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Steve on 702

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Teleological
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« Reply #30 on: September 10, 2010, 13:50:35 PM »

Stevo, I read your book and listened to the podcast, and one prominent feature that seems to have played a role in you becoming an atheist seems to be your research and knowledge about neurology. You say that after you have learned a bit about it you stopped believing in the soul and the after life.

Now, I am interested in your reasoning why your understanding of neurology or even neurology in general is incompatible with believing in a soul. More specifically, what is/was your conception of the soul? Is it anything like the Cartesian dualistic view that the soul is a complete substance on its own or perhaps a more peripatetic view that the human soul is an incomplete, albeit subsistent substance?
« Last Edit: September 10, 2010, 14:27:24 PM by Teleological » Logged
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« Reply #31 on: September 10, 2010, 18:03:48 PM »

Nice one Steve, just listened to it.

One suggestion for next time is to challenge the presenters' position, and some of the callers, of believing in God because it makes him feel comfortable.
He actually did point out that it does not make it true.

No, what I wanted pointed out is the presenter is implying "what harm can it do if it makes me feel good, it's a personal thing". These people have not thought it through that our actions are contingent on our beliefs. A bad consequence of a decision based on a belief that is false is worse than one based on a truth.

For example I have a work colleague who continues to take homeopathic medicine even though she claims to understand that it's bogus, why, because "it makes her feel better, what harm can it do".






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« Reply #32 on: September 12, 2010, 10:00:07 AM »

"Where's your proof!"

Haha.... These people don't read their own Bible!
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Julian
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« Reply #33 on: September 12, 2010, 11:25:47 AM »


...  the presenter is implying "what harm can it do if it makes me feel good, it's a personal thing".

Their might be some merit to this statement if people with comforting religious or generally irrational beliefs kept them to themselves or only shared them with like minded people. But generally this is not true. Generally they bother the rest of us with them, or try to put them in laws, or start wars on the basis of them.

I have met a few people who keep their comforting religious beliefs private. Well actually one person who does this. Everyone else is pretty public with these silly beliefs.
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« Reply #34 on: September 12, 2010, 19:28:55 PM »

I was privileged enough to catch most of the broadcast "live".

I certainly got the impression from some of Kieno's comments that the broadcast wasn't solely to argue for one set of views vs another, but was more designed to show whether tolerance existed on both sides of the fence....perhaps Steve could clarify this for us.

If tolerance was the key focus then the God-Squad came an embarrassing second! The lady caller who insisted that God "lit" the sun every morning and extinguished it last thing at night was anything but tolerant with Steve.

(Can there really be adults living on this round planet that firmly believe that when the sun is switched off over Africa that it must be off everywhere??)

Not sure I would have been as patient and "tolerant" as Steve certainly was!

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« Reply #35 on: September 12, 2010, 20:00:46 PM »

(Can there really be adults living on this round planet that firmly believe that when the sun is switched off over Africa that it must be off everywhere??)

I was asked by a primary school geography teacher if the earth was really round. Rural farm school - but still, she should know.
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Rigil Kent
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« Reply #36 on: September 12, 2010, 20:15:53 PM »

Well batted Steve!

The gentleman caller who said that he converted from Christianity to Islam because it felt more "comfortable" to him grabbed my attention. I think he did the atheistic argument a great service by implying that we can pick out a religion pretty much for its fit - dare I add like we do shoes. This by itself cheapens all faiths, because it implies that there is not necessarily a TRUE AND CORRECT one.
 
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« Last Edit: September 13, 2010, 07:32:06 AM by Mintaka » Logged
StevoMuso
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« Reply #37 on: September 13, 2010, 09:34:56 AM »

Hi everyone. I'm back - please forgive my silence especially in this thread regarding me on the radio. Here is the situation: my computer died. Yup. Wouldn't start Thursday night so I took it in Friday morning for repairs. Only got it up and running again this morning (hectic weekend with 4 gigs in 3 days).
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« Reply #38 on: September 13, 2010, 09:44:38 AM »

Ja, we thought Mabus might have unplugged you after your talk.
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StevoMuso
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« Reply #39 on: September 13, 2010, 10:09:38 AM »

Ja, we thought Mabus might have unplugged you after your talk.

Heheh. The ever evil Mabus, LOL.

I will try and answer a few concerns now:
@ cyghost: The Jews spoke Hebrew and used a word "Jeshua" which refers to their high priest. Even these days there is a "Jeshua of Johannesburg" - it is a title, not a name. There have been many "Jeshua's" including some at the time of our notorious "Jesus" (a Greek rendition of Jeshua). Secular scholars have agreed on this. There are still some debates regarding this issue: did Jesus exist?, but the fact remains that the one described in the NT certainly did not (he is modelled after the solar deities like e.g. Mithra, and connected to the Jewish religion via the Essenian Jewish sect living out in Qumran near the Dead Sea who referred to him as their "Jeshua" or high priest). My book goes into more detail on this topic - there is more to it, but the JC of the NT actually being a real person? No longer a debate. This makes Christianity a badly constructed, and easily uncovered, lie (and therefore not a "true religion" - which is what I meant). It was quite difficult to be more clear live on air, and I think it was a good learning experience for me. Evolution proved? I agree that it is merely a model, but a model based on well established facts and clear evidence. I worded it incorrectly on air, probably because I was getting annoyed with the Fundi callers.
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Teleological
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« Reply #40 on: September 13, 2010, 10:21:49 AM »

There have been many "Jeshua's" including some at the time of our notorious "Jesus" (a Greek rendition of Jeshua). Secular scholars have agreed on this. There are still some debates regarding this issue: did Jesus exist?, but the fact remains that the one described in the NT certainly did not (he is modelled after the solar deities like e.g. Mithra, and connected to the Jewish religion via the Essenian Jewish sect living out in Qumran near the Dead Sea who referred to him as their "Jeshua" or high priest). My book goes into more detail on this topic - there is more to it, but the JC of the NT actually being a real person? No longer a debate. This makes Christianity a badly constructed, and easily uncovered, lie (and therefore not a "true religion" - which is what I meant). It was quite difficult to be more clear live on air, and I think it was a good learning experience for me.
I would like to hear from actual scholars (the teaching, publishing kind) who teach that Jesus was not an actual person. Even Bart Ehrman acknowledges that Jesus was a real person.
« Last Edit: September 13, 2010, 11:43:54 AM by Teleological » Logged
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« Reply #41 on: September 13, 2010, 10:32:04 AM »

@ Tele: God a PHYSICAL being: The Bible says God "walked" in the Garden with Adam, and "spoke" to him. Christians (and other religions) believe "God exists". Does this not mean He exists in a physical sense? Like trees and ants and the planets and the universe? Is there another way to describe "exists" if not actually being a real, touchable, physical thing? If you say God doesn't actually "physically" exist, then what do YOU mean? When I said that in my book I was discussing which particular concept of "God" I was referring to when I used the word. I meant that when I use the word "God" I am referring to a God who "actually exists in the physical sense of the word," not some kind of teleological, pseudo-philosophical metaphysical "energy", but an actual entity like you and I. I cannot make it more clear than that.

The soul: people who believe in the afterlife all have some kind of notion (whether Cartesian dualistic or peripatetic) that some part of them carries on living after death. Some cultures, like ours, refer to this as the "soul". My study of neurology showed me that we are natural beings who do not continue thinking, loving, communicating, being conscious etc. after death. Those are all functions of our very mortal brains, which will stop when our brains stop. There is no part of us that survives death - no "soul". It's a myth born of ignorance, wishful thinking and the fear of death. I'm not sure how this is not clear to you, or which part you don't understand, but if you studied a "map" of the brain, with all the specific functions of each section of the brain clearly marked, you may see what I mean. When that puppy dies, so do we.
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cyghost
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« Reply #42 on: September 13, 2010, 11:39:35 AM »

but the JC of the NT actually being a real person?

Seems he may have been. On a balance of probabilities, he existed.

Quote
No longer a debate.

Yes, but opposite form what you assert  Cheesy

from wiki

Critical Biblical scholars and historians believe that the New Testament is useful for reconstructing Jesus' life.[11][12][13] Most[who?] agree that Jesus was a Jew who was regarded as a teacher and healer, that he was baptized by John the Baptist, and was crucified in Jerusalem on the orders of the Roman Prefect of Judaea, Pontius Pilate, on the charge of sedition against the Roman Empire.[14]

Also Historical Jesus vs Jesus Myth

I'm just saying it ain't as clear cut as you suggest and the arguments I have seen on this favors a real person on which it is all based. No skin of my teeth, either way, I'd just prefer having the truth. Better off in another thread, perhaps, if anyone feel it should be further debated. Grin


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Teleological
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« Reply #43 on: September 13, 2010, 11:42:42 AM »

@ Tele: God a PHYSICAL being: The Bible says God "walked" in the Garden with Adam, and "spoke" to him. Christians (and other religions) believe "God exists". Does this not mean He exists in a physical sense?
Lol, that does not imply God exists in a physical sense with physical, touchable parts. Unless of course you accept it in the fundamentalist literal way. You are no better than those people who interpret Genesis that the universe is not older than 10 000 years if it is the case. It's called a theophany.

Like trees and ants and the planets and the universe? Is there another way to describe "exists" if not actually being a real, touchable, physical thing? If you say God doesn't actually "physically" exist, then what do YOU mean? When I said that in my book I was discussing which particular concept of "God" I was referring to when I used the word. I meant that when I use the word "God" I am referring to a God who "actually exists in the physical sense of the word," not some kind of teleological, pseudo-philosophical metaphysical "energy", but an actual entity like you and I. I cannot make it more clear than that.
Well, the proper philosophical definition of God is that God is an immaterial, non-physical, spiritual and purely actual Being (the Bible of course talks of God as an immaterial spirit without physical attributes such as flesh and bones). Not a physical being that is touchable, observable (through the senses) or some energy or whatever. Seriously, do you really think God is some physical, material being?

The soul: people who believe in the afterlife all have some kind of notion (whether Cartesian dualistic or peripatetic) that some part of them carries on living after death. Some cultures, like ours, refer to this as the "soul". My study of neurology showed me that we are natural beings who do not continue thinking, loving, communicating, being conscious etc. after death. Those are all functions of our very mortal brains, which will stop when our brains stop. There is no part of us that survives death - no "soul". It's a myth born of ignorance, wishful thinking and the fear of death. I'm not sure how this is not clear to you, or which part you don't understand, but if you studied a "map" of the brain, with all the specific functions of each section of the brain clearly marked, you may see what I mean. When that puppy dies, so do we.
Do you understand that the Cartesian dualistic or peripatetic understandings of the soul are not incompatible with a dead body and a purely subsistent (complete or incomplete substance) soul? Do you understand the arguments from the Cartesian dualistic as well as the peripatetic understanding of the soul?
« Last Edit: September 13, 2010, 14:06:20 PM by Teleological » Logged
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« Reply #44 on: September 13, 2010, 14:00:23 PM »

Steve,

Finally got around to listening to the podcast.

Congrats on remaining so calm and collected, I would not have been able to do that. It just amazes me time and time again of how hard-headed the religious folk are. Like the woman who asked where in the bible are you quoting from - a lot of them have NOT read the bible from cover to cover and honestly, it's a piece of filth and I would not want to put my hand on the bible to swear to tell the truth - not on that book filled with hate and gore.

I will get your book.

Thank you for taking the time to go on air with your views, for being a shining example of what a wonderful thing it is to be relieved of religion and all that fear.
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