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Author Topic: Religion- Oh no not that again  (Read 24674 times)

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Offline Luna

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Re: Religion- Oh no not that again
« Reply #425 on: September 24, 2012, 09:47:28 AM »
Hmm that is actually a very good point. I'm kind of in the middle. I would like to think there is something, because it's pretty damned depressing to think that we just vanish into nothingness when we die, but then again... I haven't seen any proof of such.

Of course, I realize the existence of an afterlife doesn't necessarily equate to the existence of a higher power, but since both are encompassed by most religions, I felt it a valid comparison.

Offline Oniya

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Re: Religion- Oh no not that again
« Reply #426 on: September 24, 2012, 09:55:08 AM »
Hmm that is actually a very good point. I'm kind of in the middle. I would like to think there is something, because it's pretty damned depressing to think that we just vanish into nothingness when we die, but then again... I haven't seen any proof of such.

Of course, I realize the existence of an afterlife doesn't necessarily equate to the existence of a higher power, but since both are encompassed by most religions, I felt it a valid comparison.

Something I saw quoted over on the 'Atheists' topic, which I found very touching:

 AARON FREEMAN:

You want a physicist to speak at your funeral. You want the physicist to talk to your grieving family about the conservation of energy, so they will understand that your energy has not died. You want the physicist to remind your sobbing mother about the first law of thermodynamics; that no energy gets created in the universe, and none is destroyed. You want your mother to know that all your energy, every vibration, every Btu of heat, every wave of every particle that was her beloved child remains with her in this world. You want the physicist to tell your weeping father that amid energies of the cosmos, you gave as good as you got.

And at one point you'd hope that the physicist would step down from the pulpit and walk to your brokenhearted spouse there in the pew and tell him that all the photons that ever bounced off your face, all the particles whose paths were interrupted by your smile, by the touch of your hair, hundreds of trillions of particles, have raced off like children, their ways forever changed by you. And as your widow rocks in the arms of a loving family, may the physicist let her know that all the photons that bounced from you were gathered in the particle detectors that are her eyes, that those photons created within her constellations of electromagnetically charged neurons whose energy will go on forever.

And the physicist will remind the congregation of how much of all our energy is given off as heat. There may be a few fanning themselves with their programs as he says it. And he will tell them that the warmth that flowed through you in life is still here, still part of all that we are, even as we who mourn continue the heat of our own lives.

And you'll want the physicist to explain to those who loved you that they need not have faith; indeed, they should not have faith. Let them know that they can measure, that scientists have measured precisely the conservation of energy and found it accurate, verifiable and consistent across space and time. You can hope your family will examine the evidence and satisfy themselves that the science is sound and that they'll be comforted to know your energy's still around. According to the law of the conservation of energy, not a bit of you is gone; you're just less orderly. Amen.

Offline Hemingway

Re: Religion- Oh no not that again
« Reply #427 on: September 24, 2012, 10:36:11 AM »
I think there's a bit of a difference between saying 'there is no Higher Power' (call it what you will) and saying 'there is one, but we just can't comprehend it'.  An agnostic could theoretically address prayers 'To Whom it May Concern...', where an atheist would consider even that a waste of breath.

What you'll find is that most people who describe themselves as atheists are agnostic atheists. They're claims about two different things. To be an agnostic atheist is to say that you see no compelling reason to believe in a god or gods, but it's also impossible to be certain. The agnostic position is basically an extension of the scientific method where, by definition, you can't prove something to be an unchanging and absolute truth.

Agnosticism, contrary to what some people make it out to be, is not some sort of middle ground between atheism and theism. You can be an agnostic theist, too.

What I've wondered about in the past is whether it's even possible to be somewhere in between. You may not care at all one way or another, you may not think about it at all. If you're from some different planet, or just a very isolated part of the world, you may never have heard of god. But I wonder if you wouldn't, in that case, be most accurately labeled as an atheist. It's not quite a process of elimination, but rather that not believing does not require an affirmation. I'm not sure, though.

Hmm that is actually a very good point. I'm kind of in the middle. I would like to think there is something, because it's pretty damned depressing to think that we just vanish into nothingness when we die, but then again... I haven't seen any proof of such.

Of course, I realize the existence of an afterlife doesn't necessarily equate to the existence of a higher power, but since both are encompassed by most religions, I felt it a valid comparison.

What Oniya pasted is good. You may also try giving Symphony of Science a listen. Specifically, the "spirituality" of Carl Sagan. The thing to realize, I think, is that when Sagan said we're a way for the cosmos to know itself, that's not a metaphor or a poetic expression. It's very much a literal fact.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XGK84Poeynk
Symphony of Science
.