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Old 08-20-2014, 06:30 AM   #41
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The existence of Santa is scientifically impossible to prove....or fairies....but we don't live our lives with the chance THEY might. We're pretty certain it's made up.

Same with an afterlife. We all managed to cope with finding out about Santa, we can cope with death too
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So what's the difference between what you've described above and non existent?
When you go on an online crusade to deprogram a poor, brainwashed religious fool, what's driving you? Are you trying to stamp out a perceived evil in the world? Entertain yourself? I'm legitimately curious what keeps you going. I can appreciate a difference of opinion, but I'm not sure what's meant to be accomplished by belittling someone else's faith. Seems like a waste of your time and theirs.

This topic was created with the best of intentions but any discussions about the afterlife end up the same way, which is frustrating but inevitable, I suppose, when the evidence for and against something is a total lack of evidence.

I believe in the afterlife but don't feel like going into why that is. It's cool if others feel differently.
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Old 08-20-2014, 01:26 PM   #42
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You can't prove that there are no such things as fairies or Santa Claus either. Does that make them real? Does it make them not real?
Maybe, just mayybe, belief has very little to do with science. For the life of me I cannot understand how heavily religious people can believe so strongly in their ancient book that they dispel life as it's understood now. I find believing in something spiritual a great thing, if belief helps you be a good person, great for ya... but to use it as a global fact? no, it's a personal thing and should not interfere with global things like science.

Science can prove there isn't fairies or Santa Claus because there is no earthly evidence for them. It's like those people who believe that Bigfoot or ghosts is real. But it is not possible to disprove or prove that there is an afterlife because it's just not a scientific question. Those types of questions just can't be answered by science. Never have I said that I believe that there is an afterlife. Some people on here are certain that there is an afterlife, some are certain there isn't. I believe that there is no way to know for certain if there is one and therefore I'm not sure if I believe in the afterlife or not, it's one of life's big questions. No one will ever be able to prove there is or isn't one. How that makes me heavily religious according to you, I don't understand.


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Old 08-20-2014, 03:12 PM   #43
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We can reach the North Pole and look for Santa. Because of the various claims made, we should expect evidence of Santa using the scientific method.

Yet, beyond claims that clearly should be ignored, we couldn't reach an Afterlife. I shouldn't expect any evidence of an Afterlife even if it were real. Probably, I should see it as another dimension. We can't reach any of the other 7 dimensions suggested by string theory and we can't really fathom the world outside the hologram in the holographic principle.

Yet, I should expect evidence of reindeer droppings because of the claims made about Santa. So since I should expect evidence for Santa and I see none, I know Santa is not real.

If you're expecting evidence of an Afterlife you are talking in religious terms, whether you are a believer or a pop skeptic (as we see here). Debunking clearly man-made religious claims is not the same as addressing the core issue. It's like anti-theists debunking 'God' by only attacking man-made concepts of God....religion.

Show me a book or a school of thought that addresses either of these issues without needing to use religion as a hammer to defeat them, and you will show me true skepticism on the matter.
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Old 08-20-2014, 03:27 PM   #44
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We can't reach any of the other 7 dimensions suggested by string theory and we can't really fathom the world outside the hologram in the holographic principle.
Absolutely FANTASTIC point!

The only thing I might add - is that it seems feasible that on occasion - these dimensions/holograms intersect - and offer "glimpses" into something "more."

If this does happen, it's fleeting - thus difficult to measure/prove. It would seem very real to those beings that experience it, but it would be almost impossible to prove using reason.

I think, perhaps, that is why many Eastern religions, and even the Eastern flavors of Christianity, focus more on the religious experience than we do in the West - with our more "rational" approach to God and the world.
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Old 08-20-2014, 03:45 PM   #45
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Science can prove there isn't fairies or Santa Claus because there is no earthly evidence for them. It's like those people who believe that Bigfoot or ghosts is real. But it is not possible to disprove or prove that there is an afterlife because it's just not a scientific question. Those types of questions just can't be answered by science. Never have I said that I believe that there is an afterlife. Some people on here are certain that there is an afterlife, some are certain there isn't. I believe that there is no way to know for certain if there is one and therefore I'm not sure if I believe in the afterlife or not, it's one of life's big questions. No one will ever be able to prove there is or isn't one. How that makes me heavily religious according to you, I don't understand.


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I guess you and I differ on our definitions of science then. As far as I'm aware, not having evidence for something does not define its inexistence. Science cannot prove inexistence, it can only prove existence. So for spiritual matters, science is not the place to find your answers.

To me it's a bit like two different realms. The science of all physical and 'reachable' things we can measure and figure out, and the spiritual part where the questions are left unanswered, or we find them in ourselves or wherever, because we believe in them. I don't need to prove or disprove if afterlife exists, for I have no meaning to. If it exists, we won't find out but we'll go to a better place. If it does not exist, who am I to crush people's idea if it comforts them?


Pardon, I didn't mean to imply that you were heavily religious, at all. Probably should work on my phrasing. I was more thinking about the middle east right now where they are killing each other for believing something slightly different. Still boggles my mind.
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Old 08-20-2014, 05:26 PM   #46
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I guess you and I differ on our definitions of science then. As far as I'm aware, not having evidence for something does not define its inexistence. Science cannot prove inexistence, it can only prove existence. So for spiritual matters, science is not the place to find your answers.



To me it's a bit like two different realms. The science of all physical and 'reachable' things we can measure and figure out, and the spiritual part where the questions are left unanswered, or we find them in ourselves or wherever, because we believe in them. I don't need to prove or disprove if afterlife exists, for I have no meaning to. If it exists, we won't find out but we'll go to a better place. If it does not exist, who am I to crush people's idea if it comforts them?





Pardon, I didn't mean to imply that you were heavily religious, at all. Probably should work on my phrasing. I was more thinking about the middle east right now where they are killing each other for believing something slightly different. Still boggles my mind.

I completely agree with you. Science by definition cannot deal with supernatural phenomena. Which is why it bothers me that people posting here believe that science can disprove the afterlife. My whole point is that science can't disprove or prove the existence of the afterlife. If people want to believe there is an afterlife good for them, same if they don't want to believe. But it can never be proved or disproved. And yeah, I probably misconstrued your words. Obviously, religious fanaticism and extremism is a big problem on this planet.


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Old 08-21-2014, 10:45 PM   #47
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When you go on an online crusade to deprogram a poor, brainwashed religious fool, what's driving you? Are you trying to stamp out a perceived evil in the world? Entertain yourself? I'm legitimately curious what keeps you going. I can appreciate a difference of opinion, but I'm not sure what's meant to be accomplished by belittling someone else's faith. Seems like a waste of your time and theirs.

This topic was created with the best of intentions but any discussions about the afterlife end up the same way, which is frustrating but inevitable, I suppose, when the evidence for and against something is a total lack of evidence.

I believe in the afterlife but don't feel like going into why that is. It's cool if others feel differently.

Where did I belittle someone else's faith? I gave my opinion. I attacked no one (tho maybe Santa).

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Old 08-21-2014, 11:00 PM   #48
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Where did I belittle someone else's faith? I gave my opinion. I attacked no one (tho maybe Santa).

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Comparing the legitimacy of someone's belief system to a child's faith in Santa Claus (a proven myth) isn't condescending? I mean, if you say so. I'm not going to get into a drawn out argument about each other's opinions, but you're speaking for yourself if you don't see anything dismissive about it.
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Old 08-22-2014, 07:49 AM   #49
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There are plenty of belief systems out there which are based on nothing more than myth, and a number of others that are somewhat historically accurate + a whole boatload of myth as the cherry on top.
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Old 08-22-2014, 09:44 AM   #50
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Comparing the legitimacy of someone's belief system to a child's faith in Santa Claus (a proven myth) isn't condescending? I mean, if you say so. I'm not going to get into a drawn out argument about each other's opinions, but you're speaking for yourself if you don't see anything dismissive about it.
They're all myths, in the definition of the word:

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myth
miTH
noun
a traditional story, especially one concerning the early history of a people or explaining some natural or social phenomenon, and typically involving supernatural beings or events.
synonyms: folk tale, folk story, legend, tale, story, fable, saga, mythos, lore, folklore, mythology
"ancient Greek myths"
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Old 08-22-2014, 12:21 PM   #51
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Afterlife

I can only speak for myself. Again, I did not attack anyone personally. Instead I questioned the validity of the claim of afterlife and/or the belief system. I feel those are fair game. Going after someone personally will never be my intent. And if I do (or show that I have) I will apologize as it's not a productive way to argue.

I came in here and felt I presented questions and my own opinion on the subject. We all know this is a sensitive subject because it does dive into belief systems.

Ultimately talking about something which has no evidence and is tied to feelings, and not get heated, is a tricky maneuver


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Old 08-22-2014, 02:26 PM   #52
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I can only speak for myself. Again, I did not attack anyone personally. Instead I questioned the validity of the claim of afterlife and/or the belief system. I feel those are fair game. Going after someone personally will never be my intent. And if I do (or show that I have) I will apologize as it's not a productive way to argue.

I came in here and felt I presented questions and my own opinion on the subject. We all know this is a sensitive subject because it does dive into belief systems.

Ultimately talking about something which has no evidence and is tied to feelings, and not get heated, is a tricky maneuver


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This doesn't answer my original question. What do you personally gain from attempting to convince someone that what they believe in is a fallacy? This isn't the first time I've seen you take someone to task for their religious beliefs on this board. I don't mean to suggest that's inherently a bad thing, nor that you're the only person on the internet who does it. It's actually very common. I'm just attempting to understand the thinking behind it.

Personally, I would rather do just about anything than spend time trying to convince someone they're wrong about God.
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Old 08-22-2014, 02:40 PM   #53
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Uhh isn't that like asking why do we argue anything? One of you believe someone is wrong and other is right, hence debate.

Some people feel the ideas behind faith are tired and trite, others find fulfilment and purpose in it.

Anyway I don't think Santa can be proved or disproved with science either. He is meant to be magical, I mean he gets round the world in a night. I'm sure the reindeer have magical self cleaning poo and there is a magical illusion protecting his home in Lapland.

There isn't anything that makes Santa less likely than a God.

The only real thing that separates Santa from the afterlife is what people choose to believe. I don't begrudge that choice.

But hey I live in hope it actually is Valhalla.
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Old 08-22-2014, 02:48 PM   #54
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Its a pointless debate. No one is going to convince or prove heaven or hell to anyone. It's all about faith. Religious or not.
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Old 08-22-2014, 02:50 PM   #55
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This whole Santa Claus thing is insulting, honestly. Just my two cents.
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Old 08-22-2014, 02:51 PM   #56
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This whole Santa Claus thing is insulting, honestly. Just my two cents.

I agree. I've never understand the whole "religious people are weak minded" nonsense. Cause thats basically what that is.
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Old 08-22-2014, 03:13 PM   #57
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This whole Santa Claus thing is insulting, honestly. Just my two cents.
Sorry I don't mean to compare the two as being the same, there is much more to a belief in God, I do understand. I also don't think the world would be much better if religion did not exist. But whether both could exist or not is basically the same.

A better comparison would be really why no one believes in the old religions, why not the Greek gods or the Norse? Why no Valhalla? My only bugbear is that people of the main faiths are quite happy to ridicule or say such notions are myth. To be honest I am starting to remind myself of Neil Gaiman's American Gods.
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Old 08-22-2014, 03:14 PM   #58
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Uhh isn't that like asking why do we argue anything? One of you believe someone is wrong and other is right, hence debate.
No, it's not quite the same. If I can change someone's opinion on an important political issue, I can change their vote, which has a legitimate impact on my life. Their religion?

We're also assuming that there aren't enough facts to "disprove" the other side, or it would have happened centuries ago. So what's the point?
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Old 08-22-2014, 03:22 PM   #59
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I agree. I've never understand the whole "religious people are weak minded" nonsense. Cause thats basically what that is.
It's not meant as an insult or to insinuate that religious people are weak minded. If anything, it implies they are quite the opposite, very strong minded. Because they are capable of believing something for which there is no solid evidence, their belief is so strong they can keep believing even when other people say they're wrong. I have a lot of respect for religious people, I'm just not capable of believing as strongly as they do.

The whole santa thing for me is an illustration of the power of faith. For a child, santa is real. Because they believe in it, so strongly (okay and as society keeps it up but still). It shows how strong faith can be. The whole if you want something to happen, you gotta believe in it.
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Old 08-22-2014, 03:38 PM   #60
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No, it's not quite the same. If I can change someone's opinion on an important political issue, I can change their vote, which has a legitimate impact on my life. Their religion?

We're also assuming that there aren't enough facts to "disprove" the other side, or it would have happened centuries ago. So what's the point?
I don't think there needs to be a particular point?

What is the point in people trying to convince others to believe? They think it will be better for that person, you want them to have eternal life, share an experience you are having?

Opposite side of the fence, many believe that most religions are full of bad ideas. The logic of living a certain way in life to be able to attain an afterlife, seems harmful in ways to me.

One might argue it because it is interesting topic to debate, though I do see how some ways of doing it can be dismissive.
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