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Old 22-12-2012, 06:42 PM   #41
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If someone believes everything is God AND that everything is ONE.. that's patheism AND monotheism, both are compatible. I don't see how that's a play on words..
Most people would say there's a difference between God and the divine.

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Agreed, & that's where semantics plays a part & the discussion becomes kind of pointless. However, if we use the established definition of the word "God":

Main Entry: 1god Pronunciation: \ˈgäd alsoˈgȯd\Function : nounEtymology: Middle English, from Old English; akin to Old High German got godDate: before 12th century
1 capitalized : the supreme or ultimate reality: as a : the Being perfect in power, wisdom, and goodness who is worshipped as creator and ruler of the universe bChristian Science : the incorporeal divine Principle ruling over all as eternal Spirit: infinite Mind
2 : a being or object believed to have more than natural attributes and powers and to require human worship;specifically : one controlling a particular aspect or part of reality
3 : a person or thing of supreme value

Then a pantheist (who believes all is God) can clearly not be an atheist (no God). Besides the broader definition of "God", most pantheists do acknowledge a "spiritual" force outside of 5 sense physicality, contrary to secular atheism.
There's one crucial difference to consider: personal vs. non-personal. I'd say that most pantheists believe in a non-personal god, which really is just one step from atheism. There's a difference, yes, but I can certainly see how one could define the terms to make them compatible.

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I should have added that many atheists also tend to claim spirituality/science/nature are separate as well..
Intolerant, often ignorant atheists, yes. One would be a fool to deny the possible co-existence of, say, meditation and acceptance of science.

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But Gnostics/Mystics and some more open minded Atheists (few & far between) can often find common ground..
Sure.
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Old 22-12-2012, 06:44 PM   #42
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The number of books mean nothing without knowing the content, and knowing how many are sold. Even if more science books are sold it does not make the influence of the New Age trivial. I am also getting different results than you.

Edit; let's get back to atheism.
You're probably using amazon.com.

You brought it up, didn't you?
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Old 22-12-2012, 06:46 PM   #43
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And one only has to go to a local bookshop in the city and compare the number of science books or philosophy books to the number of New Age books. Check the popular magazines while you're at it. But if you live in a remote Scandinavian forest village you won't really be aware of the trends
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The number of books mean nothing without knowing the content, and knowing how many are sold. Even if more science books are sold it does not make the influence of the New Age trivial. I am also getting different results than you.
Just saying.. My local Barnes & Nobles has about 3x the shelf space for Philosophy and Science than it does "New Age" material.. and it lumps pretty much everything in with New Age.. I mean ALL conspiracy related material, ALL alternative history books, ALL forms of mysticism, ALL forms of the occult, including witchcraft, literal satanism, & all sorts of other things.. The actual amount of space given to New Age material itself is probably like 5 feet long on one shelf. Science and Philosophy has about 20 shelves 5 feet long each.

Btw, I don't exactly live in a Scandinavian forest. I'm talking about the immediate Chicago area.
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Old 22-12-2012, 07:02 PM   #44
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Most people would say there's a difference between God and the divine
True.. I guess I just don't understand the need to do that. The fact that religious institutions have misrepresented what "God" is doesn't mean we should redefine the terminology, imo..

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There's one crucial difference to consider: personal vs. non-personal. I'd say that most pantheists believe in a non-personal god, which really is just one step from atheism. There's a difference, yes, but I can certainly see how one could define the terms to make them compatible.
Agreed.. This just comes back to what I said before then.. that atheists "tend to narrow the definition so they can distinguish themselves".

When in truth, "spirituality/science/nature have never been incompatible/separate"

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Originally Posted by pr0fanus
Intolerant, often ignorant atheists, yes. One would be a fool to deny the possible co-existence of, say, meditation and acceptance of science.
Agreed. There is often intolerance and naivete on both sides, the religious and atheists.
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Old 22-12-2012, 07:16 PM   #45
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Are there even true atheists? How can anyone without a shred of doubt say there is no God and there is no afterlife? .
most atheists are pragmatists.
most do not claim that there is no god, but rather they have not seen the evidence to believe in god.
one cannot prove that there is no god.
therefore, most atheists would not make that claim.

btw...i am not an atheist.
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Old 22-12-2012, 07:31 PM   #46
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Yes, exactly.. and the word "God" carries a very broad definition going well beyond the "God" of Abrahamic fundamentalism. One can't, or at least shouldn't, call themselves an atheist for merely having non belief in the Abrahamic God.
I don't believe anybody calls themselves an atheist simply because they reject the Abrahamic god, if that were the case pagans would be atheists...

Atheism is the rejection of all gods.

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For example, a pantheist can not be an atheist unless they're playing with the definitions to suit themselves.
There is more than one branch of pantheism. To some it is a theology in which the universe is god (or gods), which is in contradiction to the Abrahamic view that a god created the universe and is therefore separate from the universe, and to others it is a philosophy that does not involve a belief in a supernatural god; to believe that the universe exists is enough. This is where atheism and pantheism meet.

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Old 22-12-2012, 07:33 PM   #47
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I don't believe anybody calls themselves an atheist simply because they reject the Abrahamic god, if that were the case pagans would be atheists...

Atheism is the rejection of all gods.



There is more than one branch of pantheism. To some it is a theology in which the universe is god (or gods), which is in contradiction to the Abrahamic view that a god created the universe and is therefore separate from the universe, and to others it is a philosophy that does not involve a belief in a supernatural god; to believe that the universe exists is enough. This is where atheism and pantheism meet.

Naturalistic pantheism - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
+1...
the root of the word 'pantheism' is 'theism'.

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Old 22-12-2012, 07:39 PM   #48
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most atheists are pragmatists.
most do not claim that there is no god, but rather they have not seen the evidence to believe in god.
one cannot prove that there is no god.
therefore, most atheists would not make that claim.

btw...i am not an atheist.
True. All I ask for is empirical evidence of gods existence, surely not to much to ask for.
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Old 22-12-2012, 07:41 PM   #49
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Actually that's not true, I have put years of thought and action into my statement regarding the WORK needed to attain Higher-God Consciousness.

1. Whether a Buddhist is an atheist or not - he still struggles and WORKS to attain Higher Consciousness. As your second video points out - meditation is very hard work requiring much dedication and concentration. How many atheists have actually devoted a sincere and ongoing segment of their lives to meditation? Very few. I never heard Dawkins claim to meditate. Does he?

2. I lived and worked in Thailand which is 98% Buddhist. The vast majority of Thais believe in the Immortal Soul and re-incarnation. In fact I discussed this question with Buddhist priests in temples in Chieng Mai.

The majority of SEA Buddhists and Thai Buddhists do believe in souls, rebirth and other entities. They also believe in 7 levels of Hell and of Heavan, but it is not necessary. You can be an atheist and still practice Buddhism:

Buddhism - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Rebirth-

Rebirth refers to a process whereby beings go through a succession of lifetimes as one of many possible forms of sentient life, each running from conception[34] to death. Buddhism rejects the concepts of a permanent self or an unchanging, eternal soul, as it is called in Hinduism and Christianity. According to Buddhism there ultimately is no such thing as a self independent from the rest of the universe (the doctrine of anatta). Rebirth in subsequent existences must be understood as the continuation of a dynamic, ever-changing process of "dependent arising" ("pratītyasamutpāda") determined by the laws of cause and effect (karma) rather than that of one being, transmigrating or incarnating from one existence to the next.

Each rebirth takes place within one of five realms according to Theravadins, or six according to other schools.[35][36] These are further subdivided into 31 planes of existence:[37]

Naraka beings: those who live in one of many Narakas (Hells);
Preta: sometimes sharing some space with humans, but invisible to most people; an important variety is the hungry ghost;[38]
Animals: sharing space with humans, but considered another type of life;
Human beings: one of the realms of rebirth in which attaining Nirvana is possible;
Asuras: variously translated as lowly deities, demons, titans, antigods; not recognized by Theravāda (Mahavihara) tradition as a separate realm;[39]
Devas including Brahmas: variously translated as gods, deities, spirits, angels, or left untranslated.

Rebirths in some of the higher heavens, known as the Śuddhāvāsa Worlds (Pure Abodes), can be attained by only skilled Buddhist practitioners known as anāgāmis (non-returners). Rebirths in the arupa-dhatu (formless realms) can be attained by only those who can meditate on the arūpajhānas, the highest object of meditation.

3 While it is true that Buddha did not admit to the existence of an Atman - Higher Soul - he did frequently talk about the WONDER of Nature and the mystery of where it came from. He may have had important reasons for not admitting the existence of the Immortal Soul - because under Hindu law, he was not allowed to teach Untouchables. These restrictions against teaching Untouchables were based on the Hindu Caste system based on reincarnation - the merit of past lives. By denying the existence of the Immortal Soul - Buddha denied the caste system and was able to teach everyone. He had to leave Hinduism to do it.
Atheists are free to believe in any form of woo they desire (an eternal soul, reincarnation, spiritualism, other dimensions, aliens, fairies, ghosts, the Loch Ness Monster, horoscopes, etc.), just as long as they don't believe in god.
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Old 22-12-2012, 08:16 PM   #50
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Default Christians are atheists too....

Atheists don't believe in god. not just the Christian god, all gods.

Christians may believe in the Christian god, but have the same attitude as atheists towards mohammad, Baal, wotan, and the flying spaghetti monster.

Christians are just like atheists, only atheists just go one god further.
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Old 22-12-2012, 08:57 PM   #51
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True. All I ask for is empirical evidence of gods existence, surely not to much to ask for.
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Old 22-12-2012, 08:59 PM   #52
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Christians are just like atheists, only atheists just go one god further.
what a delightful observation.
it's all relative.

the fact is that most atheists are way more open-minded than most christians.
presented with incontrovertible empirical evidence for the gods, most would accept it and move on.

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Old 22-12-2012, 09:02 PM   #53
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I don't believe anybody calls themselves an atheist simply because they reject the Abrahamic god, if that were the case pagans would be atheists...
You'd be surprised.. Many self described pagans and pantheists do consider themselves "atheists", despite believing in an underlying spiritual essence of the universe.

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Atheists are free to believe in any form of woo they desire (an eternal soul, reincarnation, spiritualism, other dimensions, aliens, fairies, ghosts, the Loch Ness Monster, horoscopes, etc.), just as long as they don't believe in god.
To me.. that just seems pointless and hypocritical, tbh..

I mean.. how does an atheist justify belief in a soul/spirituality/ghosts without believing in a supreme ultimate reality/underlying all pervading spirit or consciousness within the universe? ie 'God'?

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Originally Posted by selig
There is more than one branch of pantheism. To some it is a theology in which the universe is god (or gods).. and to others it is a philosophy that does not involve a belief in a supernatural god; to believe that the universe exists is enough. This is where atheism and pantheism meet.

Naturalistic pantheism - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Yeah, I agree with that.. Though naturalistic pantheism just seems kind of pointless. Why even call it pan-"theism" then? I mean one could argue that the meaning of the word "supernatural" can also come down to semantics.. For example, many spiritual/religious minded people argue that since an atom is 99.9% empty space, it could hardly be consider material.. Hence, the material aspect of the reality we experience is an illusion.. At the same time, that atom IS .0001% physical, so it could technically be considered material too.. So is this a spiritual world or a purely physical one? Who said spirituality and nature were totally exlusive? Abrahamic fundamentalists don't represent the only school of thought on the divine/God..
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Old 22-12-2012, 09:07 PM   #54
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I mean.. how does an atheist justify belief in a soul/spirituality/ghosts without believing in a supreme ultimate reality/underlying all pervading spirit or consciousness within the universe? ie 'God'?
Ghosts, energy, and deities are completely different ideas.
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Old 22-12-2012, 09:07 PM   #55
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You'd be surprised.. Many self described pagans and pantheists do consider themselves "atheists", despite believing in an underlying spiritual essence of the universe.
this is a contradiction.
" believing in an underlying spiritual essence of the universe," is the reverse of atheism.
please show us where pagans and pantheists call them selves atheists.
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Old 22-12-2012, 09:28 PM   #56
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this is a contradiction.
" believing in an underlying spiritual essence of the universe," is the reverse of atheism.
please show us where pagans and pantheists call them selves atheists.
I agree it's a contradiction. That's what I'm saying. I'm not going to dig through the forum to show you examples.. I hear it all the time on other forums and in the real world.. "pantheism is just sexed up atheism", as they parrot Dawkins, or "pantheists are closet atheists".. etc..
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Old 22-12-2012, 09:34 PM   #57
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kappy0405
I mean.. how does an atheist justify belief in a soul/spirituality/ghosts without believing in a supreme ultimate reality/underlying, all pervading spirit or consciousness within the universe? ie 'God'?
Ghosts, energy, and deities are completely different ideas.
So what is the basis of belief in such things for an atheist?

I'm pretty sure it would have to come down to a belief in a "supreme ultimate reality/underlying, all pervading spirit/consciousness within the universe". Wouldn't it?
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Old 22-12-2012, 09:49 PM   #58
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You'd be surprised.. Many self described pagans and pantheists do consider themselves "atheists", despite believing in an underlying spiritual essence of the universe.
All I was trying to say is that rejecting the Abrahamic god does not make one an atheist. Whether pagans call themselves atheists or not really is irrelevant.

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To me.. that just seems pointless and hypocritical, tbh..

I mean.. how does an atheist justify belief in a soul/spirituality/ghosts without believing in a supreme ultimate reality/underlying all pervading spirit or consciousness within the universe? ie 'God'?
The point I was trying to make, which you seem unable to grasp, is that atheism is simply a disbelief in gods. Other than that atheists are free to believe in anything they like.

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Yeah, I agree with that.. Though naturalistic pantheism just seems kind of pointless. Why even call it pan-"theism" then? I mean one could argue that the meaning of the word "supernatural" can also come down to semantics.. For example, many spiritual/religious minded people argue that since an atom is 99.9% empty space, it could hardly be consider material.. Hence, the material aspect of the reality we experience is an illusion.. At the same time, that atom IS .0001% physical, so it could technically be considered material too.. So is this a spiritual world or a purely physical one? Who said spirituality and nature were totally exlusive? Abrahamic fundamentalists don't represent the only school of thought on the divine/God..
Since you're now using pseudo-science to play semantics, and you appear to be arguing for the sake of it, I'm going to leave this debate because I don't see the point in banging my head against a brick wall.

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Old 22-12-2012, 10:11 PM   #59
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To me.. that just seems pointless and hypocritical, tbh..

I mean.. how does an atheist justify belief in a soul/spirituality/ghosts without believing in a supreme ultimate reality/underlying all pervading spirit or consciousness within the universe? ie 'God'?
Thank you for that.

Obviously, logically if there is an immortal soul there is a God.
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Old 22-12-2012, 10:14 PM   #60
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Thank you for that.

Obviously, logically if there is an immortal soul there is a God.
I don't see why that should follow. An a immortal soul could be part of a larger
Pattern without involking the existence of an all powerful deity.
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