I have been an atheist for a while and have always been looking for an argument that will prove the existence of A GOD. A GOD is in all caps to show that I am not looking for you to prove the christian god or the greek gods, all i want is proof of the existence of a higher power that created all things. He does not have to be a moral being, nor does he have to give to craps about his creation. I just want someone to prove that he is there (I use he because in the English language we assume masculine when no gender is put forth). So anyone of any background of any knowledge level go for it.
Oh and as a side note, yes you do have to prove that god is there, i don't have to prove he is not. It is like asking someone to prove that a dragon exists when the dragon will become undetectable the minute a person looks at is. The same is true for god. He does not exist in our plane of being as I have been told oh so many times and therefore cannot be detected in any way. So don't come in here and say that I have to prove that there is no god. That is for another debate.
So because we do something and the majority of society accepts it, it must be ok... Uhm, NO!
Sorry, I don't subscribe to group think.
So you are opposed to the concept of custodial sentences. Okay, so how would you suggest the criminal justice system should work?
If you watched the video I linked to analysing violence and our response to it you would of understood my thoughts on the problem better. It's not simply a matter of changing the criminal justice system, we need to understand the root causes of such behaviour in order to help those who behave that way and orient society in a manner that makes it less likely for that behaviour to occur.
Contrary to popular belief being violent is not part of our nature. We are naturally peaceful, social and co-operative- we only become violent, competitive and aggressive when the environment encourages it.
As a buddhist would say, that's a question wrongly put. The correct question is: how do you address the problem? The answer is: You help the person.
You figure out why he behaved that way and help him understand that and correct it so he is unlikely to do it again. Similar to the method used for children when they are naughty.
It's a concept well known to Psychiatrists and Psychologists called changing a persons semantic reaction. Something Alfred Korzybski eloquently deals with in his book Science and Sanity where he lays out the field of General Semantics.
Your notion of Justice is not helpful.
Your system does not give life more value, because it gives out no redress for the victims of a murderer. It is not enough to say "Don't do it again" to a murderer, the victims family require recompense of some kind. It is not inhumane to punish someone for their crimes.
Ok, that's perhaps a start, but it doesn't solve issues. Let's say someone has killed someone. The issue at hand is not merely that someone has done something wrong. The victim's family has had something taken from them. Redress needs to be made for that. You cannot just re-educate people. There needs to be a retributive and restorative element to justice.
The same is true for more quantifiable things. What if someone stole my television? What if someone trashed my home. Making them realise it's wrong is all well and good, but it won't give me a place to sleep if my house has been destroyed etc.
Your notion of Justice is getting in the way... Retribution is not something we should condone in any sense.
Luckily we are moving into a world of abundance. Thus something taken can be replaced quite easily. That does require a re-organisation of our culture though because we are still stuck in a consumption/scarce paradigm. Once we make the transition into a society where our technology is efficiently used to make items abundant the notion of hoarding or stealing would vanish because everyone would have everything they need. Until then understanding is required to stop us from hindering ourselves with the notion of retribution and justice, it is only making things more difficult.
I'm sorry, but it's incredibly patronising to just say "oh well, its something you mustn't do again" to something as severe as murder. The reason we have retributive principle is two fold. One, redress. You should not be able to do something bad to someone else, without it costing you dear. Two, deterrence. People need to know that such things cannot be done, without extreme cost. In your reality, human life has no real value, because the incident has no cost.
Human life has more value "in my reality" because those that transgress others are treated humanely. It's about having compassion for those that commit the crimes as well as those the crimes are committed against and helping them to stop behaving in a manner that harms others. Jesus taught this by touching a man with leprosy, an unthinkable thing to do at the time.
Anyway we've gone far enough off topic.
If you are seriously suggesting that Jesus healing the man with leprosy somehow invalidates the basic principles of criminal justice retrebution, I'm not sure how much interest I have in debating with you, since you are clearly someone who makes the most absurd logic leaps.
I feel like this post is entirely to give you the opportunity to reaffirm your own beliefs. Correct me if I'm wrong-I don't mean that as an accusation-but I hear atheists at my very religious school say this pretty often, and generally it's because they feel a need to justify their own beliefs.
I'm not religious, but I don't deny the possibility of a god of any kind. The reason for this is simple-faith is defined as something there is no proof for, yet you believe all the same. That's what makes it faith. And before you say that's illogical, remember that there are many different types of faith.
I have faith that humanity will eventually come to live in relative peace and harmony, despite no evidence that this might be the case.
I have faith that mankind is good.
I have faith that freaking Ryan Murphy will stop writing awful episodes and Glee will get good again, despite all evidence to the contrary.
Is it illogical to believe any of these things? Yeah, probably. I don't believe them because they are logical. I believe them because it gives me the strength to get out of bed in the morning. (Perhaps not the Glee one.)
I feel like it's the same way with those of religious faith. Believing in something bigger than you isn't illogical-it's a question of faith, and whether it gives you something you cannot get any other way. If you don't need it, that's great for you, and no one should question that. Other people do, though, and it's not fair to try to take that faith away, and I say that not in response to your original post, but to the responses you have made.
And aside from that-what proof do you have that there is not one? Serious, legitimate proof? Because above all else, I believe that if there IS a god, which I am not sure of in any way, shape or form, we cannot understand what form god might take or what it is. And even more than that, I believe it doesn't matter.
Absolutely not. In a world where people will trust a rapist before an atheist (CNN poll), where Atheists are often shunned from neighborhoods and communities, where people of all faiths and all creeds agree that if there is one group that is 100% going to burn in hell and should be sent there as soon as possible it is Atheists, if i had any doubt what so ever i would not be an atheist. It is not the kind of thing that affords much doubt. If I had an doubt I would not have risked telling anyone because of the back lash I would receive. The accusation that I am doing this to affirm my own beliefs shows very little understanding in what a life altering choice to be an open atheist. If there were even the slightest doubt in my interpretation of facts and discovery of the truth that has been blocked for so long I would have kept my mouth shut.
I feel that your faith in mankind is extremely misplaced. Humans are a selfish, brutish, and destructive race. I am of the firm belief that the only time there will ever be peace on the earth is when we finally destroy ourselves. Also glee was never good, so yeah.
I am a person that puts stock in logic and in logical people. Believing the illogical does not make it true. Belief despite all evidence to the contrary is foolish. If you see a hat that is blue no matter how much you believe it is red it will still just be a blue hat. The same is true for god. No matter how much people want him, he just isn't there. As my history teacher likes to remind me "Its not what we don't know that will get us, its what we know that ain't so"