The 9 foundational questions?

I am very interested in seeing your view on the following questions…

  1. What is the nature of reality? (What is really real?)
  2. Who or what is God?
  3. What is the basis for morality?
  4. What is man? (What is mankind? What are human beings?)
  5. Why are we here? (Where are we going?)
  6. What is the purpose of human history?
  7. What happens to a person at death?
  8. What is the foundation or basis for your beliefs? (Why?)
  9. What evidence do you have to support your decision to place your faith in that foundation?

Welcome to the bear pit Sara,
I don’t often get to be first to answer these type of questions:

1.Who really knows?
2.God and gods are human constructs to explain what is considered current mysteries. Also an opportunity to fleece the masses.
3: Morality is an evolutionary asset for social species. It is derived from empathy.
4: Man is one of the Great Apes. Human beings are the mostly hairless ones.
5: I am here because I am typing on my computer. I am going for a nice bacon and egg roll. Don’t know about anyone else.
6. The purpose of human history is for the education and edification of other humans. Hopefully so we learn from previous mistakes.
7. They die. duh. All bodily functions cease, the bowels and bladder release. Various parasites like priests, pastors and funeral directors arrive.
8. Education and lucid thought.
9. The collected works of hundreds of humans in many field of endeavour. My Grandpa who taught me how to think critically and mistrust claims that are not evidenced.

Why are YOU asking these vague and horribly phrased questions…be honest now…

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Okay, sure!

So, this is a question of epistemology. I am really not trying to be a dick (I guess some people think atheists can be overbearing at times) but this question isn’t something that a person can relate.

“Epistemology” is the discipline that tries to determine the answer to the question you just asked. If ‘X’ is any given truth-claim (assertion about the nature of reality) by what criteria do I judge the case for ‘X’? I defer to the experts in the field of epistemology here.

Just like I don’t have my own opinion about how many about how many moons Jupiter has (I defer to astronomy) I don’t have a “personalized way” to arrive at “truth,” instead I defer to Epistemology.

Briefly I can say, based on my limited understanding of the modern discipline of epistemology, that only rational, verifiable demonstrations of the scientific method, which are falsifiable and demonstrable, can lead to truth. There aren’t “other ways of knowing” (such as through faith). SOrry, but there is not.

I don’t believe in God, because there simply is no case for God.

Morality (really ethics) is a discipline (like epistemology or physics), and just like I am not qualified to have a “personal opinion” about whether I agree or disagree here, likewise I don’t have a personalized view of what is or isn’t moral. I am not qualified to say what I think “open-heart surgery” really is, thus I am not in a position to say what, in that field, is legitimate or not, similarly with ethics. I just defer to the experts and try to study.

Basically, any being that is sapient (possessed of a conscious mind, or sentience) is a “person” because such a being has the ability to think, percieve, and experience. TO me, that makes such beings special and unique, and gives them certain inherent rights (like the right to exist, and to exist freely, according to their own genius). The converse is that we have an obligation to secure that right for ourselves and others, and in the aggregate, we can apply this principle across groups, and thus have a need to build “the just city” (a stable and ordered society that values all its members equally, etc.).

THese obligations follow logically from being a sapient being (a creature that can think), and do not require a God to believe in. That isn’t to say that there is no GOd, merely that our being thinking creatures (regardless of whether we were created that way by a God, or evolved at random) is what determines that. Thus, morality/ethics doesn’t require a God.

Concering the disciplines of Anthropology, Biology, etc. I am not a qualified expert and so cannot answer this question. I defer to the experts.

Based on my limited knowledge, Human Beings (Homo Sapiens) are a species of primate that walks erect and uses its forelimbs to manipulate objects, giving it the uniques ability of toolage (ability to use tools). Homo Sapiens appears to have first appeared about a million or so years ago in the evolutionary record, and is a close relative of the great apes.

No idea. Not sure there is a “reason.”

No idea. Not sure there is a “reason.”

No idea, most likely we simply cease to exist.

This is redundant with question 1. This is a question of epistemology (the cirteria we use to judge and evaluate truth-claims, which is its self a professional and academic discipline, that I (and probably you, I am guessing) are not experts in and don’t hold degrees in, and thus are unqualified to comment on. You should really go study that, rather than ask my dumb-ass about it.

I defer to the experts in that field in how they define what “is” evidence and what “is” truth, and at what point is something “proven.”

Briefly, any proposition ‘X’ must be judged by a criteria that is demonstrable, falsifiable, reproducable, parsimoniuos, and able to make predications. The Scientific Method is the basis for modern epistemology.

THis is also a repeat of questions #1 and 8.

1 We really don’t know. To me, reality is far more bizarre than we realize.
2 Which God? Erebus? Well, he’s the primordial god of darkness. Is that what you mean?
3 100s of millions of years of evolution.
4 Homo sapiens sapiens.
5 I’m here because almost 50 ears ago my parents had sex.
6 There is no purpose. Hopefully we can learn from it though.
7 Nothing. We just, die.
8 Evidence and data.
9 Way too long for a forum.

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I notice there is no ‘atheist’ next to your name. That usually means the person does not identify as atheist

Are you then a believer? I ask because your questions are often asked by disingenuous theists with an agenda to say teach ignorant atheists the truth about god and other associated mysteries.

I apologise if I’ve misjudged.

You’ve just posed questions about some oft greatest mysteries which have bewildered human beings as long as there have been human beings. Seems obvious that you’ve thought about these things, so have probably formed opinions about at least some of them.

I’d be interested in learning your own honest opinions. Nobody will bite you if you’re sincere.

Thank you, for your answer!
I am asking these questions because in a class I am taking, they gave this assignment to reach out and talk to people that have different views on life than me and ask them these questions. These questions were already given to me, so Im sorry if they are horribly vague and phrased!

I am a believer, in no way am I trying to teach or preach to “ignorant atheists” (which you are not, and I hate it that other believers make it seem this way) this was actually an assignment for a class I am taking. I had to answer these questions myself and then reach out to others that dont share my own view and ask them. I am also very interested in other beliefs, because I feel like I grew up in a very sheltered household and I dont know much about other beliefs.

So tell your teacher that they should learn to phrase questions that are understandable and literate.
By the standard of the questions posed I would hazard a guess and say you are attending a christian college, probably unaccredited, and taking Apologetics 101?

We get variations on these questions every few months or so. These ones you brought to us, rank among the very worst for clarity. Your teacher is obviously not interested in clear answers.

Feel free to continue the discussion, we tend to be gentle with students, most of us , except for Cog. Cog likes bananas, so just chuck him a few and duck the poo flinging, he will calm down.

Welcome again Sara.

So what were your answers?

I am going to be completely honest with you I am not in college, I am actually attending a Christian high school, I am in 9th grade and taking Foundations of Faith. I might be a little young but I am interested, especially going into this new class! Yeah, I understand they are not very clear and leave a lot of space for interpretation.

So sorry be to be so skeptical. Unable to believe you yet. Your claim is not uncommon,and so far untrue with every believer I’ve seen here

Once again, I invite you to share your own opinions

As a sign of good faith,I’ll share my basic position;

I am an agnostic atheist. That means I do not believe in god(s) due to a complete lack of proof. However, I do not claim to know.

Atheism is NOT a philosophical position, a political ideology ,an association or even a group.

I do not accept that god can be argued into or out of existence. To believe, I demand empirical evidence,and will accept nothing less.

‘As an atheist’ I have no opinion about creation,evolution, human beings as species and a range of other issues. I DO have opinions but they are not predicated on my atheism.

Your turn .

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They waste precious High School time on that? Ah well.

You sound a very bright person Sara, good luck in the future. I have strict rules about engaging minors on the internet. So you will have to rely on others for comment.

One tip Sara, always ask the hard questions.

I get why you are skeptical, but honestly why a person would pretend to be a student to ask these questions is beyond me!
I am a Christian and believe in God, beyond that honestly I am not looking to share what I believe , right now I want to learn more about what other people believe (or not believe) I am also a minor and still in school, so there is that. This might sound like a lie, but it is not, you choose to believe me

But honestly thank you for sharing what you believe!

  1. An amorphous deepity if ever there was one. X is X (Reality is Reality.) X is not non-X (That which is not real is not reality.) X is either X or not X. (Reality is either real or it is not real.)

  2. Gods are un-evidenced claims for the cause of all things not yet understood.

  3. Morality is based on the human desire to form social units for survival. Through clans, tribes, small communities, and nations, our morality has evolved with our efforts ot get along with one another.

  4. Man is the current result of an ongoing evolutionary process. He is the being which emerged from these circumstances on this planet and in this universe.

  5. The meaning of life is life. All life feeds on life. If you are alive for only seconds you have served a function for life to live. Life perpetuates itself. Life is completely fulfilled by life. If you have not found your meaning in all this, too bad for you. Meaning is what you bring to life. Life is not responsible for your meaning. You may allow the institutions of the world to dictate meaning to you or you may search inside yourself for your own meaning. Regardless, it is always you that chooses the meaning for yourself.

5B. I was the fastest sperm in the bunch. I am going to my death. As I realize this; my journey is one of enjoying the time I have and helping others to enjoy their time as well.

  1. People study history for all sorts of reasons. Why not ask a historian? It has been said, “Those who are unaware of history are likely to repeat it.” Frankly I think we repeat it anyway so that would not be my reason. Still, I enjoy the historical writings of Buddha, the mythology of the ancient Greeks, Homer, and more… I don’t study it but I read it for pleasure. I love reading the Apocrypha (The other stories of Jesus that were common but did not make the biblical cannon.)

  2. At Death? The heart stops. The brain shuts down and the person dies. Ummm… that’s what death is.

  3. The foundation for my beliefs is that which is demonstrable. By relying on facts and evidence I can avoid most of the silly nonsense that takes up space in the lives of most people.

  4. I have no faith. I have reasonable expectations based on facts, evidence and experiences that have withstood critical inquiry. There is nothing at all that can not be believed based on faith. Faith is as useless a concept a shoe umbrella.

Around this place, we actually like people with sincere questions. Hope you find what you are looking for and, on top of that, actually consider some of the responses. Should your teacher or others have any comments to the responses, please feel free to return and share them. We would certainly love to hear any rebuttals.

Boomer actually makes a very good point. There is no solidarity of beliefs among atheists. You asked some questions that seemed to lead towards cosmology or evolution. These questions are best answered by cosmologists or evolutionists. You asked questions about history, again, best answered by a historian. Some of the questions are more philosophical in nature… philosopher?

Atheists are people who do not believe in God or gods. Most of us do not believe in anything spiritual or mystical depending on the definitions. I know for a fact that most of the people on this site have advanced degrees and in wide areas of expertise. Everything from Physics, Math and the Sciences to the Soft sciences like Psychology. In that, there are many who are very capable of responding logically and reasonably to your questions; however, many more may have other views. My views are my own. The one commonality we share is our lack of belief in deities.

I would have guessed the foundations of faith might fill a 3x5 card, not an entire class.

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Well… let’s see.
Foundations of Faith.

  1. Faith

Well fuck. There is a tautology for you! Faith is its own foundation.

  1. This is adequately defined in the dictionary.
  2. Which God, and what objectivecevidence evidence can you demonstrate for it?
  3. If you mean my own, then it is founded broadly on the idea that we should try to reduce and where possible avoid all unnecessary suffering. I can’t speak to others, as all morality is necessarily subjective.
  4. They are one species of evolved mammalian apes.
  5. What evidence can you demonstrate that there is any overarching reason for our existence, as I am unaware of any.
  6. Why do you think it has a purpose?
  7. Their brain ceases to function.
  8. I believe things when sufficient objective evidence can be demonstrated for the claim.
  9. It is demonstrably the most successful method we have for validating claims and beliefs. Though please note, I do not use, nor do I need any faith to arrive this conclusion, as it is demonstrable.

Hi Sara, has it occurred to you that some of those questions are loaded, and phrased to presuppose certain tenets of religious faith?

In a class entitled foundations of faith that strikes me as pretty ironic.

Note the question almost presupposes an extant deity here.

Again the question doesn’t ask if there is an over arching reason for our existence, it simply asks what it is, again almost presupposing there is one.

Again why would human history have a purpose anymore than the history of any other species?

This one is a little bit more subtle, but again who says anything happens beyond the cessation of brain activity?

Now that’s not subtle at all, assuming the basis on which I believe claims requires faith.

It doesn’t, at all. Faith is subjective, and one could be therefore believe literally anything using faith.

I’ll ask the same question I ask all theists…

What objective evidence can you demonstrate for any deity?

If the answer is none then I’m going to withhold belief. As I do with all unevidenced claims.

Note that several of those questions are leading up to a known logical fallacy called argumentum ad ignorantiam.

They are loaded in such a way as to demand that anyone who disbelieves in a deity is going to be asked to evidence a contrary claim for our existence. This is fallacious, and by definition irrational.

If you care that what you believe is true, then you should be extremely wary of anything that uses known logical fallacies.