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Richardthughes



Posts: 10756
Joined: Jan. 2006

(Permalink) Posted: Dec. 24 2007,12:13   

http://beastrabban.wordpress.com/2007....ent-373

http://beastrabban.wordpress.com/2007....-part-2

They've rolled out Mary Midgeley.

--------------
"Richardthughes, you magnificent bastard, I stand in awe of you..." : Arden Chatfield
"You magnificent bastard! " : Louis
"ATBC poster child", "I have to agree with Rich.." : DaveTard
"I bow to your superior skills" : deadman_932
"...it was Richardthughes making me lie in bed.." : Kristine

  
Annyday



Posts: 583
Joined: Nov. 2007

(Permalink) Posted: Dec. 24 2007,13:18   

Why does he have twenty-five citations, mostly from the same book? What's the point of that?

I wrote a short blurb examining the fallacious logic, but I think I'll wordpress it over there instead. Suffice to say, I should never have been allowed to learn formal logic, as I am mean with it.

--------------
"ALL eight of the "nature" miracles of Jesus could have been accomplished via the electroweak quantum tunneling mechanism. For example, walking on water could be accomplished by directing a neutrino beam created just below Jesus' feet downward." - Frank Tipler, ISCID fellow

  
Annyday



Posts: 583
Joined: Nov. 2007

(Permalink) Posted: Dec. 24 2007,13:43   

What the hell, I'll post it here while it awaits moderation.

Quote
Your logical fallacies are showing.

All objects of type A are both B and C.

Some objects of type D are B.

Therefore, all objects of type D are also C.

Therefore, all objects of type D are A, or

D = A.

The bulk of your “argument” is essentially emphasizing, in detail, how much “some objects of type D are B”, and nearly completely ignoring the question of whether B is a defining feature of either D or A.

I’ll give you an example:

All atheists do not believe in God, and do not believe in a divinely guided morality.

Some Christians doubt the existence of God.

Therefore, no Christians believe in a divinely guided morality either.

Therefore, Christianity is atheism.

Or:

“Up” is a direction along an axis.

“Down” is the opposite of “up”.

however

“Down” is also a direction along an axis.

Therefore, “down” is the same as “up”.

Therefore, “down” is the opposite of itself.

I could go on to “prove” that all Christians are secretly Confucians, all Hindus are Muslim, that hot is cold, and so on. I could quote long passages of crisis-of-faith, why-have-you-forsaken-me Christian poetry “proving” that Christianity is atheism. If I went on for a really long time about this, it might have the sheen of professional philosophy and good rhetoric that you display.

The logic would still be crap, however.


--------------
"ALL eight of the "nature" miracles of Jesus could have been accomplished via the electroweak quantum tunneling mechanism. For example, walking on water could be accomplished by directing a neutrino beam created just below Jesus' feet downward." - Frank Tipler, ISCID fellow

  
Albatrossity2



Posts: 2780
Joined: Mar. 2007

(Permalink) Posted: Dec. 24 2007,15:00   

Quote (Richardthughes @ Dec. 24 2007,12:13)
http://beastrabban.wordpress.com/2007....ent-373

http://beastrabban.wordpress.com/2007....-part-2

They've rolled out Mary Midgeley.

Rich

I was scanning your comments, and got a chuckle out of your description of her a an "odious tard". I'm still chuckling as I type this in fact; it just rolls off the tongue so elegantly. Odious tard. Odious tard. It's a keeper!

More to the point, although I admit I didn't read all those screeds religiously (pun intended), I didn't see any answer to this question. Who cares if atheism is a religion, or not? What's the point of discussing this? If you get to be a bishop or poobah or grand wizard of atheism, do you get stuff (special place in heaven, tax breaks, extra spouses, etc.)? Do you get to turn non-atheists into toads or lizards or numbats or ??? Is there any consequence if it is a religion, or not?  Seems like a lot of smoke and no fire to me.

But if there is something I missed, I'd appreciate it if you could fill me in.

thanks

--------------
Flesh of the sky, child of the sky, the mind
Has been obligated from the beginning
To create an ordered universe
As the only possible proof of its own inheritance.
                        - Pattiann Rogers

   
Richardthughes



Posts: 10756
Joined: Jan. 2006

(Permalink) Posted: Dec. 24 2007,15:25   

Creationists seem very keen to frame:
Atheism as faith
Faith as science
Science as faith

So that they may bend rules.

--------------
"Richardthughes, you magnificent bastard, I stand in awe of you..." : Arden Chatfield
"You magnificent bastard! " : Louis
"ATBC poster child", "I have to agree with Rich.." : DaveTard
"I bow to your superior skills" : deadman_932
"...it was Richardthughes making me lie in bed.." : Kristine

  
J-Dog



Posts: 4402
Joined: Dec. 2006

(Permalink) Posted: Dec. 24 2007,15:42   

I remember going a couple of rounds on this very subject with DaveScot and FTK this past summer before she started censoring people.  

Dave could not comprehend that a non-belief in something is not a religion, so I condemmed him to hell for all eternity.  Fun for me, cold-sweats and nightmares for him.  Can't beat fun in the summer!

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Come on Tough Guy, do the little dance of ID impotence you do so well. - Louis to Joe G 2/10

Gullibility is not a virtue - Quidam on Dembski's belief in the Bible Code Faith Healers & ID 7/08

UD is an Unnatural Douchemagnet. - richardthughes 7/11

  
Albatrossity2



Posts: 2780
Joined: Mar. 2007

(Permalink) Posted: Dec. 24 2007,15:51   

Quote (Richardthughes @ Dec. 24 2007,15:25)
Creationists seem very keen to frame:
Atheism as faith
Faith as science
Science as faith

So that they may bend rules.

Yes, I do understand the illogical argument atheism=faith; therefore science (which is assumed to be atheistic)=faith. But as you note, it seems to require three separate illogical steps.

Atheism = faith is unconvincing, as you have pointed out there.

Faith = science is even more unconvincing, and only idiots (who have never engaged in science) would fall for it. It is completely contradicted the the fact that new data will cause a true scientist to change his/her mind, but new data will never dislodge faith from the truly faithful.

Atheism = science is also very unconvincing, since scientists of all faiths can still be productive scientists.

So if you have to string together three tenuous assertions before you can "bend the rules", it seems pretty weak, at least to me.

Has he admitted that this is where he wants to go?  If not, the "So what?" question (Even if I assume that you are right, so what?)  should smoke him out.

--------------
Flesh of the sky, child of the sky, the mind
Has been obligated from the beginning
To create an ordered universe
As the only possible proof of its own inheritance.
                        - Pattiann Rogers

   
Annyday



Posts: 583
Joined: Nov. 2007

(Permalink) Posted: Dec. 24 2007,16:28   

It's not about being "convincing", it's an emotional appeal that follows only the internal logic of a certain religious bent. When you see the entire world through lenses of good and evil and religious faith, casual atheism or even the existence of facts unrelated to faith are basically incomprehensible.

So instead of taking "atheist" to mean "well-confirmed agnostic", which is basically what it means, they ramble about Marxism and positivism and "evolutionism" as if they're rival cults. It's better to have a heathen enemy, with false idols and the whole nine yards, than to be dismissed.

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"ALL eight of the "nature" miracles of Jesus could have been accomplished via the electroweak quantum tunneling mechanism. For example, walking on water could be accomplished by directing a neutrino beam created just below Jesus' feet downward." - Frank Tipler, ISCID fellow

  
guthrie



Posts: 696
Joined: Jan. 2006

(Permalink) Posted: Dec. 24 2007,16:46   

As far as I'm concerned, anyone who calls himself "Beastrabban" is a dolt.

  
Richardthughes



Posts: 10756
Joined: Jan. 2006

(Permalink) Posted: Dec. 24 2007,16:50   

Quote (guthrie @ Dec. 24 2007,16:46)
As far as I'm concerned, anyone who calls himself "Beastrabban" is a dolt.

Its from "Dune"

--------------
"Richardthughes, you magnificent bastard, I stand in awe of you..." : Arden Chatfield
"You magnificent bastard! " : Louis
"ATBC poster child", "I have to agree with Rich.." : DaveTard
"I bow to your superior skills" : deadman_932
"...it was Richardthughes making me lie in bed.." : Kristine

  
guthrie



Posts: 696
Joined: Jan. 2006

(Permalink) Posted: Dec. 24 2007,16:54   

Quote (Richardthughes @ Dec. 24 2007,16:50)
Quote (guthrie @ Dec. 24 2007,16:46)
As far as I'm concerned, anyone who calls himself "Beastrabban" is a dolt.

Its from "Dune"

I knew that.  I have read the entire sextet more times than I care to remember.  That is why anyone calling themselves beast rabban is a dolt, because the character is, apart from being  a minor one, basically a thug.  The entity whose blog we are discussing would appear to either like Dune, in which case it would be nice to see what they think of it, or else is being provocative.

If you use teh google, this turns up:
http://rationalperspective.wordpress.com/about/

Quote
We are a group of students concerned with a variety of controversial philosophical, scientific, ethical, and religious issues. The title of our blog is meant to express a commitment to sober-minded, intellectually responsible discussion. We assume the classical principles of logic and we uphold the stylistic virtues of clarity and precision. Although the issues we treat are wide-ranging, an ongoing theme in this blog is the articulation and defense of philosophical theism. We reject the new militant (better: dogmatic) atheism, the “brights” movement, new age fluff, and moral and epistemological relativism.


So far, so good, but I'm afraid that anyone who goes on about evolutionism is a couple of sandwiches short of a picnic.

  
Richardthughes



Posts: 10756
Joined: Jan. 2006

(Permalink) Posted: Dec. 24 2007,17:04   

I'm pretty sure evolutionism is a religion. I cite the authorities of Midgeley, D' Souza and Coulter.

--------------
"Richardthughes, you magnificent bastard, I stand in awe of you..." : Arden Chatfield
"You magnificent bastard! " : Louis
"ATBC poster child", "I have to agree with Rich.." : DaveTard
"I bow to your superior skills" : deadman_932
"...it was Richardthughes making me lie in bed.." : Kristine

  
guthrie



Posts: 696
Joined: Jan. 2006

(Permalink) Posted: Dec. 24 2007,17:05   

And more ammo:

http://post-darwinist.blogspot.com/2007....an.html

Quote
Unfortunately, this is the problem. Dawkins does write well, and this has impressed people despite the poverty of of his own ideas and the viciousness of the abuse he directs at those not sharing his own nasty reductionist views.


Does beast rabban realise that he is associating with people unable to argue coherently?


http://www.uncommondescent.com/intelli....-europe
Quote
Now let’s turn the the Draft Proposal’s assumption that ID is a science stopper on its head. Actually, it can easily be considered that the real science stopper here is European-wide scientific diktats imposing a politically motivated scientific uniformity on the member states.


mmmm, smell the stupidity.  Beast Rabban appears very well informed about various aspects of history, religion, and politics, but poorly informed as to their relation to any form of "reality".

  
guthrie



Posts: 696
Joined: Jan. 2006

(Permalink) Posted: Dec. 24 2007,17:09   

Quote (Richardthughes @ Dec. 24 2007,17:04)
I'm pretty sure evolutionism is a religion. I cite the authorities of Midgeley, D' Souza and Coulter.

Of course they are unipeachable sources of logical ideas.  

To cut to the chase- are you an atheist because you believe that no gods exist, or because you have not come across any evidence to make you believe in a deity?

In the former case, you could suggest there is a religious element namely belief.  In the latter, I do not think so.

AS for evolutionism, it is something which doesn't exist except in the fevered minds of people who don't trouble themselves with actual science.  It is probably a social construct, kind of like racism.  Its existence, if it does exist, no more damages Evolutionary biology than the existence of HIV damages Behe's religious faith.

  
guthrie



Posts: 696
Joined: Jan. 2006

(Permalink) Posted: Dec. 24 2007,17:18   

Well, I've read more.  BEast Rabban isn't that stupid.  They do seem wedded to a peculiar world view though.  It's interesting to see them post on ID websites, and their posts get completely ignored, presumably because they are too erudite.  So what is Beasts aim?

  
guthrie



Posts: 696
Joined: Jan. 2006

(Permalink) Posted: Dec. 24 2007,17:33   

Finally, if you want someone else to invite here, how about this guy:
http://creationevolutiondesign.blogspot.com/

They describe themselves thus:
"I am an Australian Christian old-Earth creationist/IDist biologist who accepts universal common ancestry (but not evolution)."

But they seem altogether too normal.  Or do you prefer lunatics?

  
Richardthughes



Posts: 10756
Joined: Jan. 2006

(Permalink) Posted: Dec. 24 2007,17:35   

Quote (guthrie @ Dec. 24 2007,17:33)
Finally, if you want someone else to invite here, how about this guy:
http://creationevolutiondesign.blogspot.com/

They describe themselves thus:
"I am an Australian Christian old-Earth creationist/IDist biologist who accepts universal common ancestry (but not evolution)."

But they seem altogether too normal.  Or do you prefer lunatics?

I only invite once they play the censorship card.

--------------
"Richardthughes, you magnificent bastard, I stand in awe of you..." : Arden Chatfield
"You magnificent bastard! " : Louis
"ATBC poster child", "I have to agree with Rich.." : DaveTard
"I bow to your superior skills" : deadman_932
"...it was Richardthughes making me lie in bed.." : Kristine

  
guthrie



Posts: 696
Joined: Jan. 2006

(Permalink) Posted: Dec. 24 2007,17:36   

Quote (Richardthughes @ Dec. 24 2007,17:35)

ahh, fair enough.  A sensible tactic.

  
UnMark



Posts: 97
Joined: Mar. 2006

(Permalink) Posted: Dec. 24 2007,17:37   

Quote (guthrie @ Dec. 24 2007,16:46)
As far as I'm concerned, anyone who calls himself "Beastrabban" is a dolt.

I was considering mentioning the paradox, but I decided it'd be simply construed as ranting, or somesuch.  In the Prelude to Dune prequels, Rabban is considerably more severe, in my opinion, than a mere thug.  But I'm assuming true Dune fans haven't read Brian and Kevin's mediocre attempts to continue Frank's story.

"Prove God is necessary."

"Easy!  He's necessary because I say He's necessary."  :O

  
guthrie



Posts: 696
Joined: Jan. 2006

(Permalink) Posted: Dec. 24 2007,17:41   

Quote (UnMark @ Dec. 24 2007,17:37)
 But I'm assuming true Dune fans haven't read Brian and Kevin's mediocre attempts to continue Frank's story.

You assume correctly.  I have House atreides and house harkonnen waiting for when I can be bothered.  The 7th Dune book is out soon or now, or something, and I might have a look at it later, but I would rather read Herberts notes than a book.

  
Reciprocating Bill



Posts: 4265
Joined: Oct. 2006

(Permalink) Posted: Dec. 24 2007,17:58   

Quote (Albatrossity2 @ Dec. 24 2007,16:00)
Who cares if atheism is a religion, or not? What's the point of discussing this?

That was my reaction. "Who cares?" I said to myself. Particularly, "Who cares if atheism is in some respects analogous to religion, in others not so much?"

Well, that's a paraphrase. "Ho fucking hum" is what I really said.

--------------
Myth: Something that never was true, and always will be.

"The truth will set you free. But not until it is finished with you."
- David Foster Wallace

"Here’s a clue. Snarky banalities are not a substitute for saying something intelligent. Write that down."
- Barry Arrington

  
UnMark



Posts: 97
Joined: Mar. 2006

(Permalink) Posted: Dec. 24 2007,18:05   

Frank's proposed 7th book was broken up into two - Hunters and Sandworms.  Hunters ends on a bit of a cliffhanger.  I read Hunters last winter and the 6 "Legend" and "Prelude" books over the summer.  I recieved Sandworms for Xmas this year - I'll start reading it when I'm done with The Gospel of the Flying Speghetti Monster (seriously).

  
Assassinator



Posts: 479
Joined: Nov. 2007

(Permalink) Posted: Dec. 24 2007,18:10   

Quote
To cut to the chase- are you an atheist because you believe that no gods exist, or because you have not come across any evidence to make you believe in a deity?

I thought that was the difference between agnostism and atheïsm. If your an agnostic, you're not saying anything about the existance of a deity because there isn't any evidence pointing towards both options. And if you're an atheïst, you beleive that deity's don't exist. I alwayse thought that was the difference.

  
Richardthughes



Posts: 10756
Joined: Jan. 2006

(Permalink) Posted: Dec. 24 2007,18:10   

Quote (UnMark @ Dec. 24 2007,18:05)
 I recieved Sandworms for Xmas this year

Didn't cook your Turkey properly?

--------------
"Richardthughes, you magnificent bastard, I stand in awe of you..." : Arden Chatfield
"You magnificent bastard! " : Louis
"ATBC poster child", "I have to agree with Rich.." : DaveTard
"I bow to your superior skills" : deadman_932
"...it was Richardthughes making me lie in bed.." : Kristine

  
Richardthughes



Posts: 10756
Joined: Jan. 2006

(Permalink) Posted: Dec. 24 2007,18:12   

Quote (Assassinator @ Dec. 24 2007,18:10)
Quote
To cut to the chase- are you an atheist because you believe that no gods exist, or because you have not come across any evidence to make you believe in a deity?

I thought that was the difference between agnostism and atheïsm. If your an agnostic, you're not saying anything about the existance of a deity because there isn't any evidence pointing towards both options. And if you're an atheïst, you beleive that deity's don't exist. I alwayse thought that was the difference.

Agnosticism adresses the epistemological question "can man know?", I think.

--------------
"Richardthughes, you magnificent bastard, I stand in awe of you..." : Arden Chatfield
"You magnificent bastard! " : Louis
"ATBC poster child", "I have to agree with Rich.." : DaveTard
"I bow to your superior skills" : deadman_932
"...it was Richardthughes making me lie in bed.." : Kristine

  
Annyday



Posts: 583
Joined: Nov. 2007

(Permalink) Posted: Dec. 24 2007,18:47   

There are rather few "atheists" in the sense of people believing they have positive evidence against God. I don't really know of any at all, actually. "Agnostic" is just a word that Thomas Huxley used to dodge the pejorative and generally evil connotations of atheism, while meaning basically the same thing.

For serious.

--------------
"ALL eight of the "nature" miracles of Jesus could have been accomplished via the electroweak quantum tunneling mechanism. For example, walking on water could be accomplished by directing a neutrino beam created just below Jesus' feet downward." - Frank Tipler, ISCID fellow

  
Richardthughes



Posts: 10756
Joined: Jan. 2006

(Permalink) Posted: Dec. 24 2007,19:07   

Well, my posts aren't going through any more. Disappointed, but not surprised.

--------------
"Richardthughes, you magnificent bastard, I stand in awe of you..." : Arden Chatfield
"You magnificent bastard! " : Louis
"ATBC poster child", "I have to agree with Rich.." : DaveTard
"I bow to your superior skills" : deadman_932
"...it was Richardthughes making me lie in bed.." : Kristine

  
Annyday



Posts: 583
Joined: Nov. 2007

(Permalink) Posted: Dec. 24 2007,19:25   

Ilion accused you of denying your own existence, man.

You've been pwned pretty hard. Do you want to sit down?

--------------
"ALL eight of the "nature" miracles of Jesus could have been accomplished via the electroweak quantum tunneling mechanism. For example, walking on water could be accomplished by directing a neutrino beam created just below Jesus' feet downward." - Frank Tipler, ISCID fellow

  
Richardthughes



Posts: 10756
Joined: Jan. 2006

(Permalink) Posted: Dec. 24 2007,19:33   

Quote (Annyday @ Dec. 24 2007,19:25)
Ilion accused you of denying your own existence, man.

You've been pwned pretty hard. Do you want to sit down?

I don't have much choice.

God is real because the universe need him, or something. Bodes well for Superman...

--------------
"Richardthughes, you magnificent bastard, I stand in awe of you..." : Arden Chatfield
"You magnificent bastard! " : Louis
"ATBC poster child", "I have to agree with Rich.." : DaveTard
"I bow to your superior skills" : deadman_932
"...it was Richardthughes making me lie in bed.." : Kristine

  
Lou FCD



Posts: 5402
Joined: Jan. 2006

(Permalink) Posted: Dec. 24 2007,20:02   

Posted this, it's awaiting moderation...

 
Quote (Lou FCD Says: Your comment is awaiting moderation. December 25 @ 2007 at 2:00 am )
A worshiper of Zeus might say the same thing.

I’m genuinely interested in what makes you believe that Yahweh is legitimately The One True God, while Zeus (or any one of the gajillion other gods) is not.

No snark, just curious.


--------------
Lou FCD is still in school, so we should only count him as a baby biologist. -carlsonjok -deprecated
I think I might love you. Don't tell Deadman -Wolfhound

Work-friendly photography
NSFW photography

   
UnMark



Posts: 97
Joined: Mar. 2006

(Permalink) Posted: Dec. 24 2007,20:30   

The post I made some three hours ago is still in the moderation queue.  It must be that I'm a new poster?  Or that I don't have an account?  Or, I guess that's because I don't exist. :p  Seriously - WTF was that "proof" about? And why can't I say the same about my computer monitor?

Thanks for the belly laugh, Rich - turkey!

  
stevestory



Posts: 10127
Joined: Oct. 2005

(Permalink) Posted: Dec. 24 2007,22:17   

Quote (Assassinator @ Dec. 24 2007,19:10)
Quote
To cut to the chase- are you an atheist because you believe that no gods exist, or because you have not come across any evidence to make you believe in a deity?

I thought that was the difference between agnostism and atheïsm. If your an agnostic, you're not saying anything about the existance of a deity because there isn't any evidence pointing towards both options. And if you're an atheïst, you beleive that deity's don't exist. I alwayse thought that was the difference.

It's easy to get bogged down in definitional arguments on this. The way I think of it, we walk around with models of how the world works. The models have various objects in them, some of which we have direct evidence for, some we don't. My world includes basketballs, which I have direct evidence for, and japan, which I have indirect evidence for. I believe Fiji exists via some of this indirect evidence. (Were You There?!?!?!? No, I was never in Fiji. Shut up, HamTard. Grownups are talking.) It's part of my model for the world. So as far as my beliefs, which are aspects of my model of the world, you might call me a Fijiist. By contrast, I don't believe the Island of Gorgablax exists. I'm an agorgablaxist. It might, who knows, I haven't been everywhere in the world, but my model of the world doesn't include it. If you want me to make big life-changing decisions based on Gorgablax, I'm going to need to see some evidence that puts Gorgablax in my model. Do I know that Gorgablax doesn't exist? No. Am I going to act as if it does? No. Whether you call that agorgablaxism or Gorgablax agnosticism, the practical effect is the same. Gorgablax is not part of my model of the world.

   
Bob O'H



Posts: 2132
Joined: Oct. 2005

(Permalink) Posted: Dec. 25 2007,00:28   

Quote
Ilíon Says:
December 25, 2007 at 12:25 am

Rich: “Prove god is necessary. Please. We’ll all convert. Not sure ro which faith, though.”

That’s easy: to the “faith” demands the least; to the “faith” that allows you to continue to play God.

It has been proven over and over that God is necessary. You folk don’t listen.

Huh?  I can't even parse that argument.  I assume it's a quote from somewhere, and if one knows the quote, one knows the argument.

Reading over the comments, it's clear that Rich is at a disadvantage, because beastrabban is utterly lacking in a sense of humour.

Hmmm.  Pointing and laughing at theists is a vital part of militant atheism.  beastrabban doesn't have a sense of humour.  Therefore beastrabban is an atheist.  Annyday can fill in the gaps.  :-)

Bob

--------------
It is fun to dip into the various threads to watch cluelessness at work in the hands of the confident exponent. - Soapy Sam (so say we all)

   
guthrie



Posts: 696
Joined: Jan. 2006

(Permalink) Posted: Dec. 25 2007,04:31   

Quote (Assassinator @ Dec. 24 2007,18:10)
Quote
To cut to the chase- are you an atheist because you believe that no gods exist, or because you have not come across any evidence to make you believe in a deity?

I thought that was the difference between agnostism and atheïsm. If your an agnostic, you're not saying anything about the existance of a deity because there isn't any evidence pointing towards both options. And if you're an atheïst, you beleive that deity's don't exist. I alwayse thought that was the difference.

That might be a better way of putting it.

What I see here with this beast rabban chap, is (with apoplogies to Wesley and others) a kind of logical structure that has been built over 1600 years.  It is a specific world view, with its own definitions, structure, foundations, butresses, windows, and roof.  That it is inadequate to the job these days is not something that its inhabitants like to admit, and they can function quite well without so admitting because of the richness of humanity today.

  
Richardthughes



Posts: 10756
Joined: Jan. 2006

(Permalink) Posted: Dec. 25 2007,12:48   

Crikey...

Quote
...
Another way to understand what I have said above and will say below — and I want this to be understood, which is why I’m explicitly saying it now — is that I mean to set a trap for you (and/or Rich, and/or any other ‘atheist’ who happens to bump into BR’s blog and this thread).

I’ll be blunt: I don’t expect you or any other ‘atheist’ to admit that this is a logically sound and valid argument; much less do I expect any ‘atheist’ to admit, on the basis of this or any other argument, that there is indeed, a God. It is, of course, not utterly impossible for an ‘atheist’ to admit the truth of the matter; but just as the ‘atheist’ nearly always settled on ‘atheism’ for non-rational reasons, it is rarely reasoned argument that leads him to abandon his stance.

I have never yet personally encountered an ‘atheist’ who is intellectually honest — or even wholly logical/rational — when it comes to the question of God. In this wide world, there may well be some, somewhere; but what exists is a different matter from what any one of us knows of or has encountered.


...


http://beastrabban.wordpress.com/2007....ent-417

Invite him here, someone.

--------------
"Richardthughes, you magnificent bastard, I stand in awe of you..." : Arden Chatfield
"You magnificent bastard! " : Louis
"ATBC poster child", "I have to agree with Rich.." : DaveTard
"I bow to your superior skills" : deadman_932
"...it was Richardthughes making me lie in bed.." : Kristine

  
Annyday



Posts: 583
Joined: Nov. 2007

(Permalink) Posted: Dec. 25 2007,13:05   

Man, I don't wanna read all of this. At least half of it is chaff and the rest is boring.

I'll be sure to mention in caveat that you're banned and extend an invite when/if I get through all of this and respond, Rich.

ETA: Rabban's proof of God begs the question. It's beside the point and I'm not even going to address it, but I'm just sayin'.

--------------
"ALL eight of the "nature" miracles of Jesus could have been accomplished via the electroweak quantum tunneling mechanism. For example, walking on water could be accomplished by directing a neutrino beam created just below Jesus' feet downward." - Frank Tipler, ISCID fellow

  
Reciprocating Bill



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(Permalink) Posted: Dec. 25 2007,19:51   

Quote (Richardthughes @ Dec. 25 2007,13:48)
Crikey...

   
Quote
...
Another way to understand what I have said above and will say below — and I want this to be understood, which is why I’m explicitly saying it now — is that I mean to set a trap for you (and/or Rich, and/or any other ‘atheist’ who happens to bump into BR’s blog and this thread).

I’ll be blunt: I don’t expect you or any other ‘atheist’ to admit that this is a logically sound and valid argument; much less do I expect any ‘atheist’ to admit, on the basis of this or any other argument, that there is indeed, a God. It is, of course, not utterly impossible for an ‘atheist’ to admit the truth of the matter; but just as the ‘atheist’ nearly always settled on ‘atheism’ for non-rational reasons, it is rarely reasoned argument that leads him to abandon his stance.

I have never yet personally encountered an ‘atheist’ who is intellectually honest — or even wholly logical/rational — when it comes to the question of God. In this wide world, there may well be some, somewhere; but what exists is a different matter from what any one of us knows of or has encountered.


...


http://beastrabban.wordpress.com/2007....ent-417

Invite him here, someone.

Now I'm confused.

The thrust of his lengthy essay is that atheism is analogous to religious belief in many respects.

Is this an instance of such analogy? That is, is he asserting that atheism is analogous to religious conviction in that persons of religious conviction, too, are rarely wholly logical/rational when it comes to the question of God? That theists nearly always settle upon their theism for non-rational reasons? If so, so what?

Or, having claimed these resemblances, is he going to reverse course and argue that theistic belief is uniquely logical and rational? If so, on what basis?

--------------
Myth: Something that never was true, and always will be.

"The truth will set you free. But not until it is finished with you."
- David Foster Wallace

"Here’s a clue. Snarky banalities are not a substitute for saying something intelligent. Write that down."
- Barry Arrington

  
Annyday



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(Permalink) Posted: Dec. 25 2007,22:44   

Two different guys, Bill. Their arguments don't seem to complement each other very well, it's true.

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"ALL eight of the "nature" miracles of Jesus could have been accomplished via the electroweak quantum tunneling mechanism. For example, walking on water could be accomplished by directing a neutrino beam created just below Jesus' feet downward." - Frank Tipler, ISCID fellow

  
Reciprocating Bill



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(Permalink) Posted: Dec. 25 2007,23:09   

Quote (Annyday @ Dec. 25 2007,23:44)
Two different guys, Bill. Their arguments don't seem to complement each other very well, it's true.

I'm getting too lazy to follow the links on these guys. Maybe its time to think about retirement.

--------------
Myth: Something that never was true, and always will be.

"The truth will set you free. But not until it is finished with you."
- David Foster Wallace

"Here’s a clue. Snarky banalities are not a substitute for saying something intelligent. Write that down."
- Barry Arrington

  
skeptic



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(Permalink) Posted: Dec. 26 2007,08:41   

The general argument goes that atheism, like theism, is based upon a rationally improvable faith claim and that the individuals world view, morals, philosophical tenets, etc and so forth are based or centered around this belief.  There's no literal "Church of Atheism" but from the viewpoint of many theists in today's hyper-political atmosphere there are common goals, atheistic evangelism, recruitment, and apologetics.

We know the argument that non-belief and belief in nothing are not the same but the line walked here is very thin and then you throw in the works of Harris, Dawkins, Hitchens, etc and those claims ring hollow.  Anyway, that's our view from the other side so don't kill the messenger just trying to add a perspective for clarification.

  
Annyday



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(Permalink) Posted: Dec. 26 2007,09:10   

That's true. There's definitely an ideological component in a lot of non-'religious' things, but it just doesn't seem to work to call atheism a religion or even an ideology. If anything the predominant ideological component underpinning the lot of the "new atheists" in a positive sense is a brand of humanism. Atheism's just a statement of what they're opposed to, in theory, but then some of them have also got a seemingly cannibalistic ideological urge to assimilate all atheists into their mass.

... I'd like it noted for the record that I'm coming to really hate the fuzziness around the edges of the word "atheism", especially as concerns an approach to humanism. The part of me that's married to crisp, clear, logical distinctions is especially pissed off. That is all. :p

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"ALL eight of the "nature" miracles of Jesus could have been accomplished via the electroweak quantum tunneling mechanism. For example, walking on water could be accomplished by directing a neutrino beam created just below Jesus' feet downward." - Frank Tipler, ISCID fellow

  
Reciprocating Bill



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(Permalink) Posted: Dec. 26 2007,09:29   

Automobiles characteristically have an internal combustion engine, a transmission, wheels, tires, bearings, some form of rigid frame, seating, mirrors, a speedometer, lights, and paint. They are capable of steering and braking, and transport people great distances at high speeds across paved surfaces. Automobile accidents sometimes result in fatalities.

Therefore, a motorcycle is an automobile.

--------------
Myth: Something that never was true, and always will be.

"The truth will set you free. But not until it is finished with you."
- David Foster Wallace

"Here’s a clue. Snarky banalities are not a substitute for saying something intelligent. Write that down."
- Barry Arrington

  
GCT



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(Permalink) Posted: Dec. 26 2007,10:39   

Quote (Albatrossity2 @ Dec. 24 2007,16:51)
But as you note, it seems to require three separate illogical steps.

Atheism = faith is unconvincing, as you have pointed out there.

Hmmm, have you looked at UD lately?

Quote
Faith = science is even more unconvincing, and only idiots (who have never engaged in science) would fall for it. It is completely contradicted the the fact that new data will cause a true scientist to change his/her mind, but new data will never dislodge faith from the truly faithful.


No, seriously, have you looked at UD recently?

Quote
Atheism = science is also very unconvincing, since scientists of all faiths can still be productive scientists.


No, seriously, have you even looked at UD recently?

Quote
So if you have to string together three tenuous assertions before you can "bend the rules", it seems pretty weak, at least to me.


You do realize we're dealing with IDCers here, right?  Right?

;)

  
GCT



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(Permalink) Posted: Dec. 26 2007,11:29   

Quote (Richardthughes @ Dec. 25 2007,13:48)
Crikey...

Quote
...
Another way to understand what I have said above and will say below — and I want this to be understood, which is why I’m explicitly saying it now — is that I mean to set a trap for you (and/or Rich, and/or any other ‘atheist’ who happens to bump into BR’s blog and this thread).

I’ll be blunt: I don’t expect you or any other ‘atheist’ to admit that this is a logically sound and valid argument; much less do I expect any ‘atheist’ to admit, on the basis of this or any other argument, that there is indeed, a God. It is, of course, not utterly impossible for an ‘atheist’ to admit the truth of the matter; but just as the ‘atheist’ nearly always settled on ‘atheism’ for non-rational reasons, it is rarely reasoned argument that leads him to abandon his stance.

I have never yet personally encountered an ‘atheist’ who is intellectually honest — or even wholly logical/rational — when it comes to the question of God. In this wide world, there may well be some, somewhere; but what exists is a different matter from what any one of us knows of or has encountered.


...


http://beastrabban.wordpress.com/2007....ent-417

Invite him here, someone.

Have you ever seen a banana?  How can you argue against that?

  
skeptic



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(Permalink) Posted: Dec. 26 2007,12:02   

I would have to agree with beast on one point, from my observation, there does seem to be an emotional investment or component to atheism that contradicts the wholly rational/logical claim.

  
Richardthughes



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(Permalink) Posted: Dec. 26 2007,12:08   

Quote (skeptic @ Dec. 26 2007,12:02)
I would have to agree with beast on one point, from my observation, there does seem to be an emotional investment or component to atheism that contradicts the wholly rational/logical claim.

To care about humanity would require less?

--------------
"Richardthughes, you magnificent bastard, I stand in awe of you..." : Arden Chatfield
"You magnificent bastard! " : Louis
"ATBC poster child", "I have to agree with Rich.." : DaveTard
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GCT



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(Permalink) Posted: Dec. 26 2007,12:37   

Quote (skeptic @ Dec. 26 2007,13:02)
I would have to agree with beast on one point, from my observation, there does seem to be an emotional investment or component to atheism that contradicts the wholly rational/logical claim.

Maybe you can shed light on why theists have the irresistible urge to make this particular claim; that atheists are practicing a religion and that atheists have some sort of emotional investment in it.  Why is it that theists believe this is so?

  
Annyday



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(Permalink) Posted: Dec. 26 2007,12:43   

Man, this is all semantics. Fuzzy semantics.

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"ALL eight of the "nature" miracles of Jesus could have been accomplished via the electroweak quantum tunneling mechanism. For example, walking on water could be accomplished by directing a neutrino beam created just below Jesus' feet downward." - Frank Tipler, ISCID fellow

  
Freelurker



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(Permalink) Posted: Dec. 26 2007,15:07   

Quote (stevestory @ Dec. 24 2007,23:17)
 ... The way I think of it, we walk around with models of how the world works. The models have various objects in them, some of which we have direct evidence for, some we don't. My world includes basketballs, which I have direct evidence for, and japan, which I have indirect evidence for. I believe Fiji exists via some of this indirect evidence. (Were You There?!?!?!? No, I was never in Fiji. Shut up, HamTard. Grownups are talking.) It's part of my model for the world. So as far as my beliefs, which are aspects of my model of the world, you might call me a Fijiist. By contrast, I don't believe the Island of Gorgablax exists. I'm an agorgablaxist. It might, who knows, I haven't been everywhere in the world, but my model of the world doesn't include it. If you want me to make big life-changing decisions based on Gorgablax, I'm going to need to see some evidence that puts Gorgablax in my model. Do I know that Gorgablax doesn't exist? No. Am I going to act as if it does? No. Whether you call that agorgablaxism or Gorgablax agnosticism, the practical effect is the same. Gorgablax is not part of my model of the world.

Amen to that!
Thanks for this excellent exposition of the model-oriented way of looking at the world. Or is it a way of looking at the way people look at the world? Anyway, I agree with you, and your comment is a keeper.

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Invoking intelligent design in science is like invoking gremlins in engineering. [after Mark Isaak.]
All models are wrong, some models are useful. - George E. P. Box

  
stevestory



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(Permalink) Posted: Dec. 26 2007,16:57   

Quote (skeptic @ Dec. 26 2007,13:02)
I would have to agree with beast on one point, from my observation, there does seem to be an emotional investment or component to atheism that contradicts the wholly rational/logical claim.

If I'm passionate in defending algebra, does that undermine the logic of algebra?

   
stevestory



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(Permalink) Posted: Dec. 26 2007,17:07   

Quote (skeptic @ Dec. 26 2007,09:41)
atheism, like theism, is based upon a rationally improvable faith claim

Not having a belief is a faith claim? Are bare feet a kind of nikes?

   
skeptic



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(Permalink) Posted: Dec. 26 2007,17:28   

I see no point to passionately defending algebra, in fact doing so would probably strike us all as odd.

GCT, just look at the board and you'll make the same observation.

  
Gunthernacus



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(Permalink) Posted: Dec. 26 2007,17:39   

Quote (Richardthughes @ Dec. 25 2007,12:48)
Invite him here, someone.

Ilion is a tard.
He got taken by a sea water as fuel scam and became a belligerent tard when called on it.  He tried to change the subject, but instead backed himself into two corners - a double tard.  Here is some more about his "proof" of God.

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Given that we are all descended from Adam and Eve...genetic defects as a result of intra-family marriage would not begin to crop up until after the first few dozen generations. - Dr. Hugh Ross

  
stevestory



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(Permalink) Posted: Dec. 26 2007,17:48   

Quote (skeptic @ Dec. 26 2007,18:28)
I see no point to passionately defending algebra, in fact doing so would probably strike us all as odd.

GCT, just look at the board and you'll make the same observation.

Whether or not you would passionately defend algebra, would it undermine algebra if someone did?

   
guthrie



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(Permalink) Posted: Dec. 26 2007,18:02   

Quote (skeptic @ Dec. 26 2007,12:02)
I would have to agree with beast on one point, from my observation, there does seem to be an emotional investment or component to atheism that contradicts the wholly rational/logical claim.

You may or may not be refering to myself in passing.  I have some emotional investment in myself, and I'm afraid I was rather amazed when I read what rabban was trying to say, so my response was more of the venting than rational/ logical.

  
GCT



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(Permalink) Posted: Dec. 26 2007,18:58   

Quote (skeptic @ Dec. 26 2007,18:28)
I see no point to passionately defending algebra, in fact doing so would probably strike us all as odd.

GCT, just look at the board and you'll make the same observation.

Nice non-answer...but anyway, the point that I think was being made was that atheists don't arrive at atheism via means of logic/reason, but by emotional response.  This, is what I'm asking about.  Everyone has an emotional attachment to our ideas/philosophies/etc. simply because most of us don't want to be wrong, care about the topics that we take time to talk about, or a number of other reasons.  This does not mean that the person in question reached their conclusion based on faulty reason or illogic.  Nor does it, as Steve pointed out, invalidate the claim.  But, I'm really only concerned with the first part right now.  Why do theists assume that atheists have reached their conclusion based on emotional attachment?  How often have you heard the refrain that 'atheist just want there to be no god, so they disbelieve in god," or somesuch variation?  Where does this come from?  Why do believers actually think that?  Inquiring minds want to know.  If you have any insights, please share them.

  
UnMark



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(Permalink) Posted: Dec. 26 2007,20:51   

Quote (Gunthernacus @ Dec. 26 2007,17:39)

Ilion is a tard.  He got taken by a sea water as fuel scam and became a belligerent tard when called on it.  He tried to change the subject, but instead backed himself into two corners - a double tard.  Here is some more about his "proof" of God.

Holy balls. :O  I love how Creonuts think they know everything, and fight to the bitter end when proven wrong.

I reached my conclusion that no Gods exist because there is no positive evidence or logicical proof to conclude one exists.

  
skeptic



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(Permalink) Posted: Dec. 26 2007,22:04   

I'm going to go way out on a limb on this one as I have no formal education in psychology, other than required electives, but couldn't it be argued that most if not all foundational beliefs or ideas are arrived at via an emotional route.  This route is what reinforces the belief to the point that someone can view their life in it's context.  Think back to how you yourself came to this conclusion.  Was it a single moment with a legal pad and two columns or was it a step-by-step journey built upon personal experiences?  Again, this is all just speculation on my part but maybe the simple answer is that theists are only imagining what they themselves know.  Most peoples' faith is that journey over time based upon their personal experiences and maybe we just assume that atheists go through the same process, or anti-process so to speak, lol.

  
Reciprocating Bill



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(Permalink) Posted: Dec. 26 2007,22:59   

Quote (skeptic @ Dec. 26 2007,23:04)
I'm going to go way out on a limb on this one as I have no formal education in psychology, other than required electives, but couldn't it be argued that most if not all foundational beliefs or ideas are arrived at via an emotional route.  This route is what reinforces the belief to the point that someone can view their life in it's context.  Think back to how you yourself came to this conclusion.  Was it a single moment with a legal pad and two columns or was it a step-by-step journey built upon personal experiences?  Again, this is all just speculation on my part but maybe the simple answer is that theists are only imagining what they themselves know.  Most peoples' faith is that journey over time based upon their personal experiences and maybe we just assume that atheists go through the same process, or anti-process so to speak, lol.

There is something to what you are saying. A considerable body of research has demonstrated that people are generally much less rational than they would like to believe, in part because formal rationality is time consuming and difficult to attain, but also because simpler algorithms (e.g. use of "rules of thumb," "satisficing," etc.) in making decisions are often more efficient processes than formal rationality.

However there is a difference between individuals arriving at particular world views by means of amalgams of thought and feeling and the formal arguments that may be constructed by communities of people engaging in formal discourse. Those can vary considerably in level of coherence, quality, rationality, and fidelity to the data, and it is here that religious assertions often don't fare so well.

--------------
Myth: Something that never was true, and always will be.

"The truth will set you free. But not until it is finished with you."
- David Foster Wallace

"Here’s a clue. Snarky banalities are not a substitute for saying something intelligent. Write that down."
- Barry Arrington

  
swbarnes2



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(Permalink) Posted: Dec. 26 2007,23:35   

Well, how about this limb:

An atheist points out to theists that their claims can't be supported logically.  So they now have a powerful interest in claming that it doesn't matter, because no one actually thinks logically.  So they go around claiming that the pot is calling the kettle black, because atheists can't tell a logical argument form a hole in the ground, and therefore, shouldn't go around telling people that there's no evidence for God.  So basically, this is an ad hominum, attacking the supposed psychology of the person making the claim, and not the merits of the argument itself.

Sure, humans aren't particularly good at separating out wishes from the facts before us.  But we can try.  And I think our history has shown us that among people who are concerned that their claims match reality, and who recognize that others are much better at finding flaws in our arguments than we ourselves are, flaws in thinking will be found, and flawed ideas will be corrected or dropped.  It took the early Victorian scientific community what..a few decades?  to drop their thousand-year long belief in a young earth.

Among people who hold certain intangibles as unassailably true...well, inevitably, certain tangible ideas become just as unassailable, and then it takes 600 years for the church to accept what everyone else long accepted, that the earth goes around the sun.

So spare us the notion that people who try to be rational are just as bad as everyone else.  History shows us otherwise.

  
skeptic



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(Permalink) Posted: Dec. 27 2007,01:56   

that's not exactly what I'm saying, it's more along the lines that decisions or inclinations one way or the other may be set at an early age without any real appeal to rationality.  I can certainly look back at my youth and never see a point at which I ever doubted the existence of God.  Everything since then has only confirmed that belief in my own mind but how much of that is objective or subjective.  Had my initial my inclination been towards no belief in God would my position be just as strong in my own mind?  I can't answer that but it seems to make sense.  The outlier would be those that believe one way and "convert" at some point in adulthood, those might be the cases we need to look at.

  
Hawk



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(Permalink) Posted: Dec. 27 2007,02:39   

Quote (skeptic @ Dec. 27 2007,01:56)
that's not exactly what I'm saying, it's more along the lines that decisions or inclinations one way or the other may be set at an early age without any real appeal to rationality.  I can certainly look back at my youth and never see a point at which I ever doubted the existence of God.  Everything since then has only confirmed that belief in my own mind but how much of that is objective or subjective.  Had my initial my inclination been towards no belief in God would my position be just as strong in my own mind?  I can't answer that but it seems to make sense.  The outlier would be those that believe one way and "convert" at some point in adulthood, those might be the cases we need to look at.

i must say that the childs brain will pretty much automatically beleive what it is told between the ages of 0~8.
this is why children who's parents are religios are something like 30 times more likely to beleive in thier parents own faith. (correct me if i'm wrong)
it is why adults who have grown up to believe in something will almost always defend their position even if shown insurmountable evidence, and not even waver.
I chose to be an atheist after several years of agnosticism and in that time i was not presented with a singal shred of evidence that a god exists, so i chose logic over faith (as in religious faith). Despite this i still respect many religions (specifically Islam and buddhism) for their quest for knowledge, while i don't beleive in god i do ebelive it is possible for one to beleive in god and still beleive in evolution.

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If it could be demonstrated that any complex organ existed, which could not possibly have been formed by numerous, successive, slight modifications, my theory would absolutely break down. But I can find out no such case.
Charles Darwin
Vox populi, vox Dei

  
Assassinator



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(Permalink) Posted: Dec. 27 2007,05:51   

You're a product of your envoirment skeptic. It's not suprising that you find everything else a confirmation of your beleive. That beleive is imbedded in your mind, in your personality. It's nothing wierd that you fit new things into the image of the world you had already. This may be the same if you're raised with the beleive a god does not exist. Myself, I haven't been raised with a god at all. I don't even know if my parents beleive in a god or not. I have been in contact with religion though, my grandma is a christian and I went to a youth-church from evangelicals just because it was fun (I had a good time there, very interesting). I don't beleive in a god though, but neither do I beleive that a god does not exist.

  
Albatrossity2



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(Permalink) Posted: Dec. 27 2007,07:05   

It is also possible that what Skeptic sees as an "emotional investment" is actually an emotional response to having others tell you that they know what you believe better than you do (e.g., telling you that atheism is a religion). Most people take it poorly when their position is twisted around by someone else, particularly if that someone else has shown little or no inclination to listen to what you actually are saying...

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Flesh of the sky, child of the sky, the mind
Has been obligated from the beginning
To create an ordered universe
As the only possible proof of its own inheritance.
                        - Pattiann Rogers

   
Reciprocating Bill



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(Permalink) Posted: Dec. 27 2007,08:27   

Even given his modification, there is something to what Skeptic says that is applicable to beliefs of all stripes (although that is a far cry from establishing that "atheism is a religion"). Many here have asserted that their agnosticism or atheism is strictly a reasoned position happily amenable to modification given evidence. I am somewhat of a "skeptic" when it comes to such claims, because (IMHO) they are not psychologically realistic, and don't acknowledge the dimensions of cognitive consistency and community immersion and allegiance that are very important in most belief fixation. Skeptic is also right to suggest that he went through life assimilating those experiences that "confirmed" his initial belief, that he may have assimilated other "facts" into this system of belief if he had a different starting point, and that this process also typifies other beliefs (again, none of which makes atheism a religion). That's a fact he should revisit, as well as suggest that others revisit.

[added in edit] That said, I would still distinguish between the psychological and social processes through which beliefs are fixated and the quality of discourse that is mounted within and between communities.

--------------
Myth: Something that never was true, and always will be.

"The truth will set you free. But not until it is finished with you."
- David Foster Wallace

"Here’s a clue. Snarky banalities are not a substitute for saying something intelligent. Write that down."
- Barry Arrington

  
GCT



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(Permalink) Posted: Dec. 27 2007,08:29   

Quote (skeptic @ Dec. 26 2007,23:04)
I'm going to go way out on a limb on this one as I have no formal education in psychology, other than required electives, but couldn't it be argued that most if not all foundational beliefs or ideas are arrived at via an emotional route.  This route is what reinforces the belief to the point that someone can view their life in it's context.  Think back to how you yourself came to this conclusion.  Was it a single moment with a legal pad and two columns or was it a step-by-step journey built upon personal experiences?  Again, this is all just speculation on my part but maybe the simple answer is that theists are only imagining what they themselves know.  Most peoples' faith is that journey over time based upon their personal experiences and maybe we just assume that atheists go through the same process, or anti-process so to speak, lol.

Thank you for your answer.  I asked for your opinion and you gave it.

A follow up question though:  why do you equate a step-by-step journey based on personal experiences with the "emotional route"?  I'm not sure that necessarily must be the case that they are equal.  My "personal experience" could have been taking a look at the claims of various religions and finding no evidence for them, which would be a wholly rational thing to do and would lead to the rational conclusion that I do not believe in those religions.
 
Quote
that's not exactly what I'm saying, it's more along the lines that decisions or inclinations one way or the other may be set at an early age without any real appeal to rationality.  I can certainly look back at my youth and never see a point at which I ever doubted the existence of God.  Everything since then has only confirmed that belief in my own mind but how much of that is objective or subjective.  Had my initial my inclination been towards no belief in God would my position be just as strong in my own mind?  I can't answer that but it seems to make sense.  The outlier would be those that believe one way and "convert" at some point in adulthood, those might be the cases we need to look at.

Most people grow up to be the religion of their parents.  The only exception to that rule is generally atheists, at least in this country of overwhelming religiosity.  Most atheists (that I've met online and elsewhere in this country) grew up in a home with theistic parents and have turned away from the religion they learned as a child.

You might be interested in this:
Sullivan's admission

  
bystander



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(Permalink) Posted: Dec. 27 2007,16:37   

My journey was more an intellectual journey but I have read where for some it is a hugely emotional experience. IIDB has a large number of deconversion stories.

  
skeptic



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(Permalink) Posted: Dec. 27 2007,16:38   

It's probably just the imagery I'm using when thinking of an emotional response.  You certainly can have a lifelong rational pursuit of knowledge but I'm referring more to the incorporation of experience which can not exclude the emotional component of that experience.  I agree with Bill and that if we look deep down everything we think or believe that has any significance has an emotional component to it.  As a bad example, think of music.  We think we judge the quality of music based upon it's actual quality but many times it has nothing to do with the song itself.  We like or dislike some music based solely upon what was going on at the time we heard it.  I will confess that there is some real crappy music floating around in my head but I love it and I can blame it totally on my hormones and some hot memories.

  
Richardthughes



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(Permalink) Posted: Dec. 27 2007,16:53   

Part 3 is up:

http://beastrabban.wordpress.com/2007/12/27/atheism-as-religion-3/

--------------
"Richardthughes, you magnificent bastard, I stand in awe of you..." : Arden Chatfield
"You magnificent bastard! " : Louis
"ATBC poster child", "I have to agree with Rich.." : DaveTard
"I bow to your superior skills" : deadman_932
"...it was Richardthughes making me lie in bed.." : Kristine

  
Mr_Christopher



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(Permalink) Posted: Dec. 27 2007,17:10   

I was raised believing in god and remained that way until my late 20s.  Drop kicking my faith in god was a very conscious thing for me.  It was the most liberating (intellectually and emotionally) thing I've ever done in my life.

As far as "converting" to atheism goes, I don't think atheists convert.  it's more like they see through the whole faith charade and realize it's all make believe.  In that light faith has no real value to a person of reasonable emotional strength.  

What good would belief in a god do for me?  I don't need a sky pixie to tell me I'm ok, nor do I need him to love me.  Nor do I need special favors to be granted.  Any adult is capable of being immune to low self-esteem so what's the point?  Any adult is capable of creating a slice of happiness for themselvs, regardless of their lot in life.  So, again, what's the point?  There is nothing that could happen to me that I could not reasonably face and deal with without the aid of an imaginary friend.  So what's the point?  What possible good would a belief in a god do for me?

And a lack of faith does not constitute a faith.  If compelling evidence for a god was presented I'd have no problem switching gears and accepting reality.  But so far no one in the history of the world has put forth any compelling evidence for the existance of a god.  

People who suggest atheism is a religion are simply ignorant.

edit:

One more thing, when I adopted an atheist outlook I did not run out and  murder or rape anyone.  In fact quite the opposite.  Knowing that no one goes to heaven and there is no afterlife has made me appreciate life even more than previously.  We're here for a very brief amount of time, after that we're all worm food,  so we should make the best of it kind of thing.

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Uncommon Descent is a moral cesspool, a festering intellectual ghetto that intoxicates and degrades its inhabitants - Stephen Matheson

  
skeptic



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(Permalink) Posted: Dec. 27 2007,18:03   

I'm going to let Christopher's post speak for itself but if I was a shrink I think I'd have a field day.

  
GCT



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(Permalink) Posted: Dec. 27 2007,18:13   

Quote (skeptic @ Dec. 27 2007,19:03)
I'm going to let Christopher's post speak for itself but if I was a shrink I think I'd have a field day.

Sorry, but that won't cut it.  If you have an argument to make, please make it.

  
Reciprocating Bill



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(Permalink) Posted: Dec. 27 2007,18:58   

Quote (Mr_Christopher @ Dec. 27 2007,18:10)
One more thing, when I adopted an atheist outlook I did not run out and  murder or rape anyone.  In fact quite the opposite.

Whoa, for a moment there I thought you'd been raped and murdered.

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Myth: Something that never was true, and always will be.

"The truth will set you free. But not until it is finished with you."
- David Foster Wallace

"Here’s a clue. Snarky banalities are not a substitute for saying something intelligent. Write that down."
- Barry Arrington

  
skeptic



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(Permalink) Posted: Dec. 27 2007,19:18   

Again, this is not my field but this paragraph:

Quote
What good would belief in a god do for me?  I don't need a sky pixie to tell me I'm ok, nor do I need him to love me.  Nor do I need special favors to be granted.  Any adult is capable of being immune to low self-esteem so what's the point?  Any adult is capable of creating a slice of happiness for themselvs, regardless of their lot in life.  So, again, what's the point?  There is nothing that could happen to me that I could not reasonably face and deal with without the aid of an imaginary friend.  So what's the point?  What possible good would a belief in a god do for me?


This is not a reasoned-based response but a completely emotionally-based response, IMO.  Not the tone, but the underlying content, does that make sense?

  
Reciprocating Bill



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(Permalink) Posted: Dec. 27 2007,19:22   

Quote (skeptic @ Dec. 27 2007,17:38)
 I agree with Bill and that if we look deep down everything we think or believe that has any significance has an emotional component to it.  

Bear in mind, however, that it does not at all follow that "atheism is a religion." Some people have a strong emotional investment in football. Others have a similarly strong investment in opera. It does not follow that Don Giovanni is an NFL game.

--------------
Myth: Something that never was true, and always will be.

"The truth will set you free. But not until it is finished with you."
- David Foster Wallace

"Here’s a clue. Snarky banalities are not a substitute for saying something intelligent. Write that down."
- Barry Arrington

  
J-Dog



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(Permalink) Posted: Dec. 27 2007,19:44   

Quote (skeptic @ Dec. 27 2007,19:18)
Again, this is not my field but this paragraph:

Quote
What good would belief in a god do for me?  I don't need a sky pixie to tell me I'm ok, nor do I need him to love me.  Nor do I need special favors to be granted.  Any adult is capable of being immune to low self-esteem so what's the point?  Any adult is capable of creating a slice of happiness for themselvs, regardless of their lot in life.  So, again, what's the point?  There is nothing that could happen to me that I could not reasonably face and deal with without the aid of an imaginary friend.  So what's the point?  What possible good would a belief in a god do for me?


This is not a reasoned-based response but a completely emotionally-based response, IMO.  Not the tone, but the underlying content, does that make sense?

WYF??!! Skeptic, I think the "emotion" that you refer to is in your imagination!

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Come on Tough Guy, do the little dance of ID impotence you do so well. - Louis to Joe G 2/10

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UD is an Unnatural Douchemagnet. - richardthughes 7/11

  
rhmc



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(Permalink) Posted: Dec. 27 2007,19:45   

Quote (Mr_Christopher @ Dec. 27 2007,18:10)
As far as "converting" to atheism goes, I don't think atheists convert.  it's more like they see through the whole faith charade and realize it's all make believe.  In that light faith has no real value to a person of reasonable emotional strength.  

and there you have it.
i was raised in a very religous household but it all seemed so fake.
it was such a relief at the age of 10 or so to find a missionary's kid who had no belief either.

  
Whois



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(Permalink) Posted: Dec. 27 2007,21:38   

Hello all,

Can an atheism be a religion? It is quite an interesting question. It could easily be turned into the following question; Is any belief of any subject a religion?

Is any marriage a marriage? does every breath support life? If one takes this attitude than there are no defining borders of the meaning of the words that can be applied to any condition. This goes against the fact, that we need duality in order to experience any condition. The law of duality is quite simple. Without the presence of the opposite, that which is, is not. Without the presence of The Creator there would be no creation and without the presence of religion atheism would not exist.
So, if two primates are married by whosoever things they have the right to perform such a union, Would or should this marriage be enforced or recognized?

Religion deals with entities which are recognized to have superior power and unerstanding, as well as, intelligence. Atheist has no such beliefs, hence cannot be considered to be religious in any way.

To address evolution, undeniably evolution exists. In the words of The Most Magnificent All There Is, the only thing that is constant in the universe is change it self. By definition, evolution is all about change. Also by definition, evolution cannot be creative. "Nothing," cannot be affected by evolution, there is nothing that can change. There is a lot more that can be written about this subject not based on the religion but on pure physics of the change.

Ed.

  
Richardthughes



Posts: 10756
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(Permalink) Posted: Dec. 27 2007,21:52   

Quote (skeptic @ Dec. 27 2007,19:18)
Again, this is not my field but this paragraph:

Quote
What good would belief in a god do for me?  I don't need a sky pixie to tell me I'm ok, nor do I need him to love me.  Nor do I need special favors to be granted.  Any adult is capable of being immune to low self-esteem so what's the point?  Any adult is capable of creating a slice of happiness for themselvs, regardless of their lot in life.  So, again, what's the point?  There is nothing that could happen to me that I could not reasonably face and deal with without the aid of an imaginary friend.  So what's the point?  What possible good would a belief in a god do for me?


This is not a reasoned-based response but a completely emotionally-based response, IMO.  Not the tone, but the underlying content, does that make sense?

No.

But remove all the "don't"s then read it.... That's you, that is.

--------------
"Richardthughes, you magnificent bastard, I stand in awe of you..." : Arden Chatfield
"You magnificent bastard! " : Louis
"ATBC poster child", "I have to agree with Rich.." : DaveTard
"I bow to your superior skills" : deadman_932
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Annyday



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(Permalink) Posted: Dec. 27 2007,22:05   

Quote (Whois @ Dec. 27 2007,21:38)
Hello all,

Can an atheism be a religion? It is quite an interesting question. It could easily be turned into the following question; Is any belief of any subject a religion?

Is any marriage a marriage? does every breath support life? If one takes this attitude than there are no defining borders of the meaning of the words that can be applied to any condition. This goes against the fact, that we need duality in order to experience any condition. The law of duality is quite simple. Without the presence of the opposite, that which is, is not. Without the presence of The Creator there would be no creation and without the presence of religion atheism would not exist.
So, if two primates are married by whosoever things they have the right to perform such a union, Would or should this marriage be enforced or recognized?

Religion deals with entities which are recognized to have superior power and unerstanding, as well as, intelligence. Atheist has no such beliefs, hence cannot be considered to be religious in any way.

To address evolution, undeniably evolution exists. In the words of The Most Magnificent All There Is, the only thing that is constant in the universe is change it self. By definition, evolution is all about change. Also by definition, evolution cannot be creative. "Nothing," cannot be affected by evolution, there is nothing that can change. There is a lot more that can be written about this subject not based on the religion but on pure physics of the change.

Ed.

I don't even know if I disagreee with you or not.

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"ALL eight of the "nature" miracles of Jesus could have been accomplished via the electroweak quantum tunneling mechanism. For example, walking on water could be accomplished by directing a neutrino beam created just below Jesus' feet downward." - Frank Tipler, ISCID fellow

  
skeptic



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(Permalink) Posted: Dec. 27 2007,22:11   

Not exactly me, but yes,a religious person could make the same don't-excluded statement.

and Bill is right, the emotional basis of any belief or idea does not necessarily constitute a religion, I'm just offering a possible explanation as to why theists make that assumption extrapolating from their own thought processes.

I'm just curious, or maybe this is exactly the point, why would an individual be relieved to find their non-belief validated or  be emotionally liberated to finally "drop-kick" faith?  As an example, I don't believe time is a physical dimension.  For me time is meaningless, merely a human construct attempts to elevate the interval from event to event to some unreal quantity.  I know this runs contrary to most interpretations of time but nonetheless for me it means nothing.  If someday I find another person that believes the very same thing I'm not going to feel relieved or liberated or anything.  maybe that's not a good analogy but do you see what I'm getting at?

  
swbarnes2



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(Permalink) Posted: Dec. 27 2007,23:16   

Quote (skeptic @ Dec. 27 2007,19:18)

This is not a reasoned-based response but a completely emotionally-based response, IMO.  Not the tone, but the underlying content, does that make sense?


It's literally impossible to make a point against you, isn't it?  Shifting the goal posts will do that, but it's also very easy for trained people to spot.

First, when atheists explain to you the rational reason why they choose atheism, you claim that those reasons are fake, because no one makes decisions that way, they use their irrational emotions, instead.

Then someone describes how he emotionally, he had no need for God, and all of a sudden, you are complaining that the poster shouldn't be describing his emotional feelings regarding atheism, he should only be talking about the rational ones.

Do you see the problem here?

  
Bob O'H



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(Permalink) Posted: Dec. 28 2007,00:25   

Quote
That's you, that is.

Is that a Mary Whitehouse Experience reference sneaked in there?

Bob

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It is fun to dip into the various threads to watch cluelessness at work in the hands of the confident exponent. - Soapy Sam (so say we all)

   
IanBrown_101



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(Permalink) Posted: Dec. 28 2007,07:18   

Quote (Bob O'H @ Dec. 28 2007,06:25)
Quote
That's you, that is.

Is that a Mary Whitehouse Experience reference sneaked in there?

Bob

I do believe it is. Good on you Rich.

On a totally different topic, does anyone else think that skeptic, when presented by, well, anything, plays an intricate game of mental tetris to assimilate the information without letting himself be wrong? (Not that you ARE always wrong skeptic, I'm just saying when you are...)

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I'm not the fastest or the baddest or the fatest.

You NEVER seem to address the fact that the grand majority of people supporting Darwinism in these on line forums and blogs are atheists. That doesn't seem to bother you guys in the least. - FtK

Roddenberry is my God.

   
Assassinator



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(Permalink) Posted: Dec. 28 2007,07:47   

Quote
On a totally different topic, does anyone else think that skeptic, when presented by, well, anything, plays an intricate game of mental tetris to assimilate the information without letting himself be wrong?

I think that's completly natural, and that lots of people do that without noticing. The amount of how much they do that differs a lot.

  
Richardthughes



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(Permalink) Posted: Dec. 28 2007,09:19   

Quote (IanBrown_101 @ Dec. 28 2007,07:18)
Quote (Bob O'H @ Dec. 28 2007,06:25)
Quote
That's you, that is.

Is that a Mary Whitehouse Experience reference sneaked in there?

Bob

I do believe it is. Good on you Rich.

Tis twue.

Another meme for the board!

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"Richardthughes, you magnificent bastard, I stand in awe of you..." : Arden Chatfield
"You magnificent bastard! " : Louis
"ATBC poster child", "I have to agree with Rich.." : DaveTard
"I bow to your superior skills" : deadman_932
"...it was Richardthughes making me lie in bed.." : Kristine

  
Bob O'H



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(Permalink) Posted: Dec. 28 2007,09:26   

Quote (Richardthughes @ Dec. 28 2007,09:19)
Tis twue.

Another meme for the board!

Homo

--------------
It is fun to dip into the various threads to watch cluelessness at work in the hands of the confident exponent. - Soapy Sam (so say we all)

   
Richardthughes



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(Permalink) Posted: Dec. 28 2007,10:07   

Quote (Bob O'H @ Dec. 28 2007,09:26)
Quote (Richardthughes @ Dec. 28 2007,09:19)
Tis twue.

Another meme for the board!

Homo

THEY CALL YOU BOB OH BECAUSE OF YOU'RE OH FACE THAT YOU DO DURING YOU'RE SPECIAL TIME WITH YOU'RE WELL DRESSED LISPY FREINDS WHO CUT HAIR.




edit: HAR HAR THAT IS YOU.

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"Richardthughes, you magnificent bastard, I stand in awe of you..." : Arden Chatfield
"You magnificent bastard! " : Louis
"ATBC poster child", "I have to agree with Rich.." : DaveTard
"I bow to your superior skills" : deadman_932
"...it was Richardthughes making me lie in bed.." : Kristine

  
Richardthughes



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(Permalink) Posted: Dec. 28 2007,10:24   

Actually, Bob, it's a nice square size, just right for an avatar...

;)

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"Richardthughes, you magnificent bastard, I stand in awe of you..." : Arden Chatfield
"You magnificent bastard! " : Louis
"ATBC poster child", "I have to agree with Rich.." : DaveTard
"I bow to your superior skills" : deadman_932
"...it was Richardthughes making me lie in bed.." : Kristine

  
Mr_Christopher



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(Permalink) Posted: Dec. 28 2007,11:01   

Quote (skeptic @ Dec. 27 2007,19:18)
Again, this is not my field but this paragraph:

 
Quote
What good would belief in a god do for me?  I don't need a sky pixie to tell me I'm ok, nor do I need him to love me.  Nor do I need special favors to be granted.  Any adult is capable of being immune to low self-esteem so what's the point?  Any adult is capable of creating a slice of happiness for themselvs, regardless of their lot in life.  So, again, what's the point?  There is nothing that could happen to me that I could not reasonably face and deal with without the aid of an imaginary friend.  So what's the point?  What possible good would a belief in a god do for me?


This is not a reasoned-based response but a completely emotionally-based response, IMO.  Not the tone, but the underlying content, does that make sense?

No your comments don't make sense.

Let me put it to you this way - people have faith for a reason.  I cannot find any reason, intellectual, emotional, or psychologicl reason for me to have faith.  No reason what so ever.  Having faith would not contribute anything positive in my life.  it would contribute nothing positive so why do it.

That was my point, what was yours?

edit - furthermore faith = bondage.  Drop kick faith = liberation.  Chew on that one and get back to me.  

But chance are you don't get it and won't get it.  No worries though, I'm not trying to sell it.

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Uncommon Descent is a moral cesspool, a festering intellectual ghetto that intoxicates and degrades its inhabitants - Stephen Matheson

  
Mr_Christopher



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(Permalink) Posted: Dec. 28 2007,11:08   

Quote (Assassinator @ Dec. 28 2007,07:47)
Quote
On a totally different topic, does anyone else think that skeptic, when presented by, well, anything, plays an intricate game of mental tetris to assimilate the information without letting himself be wrong?

I think that's completly natural, and that lots of people do that without noticing. The amount of how much they do that differs a lot.

People will make up all sorts of nutty stuff to justify their irrational and unsupported beliefs.  It's required if you're going to have faith.  Inescapable.

That's why converastions with true believers can be so fascinating.  The more questions you ask them the more they appear to be mentally ill, or have a marginal grasp on reality.

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Uncommon Descent is a moral cesspool, a festering intellectual ghetto that intoxicates and degrades its inhabitants - Stephen Matheson

  
Mr_Christopher



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(Permalink) Posted: Dec. 28 2007,11:25   

Quote (skeptic @ Dec. 27 2007,18:03)
I'm going to let Christopher's post speak for itself but if I was a shrink I think I'd have a field day.

Funny that in your book someone who is comfortably grounded in reality and who's life is not based on make believe is fertile grounds for a shrink.

It's a threat to people like you to see people like me who are comfortable in their own skin and have no need for an imaginary sky pixie to coddle them.  It sort of shatters your world view.  

I don't blame you for wanting to portray me as being mental.  Guys like you do this all the time.  I'm surprised you have not suggested I'm "angry" (yet).  

Skeptic you're a nice enough guy but you're pretty transparent to me.  And on the subject of mental health and shrinks, I'm not the one who lives in an imaginary, make believe world.  I don't pray to or believe in imaginary sky pixies for which there is zero evidence for.  Youre a grown man who publicly admits he believes in santa claus and you want to play shrink with me?   That is a howler, can you not see that?

Finally I am not the one who is trying to get others to validate and co-sign my imaginary beliefs on an evolution based forum, but my comments are worthy of fisking by a shrink?  Do you not see what a laff riot that is?

You're a funny if not predictable guy :-)

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Uncommon Descent is a moral cesspool, a festering intellectual ghetto that intoxicates and degrades its inhabitants - Stephen Matheson

  
GCT



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Joined: Aug. 2005

(Permalink) Posted: Dec. 28 2007,11:51   

Quote (skeptic @ Dec. 27 2007,20:18)
Again, this is not my field but this paragraph:

 
Quote
What good would belief in a god do for me?  I don't need a sky pixie to tell me I'm ok, nor do I need him to love me.  Nor do I need special favors to be granted.  Any adult is capable of being immune to low self-esteem so what's the point?  Any adult is capable of creating a slice of happiness for themselvs, regardless of their lot in life.  So, again, what's the point?  There is nothing that could happen to me that I could not reasonably face and deal with without the aid of an imaginary friend.  So what's the point?  What possible good would a belief in a god do for me?


This is not a reasoned-based response but a completely emotionally-based response, IMO.  Not the tone, but the underlying content, does that make sense?

I don't see the underlying content as being emotionally based at all.  The first sentence is a question.  It's rational to ask questions.  The second and third are a statement of fact, rational fact.  He does not require the love/etc. of a god.  The next is an observation about low self-esteem.  The rest is another statement of fact that humans are quite able to deal with on their own through rational means.  IOW, I'm not seeing what you see.  Perhaps you could parse the paragraph to give me a better sense of why you see what you see?

  
GCT



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(Permalink) Posted: Dec. 28 2007,11:54   

Quote (Whois @ Dec. 27 2007,22:38)
Without the presence of The Creator there would be no creation and without the presence of religion atheism would not exist.

Actually, if there were no religion, we would ALL be atheists, just under a different term.  The fact that we are called "atheists" is based on the historical bias towards theism that has been in our culture.  Without religion, we would all be non-believers, we just wouldn't have the term "theist" and the cultural bias to go with it in order to express the term "atheist."

  
Richardthughes



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(Permalink) Posted: Dec. 28 2007,12:27   

A big "high-five" to Jim Wynne over at BeastRabban's . You in Chicago, Jim?

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"You magnificent bastard! " : Louis
"ATBC poster child", "I have to agree with Rich.." : DaveTard
"I bow to your superior skills" : deadman_932
"...it was Richardthughes making me lie in bed.." : Kristine

  
skeptic



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(Permalink) Posted: Dec. 28 2007,12:53   

I have to hurry to try to catch up today.  First, the original question why theists jump to the conclusion that atheism is religion is what I was trying to get at.  When theists think about God then they are naturally invoking emotion and religion.  So when an atheist talks about non-God, or no God, the theist just falls back on what they know and viola, religion.  You asking a theist what they think of a given situation and they're going to look at it through a theist's eyes.

Now, as for people having a reason to believe, I don't necessarily agree with that.  In many cases I think belief comes first and reason comes second.  Here I'm very biased because I only really know one case of faith, mine, and I know I have no reason to believe.  Which explains why I think your response was so emotional.  Look at from my perspective for a second, imagine God exists.  God exists as an independent entity.  Whether or not you choose to believe, whether or not you see a purpose in your life, whether or not you feel happy or sad, whether or not you see any evidence makes zero difference whether or not this entity exists.  Reality is not shaped by your needs, desires, wants, feelings, etc.  By effectively flipping off God and saying I have need for you and I have no use for you becuase I can do it all on my own you have personalized, or attempted to, an independent entity.  What if God doesn't care, or worse, isn't even aware of you?  This, of course, works both ways for the theist or the atheist.

In that response I read immaturity and hostility.  In fact, I believe the hostility is misplaced becuase what you're really upset with is religion, a human construction, and not God, the possible independent entity.  For example, describe to me how faith is bondage.  Faith has nothing to do with bondage, you're talking about your impression of religion.  Anyway, this is just an exercise in seeing through the eyes of a theist.

  
Mr_Christopher



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(Permalink) Posted: Dec. 28 2007,13:16   

Quote
skeptic said - Look at from my perspective for a second, imagine God exists


Skeptic, do you have a reading comprehension problem?  Did you not read a word I said?  I spent the first 28 years of my life imagining a god existed, just like you are doing now.  In fact I spent years debating doubters myself.  I used many of the same ignorant (uninformed) arguements you use and I had uncritically bought into many of the ignorant (uninformed) ideas about atheists and doubters that you hold now.   For someone like me, every thing you say is so predictable.  I've not only heard it 1000 times, I've used the same arguements myself.  I was a believer for 28 years or so.  I was a serious seeker too, not some new age crystal worshipping zombie for that matter. Please read my comments if you are going to reply to them.  I'll extend the same to you.

The thing that keeps you so intellectually stunted is you've never learned how to be skeptical of your own ideas.  This is why all your posts have this "see it my way "theme" to them.  What you fail to hear is we've been there and done that.

You play this dishonest cat and mouse game here with the others as you pretend to be skeptical or even portray yourself as intellectually curious (which you are not) but the thing that will always hold you back is your inability toi be skeptical of your own beliefs and ideas.  You are what is known as a true believer.  Nothing wrong with that so to speak, but it has limitations.

Anytime you're busted you either change the subject or skirt the issue (as you are doing now).  To your benefit you do it in a nicer manner than say vmartin or afdavetard.  

Others here seem to have fun playing this endless game with you, I don't.

edit - and please don't confuse my hostility for your ideas and ignorance as hostility towards you personally.  I have no doubt you'd be a fun guy to chat with over coffee, scotch or a bowl.  Ideas don't have feeling, we can kick them around and no one gets hurt.

--------------
Uncommon Descent is a moral cesspool, a festering intellectual ghetto that intoxicates and degrades its inhabitants - Stephen Matheson

  
GCT



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(Permalink) Posted: Dec. 28 2007,14:01   

Quote (skeptic @ Dec. 28 2007,13:53)
I have to hurry to try to catch up today.  First, the original question why theists jump to the conclusion that atheism is religion is what I was trying to get at.  When theists think about God then they are naturally invoking emotion and religion.  So when an atheist talks about non-God, or no God, the theist just falls back on what they know and viola, religion.  You asking a theist what they think of a given situation and they're going to look at it through a theist's eyes.

So, it's a case of projection?

Quote
Now, as for people having a reason to believe, I don't necessarily agree with that.  In many cases I think belief comes first and reason comes second.  Here I'm very biased because I only really know one case of faith, mine, and I know I have no reason to believe.  Which explains why I think your response was so emotional.  Look at from my perspective for a second, imagine God exists.  God exists as an independent entity.  Whether or not you choose to believe, whether or not you see a purpose in your life, whether or not you feel happy or sad, whether or not you see any evidence makes zero difference whether or not this entity exists.  Reality is not shaped by your needs, desires, wants, feelings, etc.  By effectively flipping off God and saying I have need for you and I have no use for you becuase I can do it all on my own you have personalized, or attempted to, an independent entity.  What if God doesn't care, or worse, isn't even aware of you?  This, of course, works both ways for the theist or the atheist.


You have no reason to believe?  Then, why is it an emotional response when others say the same thing, and then follow through with the act?

Also, I don't see Mr. Chris as saying anything even approaching a belief that his needs, etc. shape reality.  If anything, he's saying that to the theists, which, no offense, are the ones that are usually guilty of this.

Quote
In that response I read immaturity and hostility.  In fact, I believe the hostility is misplaced becuase what you're really upset with is religion, a human construction, and not God, the possible independent entity.  For example, describe to me how faith is bondage.  Faith has nothing to do with bondage, you're talking about your impression of religion.  Anyway, this is just an exercise in seeing through the eyes of a theist.


I sense that he might be frustrated, but there's nothing wrong with that.  I too get frustrated with theists, especially when they try to make bad arguments about what I believe or don't believe.  He's not expressing anger at god, just pointing out that he doesn't need belief in a god, especially one that he finds no evidence for.

  
Mr_Christopher



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(Permalink) Posted: Dec. 28 2007,14:48   

One of the more idiotic notions uncritically adopted by theists is that an atheist is somehow angry at god.  Like "flipping him off" or some such nonsense.  To be angry at an imaginary entity requres a belief in that entity.  

I hate you god.  You let my dog Sniffy get hit by a car!  YOU bastard!  To show you how mad I am I'm not going to believe in or even pray to you anymore.  So THERE!"  

Riiiiight....

But then again theists typically regard atheists as angry if not bitter people in general.  Atheists to them are folks who could not possibly truly be happy or well adjusted without a belief in an imaginary sky pixie.  Only someone mental or angry would reject god's love and the kingdom of heaven, right?

Um, right.  

And I am not actually frustrated with skeptic.  If I were trying to sell him something or change his mind I'd be frustrated.  I not interested in doing either.  You don't sell or convince a true believer.  What you can do with a true believer is waste an awful lot of time.

I am simply calling a spade a a spade.  His ideas that he has presented to me are ones I know well and they're all utterly full of shit.  Rather than smile and ignore his ignorance on the subject I'm pointing it out.  Not for his benefit so much, he doesn't and won't get it, but for the sake of the discussion.  Obviously others here do get it.  

And Skeptic is only echoing the exact sort of ignorance regarding atheism/humanism we hear from the Dembski's of the world and most all religionists for that matter.  Again, I've heard it all 1000 times and made the same ignorant statetements myself.  

If you think skeptic is nutty you should have heard/seen me a few years back :-)

Funny thing is I suspect skeptic's god, like everyone else's, is impotent and useless when he's most needed.  I bet when skeptic has a absess he seeks atheist treatments from a licensed dentist.  I bet his god does not lift a finger to cure any cavity or bone rot in any of his teeth.  Faith certainly has it's limitations (try praying for world peace if you doubt me).  And to hear these whack job justify how god allows children to die senseless deaths makes me want to puke.  

I think it was Camus who said something close to when a christian sees a child whose eyes have been burned out he either abandons his faith or burns his own eyes out.  Most all religionists burn their own eyes out in order to ignore the obvious contradictions and immorality they learn from the bible.

So this relationship with an imaginary sky pixie seems to have little value other than to feed ones narcissistic bliss and possibly help them cope with their child like fears and inability to face the uncertainties of life.  

Whatever gets you through the night I suppose. My 4 yo daughter has a fluffy stuffed dog, my 2 yo son has a stuffed curious george and skeptic has a personal pocket pal he calls god. So be it.

Furthermore, learning think critically and skeptically is a skill that very few adults ever develop.  It's an issue of maturity I think and when you drill down to it, most adults are children trapped in an aging body.  In fact religion teaches us it is virtuous to be little children if not lambs.  WTF?  

Where in the bible is critical thinking portrayed as a virtue?  Where in the bible is skepticism and a demand for evidence held in high esteem?  The bible teaches quite the opposite.  If THAT isn't a fucking clue something isn't quite right I don't know what is...

If I have any issue with skeptic it's that he chose to name himself something so profoundly dishonest.  it would have been more honest to name himself something like "true believer" or "charming but closed minded" or "victim of my own uncritical thinking" or "try to see it my way".  

Anyhow, lovely thread/subject thanks to whoever started it.  I'm just getting warmed up :-)

Chris

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Uncommon Descent is a moral cesspool, a festering intellectual ghetto that intoxicates and degrades its inhabitants - Stephen Matheson

  
Jim_Wynne



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(Permalink) Posted: Dec. 28 2007,15:02   

Quote (Richardthughes @ Dec. 28 2007,12:27)
A big "high-five" to Jim Wynne over at BeastRabban's . You in Chicago, Jim?

Thanks.  Although I lived in Chicago most of my life, I now reside an hour to the north, across the line in Cheesehead Land.

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Evolution is not about laws but about randomness on happanchance.--Robert Byers, at PT

  
Mr_Christopher



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(Permalink) Posted: Dec. 28 2007,15:05   

Quote (Jim_Wynne @ Dec. 28 2007,15:02)
Quote (Richardthughes @ Dec. 28 2007,12:27)
A big "high-five" to Jim Wynne over at BeastRabban's . You in Chicago, Jim?

Thanks.  Although I lived in Chicago most of my life, I now reside an hour to the north, across the line in Cheesehead Land.

So uh, Dallas and Green Bay in the NFC championship I'm thinkin'...

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Uncommon Descent is a moral cesspool, a festering intellectual ghetto that intoxicates and degrades its inhabitants - Stephen Matheson

  
swbarnes2



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(Permalink) Posted: Dec. 28 2007,15:34   

Quote
On a totally different topic, does anyone else think that skeptic, when presented by, well, anything, plays an intricate game of mental tetris to assimilate the information without letting himself be wrong? (Not that you ARE always wrong skeptic, I'm just saying when you are...)


Everyone has that same instinct.  Everyone wants to protect their favorite ideas.

What is needed is for a person to try to overcome that.  And really, the best way to do so is to listen to what other people think of your argument, and if people tell you over and over again that you are aren't arguing fairly, that you are dodging informative questions, and committing rhetorical fallacies, then you probably are doing just that, and an honest person would admit that they had a bias, and at least try to start arguing rigorously and fairly.

Lots of people try.  Skeptic won't try.

  
Jim_Wynne



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(Permalink) Posted: Dec. 28 2007,15:49   

Quote (Mr_Christopher @ Dec. 28 2007,15:05)
Quote (Jim_Wynne @ Dec. 28 2007,15:02)
Quote (Richardthughes @ Dec. 28 2007,12:27)
A big "high-five" to Jim Wynne over at BeastRabban's . You in Chicago, Jim?

Thanks.  Although I lived in Chicago most of my life, I now reside an hour to the north, across the line in Cheesehead Land.

So uh, Dallas and Green Bay in the NFC championship I'm thinkin'...

It's killin' me.  My only solace in this season was seeing the Bears beat the Packers twice.  As far as the Packers and the Cowboys are concerned, if they meet for the NFC title, I hope both of them lose.

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Evolution is not about laws but about randomness on happanchance.--Robert Byers, at PT

  
skeptic



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(Permalink) Posted: Dec. 28 2007,16:41   

In a sense, everything is a case of projection.  I'm the only thoughts I know and the world must be filtered for me through my brain.  For that and the obvious nature of the internet discussion a "been there and done that" argument must be ignored as it has no value to any but the individual making it.

Quote
You have no reason to believe?  Then, why is it an emotional response when others say the same thing, and then follow through with the act?


The distinction, if there is one, is probably a matter of semantics.  Here I'm just talking personally, but my belief was not based upon a rational examination of the facts, it was more a feel thing then a think thing.  So initially it was totally emotional or irrational.  The opposite would be for me to say to myself, "I need to feel loved" and then to create an illusionary God to love me.  To me that is an absurd proposition.

Chris's response was not a reasoned one IMO because it went beyond a rational analysis.  For one, as I pointed out, God's existence has nothing to do with an individual's needs, two, an analysis of God's existence would rationally focus on physical proof for or against existence and not the subjective needs and desires of the inspector.  Chris's insistence in justifying his position by declaring his independence, his self-esteem, decrying the callous nature of a God that allows children to die, or won't do his dental work says everything about Chris and nothing about the existence of God.  A reasoned explanation would have been equally valid for Chris as it would have been for John Doe and that's why, IMO, it is not based upon reason but Chris's emotions, memories, personal experiences, etc.

  
GCT



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(Permalink) Posted: Dec. 28 2007,17:07   

Quote (skeptic @ Dec. 28 2007,17:41)
In a sense, everything is a case of projection.  I'm the only thoughts I know and the world must be filtered for me through my brain.  For that and the obvious nature of the internet discussion a "been there and done that" argument must be ignored as it has no value to any but the individual making it.

Do you really think everything is a case of projection?  When we think logically and rationally, are we projecting?

Quote
The distinction, if there is one, is probably a matter of semantics.  Here I'm just talking personally, but my belief was not based upon a rational examination of the facts, it was more a feel thing then a think thing.


So, what might you conclude if you did examine the facts rationally?

Quote
Chris's response was not a reasoned one IMO because it went beyond a rational analysis.  For one, as I pointed out, God's existence has nothing to do with an individual's needs...


I don't think he was arguing against god in that part, but against belief in god.  He has no need for belief in god.  The two are different things, no?

Quote
...two, an analysis of God's existence would rationally focus on physical proof for or against existence and not the subjective needs and desires of the inspector.  Chris's insistence in justifying his position by declaring his independence, his self-esteem, decrying the callous nature of a God that allows children to die, or won't do his dental work says everything about Chris and nothing about the existence of God.  A reasoned explanation would have been equally valid for Chris as it would have been for John Doe and that's why, IMO, it is not based upon reason but Chris's emotions, memories, personal experiences, etc.


It seems to me that talking about a god that doesn't show up when needed is talking about the existence of god.  If the common conception of god is one that cares about our individual needs, has the power to look after us, etc. yet is nowhere to be found when we need him, then that is an argument against the existence of that god.  It doesn't matter who he makes that argument to, it should concern everyone who thinks that their god conforms to the above norms.  I'm still not seeing what you see, and I don't think you are capturing what his meaning is.

  
Assassinator



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(Permalink) Posted: Dec. 28 2007,17:37   

This, from the Scientific American about relgious feelings, may be interesting to read in connection with this topic for skeptic but actually everyone.

  
clamboy



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(Permalink) Posted: Dec. 28 2007,18:09   

skeptic's armchair psychoanalysis of Mr_Christopher's posts makes me chuckle, as the same thing happened to me just recently. I had made disdainful remarks about religion in an e-mail to a, I guess now former friend, and he wrote back wondering who had done what to me in my life to make me so mean-spirited and angry. Fascinating that atheists are unable to express their perspective without someone assuming that it was some awful experience or other that made us atheists.

BTW, I say "former friend" because, although I sincerely apologized for my word choice and tone (in the interest of keeping the friendship going), he would not accept my apology and has decided that I am a poisonous person and wants nothing to do with me.

  
skeptic



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(Permalink) Posted: Dec. 28 2007,18:22   

So what might I conclude if I reexamined the facts rationally?  I submit that the premise is impossible as there is no rational analysis of the existence of God.  There is no physical proof for or against the existence of God and therefore, IMO, any debates can only be founded upon emotion, faith, personal experience, etc.  So if I were confined to a rational review of God the only thing that I could honestly conclude is that it was inconclusive.

Maybe that is what an agnostic is and both atheists and theists make the same "mistake" and come to a conclusion.

  
Mr_Christopher



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(Permalink) Posted: Dec. 28 2007,18:45   

How could rejecting an idea for which there is absolutely no evidence for be a mistake?    

I call myself an atheist only because describing my views as agnostic seems to be a cop-out for me.  I've examined the evidence, I find no, I mean NO compelling evidence to even entertain the idea that maybe, just maybe a personal sky pixie exists.  Therefore I have concluded there is no god or creator or celestial IDiot.

And I am not attached to my conclusion, I could change my view in light of compelling evidence in a heart beat.  But again, in the history of the world there has never been a shred of compelling evidence that a god exists, so why call myself agnostic?

There is no evidence that god exists, there is also no evidence that the soul of elvis lives in my rectum. I am not an agnostic about elvis inhabiting my rectum, so why be an agnostic about god.  Both ideas have the same amount of evidence (zero).  I reject both ideas without fearing I am making a mistake.

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Uncommon Descent is a moral cesspool, a festering intellectual ghetto that intoxicates and degrades its inhabitants - Stephen Matheson

  
Mr_Christopher



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(Permalink) Posted: Dec. 28 2007,19:09   

Quote (clamboy @ Dec. 28 2007,18:09)
skeptic's armchair psychoanalysis of Mr_Christopher's posts makes me chuckle, as the same thing happened to me just recently. I had made disdainful remarks about religion in an e-mail to a, I guess now former friend, and he wrote back wondering who had done what to me in my life to make me so mean-spirited and angry. Fascinating that atheists are unable to express their perspective without someone assuming that it was some awful experience or other that made us atheists.

BTW, I say "former friend" because, although I sincerely apologized for my word choice and tone (in the interest of keeping the friendship going), he would not accept my apology and has decided that I am a poisonous person and wants nothing to do with me.

Did your dog get hit by a car too, and that drove you to become and angry atheist ?? I hate it when that happens!

Yeah it's a crack up, and the sheer irony about the arm chair psychoanalysis is *I'm* not the one praying to imaginary deities for which no evidence exists.  I'm not the one living in a fantasy world spawned by an ancient book about ghosts, zombies, talking donkeys and winged humanoids.  I'm the guy rejecting the unproven nonsense and I'm fertile grounds for psychoanalysis?  And who cares what my reasons are, emotional, rational, psychological, it makes no difference because rejecting utter nonsense is not a sign of bad mental health.  One need not justify their reasons for rejecting stupid ideas.

And they think *we're* crazy :-)

Then of course the religionists rationalize/justify their nutty ideas by claiming those parts in the bible (the REALLY stupid moronic sections) are not literal, yadda yadda yadda.  Yeah save it for the judge.  In a court of law belief in god would lose big time.  

Or...they just make up their own "spirituality" based on collecting the less offensive parts from the bible and related sources.  Well if you're going to indulge in such obvious make believe why go down that path in the first place?  

I actually worked in the mental health field for 10 years (I've hired and fired more psychiatrists than most people will ever meet) and often times it is exactly like that.  Those who reject popular ideas for which there is no evidence for get singled out as being mentally ill and in need of "treatment".  It's very scary.  

Nutty stuff, magical thinking.

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Uncommon Descent is a moral cesspool, a festering intellectual ghetto that intoxicates and degrades its inhabitants - Stephen Matheson

  
skeptic



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(Permalink) Posted: Dec. 28 2007,19:12   

Statement: God Exists.

Now prove that true or false.  It can't be done.  As you say, there is no evidence that God exists but there is also no evidence that God doesn't.  There is no rational solution but you arbitrarily choose one.  Why?  Isn't it just as justified to say that God exists?  If you truly were not attached to your conclusion then you wouldn't make one because either one could be considered wrong in a rational argument.

  
IanBrown_101



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(Permalink) Posted: Dec. 28 2007,19:15   

Quote (skeptic @ Dec. 29 2007,01:12)
Statement: God Exists.

Now prove that true or false.  It can't be done.  As you say, there is no evidence that God exists but there is also no evidence that God doesn't.  There is no rational solution but you arbitrarily choose one.  Why?  Isn't it just as justified to say that God exists?  If you truly were not attached to your conclusion then you wouldn't make one because either one could be considered wrong in a rational argument.

It's not an arbitrary choice skep, it's that the default position is "no".

I am Julius Ceasar.

Prove me wrong.

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I'm not the fastest or the baddest or the fatest.

You NEVER seem to address the fact that the grand majority of people supporting Darwinism in these on line forums and blogs are atheists. That doesn't seem to bother you guys in the least. - FtK

Roddenberry is my God.

   
Mr_Christopher



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(Permalink) Posted: Dec. 28 2007,19:24   

Quote (skeptic @ Dec. 28 2007,19:12)
Statement: God Exists.

Now prove that true or false.  It can't be done.  As you say, there is no evidence that God exists but there is also no evidence that God doesn't.  There is no rational solution but you arbitrarily choose one.  Why?  Isn't it just as justified to say that God exists?  If you truly were not attached to your conclusion then you wouldn't make one because either one could be considered wrong in a rational argument.

Tiny Elvis lives in my butthole.  Prove me wrong or at least irrational.

Or..I have a better idea.  Keep praying to your imaginary sky pixie and we'll call it even.

Skeptic, you don't know how to critically think or reason and I do not have the time or inclination to teach you.  That is the bottom line and the only relevant point in this discussion. When and if you ever learn how to think and reason we can have a more rewarding discussion.

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Uncommon Descent is a moral cesspool, a festering intellectual ghetto that intoxicates and degrades its inhabitants - Stephen Matheson

  
GCT



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(Permalink) Posted: Dec. 28 2007,19:53   

Quote (skeptic @ Dec. 28 2007,19:22)
So what might I conclude if I reexamined the facts rationally?  I submit that the premise is impossible as there is no rational analysis of the existence of God.  There is no physical proof for or against the existence of God and therefore, IMO, any debates can only be founded upon emotion, faith, personal experience, etc.  So if I were confined to a rational review of God the only thing that I could honestly conclude is that it was inconclusive.

Maybe that is what an agnostic is and both atheists and theists make the same "mistake" and come to a conclusion.

Why do you say there is no rational analysis of the existence of god?  You are aware that the conceptions of god put forth by Xians have been squarely trounced by logical disproof, right?  True, one can not disprove that there is an entity out there, but why should one have to disprove god?  The burden of proof lies on the theist, because the theist is the one making the statement that god exists.  The atheist is denying that statement and saying, "I'll believe it when you show me some evidence.  Until then, I will remain skeptical of your beliefs."  How is that not a rational position?  Note, the atheist is not saying that god necessarily doesn't exist or that she can prove that god necessarily doesn't exist.  The atheist is saying that no evidence exists of this god or any god, and most conceptions of god are logically impossible.

  
Annyday



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(Permalink) Posted: Dec. 28 2007,20:27   

An atheist is just an agnostic who's relatively sure they'll never be convinced of God's existence. An interventionist God tends to seem particularly unlikely.

Or to put it another way: "agnostic" is a word for atheists who want to be inoffensive or who are considering becoming theists.

The difference, and most of this debate, is semantics and rhetoric. Seriously.

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"ALL eight of the "nature" miracles of Jesus could have been accomplished via the electroweak quantum tunneling mechanism. For example, walking on water could be accomplished by directing a neutrino beam created just below Jesus' feet downward." - Frank Tipler, ISCID fellow

  
UnMark



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(Permalink) Posted: Dec. 28 2007,20:58   

Quote (skeptic @ Dec. 28 2007,19:12)
Statement: God Exists.

Now prove that true or false.  It can't be done.  As you say, there is no evidence that God exists but there is also no evidence that God doesn't.  There is no rational solution but you arbitrarily choose one.  Why?  Isn't it just as justified to say that God exists?  If you truly were not attached to your conclusion then you wouldn't make one because either one could be considered wrong in a rational argument.

Ok, you're Christian and you insist God exists....

Let's assume some premises:
1: The Christian God exists (or none of this makes sense)
2: The Christian God can interact with the universe.  (Bible)
3: The Christian God is omnipotent and omniscient (I argue omniscience comes with omnipotence).  (Bible)
4: The Christian God is morally perfect.  (Bible)

Agree?  If not, support your objection(s) please.

On December 26, 2004, nearly 230,000 people were killed by the Indian Ocean Tsunami (so says wikipedia).  By the premises above, God knew about it, had the power to do something about it, and would have been morally obligated to do something.  Yet He did not.  Therefore, at least one of the four premises is incorrect: which one do you think it is?

There's my proof for the non-existence of God.

  
Mr_Christopher



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(Permalink) Posted: Dec. 28 2007,21:11   

ask FtK, according to her god allows evil stuff to happen to make things more interesting.

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Uncommon Descent is a moral cesspool, a festering intellectual ghetto that intoxicates and degrades its inhabitants - Stephen Matheson

  
skeptic



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(Permalink) Posted: Dec. 29 2007,00:09   

It always comes back to this at some point or another.  No, Ian, the default position is not no and no, GCT, the burden of proof does not lie on the theist.  Both aspects of this statement are a positive statement and both require proof.  Neither rises to the occasion but you can not point to the failure of one side as decisive knowing that the alternate position is equally fruitless.

If your position is that atheism says that there simply is no evidence for a God then you can not come to a determination because the nature of evidence is fluid.  I think that is more of the agnostic position whereas atheism actually says there is no God based upon the lack of evidence.  We may quibble here over the semantics but I think most atheists are willing to take the position that God doesn't exist even if they don't want to accept that they're making a positive claim.

Why is this a positive claim?  The fundamental question is not what kind of God exists, or how does God work in our lives or even why does God allow evil.  These are all questions of human perception and have nothing to do with the existence of God.  That is why UnMark's argument fails.  The question at hand is whether or not God exists.

Our answer to this question is irrelevant to the subject as the question has already been answered by the Universe at the moment of existence.  Either God, of whatever nature, exists or It doesn't.  This is a fifty-fifty proposition and there is only one logical course to follow in assessing it.  The fact of existence period presents the possibility of a First Cause.  All other arguments, that I'm aware of, require a human interpretation of the nature of God and are irrelevant.  Being right for the wrong reasons doesn't count in this game.

So, again, either God exists or doesn't and we have no direct evidence in either case so either proposition is equally viable.  From this point our feelings, needs, wants, desires, contemplations,interpretations, and hunches have zero impact upon the question.  Flip a coin and you have just as much chance of being right as anyone else but being right or wrong still doesn't impact the subject.  At any time when we choose a side, we're making a positive claim because the question has already been answered.

IMO, what most atheists actually have a problem with is religion, as I stated before.  Most never really address the existence of God they just reject the [insert here] God.  The problem with that is that the [insert here] God may bear no resemblance whatsoever to God and they are basing their entire argument on an illusion.  A strawman, as my good friend Louis is so fond of saying.  Once you get past the question of God's existence then any attributes of God become arbitrary.  These are simply our feeble human attempts to put a face to a name.

So, UnMark, that is why your premises are false if you're looking for evidence disproving the existence of God.  And, just for the record, in the Old Testament God destroyed nearly to a man two entire cities, so what!

That is why, Ian and GCT, that any claims on either side are positive claims and fall victim to the same fallacy.

And that is why, Chris, you're really outmatched in this discussion because you refuse to look at the question rationally and continue to rely on your irrelevant emotional response that has no connection to the actual question.  It's time to disengage your heart and engage your mind.  Without doing that you'll never get anywhere on this topic and you probably won't even be aware why you're wrong.

  
Richardthughes



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(Permalink) Posted: Dec. 29 2007,00:43   

Quote
burden of proof does not lie on the theist


this invisible thing that no-one has ever seen and no one can interact with than leaves no positive trace of its existence is real. Uh-huh.

Magic invisible unicorns are also real, then.

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"You magnificent bastard! " : Louis
"ATBC poster child", "I have to agree with Rich.." : DaveTard
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UnMark



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(Permalink) Posted: Dec. 29 2007,01:37   

Quote (skeptic @ Dec. 29 2007,00:09)
Why is this a positive claim?  The fundamental question is not what kind of God exists, or how does God work in our lives or even why does God allow evil.  These are all questions of human perception and have nothing to do with the existence of God.  That is why UnMark's argument fails.  The question at hand is whether or not God exists.


The question IS whether or not a God exists.  You are Christian, therefore you must believe in the four qualities of God that I posted.  Yes?  If any one of those qualities cannot exist, your God cannot exist.  These are simple rules of logic.

 
Quote (skeptic @ Dec. 29 2007,00:09)
Our answer to this question is irrelevant to the subject as the question has already been answered by the Universe at the moment of existence.  Either God,of whatever nature, exists or It doesn't.  This is a fifty-fifty proposition and there is only one logical course to follow in assessing it.  The fact of existence period presents the possibility of a First Cause.


If God existed to create the universe, the God was not the "First Cause."  What caused God?

 
Quote (skeptic @ Dec. 29 2007,00:09)
So, UnMark, that is why your premises are false if you're looking for evidence disproving the existence of God.  And, just for the record, in the Old Testament God destroyed nearly to a man two entire cities, so what!

Hitler slaughters millions and is condemned by history for it.  God slaughters millions and is worshipped by billions for it?

Rich - I'v got some unicorn tail hair I can sell - only 6 sickles a piece!  :D

  
bystander



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(Permalink) Posted: Dec. 29 2007,03:19   

Quote (skeptic @ Dec. 29 2007,12:12)
Statement: God Exists.

Now prove that true or false.  It can't be done.  As you say, there is no evidence that God exists but there is also no evidence that God doesn't.  There is no rational solution but you arbitrarily choose one.  Why?  Isn't it just as justified to say that God exists?  If you truly were not attached to your conclusion then you wouldn't make one because either one could be considered wrong in a rational argument.

This assumes a 50-50 split over God's existence which is a weak argument and incorrect.

1. Christianity is based on the new and old Testament. Well science and archeology have proven that most of the old testament was basically made up. For the New Testament there is little contemporary information to see what is true or not, but we do know that the various birth and resurrection stories are contradictory. That if the miracles happened (particularly graves opening) there would have been a lot of contemporary records. There could have been a Jesus, but a miracle worker, unlikely.

2 Religions contradicts each other, even different kinds of Christianity contradict other types of Christianity.

3 Additionally, there is much to be said that belief in higher Gods could be an innate survival trait in humans.

4 Also, events seem to be random. Good/Bad luck seems to effect people equally whether they are Good or Bad or what they believe.

5 As science explains more the gaps that God can hide in gets smaller.

I can't say that there is definitely no God but it appears extremely unlikely she exists.

Or in other words, if there is a God, then she doesn't seem to interact with the universe at all except for perhaps getting the ball rolling, so what's the point acting if she exists?

  
Assassinator



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(Permalink) Posted: Dec. 29 2007,04:48   

Quote
the burden of proof does not lie on the theist

It does Skeptic, because they're making the claim.

Funny thing is, we're just talking about 1 single image of God, just skeptic's one. There are billions of idea's about what God is. "God", as a word, is meaningless unless a person gives meaning to that word. We don't know what meaning Skeptic gave to the word "God". But he has to take 1 thing in notion: he's just 1 single person, out of 6 billion. He's just 1 of the billions of idea's about what God is, that puts things in perspective. Because out of all those billions of people why would YOU Skeptic be right. Is it the Bible? Well, loads of people also use the Bible for that, but you don't want to know what they think (for example, the Westboro Baptist Church, scary people). Why aren't they right?

  
IanBrown_101



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(Permalink) Posted: Dec. 29 2007,05:59   

Quote (skeptic @ Dec. 29 2007,06:09)
It always comes back to this at some point or another.  No, Ian, the default position is not no

Then I am Julius Ceasar. Thank you for proving that to me Skep, I'll go lord it over some peasant types.

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I'm not the fastest or the baddest or the fatest.

You NEVER seem to address the fact that the grand majority of people supporting Darwinism in these on line forums and blogs are atheists. That doesn't seem to bother you guys in the least. - FtK

Roddenberry is my God.

   
Mr_Christopher



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(Permalink) Posted: Dec. 29 2007,08:03   

Quote (skeptic @ Dec. 29 2007,00:09)
 No, Ian, the default position is not no and no, GCT, the burden of proof does not lie on the theist.

1) Are you always this dumb?
2) Are you a sock of afdave?

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Uncommon Descent is a moral cesspool, a festering intellectual ghetto that intoxicates and degrades its inhabitants - Stephen Matheson

  
GCT



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(Permalink) Posted: Dec. 29 2007,08:50   

Quote (skeptic @ Dec. 29 2007,01:09)
It always comes back to this at some point or another.  No, Ian, the default position is not no and no, GCT, the burden of proof does not lie on the theist.  Both aspects of this statement are a positive statement and both require proof.  Neither rises to the occasion but you can not point to the failure of one side as decisive knowing that the alternate position is equally fruitless.

I fail to see why the burden of proof lies on the atheist to disprove god.  If I act like an actual skeptic and say that the theist has proven there is no god, so I do not accept their positive assertion, how is that making an assertion myself?

Quote
If your position is that atheism says that there simply is no evidence for a God then you can not come to a determination because the nature of evidence is fluid.  I think that is more of the agnostic position whereas atheism actually says there is no God based upon the lack of evidence.  We may quibble here over the semantics but I think most atheists are willing to take the position that God doesn't exist even if they don't want to accept that they're making a positive claim.


Can you do me a favor?  Instead of telling a bunch of atheists what they think/believe, etc, why don't you actually listen to what we are telling you we think?  Do you really think that you know what we think better than we do?

Now, to your statement, are you asserting that someone has presented evidence for god, to me?  You can rest assured that this has not happened.  Until it does, I am well within reason to reject the positive assertion that god exists.

Quote
Our answer to this question is irrelevant to the subject as the question has already been answered by the Universe at the moment of existence.  Either God, of whatever nature, exists or It doesn't.  This is a fifty-fifty proposition and there is only one logical course to follow in assessing it.


How did you determine that the probability is fifty-fifty?  Do you also believe that the probability of invisible pink unicorns is fifty-fifty?  How about Zeus, Thor, Baal, the FSM, etc?  Are those all fifty-fifty as well?  Why or why not?

Quote
So, again, either God exists or doesn't and we have no direct evidence in either case so either proposition is equally viable.


Either Russell's floating teapot exists or it doesn't and it's equally viable and rational to believe that it does than to believe that it doesn't?  Are you really trying to say this?  Do you really wish to assert that it is viable to believe in any proposition if you don't have evidence against it?

Quote
IMO, what most atheists actually have a problem with is religion, as I stated before.  Most never really address the existence of God they just reject the [insert here] God.  The problem with that is that the [insert here] God may bear no resemblance whatsoever to God and they are basing their entire argument on an illusion.


You do realize this is done out of expediency, right?  We live in an overwhelmingly Xian country, so of course we will expend more energy battling against the myth of Xianity than other myths.  That doesn't mean that we secretly believe in other gods or that we haven't considered those other gods or anything else that you think it means.  Also, if we argue against a specific belief, we are arguing against that belief, it is not a strawman.

Quote
That is why, Ian and GCT, that any claims on either side are positive claims and fall victim to the same fallacy.


I remain unconvinced because you've based your whole entire argument on a strawman characterization of what atheists believe.

Quote
And that is why, Chris, you're really outmatched in this discussion because you refuse to look at the question rationally and continue to rely on your irrelevant emotional response that has no connection to the actual question.  It's time to disengage your heart and engage your mind.  Without doing that you'll never get anywhere on this topic and you probably won't even be aware why you're wrong.


This is obviously getting nowhere, as Chris and I have already pointed out that you aren't comprehending what he's saying.  You simply keep repeating the same charge, and even when I break it down to you, you ignore what I said and continue to repeat the same charge, as if the more you say it, the more true it becomes.

  
khan



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(Permalink) Posted: Dec. 29 2007,08:56   

Quote (Assassinator @ Dec. 29 2007,05:48)
Quote
the burden of proof does not lie on the theist

It does Skeptic, because they're making the claim.

Funny thing is, we're just talking about 1 single image of God, just skeptic's one. There are billions of idea's about what God is. "God", as a word, is meaningless unless a person gives meaning to that word. We don't know what meaning Skeptic gave to the word "God". But he has to take 1 thing in notion: he's just 1 single person, out of 6 billion. He's just 1 of the billions of idea's about what God is, that puts things in perspective. Because out of all those billions of people why would YOU Skeptic be right.

Is the possibility of one god the same as the possibility of 2 gods?  7?  31?...

--------------
"It's as if all those words, in their hurry to escape from the loony, have fallen over each other, forming scrambled heaps of meaninglessness." -damitall

That's so fucking stupid it merits a wing in the museum of stupid. -midwifetoad

Frequency is just the plural of wavelength...
-JoeG

  
Bob O'H



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(Permalink) Posted: Dec. 29 2007,10:01   

Quote (Richardthughes @ Dec. 28 2007,10:24)
Actually, Bob, it's a nice square size, just right for an avatar...

;)

He's right, you know.

If Mr. Williams' estate notices this, they're not going to be happy by the association.

Bob

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It is fun to dip into the various threads to watch cluelessness at work in the hands of the confident exponent. - Soapy Sam (so say we all)

   
skeptic



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(Permalink) Posted: Dec. 29 2007,12:08   

Assassinator is right and this is why any discussion about God falls outside the realm of rational inquiry.

The only thing conclusion you can come to when the theist fails to present evidence for the existence of God is that the theist has failed to provide evidence for the existence of God.  The mistake is made by making the next step and saying therefore God does not exist.  There's the positive claim.  Imagine me asking a 12 year old to provide me evidence for the existence of an electron and then when he fails to do so I falsely claim that electrons do not exist.  Again, the only rational conclusion is no conclusion at all.

GCT, just reading what you guys are saying drawing my own conclusions.  That's the best I can do.  For example,

Quote
We live in an overwhelmingly Xian country, so of course we will expend more energy battling against the myth of Xianity than other myths.


why are you battling anything?  why do you care?  just curious.

khan, there's no logical necessity for Multiple First Causes and while they are not ruled out there's just no utility in pursuing that line of reasoning.

Ian, have fun but do me a favor, don't bring the toga back.  Just a request.

  
Mr_Christopher



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(Permalink) Posted: Dec. 29 2007,12:17   

Quote
a true believer who failed freshman philosphy wrote
the only rational conclusion is no conclusion at all.


false.  There are many rational conclusions.  My own goes something like this

after examining the evidence (and lack thereof) I'm convinced there is no god.  in fact the whole idea is very very idiotic to me.  in light of new and compelling evidence I could be shown to be wrong.  but until that evidence is presented and verified I will just say no to believing in magical sky pixies, talking donkies, ghosts, goblins, zombies, virgin births, santa claus and the tooth fairy.

THAT is a rational conclusion, true believer.  and my take on it does not prove there is no god, only the reasons why *i* am convinced there is no god.

ps are you a sock for larry f (the ID legal scholar?)

--------------
Uncommon Descent is a moral cesspool, a festering intellectual ghetto that intoxicates and degrades its inhabitants - Stephen Matheson

  
skeptic



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(Permalink) Posted: Dec. 29 2007,12:20   

Those are indeed your reasons but they're not rational ones, sorry.  That is to say you may be right but you're not making a reasoned-based argument.  I hope you see the difference...maybe one day.

  
rhmc



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(Permalink) Posted: Dec. 29 2007,13:24   

Quote (skeptic @ Dec. 29 2007,13:20)
Those are indeed your reasons but they're not rational ones, sorry.  That is to say you may be right but you're not making a reasoned-based argument.  I hope you see the difference...maybe one day.

and your rational reasoning for any god is....?

  
IanBrown_101



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(Permalink) Posted: Dec. 29 2007,14:02   

Quote (skeptic @ Dec. 29 2007,18:20)
Those are indeed your reasons but they're not rational ones, sorry.  That is to say you may be right but you're not making a reasoned-based argument.  I hope you see the difference...maybe one day.

How is "I can't see any reason, therefore no" irrational?

Either you're using a whole new definition of rational (in which case, why?) or you don't understand logic.

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I'm not the fastest or the baddest or the fatest.

You NEVER seem to address the fact that the grand majority of people supporting Darwinism in these on line forums and blogs are atheists. That doesn't seem to bother you guys in the least. - FtK

Roddenberry is my God.

   
Mr_Christopher



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(Permalink) Posted: Dec. 29 2007,14:53   

Quote (IanBrown_101 @ Dec. 29 2007,14:02)
Quote (skeptic @ Dec. 29 2007,18:20)
Those are indeed your reasons but they're not rational ones, sorry.  That is to say you may be right but you're not making a reasoned-based argument.  I hope you see the difference...maybe one day.

How is "I can't see any reason, therefore no" irrational?

Either you're using a whole new definition of rational (in which case, why?) or you don't understand logic.

The "logic" rules skep goes by seem to have been made up by himself for his own benefit.  The funny part is every single person in this thread continues to point out how wrong and mistaken larry, i mean skep, is and he still clings to this "everyone is wrong but me"

I don't know if he doesn't get it or cannnot get it.  I always wonder if people like him and larry f and vmartin types have some sort of cognitive impairment that encumbers their ability to reason or see things in a certain light.

I don't usually read anything he writes but I have seen a few other threads and this "everyone is wrong but me" seems to be an ongoing thing for skep (and larry f, and vmartin, and afdave, and dave tard for that matter).

That's the only thing that makes sense to me, it's difficult to imagine someone purposefully being that stupid.  he's simply mental i suspect.

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Uncommon Descent is a moral cesspool, a festering intellectual ghetto that intoxicates and degrades its inhabitants - Stephen Matheson

  
Assassinator



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(Permalink) Posted: Dec. 29 2007,15:48   

Quote
The only thing conclusion you can come to when the theist fails to present evidence for the existence of God is that the theist has failed to provide evidence for the existence of God.  The mistake is made by making the next step and saying therefore God does not exist.  There's the positive claim.  Imagine me asking a 12 year old to provide me evidence for the existence of an electron and then when he fails to do so I falsely claim that electrons do not exist.  Again, the only rational conclusion is no conclusion at all.

The evidence is only about a certain image of God. It's not againts all images of God, only against one or a couple. It's a mistake to say all images of God won't exist, it ain't however to say that certain images of God won't exist.

Just to make things easier, in what image of God do you beleive Skeptic?

@khan:
Quote
Is the possibility of one god the same as the possibility of 2 gods?  7?  31?...

At this point, even a billion, a whole species of gods. The possibility is just as great for all options, since we have 0 evidence for either of them.

  
bystander



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(Permalink) Posted: Dec. 29 2007,16:15   

Quote (skeptic @ Dec. 30 2007,05:20)
Those are indeed your reasons but they're not rational ones, sorry.  That is to say you may be right but you're not making a reasoned-based argument.  I hope you see the difference...maybe one day.

translation:

I don't need any steenking evidence, I'm just right.

I usually stay away from threads that mention atheism because they either consist of atheists patting ourselves on the back for being rational or a theist presenting zero positive evidence telling us that we are not rational.

Skeptic calling himself a sceptic is the same as Ftk calling herself reasonable.

"The skeptics guide to the universe" had an interesting definition of a sceptic. It is not enough to just question everything, to be a true sceptic you need to change you mind when the evidence is contrary to your current beliefs.

  
skeptic



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(Permalink) Posted: Dec. 29 2007,17:02   

rhmc, as I said before, the only rational argument for the existence of God is existence itself, everything after that becomes irrational and that's where belief comes in.  

Ian, it is perfectly rational to say I see no evidence and stop there.  It's when you go further and make positive claims or, in the case of your specific question, make value claims that you are no longer engaged in reason-based arguments.

Assassinator, I have to answer that question two ways.  As a matter of rational inquiry I accept God as First Cause and as a matter of belief I'm a Christian.  I can make reasoned arguments concerning God as First Cause but as far as a Christian God I can only fall back on faith and personal spiritual experience which really holds no relevance beyond myself.

As far as discussion around my username, I find it completely appropriate as I question everything.  As a matter of consequence, all human knowledge is potentially or even certainly flawed.  We tend to view ourselves outside of the context of history and I'm sure the Greeks considered themselves equally enlightened.  I take a long term view and try to imagine what will endure for the next 1000 years.  A study of history shows us that very little does and if I had to bet I'd say the only knowledge that will endure will be geometry and pure mathematics.  Overturning those concepts would require complete changes in the way we think and process the world so I feel pretty safe with those two.  Everything else is fair game.  The reason why many here are offended by my choice of names is simply because I'm not skeptical of the same things they are, even though in many cases I am but that tends to get brushed under the rug.  So there's the logic behind the name.  And another thing just for the record, personal attacks are wasted on me so I'll try to save you the potential carpal tunnel.  Continue on if you feel so compelled but it won't ever change a single thing I post here or my frequency or my topics.  Just thought I'd help you guys out there, for what it's worth.

  
Mr_Christopher



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(Permalink) Posted: Dec. 29 2007,17:27   

"I exist therefore jeebus exists" is not a rational argument, Larry/skepti.

You're free to believe in all the nonsense you want but telling other people that their rational beliefs are not rational makes you look as stupid as something we'd read from the DI.

Your logic is flawed (everyone has pointed that out to you) you're arguments are flawed (everyone has pointed that out to you).  Worse than that you seem to have an inability to recognize when you're wrong (everyone has pointed that out to you.

No one will give a shit that you pray to a zombie and believe in talking donkies, the issue is when you start redefining what is rational and what constitutes logic and scratch your head wondering why everyone thinks you're full of shit.

Just sayin'.

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Uncommon Descent is a moral cesspool, a festering intellectual ghetto that intoxicates and degrades its inhabitants - Stephen Matheson

  
skeptic



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(Permalink) Posted: Dec. 29 2007,17:54   

Existence itself and not Jesus, God.  Really, Chris, have you even understood a single word I've said?

  
Assassinator



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(Permalink) Posted: Dec. 29 2007,18:04   

Quote
Assassinator, I have to answer that question two ways.  As a matter of rational inquiry I accept God as First Cause and as a matter of belief I'm a Christian.  I can make reasoned arguments concerning God as First Cause but as far as a Christian God I can only fall back on faith and personal spiritual experience which really holds no relevance beyond myself.

If your God is the first cause, it also exists for me. The universe you live in, is the same as where I live in. It does not matter what you beleive, it doesn't matter anything. God as First Cause is either true, or it is false. Your beleives aren't changing anything to that.
You may also rationally accept that God is the first cause, but that does not mean you're right. It's an option, yes, but so far nothing is pointing that way. It's not rational to accept God as the first cause if zit is pointing to that. You don't want to know how many creation stories there are around the world, all with zit zero evidence. Why are you right then, and why are they wrong?

Can also explain why existance itself is a rational argument for the existance of God. Who is this God person anyway? What IS God? You may say there is one, but who says that's actually true?

  
skeptic



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(Permalink) Posted: Dec. 29 2007,19:11   

The argument goes that because the Universe exists and it is a universe of cause and effect and it is a finite Universe then there must have been a First Cause.  We may descend into semantics as to whether or not it is right to call this First Cause God but I'll bypass that for now.  Mind you this is not the God of the Bible or any other specific deity that mankind attempts to know but it lays the foundation, if that makes any sense.

You're right, if God is the First Cause then he exists for both of us regardless of what we believe and the converse is true that if no God exists then no God exists for us all.  Having no way to actually access this knowledge forces us to rely on belief and that is neither right or wrong for anyone but the individual.

  
Mr_Christopher



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(Permalink) Posted: Dec. 29 2007,19:20   

Quote (skeptic @ Dec. 29 2007,17:54)
Existence itself and not Jesus, God.  Really, Chris, have you even understood a single word I've said?

no I have not understood much of anything you're said.  That's the problem, you don't make sense.  You contradict yourself, make false claims, attempt to redefine what is rational and logical.  and you can't/don't see any of it.  you're a misguided true believer.  you don't have a weekend gig selling carnations at the airport do you?

you're line of "reasoning" is identical to larry f/vmartin/afdave tard. They can't/don't make sense either. so no, I have not understood much of anything coming from you.

just curious, are you here to bring people to jesus or is this some sort of missionary work to pay your dues so to speak?  you're obviously not here to learn, no one listens to you, you don't get the most simple of concepts.  you'd be a hero at UD.  in fact they "reason" much like you and they would have an appreciation for your make believe world and strange "logic"..

I'm just curious what the draw here is for you.  not suggesting you shouldn't be here, but your presence makes me curious.  

is being the ideological village idiot of an online forum something virtuous in christian theology?  I must have missed that part and I've read that dang book several times.

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Uncommon Descent is a moral cesspool, a festering intellectual ghetto that intoxicates and degrades its inhabitants - Stephen Matheson

  
skeptic



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(Permalink) Posted: Dec. 29 2007,20:12   

point out where I've contradicted myself or made a false claim...

...waiting...

alright, now take a valium and go to bed, you're not ready to play with the big boys yet.

  
Richardthughes



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(Permalink) Posted: Dec. 29 2007,20:15   

Quote (skeptic @ Dec. 29 2007,20:12)
point out where I've contradicted myself or made a false claim...

...waiting...

alright, now take a valium and go to bed, you're not ready to play with the big boys yet.

Modest + tard. My favourite!

--------------
"Richardthughes, you magnificent bastard, I stand in awe of you..." : Arden Chatfield
"You magnificent bastard! " : Louis
"ATBC poster child", "I have to agree with Rich.." : DaveTard
"I bow to your superior skills" : deadman_932
"...it was Richardthughes making me lie in bed.." : Kristine

  
bystander



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(Permalink) Posted: Dec. 29 2007,20:39   

Isn't this just the courtier's reply ala PZ and Dawkins.

  
Connatic



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(Permalink) Posted: Dec. 29 2007,20:48   

Quote (skeptic @ Dec. 29 2007,00:09)
...the default position is not no and no, GCT, the burden of proof does not lie on the theist.  Both aspects of this statement are a positive statement and both require proof.

So I gather that you enthusiastically accept the loving embrace of Ninhursag, the well-beloved Mother of All.   She was around thousands of years before this Johann-come-lately Yahweh upstart showed up with his putative offspring that you prattle on about so constantly.

The "burden of proof" being upon the denier in your universe, of course.

--------------
Doctrine, when it lets its hair down,
   can trample, without fear,
   even the most innocent of truths.
           -- Frederico Garcia Lorca

  
UnMark



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(Permalink) Posted: Dec. 29 2007,21:01   

Quote (skeptic @ Dec. 29 2007,19:11)
The argument goes that because the Universe exists and it is a universe of cause and effect and it is a finite Universe then there must have been a First Cause.

We actually don't know that the universe is finite.  It may be part of a larger, infinite framework. Or the universe may be infinte itself.  Therefore one of your premises is not valid.
 
Quote
We may descend into semantics as to whether or not it is right to call this First Cause God but I'll bypass that for now.

One of the musings of M-Theory is that this universe is a result of two higher "branes" colliding in said larger framework.  If this is true , shall we define "God" as the "collision between two 'P-branes'"?  Shouldn't, therefore, your claim that the First Cause is God be THE question?
Quote
Mind you this is not the God of the Bible or any other specific deity that mankind attempts to know but it lays the foundation, if that makes any sense.

Then what is the God of the Bible if not the Creator of the Universe (Gen 1-2)?

  
rhmc



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(Permalink) Posted: Dec. 29 2007,21:46   

Quote (skeptic @ Dec. 29 2007,18:02)
rhmc, as I said before, the only rational argument for the existence of God is existence itself, everything after that becomes irrational and that's where belief comes in.  

so you have no proof, just a belief?

  
skeptic



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(Permalink) Posted: Dec. 29 2007,22:32   

yes, UnMark that is one possible refutation to the argument.  If the Universe is not finite then a First Cause may not be necessary.  This is a premise that can be tested rationally and our current cosmology points to a finite Universe.  The only problem to the Multiverse theory is as yet we have no way to test it empirically.  Should that change and we discover that the Multiverse is infinite and our Universe is merely an emergent characteristic of that reality then the case for a First Cause is in jeopardy.

rhmc, that's also right, in the case of the fifty-fifty proposition I choose heads and everything that follows from that is pure belief.

Sorry, Connatic, never heard of Ninhursag.

  
Connatic



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(Permalink) Posted: Dec. 29 2007,22:57   

Quote (skeptic @ Dec. 29 2007,22:32)
Sorry, Connatic, never heard of Ninhursag.

Imagine that.  This is why your soul will shortly belong to Ereshkigal, and your fate will be eternally dismal.

Long before those itinerant goat-herders appeared at the Eastern end of the Mediterranean, the sophisticated and literate Sumerians had it all figured out.  Ninhursag is the mother of all life on Earth.  She got that title 3000 or more years before your particular mythology gained any sort of currency.

By the standards you have enunciated, it's up to you now to demonstrate that Ninhursag, Nergal, Enki, Ereshkigal and the rest of that pantheon don't exist.  You may also wish to provide convincing proof that your particular imaginary friend (or friends) do[es].

Have at it.

--------------
Doctrine, when it lets its hair down,
   can trample, without fear,
   even the most innocent of truths.
           -- Frederico Garcia Lorca

  
skeptic



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(Permalink) Posted: Dec. 30 2007,02:18   

wow, aren't you a breath of fresh air.

  
Assassinator



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(Permalink) Posted: Dec. 30 2007,05:48   

Quote (skeptic @ Dec. 29 2007,19:11)
The argument goes that because the Universe exists and it is a universe of cause and effect and it is a finite Universe then there must have been a First Cause.  We may descend into semantics as to whether or not it is right to call this First Cause God but I'll bypass that for now.  Mind you this is not the God of the Bible or any other specific deity that mankind attempts to know but it lays the foundation, if that makes any sense.

You're right, if God is the First Cause then he exists for both of us regardless of what we believe and the converse is true that if no God exists then no God exists for us all.  Having no way to actually access this knowledge forces us to rely on belief and that is neither right or wrong for anyone but the individual.

I can see the logic in that, I understand why you think that. From a human point of view, it's very logical that there has to be a first cause (why would you call it God though, because what does "God" mean in that context?) because we're not used to something else. But what says there has to be a first cause? And also, like UnMark says, we don't even know if the universe is finite. Problem is, we can only comprehend things in a certain frame (like that we're used to cause and effect), fat chance the whole universe is not in that frame.
There are also soooooo many other creation story's and gods. Why would you rationally beleive in only 1 of those, since they're all equal on the evidence ground, namely zero evidence.

  
skeptic



Posts: 1163
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(Permalink) Posted: Dec. 30 2007,08:00   

From that context God is simply that which created or set the Universe in motion.  From there you start to infer things about God like if it started the Universe it was not a product of the Universe and therefore outside of time and space and etc and so forth.  Also, from this starting point you can end up with many different creation stories which is why I say that everything after this is arbitrary.  That's when it comes down to personal experience, faith, emotion, spiritual experience, etc.

Now from a rational standpoint you can only believe one of them or maybe view them all as parts of the same elephant but what you choose is an individual choice and not based on reason at all.  Maybe some theists don't realize this but it is unavoidable.

  
Assassinator



Posts: 479
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(Permalink) Posted: Dec. 30 2007,08:36   

Quote (skeptic @ Dec. 30 2007,08:00)
From that context God is simply that which created or set the Universe in motion.  From there you start to infer things about God like if it started the Universe it was not a product of the Universe and therefore outside of time and space and etc and so forth.  Also, from this starting point you can end up with many different creation stories which is why I say that everything after this is arbitrary.  That's when it comes down to personal experience, faith, emotion, spiritual experience, etc.

Now from a rational standpoint you can only believe one of them or maybe view them all as parts of the same elephant but what you choose is an individual choice and not based on reason at all.  Maybe some theists don't realize this but it is unavoidable.

But what do you mean with God then? Simply the start of the universe? Nothing more? What's rational about beleiving that, and what's rational about beleiving 1 option without any supporting evidence? Is beleiving itself rational?

  
skeptic



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(Permalink) Posted: Dec. 30 2007,09:17   

not exactly, God as the start of the Universe is the only rational conclusion with the only piece of evidence being existence itself.  Certainly there's very little utility in that from a religious standpoint but all the rest is man's attempt to understand God in a personal sense.  Believing in a personal God is not rational but it could be argued that believing in a First Cause is.  

I'm not sure if I'm doing a good job of differentiating between the rational and irrational,let me know.

  
rhmc



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(Permalink) Posted: Dec. 30 2007,09:31   

once you start creating entities or beginnings with no proof of either, it's kinda hard to credit you with any rationality at all.

one can make up anything.  that does not make it true.

  
IanBrown_101



Posts: 927
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(Permalink) Posted: Dec. 30 2007,09:39   

"Ian, it is perfectly rational to say I see no evidence and stop there.  It's when you go further and make positive claims or, in the case of your specific question, make value claims that you are no longer engaged in reason-based arguments."

Err....sort of.

The rational thing to do would be to say "I see no evidence for this, therefore I don't believe it to be true, because there is no evidence. If evidence is presented then I shall believe it, and I certainly will not hold on to the negative position if the positive is demonstrated to be correct. Therefore I shall state that at the current position of knowledge, idea X has not been shown, and can therefore be stated to be untrue until shown otherwise. "

It is irrational to state "I see no evidence for X, therefore I can make no statement as to X's plausibility or it's actual existance."
This is irrational because it allows for absolutely any position to be possible, and that is really, really illogical.

--------------
I'm not the fastest or the baddest or the fatest.

You NEVER seem to address the fact that the grand majority of people supporting Darwinism in these on line forums and blogs are atheists. That doesn't seem to bother you guys in the least. - FtK

Roddenberry is my God.

   
Mr_Christopher



Posts: 1238
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(Permalink) Posted: Dec. 30 2007,10:09   

skepti I may owe you an apology.  I've never read many of your posts and did not realize you're nothing more than a garden variety creationist troll.  You're just as dishonest and prone to cheating as all of your ID buddies.

You contradict yourself, change the rules so you do not have to admit you're wrong, and you never admit you're wrong even when it is obvious to anyone, and you ignore evidence.

For some reason I never put you in the same catagory as afdave , vmartin and the rest.

You're the same lying, cheating creationist as the rest of those guys.

My mistake for never paying close enough attention to notice.  For the most part I will disengage and let you get back to your trolling.

Enjoy your bliss and trolling here!

Cheers!

--------------
Uncommon Descent is a moral cesspool, a festering intellectual ghetto that intoxicates and degrades its inhabitants - Stephen Matheson

  
skeptic



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(Permalink) Posted: Dec. 30 2007,11:11   

Well, apparently Chris, you've never read any of my posts or you're just unable to comprehend them.  But judging from your rhetoric I doubt if playing close attention is really going to help you significantly, you see what you wish to see and have very little use for any opinion but your own.

Ian, I believe our disagreement comes down to our inclination and semantics.  I see a failure to prove as just that and nothing more whereas you willing to accept that a failure to prove represents proof of non-existence until such time as proof is indeed offered.  There's really not much difference here but the extrapolations take us to far different places.  I see no reason not to believe in God and you see no reason to do so, each of us without evidence supporting our position.  Go ahead, I'll flip and you call it in the air...

  
IanBrown_101



Posts: 927
Joined: April 2007

(Permalink) Posted: Dec. 30 2007,11:17   

Quote (skeptic @ Dec. 30 2007,17:11)
I see no reason not to believe in God

Which is why you are not being logical. Logic dictates that we believe things we can rationalise based upon the evidence at hand. If there is no evidence then the item, idea or whatever it is cannot be dismissed out of hand, but NEITHER SHOULD IT BE CONSIDERED.

Do you see no reason not to believe in Zeus either?

--------------
I'm not the fastest or the baddest or the fatest.

You NEVER seem to address the fact that the grand majority of people supporting Darwinism in these on line forums and blogs are atheists. That doesn't seem to bother you guys in the least. - FtK

Roddenberry is my God.

   
Richardthughes



Posts: 10756
Joined: Jan. 2006

(Permalink) Posted: Dec. 30 2007,12:00   

Quote (IanBrown_101 @ Dec. 30 2007,11:17)
Quote (skeptic @ Dec. 30 2007,17:11)
I see no reason not to believe in God

Which is why you are not being logical. Logic dictates that we believe things we can rationalise based upon the evidence at hand. If there is no evidence then the item, idea or whatever it is cannot be dismissed out of hand, but NEITHER SHOULD IT BE CONSIDERED.

Do you see no reason not to believe in Zeus either?

Stupid beyond belief.

--------------
"Richardthughes, you magnificent bastard, I stand in awe of you..." : Arden Chatfield
"You magnificent bastard! " : Louis
"ATBC poster child", "I have to agree with Rich.." : DaveTard
"I bow to your superior skills" : deadman_932
"...it was Richardthughes making me lie in bed.." : Kristine

  
Assassinator



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(Permalink) Posted: Dec. 30 2007,12:09   

Quote (skeptic @ Dec. 30 2007,09:17)
not exactly, God as the start of the Universe is the only rational conclusion with the only piece of evidence being existence itself.  Certainly there's very little utility in that from a religious standpoint but all the rest is man's attempt to understand God in a personal sense.  Believing in a personal God is not rational but it could be argued that believing in a First Cause is.  

I'm not sure if I'm doing a good job of differentiating between the rational and irrational,let me know.

I really don't see the logic in that. We exist, yes (even that isn't 100% sure, who says we're not in a buffed up version of The Sims?), but what does that have to do with your image of the word God? Why do you think that existance is a piece of evidence for the existance of a God as First Cause? You make it sound if we can't exist without God as First Cause, how can you argument for that and thus be reasonable?
Quote
I see no reason not to believe in God

And why is that? What about AAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAALL the other gods in the world? Why don't you beleive in them?

Bottemline is, you've grown up with your religion, it's embedded in you and part of your personality.

  
IanBrown_101



Posts: 927
Joined: April 2007

(Permalink) Posted: Dec. 30 2007,12:10   

Quote (Richardthughes @ Dec. 30 2007,18:00)
Quote (IanBrown_101 @ Dec. 30 2007,11:17)
Quote (skeptic @ Dec. 30 2007,17:11)
I see no reason not to believe in God

Which is why you are not being logical. Logic dictates that we believe things we can rationalise based upon the evidence at hand. If there is no evidence then the item, idea or whatever it is cannot be dismissed out of hand, but NEITHER SHOULD IT BE CONSIDERED.

Do you see no reason not to believe in Zeus either?

Stupid beyond belief.

Me or him?

If you meant me, then I'd like you to come for a meeting at my home.

Be aware I used to be a marine, and I'm like, covered in muscles. I also have two really vicious dogs, and I'm 7' 2" tall....I have a number of chainsaws and I live out in the sticks.


(only one of the above is true, and that's only part of the time)

--------------
I'm not the fastest or the baddest or the fatest.

You NEVER seem to address the fact that the grand majority of people supporting Darwinism in these on line forums and blogs are atheists. That doesn't seem to bother you guys in the least. - FtK

Roddenberry is my God.

   
Richardthughes



Posts: 10756
Joined: Jan. 2006

(Permalink) Posted: Dec. 30 2007,12:15   

Quote (IanBrown_101 @ Dec. 30 2007,12:10)
Quote (Richardthughes @ Dec. 30 2007,18:00)
Quote (IanBrown_101 @ Dec. 30 2007,11:17)
 
Quote (skeptic @ Dec. 30 2007,17:11)
I see no reason not to believe in God

Which is why you are not being logical. Logic dictates that we believe things we can rationalise based upon the evidence at hand. If there is no evidence then the item, idea or whatever it is cannot be dismissed out of hand, but NEITHER SHOULD IT BE CONSIDERED.

Do you see no reason not to believe in Zeus either?

Stupid beyond belief.

Me or him?

If you meant me, then I'd like you to come for a meeting at my home.

Be aware I used to be a marine, and I'm like, covered in muscles. I also have two really vicious dogs, and I'm 7' 2" tall....I have a number of chainsaws and I live out in the sticks.


(only one of the above is true, and that's only part of the time)

YOU'RE ONLY COVERED IN MUSCLES WHEN YOU'RE BOYFRIEND IS ROUND.


HOMO


Him, soft olly.

"I see be reason to believe in X"

Pure tard.

--------------
"Richardthughes, you magnificent bastard, I stand in awe of you..." : Arden Chatfield
"You magnificent bastard! " : Louis
"ATBC poster child", "I have to agree with Rich.." : DaveTard
"I bow to your superior skills" : deadman_932
"...it was Richardthughes making me lie in bed.." : Kristine

  
IanBrown_101



Posts: 927
Joined: April 2007

(Permalink) Posted: Dec. 30 2007,12:18   

Quote (Richardthughes @ Dec. 30 2007,18:15)
Quote (IanBrown_101 @ Dec. 30 2007,12:10)
Quote (Richardthughes @ Dec. 30 2007,18:00)
 
Quote (IanBrown_101 @ Dec. 30 2007,11:17)
 
Quote (skeptic @ Dec. 30 2007,17:11)
I see no reason not to believe in God

Which is why you are not being logical. Logic dictates that we believe things we can rationalise based upon the evidence at hand. If there is no evidence then the item, idea or whatever it is cannot be dismissed out of hand, but NEITHER SHOULD IT BE CONSIDERED.

Do you see no reason not to believe in Zeus either?

Stupid beyond belief.

Me or him?

If you meant me, then I'd like you to come for a meeting at my home.

Be aware I used to be a marine, and I'm like, covered in muscles. I also have two really vicious dogs, and I'm 7' 2" tall....I have a number of chainsaws and I live out in the sticks.


(only one of the above is true, and that's only part of the time)

YOU'RE ONLY COVERED IN MUSCLES WHEN YOU'RE BOYFRIEND IS ROUND.


HOMO


Him, soft olly.

"I see be reason to believe in X"

Pure tard.

You would know ALLLLL about being covered in your boyfriend, homo atheist church burner!!!!!!!1!!


I guessed him, but I thought I had better  check, you know? With you, it could be anything.....

--------------
I'm not the fastest or the baddest or the fatest.

You NEVER seem to address the fact that the grand majority of people supporting Darwinism in these on line forums and blogs are atheists. That doesn't seem to bother you guys in the least. - FtK

Roddenberry is my God.

   
Richardthughes



Posts: 10756
Joined: Jan. 2006

(Permalink) Posted: Dec. 30 2007,13:47   

Quote (IanBrown_101 @ Dec. 30 2007,12:18)
With you, it could be anything.....

*Raises handbag up to chin*

--------------
"Richardthughes, you magnificent bastard, I stand in awe of you..." : Arden Chatfield
"You magnificent bastard! " : Louis
"ATBC poster child", "I have to agree with Rich.." : DaveTard
"I bow to your superior skills" : deadman_932
"...it was Richardthughes making me lie in bed.." : Kristine

  
Arden Chatfield



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(Permalink) Posted: Dec. 30 2007,14:15   

Quote (skeptic @ Dec. 30 2007,09:17)
not exactly, God as the start of the Universe is the only rational conclusion with the only piece of evidence being existence itself.  Certainly there's very little utility in that from a religious standpoint but all the rest is man's attempt to understand God in a personal sense.  Believing in a personal God is not rational but it could be argued that believing in a First Cause is.  

So, in summation, with all the word games removed:

"We exist, therefore God must exist".

Forgive me if I'm not exactly dazzled.

 
Quote
And why is that? What about AAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAALL the other gods in the world? Why don't you beleive in them?


Exactly my question. Has Skeptic even alluded to an answer for this one?

Quote

Bottemline is, you've grown up with your religion, it's embedded in you and part of your personality.


Indeed. Most Christians and Muslims are extremely reluctant to admit that there is anything cultural about their religious allegiance. To me, a Christian from, say, Texas saying he's a Christian because Christianity is true is about as worth taking seriously as someone from Saudi Arabia saying he's a Muslim because of the obvious truth of Islam.

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"Rich is just mad because he thought all titties had fur on them until last week when a shorn transvestite ruined his childhood dreams by jumping out of a spider man cake and man boobing him in the face lips." - Erasmus

  
Connatic



Posts: 5
Joined: April 2007

(Permalink) Posted: Dec. 30 2007,17:38   

Quote (skeptic @ Dec. 30 2007,02:18)
wow, aren't you a breath of fresh air.

Potentially a gladsome side-effect.  

You have yet to get with your own program and begin  your demonstration of the nonexistence of even the small sample group of deities I have provided for your convenience.  (The Hittite pantheon will be a bit easier than the Sumerian one, when you work your way over to it).

If you're not going to perform the exercise, then you, as an honorable person who observes the moral strictures of the Christ and his apostles, should either

(1) publicly reconsider your "whoso denieth the existence of any deity is bound to prove that deity's nonexistence" philosophical stance; or

(2) publicly affirm the existence of all of the deities of the Sumerian pantheon, who are attested to by over two thousand years of literary tradition; or

(3) engage in honest discussion; or, best of all,

(4) find some other venue to infest.

--------------
Doctrine, when it lets its hair down,
   can trample, without fear,
   even the most innocent of truths.
           -- Frederico Garcia Lorca

  
Jim_Wynne



Posts: 1191
Joined: June 2006

(Permalink) Posted: Dec. 30 2007,20:05   

Quote (skeptic @ Dec. 30 2007,11:11)
I see no reason not to believe in God and you see no reason to do so, each of us without evidence supporting our position.  Go ahead, I'll flip and you call it in the air...

To give you an idea of the utter absurdity of that statement as a defense of theism, let's make a few substitutions:

I see no reason not to believe in God that Skeptic is a serial killer, and you see he sees no reason to do so, each of us without evidence supporting our position. So flip a coin.

--------------
Evolution is not about laws but about randomness on happanchance.--Robert Byers, at PT

  
Richardthughes



Posts: 10756
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(Permalink) Posted: Dec. 30 2007,20:10   

Quote (Jim_Wynne @ Dec. 30 2007,20:05)
Quote (skeptic @ Dec. 30 2007,11:11)
I see no reason not to believe in God and you see no reason to do so, each of us without evidence supporting our position.  Go ahead, I'll flip and you call it in the air...

To give you an idea of the utter absurdity of that statement as a defense of theism, let's make a few substitutions:

I see no reason not to believe in God that Skeptic is a serial killer, and you see he sees no reason to do so, each of us without evidence supporting our position. So flip a coin.

understanding of probability: zero.

--------------
"Richardthughes, you magnificent bastard, I stand in awe of you..." : Arden Chatfield
"You magnificent bastard! " : Louis
"ATBC poster child", "I have to agree with Rich.." : DaveTard
"I bow to your superior skills" : deadman_932
"...it was Richardthughes making me lie in bed.." : Kristine

  
Arden Chatfield



Posts: 6657
Joined: Jan. 2006

(Permalink) Posted: Dec. 30 2007,20:39   

Quote (Richardthughes @ Dec. 30 2007,20:10)
Quote (Jim_Wynne @ Dec. 30 2007,20:05)
Quote (skeptic @ Dec. 30 2007,11:11)
I see no reason not to believe in God and you see no reason to do so, each of us without evidence supporting our position.  Go ahead, I'll flip and you call it in the air...

To give you an idea of the utter absurdity of that statement as a defense of theism, let's make a few substitutions:

I see no reason not to believe in God that Skeptic is a serial killer, and you see he sees no reason to do so, each of us without evidence supporting our position. So flip a coin.

understanding of probability: zero.

probability of understanding: zero.

--------------
"Rich is just mad because he thought all titties had fur on them until last week when a shorn transvestite ruined his childhood dreams by jumping out of a spider man cake and man boobing him in the face lips." - Erasmus

  
GCT



Posts: 1001
Joined: Aug. 2005

(Permalink) Posted: Dec. 31 2007,09:52   

Quote (skeptic @ Dec. 29 2007,13:08)
The only thing conclusion you can come to when the theist fails to present evidence for the existence of God is that the theist has failed to provide evidence for the existence of God.

Which is exactly my position.

Quote
The mistake is made by making the next step and saying therefore God does not exist.


No one is saying that.  We are saying, however, that the odds are against it, and that it is rational to live our lives as if there is no god since there is no evidence for it, just as we live our lives without being agnostic on the existence of invisible, pink unicorns.

Quote
There's the positive claim.


It's still not a positive claim.

Quote
Imagine me asking a 12 year old to provide me evidence for the existence of an electron and then when he fails to do so I falsely claim that electrons do not exist.  Again, the only rational conclusion is no conclusion at all.


Um, no, that is incorrect.  The rational position would be to be unconvinced and go about your life without including belief in electrons until someone could prove it.  Luckily for all of us, we have proven it.

Quote
why are you battling anything?  why do you care?  just curious.


I care for a number of reasons.  One reason is that many believers try to impose their religion upon me.  Another reason is that my rights are at stake from many religious believers and I will battle to protect my rights.  Another would be that I find most religions to be unhealthy, so for compassion for my fellow man I battle against the unhealthy and hateful teachings of the given religion.  Note, you will probably call my reasons for battling irrational (although it is not irrational to protect my rights in the least, and I could argue that the others are quite rational, but why bother?) but that doesn't mean that my being an atheist is irrational nor are my reasons for being an atheist.

  
GCT



Posts: 1001
Joined: Aug. 2005

(Permalink) Posted: Dec. 31 2007,09:53   

Quote (Mr_Christopher @ Dec. 29 2007,13:17)
after examining the evidence (and lack thereof) I'm convinced there is no god.  in fact the whole idea is very very idiotic to me.  in light of new and compelling evidence I could be shown to be wrong.  but until that evidence is presented and verified I will just say no to believing in magical sky pixies, talking donkies, ghosts, goblins, zombies, virgin births, santa claus and the tooth fairy.

Talking donkies?  HA!!!!!1111oneoneone!!!

I've seen the documentary called, "Shrek" and I happen to know they exist.

  
GCT



Posts: 1001
Joined: Aug. 2005

(Permalink) Posted: Dec. 31 2007,10:03   

Quote (Connatic @ Dec. 29 2007,23:57)
Quote (skeptic @ Dec. 29 2007,22:32)
Sorry, Connatic, never heard of Ninhursag.

Imagine that.  This is why your soul will shortly belong to Ereshkigal, and your fate will be eternally dismal.

Long before those itinerant goat-herders appeared at the Eastern end of the Mediterranean, the sophisticated and literate Sumerians had it all figured out.  Ninhursag is the mother of all life on Earth.  She got that title 3000 or more years before your particular mythology gained any sort of currency.

By the standards you have enunciated, it's up to you now to demonstrate that Ninhursag, Nergal, Enki, Ereshkigal and the rest of that pantheon don't exist.  You may also wish to provide convincing proof that your particular imaginary friend (or friends) do[es].

Have at it.

I also read right here at ATBC an interesting tidbit related to this a little while back.  It seems that Abraham when he resided in Ur picked up a lot of the Sumerian myths and co-opted them into what became Judaism.  He just changed around some of the particulars and presto, a new religion.

  
GCT



Posts: 1001
Joined: Aug. 2005

(Permalink) Posted: Dec. 31 2007,10:33   

How about this track?

Skeptic, let's say you are on a jury.  John Doe is accused of being a bad man (not in a Mohammed Ali sort of way, but in the way that district attorneys object to).  The prosecution presents no evidence and neither does the defense.  The prosecutions argument boils down to, "Well, the defense can't prove that he didn't do these bad things that he's accused of, so it would be irrational to find him not guilty, since you have no evidence that he didn't do it."

Can you tell me what is wrong with this scenario?

  
Richardthughes



Posts: 10756
Joined: Jan. 2006

(Permalink) Posted: Dec. 31 2007,10:42   

Quote (GCT @ Dec. 31 2007,10:33)
Can you tell me what is wrong with this scenario?

No one swore on teh bibul.

--------------
"Richardthughes, you magnificent bastard, I stand in awe of you..." : Arden Chatfield
"You magnificent bastard! " : Louis
"ATBC poster child", "I have to agree with Rich.." : DaveTard
"I bow to your superior skills" : deadman_932
"...it was Richardthughes making me lie in bed.." : Kristine

  
skeptic



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(Permalink) Posted: Dec. 31 2007,15:47   

GCT, the role of the Grand Jury would have been enforced and no trial would have been convened but in that case the prosecution would still be investigating, if they believed a crime was committed, and quite possibly defense consul would still retained to advise the client.  

Actually I've been trying to come up with an appropriate analogy myself to provide us something both concrete and real to work with and I think I have it but I'll be delayed until sometime tomorrow afternoon.

Happy New Year all!

  
GCT



Posts: 1001
Joined: Aug. 2005

(Permalink) Posted: Dec. 31 2007,15:58   

Quote (skeptic @ Dec. 31 2007,16:47)
GCT, the role of the Grand Jury would have been enforced and no trial would have been convened but in that case the prosecution would still be investigating, if they believed a crime was committed, and quite possibly defense consul would still retained to advise the client.  

I think you know what I mean.  By your logic, the prosecuting attorney is correct.  Even though he has no evidence, there is no evidence exhonerating the defendant, so it would be illogical to come back with a "Not guilty" verdict.

To get closer to the Xianity scenario, perhaps the prosecution came up with a bunch of ideas and they were all shot down by the defense, leaving the prosecution with no arguments.  But, the defense only denied the arguments put forth by the prosecution without asserting any evidence for the defendants innocence.  They were only able to destroy the prosecutorial evidence, so really there's no evidence either way.  John Doe could be guilty of the crime, in fact, he either is or he isn't.  According to you, with no evidence either way, then it's a 50-50 chance.  It's just as rational to believe that he is guilty than he isn't.

  
Mr_Christopher



Posts: 1238
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(Permalink) Posted: Dec. 31 2007,18:50   

Quote (GCT @ Dec. 31 2007,09:53)
Quote (Mr_Christopher @ Dec. 29 2007,13:17)
after examining the evidence (and lack thereof) I'm convinced there is no god.  in fact the whole idea is very very idiotic to me.  in light of new and compelling evidence I could be shown to be wrong.  but until that evidence is presented and verified I will just say no to believing in magical sky pixies, talking donkies, ghosts, goblins, zombies, virgin births, santa claus and the tooth fairy.

Talking donkies?  HA!!!!!1111oneoneone!!!

I've seen the documentary called, "Shrek" and I happen to know they exist.

I believe it was Voltaire who said "If Talking Donkies did not exist, it would be necessary to invent Them" and to the delight of creationists the Xtian bible invented them.

To not believe in talking donkies is irrational.  Winged humanoids too!

--------------
Uncommon Descent is a moral cesspool, a festering intellectual ghetto that intoxicates and degrades its inhabitants - Stephen Matheson

  
qetzal



Posts: 311
Joined: Feb. 2006

(Permalink) Posted: Jan. 01 2008,09:36   

Skeptic,

If you think logic requires that the universe has a cause, and you call that cause God, what caused God? Is/was there an Ur-God? And an Ur-Ur-God? Ad infinitum?

Or, if God doesn't need a cause, why does the universe?

  
Mr_Christopher



Posts: 1238
Joined: Jan. 2006

(Permalink) Posted: Jan. 01 2008,12:29   

Quote (qetzal @ Jan. 01 2008,09:36)
Skeptic,

If you think logic requires that the universe has a cause, and you call that cause God, what caused God? Is/was there an Ur-God? And an Ur-Ur-God? Ad infinitum?

Or, if God doesn't need a cause, why does the universe?

Batten down the hatches, man!  It's turtles down, ALL the way!

--------------
Uncommon Descent is a moral cesspool, a festering intellectual ghetto that intoxicates and degrades its inhabitants - Stephen Matheson

  
Henry J



Posts: 4565
Joined: Mar. 2005

(Permalink) Posted: Jan. 03 2008,16:15   

Quote
Batten down the hatches, man!  It's turtles down, ALL the way!


"Cowabunga!" (as Splinter would say :p )

  
Mr_Christopher



Posts: 1238
Joined: Jan. 2006

(Permalink) Posted: Jan. 03 2008,17:29   



--------------
Uncommon Descent is a moral cesspool, a festering intellectual ghetto that intoxicates and degrades its inhabitants - Stephen Matheson

  
Richardthughes



Posts: 10756
Joined: Jan. 2006

(Permalink) Posted: Jan. 04 2008,15:02   

Proof of god aborted:

http://beastrabban.wordpress.com/2007....ent-505

Anyone want a cheap "waterloo" T-shirt?

Or maybe 5000 cheap "waterloo" T-Shirts?

--------------
"Richardthughes, you magnificent bastard, I stand in awe of you..." : Arden Chatfield
"You magnificent bastard! " : Louis
"ATBC poster child", "I have to agree with Rich.." : DaveTard
"I bow to your superior skills" : deadman_932
"...it was Richardthughes making me lie in bed.." : Kristine

  
Richardthughes



Posts: 10756
Joined: Jan. 2006

(Permalink) Posted: Jan. 08 2008,13:13   

Quote
The tyranny of reason is coming to an end, a new age of faith is dawning. And the world will be a far better place for it!



http://beastrabban.wordpress.com/2008....ent-535


Yay?

--------------
"Richardthughes, you magnificent bastard, I stand in awe of you..." : Arden Chatfield
"You magnificent bastard! " : Louis
"ATBC poster child", "I have to agree with Rich.." : DaveTard
"I bow to your superior skills" : deadman_932
"...it was Richardthughes making me lie in bed.." : Kristine

  
J-Dog



Posts: 4402
Joined: Dec. 2006

(Permalink) Posted: Jan. 08 2008,13:24   

Quote (Richardthughes @ Jan. 08 2008,13:13)
Quote
The tyranny of reason is coming to an end, a new age of faith is dawning. And the world will be a far better place for it!



http://beastrabban.wordpress.com/2008....ent-535


Yay?

I give it a "Mini-Yay" - It's dumb, but not of course, not in the league of a UD or even an OE and a lot more like an FTK, but without the sexy-hawt overtones.

IMO, it all adds up to = Pathetic Loser.  If only the guy could attract a BA77, or a bourne, or an O'Leary...

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Come on Tough Guy, do the little dance of ID impotence you do so well. - Louis to Joe G 2/10

Gullibility is not a virtue - Quidam on Dembski's belief in the Bible Code Faith Healers & ID 7/08

UD is an Unnatural Douchemagnet. - richardthughes 7/11

  
GCT



Posts: 1001
Joined: Aug. 2005

(Permalink) Posted: Jan. 08 2008,17:31   

Quote (Richardthughes @ Jan. 08 2008,14:13)
Quote
The tyranny of reason is coming to an end, a new age of faith is dawning. And the world will be a far better place for it!



http://beastrabban.wordpress.com/2008....ent-535


Yay?

I, for one, welcome our new faith-based overlords.


  
Annyday



Posts: 583
Joined: Nov. 2007

(Permalink) Posted: Jan. 08 2008,17:34   

I'm effectively conceding all points to beastrabban due to verbosity; viz, I am not going to read any more of his long-long-long posts unless paid to. Oh noes, the culture war is going badly!

--------------
"ALL eight of the "nature" miracles of Jesus could have been accomplished via the electroweak quantum tunneling mechanism. For example, walking on water could be accomplished by directing a neutrino beam created just below Jesus' feet downward." - Frank Tipler, ISCID fellow

  
GCT



Posts: 1001
Joined: Aug. 2005

(Permalink) Posted: Jan. 08 2008,17:48   

Quote (Annyday @ Jan. 08 2008,18:34)
I'm effectively conceding all points to beastrabban due to verbosity; viz, I am not going to read any more of his long-long-long posts unless paid to. Oh noes, the culture war is going badly!

Quitter.

You have to learn the trick.  I saw the length and decided not to even start.  Now, no one can say I'm a quitter. ;)

  
Lou FCD



Posts: 5402
Joined: Jan. 2006

(Permalink) Posted: Jan. 08 2008,17:52   

Quote (Richardthughes @ Jan. 08 2008,14:13)
Quote
The tyranny of reason is coming to an end, a new age of faith is dawning. And the world will be a far better place for it!



http://beastrabban.wordpress.com/2008....ent-535


Yay?

That's almost as good as the one about being attacked by the intelligent, educated segment of the culture.

--------------
Lou FCD is still in school, so we should only count him as a baby biologist. -carlsonjok -deprecated
I think I might love you. Don't tell Deadman -Wolfhound

Work-friendly photography
NSFW photography

   
Mr_Christopher



Posts: 1238
Joined: Jan. 2006

(Permalink) Posted: Jan. 08 2008,17:59   

Those guys are nuts...

Quote
I guess there’s just such a vast abundance of strong evidence for the supernatural


Yeah look at it this way, that way, through my lense, upside down.

Hey I got a better idea for you creationist, how about you start making sense in ONE single sentence.  Show your evidence in ONE single sentence and don't ask us to see it your way or to use your retarded "logic".

Show us the beef or STFU about the evidence for your imaginary sky pixie(s).  Is that too much to ask?

I still have cramps from sceptic claiming in the face of no evidence at all it is more rational to believe than not believe.  THAT hurt my side.

Thank you.

--------------
Uncommon Descent is a moral cesspool, a festering intellectual ghetto that intoxicates and degrades its inhabitants - Stephen Matheson

  
keiths



Posts: 2041
Joined: Jan. 2006

(Permalink) Posted: Jan. 08 2008,19:08   

Quote (Mr_Christopher @ Jan. 03 2008,17:29)

Why is Stuart Hameroff ogling that couple?  And what's with the scepter?

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And the set of natural numbers is also the set that starts at 0 and goes to the largest number.  -- Joe G

Please stop putting words into my mouth that don't belong there and thoughts into my mind that don't belong there. -- KF

  
Henry J



Posts: 4565
Joined: Mar. 2005

(Permalink) Posted: Jan. 08 2008,21:39   

Quote
Do you see no reason not to believe in Zeus either?


He got killed by either Hercules or Xena (I'm not sure which at this point); that was documented on TV.

Ergo, it would be illogical to believe in Zeus at this point. :p

Henry

  
Darth Robo



Posts: 148
Joined: Aug. 2006

(Permalink) Posted: Jan. 09 2008,08:53   

Not necessarily.  

"GODDIDIT!  Now he's dead."

- JA Davison.

:p

--------------
"Commentary: How would you like to be the wholly-owned servant to an organic meatbag? It's demeaning! If, uh, you weren't one yourself, I mean..."

  
Richardthughes



Posts: 10756
Joined: Jan. 2006

(Permalink) Posted: Jan. 28 2008,10:42   

http://beastrabban.wordpress.com/2008....ent-833

Quote
Ilíon Says:

January 28, 2008 at 2:04 pm
One thing about domestic violence which is almost always overlooked (often intentionally [as I expect we shall see momentarily]) is that far more often than not it’s a two-way street.



From the makers of denialism, mitigationism!

--------------
"Richardthughes, you magnificent bastard, I stand in awe of you..." : Arden Chatfield
"You magnificent bastard! " : Louis
"ATBC poster child", "I have to agree with Rich.." : DaveTard
"I bow to your superior skills" : deadman_932
"...it was Richardthughes making me lie in bed.." : Kristine

  
GCT



Posts: 1001
Joined: Aug. 2005

(Permalink) Posted: Jan. 28 2008,20:52   

Quote (Richardthughes @ Jan. 28 2008,11:42)
http://beastrabban.wordpress.com/2008....ent-833

Quote
Ilíon Says:

January 28, 2008 at 2:04 pm
One thing about domestic violence which is almost always overlooked (often intentionally [as I expect we shall see momentarily]) is that far more often than not it’s a two-way street.



From the makers of denialism, mitigationism!

Yeah, I bet that no one cares about how much fists can hurt after being attacked by other people's faces. :angry:

  
Richardthughes



Posts: 10756
Joined: Jan. 2006

(Permalink) Posted: Jan. 29 2008,11:26   

Some good Woo here.

http://beastrabban.wordpress.com/2008....omments

Ghosts and ESP are SO real. We just can't see them. or measure them. Or record them.

--------------
"Richardthughes, you magnificent bastard, I stand in awe of you..." : Arden Chatfield
"You magnificent bastard! " : Louis
"ATBC poster child", "I have to agree with Rich.." : DaveTard
"I bow to your superior skills" : deadman_932
"...it was Richardthughes making me lie in bed.." : Kristine

  
Ftk



Posts: 2239
Joined: Mar. 2007

(Permalink) Posted: Jan. 29 2008,11:57   

Atheism as a religion.

Atheists really do have a faith based community...they just focus their awe and praise on Darwin (the high priest).

Some participate in organized atheism, just like some participate in organized Christianity.  There are many people who call themselves Christians or Muslims or whatever, but don't particularly participate in organized religious groups (church, etc.).  Same with atheists...some participate, some don't.

*kiss kiss*

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"Evolution is a creationism and just as illogical [as] the other pantheistic creation myths"  -forastero

  
olegt



Posts: 1405
Joined: Dec. 2006

(Permalink) Posted: Jan. 29 2008,12:05   

Then I'm a bad atheist since I don't worship Darwin and, by and large, only hear his name when creashunists utter it.  I was seriously LOLled when I learned (from Casey Luskin, I think) that I was a Darwinist.  Since I am a physicist, I must also be a Newtonian and an Einsteinist.  And a Bohred Gibbsian Maxwellist to boot.

--------------
If you are not:
Galapagos Finch
please Logout »

  
oldmanintheskydidntdoit



Posts: 4999
Joined: July 2006

(Permalink) Posted: Jan. 29 2008,12:05   

Quote (Ftk @ Jan. 29 2008,11:57)
Atheism as a religion.

Atheists really do have a faith based community...they just focus their awe and praise on Darwin (the high priest).

Some participate in organized atheism, just like some participate in organized Christianity.  There are many people who call themselves Christians or Muslims or whatever, but don't particularly participate in organized religious groups (church, etc.).  Same with atheists...some participate, some don't.

*kiss kiss*

No, they don't.

I know atheists who don't know anything at all about Darwin, apart from the bare basics. They certainly don't worship him. They know next to nothing about him. They certainly don't base their atheism on the fact that Darwin showed there is no requirement for a god to create life as we know it. It has *nothing* to do with it.

So, FTK, wrong again huh? Guess you must be getting used to that now.

What is "organized atheism" anyway? Is that your name for the "reality based community"?

Pathetic.

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I also mentioned that He'd have to give me a thorough explanation as to *why* I must "eat human babies".
FTK

if there are even critical flaws in Gauger’s work, the evo mat narrative cannot stand
Gordon Mullings

  
Ftk



Posts: 2239
Joined: Mar. 2007

(Permalink) Posted: Jan. 29 2008,12:07   

OM, I know lots of "Christians" who have no clue what's in their bible, nor do they attend church, yet they believe for some reason or other.  Same difference.

--------------
"Evolution is a creationism and just as illogical [as] the other pantheistic creation myths"  -forastero

  
oldmanintheskydidntdoit



Posts: 4999
Joined: July 2006

(Permalink) Posted: Jan. 29 2008,12:07   

So, FTK teaches us that

a) There were no atheists before darwin
b) There was no racism before darwin

Both self evidently true. To FTK. And nobody else.

--------------
I also mentioned that He'd have to give me a thorough explanation as to *why* I must "eat human babies".
FTK

if there are even critical flaws in Gauger’s work, the evo mat narrative cannot stand
Gordon Mullings

  
oldmanintheskydidntdoit



Posts: 4999
Joined: July 2006

(Permalink) Posted: Jan. 29 2008,12:09   

Quote (Ftk @ Jan. 29 2008,12:07)
OM, I know lots of "Christians" who have no clue what's in their bible, nor do they attend church, yet they believe for some reason or other.  Same difference.

Then they are not "true" Christians right?

How can they be?

The fact you say "same difference" tells me that you don't really know what you are talking about.

The devil is in the detail FTK, remember that.

And details are your failing point.

Want to discuss the details of how fossil jellyfish are formed, and how Walt handwaves that away?

Or is it something that you "just believe"?

Same difference.

--------------
I also mentioned that He'd have to give me a thorough explanation as to *why* I must "eat human babies".
FTK

if there are even critical flaws in Gauger’s work, the evo mat narrative cannot stand
Gordon Mullings

  
oldmanintheskydidntdoit



Posts: 4999
Joined: July 2006

(Permalink) Posted: Jan. 29 2008,12:10   

later.

--------------
I also mentioned that He'd have to give me a thorough explanation as to *why* I must "eat human babies".
FTK

if there are even critical flaws in Gauger’s work, the evo mat narrative cannot stand
Gordon Mullings

  
oldmanintheskydidntdoit



Posts: 4999
Joined: July 2006

(Permalink) Posted: Jan. 29 2008,12:14   

FTK in Moment A:
Quote
Atheists really do have a faith based community...they just focus their awe and praise on Darwin (the high priest).


FTK in Moment B:
Quote
OM, I know lots of "Christians" who have no clue what's in their bible, nor do they attend church, yet they believe for some reason or other.  Same difference.


Presumably FTK is saying that as there are Christians that don't go to church these people are equivalent to atheists who don't know/care about Darwin?

But the problem with that FTK is you just said

Quote
Atheists really do have a faith based community...they just focus their awe and praise on Darwin (the high priest).


You didn't say

SOME Atheists SOMETIMES MIGHT have a faith based community...SOME OF THEM just focus their awe and praise on Darwin (the high priest) IF THEY CARE ABOUT DARWIN OR EVEN KNOW WHO HE IS.

You make a bald assertion and then undermine it in the next post.

No wonder your religion is dying. Less and less every year  :p

--------------
I also mentioned that He'd have to give me a thorough explanation as to *why* I must "eat human babies".
FTK

if there are even critical flaws in Gauger’s work, the evo mat narrative cannot stand
Gordon Mullings

  
Ftk



Posts: 2239
Joined: Mar. 2007

(Permalink) Posted: Jan. 29 2008,12:32   

A funny part of the link...

Quote
We are not a Science Foundation - Although our religion is science-based and we have a religious commitment to science, the Church of Reality itself is not a science organization. We don't determine and declare what is real and what is scientific fact. That is the job of science. Our job is promoting a religious commitment to the scientific process and helping to build a world where science can thrive.


The Unholy Trinity (Dawkins/Hitchens/Harris) should sign up NOW!

Sheesh....you people are so willfully blind...

--------------
"Evolution is a creationism and just as illogical [as] the other pantheistic creation myths"  -forastero

  
Nerull



Posts: 317
Joined: June 2007

(Permalink) Posted: Jan. 29 2008,12:44   

FTK, why do you picket military funerals with signs that say "God Hates Fags!"?

You've established that if one small group of people who claim to be part of a larger group, wither that larger group accepts them or not, the larger group all get tarred with the actions of the smaller group. No backtracking, FTK, thats what you've been saying.

So why do you picket funerals, FTK?

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To rebut creationism you pretty much have to be a biologist, chemist, geologist, philosopher, lawyer and historian all rolled into one. While to advocate creationism, you just have to be an idiot. -- tommorris

   
Annyday



Posts: 583
Joined: Nov. 2007

(Permalink) Posted: Jan. 29 2008,12:47   

... uh, yeah. The Church of Reality is a joke, ftk. Check this out.

Quote
This religion isn't about reality is it? It's all about Marc Perkel - the founder of the Church of Reality. That's why he is the First One. Perhaps reality is just a ploy to suck everyone in. After all, how can you not believe in reality? But is it really about reality or is Marc Perkel just trying to create the ultimate cult where he rules the world and enslaves the world forcing everyone to believe the way he does. Perhaps Perkel secretly thinks that he is God and that if enough people believe in him, that he will become God.

Or perhaps his goals are more modest. He's just trying to build a financial empire like the rest of the TV preachers living in a 35 million dollar mansion with a $15,000 air conditioned dog house. A life of drugs and debauchery with hundreds of women in his harem known as the Sacred Sluts. Perkel always has to be right and he thinks he's the smartest man in the entire universe. He secretly laughs at Realists and believes reality is just a crutch for people who can't handle drugs. It's all about fame, power, sex, drugs, rock 'n roll, tossing virgins into volcanoes, and rolling around naked in the church money room. All in a futile attempt to convince himself that he's not really the pathetic loser that everyone knows he is. Besides, he has to do something because he doesn't have a college education and can't hold a real job.


Joke. Joke? Joke. Nobody worships Darwin, and if they do they're insane.

--------------
"ALL eight of the "nature" miracles of Jesus could have been accomplished via the electroweak quantum tunneling mechanism. For example, walking on water could be accomplished by directing a neutrino beam created just below Jesus' feet downward." - Frank Tipler, ISCID fellow

  
carlsonjok



Posts: 3324
Joined: May 2006

(Permalink) Posted: Jan. 29 2008,12:51   

Quote (Ftk @ Jan. 29 2008,12:32)
A funny part of the link...

 
Quote
We are not a Science Foundation - Although our religion is science-based and we have a religious commitment to science, the Church of Reality itself is not a science organization. We don't determine and declare what is real and what is scientific fact. That is the job of science. Our job is promoting a religious commitment to the scientific process and helping to build a world where science can thrive.


The Unholy Trinity (Dawkins/Hitchens/Harris) should sign up NOW!

Sheesh....you people are so willfully blind...

What is really funny is that if you look up the domain it is owned by someone named Marc Perkel.  A quick google finds his personal website.  Mr. Perkel seems to be making a career out of amusing himself.  Good on him I say.  But, it must get boring suckering in humorless haus fraus.

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It's natural to be curious about our world, but the scientific method is just one theory about how to best understand it.  We live in a democracy, which means we should treat every theory equally. - Steven Colbert, I Am America (and So Can You!)

  
Ftk



Posts: 2239
Joined: Mar. 2007

(Permalink) Posted: Jan. 29 2008,12:52   

Where did you find that Anyday.

God Lord, I hope it's a joke because check this out:

Just as a whale is a mammal that looks like a fish, we are a religion that looks like science.

ROTFLMAO!!!!!!!

--------------
"Evolution is a creationism and just as illogical [as] the other pantheistic creation myths"  -forastero

  
Ftk



Posts: 2239
Joined: Mar. 2007

(Permalink) Posted: Jan. 29 2008,13:01   

Quote (Annyday @ Jan. 29 2008,12:47)
... uh, yeah. The Church of Reality is a joke, ftk. Check this out.

Quote
This religion isn't about reality is it? It's all about Marc Perkel - the founder of the Church of Reality. That's why he is the First One. Perhaps reality is just a ploy to suck everyone in. After all, how can you not believe in reality? But is it really about reality or is Marc Perkel just trying to create the ultimate cult where he rules the world and enslaves the world forcing everyone to believe the way he does. Perhaps Perkel secretly thinks that he is God and that if enough people believe in him, that he will become God.

Or perhaps his goals are more modest. He's just trying to build a financial empire like the rest of the TV preachers living in a 35 million dollar mansion with a $15,000 air conditioned dog house. A life of drugs and debauchery with hundreds of women in his harem known as the Sacred Sluts. Perkel always has to be right and he thinks he's the smartest man in the entire universe. He secretly laughs at Realists and believes reality is just a crutch for people who can't handle drugs. It's all about fame, power, sex, drugs, rock 'n roll, tossing virgins into volcanoes, and rolling around naked in the church money room. All in a futile attempt to convince himself that he's not really the pathetic loser that everyone knows he is. Besides, he has to do something because he doesn't have a college education and can't hold a real job.


Joke. Joke? Joke. Nobody worships Darwin, and if they do they're insane.

Oh, I beg to differ.  Dawkins literally worships Darwin/NS.  To listen to him talk about natural selection is *truly* a spiritual experience.

Humanist groups are the same thing as the Church of Reality, although they don't overtly worship Darwin... their humanist manifesto is pretty telling.  Science based faith all the way, baby...

--------------
"Evolution is a creationism and just as illogical [as] the other pantheistic creation myths"  -forastero

  
Annyday



Posts: 583
Joined: Nov. 2007

(Permalink) Posted: Jan. 29 2008,13:03   

It's from "Our Hidden Agenda". It's the first thing I clicked, of course. I mean, they just out and tell you what their hidden agenda is. It's awfully sporting of them.

Your understanding of atheism is highly bizarre, by the way.

--------------
"ALL eight of the "nature" miracles of Jesus could have been accomplished via the electroweak quantum tunneling mechanism. For example, walking on water could be accomplished by directing a neutrino beam created just below Jesus' feet downward." - Frank Tipler, ISCID fellow

  
Reciprocating Bill



Posts: 4265
Joined: Oct. 2006

(Permalink) Posted: Jan. 29 2008,13:10   

Quote (Ftk @ Jan. 29 2008,14:01)
Quote (Annyday @ Jan. 29 2008,12:47)
... uh, yeah. The Church of Reality is a joke, ftk. Check this out.

 
Quote
This religion isn't about reality is it? It's all about Marc Perkel - the founder of the Church of Reality. That's why he is the First One. Perhaps reality is just a ploy to suck everyone in. After all, how can you not believe in reality? But is it really about reality or is Marc Perkel just trying to create the ultimate cult where he rules the world and enslaves the world forcing everyone to believe the way he does. Perhaps Perkel secretly thinks that he is God and that if enough people believe in him, that he will become God.

Or perhaps his goals are more modest. He's just trying to build a financial empire like the rest of the TV preachers living in a 35 million dollar mansion with a $15,000 air conditioned dog house. A life of drugs and debauchery with hundreds of women in his harem known as the Sacred Sluts. Perkel always has to be right and he thinks he's the smartest man in the entire universe. He secretly laughs at Realists and believes reality is just a crutch for people who can't handle drugs. It's all about fame, power, sex, drugs, rock 'n roll, tossing virgins into volcanoes, and rolling around naked in the church money room. All in a futile attempt to convince himself that he's not really the pathetic loser that everyone knows he is. Besides, he has to do something because he doesn't have a college education and can't hold a real job.


Joke. Joke? Joke. Nobody worships Darwin, and if they do they're insane.

Oh, I beg to differ.  Dawkins literally worships Darwin/NS.  To listen to him talk about natural selection is *truly* a spiritual experience.

Humanist groups are the same thing as the Church of Reality, although they don't overtly worship Darwin... their humanist manifesto is pretty telling.  Science based faith all the way, baby...

OK. Some people approach their atheism in a manner that, in some respects, resembles a religion. Some people don't.

1) Who cares?

2) Automobiles characteristically have an internal combustion engine, a transmission, wheels, tires, bearings, some form of rigid frame, seating, mirrors, a speedometer, lights, and paint. They are capable of steering and braking, and transport people great distances at high speeds across paved surfaces. Automobile accidents sometimes result in fatalities.

Therefore, a motorcycle is an automobile.

--------------
Myth: Something that never was true, and always will be.

"The truth will set you free. But not until it is finished with you."
- David Foster Wallace

"Here’s a clue. Snarky banalities are not a substitute for saying something intelligent. Write that down."
- Barry Arrington

  
Annyday



Posts: 583
Joined: Nov. 2007

(Permalink) Posted: Jan. 29 2008,13:15   

Quote (Ftk @ Jan. 29 2008,13:01)
Oh, I beg to differ.  Dawkins literally worships Darwin/NS.  To listen to him talk about natural selection is *truly* a spiritual experience.

If you want to do a lot of violence to the words "literal" and "worship", you can say Dawkins "literally worships" Darwin. If that's the case, though, I literally worship both Quentin Tarantino and T. S. Eliot. This version of "literal worship" is kind of meaningless, unless you can think of some good reason why I don't "literally worship" my favorite shirt.

For the record- I love that shirt. And Pulp Fiction. And The Waste Land. I really do. I just don't think you could say I worship them in the same way you worship Jesus.

--------------
"ALL eight of the "nature" miracles of Jesus could have been accomplished via the electroweak quantum tunneling mechanism. For example, walking on water could be accomplished by directing a neutrino beam created just below Jesus' feet downward." - Frank Tipler, ISCID fellow

  
Erasmus, FCD



Posts: 6349
Joined: June 2007

(Permalink) Posted: Jan. 29 2008,13:18   

Quote
I just don't think you could say I worship them in the same way you worship Jesus.


You mean you don't eat grape juice and ritz crackers and pretend that it turns into Quentin Tarantino or TJ Hooker* in your mouth?

*edited to add:  sorry TS Eliot.**
**not really edited the first time.

--------------
You're obviously illiterate as hell. Peach, bro.-FtK

Finding something hard to believe based on the evidence, is science.-JoeG

the odds of getting some loathsome taint are low-- Gordon E Mullings Manjack Heights Montserrat

I work on molecular systems with pathway charts and such.-Giggles

  
Mr_Christopher



Posts: 1238
Joined: Jan. 2006

(Permalink) Posted: Jan. 29 2008,13:37   

That's what's lacking in the atheist religion.  We need some canibalistic rituals.  How can we compete with Christianity when we have no canibal rituals?  And we need a zombie too. No wonder there are more Christians than atheists!  That zombie gets them tons of converts.  How can an ideology compete with one that has a zombie?  And don't even get me started on the Christian winged humanoids, we don't have any of those either!

Those dang Christians get all the cool stuff in their mythology and we aint got jack.

--------------
Uncommon Descent is a moral cesspool, a festering intellectual ghetto that intoxicates and degrades its inhabitants - Stephen Matheson

  
Erasmus, FCD



Posts: 6349
Joined: June 2007

(Permalink) Posted: Jan. 29 2008,13:53   

Quote
Those dang Christians get all the cool stuff in their mythology and we aint got jack.


I'm satisfied with reductive eliminative mereological nihilism.

Kinda validates those old-timers I used to hear say stuff like 'all this knowledge and stuff is going against god'.

--------------
You're obviously illiterate as hell. Peach, bro.-FtK

Finding something hard to believe based on the evidence, is science.-JoeG

the odds of getting some loathsome taint are low-- Gordon E Mullings Manjack Heights Montserrat

I work on molecular systems with pathway charts and such.-Giggles

  
Reciprocating Bill



Posts: 4265
Joined: Oct. 2006

(Permalink) Posted: Jan. 29 2008,13:56   

Quote (Erasmus, FCD @ Jan. 29 2008,14:53)
Quote
Those dang Christians get all the cool stuff in their mythology and we aint got jack.


I'm satisfied with reductive eliminative mereological nihilism.

Kinda validates those old-timers I used to hear say stuff like 'all this knowledge and stuff is going against god'.

* * *

Three asterisks? Or seven? Answer wisely, and ye shall enter the Kingdom of nothing.

--------------
Myth: Something that never was true, and always will be.

"The truth will set you free. But not until it is finished with you."
- David Foster Wallace

"Here’s a clue. Snarky banalities are not a substitute for saying something intelligent. Write that down."
- Barry Arrington