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General Is There A God?

Discussion in 'Hard Talk' started by Atheist, Mar 12, 2010.

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  1. Atheist

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    Dear Sikhs,

    I would like to know why you believe in god. I am intrigued - is it a personal experience? If so, what was it? Please elaborate on why you believe in god, thank you.
     
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  3. Tejwant Singh

    Tejwant Singh United States
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    Athiest ji,

    Guru Fateh.

    Before we can discuss your question, please share with us what the word God means to you and do all religions that you have in mind when you mentioned the word God think/define God as you do?

    Thanks

    Tejwant Singh
     
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  4. Atheist

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    Thank you for your reply. By "god" I mean a personal god. I mean an intelligent, conscious entity that is the sole supreme ruler and the creator of the universe. An entity that cares about human affairs, answers prayers, performs miracles, and judges us if we do something "wrong."

    Many religions use a definition similar to this. Growing up as a Sikh, my parents told me that god listens to our prayers (ardaas) and answers them and helps us, and that we are judged by our deeds (like it is said in Salok at the end of japji Sahib - some get closer to god and some go further) which leads me to believe that Sikhism champions a "personal" god. Christianity also uses a "personal" god but it's much different - the holy trinity. Judaism with Yaweh I think also uses a personal god. Mormons, B'hai's, Catholics, and Muslims all believe in some form of a personal god (though the specifics are obviously different) - they all believe in a god that created the universe and cares about us. Not sure about Buddhism, haven't read the whole thread on this website about that topic.

    Einstein believed in a "pantheistic" god - he used the word "god" simply as a metaphor for the natural laws of the universe (making him an atheist). Others believe in a "hands-off" or non-personal god (deists), believing that god created the universe but then retired, never to care about human beings and certainly not intervening or answering prayers.

    So my question deals with the "personal" god, as I am assuming (correct me if I'm wrong) that most Sikhs believe in a personal god, as evidenced by the fact that Sikhs pray, do ardaas and kirtan, and say that god uses karma to get us closer to or further from god. Granted Sikhism states that you can't truly define god using our words - Guru Gobind Singh lists many characteristics of god in the Dhasam Granth but none truly define Him/Her/It.

    I don't believe in a god of any kind, just like no one here believes in the tooth fairy. I still appreciate Sikhism as a philosophy and believe that the Gurus were centuries ahead of their time, but to say that there is a "god" that actually cares about me sounds like wishful thinking (everyone says if something is too good to be true, then it probably is - what else is more good than god?). If anyone is interested I would be more than happy to delve into why I don't believe in god - but for most of my life I was a believer.

    Hope that clears it up.
     
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  5. Tejwant Singh

    Tejwant Singh United States
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    Atheist ji,

    Guru Fateh.

    Thanks for the response.

    I am a bit confused when you say 'personal god'. Personal is very relative. When you walk in the open, the breeze you feel is personal, the sunshine that is upon you is very personal, the rain drops when you are walking in the rain are in the same manner personal. So your abstract response does not say much.

    Secondly, in Sikhi god is not a belief, but Ik Ong Kaar IS. Beliefs do not need any truth. Mool Mantar explains what Ik Ong Kaar IS.

    Please read it thoroughly, try to understand it. There are many translations/interpretations that can be found on this site and also on the internet.

    Once you have studied the above, and if you have any questions, please do not hesitate to ask, then we can discuss about the concept of god you have in your mind.

    For you to explain/justify your absence/lack of belief in something, firstly, you have to understand what that something is and under what context it is used by someone and if it has a universal meaning or not. If it does not then that something may mean a lot of different things to different people.

    Tejwant Singh
     
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  6. spnadmin

    spnadmin United States
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    Atheist ji

    I find your perspective on the question Is There a God? a fascinating perspective. And I am not certain that I agree with your conclusions, though your thinking leading to your conclusion shows signs of some serious reflection, a quality that I respect.

    So I am intrigued. How do you reconcile your thinking with the Mool Mantar, which makes note of One who is timeless and self-existent, yet the doer of everything, and who bestows grace. It seems to me the Mool Mantar includes elements of both not person and godly.

    I am not making a case for a blended definition of God. Simply curious to read your reply. It should be worth reading. and OOOOOOOOOOPs! Tejwant ji posted a similar question just as I was posting. My question has a bit of a different take.
     
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  7. Lee

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    Atheist ji,

    It is a good question.

    Why do I belive in the existance of a creator God?

    *shrug* I really don't know I guess I just always have done so.

    That by itself is probably not any good to you , but then if I was to ask you to consider the roots for some of your own belifes, I wonder what would happen.
     
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  8. Navdeep88

    Navdeep88 Canada
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    yea, i hope. :beg:
     
  9. Atheist

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    Thanks everyone for their replies, this is the kind of discussion I want. I will try to reply to each issue.

    1) When an atheist says "personal god" we simply mean an entity that created the universe and cares about human affairs. The word "personal" might not be the best choice, so just think of it as a "hands-on god" - again meaning a god that intervenes in human affairs (for example by answering prayers and listening to ardaas). From what I have seen, Sikhi champions some form of a hands-on god (Sikhs are not deists)

    2) I have read Mool Manter several times. I have memorized japji sahib and a lot of rehras sahib. I can do kirtan and play the tabla. My parents are quite religious and have explained many shabads and sikh history to us, so I do have a fairly good understanding of the basics

    3) The issue I have with religious thought is exactly what was said here - "Ik Ong Kaar IS." A christian can just say that jesus IS, and islam says that allah IS. One reason I am atheist is because you cannot simply decree that something IS and have that be your only defense as to why it exists. If I told you that some gospel says that the pink unicorn IS, that wouldn't impress you much would it? But the mool manter does to you, and the bible does to christians - my question is why (and you can't just say "because the gurus said so" because the christians can "because god says so" - and again that would not impress you because you don't believe that jesus is god

    4) Atheists do not need to explain why they don't believe in god and don't have to understand god to choose not to believe in him/her/it. There are an infinite number of things which someone could believe in - like the pink unicorn on the moon and the tooth fairy. Do you believe in either? No of course not. But did anyone say that you had to explain why or tell you that you first need to understand the unicorn or the tooth fairy? No of course not. The onus is on the person who claims that something exists - the theist has to justify why they believe in god, just like the person who believes in the tooth fairy should explain why. In other words, don't believe in something by default or because you were simply raised that way by pure accident

    5) How do I reconcile with the Mool Mantar? The Mool Mantar is a series of alleged facts of god. If I made a similar series of such facts, no one would expect you to reconcile with it. Again, the Mool Mantar simply decrees these aspects of god. If I just "decreed" aspects of the pink unicorn on the moon, would that impress you? Of course not, and you wouldn't even think about having to reconcile it, but you think I need to reconcile the Mool Mantar. Again you cannot just say "because Guru Nanak wrote it" because the Mormons can just say "joseph smith wrote it" but clearly that doesn't compel you to be mormon does it?

    6) Atheism is not a belief. It is a lack of belief. This is a common misconception. I do not accuse you of having a "belief" in the non-existence of the pink unicorn. So everyone here is an "a-unicornist" and an "a-tooth fairy-ist." What is the root of your "belief" that the unicorn and tooth fairy don't exist? It sounds absurd when I ask this, yet it is analogous to you asking me the roots of my beliefs that god doesn't exist. If you show me real evidence, then I will conclude that there is a god.

    Hopefully this stirs up some more discussion. I appreciate everyone putting in the time to share their thoughts. The basic question remains: Why do you believe in whatever type of god you believe in?

    Thanks.
     
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  10. Sinister

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    ok this is what i have posted on another thread

    Pantheism is dominant in eastern tradition.

    Let us rationally and honestly try to justify the existance of god (and then work backwards to relate to the different philosophies):

    Let us make the supposition that an individual not only believes in the existance of truth but also believes that god is infinite truth, yet continues to, what appears to be redundantly, to affiliate his reality with that of a infinitely describable entity, god.

    Now through Descartes Law of Universal Causation we know that all beliefs are born through an agency by which effect is produced; which means, that even the birth of redundancies have cause.

    But upon closer inspection, god is not a redundancy.

    So, God is, through the miracle of linguistics, a rational discription and understanding of truth.

    We cannot categorize unknown truths (yet to be truths) in the same breath as known truths. We have the existence of known truths and justified true beliefs. But where is new information coming from? (what feeds and asists the ever expantion of knowledge itself). For the internalist new information is just that what is not realized within the mind, for the externalist new information has not been sensed. This new information (literally the unknown) that has not been retrieved, interpreted and realized is also god.

    So God is a universal all encompassing concept of truth, whose linguistic equivalent in this case, does not exist...thus making his existence or understanding non-reduntant

    God is both realized and unrealized truths.

    Of coarse, now psychological reasons can be drawn out, because if god is both existing and yet to be existing truth, then the pursuit for god is a rational choice, that gives life meaning and may expand the cause for expansion of imagination. …we can also involve discussion of free will but... lets start with this.
     
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  11. Navdeep88

    Navdeep88 Canada
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    Atheist,

    Do you believe life can or should be lived devoid of spirituality? (what do you mean when you say Atheism is a lack of belief..)
     
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  12. Tejwant Singh

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    Atheist,

    Guru Fateh.

    Thanks for the response. Let's try to have interaction where all of us can learn from each other, not any tug of war. Your belief or lack there of is your personal thing. It has nothing to do with what and how others conduct their own lives. You are trying to project your belief or lack of as if it is better than the pink unicorn that many believe in. It may be true, but let's try to share our thoughts about our own abstracts rather than trying to paint on each other's canvases with our own palettes.

    Let me try to understand what you are trying to say and in order to do that I have to ask you questions about your own posts and I want you to be open minded about them. Does atheism breed open mindedness? I hope it does because that is the only way we can open our gateways and accept knowledge and make it our best friend rather than our worst enemy.

    You write:

    As you mentioned in your posts that you know Gurbani and play Tabla and sing Shabads, which is all commendable then can you please quote from the SGGS, our only Guru that made you conclude the above about Sikhi? Please give us your own understanding of the Shabads if you want to use literal translations from the net.

    Allow me to congratulate you for your talents. We will get to the Jap and the Rehras part later. Can you please explain in your own words what Ik Ong Kaar is according to Mool Mantar and how does it differ from your own truthfulness that you live as an atheist?

    You have to define each entity with your own understanding rather than painting with your broad brush of ends to justify your means. This is the reason I asked you in my initial post and again now. Please define each entity the way you see as a person then we can have this interesting debate move ahead and I am sure all of us are going to come out of it as winners by gaining from the learning perspective.

    Once you have explained the first 3 then we can move on to your 4,5 and 6. Learning is a life time endeavour.

    Hope to read your perspective soon.

    Thanks & regards.

    Tejwant Singh
     
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  13. Atheist

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    Dear Sinister Ji and Navdeep88 Ji and Tejwant Singh Ji,

    From what I am reading, it appears that you are saying that god = truth. This sounds like pantheism (and like you said, pantheism is quite common in the east). Are you saying that god and truth as synonymous? Do you think that god is a conscious entity (like a superhuman) that can hear your prayers, choose to intervene when he/she/it feels appropriate, and perform miracles? Does god care about your sex life? Does god get offended if you do not pray toward Mecca 5 times a day?

    Navdeep88, to answer your question, it depends on what you mean by spirituality. If you mean spirituality deals with the supernatural and superstitious, then yes we can live without it. I am living without it just fine. After all, why do we need a supernatural? There is no evidence for it. Everything problem, issue, or observation has a logical answer that fits within the realm of nature (not supernatural) - we just clearly don't have all the answers. Just because us puny humans don't have the answers doesn't mean that there must be a supernatural. We used to not know where babies came from, so we said "god did it, it must be supernatural." Now we have an explanation. Everything has an explanation - we just don't know most answers and never will.

    If by spirituality you mean human emotion, determination, motivation, overcoming adversity, etc. then yes spirituality has a huge impact on humanity. But the two definitions are totally different - one deals with the supernatural and one doesn't.

    What do I mean when I say atheism is a lack of belief? Very simple. You don't believe in tooth fairies do you? No, so you are an a-tooth fairy-ist. Do you need to justify why you don't believe in tooth fairies? No of course not. There are an infinite number of things that you COULD believe in, like fairies, unicorns, the flying spaghetti monster, etc. but you don't go around listing every single thing and explaining why you don't believe in it. It's simply a lack of belief in those things. Similarly, for atheists, they just have a lack of belief in god, just like you have a lack of belief in the flying spaghetti monster. For me god falls into the same category of all those things - made up by human beings (mostly to explain things we cannot explain). But think about it, we used to not know where babies came from, and people said it must be god, ie supernatural. Now we know. Eventually if we became perfect (we never will) we could explain everything by the same natural laws - no supernatural needed.

    Why don't you believe in the flying spaghetti monster?


    Ok onto Tejwant Singh Ji.

    1) Let's just take the shabad "Tum Datte Thakhur Prathi Palakh" (forgive me for the spelling. Here are just a few quotes from that shabad (from sikhitothemax):

    "You are the Giver, O Lord, O Cherisher, my Master, my Husband Lord...I am your child, and I rely upon you alone. You destroy millions of my sins, and teach me in so many ways...Please honor your innature nature, and save me! I seek your sanctuary, you are my only hope. You are my companion, and my best friend...save me"

    This quote really makes it look like god is being personified in some way or another (yes yes, god is greater than a mere person, but you get the idea). How can a god who is not a conscious entity destroy millions of sins? Or is the entire Guru Granth Sahib to be taken metaphorically? If so, then what is this system that can destroy sins? How does it happen? If not by a conscious entity, then by who or what?

    2) Perhaps this is my ignorance about Mool Mantar, but I was always told that Ik Ong Kaar simply meant god is one. My dad also made a point once that Guru Nanak specifically used the numeral "1" as opposed to the word "one." I guess as an atheist, I would say god is 0, because he doesn't exist (just like the flying spaghetti monster).

    3) Define each entity? I think none of them exist. Each entity is whatever the majority of the people in that religion have told me. Jesus is the son of god, sent down to die for our sins. The Koran is the only true word of god, and joseph smith had a vision from god and jesus and so wrote the book of mormon. I don't believe in any interpretation of any of them. All I am saying is that no one can just "decree" that anything (regardless of what it is) just exists.

    And yes, atheism breeds open mindedness. Believe it or not, we have the same goal - to find out what the truth is. If there is no evidence for a unicorn, there is no reason to believe in it. If there is no evidence for a god, there is no reason to believe in it.

    Hope this helps! I wish we could have a person to person conversation about this instead.
     
  14. spnadmin

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    Atheist ji

    Please let me clarify my position on pantheism. Pantheism is not a belief system, religion nor spiritual path. Pantheism is a philosophical position, that can and often does exist side by side with other central beliefs of a particular religion. Pantheism can be found in some religions, not in others. Some religions espouse the immanence of the Divine within all creation and some do not espouse this idea.

    I would also like to point out that, when a religion contains pantheistic elements,"God" is not always ruled out. Pantheism and theism are not always taken as exclusive categories. There is an ongoing controversy as to whether a religion can have elements of both.

    That is mainly because a "theistic" religion can cast the relationship of God and Creation in a very dualistic way, and therefore have few if any pantheistic characteristics. Conversely, a theistic religion can contain a strong sense of pantheism. And even within a single "theistic" religion there can be sects or traditions that are heavy in pantheism, and others that are not. It all depends on God as separate from Creation is a core belief.


    My own view: Sikhism is a theistic religion, and that panentheist themes are contained within Sri Guru Granth Sahib Maharaj. This is my understanding from Gurbani.

    Panentheism God exists and interpenetrates every part of nature, and timelessly extends beyond as well. From the Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy, " “Panentheism” is a constructed word composed of the English equivalents of the Greek terms “pan”, meaning all, “en”, meaning in, and “theism”, meaning God. Panentheism understands God and the world to be inter-related with the world being in God and God being in the world. It offers an increasingly popular alternative to traditional theism and pantheism. Panentheism seeks to avoid both isolating God from the world as traditional theism often does and identifying God with the world as pantheism does."
     
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  15. Tejwant Singh

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    Atheist ji,

    Guru Fateh.

    You write:


    I did not say anything like that what you have mentioned above as the above is also addressed to me, it is obvious that you read something that I never mentioned. Please clarify your viewpoint.


    In response to your quoting a couple of lines from a Shabad above and I am sure you are aware that all SGGS is a 1429 pages of poetry, not prose.

    Let me quote you a common song and tell me what it means to you.

    " You are the wind behind my wings"......

    Does the above song mean that you as a person really have wings and is able to fly with them and at the same time you become the wind for your fellow winged person to help him/her fly faster to the destination?

    When you answer the above, you will find what the Shabad above is trying to convey in a poetic form.

    But that is not the point. The point is that you have got the ends and you are trying to hustle for the means to justify them. Your above desperate attempt of putting a couple of lines from a Shabad shows that.

    You have still been unable to or shall I say are trying to avoid what has been asked directly to you by me many times, that is to define Ik Ong Kaar as described in Mool Mantar for the reasons only known to you.

    Let me ask you another question.

    Does Atheism make you believe in energy or is it more than a belief and just a fact?

    Let's assume for a moment that energy is a fact, then, is this energy formless, genderless, timeless or not?

    Well, I am glad atheism breeds open mindedness. The first step for that goal is to let the means lead us to the ends and rather not the ends make us invent/concoct the means.

    As, we have the same goal, let's work on it together.

    I am just one person amongt thousands who are the members of this wonderful forum and many more that visit here. Open mindedness also makes us open our discussion/interaction to as many minds as possible so all can pitch in and teach us.

    Thanks & regards

    Tejwant Singh
     
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  16. Sinister

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    I am going to have to go ahead and agree with Tejwant Singh here again.

    what you are doing is not an analysis of a 'belief system', you seem to have a cause, and if a person has a cause they tend to deliver sermons not discussions. You are not looking for agency (which is the only way to breed openmindedness) but have become an agency.

    also, when you ask people things like "do you believe in the flying spaghetti monster", you sound like you've been hopped up on coffee and forced to watch too many of those snorefest docudrama's produced by Dawkins. At least regurgitate something a bit more entertaining...like asking questions that are defeasible.

    and a question for you;

    you seem to believe in the existence of truth
    does the existence of truth require beleif? (here we go again :woohoo:)
     
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  17. Atheist

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    Very good discussion! I will again try to answer each point individually

    1. Pantheism: Different people have a different definition of this apparently. Professor Richard Dawkins (world-renowned evolutionary biologist for those that may not have heard of him) says that pantheism is what Einstein "believed." He used the word "god" to mean the sum total of all the natural universal laws, but he in fact was atheist. But that might just be splitting hairs, I see what you're saying. You believe Sikhism is a theistic religion and a pantheistic religion right? So my question to you specifically is, do YOU think this entity called "god" is a conscious entity that answers prayers, performs miracles, and cares specifically about humans by helping them?

    2. Tejwant Singh Ji - I was referring to what Sinister Ji had said. What Sinister Ji had said made it appear as though god is truth. All the questions I asked (mecca, etc.) was just me trying to understand what Sinister Ji's definition of god is. It was not directed at you specifically

    3. Yes, I fully and completely understand that the Guru Granth Sahib is poetic, and this is what I wanted you to admit to. Therein lies the annoying problem with religion - it's not literal! Every single person has a different interpretation. We have already seen here that not everyone has the same interpretation. If everything is a poetic metaphor, then that gives everyone the ability to believe whatever they want because that's how they interpreted it (agreeably happens much more in christianity than Sikhism...don't get me started on christianity though). When Guru Arjan says "you destroy millions of my sins" one person can think that means god decides when to forgive you for your sins, and another person might think that means the philosophy of the Guru Granth Sahib teaches someone to not sin, thereby effectively "forgiving" future sins (because they don't commit them). So this is again what I don't like about religion. It's so metaphorical everyone has a different interpretation of what it says. The Gurus should have just said "Here are the FACTS about god" and then used poetry/literature of fluff it up. But like every other religion, it forces everyone to have different interpretations. Another reason I am atheist.

    My "desperate attempt" of putting a couple lines from a shabad was to prove a point, and I did just that. It got you to admit that it is poetic. The song "wind beneath my wings" indeed is a poem just like you said, but it's sole purpose is poetry and motivation. When RELIGION capitalizes on this, it's totally different, because "wind beneath my wings" doesn't tell people how to live their life, but religion does. Is my point now clear? I enjoy listening to shabads for their music and poetry, but clearly the true meaning behind them is always open to interpretation.

    4. "Define Ik Ong Kaar as described in Mool Mantar for the reasons only known to me." I guess I just don't know what you mean by that question then. "Ik Ong Kaar" means god is one. There are no reasons only known to me. Please clarify your question, I clearly am not getting it.

    Does atheism make me believe in energy? No. First of all, atheism does not make me believe anything. Second, atheism is a lack of belief. The only thing that defines an atheist is that they don't believe in god. Again, atheism is not a religion, a faith, a philosophy, a dogma, etc. It is none of those. It's just like me calling you an a-tooth fairy-ist. It means nothing more than you not believing in the tooth fairy. Similarly, atheism just means I don't believe in a god of any kind. That's it. I do not use the word "god" to describe the total sum of energy.

    Energy of course is, as you say, formless, genderless, and timeless (stephen hawking might argue though that energy is not timeless - but I'm not an astrophysicist so I can't comment on it). But that's a far cry from a god that cares about human affairs, performs miracles, or cares about your sex life.

    Atheist and atheism are both misnomers. Again atheISM is not a way of life or a philosophy. Do I accuse you of believing in a-santa clause-ISM? No of course not - you just simply don't believe in santa clause. I just simply don't believe in any god of any kind. No two atheists are alike (which is fine, they're not suppose to be - but no two sikhs, apparently, are alike either)

    Here is my position:
    1) There is no god of any kind.
    2) There is no entity (other than my friends and family) that cares about my existence, my sex life, or my welfare
    3) There is no conscious being that decided to create the universe
    4) There is no conscious being that has a vested interest in human affairs, answers prayers, or performs miracles
    5) Religions use metaphors and poetry - so everyone has the luxury of interpreting everything as they please (then why have religion?? How incredibly pointless)
    6) Religion has arguably caused more bad than good (and yes politics is also intermingled within it, but that doesn't excuse religious atrocities)

    I think I should re-phrase my original question (applies to all readers):

    1) Do YOU believe in a god of any kind? yes or no only
    2) If yes, what is YOUR personal definition of god?
    3) Does god consciously care about human life, answer prayers, and perform miracles? yes or no only
    4) Is god a conscious entity that can make decisions? yes or no only
    5) If I asked Guru Nanak for the definition of god, what would he say? And you can't say "how are we supposed to know what he would say?" - if Guru Nanak started a religion, he should have defined god for us (or as close as a human can understand)

    It's only fair for me to answer my own questions:

    1) No
    2) N/A (god is the same as santa clause - made up character for our entertainment)
    3) No (he doesn't exist)
    4) No (he doesn't exist)
    5) I apparently have not researched Sikhi enough to know this answer, so I invite others to answer it




    Ok, onto Sinister Ji

    If I have a cause, it is simply to find out WHY people on this site believe in god. That's it - it doesn't sound as egregious as you make it out to be. I am not doing it to make fun of people, simply out of curiosity. Others have posed to questions to me in the process, and I have answered them. I am not delivering sermons, because I don't think sermons should exist! Again, I am just asking people WHY they believe in god, period. Religious people get so offended so quickly. I am open-minded, otherwise why, as an atheist, would I ask people why they believe in god? A close-minded atheist would not even be on this site! I am being curious by asking this question. If you think that is being close-minded then you are saying that curiosity is a bad thing (religion has taught you well then).

    Also, when I ask "do you believe in the flying spaghetti monster" I am trying to prove a point, which you have proven for me quite nicely. You think it is a completely absurd question, right? Of course it's absurd, that's the whole point. When people ask me to defend why I don't believe in god, or suggest that to not believe in god I first must understand god, it is equivalent to me accusing them that they have to justify why they don't believe in the flying spaghetti monster and that they have to understand it to not believe in it. Sounds absurd right? Same thing with god. Just another fictional character that people get offended about way too quickly. I am not simply regurgitating something, I am proving a point (which you did for me).

    Does the existence of truth require belief? This is a good thought-provoking question! My answer would be no. Some things are simply true (and yes we can quibble about how human perception could be wrong, we could be hallucinating, etc.). As an example, water is composed of two atoms of hydrygoen and one atom of oxygen. We know this, therefore we don't have to BELIEVE in it, because it's already true! It's pointless to believe in something that we don't have the answer to yet. It's more practical to simply say "I don't know, let's investigate it and see if we can figure it out." I am the first to admit I don't know anything, that is why we have to investigate things and figure them out. The first part of the scientific process is making an observation about something you don't understand. It's about the humility of admitting our own ignorance. For as much religion preaches humility, I have seen so many arrogant religious people (mostly christians).

    So, once again, my curiousity has led me to ask religious people why they believe in god and they have taken offense to the curiosity and accused me of being a preacher (this is not the first time it has happened - since when has asking a question to investigate something been tantamount to preaching a sermon? Ridiculous). My apologies, I will stop now and find other ways to investigate. Thanks though, I did learn quite a bit from our discussions.
     
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  18. spnadmin

    spnadmin United States
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    Atheist ji

    Richard Dawkins is not a philosopher. Maybe he is a smart man, but he should adhere to his area of expertise instead of making YouTube videos in which he prances and quips about religious concepts that are actually very complex. In the eyes of someone with real knowledge of either religion or philosophy, IMHO, he must really look like a rank amateur.

    Reinventing language as a strategy for bringing a debate or discussion onto your own turf, in other words defining the terms of engagement, might be a great debating technique. However, a better strategy would be to come up with some common agreement on definitions before beginning the dialog. Otherwise... well Tejwant has already explained.

    Reinventing words according the "reality of one's subjective experiences" as post-modern theorists would say, is common these days. It is the post-modern thing to do. Unfortunately instead of leading to some collective discovery it tends to less communication and a greater sense of estrangement. Of course all of this is only my 2 cents.
     
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  19. BhagatSingh

    BhagatSingh Canada
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    Pantheism

    • (rare) worship that admits or tolerates all gods
    • the doctrine or belief that God is the universe and its phenomena (taken or conceived of as a whole) or the doctrine that regards the universe as a manifestation of God
      wordnetweb.princeton.edu/perl/webwn
    lol Narayanjot Kaur Ji, Dawkins is using the accepted definition of Pantheistic God.
    And Atheist ji mentioned (when introducing Dawkins) that he is an Evolutionary Biologist.
    Ok back to the discussion
     
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  20. Sinister

    Sinister
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    you do realize that curiosity demands the feelings of intrigue, commitment and passion...right? (which you do not display because you dismiss that which is not privy to your tastes...an attitude observed and underlined above)

    I was just performing a thought experiment.

    According to your post you seem certain that the existence of truth is not dependant upon belief (which according to modern studies of physcology and neurology, a person could challenge). This means that you are convinced that truth exists independent of belief. and therefore truth is subjective only on the grounds of external perception. Which also means that truth would exist without you present.

    But if I recall you also admit that you know nothing.
    how could that be? You have nothing but cognitive dissonance written over every position you hold…therefore is any position you hold of any consequence?


    SO...is there a moral obligation on your part to prove yourself wrong and challenge your own beliefs/truths if you indeed are the humble servant of uncertainty? ... it is something i would enjoy and consider worthy of discussion (rather than another endless debate about existence of god...by people who know nothing).
     
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  21. spnadmin

    spnadmin United States
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    Given he is using one accepted definition of pantheist among several -- how ably has he made his case? Or is his point that believers are a benighted lot, and he au contraire is not?

    OK back to discussion.
     

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