Author Topic: Any Atheist U2 Fans here?  (Read 10688 times)

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Offline summerholly

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Re: Any Atheist U2 Fans here?
« Reply #180 on: June 06, 2018, 05:56:57 PM »
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I work at a small software company with more than our share of eccentric characters (I include myself in that number). Up until one of them retired, we had a pair of engineers who argued Evolution vs. Creation *every single day* I kid you not. Neither of them ever got the other to budge but they sure seemed to enjoy the attempt.

I am a Christian and I also have a strong science background. I see no conflict between the two. Most churches don’t. Many people of faith have made major contributions to science. For example Georges Lemaitre, who did important work on the Big Bang theory, was not only a believer, he was a Catholic priest.

There are certain fundamentalist sects who don’t accept evolution. I’ve known people like that and, though I believe they are incorrect from a scientific viewpoint, I can appreciate where they’re coming from.


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I also don’t see a conflict between belief in God and evolution.  But I think some people somehow feel that if you understand how it works it removes the mystery and, consequently, the need for a God to explain things.  I see science as addressing “How” and religion as addressing “Why”.  I think the problem is when people feel the need to prove or disprove God based on the way things work or our observations of the physical world.  I don’t think that’s possible.  If you believe in God, its based on intuition and that has to be enough of a reason for you.


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I think intuition can work both ways.  Gaining a better understanding of how things work can often influence your intuition.  I would like to believe in some higher being especially as I lose people and animals that I love, but as more data around the workings of the universe has come to light deep down my gut instinct and intuition is telling me that there is probably none.

Offline ElectricalVoice

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Re: Any Atheist U2 Fans here?
« Reply #181 on: June 07, 2018, 01:19:07 AM »
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All I am saying is that caring/feeling IS the instinct. 

Exactly! Emotions and feelings are not conscious choices. They just come. Instincts must manifest in some way, and instincts are by definition not conscious. Instincts manifest via emotions, feelings, empathy, love, disgust, fear etc. What else is there?

It is not like that I am good to my neighbour because I consciously think that if I am not, he will hurt me. It is just an instinct that manifest as empathy and then kindness, and this instinct and emotion evolved because it was beneficial to the species.

Of course there could be a higher force that created these things, but evolution can also explain this. Therefore, for me, I see no reason to invent another explanation, when we already have one. Especially since we know for a fact that evolution has and is happening as we speak.
« Last Edit: June 07, 2018, 02:18:37 AM by ElectricalVoice »

Saint22

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Re: Any Atheist U2 Fans here?
« Reply #182 on: June 07, 2018, 08:36:24 AM »
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All I am saying is that caring/feeling IS the instinct. 

Exactly! Emotions and feelings are not conscious choices. They just come. Instincts must manifest in some way, and instincts are by definition not conscious. Instincts manifest via emotions, feelings, empathy, love, disgust, fear etc. What else is there?

It is not like that I am good to my neighbour because I consciously think that if I am not, he will hurt me. It is just an instinct that manifest as empathy and then kindness, and this instinct and emotion evolved because it was beneficial to the species.

Of course there could be a higher force that created these things, but evolution can also explain this. Therefore, for me, I see no reason to invent another explanation, when we already have one. Especially since we know for a fact that evolution has and is happening as we speak.

Feelings can be suppressed and ignored and after time, you lose them. Or, you may start to think differently and experience them more. Surely we know people who previously didn't care about something who later became empathetic to it because something changed their heart. Surely we also know of 'compassion fatigue' and becoming desensitized.

As for evolution, unless you believe every single word of a creation story is literal truth, there is no reason why God and evolution can't co-exist. Science and religion are nothing if not avenues to discover truth. They shouldn't be opposed to each other.

Offline Tortuga

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Re: Any Atheist U2 Fans here?
« Reply #183 on: June 07, 2018, 10:01:05 AM »
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All I am saying is that caring/feeling IS the instinct. 

Exactly! Emotions and feelings are not conscious choices. They just come. Instincts must manifest in some way, and instincts are by definition not conscious. Instincts manifest via emotions, feelings, empathy, love, disgust, fear etc. What else is there?

It is not like that I am good to my neighbour because I consciously think that if I am not, he will hurt me. It is just an instinct that manifest as empathy and then kindness, and this instinct and emotion evolved because it was beneficial to the species.

Of course there could be a higher force that created these things, but evolution can also explain this. Therefore, for me, I see no reason to invent another explanation, when we already have one. Especially since we know for a fact that evolution has and is happening as we speak.

Feelings can be suppressed and ignored and after time, you lose them. Or, you may start to think differently and experience them more. Surely we know people who previously didn't care about something who later became empathetic to it because something changed their heart. Surely we also know of 'compassion fatigue' and becoming desensitized.

As for evolution, unless you believe every single word of a creation story is literal truth, there is no reason why God and evolution can't co-exist. Science and religion are nothing if not avenues to discover truth. They shouldn't be opposed to each other.

We are mostly all agreeing.  I get your point on emotions, but the fact that they change over time still, to me, does not require a supernatural force.  Instincts are innate tendencies that form the basis of how humans behave.  A person may become more or less compassionate because the mechanism of our brain has lots of inputs.  But the tendency for compassion is instinctive.

Just like all natural things there are variations.  In some human brains the tendency for compassion may be completely broken.  In others,  the chemistry and structure of the brain may be predisposed to exhibit great compassion.  You can take a person with anger or behavior issues and moderate their behavior by introducing a chemical into their brain in the form of a pill.  Or their personality can completely flip from loving compassion to mean and hateful from a brain injury.   

Throughout history, humans have induced what they believed were “religious” experiences by taking hallucinogens.  In the end its all inside the brain.



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Saint22

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Re: Any Atheist U2 Fans here?
« Reply #184 on: June 07, 2018, 10:22:58 AM »
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All I am saying is that caring/feeling IS the instinct. 

Exactly! Emotions and feelings are not conscious choices. They just come. Instincts must manifest in some way, and instincts are by definition not conscious. Instincts manifest via emotions, feelings, empathy, love, disgust, fear etc. What else is there?

It is not like that I am good to my neighbour because I consciously think that if I am not, he will hurt me. It is just an instinct that manifest as empathy and then kindness, and this instinct and emotion evolved because it was beneficial to the species.

Of course there could be a higher force that created these things, but evolution can also explain this. Therefore, for me, I see no reason to invent another explanation, when we already have one. Especially since we know for a fact that evolution has and is happening as we speak.

Feelings can be suppressed and ignored and after time, you lose them. Or, you may start to think differently and experience them more. Surely we know people who previously didn't care about something who later became empathetic to it because something changed their heart. Surely we also know of 'compassion fatigue' and becoming desensitized.

As for evolution, unless you believe every single word of a creation story is literal truth, there is no reason why God and evolution can't co-exist. Science and religion are nothing if not avenues to discover truth. They shouldn't be opposed to each other.

We are mostly all agreeing.  I get your point on emotions, but the fact that they change over time still, to me, does not require a supernatural force.  Instincts are innate tendencies that form the basis of how humans behave.  A person may become more or less compassionate because the mechanism of our brain has lots of inputs.  But the tendency for compassion is instinctive.

Just like all natural things there are variations.  In some human brains the tendency for compassion may be completely broken.  In others,  the chemistry and structure of the brain may be predisposed to exhibit great compassion.  You can take a person with anger or behavior issues and moderate their behavior by introducing a chemical into their brain in the form of a pill.  Or their personality can completely flip from loving compassion to mean and hateful from a brain injury.   

Throughout history, humans have induced what they believed were “religious” experiences by taking hallucinogens.  In the end its all inside the brain.



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I'm just not sure I can equate an instinct with an emotion. I've never thought about the two being the same thing. IMO, instinct is to run out of a burning building. Empathy is to run BACK into the burning building to rescue someone. Nature would program a parent to go back in after their child, but I'm not sure about a total stranger. Would a cat go into a dangerous situation to save another grown cat? Some people would, and some wouldn't. I don't know. Just thinking out loud.

Offline JTNash

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Re: Any Atheist U2 Fans here?
« Reply #185 on: June 07, 2018, 10:36:23 AM »
Lots of religious people have zero empathy, so would this mean they are missing the message?

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Re: Any Atheist U2 Fans here?
« Reply #186 on: June 07, 2018, 12:59:59 PM »
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Lots of religious people have zero empathy, so would this mean they are missing the message?

If you are asking my opinion, I would say they are missing the ENTIRE message, point, meaning, reason, whatever you want to call it. If religion doesn't make you a better person, something is wrong somewhere. That's my opinion.

Offline JTNash

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Re: Any Atheist U2 Fans here?
« Reply #187 on: June 07, 2018, 01:40:57 PM »
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Lots of religious people have zero empathy, so would this mean they are missing the message?

If you are asking my opinion, I would say they are missing the ENTIRE message, point, meaning, reason, whatever you want to call it. If religion doesn't make you a better person, something is wrong somewhere. That's my opinion.
I think religion is faiths worst enemy

Offline Tortuga

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Re: Any Atheist U2 Fans here?
« Reply #188 on: June 07, 2018, 01:57:50 PM »
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All I am saying is that caring/feeling IS the instinct. 

Exactly! Emotions and feelings are not conscious choices. They just come. Instincts must manifest in some way, and instincts are by definition not conscious. Instincts manifest via emotions, feelings, empathy, love, disgust, fear etc. What else is there?

It is not like that I am good to my neighbour because I consciously think that if I am not, he will hurt me. It is just an instinct that manifest as empathy and then kindness, and this instinct and emotion evolved because it was beneficial to the species.

Of course there could be a higher force that created these things, but evolution can also explain this. Therefore, for me, I see no reason to invent another explanation, when we already have one. Especially since we know for a fact that evolution has and is happening as we speak.

Feelings can be suppressed and ignored and after time, you lose them. Or, you may start to think differently and experience them more. Surely we know people who previously didn't care about something who later became empathetic to it because something changed their heart. Surely we also know of 'compassion fatigue' and becoming desensitized.

As for evolution, unless you believe every single word of a creation story is literal truth, there is no reason why God and evolution can't co-exist. Science and religion are nothing if not avenues to discover truth. They shouldn't be opposed to each other.

We are mostly all agreeing.  I get your point on emotions, but the fact that they change over time still, to me, does not require a supernatural force.  Instincts are innate tendencies that form the basis of how humans behave.  A person may become more or less compassionate because the mechanism of our brain has lots of inputs.  But the tendency for compassion is instinctive.

Just like all natural things there are variations.  In some human brains the tendency for compassion may be completely broken.  In others,  the chemistry and structure of the brain may be predisposed to exhibit great compassion.  You can take a person with anger or behavior issues and moderate their behavior by introducing a chemical into their brain in the form of a pill.  Or their personality can completely flip from loving compassion to mean and hateful from a brain injury.   

Throughout history, humans have induced what they believed were “religious” experiences by taking hallucinogens.  In the end its all inside the brain.



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I'm just not sure I can equate an instinct with an emotion. I've never thought about the two being the same thing. IMO, instinct is to run out of a burning building. Empathy is to run BACK into the burning building to rescue someone. Nature would program a parent to go back in after their child, but I'm not sure about a total stranger. Would a cat go into a dangerous situation to save another grown cat? Some people would, and some wouldn't. I don't know. Just thinking out loud.

Cat brains do not equal human brains so I’m going to pass on that way of thinking about it.

With regard to the burning building, that was one of CS Lewis’ proofs.  The problem to me is that its overly simplistic.  There are always competing instincts.  Fight or flight is a great example.  In the burning building its survival of self (self-preservation) vs not wanting to see someone else burn up (empathy). 

I think what you are really talking about is moral choice.  Lewis had an essay called something like “right and wrong as a clue to the meaning of the universe”.   I think that’s where he uses the burning building example.  (Lewis was a big influence on Bono, by the way.)

Morality as evidence of God is a huge topic that I don’t really have a grip on but if you are interested Google will give you a ton of links.  As far as I have gotten with it, it leaves me at the same point...it doesn’t prove or disprove.  If you delve into it maybe we can bat it around.  I think this thread is pretty well hijacked now.



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Offline ian ryan

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Re: Any Atheist U2 Fans here?
« Reply #189 on: June 07, 2018, 02:44:39 PM »
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I think this thread is pretty well hijacked now.


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Just peeked in here and I had a similar thought. To all, please stay away from the blanket declarations about people on either side, thanks, and get back on track.

Offline Tortuga

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Re: Any Atheist U2 Fans here?
« Reply #190 on: June 07, 2018, 03:40:53 PM »
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I think this thread is pretty well hijacked now.


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Just peeked in here and I had a similar thought. To all, please stay away from the blanket declarations about people on either side, thanks, and get back on track.

In case anyone else sees the irony, I’m pretty much the one who hijacked it, or at least one of the ones!


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Offline Maximus

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Re: Any Atheist U2 Fans here?
« Reply #191 on: June 08, 2018, 10:04:24 PM »
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Lots of religious people have zero empathy, so would this mean they are missing the message?

If you are asking my opinion, I would say they are missing the ENTIRE message, point, meaning, reason, whatever you want to call it. If religion doesn't make you a better person, something is wrong somewhere. That's my opinion.
I think religion is faiths worst enemy

Jt a lot of people think that as well, personally you guys know I am a traditional Catholic, however I listen to all different kinds of Christian preachers and writers from the Pope to Bonhoeffer. At the end of the day we are all Brothers and Sisters and we need to treat each other as such. That is the message of Christ that is the bottom line - Love one another as God has loved you. Guess what even if you are an Atheist I will disagree with you and argue with you but bottom line i will defend your right not to believe, I believe God gave us free will he doesn’t want robots, he wants us to come to him with our head and heart by our free will and on our own. I believe God loves you the same as he loves everyone else. But once again if you don’t believe that’s fine that is your right, as long as know one takes my right to believe away it’s cool

Offline JTNash

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Re: Any Atheist U2 Fans here?
« Reply #192 on: June 09, 2018, 07:29:09 AM »
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Lots of religious people have zero empathy, so would this mean they are missing the message?

If you are asking my opinion, I would say they are missing the ENTIRE message, point, meaning, reason, whatever you want to call it. If religion doesn't make you a better person, something is wrong somewhere. That's my opinion.
I think religion is faiths worst enemy

Jt a lot of people think that as well, personally you guys know I am a traditional Catholic, however I listen to all different kinds of Christian preachers and writers from the Pope to Bonhoeffer. At the end of the day we are all Brothers and Sisters and we need to treat each other as such. That is the message of Christ that is the bottom line - Love one another as God has loved you. Guess what even if you are an Atheist I will disagree with you and argue with you but bottom line i will defend your right not to believe, I believe God gave us free will he doesn’t want robots, he wants us to come to him with our head and heart by our free will and on our own. I believe God loves you the same as he loves everyone else. But once again if you don’t believe that’s fine that is your right, as long as know one takes my right to believe away it’s cool
blessings not just for those on their knees.

But I agree with all you have said, I’m non practicing but still identify as Catholic

Offline shineinthesummernight

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Re: Any Atheist U2 Fans here?
« Reply #193 on: June 09, 2018, 03:03:57 PM »
There are so many lapsed Catholics that I believe it would be the second largest denomination all together.