I for one don’t get this people, why is it that atheist are so close minded that they lack imagination to see some topics as possibilitys examples….

1.)    Ghost

2.)    Reincarnation (non spiritual)        

3.)    Conspiracies

4.)    Esp and related (telekinesis, spontaneous combustion, etc…)

5.)     Ufo’s , Aliens, extraterrestrial life

And all of the above are no relation to gods or then in liken to….

Ok just in case you have forgotten the definition of atheism here…..

Atheism is, in a broad sense, the rejection of belief in the existence of deities.[1] In a narrower sense, atheism is specifically the position that there are no deities.[2] Most inclusively, atheism is simply the absence of belief that any deities exist.[3] Atheism is contrasted with theism,[4][5] which in its most general form is the belief that at least one deity exists.[5][6]

Link  :http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Atheism

Nowhere does it say anything about being close minded with lack of inspiration in the scientific field.

Yes I know atheist are skeptics in nature as I am but I always say prove it either way for or against that it does or does not exist… I know that leaves the god question in there but no I CAN prove that wrong. :)

These topics need to be proven though scientific theory, but how? As far as I can see we are still babies in the flow of technology. People forget we did not have iPods and cell phones 30 years ago. We barely had computers and there already 100% faster that then and TV was only invented less than 100 years ago.

Humans have been around for 100,000 years and only in the last 200 have we just created this mega society that has communication (worth mentioning). So why is everybody so narrow minded?

Go ahead tell me how some atheist started being unimaginative and almost hateful to human curiosity?

Let the great debate begin ……

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EDIT:10/28/2011            Please read

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Ok after a few days of running this discussion I have gotten some great replies and now I'm going to tell you why and what I did here....

It was a personal experiment to "poke the bear" and "test the waters" to see what other Atheist were like. I don't actually know any other Atheist personally. I am new to atheism, only being one for a little more than a year or so i was an agnostic before that. I really don't think atheist are closed minded (this post proved that to a degree) though i do think we rely on the main stream in science a little to much because alot of it is controlled, programed, objectified by people who want to control us. OK I know i just sounded like a nutter there, but really look again why does your little one want that new Elmo doll? And why was it a week before any news broke on the OWS ? Though they are rather quick to point out that a terrorist was killed today....

And on the subjects above I do believe we should keep and open mind and not use the easy fall back " no they don't exist" to the proper "undermanned" or "undecided" it gives us just a little more room to grow as humans by implying "we see your point but prove it and we know that's going to be hard to do". yes we are skeptics let us just not be the negative cynical ones (yea that's harder than it sounds).....

Oh and Thank you for putting up your responses it really did help me "see a little more"

yea i'm still answering what i can :)

Richard

Tags: aliens, conspiracies, esp, ghost, reincarnation, ufo

Views: 760

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@Richard C Re: Russell's Teapot

It's a philosophical principle that you haven't made a factual assertion if you can't at the same time explain how to verify or falsify it. 

If I say that there's a watermelon in my refrigerator, it's obvious how to determine if that is true or false. If I say there's my refrigerator has a soul, there's no way to determine if that is true or not. Thus, when someone says that ghosts exist (or even that they may exist), they have really not asserted anything at all. Unless they provide a definition with some implications for verification/falsification, in which case they will likely fail to prove anything.

This has ramifications.

Substitute a human body for the refrigerator and you've wandered into what's referred to as the "mind-body problem" of how can a noncorporeal entity control a corporeal entity? Add on the fact that we have a pretty good idea what actually does control a human body (nervous system, brain, external stimuli, etc.) and you see that the biggest problem with the concept of a soul is that we simply don't need it. 

No soul=no spirits or ghosts.

 

This is a really interesting thread but I do find atheistic rationalism to be conditioned by the need to keep hold of a tightly controlled and closed universe.  Its a bit of a straitjacket not because of the seeming claim to be the true champion of science and evidence but because it lacks humility and the very spirit of enquiry that science is founded on.  An unspoken and sometimes spoken prior commitment to naturalism kills these things dead, and are contradictory.

 

The scientific method currently can only deal with naturalism and cannot answer or investigate all things, at this time.  Humility should cause us to recognise this.  It is why we have basic beliefs in the philisophical sense.  For example we cannot prove that reality exists, i.e we cannot prove that we are not brains in a vat being stimulated by a mad scientist in a matrix type style.  Any scientific method we applied to try and prove it would be circular.  We have to take it as a basic belief.  We cannot prove the world was not created yesterday with the appearance of age along with our implanted memories.  We take these foundational basic beliefs that are currently untouchable or unprovable by the scientific method.  And the nature of reality is not a small issue.

 

The cause of the big bang, and this is not a religious statement at this point, must have been something that was outside of nature as nature and time did not exist prior to the big bang.  Science currently has no way of measuring something that is outside of the laws of nature, or prior to the laws of nature.  Looking beyond the big bang is looking over the precipice of science, where it has never been.

 

Russell's teapot idea suffers with the same kind of limitations.  A tea pot could be investigated under current scientific methods, it could be found if it was there.  You would have to have good grounds to believe that it might be there before spending the effort to find it.  Its apples and oranges though with super-natural (beyond nature) ideas because science currently cannot prove or disprove them.  All we can do is look at things that point to / suggest a realm that might exist.  The weight of those pointers should determine wether we are willing to put the effort into going somewhere that science is ill eqipped for, but surely thats how science progresses.   

 

One of the reasons the world famous atheist Antony Flew became a theist was because of what he perceived as the evidence for near death experiences, and he was no idiot.  So I think just writing anything off that falls outside of naturalism is atleast rash. 

 

There may be some paralells with dark matter and dark energy.  And as a theist I would naturally go into the existence of God and whether there are pointers etc.  But thats not what this thread is about.

 

 

"The cause of the big bang, and this is not a religious statement at this point, must have been something that was outside of nature as nature and time did not exist prior to the big bang.  Science currently has no way of measuring something that is outside of the laws of nature, or prior to the laws of nature.  Looking beyond the big bang is looking over the precipice of science, where it has never been."

You don't see it, but you're so committed to an explanation that's compatible with a deity that you can't accept that "nature" as you know it is a concept based on what we know of this universe. Whether to include what else there is, whether earlier than or outside the Big Bang, in "nature" is a very open question. Today's physicists will tell you that time—at least as it applies to this universe—began with the big bang.

As science and technology develop, believers, having trouble defending the religious view, always seem to seek refuge in the latest developments, even if they barely understand them. I remember a religious friend who, having heard about the development of "fuzzy logic" invoked it whenever she needed to defend her nonsense. Likewise, today religious people will invoke dark matter and energy, multiple dimensions, and other cutting edge theories in defense of a hypothesis that isn't needed and can't be proven: the God Hypothesis.

This is actually funny, in a strange kind of way.  Atheists accuse christians and other theists of being irrational, unscientific, and gulible.  And then when theists engage with science its rubbished as a kind of clutching at straws!  I wasn't evoking a creator in my post because that would of been to hijack the thread.

 

The only thing atheists accept is scientific evidence, how else are we then to try and discuss these things with you?  For very good reason, science currently believes the universe had a beginning and with it all time and matter.  So the cause must be supernatural - and again - in this thread I am not saying that that means God - I was making a point about the current limits of science and the ineptness of tea pot arguments to explain things that are not material.  Of course epistimology is more complex than just the scientific method, but some are not ready for that yet so we talk to you on your own terms ;-)

 

So theists discussing their faith with atheists should use science and reason, right?  The problem is that when science has strong pointers to things supernatural then materialists have no categories for engaging and more than that, I suspect, feel personally on the line in terms of their closed world view.  Antony Flew had a commitment to follow the evidence wherever it went, most other materialists, in my observation, are not open at all.  Its a case of "ive made up my mind and have the intellectual high ground so don't bother me with anything to the contrary."  Dawkins is a master at it as we have just seen.

 

It just wont do to try and paint theists as unscientific and intellectual dwarfs, at best its naieve, at worst its dishonest.  And if you think my prior commitment to a deity colours how I see things, then can you accept the same for your prior commitment to atheism / naturalism?

 

 

 

 

"For very good reason, science currently believes the universe had a beginning and with it all time and matter.  So the cause must be supernatural..."

 

Incorrect. You are assuming that the cause must be supernatural. The cause would have to have been extra-universal, but this does not automatically mean supernatural, unless you are defining natural as 'part of our universe' and supernatural as 'not part of our universe'.

 

An amusing thing about Antony Flew. Until theists started bring him up as an example of a world-famous atheist converting to theism (Deism in specific, not Christianity as many have tried to claim), I'd never heard of him.

Trevor, you have failed to comprehend the point of Russell's Teapot. The point of Russell's Teapot, as a philosophical device, is that attempting to support a claim by stating that 'You can't prove that it isn't true' is fundamentally flawed. This applies to orbiting teapots, Bigfoot, and deities equally.  In order for a a claim to be accepted, some evidence must be present to support that claim. If there is no evidence to support the claim, and the claim is such that evidence cannot be acquired given the current state of the art, then the claim should be discarded until such time that evidence can be presented in support of it.

 

I also find it curious that you claim that naturalism is opposed to the spirit of science when one of the fundamental principals of the scientific method is an adherence to methodological naturalism. (Note: Methodological, not philosophical. Important difference) Science, by its very nature, is restricted to the natural world.

 

And no, there is not a parallel with dark energy and dark matter. While we cannot detect dark energy or dark matter directly as yet, we can detect the effects that they have of the parts of the universe that we can detect. If a supernatural whatever was able to affect the material universe, we would be able to detect and examine that effect, even if we could not detect the origin of those effects. Thus far, no supernatural claim (prayer, faith healing, etc) has been able to be detected, even by its by-products.

Hi Dave, thanks for your reply.

 

I don't think I misunderstand the teapot issue, I was trying to show how its just not a very good argument.  In terms of science, I would disagree about the spirit of science.  New scientific endeavours are usually sought when current ones are incapable of doing the job.  Quantum mechanics might be a good example.  Your post is interesting though and highlights something of the contradiction that I think that exists in naturlaistic atheism.

 

Taking the teapot idea, for example, we know that the universe had a beginning, time space and matter.  Now this causes a problem as it points to a supernatural cause.  So what is the atheist, with a prior commitment to naturalism, to do?  Hold that thought as we're going to kill two birds with one stone.

 

The fine tuning of the universe shows that we exist with razor blade precision that allows life.  This can only be due to necessity, chance or design.  Its obviously not necessity as the big bang could have happened differently.  So what about chance.  Well, this is the razor blade problem.  Scientists like Stephen Hawking etc and mathemeticians (all of them!) say that the odds of our universe being as it is for life have the kind of probabilities of:

a.  Shooting a bullet from here to the other side of the universe and hitting a one inch target.

 

b.  Having a lottery wheel with a trillion black balls in it and one white ball, and then them getting mixed up - then pulling out the white ball by chance 100 times in a row. 

 

c.  A very reductionist example.  A 100 marksmen aiming at one person at close range and all of them missing by chance.

 

d.    A card player dealing himself 4 aces 100 times in a row.  Again reductionist but just an example.

 

Hawking, an athiest, says it appears miraculous - which I don't think any serious scientist would argue with.

 

So chance looks so incredibly impossible that it would on any other subject be ruled out as ridiculous.  The universe has a very strong appearence of design which is the third option.

 

So all scientific evidence points to a supernatural cause of the universe who was also its designer.  So back to what the athiest with a prior commitment to naturalism is to do?  Drum roll -  the multiverse.   A possibly infinite number of universes so that the odds are pulled back a bit towards it being possible that atleast one universe could have life. 

 

Of course the multiverse is a backhanded complement to design.  So now I invoke your teapot.  What evidence is there for a multiverse?  Not a scrap, no-thing, there is no signs of it, its not observable, testable, mathematically provable...  The only evidence is a prior commitment to naturalism that has at its starting point a no god theory.  Thats not science its blind faith and wishful thinking.  Ocahm's razor would rightly shave off the multiverse, which of course does not solve the problem of the beginning of the universe, just moves it back one step.  The multiple universes would have the same laws of nature that we have and so entropy and the other pointers require a beginning.  All versions of the steady state theory are long dead.

 

So, if we abandoned our prior commitment to naturalism then its more reasonable to say that that the lottery was fixed, that the marksmen conspired together to miss, and the bullet flying across the universe was guided to its one inch target.  And the guy pulling out 4 aces was cheating.  Of course all of those things can theoretically happen by chance and so design is logically avoidable, if your desperate.  But the evidence is clear in its direction.

 

So scientific evidence point to a supernatural cause of the universe who was also its designer.  So the vast majority of the 7 billion people currently alive who believe that there is a god (however they grapple with its nature), have good cause to believe so - just from cosmology, without even looking at irreducible complexity in nature.  And for myself, I have every reason to beleive that my own personal experience of God is not a delusion.  As the Bible says 'the heavens declare the glory of God'  -  sorry I know its inflamatory to quote the bible here.

 

Talking of delusions though, its worth noting that Hawkings in his latest book does in fact deny reality.  He is an anti-realitist and comes up with extraudinary ideas where everyones perception of reality are equally valid.  Strange guy,

 

Teapot analagies should not be aimed at theists, quite the reverse.  Inside the teapot is the multiverse, and with it every atheists hopes that God does not in fact exist.  Hopefully science will catch up with reality and boldly go where no materialist has been before! (Sorry, im a treky).

 

I wont comment on you not knowing of Antony Flew as I could not do so without semming to question how much you read etc.  But agian, moving away form God, one of the reasons Flew changed his mind was what he saw as evidence for a soul in near death experiences.  I think you write things off as nonsense too quickly because it doesn't fit your prior commitment to naturalism.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Way too much to comment on here, so I'll leave most of it to others who might have a little more time today (I'm moving). However...

"Taking the teapot idea, for example, we know that the universe had a beginning, time space and matter.  Now this causes a problem as it points to a supernatural cause." No, it points to an extranatural cause, counting the physical science we know as applying only to the "nature" of this universe. There is apparently a larger reality, but a larger reality does not imply a God or even a creator. Most Christians describe God as eternal, but if anything can be eternal, it seems the the larger reality containing our universe could be eternal and is a much neater explanation (re: Occam's Razor) than that there is some all-powerful, all-knowing, eternal man-like (Theistic) being responsible for it all.

As for the so-called out-of-body-experience, this appears to be about as real as the deja vu experience. In other words, an experience that has no reality attached to it. I'm not counting the real deja vu experiences where you finally figure out that you were in an identical or very similar situation before, but the ones where it's literally not possible for the experience to have been a repetition of a prior experience.

I once read about a researcher who got permission from a hospital to put cards on a ledge above the beds in the rooms. The cards had easily read and easily remembered expressions on them which weren't visible from floor level. Occasionally, patients would report out-of-body experiences, but strangely (or perhaps not so strangely) none of them reported seeing the cards at all, much less knowing what the cards said.

But stop to think about it: how can you see anything without having eyeballs, a nervous system, and a brain anyway?

I don't think I misunderstand the teapot issue, I was trying to show how its just not a very good argument.  In terms of science, I would disagree about the spirit of science.  New scientific endeavours are usually sought when current ones are incapable of doing the job.  Quantum mechanics might be a good example.  Your post is interesting though and highlights something of the contradiction that I think that exists in naturlaistic atheism.

No, I think you still fail to grasp the point of Russell's Teapot. Do you honestly think that "You can't prove it isn't true" is a good argument for something's existence? It's a painfully bad argument used almost exclusively in an attempt to shift the burden of proof.

What, precisely, to you disagree with in regard to the spirit of science? That it confines itself to methodological naturalism? That it seeks out new knowledge? Quantum mechanics would be a good example of what? You are being very vague and obscure in your responses.

Science is constantly seeking to expand and refine humanity's knowledge. Quantum mechanics came about because of observations which could not be explained by existing theories. This is how science advances, incrementally, one step at a time. As Issac Asimov said, "The most exciting phrase to hear in science, the one that heralds the new discoveries, is not 'Eureka!' (I found it) but 'That's funny...'"
 

Taking the teapot idea, for example, we know that the universe had a beginning, time space and matter.  Now this causes a problem as it points to a supernatural cause.  So what is the atheist, with a prior commitment to naturalism, to do?  Hold that thought as we're going to kill two birds with one stone.

Incorrect. We are fairly sure that the universe had a beginning (time, space), but we do not know for certain. Our current understanding of physics is such that we cannot reliably determine what occurred before Planck Time (1x10 to the negative 43 seconds), we do not know enough about how gravity works on a quantum level for that. There is a small (but still statistically significant) possibility that the hot,dense collection of matter that existed at Planck Time did not begin, but rather had simply existed.

Furthermore, even given that our current universe did have a beginning (the more likely probability), this does not mean that the beginning was supernatural in origin. (Unless, as I mentioned in another post, you are defining 'natural' as being of this universe and 'supernatural' as everything outside of this universe, in which case you are defining supernatural in a way separate from its common understanding)

It would simply point to an extra-universal cause and perhaps provide evidence that what we have considered reality to be a bit bigger than we had thought. This is certainly not the first time our comprehension of reality has had to expand. From a single solar system, to a galaxy, to a cluster of galaxies, to trillions of galaxies just in the small percentage of the universe that we can observe, as we learn more our sense of scale has had to expand.
 

The fine tuning of the universe shows that we exist with razor blade precision that allows life. 

Hardly razor edge precision. In fact, if the cosmological constant was smaller than it currently is, the universe would be more likely to produce stars, planets, and therefore life. Seems that fine tuning isn't so fine-tuned after all.

This can only be due to necessity, chance or design.  Its obviously not necessity as the big bang could have happened differently. 

Assumption. We think that the various values our universe has could be different, but it's not like we have been able to test this. This particular topic is one of intense research in the string theory community and as yet no consensus has been reached.

So what about chance.  Well, this is the razor blade problem.  Scientists like Stephen Hawking etc and mathemeticians (all of them!) say that the odds of our universe being as it is for life have the kind of probabilities of:

a.  Shooting a bullet from here to the other side of the universe and hitting a one inch target.


b.  Having a lottery wheel with a trillion black balls in it and one white ball, and then them getting mixed up - then pulling out the white ball by chance 100 times in a row.


c.  A very reductionist example.  A 100 marksmen aiming at one person at close range and all of them missing by chance.

 

d.    A card player dealing himself 4 aces 100 times in a row.  Again reductionist but just an example.

 

Hawking, an athiest, says it appears miraculous - which I don't think any serious scientist would argue with.


Hawking also says that there is no need for a deity to create the universe. (Read his latest book) Plus, why are you referencing Hawkins when it was Robin Collins (Professor of Philosophy) that made the arguments you are quoting? (In an article published by the Discovery Institute, no less) I also cannot find any quote by Hawking saying that it appears miraculous. Plenty of quotes by apologists attributing that term to the universe in reference to Hawking's latest book, though.
 

So chance looks so incredibly impossible that it would on any other subject be ruled out as ridiculous.  The universe has a very strong appearence of design which is the third option.

So all scientific evidence points to a supernatural cause of the universe who was also its designer.  So back to what the athiest with a prior commitment to naturalism is to do?  Drum roll -  the multiverse.   A possibly infinite number of universes so that the odds are pulled back a bit towards it being possible that atleast one universe could have life.


Hardly. You're falling prey to the fallacy of large numbers. Just because the odds of something specific happening are large, this does not mean that it will not happen. As an example, using your lottery wheel, if you spun the wheel ten trillion and ten times, you'd expect to pick out the white ball 10 times. Multiversal hypothesis (which arose out of mathematical calculations, not out of a "We have to disprove God!" attitude as you assume) predicts that many, many universes would be initiated, but only those which have the right properties would survive to reach inflation state and grow. With trillions on trillions of attempts, we'd expect a few to have the properties friendly to the formation of stars, planets and life. Furthermore, this explanation does not contradict any existing evidence and the math for it works. Adding a creator for which we have no evidence is extraneous and, using Occam's Razor, should be cut off.

Note that this does not mean that a deistic god (created the universe, never interacted with it again) does not or can not exist. Just that there is no reason to presume that one does. An interventionist deity, however, has additional problems which make its existence even less likely.
 
 

Of course the multiverse is a backhanded complement to design.  So now I invoke your teapot.  What evidence is there for a multiverse?  Not a scrap, no-thing, there is no signs of it, its not observable, testable, mathematically provable...  The only evidence is a prior commitment to naturalism that has at its starting point a no god theory.  Thats not science its blind faith and wishful thinking.  Ocahm's razor would rightly shave off the multiverse, which of course does not solve the problem of the beginning of the universe, just moves it back one step.  The multiple universes would have the same laws of nature that we have and so entropy and the other pointers require a beginning.  All versions of the steady state theory are long dead.

The math for a multiverse works. It makes predictions and can be tested. The problem we have at the moment is that our technology is not up to the task of performing many of these tests. Some tests, however, are currently being performed at the Large Hadron Collider. A couple hypotheses have been discarded, others have had their parameters refined by the additional data. This is science. We come up with a hypothesis based on the evidence that we do have, identify ways in which the hypothesis can be supported and rejected, and then do experiments to see if our predictions were correct.

I find it amusing that you are attempting to denigrate science by claiming it is just like religion. Claiming that blind faith and wishful thinking is not a valid way to determine the truth, a viewpoint that I completely agree with, just ends up with religion being thrown out with the trash as an invalid way to determine the truth. After all, all religion has is blind faith and wishful thinking.
 

So, if we abandoned our prior commitment to naturalism then its more reasonable to say that that the lottery was fixed, that the marksmen conspired together to miss, and the bullet flying across the universe was guided to its one inch target.  And the guy pulling out 4 aces was cheating.  Of course all of those things can theoretically happen by chance and so design is logically avoidable, if your desperate.  But the evidence is clear in its direction.

Your commitment to a deity prevents you from seeing the fourth and only completely honest answer to the question of the beginning of the universe. "We don't know". That's it. We do not know. We have ideas, and in the case of science those ideas are being tested. In the case of religious ideas, however, just the claim to know is usually considered good enough.
 

So scientific evidence point to a supernatural cause of the universe who was also its designer.

No. Your faulty understanding of science does, however.

So the vast majority of the 7 billion people currently alive who believe that there is a god (however they grapple with its nature),

Argument from popularity. Logical fallacy.

have good cause to believe so - just from cosmology, without even looking at irreducible complexity in nature.

Argument from complexity, logical fallacy.

And for myself, I have every reason to beleive that my own personal experience of God is not a delusion.

Argument from personal experience. Not evidence. Or do you accept that the people with personal knowledge of Ganesh count as evidence for the Hindu religion being true?

As the Bible says 'the heavens declare the glory of God'  -  sorry I know its inflamatory to quote the bible here.

Not so much inflammatory as much as as pointless as quoting Mother Goose, Aesop's Fables or the Quran. Besides, what is that supposed to mean, anyhow? That the sky is pretty at night? A phrase that can be taken dozens of ways, many contradictory, is useless as evidence.

Talking of delusions though, its worth noting that Hawkings in his latest book does in fact deny reality.  He is an anti-realitist and comes up with extraudinary ideas where everyones perception of reality are equally valid.  Strange guy,

Incorrect. I recommend re-reading the book (if you have actually read it rather than just reading reviews of it) and paying particularly close attention when he is talking about quantum pathing. It is quite interesting, if not at all what you were talking about.

Teapot analagies should not be aimed at theists, quite the reverse.  Inside the teapot is the multiverse, and with it every atheists hopes that God does not in fact exist.  Hopefully science will catch up with reality and boldly go where no materialist has been before! (Sorry, im a treky).

The teapot analogy is for anyone who makes a claim while simultaneously claiming that their claim is beyond examination. Another good example is Issac Asimov's Dragon in the Garage.

I wont comment on you not knowing of Antony Flew as I could not do so without semming to question how much you read etc.  But agian, moving away form God, one of the reasons Flew changed his mind was what he saw as evidence for a soul in near death experiences.  I think you write things off as nonsense too quickly because it doesn't fit your prior commitment to naturalism.

Flew was particularly big in the 70s and 80s, before I started doing much reading on the subject. Thus, my first real exposure to him was when he switched to a form of deism. Incidentally, you misrepresented his views. Out of body experiences and life-after-death had nothing whatsoever to do with Flew's decision. His switch to deism was solely based upon his view of abiogenesis, specifically that he did not see how DNA could form from non-living elements. If fact, he categorically rejected the concept of an afterlife.

So scientific evidence point to a supernatural cause of the universe who was also its designer.

 

No it doesn't.  It says we don't know. 

And for myself, I have every reason to beleive that my own personal experience of God is not a delusion.

 

Trevor - why have you every reason to believe that?   

I accept that it can have a purely personal validity, and as such, I can accept that it can be seen as a wonderful thing, for many reasons. 

one of the reasons Flew changed his mind was what he saw as evidence for a soul in near death experiences. 

 

I believe in life after death and a soul, and I don't believe in God.  I see them as ordinary parts of nature. 

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