First Post from New Member

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KagawaMark's picture
First Post from New Member

Hello and greetings from Takamatsu, Kagawa,

My name is Mark Groenewold and I want to thank the moderators and admin for this forum. Many moons ago I used to run a forum (based on karate practice in Japan) and while it had a good sized membership I remember how much WORK it takes to keep it going. So, many many thanks in advance.

Just a quick self-intro here. I am a pretty recent "vocal" atheist. I had it long under the surface, and would talk frankly with people I knew and liked (or who could put up with me) but it wasn't until very recently that I "pulled the trigger". I had been working on some personal writing for a long time and finally it got to a point where I needed to push it out into the world. There was no more "not talking about it". Just launched the Kindle book so I guess that's that... We will see how it goes.

Anyway, I live in Japan and have for over 20 years. My wife and I run a chain of language schools and we teach a lot of kids English. Our mission is to do what we can to contribute to the next generation of bilingual Japanese children. It's been a a huge job, but deeply gratifying. I'll stop with that and start digging around in recent threads to get a sense of this place. So very glad to find it, and very grateful too.

Best regards,
Mark

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Old man shouts at clouds's picture
Hi Mark and welcome.

Hi Mark and welcome.

Tin-Man's picture
Howdy, Mark! Welcome to the

Howdy, Mark! Welcome to the AR. Come on in and make yourself at home. Always good to have another voice of reason among us.

ajieajie02's picture
Hi! I am a new member too!

Hi! I am a new member too! Welcome Mark :)

LogicFTW's picture
Welcome KagawaMark and

Welcome KagawaMark and ajieajie02!

Always want more folks putting in their input, starting new threads etc. Don't be shy, new post are almost always appreciated by most everyone.

See my list of helpful forum stuff link in my signature you want to know how to do some of the forum formatting like blockquotes, bold, etc.

 
 

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I am an atheist that always likes a good debate
Please include @LogicFTW for responses to me
Tips on forum use. ▮ A.R. Member since 2016.
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KagawaMark's picture
Many thanks for the warm

Many thanks for the warm welcome. Greatly appreciated. I am just shaking off the cobwebs for a bit. These forums are really quite nicely managed. Makes me feel some slight pangs of regret I did not do a better job when I ran forums myself.

Regarding the designation "atheist" I am finding myself beginning to question, and I am sure many already have done so before me, what does the term mean. I get that there is some blowback as in "atheist" equals angry person demanding that no God exists, and can PROVE no god(s) exist. As such, sounds like a trap as how can anyone completely prove or disprove metaphysical reality or deities. For myself, perhaps a closer self-definition is "atheist" as in "not accepting that anyone can speak for God and resists any position or argument that begins with THAT premise". More of a default as "there is no way anyone knows".

At any rate, much obliged for the kind welcome and will look more through threads where I can join in.

Have a great day.

Tin-Man's picture
@Kagawa Re: Atheist

@Kagawa Re: Atheist

People tend to make this far more complicated than it is. I actually did it myself in the beginning. Bottom line, however, is that atheism is simply a term that means, "Lack of belief in any god or gods." That's it. Period. Nothing fancy about it. Much along the same lines as not believing in Santa Clause or the Easter Bunny. You have nothing to prove to anybody. No burden of proof. You simply do not believe. Hope that helps.

LogicFTW's picture
@KagawaMark

@KagawaMark
Tin-man beat me to it. Atheist simply means not theist. Find a solid definition for theist, then throw in "not" in front of it. Another way to think of it is an example used often around here: not a stamp collector. You cannot attach any more meaning to the word without changing/warping/twisting the standard definition of atheist; not theist.

And just like "not a stamp collector," nothing else can be attributed to the person without running high risk of finding exception. For instance you could probably say something like: atheist are skeptical. Well I am sure we could find an atheist somewhere that is not skeptical at all. And that person would still be an atheist if he/she simply is not a theist.

____________________________

I am a little different then, many atheist. I actually am happy to say: I am extremely confident that there is no "god." My confidence level of that is around the same confidence level I have that: the sun will rise from the direction we call east tomorrow morning.
Why? Well simply put:

1.) Humans are capable of lying and/or creating fiction.
2.) Any concept/idea/claim presented by humans without real, tangible, repeatable, testable evidence should be considered as a fiction/lie until shown/proven otherwise due to point 1.
- 2a: The greater the claim and/or the more a human could personally benefit from the lie/fiction the more suspect the concept/idea/claim should be, and the more it should be dismissed until evidence shows otherwise.
3.) There is zero real, tangible, repeatable, testable evidence of any god and their accompanying religions.
- 3a: This is overwhelmingly true in the case of god/religion as millions of people have been trying in earnest for many thousands of years and still fail to come up with *ANY* real evidence that proves their god.

Note 1) Considering humans are capable of lying/fiction does not just apply to religion/god, but everything in life.
Note 2) I can not think of a larger claim then "god" and the accompanying religions. It is also hard to imagine, especially 1000's of years ago of anything that could possibly be more personally beneficial to the people pushing the god/religion lie. (Even if they are not aware it is a lie.)
Note 3) You could argue all the above is a concept/idea/claim, it is, however: we can easily and repeatedly test and prove every point presented above making this claim far more valid then any "god" claim as this "claim" is backed by facts made possible by repeatable, testable, verifiable evidence.

 
 

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I am an atheist that always likes a good debate
Please include @LogicFTW for responses to me
Tips on forum use. ▮ A.R. Member since 2016.
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Rohan M.'s picture
Atheism is the lack of belief

Atheism is the lack of belief in a God or gods. And also, you don't "prove" negatives; the burden of proof is always on the person who makes an unfalsifiable claim, and only the person who makes the claim.

Going from how you have described your views, I'd say that more specifically, you are, like me, an "agnostic atheist"- that is, someone who doesn't believe in God but doesn't claim to know for sure. Contrary to what many seem to think, the two are not neccesarily mutually exclusive.

Algebe's picture
@KagawaMark

@KagawaMark

Yokoso irasshaimashita. Welcome to the forum. I was in Kagawa a couple of years ago. It's a nice part of Japan.

As you say, nobody can conclusively prove or disprove theism or atheism. But the sheer number and variety of the gods that people have worshiped are enough to convince me that it's all nonsense.

ajieajie02's picture
Thanks for the welcome! Will

Thanks for the welcome! Will soon post here. I will just enjoy reading topics first. Thanks!

Old man shouts at clouds's picture
@ ajieajie02

@ ajieajie02

Welcome and enjoy the reads. There are a variety of very expert contributors to the forums. We have just lost a couple of OT/Pentateuch/Torah/Talmud experts which is a loss we will all feel.

No doubt they will eventually return, and hopefully in the meantime others will step up and display their erudition!

Cognostic's picture
KagawaMark: (based on karate

KagawaMark: (based on karate practice in Japan) Yamazaki Shotokan or Fumio Demura Shito Ryu? I studied under Fumio Demura for 20 + years. Along with Aido, Aikido, and now that I am in Korea, Hopkido and Kom-do. Welcome to the forum. I have been in Korea for 22 years, teaching English. I also ran my own school for 8 years. Now I am teaching at Woosong University, Daejeon. I am also the University counselor for English Speaking students. Woosong has a big international business school as well a huge nursing department, railroad department, culinary department, sports physical therapy department and more.

Welcome to the site.... Have you delved into Zen while there. Bushido? These were very captivating ideas during my training days. I am dying to study the Japanese long bow. (Ogigi).

Rohan M.'s picture
Welcome to AR, Mark! Feel

Welcome to AR, Mark! Feel free to join our family. Goatspeed!

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