Robert Ezell

Louisville, KY, United States

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Robert Ezell
Posted over 3 years ago
Atheists also beleive.
Not all atheists believe there is no god. A theist is one who believes that some god(s) actually exist. An atheist is the logical negation of a theist; that is, one for whom it is not the case that they believe some god(s) actually exist. I agree that agnosticism is a good approach. Agnosticism deals with knowledge, not belief. One can claim to know a claim is true or false, and be a gnostic... or they can say they dont know and be an agnostic. I, for example, am an agnostic atheist. If there actually exists some god(s), I'd love to find out. As of yet, I haven't encountered any good reason or evidence to justify that there actually exists some god(s). If I ever do, I'll become a theist. I just get tired of all the straw-manning of the atheist position that abounds around here.
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Robert Ezell
Posted over 3 years ago
Atheists also beleive.
Yes, humans are geared to believe things. We have developed brains that can actively adapt to changing conditions and incorporate information. Unlike a fly, we will not ram into a closed glass door over and over again because our brains are too small to do much more than follow genetically encoded behaviors. We have the advanced resources and behaviors to consider what is, accept some claims as true, others as false. When one accepts a statement as true, one has a belief. We are free to believe pretty much whatever we like. Ideally, we would have evidence and or reason to justify our beliefs. We can't always do that. Sometimes we have to make do with what we have and consider some claims as likely or unlikely. Even those things that we believe we should be willing to revise in light of new evidence and or reason. Faith doesn't do that. Faith is how to justify a belief without proper justification. Yes, atheists believe too. That doesn't mean that atheists believe that no god(s) actually exist. Some do, others believe it better not to bother forming a belief about the actual existence of god(s) either way. After all, the cost of such an investment seems steep, and there is no evidence of any returns on that investment. It just doesn't seem to matter.
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Robert Ezell
Posted over 3 years ago
Atheists also beleive.
1. I didn't leave the design of the universe to coincidences. I wasn't around. If it were perfectly designed for us then the designer has the worst sense of economy conceivable. Why did he need to create trillions upon trillions of stars separated by many lightyears in order to accommodate what fails to amount to a speck of dust in comparison that we are all clinging onto. Given such vast magnitudes of space and time you don't need intellect for chance events to produce interesting or even 'miraculous' seeming effects. Once you get replicators replicating themselves with some variation and living or dying based on conditions in their habitat, and enough time, you don't need a designer of minds. 2. "Although very religious people fear death the least, studies suggest, total unbelievers take second place for ability to take their mortality in stride. The worst death anxieties haunt those who lie somewhere in between those extremes—who are a little religious." Cited from: http://www.world-science.net/exclusives/050628_deathfearfrm.htm Unless you are a religious zealot, I probably fear death less than you do. That doesn't surprise me since I don't fear death. I want to avoid it for now, sure. Am I certain of what will happen when I die? No. Most likely I shall simple cease to be. I find that much preferable to getting rewarded for venerating one who would damn me to eternal torture for not believing in or venerating them. I would find even eternal torment preferable to believing in and venerating such a villain.
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Robert Ezell
Posted over 3 years ago
Atheists also beleive.
I'm an atheist. Just to be clear, as many seem to be confused by that label, that means I do not believe that any god or gods actually exist; and, it does not mean that I believe that no god(s) actually exist. I'm not a materialist. I do not believe that everything is ultimately composed of some sort of substantial stuff. I care not for the atoms of Democritus, corpuscles, "particles", super strings, or lego blocks. I find the materialist notion that things are made of substantial entities unfounded. Every time we think we found matter... it turns out that it wasn't matter at all; rather, the activity of some unknown stuff that we then considered to be the ultimate matter of things. I'm an act of organs which are acts of tissues... cells... organelles... molecules... atoms... subatomic phenomena. Some subatomic phenomena are acts of other subatomic phenomena. We don't know much about those 'elementary' subatomic phenomena. We do know that they are accurately described as 'quanta of energy' which is a scientific way of saying 'discrete packets of measurable activity' which is a verbose way of saying 'acts'. I detect no hint of any 'matter' composing any of this. I don't believe in 'spiritual' matter either. In any case, atheism does not equate to materialism.
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Robert Ezell
Posted over 3 years ago
Religion and Atheism
How engenuous of you to view the term atheist like that. Is a loving person ruthfull? This duction of entomology seems interesting to me. I hope my tax refund conds on time. Vert your eyes to these words. I suppose being cancer free or pain free must be negative states since they are modified by the negative word 'free'. Or is it just negative prefixes or suffixes that turn a word into something bad.
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Robert Ezell
Posted over 3 years ago
Religion and Atheism
As an atheist, I have never argued that 'no god or gods actually exist.' Why not? Because I do not believe that 'no god or gods actually exist.' Atheism/theism are descriptors based upon a single question: Do you believe that some god or gods actually exist? If you do believe that some god or gods actually exist, you are a theist. If it is not the case that you believe some god or gods actually exist, you are not a theist... that is... you are an atheist. Either x or ~x must be true--the law of the excluded middle. Either you believe some god or gods actually exist, or you do not. Either you are a theist, or you are an atheist. Knowledge/certainty is another question entirely. One can claim to know that some god actually exists, making them a gnostic theist. One can claim to know that no god actually exists, making them a gnostic atheist. One may not claim to know, but still believe, that some god actually exists, making them an agnostic theist. One may not claim to know, and still not believe that some god actually exists, making them an agnostic atheist. I am an agnostic atheist. I do not claim to know that no god actually exists. If I encountered good reason or evidence to support the claim that some god or gods actually exist, I could become an agnostic theist. I haven't placed a bet on the god or no god horses. I simply prefer to follow reason and evidence. I'd be thrilled to find some good reason or evidence, but I haven't. As such, I do not believe that some god or gods exist. Does it matter? Not much, no. Still, I think reason and evidence do matter, and when someone seeks to justify a claim with bad reason or evidence, I'm not going to be convinced. I might even point out how the justification falls short. I believe truth does matter, and reason and evidence are the only two sources I am aware of that provide it reliably.
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Robert Ezell
Posted over 3 years ago
Would atheists benefit from a community? Are they maximizing such benefits?
I would agree for the most part that bashing religion is not challenging or constructive. There are some theological arguments constructed cleverly enough to give the brain a work out. Sometimes religion has to be bashed, or at least put in its place, for the sake of not teaching fiction in science classes and the like. However, I completely disagree that bashing religion isn't entertaining.
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Robert Ezell
Posted over 3 years ago
Would atheists benefit from a community? Are they maximizing such benefits?
There already exist many atheist communities. As Ryan Bennet pointed out, Atheists are humans, and humans benefit from communities. Good thing too. I have yet to meet a single atheist, or theist for that matter, who is not part of a community. I'd also like to say that Orlando Hawkins post was spot on. We can discuss art, science, philosophy, how to live a good life, and who our favorite sports team is regardless of whether one believes some god or gods actually exist or not.
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Robert Ezell
Posted over 3 years ago
How do you define God?
Great job Dale. Might I just add: Reality is what is. We are aware of things, and these things are as they are and not other than they are. We call things as they are, reality. If god is, then it is reality that god is. If god is not, then it is reality that god is not. In either case, reality is. Without reality, without things being as they are and not other than they are, you couldn't even state that god is or isn't. So, even if there actually exists some god or gods, this god or these gods would depend upon reality in order to be. Proponents of certain versions of the Transcendental argument for the existence of god say that god is responsible for and thus precedes the classical laws of logic. As such, they argue for a god that couldn't be itself (identity), and a god that anything one might claim about it and its negation could both be true (non-contradiction and excluded middle). Thus, they argue for a god that no one can make any coherent claims about whatsoever. That is what happens when someone tries to make reality secondary.