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Tue Feb 12, 2013, 05:32 PM

Agnostic (who leans deist) who believes in the afterlife here.....

Last edited Sat Feb 16, 2013, 12:20 AM - Edit history (1)

Anyone out there who shares my outlook on life?

57 replies, 3361 views

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Reply Agnostic (who leans deist) who believes in the afterlife here..... (Original post)
AverageJoe90 Feb 2013 OP
Neoma Feb 2013 #1
Tobin S. Feb 2013 #2
mr blur Feb 2013 #3
Ron Obvious Feb 2013 #4
AverageJoe90 Feb 2013 #8
Ron Obvious Feb 2013 #10
AverageJoe90 Feb 2013 #11
cleanhippie Feb 2013 #15
enlightenment Feb 2013 #12
Ron Obvious Feb 2013 #13
enlightenment Feb 2013 #14
Warpy Feb 2013 #5
Curmudgeoness Feb 2013 #6
trotsky Feb 2013 #7
DavidDvorkin Feb 2013 #9
dmallind Feb 2013 #16
RebelOne Feb 2013 #17
dmallind Feb 2013 #18
LisaLynne Feb 2013 #23
RebelOne Feb 2013 #25
amuse bouche Feb 2013 #19
AverageJoe90 Feb 2013 #21
amuse bouche Feb 2013 #22
cleanhippie Feb 2013 #24
SpartanDem Feb 2013 #28
2ndAmForComputers Feb 2013 #32
EvolveOrConvolve Feb 2013 #34
Bradical79 Feb 2013 #35
dmallind Feb 2013 #41
AverageJoe90 Feb 2013 #42
Trajan Feb 2013 #20
Taverner Feb 2013 #26
Phillip McCleod Feb 2013 #47
Taverner Feb 2013 #52
marginlized Feb 2013 #27
AverageJoe90 Feb 2013 #31
AlbertCat Feb 2013 #29
AverageJoe90 Feb 2013 #30
AlbertCat Feb 2013 #33
ZombieHorde Feb 2013 #36
brooklynite Feb 2013 #37
AverageJoe90 Feb 2013 #38
brooklynite Feb 2013 #40
Phillip McCleod Feb 2013 #48
brooklynite Feb 2013 #50
CharlieVicker Feb 2013 #39
Stuckinthebush Feb 2013 #43
kurtzapril4 Feb 2013 #44
AverageJoe90 Feb 2013 #45
kurtzapril4 Feb 2013 #46
AverageJoe90 Feb 2013 #49
Bay Boy Mar 2013 #56
Duer 157099 Feb 2013 #51
bluedave Feb 2013 #54
Duer 157099 Feb 2013 #55
EvolveOrConvolve Mar 2013 #57
intaglio Feb 2013 #53

Response to AverageJoe90 (Original post)

Tue Feb 12, 2013, 05:35 PM

1. Sorry.

All you'll get from me is me singing, *Duuuust in the wind, all we are is dust in the wind....*

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Response to AverageJoe90 (Original post)

Tue Feb 12, 2013, 05:39 PM

2. I wish there was an afterlife and it was all rosy and stuff

But I don't, wait...I doubt it.

I'm an agnostic, too, but not of the deist variety.

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Response to AverageJoe90 (Original post)

Tue Feb 12, 2013, 06:13 PM

3. I think you're asking the wrong crowd here.

But I could be wrong.

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Response to AverageJoe90 (Original post)

Tue Feb 12, 2013, 07:37 PM

4. I used to believe in ghosts

I used to believe in ghosts as one sat on my bed one night and touched me. Believing in ghosts made me see evidence for them everywhere. Then I read about 'Sleep Paralysis' and it described my encounter with the ghost/succubus to a 'T'.

I now no longer hear the ghostly sounds I used to (paradolia) or see any evidence whatsoever for an afterlife and considerable evidence against it, even though I sometimes wish for there to be one.

But wishing doesn't make it so.

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Response to Ron Obvious (Reply #4)

Tue Feb 12, 2013, 09:45 PM

8. Sorry to hear about your sleep paralysis, btw.

or see any evidence whatsoever for an afterlife and considerable evidence against it

Actually, there's no real concrete evidence against it, either.....which is why I remain open to it.

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Response to AverageJoe90 (Reply #8)

Tue Feb 12, 2013, 10:40 PM

10. Sure theres's evidence against it...

Oh, the sleep paralysis happened many years ago when I was a teenager. While it was absolutely terrifying when it was happening since it seemed so utterly real and I "knew" I was awake, it made life very interesting. I even felt a bit robbed when I came upon the prosaic explanation for it and found out that it was pretty common and I hadn't been visited after all.

As for evidence against an afterlife, of course there is. Memories and personality are stored in our biodegradable brains, or otherwise alcohol, physical trauma, or stroke couldn't destroy or radically alter them. Likewise, our consciousness is a product of neurological activity; there's no 'little man' in there operating the controls to move on once the equipment fails.

With no memories, personality traits our consciousness, what could be left?

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Response to Ron Obvious (Reply #10)

Tue Feb 12, 2013, 10:50 PM

11. Or so we assume.....

Let's put my view this way: Absence of completely tangible evidence is not necessarily evidence of absence.

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Response to AverageJoe90 (Reply #11)

Wed Feb 13, 2013, 09:19 AM

15. Extraordinary claims require extraordinary evidence.

I guess for me the obvious question is, why, lacking any evidence to support it, jump to the conclusion that seems most improbable?

Given what we actually DO know about how our brains work, why would one dismiss that knowledge in favor of something that contradicts that knowledge AND lacks factual support?

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Response to Ron Obvious (Reply #4)

Tue Feb 12, 2013, 10:53 PM

12. One of the best looking guys I ever saw

in my life was a full-size, 3-D visual hallucination during an episode of sleep paralysis - complete with smell-o-vision and man, oh, man did he smell good . . . all come hither-y and stuff.

I loved it - except for the creepy can't move anything but my eyeballs part and the weird blue light in the room.

The brain is a fascinating organ.

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Response to enlightenment (Reply #12)

Wed Feb 13, 2013, 12:05 AM

13. Yours sound more fun than mine...

Mine were utterly terrifying, more of the typical 'night hag' variety being a wizened old crone. I later tried to imagine it was my grandmother who must have died around that time, but the dates didn't particularly coincide.

People who haven't experiences these episodes may not appreciate how utterly real they appear. When you're asleep you may think you're awake, but during these episodes you 'know' you're awake and yet these things happen. I remember trying to scream but could only manage the tiniest whimper.

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Response to Ron Obvious (Reply #13)

Wed Feb 13, 2013, 01:37 AM

14. Well, it was scary enough that when it was over

I turned on all the lights and called a friend at 3 in the morning. Fortunately, I was able to more or less identify where it came from - I had been having an extremely vivid dream (for me, because I hardly ever recall dreams and I still can cite chapter and verse of this one, 15 years later) that was probably an extension of an historical novel I was reading before I went to sleep.

The novel wasn't "sexy" or anything, but it did have a lot of detail and well-developed characters. So, I was dreaming that I was on a tour of an English castle (or manor or something) and sneaked away from the tour to explore a tower room that was off-limits. While standing in the room - which had the remains of a bedstead, a chest with a broken top, a tattered tapestry on the wall and a huge empty fireplace with andirons tipped over inside it - I heard the door open behind me.

As I turned I saw the owner of the castle/manor standing in the doorway with his arms crossed and a stern look on his face. He reached out one hand and said "come with me" (he was on older gent).

The dream "ended" there . . . I "woke up" to a weird blue glow in my bedroom and the curtains at my window blowing like there was a hurricane outside (the window was open). At the foot of my bed is the good looking guy, standing just like the guy in the dream. He looks just as stern, but way more attractive. Reaches out his hand just about the moment I realize I can't move a muscle. Then he says "come with me" and I start panicking because it doesn't matter how good he smells - I can't move.

He stands there, looking disappointed, then sort of vaporizes/vanishes in a swirly fog. The blue light fades, the curtains fall flat and I can move. Cue turning on the lights and calling the friend.

Weird, but almost completely explainable - the only part I didn't get was the curtains. Still, if my brain could think up the rest, why not billowing curtains, too?

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Response to AverageJoe90 (Original post)

Tue Feb 12, 2013, 07:48 PM

5. Not the way you think about it

The ego, memories, personality, likes and dislikes are all functions of the brain and die with it.

Whether anything else is left to move on is moot. All we know for sure is that it's a one way trip, whether we go see all our dead relatives or just float out of existence on a tide of happy hormones.

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Response to AverageJoe90 (Original post)

Tue Feb 12, 2013, 08:01 PM

6. I am not sure I even understand this view.

If you believe in an afterlife, then that seems to point to a belief in "something". And if you really do believe in something, is that agnostic? Just curious, because I don't understand.

I will not share your outlook, but I am an atheist, and you shouldn't expect me to share this view. I have no delusions that there is anything but what we have while we are alive.

But you are welcome to elaborate on your views. We may not agree with you, but as long as you don't try to cram religion down our throats, we will listen and discuss.

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Response to AverageJoe90 (Original post)

Tue Feb 12, 2013, 08:11 PM

7. Not here.

I see no evidence whatsoever that our consciousness can survive the death of our brain.

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Response to AverageJoe90 (Original post)

Tue Feb 12, 2013, 09:56 PM

9. On what basis do you believe in an afterlife?

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Response to AverageJoe90 (Original post)

Wed Feb 13, 2013, 11:11 AM

16. Perfectly fine, as long as you recognize the difference between belief and knowledge

To me believing in an afterlife is no worse than believing the Cubs will sweep the next 5 Series. As long as you don't start pretending it's based on anything but baseless wishful thinking filling in a gap where we have no concrete knowledge.

These analogs are closer than many might feel from their, admitted, flippancy. We have lots of reasons to suspect that postmortem consciousness or soul survival does not fit in with what we currently do know. For example the 100% correlation between sensation and cogitation and activity in specific parts of the brain that we know for sure do not have postmortem activity. Trust me I know the believer response is that we just know this activity is "merely" always concomitant with sensation, not that it is necessary for it. True as stated, but a tiny loophole lacking even the slightest evidence that suggests something else may be necessary instead, and that that something may somehow survive death. In short the believer must ignore the overwhelming implications of perfect correlation of a very mechanistic likely cause, and assume with no evidence a completely undetectable and unguessable metaphysical cause for sensation and thought. Similarly we have lots of reasons to suspect the Cubs will again fall short. Their poor pitching, lack of consistent hitting at key points in the order, the overwhelming advantage in talent and payroll of other teams. Yes again the believer can say that talent and consistency are not the way teams win over a 180 or so game season even though it always has been so, but that there is some assumptive "hand of fate" that will give the Cubs 110 wins and no chokes in the postseason instead, even though it never has before and there's no evidence showing it might now.

The difference is only in the probability, and here the Cubs have a major advantage. There are less than 3 dozen entities that can win the Series. They actually are (incredibly) a MLB team with real profesional players who compete within the league. The putative means of postmortem existence have no such immanent status. Truly, the likelihood of the Cubs 5-peating is exponentially, logarithmically more likely than post-mortem sensation or consciousness. But the belief is similarly based, and there is no problem with believing either as long as you don't try to pretend there's evidence for it, don't try to pretend there is some hidden knowledge accessible only to believers that makes it likely, and don't expect others to take it all that seriously.

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Response to AverageJoe90 (Original post)

Wed Feb 13, 2013, 12:52 PM

17. I wish there was a doggie heaven and an afterlife,

so I could see all my beloved pets again.

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Response to RebelOne (Reply #17)

Wed Feb 13, 2013, 01:00 PM

18. Even if it did exist, it would be the height of arrogance

to believe we humans could possibly deserve to go to the same place dogs do. If we did, it would only be to act as ball-throwing and tummy-rubbing attendants.

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Response to dmallind (Reply #18)

Thu Feb 14, 2013, 08:54 AM

23. Aw, I would take that job.

That would be heaven to me! I agree though. We humans would have a LOT to live up to in order to be worth of dog heaven.

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Response to LisaLynne (Reply #23)

Thu Feb 14, 2013, 03:48 PM

25. I'd take that job too.

I would rather be among all my doggie friends than all my deceased relatives.

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Response to AverageJoe90 (Original post)

Thu Feb 14, 2013, 12:22 AM

19. No

I don't share that belief. It's nonsensical but if you need it to comfort you...party on

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Response to amuse bouche (Reply #19)

Thu Feb 14, 2013, 01:16 AM

21. Though, TBH, I find the assertion that there MUST be nothing is equally nonsensical......

as believing that there is only one possible type of afterlife(as religious fanatics do), but, I guess there are some who are comforted by the belief in no afterlife. Regardless, I say more power to them.

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Response to AverageJoe90 (Reply #21)

Thu Feb 14, 2013, 08:21 AM

22. "equally"?

Hardly.

Humans rot just like animals because we are animals. You have to believe in a magical soul

in order to take the next step. In that case, you are definitely in the wrong group.

Magical thinking is another forum

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Response to AverageJoe90 (Reply #21)

Thu Feb 14, 2013, 09:54 AM

24. You are treading very close to the line of what is acceptable in this group.

I find the assertion that there MUST be nothing is equally nonsensical......



Kindly read the SoP for this group. This is NOT the place for your condescending comments toward non-believers. Religion is the appropriate place for that discussion.

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Response to cleanhippie (Reply #24)

Fri Feb 15, 2013, 02:34 PM

28. How so?

I think the name of the group is Atheists & Agnostics

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Response to SpartanDem (Reply #28)

Sat Feb 16, 2013, 09:19 AM

32. Indeed.

The name of the group is Atheists & Agnostics

Saying atheists are "nonsensical" is against the SOP.

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Response to AverageJoe90 (Reply #21)

Sat Feb 16, 2013, 11:55 AM

34. Where has the assertion "that there MUST be nothing" been made?

I think you don't exactly understand atheist philosophy.

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Response to AverageJoe90 (Reply #21)

Sat Feb 16, 2013, 02:48 PM

35. That doesnt make any sense.

If someone insists there are no invisible undetectable unicorn riding elves living in my basement due to a lack of evidence, I wouldn't consider that a nonsensical statement. Though its impossible to prove nonexistance of something, I would say the odds would defenitely be in favor of those elves not existing.

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Response to AverageJoe90 (Reply #21)

Wed Feb 20, 2013, 05:05 PM

41. are you under the impression that atheists necessarily make that assertion?

Atheism. Without theism. Without belief in gods. That's all it means. Anything else is up to the individual. There are (a small number of) explicit atheists who claim gods are impossible, but most of us just refuse to accept the idea without evidence.

Snark aside, do you know ANYONE who has a belief in no afterlife as opposed to no belief in an afterlife? You know the difference surely.

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Response to dmallind (Reply #41)

Wed Feb 20, 2013, 06:51 PM

42. No, I am not.

Sorry if you thought I was, though.

do you know ANYONE who has a belief in no afterlife as opposed to no belief in an afterlife? You know the difference surely.


Other than my teenagee brother, no, and, yeah I understand the difference.

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Response to AverageJoe90 (Original post)

Thu Feb 14, 2013, 01:08 AM

20. Nah .... Not I ....

Unless someone can provide a solid rationale that a mechanism exists which bypasses a dead human brain to maintain a 'self' - There is no reason to presume the 'self' remains after death ...

Our concept of the world, and our place in the world, is learned from gestation forward to death .... It is based on functional organs operating in a live being, which, upon death, cease to reveal any further activity ....

One would have to believe in a transient soul as the basis of personhood, and there is absolutely NO reason that I can see to believe a soul exists .....

No brain, no concept of self .... no self ? .... a cessation of existence ....

Gone ....

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Response to AverageJoe90 (Original post)

Fri Feb 15, 2013, 01:27 PM

26. I am convinced the "afterlife" is the dream state you go to before you die

 

And what you are seeing, bright white light, etc, is the way your brain behaves in shutting down

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Response to Taverner (Reply #26)

Mon Feb 25, 2013, 10:05 PM

47. like crt screens blinking out.

 

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Response to Phillip McCleod (Reply #47)

Mon Feb 25, 2013, 11:52 PM

52. more or less

 

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Response to AverageJoe90 (Original post)

Fri Feb 15, 2013, 01:46 PM

27. Google Sean Carroll

His talks usually include a discussion of afterlife possibilities. As in how is it supposed to work? Exactly what particles, fields, charges are involved?

My questioning is more along the lines of "Will I spend eternity with my parents? or my X?" And that's your idea of heaven? Of course I love them. But "eternity" is a long time. I can't think of anything I want to do for "eternity".

Ok, maybe you're a Hindu or a Buddhist and you're really talking about reincarnation, because then you at least get past the boredom.

Because human minds habituate. Life is addicting. You can't even think without it.

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Response to marginlized (Reply #27)

Sat Feb 16, 2013, 12:24 AM

31. Seems interesting.

As a counter challenge, I'd like to suggest Googling Alex Tsakiris. He runs the Skeptiko site and has talked about a variety of things, such as NDEs, etc. Interesting stuff if you're open to a new perspective.

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Response to AverageJoe90 (Original post)

Fri Feb 15, 2013, 10:44 PM

29. Nobody wants to die...

I mean, that's why we as a species make up all kinds of things that make it so when you die, you really don't die. You go to some wonderful place or come back as something.... whatever it takes to die but not die.

All made up for obvious reasons.

I know you really REALLY want there to be an afterlife.... but that won't make it happen.

Still, out of curiosity... what do you think this afterlife is like?

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Response to AlbertCat (Reply #29)

Sat Feb 16, 2013, 12:19 AM

30. .....

I mean, that's why we as a species make up all kinds of things that make it so when you die, you really don't die. You go to some wonderful place or come back as something.... whatever it takes to die but not die.

All made up for obvious reasons.


And those "obvious" reasons are?

what do you think this afterlife is like?


I dunno, but it's likely to be something not easily explainable by humanity, not now, anyway. But I have seen some pretty convincing arguments for something more being out there and some of them can be found on Alex Tsakiris's site, Skeptiko (dot) com(and what's really interesting is that the skeptics, or 'skeptics', I should say, haven't been able to come up with any convincing counter-arguments).

Looking back on it, though, I realize, and in fact, I wish I had done a better job phrasing my OP.....(though I recall it being in late at night, so that didn't help)...in fact, I probably WILL edit it.

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Response to AverageJoe90 (Reply #30)

Sat Feb 16, 2013, 10:03 AM

33. And those "obvious" reasons are?

Uh.... no one wants to die.....and be gone forever...

No one I know, anyway.

"on Alex Tsakiris's site, "...

Oh no. Not NDE's! The thing about "Near Death Experiences" is the EXPERIENCE.

How does one experience anything?...near death or in everyday life?

That's right...with your (working) brain. What does one experience when one's brain is NOT working...not working at all?

Nothing. (sometimes even when it is working but unconscious)

And there are posters there saying things like "Death is not well defined"

Uh.... yes it is!

Way too much subjective "pre-drawn" conclusions from incomplete data based of ancient "unscientific" notions that I admit are hard to shake off. Way too much "this is what has been thought since Neanderthals" and irrelevant stuff like that for me.

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Response to AverageJoe90 (Original post)

Sat Feb 16, 2013, 08:19 PM

36. My work in nursing homes have really helped shape my views on an afterlife.

As the body goes, so does the mind. A urinary track infection can make a sane person act crazy, often becoming violent. I have seen this in both nursing homes and group homes. When someone who is normally peaceful starts acting violent, they are often tested for UTIs. If something as simple as an infected urinary track can completely change a person's personality, then death most likely annihilates it.

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Response to AverageJoe90 (Original post)

Tue Feb 19, 2013, 09:46 PM

37. No, why should I?

If you're a Deist, you don't believe in a God who engages with ordinary people. In which case, what evidence do you have that an afterlife, or any supernatural environment exists?

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Response to brooklynite (Reply #37)

Tue Feb 19, 2013, 10:28 PM

38. It's a bit complicated, but.....

Have you been to Alex Tsakiris's Skeptiko site? There's some interesting info there, if you have time to google it and look at some of the stuff there.

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Response to AverageJoe90 (Reply #38)

Wed Feb 20, 2013, 04:18 PM

40. Assuming I don't want to buy a book or list to an hour-long podcast...

...can you net down the hard evidence?

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Response to brooklynite (Reply #40)

Mon Feb 25, 2013, 10:08 PM

48. you're asking for hard evidence

 

about near death experiences?

methinks someone is *definitely* in the wrong group. woo is down the aisle.

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Response to Phillip McCleod (Reply #48)

Mon Feb 25, 2013, 11:33 PM

50. I'm asking the OP to explain what he/she is talking about...

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Response to AverageJoe90 (Original post)


Response to AverageJoe90 (Original post)

Mon Feb 25, 2013, 09:55 AM

43. I know quite a few people who have similar beliefs

Being a non-theist does not mean one must be a non-survivalist (I don't know if that is a term!)

While I believe that survival of life after death is unlikely I do not connect that belief with my non theism.

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Response to AverageJoe90 (Original post)

Mon Feb 25, 2013, 02:14 PM

44. I'm stone atheist, and i believe in ghosts.

Because I saw one, and I was fully awake, and sober. I was 11 years old.

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Response to kurtzapril4 (Reply #44)

Mon Feb 25, 2013, 07:01 PM

45. Yeah. Hopefully it didn't scare you too bad.

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Response to AverageJoe90 (Reply #45)

Mon Feb 25, 2013, 09:32 PM

46. Yeah, hopefully you aren't being sarcastic

because I've been an atheist since it was unpopular to be so. As in, there were actual repercussions for being an atheist, and I have suffered for my lack of belief.

I don't look at it as a sunshine and bunny-rabbits afterlife. I believe in physics....conservation of matter. Conservation of matter says that energy cannot be destroyed.

What I saw didn't scare me. It made me awe-struck, and a believer in ghosts. Don't have nothing to do with god.

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Response to kurtzapril4 (Reply #46)

Mon Feb 25, 2013, 10:49 PM

49. Don't worry, I really DID mean what I said. =)

As in, there were actual repercussions for being an atheist, and I have suffered for my lack of belief.


I'm sorry to hear that. Virtual hug?

I believe in physics....conservation of matter. Conservation of matter says that energy cannot be destroyed.


Makes sense to me, too.

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Response to AverageJoe90 (Reply #49)

Sun Mar 3, 2013, 08:03 PM

56. You use the conservation of energy

as a reason why there may be ghosts?

Batteries have energy in them, but when they are dead they dead, dead, deadski.

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Response to AverageJoe90 (Original post)

Mon Feb 25, 2013, 11:40 PM

51. Yes n/t

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Response to Duer 157099 (Reply #51)

Tue Feb 26, 2013, 09:00 AM

54. a yes from me too

There is no bigger idiot than one who is sure of his ideas

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Response to bluedave (Reply #54)

Tue Feb 26, 2013, 11:31 AM

55. Especially an idea that is virtually impossible to prove

just like religions.

I like to leave a little room for doubt in those areas.

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Response to bluedave (Reply #54)

Sun Mar 3, 2013, 09:08 PM

57. Coming to the Atheist and Agnostic group and calling atheists "idiots"

is not bound to make you many friends.

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Response to AverageJoe90 (Original post)

Tue Feb 26, 2013, 01:53 AM

53. Don't share it but welcome anyway

Thought I shared it once ...

http://www.democraticunderground.com/121839365

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