israeli is someone that is a citizen of the state of Israel. There are non Jews that are Israeli and have citizenship in the state of Israel.

There really is no "real" "bloodline", Hitler, the King and Queen of spain in 1492 and everyone in between claimed that Judaism was a blood line, a "race" but Jews really aren't. Yes you can technically be born Jewish because of your Jewish mother and today by having a Jewish father, but one could also convert into the tradition, which millions of people have done over the centuries.

As far as your question about religiously Jewish but not "genetically" Jewish. That would depend if they converted or not. If they did not convert my tradition basically says that person has a Jewish Identity. A Jewish identity refers to how an individual sees himself/herself, using this example a person might call themselves a Jew and even see themselves as a Jew. Status is how the rest of the Jewish community sees someone or how a community sees its member, or how the rest of the world views that person. In order to have Jewish status, and that person does not have a Jewish parent one has to go through a process and that process is conversion. I have met people that have taken on a Jewish identity but not a status.

I hope this helped :D
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Re: How many of you believe or do not believe in God?

Postby xrodolfox » Thu Feb 02, 2012 9:44 pm

Just to point: I get this Jewish Identity thing, I think.
Most of my Jewish friends are non-observant, and at times atheists or agnostic. The practice of judaism, and the traditions and customs aren't part of their "culture", but also aren't part of their "lineage" (since those original jewish roots might be so diluted, or due to conversion)... but at the same time they identify as Jewish.
It might be akin to our family being atheists from the time of my grandfather, father, and now our family... but we all celebrate christmas with a small "c". No jesus in our holiday.
Until there's a descriptive anthropological term or other idea that takes hold that can explain how jews can be jewish while being atheists from Minnesota, there'll always be confusion on this topic. Perhaps that's what you'll have to do: find a linguistic frame so that all of us can understand this phenomena more clearly.
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Re: How many of you believe or do not believe in God?

Postby sandra » Thu Feb 02, 2012 9:52 pm

xrodolfox wrote:Until there's a descriptive anthropological term or other idea that takes hold that can explain how jews can be jewish while being atheists from Minnesota, there'll always be confusion on this topic. Perhaps that's what you'll have to do: find a linguistic frame so that all of us can understand this phenomena more clearly.


What I used to tell my students is that this is part of the Jewish narrative, it's part of the tradition. I can understand how it can be difficult to understand but you have the right idea when you mentioned celebrating Christmas with a small "c"

BTW there is also a Jewish movement (denomination) known as Jewish Secular Humanist, they are atheist but want to perserve all of the tradition. So they still do all of the rituals and celebrations without the mention or belief in God.
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Re: How many of you believe or do not believe in God?

Postby xrodolfox » Thu Feb 02, 2012 10:23 pm

sandra wrote:BTW there is also a Jewish movement (denomination) known as Jewish Secular Humanist, they are atheist but want to perserve all of the tradition. So they still do all of the rituals and celebrations without the mention or belief in God.

So that's what that is!
A friend of mine, Greg Epstein, is a big proponent, but I never really got a clear idea of what that is. I still don't really "get it".

I think that's part of the problem, eh? How Judaism is experienced by folks who come from a christian dominant background is to think of atheism or agnosticism as a complete rejection of all religious customs and practices rather than still embracing the rituals or traditions but still being atheist.

So are you Jewish Secular Humanist then?
"The worker has the right to leave his boss, but can she do it? And if she does quit him, is it in order to lead a free life; where she will have no master but herself? No, she leaves to sell herself to another employer. She's driven by the same hunger. Thus the worker's liberty is only a theoretical freedom, lacking any means of realization; an utter falsehood."
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Re: How many of you believe or do not believe in God?

Postby sandra » Thu Feb 02, 2012 10:51 pm

sandra wrote:
So are you Jewish Secular Humanist then?


No I am not. I go to school here http://www.rrc.edu and for me it's not so easy to answer do I believe in God or not, but I do believe in my tradition, and it's history.
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