Wizard
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Wizard 
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November 21st, 2010 at 11:42:59 AM permalink
Earlier this week I put an atheist on this board, who shall remain nameless, to the test. He is the kind of atheist who believes there is no god in the same way a theist believes there is one. The other kind of atheist, like me, does not believe either way, because of a perceived lack of evidence either way.

This all started when I casually offered $10 for his soul, which he almost immediately agreed to. However, he then started to backtrack by asking for specific terms. For example, the option to buy his soul back for $10 after one million years as my slave in the afterlife. To me, that shows his beliefs are not as rock solid as he may have thought. Then it came into doubt about how a year might be defined in the afterlife, and if you can die again in the afterlife, what happens? After a couple days he offered the following contract, which he agreed to let me post here.

Does this contract look fair? I welcome all comments.

Quote: Soul Contract


As of the ___ day of ______________, in the Christian year ____________, I _________________, hereby sell my soul to Michael Shackleford for the sum of $10, subject to the following terms and conditions:

  1. This document covers the soul in all possible forms and ideations, covered by any human religion, including those religions that believe there is no soul.
  2. ___________________ will have the option of repurchasing his soul for the sum of $10 after the lesser of one million human years or one million soul years, but in no event can such sale occur before the human death of __________________.
  3. The soul of ___________________ cannot be assigned, sold, given or left to any acquaintance, descendent or beneficiary of Michael Shackleford, the estate of Michael Shackleford or any trust in which Michael Shackleford is named. It must remain his sole possession for the duration of this contract.
  4. This document is not to be communicated in any form, reproduced in any form, or disseminated in any form, without the explicit written permission of ____________________. Any such act constitutes a violation of the terms of this sale and immediately revokes the sale so that the soul of _________________ reverts to his possession.

It's not whether you win or lose; it's whether or not you had a good bet.
JerryLogan
JerryLogan
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November 21st, 2010 at 12:10:57 PM permalink
If he doesn't believe in an afterlife how can he believe in a soul? Those type people are always of the belief that once you die, everything about you ceases to exist. And that is why they are regularly some of the most unhappy, argumentative, untrustworthy, pessimistic, paranoid people to roam God's good earth.
thecesspit
thecesspit
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November 21st, 2010 at 12:12:35 PM permalink
Quote: JerryLogan

If he doesn't believe in an afterlife how can he believe in a soul? Those type people are always of the belief that once you die, everything about you ceases to exist. And that is why they are regularly some of the most unhappy, argumentative, untrustworthy, pessimistic, paranoid people to roam God's good earth.



You make this assertion/statement/theory again... and again you fail to back it up with any evidence.
"Then you can admire the real gambler, who has neither eaten, slept, thought nor lived, he has so smarted under the scourge of his martingale, so suffered on the rack of his desire for a coup at trente-et-quarante" - Honore de Balzac, 1829
JerryLogan
JerryLogan
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November 21st, 2010 at 12:23:23 PM permalink
Quote: thecesspit

You make this assertion/statement/theory again... and again you fail to back it up with any evidence.



You're confusing yourself. There's no such thing as evidence when talking about the many shortfalls of atheism. There's experience in DEALING with these poor souls, which translates into the reality of the issue. Every one of them that I've ever met, saw on TV interviews (like that fool Bill Maher) or read what they've written on the Internet has one or more of the traits I've mentioned. And why not? They believe whatever happens here is all there is, and they are almost always the unhappiest people I've ever witnessed. Others, like the Wiz, prefer there be some sort of evidence, and even though we're told from many very reliable sources that evidence abounded 2000 years ago, those who did not witness it seem to have a need to diss what our predecessors said and require more current proof. I don't 100% disagree with that, but I can attest to the fact that I am a much happier person for not requiring such evidence in order to be a believer.
Nareed
Nareed
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November 21st, 2010 at 12:26:53 PM permalink
I wouldn't sell my soul.

But I'd rent it for $20 a week. Any takers?
Donald Trump is a fucking criminal
mkl654321
mkl654321
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November 21st, 2010 at 12:37:29 PM permalink
Quote: JerryLogan

You're confusing yourself. There's no such thing as evidence when talking about the many shortfalls of atheism.



There's no such thing as evidence for the many delusions of religion.

And no matter how many times you say it, no matter how loudly you say it, no matter how many names you call the persons who disagree with you, you have NO BASIS for your claim that atheists are any less happy than the general population. The commonsense, realistic assessment is, of course, that they are no more and no less happy.

Once again, Jerry, you take YOUR personal views and try to project them onto the rest of humanity. You're religious. Fine. (Your god is even better than most--he meets you for dinner and talks to you about his video poker system, which is more than the Christian God does.) But that doesn't mean that everyone SHOULD be, or they must be desperately unhappy.
The fact that a believer is happier than a skeptic is no more to the point than the fact that a drunken man is happier than a sober one. The happiness of credulity is a cheap and dangerous quality.---George Bernard Shaw
thecesspit
thecesspit
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November 21st, 2010 at 12:41:55 PM permalink
Quote: JerryLogan

You're confusing yourself. There's no such thing as evidence when talking about the many shortfalls of atheism.



No confusion. You make a blanket statement based on nothing but your own jaded experience through the lens of belief. Go ahead. Believe what you like, but belief does not make it so. If you've noticed, there are people who will challenge your views when they are just Jerry Logan says it so. You can go ahead believing atheists are unhappy and miserable. Go ahead. It does not make it so. No more than your belief in God makes him exist.

I'm afraid my experience is anything but what you mention, and I've seen Christians who are among the most hypocritical, sheep-like people who are can be financially and spiritually dishonest, and have all the intellectual depth of a piece of paper. I see TV preachers every day who are so enamored with their cult of personality I am physically repulsed. I've seen the arrogance of belief ruin lives and ruin people. I've seen the Pope's policies reduce people to penury and being social outcast for no fault of their own. I've seen extremists kill people in my own city for their religion, I've seen wars in the name of God (pick one, any one), so don't tell me that belief without skepticism is a good and powerful force for the world.

I'll counter the obvious argument... yes, their is faith and charity. There is comfort in the arms of the church. There is the force for improvement in the world as well from various Christian organisations. I don't say that it doesn't happen, it clearly, and powerfully does. That does not mean God exists or I must believe. It merely means people have a reason to go out and do good. And you can be Christian, Agnostic, Hindu, Atheist, Deist or Muslim... it don't matter as long as you try and leave the world a better place. Because that's how to live on after your death... leave a mark somewhere, somehow, not by going to church on Sunday and singing a song to a god.

That's my belief anyways.

If someone wants $10 for my soul, I'll have the ten bucks please.
"Then you can admire the real gambler, who has neither eaten, slept, thought nor lived, he has so smarted under the scourge of his martingale, so suffered on the rack of his desire for a coup at trente-et-quarante" - Honore de Balzac, 1829
mkl654321
mkl654321
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November 21st, 2010 at 12:44:10 PM permalink
Hmmm. First of all, would he still have the $10 after a million years? Do souls have pockets? Bank accounts?

Presuming your mortal death occurs somewhat sooner than one million years from now, does the soul-only version of you still retain possession?

And making a similar presumption that your seller would have physically died well before the million years is up, and at that time you would own his soul, what entity would be doing the repurchasing? Or are you saying that his soul (which you would own) could manumit itself at that time?

And finally, since you owned that soul, you would also presumably own that $10 it had been saving for a million years, so wouldn't you just confiscate it on F-Day (Freedom Day) minus one? Bwahahahahaaaaa!

EDIT: If you have retained possession of his soul, and thus his $10, for a million years, will you pay him market interest rates on those funds? (And what would that $10 be worth after 1,000,000 years, assuming a money market interest rate of 5%?. Of course, you could charge his soul monthly maintenance fees, just like my bank does, which together with the owns-your-soul vibe, suggests a great analogy...)
The fact that a believer is happier than a skeptic is no more to the point than the fact that a drunken man is happier than a sober one. The happiness of credulity is a cheap and dangerous quality.---George Bernard Shaw
mkl654321
mkl654321
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November 21st, 2010 at 12:51:46 PM permalink
Quote: thecesspit

I'm afraid my experience is anything but what you mention, and I've seen Christians who are among the most hypocritical, sheep-like people who are can be financially and spiritually dishonest, and have all the intellectual depth of a piece of paper. I see TV preachers every day who are so enamored with their cult of personality I am physically repulsed. I've seen the arrogance of belief ruin lives and ruin people. I've seen the Pope's policies reduce people to penury and being social outcast for no fault of their own. I've seen extremists kill people in my own city for their religion, I've seen wars in the name of God (pick one, any one), so don't tell me that belief without skepticism is a good and powerful force for the world.



I totally agree with the above, but that in itself doesn't counter Jerry's argument--after all, Christians may be miserable delusionists who lead unhappy, fearful, stunted lives, but that doesn't say anything about atheists one way or the other. The mythology behind the "unhappy atheists" argument is that we all somehow NEED God, or a god, or gods, to make ourselves happy. Lacking that, we must necessarily be miserable. Atheists must also live in constant fear of death, since they don't have the comforting illusion of an afterlife that Christians do (and of course, no Christian tells himself that that afterlife will consist of eternity in Cleveland, er, hell). You and I know, of course, that that argument is, well...utter crapola.

Blanket statements, particularly those based on reading the state of mind of millions of people (telepathically?), are almost always incorrect.
The fact that a believer is happier than a skeptic is no more to the point than the fact that a drunken man is happier than a sober one. The happiness of credulity is a cheap and dangerous quality.---George Bernard Shaw
Wizard
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Wizard 
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November 21st, 2010 at 1:51:42 PM permalink
Posts about the definition of atheism have been moved to Definition of Atheism.
It's not whether you win or lose; it's whether or not you had a good bet.

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