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Louis



Posts: 6436
Joined: Jan. 2006

(Permalink) Posted: Oct. 10 2007,04:16   

Dear all,

Discussions of late have sparked a thought or two. Nasty and naughty as I can be, I am always amused by other people blaming their failings on me (or others) and projecting their flaws and fears onto their "opponents". It's always an amusing and fascinating part of the process that I am sure everyone here is familiar with. Thus, a question I haven't asked in a while occurred to me:

What if I am wrong?

I'll explain. As a scientist I ask myself the question "What if I am wrong?" about 50 times a day. In this "debate" about creationism I have in the past asked myself "What if I am wrong?". With regard to my lack of belief in a deity or set of deities, I have frequently asked myself "What if I am wrong?". I think I can recognise people who ask this question of themselves and I think I can recognise people who are incapable of asking this question of themselves, preferring instead to blame their insecurities and failings on others. I think the question lies at the heart of any debate or discussion, and is indicative of productive humility. I'd go as far to say that anyone who cannot honestly ask themselves this question is someone who has yet to mature to the point where they can participate in any discussion or intellectual pursuit in anything approaching a productive manner.

So I thought, despite the cheeky title, I'd ask everyone a very serious question, or rather series of questions. These are delieberately hypothetical questions by the way, the manner of answer is as important as the answer itself.

1) For the atheists/agnostics etc: What if you are wrong and god(s) do(es) exist? How would you feel and what would you do? What are the social, ethical and political ramifications of this, if any?

2) For the theists/deists etc: What if you are wrong and god(s) do(es) not exist? How would feel and what would you do? What are the social, ethical and political ramifications of this, if any?

3) For the scientists and people who accept modern evolutionary biology as the best explanation we currently have for the diversity of life on earth: What if you are wrong and IDC or YEC or whatever creationism you care to name is correct? How would feel and what would you do? What are the social, ethical and political ramifications of this, if any?

4) For the creationists/evolution sceptics of various stripes and colours: What if you are wrong and IDC or YEC or whatever creationism you care to name is incorrect, and the modern state of evolutionary biology is correct? How would feel and what would you do? What are the social, ethical and political ramifications of this, if any?

Just to be fair, I'll answer the relevant ones quickly:

1) I'd be very happy to discover that a god or gods existed. I would have found out something new about the universe I didn't now before. Of course I'd be a little curious and I might have to ask dear old god or gods a few potentially impertinent questions, all in all I think it would be an amusing thing to discover. Any of the ramifications I mention and what I would do personally depend on the nature of the deity discovered. A Greek or Norse pantheon wouldn't alter my actions massively, and I would imagine that human life would go on pretty much as it does now with all the concommittant wars and what have you. A single deity of certain attributes might force me to change my behaviour in some directions and not others perhaps, but it rather depends on those divine attributes.

3) Firstly, I'd be a bit bloody surprised! But since we are dealing with a hypothetical situation, I'd have to say I'd be perfectly happy with this, If the evidence did support some form of creationism, then I'd hve to go with the evidence. That is, after all, my calling! What I would do is obviously try to get a job in this new and potentially lucrative scientific field! I would love to find out the mechanisms and evidence proposed and supporting this new creationist science. Political, social and ethical ramifications? None. Is does not equate to ought. This is, of course, excepting the case where the creationism discovered was linked to some particular deity. If it was YEC for example then this has implications mentioned in question 1), i.e. a deity of specific attributes that would have political and social etc ramifications. However, ID which (wink wink) doesn't predict a specific designer would be a different bag. Anyway, as I have said before, I don't care WHAT is true, I care HOW we know it to be so.

Enjoy, improve on, etc

Louis

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Bye.

  
J-Dog



Posts: 4402
Joined: Dec. 2006

(Permalink) Posted: Oct. 10 2007,08:35   

Thanks Louis.  Why do I feel like I am back in Philosophy class, and the Professor just sprung a suprise blue-book test on me?

But I did print out your 3 page essay - and will try to give your questions the serious thought and response that they deserve.

When do we have to turn in our work sir?

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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

  
Louis



Posts: 6436
Joined: Jan. 2006

(Permalink) Posted: Oct. 10 2007,08:59   

Quote (J-Dog @ Oct. 10 2007,14:35)
Thanks Louis.  Why do I feel like I am back in Philosophy class, and the Professor just sprung a suprise blue-book test on me?

But I did print out your 3 page essay - and will try to give your questions the serious thought and response that they deserve.

When do we have to turn in our work sir?

Don't take the piss. That was short for me!

;-)

Louis

ADDED IN EDIT: P.S. How dare you! Those questions do not deserve serious thought. Honestly. A week next Thursday will be fine btw.

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Bye.

  
Arden Chatfield



Posts: 6657
Joined: Jan. 2006

(Permalink) Posted: Oct. 10 2007,09:50   

Is this gonna be on the exam?

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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

  
Louis



Posts: 6436
Joined: Jan. 2006

(Permalink) Posted: Oct. 10 2007,10:03   

Quote (Arden Chatfield @ Oct. 10 2007,15:50)
Is this gonna be on the exam?

Yes.

Louis

P.S. Actually, no.

P.P.S. Maybe. The trouble with you students these days is you don't work as hard as we did in our day, etc moan whinge complain.

P.P.P.S. Have I fucked up here? Questions too dumb? Tone too cheeky?

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Bye.

  
skeptic



Posts: 1163
Joined: May 2006

(Permalink) Posted: Oct. 10 2007,19:19   

Interesting.

2)  The actual results of this would be nothing.  Just consider the source.  I wouldn't ever learn that God or something "else" doesn't exist because I would die and that would be it. Oblivion.  Consequently, I couldn't change anything about my actions, political, social or otherwise, because the premise is not presently disprovable.  This is not to say that it could become disprovable at some point but I can't conceive of a way that that would be possible.  If it became possible to disprove the existence of God while we were still living that would be an entirely different question.  Given that premise,  I would see some changes in my life, the obvious ones like attending church but overall I would not change much else because in general I'm very happy with myself and the way life has turned out based upon the choices I have made which were influenced by my beliefs.  I would greatly fear the impact of this premise upon the population at large and would predict great instability and uncertainty as not everyone might feel so constrained.

3 & 4)  Not too impactful either way.  I live in a world, professionally, in which CToE is the rule so no changes there.  If the converse were to be true it would affect people personally but science still attempts to describe the world empirically and I don't see any major changes there.  If creationism reaches a level of testable, repeatable observation then it just becomes science and we march on with a newer understanding of the world around us.  Of course, we still wouldn't be satisfied with that description and we'd continue to search for a better model.

  
The Wayward Hammer



Posts: 64
Joined: April 2006

(Permalink) Posted: Oct. 10 2007,19:22   

Louis - I think they are interesting questions.  

I am a "mild" theist and I would be disappointed if that belief (and it is only a belief) was wrong.  I find great wonder and beauty in the universe so it is not as if some great portion of my happiness is dependent on theism being true.  I must admit some fear of mortality - OK, a big fear of mortality  - so most of my disappointment would honestly be about my ending.

I have a much stronger feeling about evolution.  If it was somehow found to be incorrect I would be quite puzzled.  The evidence seems so strong and broad that the only way to overturn it would be spectacular new data and that would be exciting.  Puzzling that we did not see it sooner, but exciting.

However, if it ends up that the evidence was just some devious subterfuge by a deity then my disappointment would be more with that deity.

  
stevestory



Posts: 10127
Joined: Oct. 2005

(Permalink) Posted: Oct. 10 2007,19:45   

Quote (Louis @ Oct. 10 2007,05:16)
1) For the atheists/agnostics etc: What if you are wrong and god(s) do(es) exist? How would you feel and what would you do? What are the social, ethical and political ramifications of this, if any?

I would be extremely curious to know what it's like. What can we understand about it? In what kind of world does it live? Can we communicate with it? It would be very exciting. And brand new, as I don't expect it would have much of any resemblance to the religions I'm familiar with, which seem to be provincial, petty, ridiculous, and both unfairly self-aggrandizing and unfairly self-abnegating. I would also be a little frightened that this very powerful force may be malign.

Quote
3) For the scientists and people who accept modern evolutionary biology as the best explanation we currently have for the diversity of life on earth: What if you are wrong and IDC or YEC or whatever creationism you care to name is correct? How would feel and what would you do? What are the social, ethical and political ramifications of this, if any?


This is a broad question.

a) IDC could be right in some chintzy little way like, you know, evolution went for a billion years and then some space aliens added a gene or two to make it go multicellular. That would be less interesting about the added gene than about the cool new knowledge of space aliens trucking around the galaxy. That would lead to some really phenomenal stuff. Where are they from, how'd they zoom around those distances, what happened to them, etc.

b) YEC is correct: I would be instantly depressed. Not only would that mean the cheap little fairy tale is true, but we were deliberately deceived by a being who planted millions of misleading clues from the deepest fossil to the farthest star. And I'd be under the eternal thumb of the insane monster described in the bible.

Edit: Adjectives are like salt on french fries, more is always better. So change 'insane monster' to 'insane, vainglorious monster'. That is all.

Edited by stevestory on Oct. 10 2007,20:49

   
khan



Posts: 1525
Joined: May 2007

(Permalink) Posted: Oct. 10 2007,22:24   

Quote
3) For the scientists and people who accept modern evolutionary biology as the best explanation we currently have for the diversity of life on earth: What if you are wrong and IDC or YEC or whatever creationism you care to name is correct? How would feel and what would you do? What are the social, ethical and political ramifications of this, if any?


There would be no need to do any scientific investigation on anything ever again.

Any/all evidence/history can be changed/faked at whim by The Powers That Be just to deceive/test people.

And TPTB also could shift its (their?) nature and the resulting rules and consequences at whim.

Last Thursdayism writ large.

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"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

  
Louis



Posts: 6436
Joined: Jan. 2006

(Permalink) Posted: Oct. 12 2007,11:15   

Quote (skeptic @ Oct. 11 2007,01:19)
Interesting.

2)  The actual results of this would be nothing.  Just consider the source.  I wouldn't ever learn that God or something "else" doesn't exist because I would die and that would be it. Oblivion.  Consequently, I couldn't change anything about my actions, political, social or otherwise, because the premise is not presently disprovable.  This is not to say that it could become disprovable at some point but I can't conceive of a way that that would be possible.  If it became possible to disprove the existence of God while we were still living that would be an entirely different question.  Given that premise,  I would see some changes in my life, the obvious ones like attending church but overall I would not change much else because in general I'm very happy with myself and the way life has turned out based upon the choices I have made which were influenced by my beliefs.  I would greatly fear the impact of this premise upon the population at large and would predict great instability and uncertainty as not everyone might feel so constrained.

3 & 4)  Not too impactful either way.  I live in a world, professionally, in which CToE is the rule so no changes there.  If the converse were to be true it would affect people personally but science still attempts to describe the world empirically and I don't see any major changes there.  If creationism reaches a level of testable, repeatable observation then it just becomes science and we march on with a newer understanding of the world around us.  Of course, we still wouldn't be satisfied with that description and we'd continue to search for a better model.

Just one question to kick off with:

Are you seriously saying that you (and presumably based on your comment others) do not go hog wild because you are "constrained" by your belief in god exisiting?

The only thing that stops you (and/or others) wigging out and going on a killing spree is your faith in a big beared man in the sky watching you?

Forgive my flippant tone but I am aghast! Please tell me this is not what you think.

Louis

P.S. No one said DISPROVE the existence of god, Skeptic, you should know by now that it's not possible to prove a negative. There is no reproducible, reliable evidence that unicrons exist. As far as we know, unicrons do not exist. Presumably you think there is evidence for the existence of god (I'd love to see it some time. Special pleading doesn't count), imagine a world without that evidence.

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Bye.

  
Louis



Posts: 6436
Joined: Jan. 2006

(Permalink) Posted: Oct. 12 2007,11:25   

Quote (stevestory @ Oct. 11 2007,01:45)
b) YEC is correct: I would be instantly depressed. Not only would that mean the cheap little fairy tale is true, but we were deliberately deceived by a being who planted millions of misleading clues from the deepest fossil to the farthest star. And I'd be under the eternal thumb of the insane monster described in the bible.

Edit: Adjectives are like salt on french fries, more is always better. So change 'insane monster' to 'insane, vainglorious monster'. That is all.

Oh I agree. That's why I said it depends on the attributes of the god(s) that exist in my hypothetical example.

If BibleGawd were real, my reaction would be curiosity mingled with concern. BibleGawd isn't a nice bunny.

Louis

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Bye.

  
Nerull



Posts: 317
Joined: June 2007

(Permalink) Posted: Oct. 12 2007,13:39   

If BibleGod is real, I'd still refuse to worship him.

He has the worst qualities of the most evil dictators we can imagine, and his followers love him for it.

They can shove their god.

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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

   
J-Dog



Posts: 4402
Joined: Dec. 2006

(Permalink) Posted: Oct. 12 2007,20:25   

Quote (Nerull @ Oct. 12 2007,13:39)
If BibleGod is real, I'd still refuse to worship him.

He has the worst qualities of the most evil dictators we can imagine, and his followers love him for it.

They can shove their god.

Dear Professor Dr. Louis,

Me too.

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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

  
ck1



Posts: 65
Joined: Oct. 2006

(Permalink) Posted: Oct. 12 2007,21:35   

Quote (Louis @ Oct. 10 2007,04:16)
1) For the atheists/agnostics etc: What if you are wrong and god(s) do(es) exist? How would you feel and what would you do? What are the social, ethical and political ramifications of this, if any?

3) For the scientists and people who accept modern evolutionary biology as the best explanation we currently have for the diversity of life on earth: What if you are wrong and IDC or YEC or whatever creationism you care to name is correct? How would feel and what would you do? What are the social, ethical and political ramifications of this, if any?

1) How would I find out I am wrong about this?  I die and end up in hell?  I have been considering this issue for 45+ years, and it is unlikely that anything would change my mind at this point short of a miracle or dementia.  This new knowledge would likely come too late to make a difference in my life in this world (the social, ethical, political ramifications you mention).

3) I would redesign my research program where appropriate. What ramifications do you mean?

  
Louis



Posts: 6436
Joined: Jan. 2006

(Permalink) Posted: Oct. 13 2007,02:02   

Quote (ck1 @ Oct. 13 2007,03:35)
Quote (Louis @ Oct. 10 2007,04:16)
1) For the atheists/agnostics etc: What if you are wrong and god(s) do(es) exist? How would you feel and what would you do? What are the social, ethical and political ramifications of this, if any?

3) For the scientists and people who accept modern evolutionary biology as the best explanation we currently have for the diversity of life on earth: What if you are wrong and IDC or YEC or whatever creationism you care to name is correct? How would feel and what would you do? What are the social, ethical and political ramifications of this, if any?

1) How would I find out I am wrong about this?  I die and end up in hell?  I have been considering this issue for 45+ years, and it is unlikely that anything would change my mind at this point short of a miracle or dementia.  This new knowledge would likely come too late to make a difference in my life in this world (the social, ethical, political ramifications you mention).

3) I would redesign my research program where appropriate. What ramifications do you mean?

Hi Ck1,

Ramifications. Well we hear from certain of our theist chums that evolutionary biology is responsible for the Nazis and teenage pregnancy and what have you. So I was trying to elicit thoughts along what would the effect of creationism (of whatever stripe) being true along those lines be. We also here that we horrid nasty evil materialistdarwinistatheistgodhaters who accept evolutionary biology as the best explanation we cirrently have for the diversity of life on this planet are horribly biased and adhere to our religion of darwinism without question and ability to be moved. You've actually just answered question 3) perfectly by the way (as have several others), I'll explain why (you already know I'm sure but I want to make it clear):

Evolution is wrong? Some species of creationism is right? Ok, big deal, how does this affect what I am researching? How can I best adapt my research to study this new understanding we have gained of the universe?

Not a shred of bias or outrage, just dealing with the facts as they are presented in this hypothetical universe defined by the question and working with those facts. Does that strike you as a massive contrast to certain mindsets and mindsets that are claimed on our behalf by certain elements on the creationist benches? It should!

I think Steve has put it well: it depends on what "creationism" is true. I confess I'd be more than shocked and dismayed if certain YEC things were true because they fly so far in the face of what we know very well now, so something very odd would have to happen for those things to be true. In reality obviously this is an impossibility, but considering it hypothetically is interesting. Of course I making the massive assumption that if YEC were true the universe would actually operate. Given the ramifications of YEC for the strong and weak forces (for example), I doubt we'd even have atoms, but that's another tale for another day.

Louis

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Bye.

  
Louis



Posts: 6436
Joined: Jan. 2006

(Permalink) Posted: Oct. 13 2007,02:09   

Quote (J-Dog @ Oct. 13 2007,02:25)
Quote (Nerull @ Oct. 12 2007,13:39)
If BibleGod is real, I'd still refuse to worship him.

He has the worst qualities of the most evil dictators we can imagine, and his followers love him for it.

They can shove their god.

Dear Professor Dr. Louis,

Me too.

I'd agree with much of that! When we are talking about a specific deity with specific attributes, then there are certainly specific deities with certain attributes claimed for them that I wouldn't like too much. A christian friendly one is imagine if satan were actually real and actually the only deity. Given what we know about this chappie from mythology I can safely say I wouldn't be overly amused! Sadly, BibleGawd fares little better in the "being a complete prick" stakes. Mind you if we could have a deity who's attributes with could conveniently pick and choose, that might be a different matter.

Louis

P.S. J-Dog, sadly I am not a professor. You can just call me "Your Imperial High Majesty Oooh Gosh Aren't You Impressive. Wow!". Cheers ;-)

Or "Louis". Either is good.

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Bye.

  
Nomad



Posts: 311
Joined: July 2007

(Permalink) Posted: Oct. 15 2007,23:50   

Hmm.. hypothetical questions..  Always entertaining..


1.  Honestly.. I'd be thrilled.  To be fair, I'm not at all keen on the whole godless life cycle.  Ya'know, get born, live, die, that's it.  If you could magically get rid of my fear of oblivion (yes I know that's KIND of illogical, I'll never experience it so why should I fear it?) then I'd probably slide further towards rabid atheism.  You prove to me that all that metaphysical stuff, including life after death, exists and I'd be rather pleased.  How it effects the way I approach life depends on how it's done.  If it's, say, Jesus riding down the street on a dinosaur while playing Stairway to Heaven on an electric guitar (I just love that image), but NOTHING MORE.. it gives me no guidance.  It doesn't tell me if the bible is literal or allegorical.  It doesn't tell me what I'm supposed to be doing with my life.  It doesn't tell me if God hates the gays, or if that's just a primitive response by the conservatives against their own latent homosexual tendencies..
The minimal situation would probably give me some blind comfort without causing me to drastically alter my behavior in any way.  Perhaps I'd be a bit more willing to risk death due to the knowledge that, theoretically, something BETTER comes after this existence, but..  without further guidance I'm still left with the same moral compass I possessed beforehand.
A far more interesting question is what I'd do if God came down to Earth and commanded me to do some things that go against my established moral boundaries.  Ya'know, bomb abortion clinics, hurt people, preach a religion of hatred.  I honestly can't say.  I'd like to think I'd tell God to go jump in a lake, but.. come on.. it's GOD.. I'm only too aware of my own limitations.  He created EVERYTHING, he can use force to compel me to do his bidding.  I mean it's largely established that the question isn't whether torture will or will not work on an individual, just how much torture is required.  And if we're talking about the vengeful god of the old testament..  I'd be screwed.  Make the wrong move and I'd end up in the digestive tract of a marine mammal.


3.  Oh boy..  this is problematic.  Dare I admit that in much the same way that fundamentalists feel that accepting evolution somehow means that their entire world would be turned upside down, the same would happen to me if creationism was confirmed?  First off I have to accept that a great deal of the scientific picture is wrong.  Yes, the scientific process DOES result in accepted theories being overturned from time to time, but..  the creationist story means that a great deal of observed evidence is false.  There's no way it's being misinterpreted, it would have to have been intentionally misleading.  How am I supposed to react if I found out that the entire world was designed to mislead me?

I've heard a lot of irrational stuff from the god-head's out there.  Perhaps my favorite was a girl offering her evidence for creationism on a radio show I was listening to.. her evidence for creationism?  "The creator is in my heart".  Turn that around 180 degrees.  That kind of thinking would be perfectly reasonable.  In that world my rational thought would be as ridiculous as that statement.

Let's see.. I see a couple possible results.  I might end up as a crazy homeless person, wandering the streets, babbling about hypothesis and observable phenomenon.  At least I could still count on good Christian charity, right?
Or I might go the full insane hermit route, living in a cave somewhere, eating rats..  Or perhaps the most likely scenerio would find me in a mental hospital.  Run by fundamentalists.  Being fed drugs that are supposed to help me adapt to the new world around me.

I have difficulty looking beyond my personal reaction.  If you trust the surveys than more than half of my country already believes they live in this sort of a world.  So.. if anything things would only become more so.  Given the success of such things.. abstinence based sex education, the occurances of pedophilia among the clergy, the deviant (by THEIR standards) sexual behavior among both conservative religious and political leaders..

I guess I'd expect more of all of that.  Which would help motivate my move to the hermit cave I spoke of.

  
Dr.GH



Posts: 2113
Joined: May 2002

(Permalink) Posted: Oct. 16 2007,00:13   

See, it's like this for me; I hate being wrong.  It makes me vomit.

So, I go to conferences and I give papers.  That way people can tell me right away if I am right or wrong, and I don't have to waste time writing it all out and sending in for review from only a few asswipes, who because they are experts in the same things I am an expert in, know who I am anyway. (Anonymous?  No way.  If you can't pick out two out of three of your reviewers you are not an expert.  I don't even try to be anonymous any more- it is useless).

So at a conference people- dozens or hundreds, will feel perfectly happy to tell you what they think. Especially in the hotel bar.  I got tenure and grants mostly by giving conference papers (eventually published in a Proceedings) and arguing face to face, and circulating manuscripts.  I once had 150 requests for a manuscript.  I never did publish it in a book, and it was too long for any journal.  Professional societies once had monograph series, but they had died due to high cost.

So, the deal is that being challenged by other people is much easier, and more fun than trying to keep yourself streight.  Some jack asses take it all personally, and once it has degraded to that point you might as well play that as well.  There is nothing wrong with dislikeing pig shit on your boots.  An interesting thing in my personal experience is that after people have made serious attempts to kill you, trivial threats made by trivial people are merely amusing.

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"Science is the horse that pulls the cart of philosophy."

L. Susskind, 2004 "SMOLIN VS. SUSSKIND: THE ANTHROPIC PRINCIPLE"

   
Dr.GH



Posts: 2113
Joined: May 2002

(Permalink) Posted: Oct. 16 2007,00:26   

So, on the point;

Quote
1) For the atheists/agnostics etc: What if you are wrong and god(s) do(es) exist? How would you feel and what would you do? What are the social, ethical and political ramifications of this, if any?
If there are creatures of the sort described as gods, they have evovled.  They might have knowledge and abilities I lack, but they are no more than beings.  I have knowledge and powers that my dog lacks.  He is only vagely aware of this, and is generally appreciative when I use my thumbs to open the food can. If confronted with a god I will endeavor to emulate my dog, and still remember that the bastard will fall asleep sometime.

Quote
3) For the scientists and people who accept modern evolutionary biology as the best explanation we currently have for the diversity of life on earth: What if you are wrong and IDC or YEC or whatever creationism you care to name is correct? How would feel and what would you do? What are the social, ethical and political ramifications of this, if any?
Well, the simple fact is that we are not wrong.  The sad fact is that we are not wrong.  It would be so much fun if there were little pixies, and ghosties and angels and even bad ol' thunder/fertility big daddy.

There isn't.  Sorry, I can't play that game except on PCRPGs or old style PnP D&D.  There are no gods.

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"Science is the horse that pulls the cart of philosophy."

L. Susskind, 2004 "SMOLIN VS. SUSSKIND: THE ANTHROPIC PRINCIPLE"

   
stevestory



Posts: 10127
Joined: Oct. 2005

(Permalink) Posted: Oct. 16 2007,00:33   

I've been wondering if I should have put my response on the Bathroom Wall, because this board is not supposed to be for religion bashing. But having thought about it, I think my response was okay, because it's largely agreeable to smart christians. As a philosopher once told me, "Good science doesn't disagree with the facts, but neither does good religion." If I were a christian I wouldn't want to find out that the earth was 6,000 years old, because a mountain of evidence says it's several billion years old. I'd much rather believe, were I a christian, that YEC belief is an error in the reception, translation, or analysis of god's message, than to believe god planted 100 deceptive lines of evidence. This would fit in with my belief, were I a christian, that the old testament was largely mistaken, and the monstrous god described therein had essentially nothing to do with the real, new testament god.

   
Dr.GH



Posts: 2113
Joined: May 2002

(Permalink) Posted: Oct. 16 2007,00:42   

The 6,000 year old earth isn't biblical either.

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"Science is the horse that pulls the cart of philosophy."

L. Susskind, 2004 "SMOLIN VS. SUSSKIND: THE ANTHROPIC PRINCIPLE"

   
Louis



Posts: 6436
Joined: Jan. 2006

(Permalink) Posted: Oct. 16 2007,02:59   

Dr GH: Oh I agree we aren't wrong, and I think the proposition you've raised that gods, if they existed, would have evolved is an interesting addition.

Steve: I don't think your response is religion bashing, after all the problem of evil is a genuine topic in theology and since these hypothetical questions fall under that general  area of discussion, I'd guess you is ok!

I must confess to an ulterior motive  (oh it was SOOOO subtle). I wanted to show certain personages that not only could we consider the possibility that we're wrong about really key things (not that we are, just that we can consider the possibility exists however infintesimal it is) but that they could too, just as an exercise. I get the impression that accusations of bias are thrown from certain people because those people have never considered they might be wrong consciously.  This appears to have been a failed attempt to get them to try that.

Oh well

Louis

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Bye.

  
J-Dog



Posts: 4402
Joined: Dec. 2006

(Permalink) Posted: Oct. 16 2007,10:22   

Nomad:  

Check this site out - I think this guy interprets it right, and his site will give you the answers you have been looking for.

Bottom line Cliff Notes:  Old Testament God's a Real Dick™

http://www.jaypinkerton.com/backofthebible.html


HTH :)

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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

  
Richardthughes



Posts: 10756
Joined: Jan. 2006

(Permalink) Posted: Oct. 16 2007,10:29   

Quote (Dr.GH @ Oct. 16 2007,00:26)
So, on the point;

Quote
1) For the atheists/agnostics etc: What if you are wrong and god(s) do(es) exist? How would you feel and what would you do? What are the social, ethical and political ramifications of this, if any?
If there are creatures of the sort described as gods, they have evovled.  They might have knowledge and abilities I lack, but they are no more than beings.  I have knowledge and powers that my dog lacks.  He is only vagely aware of this, and is generally appreciative when I use my thumbs to open the food can. If confronted with a god I will endeavor to emulate my dog, and still remember that the bastard will fall asleep sometime.

Quote
3) For the scientists and people who accept modern evolutionary biology as the best explanation we currently have for the diversity of life on earth: What if you are wrong and IDC or YEC or whatever creationism you care to name is correct? How would feel and what would you do? What are the social, ethical and political ramifications of this, if any?
Well, the simple fact is that we are not wrong.  The sad fact is that we are not wrong.  It would be so much fun if there were little pixies, and ghosties and angels and even bad ol' thunder/fertility big daddy.

There isn't.  Sorry, I can't play that game except on PCRPGs or old style PnP D&D.  There are no gods.



Look at all those designers.

Speaking of which, I likes the old Greek gods, where each god was responsible for a few things.

Rich - god of Wednesday, and Microsoft excel and, erm, tea... oh and bell-bottoms.

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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

  
Dr.GH



Posts: 2113
Joined: May 2002

(Permalink) Posted: Oct. 16 2007,12:12   

Rich, You did the bellbottoms!  Oh I liked those.

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"Science is the horse that pulls the cart of philosophy."

L. Susskind, 2004 "SMOLIN VS. SUSSKIND: THE ANTHROPIC PRINCIPLE"

   
qetzal



Posts: 311
Joined: Feb. 2006

(Permalink) Posted: Oct. 16 2007,12:40   

Careful, Rich. Woden's gonna be pissed if he hears you claiming Wednesday. (Unless you're him? In which case, glad to see you've given up the whole war thing.)

  
skeptic



Posts: 1163
Joined: May 2006

(Permalink) Posted: Oct. 18 2007,22:39   

Quote (Louis @ Oct. 12 2007,11:15)
Just one question to kick off with:

Are you seriously saying that you (and presumably based on your comment others) do not go hog wild because you are "constrained" by your belief in god exisiting?

The only thing that stops you (and/or others) wigging out and going on a killing spree is your faith in a big beared man in the sky watching you?

Forgive my flippant tone but I am aghast! Please tell me this is not what you think.

Louis

P.S. No one said DISPROVE the existence of god, Skeptic, you should know by now that it's not possible to prove a negative. There is no reproducible, reliable evidence that unicrons exist. As far as we know, unicrons do not exist. Presumably you think there is evidence for the existence of god (I'd love to see it some time. Special pleading doesn't count), imagine a world without that evidence.

Sorry for the absense but both my computer and I were ill and needed time to recover.

Actually, I run into something of a loop.  I, speaking for myself, happen to agree with the "contraints" offered by my faith to a large degree and so I don't view them as "constraints."  I also don't see my opinion of them changing just because the underlying faith may be misplaced.  I have perfectly rational and irrational reasons for believing as I do and it just so happens that these reasons and my faith coincide.  Now you can say that they coincide because I believe or because I believe they coincide.  That's were the loop comes in but I can't answer that question.  That is a question for my subconscious, if it exists, and falls outside the realm of discovery, IMO.

The thing that keeps me from going on a killing spree is the belief that it is wrong with a capital 'W'.  That God also says it is wrong lends more credibility to Him as a source of knowledge.  If I viewed God in the same way as opinions articulated on this board then I wouldn't follow Him either but I'd still believe in Him.  It would be arrogance on my part to say that because I disagree with Him then He just doesn't exist, IMO.

One other thing, as a basis for this hypothetical we would have to actually "know" that God doesn't exist.  Hence the disprove comment.  Otherwise, we're really just in the same boat we are now with no one really knowing the Truth.  Without proof that God doesn't exist, or even that specific deities don't exist, a person of faith would find it very difficult to honestly contemplate what life would be like without God because faith is all they're running on in the first place.  Does that make any sense?

  
Louis



Posts: 6436
Joined: Jan. 2006

(Permalink) Posted: Oct. 19 2007,08:26   

Quote (skeptic @ Oct. 19 2007,04:39)
Sorry for the absense but both my computer and I were ill and needed time to recover.

Actually, I run into something of a loop.  I, speaking for myself, happen to agree with the "contraints" offered by my faith to a large degree and so I don't view them as "constraints."  I also don't see my opinion of them changing just because the underlying faith may be misplaced.  I have perfectly rational and irrational reasons for believing as I do and it just so happens that these reasons and my faith coincide.  Now you can say that they coincide because I believe or because I believe they coincide.  That's were the loop comes in but I can't answer that question.  That is a question for my subconscious, if it exists, and falls outside the realm of discovery, IMO.

The thing that keeps me from going on a killing spree is the belief that it is wrong with a capital 'W'.  That God also says it is wrong lends more credibility to Him as a source of knowledge.  If I viewed God in the same way as opinions articulated on this board then I wouldn't follow Him either but I'd still believe in Him.  It would be arrogance on my part to say that because I disagree with Him then He just doesn't exist, IMO.

One other thing, as a basis for this hypothetical we would have to actually "know" that God doesn't exist.  Hence the disprove comment.  Otherwise, we're really just in the same boat we are now with no one really knowing the Truth.  Without proof that God doesn't exist, or even that specific deities don't exist, a person of faith would find it very difficult to honestly contemplate what life would be like without God because faith is all they're running on in the first place.  Does that make any sense?

Glad to find your self and computer back in fine health! Gesundheit and all that.

So Skeptic, are you similarly open minded about unicorns, pixies anf fairies at the bottom of my garden? After all, to quote you with one word altered:

Quote
One other thing, as a basis for this hypothetical we would have to actually "know" that pixies don't exist.  Hence the disprove comment.  Otherwise, we're really just in the same boat we are now with no one really knowing the Truth.  Without proof that pixies don't exist, or even that specific pixies don't exist, a person of faith would find it very difficult to honestly contemplate what life would be like without pixies because faith is all they're running on in the first place.  Does that make any sense?


To answer the question, erm, no it doesn't make sense. By which I mean it is a logically fallacious combination of special pleading, non sequiturs, argument from ignorance and circular reasoning. Does it make sense in some emotional or perhaps personal sense? Doubtlessly it does. But I'd hope you are smart enough to see through it.

You seem to be implying, Skeptic, that if someone came up with a series of ideas that fitted your preconceptions/prejudices better than your current religion does that you'd switch. Even if this switch isn't a possibility, do you realise the very shaky ground you have placed yourself on. Do you realise that asking for a negative to be proven is not the same, and does not in any way equate, to asking for positive evidence supporting a proposition?

Do you understand, for example that atheism is not the position that there is no god(s) (although there are subsets of atheism that believe this, and I excoriate them for the same reasons I excoriate you) it is the position that there is no evidence for god(s) and thus belief in such a concept is unsupported. Do you understand why your answer fails to address the questions I asked? (Except in the sense that you have once again abundantly demonstrated your inability to think outside of your faith)

Louis

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IanBrown_101



Posts: 927
Joined: April 2007

(Permalink) Posted: Oct. 19 2007,13:06   

Quote
not the position that there is no god(s)



This is my current position, butonly because there is absolutely no evidence for, need for, or reason to believe in god(s). If I am proved wrong I will change my mind.

As for the questions, if god were proven I would be a little miffed, but otherwise fine with it. However, if it was the god of the bible and the bible was also literally true, I'd be lining up behind Christopher Hitchens to bemoan how much that sucks, and how evil said deity is. If it was just a nice benevolent deity then I'd be cool with that, but any god who set us up for a fall or plated false evidence towards evolution and old earth etc.

So I think that answers both your questions.

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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.

   
J-Dog



Posts: 4402
Joined: Dec. 2006

(Permalink) Posted: Oct. 19 2007,13:10   

Quote (Louis @ Oct. 19 2007,08:26)
Quote (skeptic @ Oct. 19 2007,04:39)
Sorry for the absense but both my computer and I were ill and needed time to recover.

Actually, I run into something of a loop.  I, speaking for myself, happen to agree with the "contraints" offered by my faith to a large degree and so I don't view them as "constraints."  I also don't see my opinion of them changing just because the underlying faith may be misplaced.  I have perfectly rational and irrational reasons for believing as I do and it just so happens that these reasons and my faith coincide.  Now you can say that they coincide because I believe or because I believe they coincide.  That's were the loop comes in but I can't answer that question.  That is a question for my subconscious, if it exists, and falls outside the realm of discovery, IMO.

The thing that keeps me from going on a killing spree is the belief that it is wrong with a capital 'W'.  That God also says it is wrong lends more credibility to Him as a source of knowledge.  If I viewed God in the same way as opinions articulated on this board then I wouldn't follow Him either but I'd still believe in Him.  It would be arrogance on my part to say that because I disagree with Him then He just doesn't exist, IMO.

One other thing, as a basis for this hypothetical we would have to actually "know" that God doesn't exist.  Hence the disprove comment.  Otherwise, we're really just in the same boat we are now with no one really knowing the Truth.  Without proof that God doesn't exist, or even that specific deities don't exist, a person of faith would find it very difficult to honestly contemplate what life would be like without God because faith is all they're running on in the first place.  Does that make any sense?

Glad to find your self and computer back in fine health! Gesundheit and all that.

So Skeptic, are you similarly open minded about unicorns, pixies anf fairies at the bottom of my garden? After all, to quote you with one word altered:

Quote
One other thing, as a basis for this hypothetical we would have to actually "know" that pixies don't exist.  Hence the disprove comment.  Otherwise, we're really just in the same boat we are now with no one really knowing the Truth.  Without proof that pixies don't exist, or even that specific pixies don't exist, a person of faith would find it very difficult to honestly contemplate what life would be like without pixies because faith is all they're running on in the first place.  Does that make any sense?


To answer the question, erm, no it doesn't make sense. By which I mean it is a logically fallacious combination of special pleading, non sequiturs, argument from ignorance and circular reasoning. Does it make sense in some emotional or perhaps personal sense? Doubtlessly it does. But I'd hope you are smart enough to see through it.

You seem to be implying, Skeptic, that if someone came up with a series of ideas that fitted your preconceptions/prejudices better than your current religion does that you'd switch. Even if this switch isn't a possibility, do you realise the very shaky ground you have placed yourself on. Do you realise that asking for a negative to be proven is not the same, and does not in any way equate, to asking for positive evidence supporting a proposition?

Do you understand, for example that atheism is not the position that there is no god(s) (although there are subsets of atheism that believe this, and I excoriate them for the same reasons I excoriate you) it is the position that there is no evidence for god(s) and thus belief in such a concept is unsupported. Do you understand why your answer fails to address the questions I asked? (Except in the sense that you have once again abundantly demonstrated your inability to think outside of your faith)

Louis

I am totally skeptical that "skeptic" will ever get it.

He will have no meaningful answer for your "Pixie Replacement" example.

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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

  
Louis



Posts: 6436
Joined: Jan. 2006

(Permalink) Posted: Oct. 20 2007,02:40   

Ian: Yup, I'd say that answers them nicely. Strange isn't it how the majority of atheist responders so far have mentioned that it turns on the evidence, and if they were wrong they'd be mildly disappointed. It's only the characteristics of the deity in question, like the characteristics of a government in question for example, that cause any potential consternation. The one theist response we've had is supported by a swathe of fallacious reasoning and is effectively an excuse to get out of answering the question. Interesting n'est ce pas?

J-Dog. Experience leads me to agree with your assessment. Hope makes me think that THIS time my experience will be proven wrong. Terrible thing is hope sometimes! ;-)

Louis

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skeptic



Posts: 1163
Joined: May 2006

(Permalink) Posted: Oct. 20 2007,10:54   

Quote (Louis @ Oct. 19 2007,08:26)
Quote (skeptic @ Oct. 19 2007,04:39)
Sorry for the absense but both my computer and I were ill and needed time to recover.

Actually, I run into something of a loop.  I, speaking for myself, happen to agree with the "contraints" offered by my faith to a large degree and so I don't view them as "constraints."  I also don't see my opinion of them changing just because the underlying faith may be misplaced.  I have perfectly rational and irrational reasons for believing as I do and it just so happens that these reasons and my faith coincide.  Now you can say that they coincide because I believe or because I believe they coincide.  That's were the loop comes in but I can't answer that question.  That is a question for my subconscious, if it exists, and falls outside the realm of discovery, IMO.

The thing that keeps me from going on a killing spree is the belief that it is wrong with a capital 'W'.  That God also says it is wrong lends more credibility to Him as a source of knowledge.  If I viewed God in the same way as opinions articulated on this board then I wouldn't follow Him either but I'd still believe in Him.  It would be arrogance on my part to say that because I disagree with Him then He just doesn't exist, IMO.

One other thing, as a basis for this hypothetical we would have to actually "know" that God doesn't exist.  Hence the disprove comment.  Otherwise, we're really just in the same boat we are now with no one really knowing the Truth.  Without proof that God doesn't exist, or even that specific deities don't exist, a person of faith would find it very difficult to honestly contemplate what life would be like without God because faith is all they're running on in the first place.  Does that make any sense?

Glad to find your self and computer back in fine health! Gesundheit and all that.

So Skeptic, are you similarly open minded about unicorns, pixies anf fairies at the bottom of my garden? After all, to quote you with one word altered:

Quote
One other thing, as a basis for this hypothetical we would have to actually "know" that pixies don't exist.  Hence the disprove comment.  Otherwise, we're really just in the same boat we are now with no one really knowing the Truth.  Without proof that pixies don't exist, or even that specific pixies don't exist, a person of faith would find it very difficult to honestly contemplate what life would be like without pixies because faith is all they're running on in the first place.  Does that make any sense?


To answer the question, erm, no it doesn't make sense. By which I mean it is a logically fallacious combination of special pleading, non sequiturs, argument from ignorance and circular reasoning. Does it make sense in some emotional or perhaps personal sense? Doubtlessly it does. But I'd hope you are smart enough to see through it.

You seem to be implying, Skeptic, that if someone came up with a series of ideas that fitted your preconceptions/prejudices better than your current religion does that you'd switch. Even if this switch isn't a possibility, do you realise the very shaky ground you have placed yourself on. Do you realise that asking for a negative to be proven is not the same, and does not in any way equate, to asking for positive evidence supporting a proposition?

Do you understand, for example that atheism is not the position that there is no god(s) (although there are subsets of atheism that believe this, and I excoriate them for the same reasons I excoriate you) it is the position that there is no evidence for god(s) and thus belief in such a concept is unsupported. Do you understand why your answer fails to address the questions I asked? (Except in the sense that you have once again abundantly demonstrated your inability to think outside of your faith)

Louis

Again you misunderstand me.  Go back to your original question, #2.

A theist learns that there is no God.  How does he react?

(am I right so far?)

There are only two reasons I can see this happening, please point out more cases if you see them.

1) the theist decides that there is no more reason to believe then not believe and changes his mind.  There's no real rational reason to discuss this scenario as it just relies upon a switching of faith.

2) the theist is presented with evidence that God (or even a specific deity), in fact, does not exist.  This case REQUIRES the theist to reassess his faith and all areas of his life affected and influenced by this faith.  I answered the question with this scenario in mind.

As far as the "shaky" ground I've placed myself on, you might want to rethink that claim.  Try replacing "series of ideas" with "evidence" and you'll see that that is exactly how a rational person should react.  Also, in the case of converting a theist, your positive evidence supporting a proposition is proving the negative.  At initial conditions, the theist doesn't have to prove to himself that God exists, he already believes it.  To alter this belief would require some kind evidence to the contrary.  This is the exact opposite of the atheist who requires positive evidence for the existence.  You want a theist to honestly answer that question then you must assume that God has been disproven.  If you see another scenario, please supply it, I do not.

So before you settle in you mode of inflammatory labels and rude rhetoric you might want to actually read the answer and accept the opinion rather than rejecting it out of hand because you reject the initial premise.

As far as "thinking outside my faith", this seems a  meaningless insult.  Please explain what you mean by this.

  
Louis



Posts: 6436
Joined: Jan. 2006

(Permalink) Posted: Oct. 21 2007,03:39   

Oh no am I being mean again?

Skeptic,

1) No insults there. Settle, petal!

2) I understood your answer. Explain why it doesn't apply to pixies.

Louis

ADDED IN EDIT: I think I mentioned in a previous post that, presumably, you think there is some evidence your deity exists. The hypothetical scenario I asked you to envisage was the absence of the evidence. Again, try to understand why proving a negative doesn't work.

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skeptic



Posts: 1163
Joined: May 2006

(Permalink) Posted: Oct. 21 2007,15:24   

I see what you're saying but you're not going to be happy with this answer.  The case doesn't work for pixies because I don't believe in pixies.  As far as evidence to the contrary that God exists, I think I can explain.  I've always believed in God.  I didn't make a conscious choice based upon an evaluation of the evidence, I just do.  Everything I believe from a philosophy basis reinforces that belief.  I don't see the conflicts that many atheists encouter when they contemplate God.  Hense the loop I referred to.  Which came first, my belief or my philosophy?  Maybe Faith is hardwired, I can't say.  What I know is that it's very hard to discuss faith with someone who believes differently in any substitive way because there's a massive difference in fundamental viewpoints.  So, again, to reiterate, I would have to see evidence of no God to believe otherwise.

I know, very unsatisfying, huh?

  
Louis



Posts: 6436
Joined: Jan. 2006

(Permalink) Posted: Oct. 21 2007,16:10   

Skeptic,

Do you know what special pleading is and why it demonstrates/supports nothing?

Do you know what circular reasoning is and why it demonstrates/supports nothing?

Do you know that the burden of proof rests on the person making the positive claim?

Louis

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Bye.

  
skeptic



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Joined: May 2006

(Permalink) Posted: Oct. 21 2007,21:30   

Louis, as nicely as I'm able, do you know what faith is? and why it does not lend itself to rational examination?

  
IanBrown_101



Posts: 927
Joined: April 2007

(Permalink) Posted: Oct. 22 2007,01:48   

Quote (skeptic @ Oct. 22 2007,03:30)
Louis, as nicely as I'm able, do you know what faith is? and why it does not lend itself to rational examination?

Serious, honest open question:

So why bother with it?

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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.

   
Louis



Posts: 6436
Joined: Jan. 2006

(Permalink) Posted: Oct. 22 2007,02:53   

Quote (skeptic @ Oct. 22 2007,03:30)
Louis, as nicely as I'm able, do you know what faith is? and why it does not lend itself to rational examination?

Yes I do know what faith is and also why it isn't open to rational examination. Do you know why making a claim based on faith is no more epistemologically valid than any other faith based claim?

It seems you do, and thus it seems you agree with me that your faith in your god is no more valid than any faith based claim that can be made, from pixies at the bottom of my garden to Zeus. Do you also understand that what you have been trying to justify on this thread (and others btw) is a rational basis for your faith? Do you understand why that is impossible (something that we've been trying to bash into you for a while now).

Now are you going to stop avoiding my questions and answer them as they are asked as opposedto as yu wish they were asked? Any time now would be nice.

Louis

--------------
Bye.

  
skeptic



Posts: 1163
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(Permalink) Posted: Oct. 22 2007,08:06   

My faith, or anyones else's, is completely valid for the individual.  Outside of that limited scope it doesn't apply.  The background for my faith is not transferable to someone else; they have to make up their own mind and come to their own conclusion.  I can give you a thousand reasons that I believe in God that may have no bearing whatso ever on someone else's belief.  There is not a universal formula of faith or some unified theory that theists are ascribing to.  Does that make any sense.  I think you might know the definition of faith but have no idea what Faith is and before you miss my meaning, that is not an insult.

  
Louis



Posts: 6436
Joined: Jan. 2006

(Permalink) Posted: Oct. 22 2007,08:14   

Quote (skeptic @ Oct. 22 2007,14:06)
My faith, or anyones else's, is completely valid for the individual.  Outside of that limited scope it doesn't apply.  The background for my faith is not transferable to someone else; they have to make up their own mind and come to their own conclusion.  I can give you a thousand reasons that I believe in God that may have no bearing whatso ever on someone else's belief.  There is not a universal formula of faith or some unified theory that theists are ascribing to.  Does that make any sense.  I think you might know the definition of faith but have no idea what Faith is and before you miss my meaning, that is not an insult.

No idea what faith is eh? You might be surprised. But enough of that drivel.

So like I said Skeptic, you have some "evidence" for your belief in a deity (you've just said as much above), the question I asked requires that you imagine a scenario in which that evidence does not exist. Not too hard is it.

Anyway, I''ve got the response I guessed I would get from you: you cannot imagine it, ergo, you cannot (in your mind) be wrong. Your evasion is duly noted. Thanks for responding.

Louis

ADDED IN EDIT: You might want to do two things: a) avoid being undeservingly patronising, b) consider how your most recent claim for your faith makes it distinguishable from the hallucinations of a madman.

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skeptic



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(Permalink) Posted: Oct. 22 2007,17:11   

Not quite right.  I have no problem imagining being wrong and I have examined the consequences of that situation extensively, as I would imagine most theists have also.  The scenario necessary for that change of perspective is where I run into trouble but I'm not so sure that that challenge is easy, regardless, it doesn't inhibit me from taking the next step and examining the impact of the premise.

I will agree with the final statement, though.  If I were to attempt to substitute my reasoning for my faith for someone else's they would probably, and deservedly so, consider me crazy.  Again, this is not the same conclusion that I come to for myself.  My reasons are very intertwined with my personal experiences, and unique to me.  This is not an uncommon thing for all theists, I assume.  In fact, if another theists of even similar beliefs were to offer his reasons behind his faith I would probably reject them.  Back to Lenny's claim of an infinite number of answers to the same question and all of them being correct for the individual in question.

I can't speak for you but examine your belief system and if you have an irrational belief consider it closely.  Even to a lesser degree, take being a sports fan and try to construct a rational basis for your devotion.  Now take that formula and apply it to someone else.  Would it mean the same?  That's the point I'm trying to make.

  
Louis



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(Permalink) Posted: Oct. 23 2007,06:25   

Skeptic,

1) Translation: I believe in pixies. My belief in pixies is correct because I believe it. I'll say it's only correct for me until I want it to be correct for something else and then I'll pretend it is.

2) Since I've explained how those "answers" of yours, and Lenny's aren't actually answers in any sense of that word, before, and you didn't read or understand those arguments then and utterly failed to respond to them, I won't bother doing so again.

3) If you want to go back and discuss that topic, I suggest you ressurect the relevant thread and deal with the arguments made this time.

4) Try answering the questions actually asked of you. You might find it enlightening. I've used very specific words very clearly.

5) There is a surprising amount of concordance and commonality between disparate peoples and disparate belief systems. I wonder why that is. I wonder if I mentioned it at length on the other thread. I wonder if you ignored it then.

Louis

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Bye.

  
skeptic



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(Permalink) Posted: Oct. 23 2007,07:31   

1) No, not really.  You missed the point as usual.

2)As we tried to point out last time, you did nothing more than state you opinion.  "Answers" appears to be highly subjective.

3 - 5)not really interested, I believe it was unsatisfying for both of us, so I'll pass.

  
Louis



Posts: 6436
Joined: Jan. 2006

(Permalink) Posted: Oct. 23 2007,10:06   

Quote (skeptic @ Oct. 23 2007,13:31)
1) No, not really.  You missed the point as usual.

2)As we tried to point out last time, you did nothing more than state you opinion.  "Answers" appears to be highly subjective.

3 - 5)not really interested, I believe it was unsatisfying for both of us, so I'll pass.

1) Sorry Skeptic but I haven't missed the point. You can claim this all you want but you never seem to want to demonstrate it. I wonder why that is. I'm not and have never denied the significance that an individual can find in faith. Show that is relevant to anything other than that indovidual's personal tastes and I'll be amazed.

2) Yet again, you're big on claims, little on evidence and argument. You talk big but strangely have nothing to support it. I wonder why that is.

3) Running away as usual? Unsatisfactory? Sure, simply because you refuse to deal with the argument and keep handwaving it away. Do you somehow think that your handwaving is significant? No one else does.  In fact yet again you've shown yourself to be tiresomely intellectually inept and shallow. Thank you. Believe what you like. Just keep it to yourself.

Louis

--------------
Bye.

  
Louis



Posts: 6436
Joined: Jan. 2006

(Permalink) Posted: Oct. 23 2007,10:07   

Skeptic,

I should point out that I find it highly entertaining that you don't feel that you have to answer questions posed to you. Doesn't this ring any alarms in your head? It should. (See point 4 of two posts ago)

Your intellectual dishonesty and vacuity is, as always, noted.

Louis

--------------
Bye.

  
skeptic



Posts: 1163
Joined: May 2006

(Permalink) Posted: Oct. 23 2007,11:14   

Sorry, but I've answered these questions ad nauseum.  You just refuse to accept the answers.

  
Richardthughes



Posts: 10756
Joined: Jan. 2006

(Permalink) Posted: Oct. 23 2007,11:21   

Ah, the great "responded / answered" divide.

--------------
"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

  
Louis



Posts: 6436
Joined: Jan. 2006

(Permalink) Posted: Oct. 23 2007,12:02   

Quote (Richardthughes @ Oct. 23 2007,17:21)
Ah, the great "responded / answered" divide.

RTH,

Yup.

I've noticed a few commonalities between a few people like Skeptic and FTK:

a) An ability to be perfectly logical, sensible and rational about any topic unless it pertains to their faith. These faith related topics then cannot be discussed in any sensible way. The reasons for this relate to the following items, at least in part.

b) Convenient relativism and the democratoc fallacy. Or "I don't know so you don't know" or "my opinion is equally valid to anything that disagrees with/disproves it". It's highly entertaining to watch and highly intellectually vacuous and dishonest to use. The response=/=answer issue resides here.

c) Persecution complex. When their ideas and reality don't match, they're being persecuted. If you point out the mismatch, you're persecuting them. Point out their persecution complex and you're persecuting them.

Frankly, it gets a bit wearing.

Louis

--------------
Bye.

  
Louis



Posts: 6436
Joined: Jan. 2006

(Permalink) Posted: Oct. 23 2007,12:12   

Quote (skeptic @ Oct. 23 2007,17:14)
Sorry, but I've answered these questions ad nauseum.  You just refuse to accept the answers.

No Skeptic, as RTH points out response =/= answer.

You've responded ad nauseum, this is true, and you've utterly failed to deal with arguments and questions presented to you honestly, with any obvious comprehension or as they are stated. Instead you've chosen to pass these arguments and questions off as irrelevant (with no supporting argumentation or evidence) or handwaved them away with some vague relativist comment (again with no supporting argumentation or evidence).

I don't  refuse to accept the "answers", Skeptic, I understand the "answers" and their origin and that they do not answer the questions asked. Please don't make me start parodying your "I believe it and so it is true" claims because you won't like it.

Louis

--------------
Bye.

  
J-Dog



Posts: 4402
Joined: Dec. 2006

(Permalink) Posted: Oct. 23 2007,12:42   

Quote (Louis @ Oct. 23 2007,12:12)
Quote (skeptic @ Oct. 23 2007,17:14)
Sorry, but I've answered these questions ad nauseum.  You just refuse to accept the answers.

No Skeptic, as RTH points out response =/= answer.

You've responded ad nauseum, this is true, and you've utterly failed to deal with arguments and questions presented to you honestly, with any obvious comprehension or as they are stated. Instead you've chosen to pass these arguments and questions off as irrelevant (with no supporting argumentation or evidence) or handwaved them away with some vague relativist comment (again with no supporting argumentation or evidence).

I don't  refuse to accept the "answers", Skeptic, I understand the "answers" and their origin and that they do not answer the questions asked. Please don't make me start parodying your "I believe it and so it is true" claims because you won't like it.

Louis

So, Louis, what do I win by being right?  I would rather have been wrong, but what the hell.

BTW -  Your discussion regarding the similarities between FTK and skeptic hit the nail on the head.

It's a perfect example of how it's so frigging difficult to get them and their ilk to shed their preconceptions and open their minds to other viewpoints.  I hope that one of the pixies that skeptic doesn't believe in delievers a message that he won't forget.  Pixie Power!

--------------
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

  
Louis



Posts: 6436
Joined: Jan. 2006

(Permalink) Posted: Oct. 23 2007,13:01   

LOL J-Dog! Nice one!

You win:

a) A special pixie prayer. Wish for something and the pixies will answer.

b) Bragging rights.

c) Smug, self satisfaction.

;-)

I wish you'd been wrong too. Oh well.

Louis

--------------
Bye.

  
skeptic



Posts: 1163
Joined: May 2006

(Permalink) Posted: Oct. 23 2007,17:53   

I find it utterly amazing how you can continously demonstrate how ignorant you are.  Please, choose a different subject as this one just makes you look a fool.

  
Louis



Posts: 6436
Joined: Jan. 2006

(Permalink) Posted: Oct. 24 2007,03:11   

Quote (skeptic @ Oct. 23 2007,23:53)
I find it utterly amazing how you can continously demonstrate how ignorant you are.  Please, choose a different subject as this one just makes you look a fool.

Wah wah wah. Big on claims and whining, little on evidence and argumentation. As always.

Your whining and evasion are noted, as always.

Care to make any substantive response?

No?

Thought not.

It's strange, to someone as ignorant as I am at least, how an informed genius like yourself has no actual argument or evidence to support your claims and whenever challenged you whine like a 5 year old girl with a skinned knee.

But mean and horrible as I am, any time you actually want to deal with the arguments/questions I've made and the evidence that supports them, you're welcome to. I'll be waiting.

Louis

--------------
Bye.

  
skeptic



Posts: 1163
Joined: May 2006

(Permalink) Posted: Oct. 24 2007,22:45   

Call it a sickness but I just can't leave well enough alone.  Something you said kept digging at me and I've been thinking about it all day so I'll share that with you.  You made the comparison between Ftk and I in the sense that we forbid the discussion of our faith in any sensible way.  First, let's go back to the question of the thread.  If a revelation occurred and evidence was provided that God did or did not exist and/or evolution was or was not correct, how would you respond.  Now this question assumes no specific faith nor questions the specifics of a faith, it is only concerned with the consequences of a faith or lack of under changing circumstances.

Given this scenario, what you're really asking is a personal assessment with there being only one authority and that's the individual answering the question.  There are no right answers and based upon your previous extrapolation there are no sensible answers.  Or to put it more correctly, there are no answers that are any more valid than any other.  You criticism on these grounds seem unfounded.  As far as your other points, I believe you are making assumptions based upon preconceived notions.  Pointing out that you are not making any point other than rude attempts at nastiness and humor is not a plea for victimhood, it's just a statement of fact.  I require no special protection nor am I interested in eliciting and sympathy.  I am not so emotionally involved in any of this to care one way or the other.

What is most interesting about this whole line of questioning is the concept of openness to new ideas.  I noted repeatedly that many responses expressed a disappointment if things turned out differently than they believed they should.  I sense an uneasiness with the possibility of God that is somewhat telling.  At the same time, the real chance that faith (and lack of) is somehow hardwired keeps popping up for me.  That kind of predisposition would go along way towards explaining the intractable positions we see here.

Anyway, what I think you really need to ask yourself is whether you're at all interested in actually listening to an alternate viewpoint and trying to see things from that side rather than just formulating a plan of attack to bolster your own worldview.  Go ahead, think about it, it's really not that scary once you try.

  
hereoisreal



Posts: 745
Joined: Feb. 2006

(Permalink) Posted: Oct. 25 2007,05:50   

Something you said kept digging at me and I've been thinking about it all day so I'll share that with you.

Did you hear about the insomniac dyslexic agnostic?
He stayed up all night wondering if there really was a dog.

Man's best friend is God turned backwards.

Zero

--------------
360  miracles and more at:
http://www.hereoisreal.com/....eal.com

Great news. God’s wife is pregnant! (Rev. 12:5)

It's not over till the fat lady sings! (Isa. 54:1 & Zec 9:9)

   
oldmanintheskydidntdoit



Posts: 4999
Joined: July 2006

(Permalink) Posted: Oct. 25 2007,05:56   

Quote (hereoisreal @ Oct. 25 2007,05:50)
Something you said kept digging at me and I've been thinking about it all day so I'll share that with you.

Did you hear about the insomniac dyslexic agnostic?
He stayed up all night wondering if there really was a dog.

Man's best friend is God turned backwards.

Zero

And is that universally true in all languages?

No?

Then it means nothing at all.

It's only your fevered imagination.

--------------
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

  
hereoisreal



Posts: 745
Joined: Feb. 2006

(Permalink) Posted: Oct. 25 2007,10:20   

Old Man, the first statement was meant as a joke.  The second
I meant literally.

Once Jesus told a story about a son, a prodigal son.  
First he left home with great riches.  For a while he was in heaven.
No work and all play, as long as he paid the bill.  When the
money ran out, he found himself in hell, all work and no pay.
Then he jerked himself up by his boot straps and came home.
No one died for his sins.  He raised himself from the dead.
He did a ewey, a 180.

Life is about family and home, in that order.

The above story can be translated into any language in the world but I only speak English.

I've got company so I won't be posting much the next couple of days.

Zero

--------------
360  miracles and more at:
http://www.hereoisreal.com/....eal.com

Great news. God’s wife is pregnant! (Rev. 12:5)

It's not over till the fat lady sings! (Isa. 54:1 & Zec 9:9)

   
skeptic



Posts: 1163
Joined: May 2006

(Permalink) Posted: Oct. 25 2007,13:47   

Just to use hero's statement as a study, Louis, would you consider the story of The Prodigal Son knowledge?  Or does it lead to knowledge or understanding in any way?  Just curious.

  
Louis



Posts: 6436
Joined: Jan. 2006

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

Quote (skeptic @ Oct. 25 2007,19:47)
Just to use hero's statement as a study, Louis, would you consider the story of The Prodigal Son knowledge?  Or does it lead to knowledge or understanding in any way?  Just curious.

Dear Jimminy Cricket are you STILL whining?

Listen Skeptic, sweetie, I asked a very simple question and you have done your damnedest to avoid answering it in an honest way. As I should have guessed you would. I'm interested in your opinions and ideas as always, but you seem to be under the impression that once you have uttered them they are somehow inviolate and not open for question. I'll try AGAIN to drum this into you:

1) The burden of proof rests on the positive claimant. There cannot be, by definition, any evidence that proves a negative. So, as I have said 2 or 3 times now, the question asks you to imagine a scenario in which the evidence you presumably have for your faith does not exist. Not evidence against it, absence of evidence for it. See the difference? I may have explained this once or twice. The "correctness" of your answer is not an issue, the fact that your response (NOT answer) involves you trying to sift the burden of proof away from your own claims in order to avoid the consequences of actually ANSWERING (not merely respodning to) the question IS an issue. Forgive me if, yet again, I doubt you have the capacity to understand the distinction. ANSWER the question as it is asked, not as you wish it were asked. I may have expanded on it a couple of times for you.

2) If you want to talk about epistemology and knowledge there is a whole thread of stuff just waiting for you to deal with it. You've yet to deal with any of it. Please take this topic to the relevant thread. The question quoted above a) belongs in that thread, and b) is answered by the expanded points I've made in that thread.....as of course you'd know having read and comprehended it, right? You know Skeptic, eventually you're going to have to read what I've written for some basic level of comprehension. Thus far you have not done this. Playing the "Lenny" card won't save your sorry self either, he demonstrably did not read those points for comprehension either. Try one very simple idea on for size: maybe, juuuuuuuuuuust maybe, when I say "WHOA! You have misunderstood what I've written, here I'll explain it a different way/go back and read it again" you should sit up an think "Hey, maybe I fucked up, let me go back and check". It would make a pleasant alternative to your current bullshit. Another nice change that would be well received is you going back and restating my arguments to my satisfaction. That exercise alone will aid your comprehension.

3) You can assume I am the villain of the piece all you like Skeptic. I simply don't care. The facts speak for themselves, and as usual sweetie, they don't agree with you. Try to understand that your "response" to the question did not answer it, try to understand that the reasons it did not answer it include the fact that the response was phrased as a series of logical fallacies. Iron out the logical fallcies and you'll have an answer. So it's the manner of the answer, not the content. Thus far you have provided no content. See the difference?

4) It amazes me that a person as supposedly intelligent as yourself cannot actually read. No one has expressed dismay at the idea of god existing (expect perhaps Dr GH, but I'm not sure how tongue in cheek that was). What people have expressed dismay at the idea of is CERTAIN TYPES of god existing. See the difference? Of all the types of god imagined by humanity some are nicer than others. I know you think there's only one god and yadda yadda yadda, but the rest of humanity doesn't agree with you. There are about 2 to 3 billion monotheists (christians, muslims, jews, sikhs etc) in the world (IIRC, I could be wrong about the exact numbers) that's a lot of people who don't think like you. The irony of being accused of not being able to comprehend/tolerate other views is astonishing, as this latest misreading reveals AGAIN.

5) Stop fucking whining. Start fucking engaging brain.

Louis

--------------
Bye.

  
BWE



Posts: 1898
Joined: Jan. 2006

(Permalink) Posted: Oct. 26 2007,11:54   

Skeptic, in all honesty: How do you know that God doesn't want you to kill children?

What if you heard a voice saying that you should? What if that voice came from a burning Bush? An atheist would say, "shit, my roommate slipped acid in my orange juice again." Because the atheist knows that god isn't something that talks through burning bushes.

What does the Christian do?

--------------
Who said that ev'ry wish would be heard and answered
When wished on the morning star
Somebody thought of that, and someone believed it
Look what it's done so far

The Daily Wingnut

   
Louis



Posts: 6436
Joined: Jan. 2006

(Permalink) Posted: Oct. 26 2007,12:04   

Quote (BWE @ Oct. 26 2007,17:54)
Skeptic, in all honesty: How do you know that God doesn't want you to kill children?

What if you heard a voice saying that you should? What if that voice came from a burning Bush? An atheist would say, "shit, my roommate slipped acid in my orange juice again." Because the atheist knows that god isn't something that talks through burning bushes.

What does the Christian do?

SHIT! BWE, don't confuse him or give him excuses to avoid actually answering the question!

;-)

The question is about if someone can be wrong, and the consequences of being wrong, even if they are wrong about something major. At the moment Skeptic is telling us he cannot be wrong and flannelling about trying to avoid answering the question in such a fashion that he admits he is capable of being wrong. Don't give him more opportunity to avoid actual thought.

Louis

ADDED IN EDIT: P.S. Your roommate spiked your OJ with acid? DAMN! I had bad roommates. I'm phoning them right now. "Why didn't you spike my OJ with acid, biotch?" "Because you;d done it yourself already, Louis." "Oh, yeah, I forgot!".

--------------
Bye.

  
skeptic



Posts: 1163
Joined: May 2006

(Permalink) Posted: Oct. 26 2007,12:33   

Just for the fun of it.  2 - 5 are meaningless (to me) but I am interested in 1 and 4.

1) My answer stands and it was made irregardless of the actual nature of the evidence.  The hypothetical did not ask me to ponder the nature of the evidence presented just its impact upon my behavior.  I answered that but I did comment upon the nature of the evidence as an aside.  I do have trouble imagining a hypothetical in which the existence of God can be refuted with positive evidence rather than negative.  That may be my limitation but it also arises from the belief that God lies outside of rational examination.  From my perspective, belief is God is the initial condition, call it a given.  Any changes to the initial condition would require evidence of an alternative view.  Now, it is only natural for an atheist whose initial condition is on of disbelief to require evidence for the existence in order to change that opinion.  I think this just represents our views from exactly opposite sides of the same issue.  As I said before, if you can posit a hypothetical in which the existence of God is refuted as a consequence of positive evidence, I'm all ears.  I would consider that an interesting thought experiment.  I hope that clarifies that sufficently for you.

4)  The idea that the existence of God or any specific God would be dismaying is somewhat comical and certainly an example of human arrogance.  Why?  That's assume for the sake of argument that God, in whatever form, exists.  I understand that this is difficult to concede because it contradicts your sensibilities but give it a try.  Do the ideas of man concerning the nature of this God have any impact upon his actual nature?  Wouldn't it be immature to say that I don't accept or approve of this God because he's not the God I want?  Do the preferences of man determine the nature of God?  I have actually heard this idea before and it makes for an interesting conversation but not one that I personally agree with.  It just strikes me as odd that someone could learn of the existence of God and then be disappointed because it upsets their personal little worldview.  Seems very self-absorbed, wouldn't you say?

Outside of that, I don't think it much matters which thread we discuss these things on.  This one is pretty much dead as those who interested have said their two cents and moved on.  If there is some formality required so be it otherwise I'd say a conversation is a conversation no matter where it takes place.

  
skeptic



Posts: 1163
Joined: May 2006

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

Quote (BWE @ Oct. 26 2007,11:54)
Skeptic, in all honesty: How do you know that God doesn't want you to kill children?

What if you heard a voice saying that you should? What if that voice came from a burning Bush? An atheist would say, "shit, my roommate slipped acid in my orange juice again." Because the atheist knows that god isn't something that talks through burning bushes.

What does the Christian do?

This actually goes back to my earlier statement concerning the loop of belief or the admitted circular reasoning.  Any suggestion that contradicts my beliefs would be taken skeptically.  My general beliefs and my belief in a specific deity are completely intertwined and I'm not sure that I could seperate them.  Now I may very well be wrong and God wants me to kill children but I'm not going to do that and I'll have to suffer the consequences later.

  
BWE



Posts: 1898
Joined: Jan. 2006

(Permalink) Posted: Oct. 26 2007,12:42   

Quote (Louis @ Oct. 26 2007,12:04)
Quote (BWE @ Oct. 26 2007,17:54)
Skeptic, in all honesty: How do you know that God doesn't want you to kill children?

What if you heard a voice saying that you should? What if that voice came from a burning Bush? An atheist would say, "shit, my roommate slipped acid in my orange juice again." Because the atheist knows that god isn't something that talks through burning bushes.

What does the Christian do?

SHIT! BWE, don't confuse him or give him excuses to avoid actually answering the question!

;-)

The question is about if someone can be wrong, and the consequences of being wrong, even if they are wrong about something major. At the moment Skeptic is telling us he cannot be wrong and flannelling about trying to avoid answering the question in such a fashion that he admits he is capable of being wrong. Don't give him more opportunity to avoid actual thought.

Louis

ADDED IN EDIT: P.S. Your roommate spiked your OJ with acid? DAMN! I had bad roommates. I'm phoning them right now. "Why didn't you spike my OJ with acid, biotch?" "Because you;d done it yourself already, Louis." "Oh, yeah, I forgot!".

It seemed relevant to me. Sorry.

P.S. In college, this is no joke, there was a sort of running gag. Groups of people would drop and decide to include a sleeping friend in their revelries. They would slip a tiny piece of blotter paper in a guy's mouth, wait 15 to 20 minutes, wake him up and tell him that he was joining the troupe.

I don't know how we survived.

--------------
Who said that ev'ry wish would be heard and answered
When wished on the morning star
Somebody thought of that, and someone believed it
Look what it's done so far

The Daily Wingnut

   
skeptic



Posts: 1163
Joined: May 2006

(Permalink) Posted: Oct. 26 2007,12:44   

Louis, I missed the part where I said I cannot be wrong.  You'll need to point that out to me.  I fully embrace the position that I could be wrong and have examined that prospect extensively and frequently.  Because I cannot imagine a situation in which I find out that I am wrong just testifies to the fact that I've reviewed this question numerous times and have continually arrived at the same conclusion...so far.  The jury is still out.

BTW, this is what faith is.  I believe in something until I have a reason not to.  It just so happens that this belief is no based upon rational thought.  Kinda like being a sports fan,  if I were a Colorado fan I might truely believe that the Rockies are going to win right up until they lose game 4 but not before no matter what the facts say.  Sorry, I don't have a football(soccer) analogy to supply but you can fill in your own teams.

  
Louis



Posts: 6436
Joined: Jan. 2006

(Permalink) Posted: Oct. 26 2007,12:44   

Good GRAVY! You really CANNOT read for comprehension can you?

Follow the chain of reasoning Skeptic:

1) Person A believes in pixies.

2) Person A has some positive evidence that they use in support of their belief in pixies.

3) Person B asks if they can be wrong about their belief in pixies, and in orer to do so asks them to imagine a world in which the positive evidence they have which supports their belief in pixies DOES NOT EXIST.

4) Person A imagines such a world and concludes they can be wrong.

Contrast with what you're doing:

1) Person A believes in pixies.

2) Person A has some positive evidence that they use in support of their belief in pixies.

3) Person B asks if they can be wrong about their belief in pixies, and in orer to do so asks them to imagine a world in which the positive evidence they have which supports their belief in pixies DOES NOT EXIST.

4) Person A says that they cannot imagine a world in which pixies were proven not to exist.

5) Person B mentions that this was not the question that was asked and that proving a negative in the manner described is an impossibility.

6) Person A wanks about.

See the difference?

Do you understand why proving a negative is an impossibility?

You should really consider those things in the previous post you find "meaningless". Salvation lies within!

Louis

--------------
Bye.

  
BWE



Posts: 1898
Joined: Jan. 2006

(Permalink) Posted: Oct. 26 2007,12:45   

Quote (skeptic @ Oct. 26 2007,12:37)
Quote (BWE @ Oct. 26 2007,11:54)
Skeptic, in all honesty: How do you know that God doesn't want you to kill children?

What if you heard a voice saying that you should? What if that voice came from a burning Bush? An atheist would say, "shit, my roommate slipped acid in my orange juice again." Because the atheist knows that god isn't something that talks through burning bushes.

What does the Christian do?

This actually goes back to my earlier statement concerning the loop of belief or the admitted circular reasoning.  Any suggestion that contradicts my beliefs would be taken skeptically.  My general beliefs and my belief in a specific deity are completely intertwined and I'm not sure that I could seperate them.  Now I may very well be wrong and God wants me to kill children but I'm not going to do that and I'll have to suffer the consequences later.

See, I knew it was relevant. So you have a religion that you just happen to like, for whatever reason. It has no actual relation to any real knowledge of god. It just makes you feel good. Right?

--------------
Who said that ev'ry wish would be heard and answered
When wished on the morning star
Somebody thought of that, and someone believed it
Look what it's done so far

The Daily Wingnut

   
skeptic



Posts: 1163
Joined: May 2006

(Permalink) Posted: Oct. 26 2007,12:47   

BWE, what if the roomate didn't want to trip?  Didn't this ever lead to major conflicts?  I guess I would have to know which decade you're talking about to know for sure, lol.

  
Louis



Posts: 6436
Joined: Jan. 2006

(Permalink) Posted: Oct. 26 2007,12:48   

Quote (BWE @ Oct. 26 2007,18:42)
Quote (Louis @ Oct. 26 2007,12:04)
Quote (BWE @ Oct. 26 2007,17:54)
Skeptic, in all honesty: How do you know that God doesn't want you to kill children?

What if you heard a voice saying that you should? What if that voice came from a burning Bush? An atheist would say, "shit, my roommate slipped acid in my orange juice again." Because the atheist knows that god isn't something that talks through burning bushes.

What does the Christian do?

SHIT! BWE, don't confuse him or give him excuses to avoid actually answering the question!

;-)

The question is about if someone can be wrong, and the consequences of being wrong, even if they are wrong about something major. At the moment Skeptic is telling us he cannot be wrong and flannelling about trying to avoid answering the question in such a fashion that he admits he is capable of being wrong. Don't give him more opportunity to avoid actual thought.

Louis

ADDED IN EDIT: P.S. Your roommate spiked your OJ with acid? DAMN! I had bad roommates. I'm phoning them right now. "Why didn't you spike my OJ with acid, biotch?" "Because you;d done it yourself already, Louis." "Oh, yeah, I forgot!".

It seemed relevant to me. Sorry.

P.S. In college, this is no joke, there was a sort of running gag. Groups of people would drop and decide to include a sleeping friend in their revelries. They would slip a tiny piece of blotter paper in a guy's mouth, wait 15 to 20 minutes, wake him up and tell him that he was joining the troupe.

I don't know how we survived.

No worries at all BWE, I was being slightly tongue in cheek. Trying to crack a coherent thought into Skeptic's wooden noggin is tough!

As for your P.S., I have one thing to say, BRILLIANT! We just used to shave each other's heads or wire each other up to a hand operated DC generator (surprisingly poky actually). Or gaffer tape each other to the bed, or....

Hmmmm, I'm suing Jackass for breach of my youth's copyright!

Louis

--------------
Bye.

  
Louis



Posts: 6436
Joined: Jan. 2006

(Permalink) Posted: Oct. 26 2007,12:51   

Quote (skeptic @ Oct. 26 2007,18:44)
Louis, I missed the part where I said I cannot be wrong.  You'll need to point that out to me.  

WHOA!

You see Skeptic it's basic things like this that are so frustrating. Did I say:

a) Skeptic says he cannot be wrong.

OR

b) Skeptic has responded to the question in such a way as to avoid admitting he can be wrong.

a) or b) Skeptic?

I'll give you a hint: it's b).

Even more amusing is that you go on to do EXACTLY what I have been describing in the rest of your post.

I hate to call you a moron, but if the dunce cap fits, and Skeptic, it fits you like a layer of shit on a pig, then you better wear it.

Louis

--------------
Bye.

  
BWE



Posts: 1898
Joined: Jan. 2006

(Permalink) Posted: Oct. 26 2007,12:55   

Quote (skeptic @ Oct. 26 2007,12:47)
BWE, what if the roomate didn't want to trip?  Didn't this ever lead to major conflicts?  I guess I would have to know which decade you're talking about to know for sure, lol.

This was long long ago in a culture far far away. People just woke up, smacked their lips and tongue around a bit, recognized the strange metallic flavor and blotter texture and got up, got dressed and got ready.

Never heard any serious complaints but I do know that one guy ended up in an 8:00 chem lab still quite altered.

--------------
Who said that ev'ry wish would be heard and answered
When wished on the morning star
Somebody thought of that, and someone believed it
Look what it's done so far

The Daily Wingnut

   
BWE



Posts: 1898
Joined: Jan. 2006

(Permalink) Posted: Oct. 26 2007,12:56   

But Skeptic, to my point,
Quote
So you have a religion that you just happen to like, for whatever reason. It has no actual relation to any real knowledge of god. It just makes you feel good. Right?


--------------
Who said that ev'ry wish would be heard and answered
When wished on the morning star
Somebody thought of that, and someone believed it
Look what it's done so far

The Daily Wingnut

   
Louis



Posts: 6436
Joined: Jan. 2006

(Permalink) Posted: Oct. 26 2007,12:58   

Quote (BWE @ Oct. 26 2007,18:55)
...one guy ended up in an 8:00 chem lab still quite altered.

Hey! I resemble that remark!

Louis

--------------
Bye.

  
BWE



Posts: 1898
Joined: Jan. 2006

(Permalink) Posted: Oct. 26 2007,13:00   

Quote (Louis @ Oct. 26 2007,12:58)
Quote (BWE @ Oct. 26 2007,18:55)
...one guy ended up in an 8:00 chem lab still quite altered.

Hey! I resemble that remark!

Louis

No, you came OUT of 8:00 chem lab quite altered. There's a difference.

--------------
Who said that ev'ry wish would be heard and answered
When wished on the morning star
Somebody thought of that, and someone believed it
Look what it's done so far

The Daily Wingnut

   
skeptic



Posts: 1163
Joined: May 2006

(Permalink) Posted: Oct. 26 2007,13:03   

Quote (Louis @ Oct. 26 2007,12:44)
Good GRAVY! You really CANNOT read for comprehension can you?

Follow the chain of reasoning Skeptic:

1) Person A believes in pixies.

2) Person A has some positive evidence that they use in support of their belief in pixies.

3) Person B asks if they can be wrong about their belief in pixies, and in orer to do so asks them to imagine a world in which the positive evidence they have which supports their belief in pixies DOES NOT EXIST.

4) Person A imagines such a world and concludes they can be wrong.

Contrast with what you're doing:

1) Person A believes in pixies.

2) Person A has some positive evidence that they use in support of their belief in pixies.

3) Person B asks if they can be wrong about their belief in pixies, and in orer to do so asks them to imagine a world in which the positive evidence they have which supports their belief in pixies DOES NOT EXIST.

4) Person A says that they cannot imagine a world in which pixies were proven not to exist.

5) Person B mentions that this was not the question that was asked and that proving a negative in the manner described is an impossibility.

6) Person A wanks about.

See the difference?

Do you understand why proving a negative is an impossibility?

You should really consider those things in the previous post you find "meaningless". Salvation lies within!

Louis

Here's where your mistaken:

2) There is no positive evidence for the the belief outside of the existence of the belief itself.  One more time and slowly,  I believe in God as the initial condition not as an arrived at concept through and examination of pros and cons.  Do you see the distinction?

4) Person A still supplies an answer under the hypothetical, namely if there were no God, all the while expressing an inability to  imagine the nature of the evidence required to confront this scenario.   Again, there is a difference here.

BWE,  this actually goes very deeply into faith and belief and how they are intertwined with my thinking process.  There are certain things I believe in, such as the sanctity of human life, the notions of good and evil, human rights, the nature of the universe and so forth that are either influenced by or necessary for my belief in God.  It's a chicken or egg question, I'm not sure if I believe in God because of my belief in these concepts or the other way around.  So it's not a matter that I believe in God because it feels good, I just believe in God.  This may be an unconscious concept or maybe a genetic hardwiring issue.  I find those discussions intriguing but I cannot honestly tell the difference myself.  That may be one of the reasons that I spend so much time thinking about it.  I like mysteries and puzzles and to me I am the biggest puzzle there is.  I would suspect that we all might feel that way about ourselves.

  
BWE



Posts: 1898
Joined: Jan. 2006

(Permalink) Posted: Oct. 26 2007,13:15   

Quote (skeptic @ Oct. 26 2007,13:03)
BWE,  this actually goes very deeply into faith and belief and how they are intertwined with my thinking process.  There are certain things I believe in, such as the sanctity of human life, the notions of good and evil, human rights, the nature of the universe and so forth that are either influenced by or necessary for my belief in God.  It's a chicken or egg question, I'm not sure if I believe in God because of my belief in these concepts or the other way around.  So it's not a matter that I believe in God because it feels good, I just believe in God.  This may be an unconscious concept or maybe a genetic hardwiring issue.  I find those discussions intriguing but I cannot honestly tell the difference myself.  That may be one of the reasons that I spend so much time thinking about it.  I like mysteries and puzzles and to me I am the biggest puzzle there is.  I would suspect that we all might feel that way about ourselves.

Skeptic, will you please read your statement one more time and make sure that's what you mean? I think I get it but I want to make sure you didn't type a wrong word or two. And BTW,
Quote
to me I am the biggest puzzle there is.  I would suspect that we all might feel that way about ourselves.
Well, if you mean things like "why does my knee always hurt so much these days" and things like that but I think it might be the god thing that makes you feel that way. I'm not very puzzled by me normally.  Of course, that may just be me too. I probably puzzle some other people.

Although I notice that when people puzzle me it normally means that I want to believe that they wouldn't do such a thing as whatever they did.

--------------
Who said that ev'ry wish would be heard and answered
When wished on the morning star
Somebody thought of that, and someone believed it
Look what it's done so far

The Daily Wingnut

   
Louis



Posts: 6436
Joined: Jan. 2006

(Permalink) Posted: Oct. 26 2007,13:16   

Quote (skeptic @ Oct. 26 2007,19:03)
Here's where your mistaken:

2) There is no positive evidence for the the belief outside of the existence of the belief itself.  One more time and slowly,  I believe in God as the initial condition not as an arrived at concept through and examination of pros and cons.  Do you see the distinction?

4) Person A still supplies an answer under the hypothetical, namely if there were no God, all the while expressing an inability to  imagine the nature of the evidence required to confront this scenario.   Again, there is a difference here.

Oh for the love of banana cream pies and bacon!

Skeptic:

a) the scenario I outlined above is to do with the questions that have been asked on this thread not your expression of faith. You were not answering the question AS IT WAS asked (you're still not btw).

b) I KNOW you think your belief is the default, that's why you cannot answer the question. Your inability to answer the question is precisely because of your inability to think outside of your faith as I pointed out pages ago. You even admit this yourself!

Try to work out that there are seperate issues in the thread (and the questions). For example: the manner and (in)coherence of your answer and the content of your answer. The one I specifically did not want to get into was anything to do with the specifics of some faith or lack there of, the question was about the ability to be wrong (in part). As I could have predicted you have done everything you can to avoid the possibility of being wrong. You can say you've examined it as much as you like but you are assuming your conclusions (and admitting to it) hence why you cannot answer the question. To appreciate the fact you might be wrong you have to recognise the errors you're making in your reasoning. You cannot do this, you've admitted you cannot do this, you've stated an entirely circular case and refuse to deal with the fact (again I pointed out pages ago that your claims could be used for a pixie believer and a lunatic, and you have failed to distinguish your self from them, even to the extent of admitting the likeness).

Hence why I have said that you are incapable of thinking outside of your faith and hence why the answre you must give to the question is "no I cannot be wrong". This is the answer I knew I'd get from you btw. It's also highly indicative of the utterly unproductive mindset you are stuck in. Again, you've helped me out by showing yourself up as the thoughtless, blinkered bigot you are. I couldn't have made you do this by force and yett you doi it willingly every time I give you the opportunity.

Thanks!

Louis

--------------
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skeptic



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(Permalink) Posted: Oct. 26 2007,13:20   

Yep that's what I meant.  I'm kinda laying myself bare but as far as being puzzled by myself I tend to extrapolate the big questions out from myself.  Why do I think the way I do, how do I think, what is thinking, what is a thought...one of those things, if you see what I mean.

  
Louis



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Joined: Jan. 2006

(Permalink) Posted: Oct. 26 2007,13:24   

Oh and incidentally whilst I remember:

Skeptic, it doesn't matter of you have some evidence or not, the question is asking you to imagine a scenario under certain conditions that are not applicable now. If this is evidence for your deity, then imagine the world without that, if this is your assumption of belief and circular reasoning, imagine the world without that.

Any clearer?

Louis

--------------
Bye.

  
J-Dog



Posts: 4402
Joined: Dec. 2006

(Permalink) Posted: Oct. 26 2007,13:29   

Quote (skeptic @ Oct. 26 2007,12:33)
Just for the fun of it.  2 - 5 are meaningless (to me) but I am interested in 1 and 4.

1) My answer stands and it was made irregardless of the actual nature of the evidence.  

There is no such friggin word as "irregardless" biotch!

Please spend less time in Sunday School, and more time learning to communicate.

DO NOT EVER MAKE THIS MISTAKE IN FRONT OF ME AGAIN.  YOU HAVE BEEN WARNED.

--------------
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

  
skeptic



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(Permalink) Posted: Oct. 26 2007,13:29   

reposted from page 1:

Quote
I would see some changes in my life, the obvious ones like attending church but overall I would not change much else because in general I'm very happy with myself and the way life has turned out based upon the choices I have made which were influenced by my beliefs.  I would greatly fear the impact of this premise upon the population at large and would predict great instability and uncertainty as not everyone might feel so constrained.


As you see, I answered the question.  Maybe you don't approve of the answer because I didn't fall down quivering  and crying that my whole life had been a sham and I really was just believing in pixies.  Being able to contemplate a hypothetical and being able to supply the instances that make the hypothetical come true are two completely different things.  You are very confused and all your false understanding stem from this confusion.  Just a suggestion, if you stop constantly trying to prove every statement made by everyone wrong that you might actually begin to participate in discussions.  I'm losing faith that you're capable of this as it seems your nature to be antagonistic.  I'm back to work, have fun with the remainder of the day (or night in your case).

  
skeptic



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Joined: May 2006

(Permalink) Posted: Oct. 26 2007,13:33   

Quote (J-Dog @ Oct. 26 2007,13:29)
Quote (skeptic @ Oct. 26 2007,12:33)
Just for the fun of it.  2 - 5 are meaningless (to me) but I am interested in 1 and 4.

1) My answer stands and it was made irregardless of the actual nature of the evidence.  

There is no such friggin word as "irregardless" biotch!

Please spend less time in Sunday School, and more time learning to communicate.

DO NOT EVER MAKE THIS MISTAKE IN FRONT OF ME AGAIN.  YOU HAVE BEEN WARNED.

so easy even a caveman could do it, huh?

;D, oh yeah and my condolences that you're sitcom failed.  lol

On a serious note, I can't remember the last time I was in Sunday school but I'm sure they would require proper grammer also.  No, I can't blame that one on Sunday school, that one is solely on me.

  
Louis



Posts: 6436
Joined: Jan. 2006

(Permalink) Posted: Oct. 26 2007,13:33   

Quote (skeptic @ Oct. 26 2007,19:29)
reposted from page 1:

Quote
I would see some changes in my life, the obvious ones like attending church but overall I would not change much else because in general I'm very happy with myself and the way life has turned out based upon the choices I have made which were influenced by my beliefs.  I would greatly fear the impact of this premise upon the population at large and would predict great instability and uncertainty as not everyone might feel so constrained.


As you see, I answered the question.  Maybe you don't approve of the answer because I didn't fall down quivering  and crying that my whole life had been a sham and I really was just believing in pixies.  Being able to contemplate a hypothetical and being able to supply the instances that make the hypothetical come true are two completely different things.  You are very confused and all your false understanding stem from this confusion.  Just a suggestion, if you stop constantly trying to prove every statement made by everyone wrong that you might actually begin to participate in discussions.  I'm losing faith that you're capable of this as it seems your nature to be antagonistic.  I'm back to work, have fun with the remainder of the day (or night in your case).

Oh for the love of banana cream pie, bacon, beer and little children.

Yes, Skeptic, as mentioned you answered that part of the question but you're negelecting to mention the rest aren't you. That's my point, that has always been my point, that remains my point.

You even quote mine yourself in order to avoid mentioning the segement which I am trying to get examined, i.e. the bit BEFORE the bit you quote.

Shit, are you ever honest?

Louis

--------------
Bye.

  
J-Dog



Posts: 4402
Joined: Dec. 2006

(Permalink) Posted: Oct. 26 2007,13:34   

oh noes!

The answers on this thread are beginning to resemble the answers on another thread...

"I knows what I knows"

Is it time to begin the Compare And Contrast Your Favorite Creo's Game?

--------------
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

  
Louis



Posts: 6436
Joined: Jan. 2006

(Permalink) Posted: Oct. 26 2007,13:37   

Quote (J-Dog @ Oct. 26 2007,19:34)
oh noes!

The answers on this thread are beginning to resemble the answers on another thread...

"I knows what I knows"

Is it time to begin the Compare And Contrast Your Favorite Creo's Game?

I reckon you should change it to "I believes what I believes and it's true because I believes it, so there, and you;re  am big combatative meanie if you try to get me to think differently or even think at all wah wah wah wah".

It's more than annoying to have to deal with such childish wankery.

Louis

--------------
Bye.

  
BWE



Posts: 1898
Joined: Jan. 2006

(Permalink) Posted: Oct. 26 2007,13:38   

Quote (BWE @ Oct. 26 2007,13:15)
 
Quote (skeptic @ Oct. 26 2007,13:03)
...There are certain things I believe in, such as the sanctity of human life, the notions of good and evil, human rights, the nature of the universe and so forth that are either influenced by or necessary for my belief in God.  It's a chicken or egg question, I'm not sure if I believe in God because of my belief in these concepts or the other way around.  So it's not a matter that I believe in God because it feels good, I just believe in God.  This may be an unconscious concept or maybe a genetic hardwiring issue.  I find those discussions intriguing but I cannot honestly tell the difference myself.  ...

...And BTW,
 
Quote
to me I am the biggest puzzle there is.  I would suspect that we all might feel that way about ourselves.
Well, if you mean things like "why does my knee always hurt so much these days" ...


Quote (skeptic @ Oct. 26 2007,13:20)
Yep that's what I meant.  I'm kinda laying myself bare but as far as being puzzled by myself I tend to extrapolate the big questions out from myself.  Why do I think the way I do, how do I think, what is thinking, what is a thought...one of those things, if you see what I mean.
Ah. Puzzled is not the word I would use so I misunderstood. I see now.

OK,
Quote
There are certain things I believe in, such as the sanctity of human life, the notions of good and evil, human rights, the nature of the universe and so forth that are either influenced by or necessary for my belief in God.
Most people "believe in" those things regardless of their position on god. I use the quotes because the choice of words begs the question of god. What about "Feel strongly that these things are important"? And good and evil are a dualism. It is impossible to have one without the other and it is impossible to put an absolute anywhere on the continuum so it is a nearly meaningless idea except rhetorically. I suspect that if you simply call the nature of the universe "god" there are no problems. As soon as you try to say god has X characteristic outside the nature of the universe as can be observed, you begin a speculation process and you start dressing god up in clothes that don't fit and you end up using more and more pins, duct tape and bubble-gum to hold your outfit together. But one you assign a property to god, you then by default ascribe that property to the universe because you define universe = god so suddenly you have to defend a property of the universe which cannot be observed and in fact you already know you made it up. But yet you can not imagine a world without that assumption.

This doesn't strike you as strange?

--------------
Who said that ev'ry wish would be heard and answered
When wished on the morning star
Somebody thought of that, and someone believed it
Look what it's done so far

The Daily Wingnut

   
Louis



Posts: 6436
Joined: Jan. 2006

(Permalink) Posted: Oct. 26 2007,13:47   

Quote (skeptic @ Oct. 26 2007,19:29)
Maybe you don't approve of the answer because I didn't fall down quivering  and crying that my whole life had been a sham and I really was just believing in pixies.

Incidentally, i think this is a very revealing comment.

For the record (AGAIN):

a) I don't want anyone to fall down quivering and crying because their whole life has been a sham because they were really just believing in pixies.

b) The point of the questions were not to examine the differences (or lack thereof) between pixie faith and god faith, nor were they designed to harm/offend/upset theists etc. They were designed as a sort of detector test to expose certain types of thinking, which in your case they have done very nicely indeed. The very MANNER (note the difference between the manner of a response [i.e. the way the answer is constructed, the chain of reasoning used in it etc] and the CONTENT [the conclusions and detail in it] of it) of your response gives the answer. The answer is, when it comes to your faith in god, you believe you cannot be wrong. That is the CONTENT of your answer, whether you explicitly state it or not. The reason that conclusion is inescapable is because of the MANNER of your answer (i.e. the weaselly evasions you are employing to avoid admitting to that answer).

c) Your assumption of hostility/combatativeness is a subtext within the whole OP. It is PRECISELY this false assumption on your part that makes discussion with you impossible, coupled to your incredibly awful abilities to reason and think (not to mention be even remotely honest).

Like I said, this reveals much about you and people like you, as the question was intended to. No need to be pissed off with me because, yet again, it takes almost no effort on my part to expose you for the vile little maggot you are.

Like I said.

Thanks!

Louis

--------------
Bye.

  
BWE



Posts: 1898
Joined: Jan. 2006

(Permalink) Posted: Oct. 26 2007,13:52   

It's a good think there is no hostility there. :) I'm not sure my delicate constitution could take it.

--------------
Who said that ev'ry wish would be heard and answered
When wished on the morning star
Somebody thought of that, and someone believed it
Look what it's done so far

The Daily Wingnut

   
Louis



Posts: 6436
Joined: Jan. 2006

(Permalink) Posted: Oct. 26 2007,14:07   

Quote (BWE @ Oct. 26 2007,19:52)
It's a good think there is no hostility there. :) I'm not sure my delicate constitution could take it.

LOL Good point.

Annoyed: Yes.

Frustrated: Yes.

Hostile: No.

Nice: No.

I never said I was nice!

Louis

P.S. The point about hostility is to imply that I disagree because I am hostile. This isn't the case. I disagree because Skeptic espouses unthinking, false, poorly reasoned crap and demands it be taken seriously and given respect. The fact that I express my disagreement *ahem* "robustly" on occasion is an indication of frustration, nothing more.

ADDED IN EDIT: P.P.S. There ARE things I am hostile towards. Dishonesty is one of them. I suppose since Skeptic is generally dishonest in the manner of his argumentation that you could with good ground claim that I'm hostile to him (or more accurately his manner of argumentation) on that basis alone. Tke the quote he gives of himself above as an example. The part of his comments we are discussing now is not the part he quotes. He is treating it as if it is and as if I missed this (I didn't, the first question I asked him was about this) and/or that I have some unspoken motivation in doing this. This is a deliberate attempt to derail what little discussion is possible with him, and to again force the argument away from the obvious flaws in his case. That is dishonest. The alternative is that he is merely extremely stupid, which I admit is a possibility. I'm not hostile towards stupidity, but I see little reason to tolerate it when it is so actively expressed and defended.

--------------
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skeptic



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(Permalink) Posted: Oct. 26 2007,15:50   

I'm going to have to flat out disagree with you, Louis.  In my mind there are only two possibilities here.  The first is you just don't understand your own motivations, and while I believe this may be possible I think you actually reveal the truth.  The second is that you are hostile out of purpose and everything that follows is a consequence of that fact.

Let's look at the question.  How would you act differently if it were revealed that God (or your evidence that is foundational to your belief in God) doesn't exist?  Taken literally, the question is about how one reacts to new information or changing world views.  The question asks for behavior and thoughts in light of that new evidence.  If, as you say, this question is really a sham and the answer is not important only the manner in which the answer is given then you are purposely setting up a conflict in order to expose this manner for what you already think it is, wrong.  This is intentionally confrontational by your own admission.

My answer stands and your characterization of my answer is flat wrong.  I repeatedly admit that I can not imagine a case in which the hypothetical becomes real.  This is nothing but honesty and even though prompted you repeatedly fail to offer a scenario for consideration in which the hypothetical becomes true.  Again, regardless of this caveat, I can still contemplate and answer the stated question and over and over again admit that I may be wrong.  I don't know how and if I did then I wouldn't hold those beliefs because I would see the evidence of their non-existence but that still doesn't mean that I can not accept the possibility.  The fact that you are unable to just exemplifies your extreme narrow-mindedness.  The quote that was reposted was the actual answer to the question as stated even though you've already stated your ulterior motive.

In truth, you have no idea what dishonesty is.  In your mind, dishonesty is anyone who disagrees with you.  There's no getting around it, if I was you I'd just try to recognize that and work towards a resolution.  Remember, the first step is admitting you have a problem.

As a first, why don't you try to seriously examine what YOU may be wrong about.  No joke, think about it.  Then as step two, try to formulate a plausible proof that would confirm that you are wrong.  I believe you might learn something vital after completing this exercise and then get back to me.  Maybe then you'll be capable of a conversation and not  a confrontation.

  
skeptic



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(Permalink) Posted: Oct. 26 2007,16:08   

Quote
Most people "believe in" those things regardless of their position on god. I use the quotes because the choice of words begs the question of god. What about "Feel strongly that these things are important"? And good and evil are a dualism. It is impossible to have one without the other and it is impossible to put an absolute anywhere on the continuum so it is a nearly meaningless idea except rhetorically. I suspect that if you simply call the nature of the universe "god" there are no problems. As soon as you try to say god has X characteristic outside the nature of the universe as can be observed, you begin a speculation process and you start dressing god up in clothes that don't fit and you end up using more and more pins, duct tape and bubble-gum to hold your outfit together. But one you assign a property to god, you then by default ascribe that property to the universe because you define universe = god so suddenly you have to defend a property of the universe which cannot be observed and in fact you already know you made it up. But yet you can not imagine a world without that assumption.

This doesn't strike you as strange?


BWE, I would say that there are vast differences concerning these concepts, their meaning and implications so I don't think any particular God is required or implied by them.  As you say people can have views of these concepts regardless of belief in God.  The point that makes these concepts important is their resolution or impact.  The individual arrives at a belief based upon something or belief in these ideas leads to something, behavior, faith or otherwise.  God is just one of many sources/results related to these concepts.  So when it comes to the abstract, that doesn't strike me as strange at all, in fact, it seems to me to be right or appropriate.  As far as properties, I'm not sure what you mean.  For me these properties are abstract or intangible ones and there is no resulting conflict.  I'm not sure if that is what you were saying.  To be honest, I'm not sure if if I understood you completely.  Let me know if I'm off target.  As an example, in my understanding, I wouldn't say that God is the universe.  I would say that God is applicable to the universe.  As long as God exists there is no grounds for conflict.  Does this sound strange?

  
Louis



Posts: 6436
Joined: Jan. 2006

(Permalink) Posted: Oct. 26 2007,19:06   

Quote (skeptic @ Oct. 26 2007,21:50)
In truth, you have no idea what dishonesty is.  In your mind, dishonesty is anyone who disagrees with you.  There's no getting around it, if I was you I'd just try to recognize that and work towards a resolution.  Remember, the first step is admitting you have a problem.

As a first, why don't you try to seriously examine what YOU may be wrong about.  No joke, think about it.  Then as step two, try to formulate a plausible proof that would confirm that you are wrong.  I believe you might learn something vital after completing this exercise and then get back to me.  Maybe then you'll be capable of a conversation and not  a confrontation.

Yet more drivel from you Skeptic.

1) Purpose: I said right at the start of this thread, a couple of posts after the OP that the exercise was to see how people answered because it was more telling that the simple content of the answer. It is designed to ellicit thought. Your response contains only excuses as to why you cannot think. That is not conflict seeking, that is illustrative. Think of a litmus test for acid. You take your blue litmus paper and dip it into your solution. If it turns pink it tells you that the solution is, past a certain pH, acidic. It doesn't tell you what the acid is, or even, past the turning point pH, how acidic the solution is with any degree of accuracy. That was the purpose of the question. I realise that this might be a little subtle for you.

Whether the acid in solution is hydrochloric, sulfuric, phosphoric or ethanoic makes little difference to the result of the Litmus test. It's not designed to check for that level of detail, all that is required is to know whether the solution is acidic or not. In this case the analogy with the "acid solution" is "the ability to think sufficiently clearly about a contentious issue, close to one's "worldview" (for want of a better term) and appreciate the hypothetical possibility that one might be in error." You have not only amply demonstrated that you cannot do that, you have admitted it. The test, as far as it went, has shown the result I would have expected in your case. Whether you like that or not. There were other people who responded to the question, Skeptic, and their responses were equally illuminating. This really isn't about you, although you're keen to make it so I note.

Incidentally it is also the first step in a process. One you are hindering, so if you're done whining, do run along.

2) Disagreement and dishonesty. No, Skeptic, not everyone who disagrees with me is dishonest. In fact the vast majority of people that disagree with me are pefectly honest (and in many cases, correct) in doing so. There is, however an unfortunate subset of people who disagree with me, and with you, and with anyone who do so dishonestly. It is my opinion (open to refutation) that you are part of that subset. You are incapable of certain degrees of thinking and, whether it's due to your lack of intellectual ability or not, you behave in a manner which could be construed as dishonest. I've had enough dealings with you to think that this is the case.

Take the thread which I set up expressedly for you to justify some of the claims you are fond of making. Not once in that entire thread did you do so, all you did was repeat the same claims and expect that they were taken as valid. Then when faced with a counter argument to your claims you utterly failed to deal with it and airily handwaved the argument away. No refutation. No specific points of disagreement. You just said "I disagree, you're wrong" and that was that. Some, myself included, might think that was dishonest. There is a litany of other examples.

I'd rather not appeal to the gallery as it were, but I am far from the only person with this opinion of your general conduct in these discussions. That added to the fact that some of the arguments and claims you present are direct from the playbook of sub-par religious apologetics and question avoiding (obvious to anyone who, erm, well has studied anything to do with these subjects) and you form a pattern. Granted, my pattern isn't particualrly friendly on occasion, but sorry sweetheart, I've never made any secret of the fact that I hate liars. And, unless you are a severely mentally impaired individual, you are deliberately dishonest in order to defend your faith. That I have no respect for.

Even trying to present my frustration at you failing to deal with arguments as they are presented as some kind of sinister motivation on my part is...erm...well let's just say "not true".

As for the rest, project much?

Are you EVER going to actually deal with an argument as it is put to you or will you forever pull this stupid two step. Just curious.

Louis

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Louis



Posts: 6436
Joined: Jan. 2006

(Permalink) Posted: Oct. 26 2007,19:23   

I'm going to give you an example of a disagreement, it might help (although why I continually cast pearls before swine like you I'll never know. Now THAT might well be a problem!):

Person A: 2 + 2 = 4

Person B: No, you're wrong, 2 + 2 = 5

Person A: here is a mathematical proof of why 2 + 2 = 4. Here are some examples, if I have two apples and I take another two apples from the bag, how many apples do I have?

Person B: 4 apples, but you still haven't shown that 2 + 2 = 4, I know you're wrong because I know that 2 + 2 = 5. Until you prove that 2 + 2 does NOT equal 5 then I will continue to believe it.

Person A (to self): Is Person B, merely misled, merely stupid, merely ignorant of the maths and thus cannot understand it in context, are they somehow perhaps uninterested in maths, or are they perhaps pretending not to understand so that they don't have to admit they are wrong and thus they are lying to maintain the facade? Hmmmm

This is the situation with you Skeptic. You refuse to engage an argument, you merely assert your disagreement and whine about bias, or meanness or some other tangential drivel. It is THIS that makes me think you are dishonest. If I am wrong about X, then HOW am I wrong about X? To be able to demonstrate that you have to first demonstrate that you understand the case FOR X, and this you simply never do. Time and again I have asked you (for example) to go back and carefully read something and restate it. Time and again you have refused. That leaves us little basis for progress. I am not simply going to roll over and declare the demonstrable nonsense you spout as factual or supportable if you cannot and will not support it, and you are so caught up in your assumption of my hostility (remember frustration =/= hostility) that you don't think it's worth your effort to engage the arguments.

All I can say is I've tried. And I suppose I can add that, as usual, you've failed to establish any aspect of your case or deal with any question or argument as it is presented. Again. The ball's in your court as always. Until you actually DO deal with a question or argument as it is stated, and I guess to do that you have to assume that I'm a sweet cuddly teddy bear (because you're favourite excuse for not doing so is to point out how mean I am), then nothing can happen.

All that said, of all the people who could have responded the one I least wanted to respond was you, precisely because I KNEW this was how you would deal with things. I knew your answer before you gave it Skeptic. As I said above, IF my purpose had been to show you up (and it wasn't) then you've accomplished that task for me very well. The ONLY way you can defeat that purpose is to actully deal with the arguments and questions as they are presented. That's your only hope. The power, such as it is, is yours to wield. I cannot make you look like a dishonest idiot, only you can do that. Conversely I cannot make you look like an erudite genius, only you can do that too. I, and a great number of other people, wonder why you keep plumbing for the first option.

Louis

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IanBrown_101



Posts: 927
Joined: April 2007

(Permalink) Posted: Oct. 26 2007,19:23   

Quote
In truth, you have no idea what dishonesty is.  In your mind, dishonesty is anyone who disagrees with you.


If this were true, he would be regularly lambasting Wes for being dishonest.


Come to think of it, I know I differ in belief and opinion from Louis in some areas, and I'm pretty sure I disagree with him on such things as politics. I don't recall him ever calling Wes or I a liar.

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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.

   
Louis



Posts: 6436
Joined: Jan. 2006

(Permalink) Posted: Oct. 26 2007,19:47   

Quote (IanBrown_101 @ Oct. 27 2007,01:23)
Quote
In truth, you have no idea what dishonesty is.  In your mind, dishonesty is anyone who disagrees with you.


If this were true, he would be regularly lambasting Wes for being dishonest.


Come to think of it, I know I differ in belief and opinion from Louis in some areas, and I'm pretty sure I disagree with him on such things as politics. I don't recall him ever calling Wes or I a liar.

What do we disagree on?

Perhaps that you think Wales is a fine place, I think it's a hell hole full of degenerate close harmony singing multiple sheep rapists.*

But seriously:

You raise a good point. Wes is a christian. I am an atheist. I think Wes is scrupulously honest and yet I disagree with him vehemently on the issue of god's existence. I think there is no evidence for such a proposition, he presumably thinks differently in one of a number of possible ways, e.g. that there is evidence, that evidence is not important, or one of a myriad of other possibilities. As it happens the difference between Wes and I on the issue of a deity is utterly trivial. Why? because Wes doesn't use faith as an excuse for every bat shit insane idea he may or may not have and in any given situation can support his claims and ideas with argumentation or evidence or both, or (and here's the kicker) admits he can't. Just like me! Wow! Who'd have thought it. He also doesn't (in my experience of him at least) extend those ideas and claims he cannot justify beyond his personal domain. His faith is his business and long may he have every right to that, priviledge that flows from that, and benefit that it confers for ever and ever Amen!

Both of us, and I don't think I am going out on much of a limb here (I'm sure Wes would chime in if he sees this and feels misrepresented), have what I would call a rational, evidence based mind set. We also have beliefs, well Wes does, I'm not very good with belief, I have a few ideas though. I'm also pretty certain that Wes admits to those things that are a bit shaky evidencially, or which are based on faith alone. Just like I do, and would if I had faith like that. That commonality is vastly greater than the insignificant difference of one of us believing in a deity or not. That's the thing Skeptic (and FTK, and many like them) utterly fail to grasp.

At the risk of both repetition and coming across all Tony Blair, there is a third way! We are not all fixed points on some spectrum of faith and belief, me believing one thing, you believing another, both equally valid (or invalid) there is a yardstick by whcih we can test those ideas. That yardstick is the apparent universe around us and that we form part of. We can interrogate the universe and come up with coherent answers. The universe Behaves as if it were real and there were some objective reality to it that doesn't go away when we close our eyes. Whether it is really really real is not even remotely knowable by any means (as mentioned in the other thread that Skeptic is avoiding like the plague because as usual he had his arse handed to him). All that is knowable is a consistent, coherent model of it's workings.

From what I know of Wes (and myriad other religious people of my acquaintance) we all revere that "third way". It doesn't deny the subjective or faith based, it merely understands it and the limitations it has. I tried to get this across to FTK for the same reasons and with similarly poor results. I have tried it with several other people and seen the dawning of comprehension, so it's a bit hit and miss, but as I've said millions of times, there is no "One True Tactic To Rule Them All". Mine is only one amongst many poor/good though it can be.

There is however, the alternative. Wes, and Ian, and many friends and I can and do disagree perfectly amicably (there's no truce with those Welsh bastards though* ) the reason we can do this is because we can a) understand the other person's arguments, b) deal with the other person's arguments as they are stated (and be corrected if we've fucked up and gone the wrong way), and c) honestly represent the other person's arguments, our own arguments and the course of discussion. These three things are the bare minimum required for a discussion or debate. Perhaps less use of the word "cunt" is another BUT, the debates never start with the word "cunt" being lobbed about, tht is a down stream consequence of the failure of one debate particpant (or both) to do a), b) or c). I've mentioned this before. ;-)

Oh well, at least with you Ian I know it won't fall on deaf ears.

Louis

*This part is not true. I love the Welsh and Wales, there's good surf in Gower and anyone who like rugby as much as they do cannot be bad. The Mumbles Mile is a laugh too, and Monmouthshire isn't awful. I quite like that Katherine Jenkins too. Phwoar etc.

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skeptic



Posts: 1163
Joined: May 2006

(Permalink) Posted: Oct. 27 2007,01:21   

While you are entitled to your opinions, the many ways that these last comments are inane are so numerous as to cause nothing short of outright laughter.  I seem to recall the subject of Wes' beliefs coming up in past conversation but it was a very short conversation and I'm not even sure that Wes was involved.  The one thing I do know is that Wes doesn't talk about his faith here.  So whatever convoluted model of acceptable faith bounds he subscribes to in your mind is completely without merit.  You probably shouldn't attempt to even formulate these models as you have no real concept of what faith even is, by your own admission.  What may be important for you to comprehend is that yours is not the only existing yardstick.  I imagine that Wes has his own as do most people.  What you mistake for agreement or admission of intellectual inferiority I would call maturity and reserve on Wes' part.  I for my part am hopeless, by my own admission, and cannot resist the urge to try to open your mind to alternate possibilities.  I continue to fail but for some reason I refuse to walk away, much to my own dismay.  Maybe there's hope for one of us yet, lol.  But back to Wes, or any person of faith for that matter, I don't believe it's possible for you to have a discussion concerning faith with any individual.  You seem to refer people in your life in which these discussions have taken place but you demonstrate no such ability here.  I'm not convinced that you are capable.  Of course, you have every opportunity to prove me wrong.

So as a step in that direction, why don't you go ahead and attempt my exercise.  Pick a belief that your have that is based upon irrationality.  You do have one don't you?  I'm gonna offer sports as one possibility but you throw in whatever you like here.  Now imagine the case that disputes this belief and not just in the negative.  Actually formulate a basis that completely refutes your belief.  In your own mind, is this a plausible scenario?  I'm going to predict that it cannot be.  If it were then you, especially you, would not hold the belief.  This is certainly a generalization but I'm going to go out on a limb and say that it will probably hold true.  Humans can be very predictable sometimes and I'm going to bet that this is the case in this instance.  Go on, give it a try.

Also, one other thing to think about.  Where does an individual's personal domain end?  Faith, as much as you refuse to accept, attempts to answer questions that one encounters in life.  What happens when someone behaves in a way as directed by or in response to this Faith?  What happens when this behavior affects the surrounding environment and the people in it?  Is it possible for someone of Faith to not extend their Faith beyond their personal domain and still be called a person of Faith?  Is it just enough that the individual did not admit that their actions were influenced by Faith?  Does that not constitute a violation of personal domain up until the point that they admit Faith was involved?  Just what manner of Faith exists that does not extend beyond the personal domain?

  
Louis



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Joined: Jan. 2006

(Permalink) Posted: Oct. 27 2007,04:53   

Reading for comprehension isn't something you do well is it Skeptic?

A) Regardless of whether you believe me or not, I have no issue with people's faith as long as it is acknowledged as such and for the limitations it has. When people try to claim that their faith is (for example) evidence for some claim, then I disagree.

B) I don't understand faith and admit this? Really? I call bullshit! Not only do I understand faith completely but nowhere have I "admitted" I don't understand it. What I genuinely do not understand is people like you who promote faith as being capable of something it isn't and expecting people not to see through such an obviously transparent bit of special pleading.

C) I am not describing Wes' faith (and Wes and I have encountered each other at places other than AtBC, you might want to think about that) or restricting it, what I AM desribing is a difference (one you demonstrably fail to understand) between people like you and people like Wes. People like Wes (and me for that matter) take an evidence based approach. People like you do not and instead try to claim all is some kind of relativist nonsense (as opposed to valid relativism. There's a difference).

D) Open MY mind? Fuck me what a patronising twat you are. Skeptic, my mind is open: present me the evidence for X and I'll accept it. No bias, no prejudice, not a preconceived sausage. Accusing me of bais because I don't accept the crap you spout because you provide no support for it at all is just yet another one of your laughable little nonsenses.

E) Skeptic, I'm not playing silly games with you. You have demonstrated a total lack of good faith in these discussions by continually misrepresenting my arguments and questions. Until you go back and fulfill your duties of restating my arguments to my satisfaction (and you have a whole thread of them at least to wade through) why do you expect me to play some (fallacious and pathetic, as will be demonstrated next point) mind game of your confection? If it has to be done on such a childish basis (as opposed to a reasoned one) then remember I asked first: you owe me several iterations of restating my arguments for me.

F) Your sports analogy fails for several reasons. First and foremost a sports team is a real entity, not some fictional construct that has never been observed. Second, allegiance to a sports team is affected by many real world factors that are not in dispute (demonstrable results of sporting events etc) and also the standard "team allegiance" factors that apply equally to religion (geography, local culture, inherited cultre etc) and incidentally demonstrate the downfall of your analogy and open an interesting window into your view (one I've commented on before). This for you is a team game, your sports team analogy is a classic indicator, for you this is about identity, you identify with team A and therefore anyone on a different team must be wrong. The thing you've failed to grasp is that there are no teams, there is only basing things on reality and not basing things on reality. One's allegiances matter not at all. The results on the other hand, do.

G) I don't hold irrational beliefs, irrational beliefs are the problem. If you are asking if I have had ideas that are important to me and if those ideas can (and have) been proven wrong, then I offer you one thing: I'M A WORKING RESEARCH SCIENTIST YOU FUCKING IDIOT!!!! THIS IS WHAT I DO EVERY DAY FOR A JOB!!! I've got no problem with being wrong about anything at all, I'm an advocate of being wrong, I think being wrong is a good thing. Yet again your projection and "team allegiance" mentality get the better of you. And you accuse me of narrow mindedness! What a hoot!

H) Personal domain. What you cannot prove by reason or demonstrate on the basis of the evidence should not leave your head in practice. If you want to discuss it with others, use it to iform your vote, let it dictate your activities then go right ahead, I won't stop you (or even wish to). What I DO wish to stop is people advancing the claim that because they believe it, it is applicable to others/the real world. The reason I wish to stop this is because it is false, demonstrably so. I also wish for people who have beliefs they cannot prove by reason or demonstrate on the basis of the evidence to admit this and not try to shore their fanatsies up with post-hoc rationalisations (see creationism for an example, faith based "medicine" like homeopathy for another).

Yet again Skeptic you demonstrate that you cannot get that thing you call a mind around the very simple concept that I don't even remotely care WHAT is true, I care HOW we decide if it is true and HOW we know this. The HOW is the important part, not the WHAT. That is the point of the questions (as mentioned above) to demonstrate the HOW of people's thinking. The WHAT is simply not important. As I said right at the start, I'm an atheist, I lack a belief in a deity. The reason I lack that belief is because there is no evidence to support it. If I were wrong about that and there were evidence to support a claim that a deity exists then I would change my mind and follow the evidence (no matter how unpleasant). The WHAT is not important, the HOW is. Get it yet? Forgive me if, after about a million iterations, I doubt it.

Lastly, two challenges:

a) Go back, restate my arguments to my satisfaction and then explain where the flaws in them are. I have for months repeatedly asked you to do this. You have continually refused.

b) Demonstrate your claim that I do not understand faith as opposed to merely asserting it.

My bet is you are incapable of both and will only weasel around trying to avoid doing either because you know you cannot.

Louis

ADDED IN EDIT: P.S. This phenomenon applies to Skeptic in spades. Being accused by Skeptic of incomprehension is like Linford Christie being accused of being a slow runner by a corpse.

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Louis



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(Permalink) Posted: Oct. 27 2007,05:00   

Skeptic,

STOP DERAILING THIS THREAD PLEASE.

There is a whole thread for you to espouse your ideas on epistemology and faith etc, I have bumped it for your convenience. Please use that. The purpose of this thread was to ellicit examples of HOW people think about certain issues, not to discuss the details of WHAT they think about them. The issues pertaining to WHAT belong more properly in the other thread.

Please use that thread from now on.

Louis

P.S. Here is a link to the start of the thread. I'll remind you that your first job is to restate my arguments to  my satisfaction. Rereading the thread might help you there.

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skeptic



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Joined: May 2006

(Permalink) Posted: Oct. 27 2007,11:20   

The purpose of this thread is to examine HOW people think, you say?  No problem, let's examine HOW you think.  This ought to be fun, or at least mildly entertaining in the short term.

First things first, unless you have appointed yourself the thread police there is no real reason to hold two identical discussions.  The same topics are going to be addressed at the same time so why divide the discussion?  This would appear to be an obvious diversion and one I'm not interested in following.  My time is precious and I prefer to consolidate it all in one spot, thank you very much.  If this offends your board-conduct sensibilities, well, grow up!  Another thing, there is no derailing of this thread.  This thread is only you and I and occasional comments from the peanut gallery.  BWE may choose to jump in in the future but essentially it's just you and I, poppy!  Stop running.

A)  I don't believe it and I will hold that belief until I'm presented with evidence to the contrary.

B) You've admitted that you are not very good with belief and that you don't believe you hold any irrational beliefs.  If so, how do you know what Faith is capable of?  What is your first-hand experience in the matter?  Have you given Faith a try and found that it failed in it's commitments?  Maybe you need to describe your understanding of Faith and then we'll see if you have any real understanding of it after all.  Again, until evidence is provided to the contrary, my opinion is that you don't understand Faith.  As an aside, I will accept that it may be a contrast of understanding.  Namely, you don't understand Faith as I understand Faith and so forth, but that could all be revealed if you go ahead and share you ideas about Faith.

C) What is an evidenced based approach to Faith?  Do you know how Wes, and any other person of Faith rationalizes their Faith based upon evidence?  I'm not sure you do as you continually state that there is no evidence for Faith.  How is this paradox solved by an evidence based person and a non-evidential Faith?  Again, I'm not sure that you can speak to this as you have no experience in this area, or have you?  Wouldn't you have to go through the process of examining Faith within an evidence based context in order to really understand it?  This may not be possible for the armchair quarterback.

D) Nope, I accuse you of bias because you don't accept that others may believe the crap they spout.  They may have perfectly good reasons for believing this crap.  It's not for you to say what crap they should and shouldn't believe.  That's what would be open minded.

E) Not interested in childish diversions, how about you engage in the discussion at hand and get off your tired script.  On that point, you haven't said "strawman" for about two pages at least, are you hands starting to shake?

F) You missed the point of the team analogy.  Not having a knowledge of your background I was trying to suggest a starting point for examining irrational beliefs.  Again, maybe you don't know anything about sports and I should have made a different suggestion.  Sports is pretty universal over here so maybe I made a bad assumption.  But just to illuminate the actual issue rather than your perceived one, any fan of the Chicago Cubs, the Detroit Lions, the New York Knicks, and so forth knows that there is a suspension of rationality when it comes to supporting a team.  In many cases the initial reason for this support is lost in the mists of time but the support remains and can, in some cases, reach a near-religious status.  You should know that.  I think I recall the English becoming absolute lunatics during soccer games of the past.  Try approaching the suggestion from that perspective and not some psuedo-psychological basis.

G) see A.  Irrational beliefs are a problem for whom? You? Others?  It's their problem and not yours?  It's your problem and not their's?  Your hostility in this area is evident.  Your occupation is irrelevant.  A garbage collector can think and feel appropriately regardless of background, don't believe that yours affords you any added credibility.  One thing you might want to think about though, as a professional suggestion, you'll never get beyond the bench lacking imagination and a true ability to see beyond conventional wisdom.  I don't know your ambitions but if you want to be a true asset and achieve something lasting and valuable for yourself and the Big P you might want to think about that.  Workshops might be the thing, creative thinking, who moved my cheese, and so on.

H) If I use my Faith to inform my vote, direct my actions, influence my behavior and relationships then I am definitively saying that it is both applicable to others and the real world.  I live in the real world and I interact with others at what point does this not touch my Faith?  If you understood Faith you'd see this but having no experience in this area it is understandable.  On the flip side, having no real experience in atheism I cannot see how Faith can be compartmentalized to the point that it is irrelevant.  What use is Faith if it doesn't impact your actions, behaviors, thoughts and relationship?  Could it be said to even exist at all under these constraints?

Now on the subject of atheism, I continually hear that atheists don't believe in God because there is no evidence to support the claim.  Isn't also the case that there is not evidence refuting the claim?  Wouldn't the question of God be in a neutral position in terms of evidence?  If I were to try to convince you of the existence of God then I would need to offer evidence to change that initial belief but what is the foundation for the initial belief?  Coin flip?  Fifty-fifty choice?  You could have just as easily been a theist as an atheist?  What evidence informs your belief if there is no evidence either way?  Alittle of topic but I'm interested in HOW you think.

Finally, your challenges:

a) I've addressed this and believe it to be a waste of time, intentional I might add.  The choice is yours.  You can stick to these worthless demands or you can move on and join this discussion.  It's up to you.

b) see above.  I think that's a good start.

Now on with the rending of flesh and gnashing of teeth.  I'm sure you have an essay to write now and, in truth, I look forward to some of it because it does reveal HOW you think.  Now that's entertainment!

  
Louis



Posts: 6436
Joined: Jan. 2006

(Permalink) Posted: Oct. 27 2007,11:58   

Skeptic,

I think I've had enough of being undesevingly patronised by you. The vast majority of your questions I have already answered (to name two examples off the top of my head: an elaboration of the principles which dissect your woeful team sport analogy can be found in the thread I bumped, as can an explanation of what faith is etc.), of course this would require you had a) read them and b) understood them.

I think the greatest irony is being given patronsing career advice by the likes of you! Two words for you: research track. Or perhaps you haven't risen sufficiently high in the pharmaceutical industry to know what that means. Either way, as I said, until you demonstrate that you understand a single thing I've said by repeating it to my satisfaction, I think I'm done. With the one caveat, of course, that I will continually remind you that you have not demonstrated a single one of your oft repeated claims. Playing silly buggers with you is simply too wasteful of time that could be better spent elsewhere.

Louis

P.S. Since you're fond of the "I believe it until you disprove it" game. I will also be regularly posting the claim (as I did with Heddle) that your name is really Obliviot and you are a paedophile specialising in murder and necrophilia of small boys. You have to provide evidence to the contrary or not only will I still believe it but I will actively promote it. Sound fair? If you enjoy returning the burden of proof to where it belongs (in this case my shoulders) then the same rules will apply to you, i.e. you shoulder the burden of proof for your positive claims. Until then I am disgusted that you murder young boys and rape their lukewarm corpses. What sort of a monster are you?

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skeptic



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(Permalink) Posted: Oct. 27 2007,12:10   

sorry that I exceeded your intellectual capacity, I will remember to speak more slowly in the future and use smaller words.  As far as my advice, it stands even though it is greatly influenced by your own personal ambitions.  Namely, if you want it you'll learn what is necessary to get it.  When you get older and wiser you will see that this is true.  Good luck on your journey.

  
Louis



Posts: 6436
Joined: Jan. 2006

(Permalink) Posted: Oct. 27 2007,12:23   

Quote (skeptic @ Oct. 27 2007,18:10)
sorry that I exceeded your intellectual capacity, I will remember to speak more slowly in the future and use smaller words.  As far as my advice, it stands even though it is greatly influenced by your own personal ambitions.  Namely, if you want it you'll learn what is necessary to get it.  When you get older and wiser you will see that this is true.  Good luck on your journey.

LOL Yet more underservingly patronising waffle!

Why, Obliviot, do you murder small boys and rape their cooling corpses? Why are you such a monster? Remember it's true until you disprove it because I have claimed it and I have faith in it. (I'm waiting for you to get the point of this, forgive me if I doubt you are capable).

Your disgusting and illegal sexual practises aside, do you think for a second that a) I would argue against learning what I need to acheive the goals I wish to or b) you are in a position to educate me on any matter? Oh dear! You have a very high opinion of your own meagre abilities don't you Obliviot? Perhaps that Wikipedia article I mentioned before is really more relevant than I could have hoped.

Two things that might amaze you Obliviot: a) everyone who has encountered you on this board either agrees with my assessment, where they have expresed an opinion at all, or have expressed similar opinions of your abilties and conduct independantly which concur with mine. Unless of course they share the characteristics described in that assessment, b) those self same people (whether or not they agree with me about myriad things) agree that you demonstrably have not followed my arguments and resorted to straw men (there, are you happy?). Cry bias all you like Obliviot, but both instances have happened far too frequently for your comfort.

Get back to raping dead kids, I know it's what you like. Remember, it's true until you disprove it BY YOUR OWN STANDARDS, not mine.

Louis

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Louis



Posts: 6436
Joined: Jan. 2006

(Permalink) Posted: Oct. 27 2007,12:30   

I've always enjoyed parroting the more idiotic styles of arguments employed by certain types of people back at them. It's actually hilarious.

I believe it, therefore it's true until you disprove it. No evidence or reason required. How COOL! I can "prove" ANYTHING this way. I wonder if I can get a promotion at work by "proving" (using this method) that I have designed and made a 100% effective anticancer antiviral drug that has no adverse side effects, and as a bonus comes in a range of flavours and allows the patient to regrow hair/modify the size of their breasts/genitalia at will/become more financially successful/reduce body fat/compete in the Olympics (delete as applicable). I'll bet I can do the process chem this way too. The synthetic route I've developed is obviously scalable immediately and uses no toxic chemicals just fresh air and wishful thinking.

Forgive my sarcasm, but being patronised by the scorn-worthy maggot that is Obliviot the kiddie-corpse-raper brings out the best naughty bastard in me.

Louis

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Louis



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(Permalink) Posted: Oct. 27 2007,14:10   

I've gone back and reread the other thread (linked above). Same issues, same idiocy from Skeptic. I'm making a little poster to remind myself never to treat Skeptic as a serious human being capable of rational thought again. He has forever demonstrated that he doesn't deserve that level of compliment. Henceforth it's mockery and derision all the way.

Louis

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skeptic



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Joined: May 2006

(Permalink) Posted: Oct. 27 2007,15:18   

you continue to remind me of a twelve year old I once knew but even given those limitations do you ever intend to address the questions posed to you?

  
Louis



Posts: 6436
Joined: Jan. 2006

(Permalink) Posted: Oct. 28 2007,01:37   

Quote (skeptic @ Oct. 27 2007,21:18)
you continue to remind me of a twelve year old I once knew but even given those limitations do you ever intend to address the questions posed to you?

You're complaining about *me* not answering questions when you have a thread's worth of unanswered questions and arguments to deal with? Do you know what hypocrisy is? What questions have you asked anyway "Waaaaah you don't understand faith prove you do waaaah?" isn't a question. It's a mental problem (one you should get checked out). Speaking of childishness, what does that make you for not answering a whole thread's worth of questions? A foetus in a bell jar? To your own standards will you be held, hypocrite.

Anyway, more to the point: Why do you murder children, rape their corpses and wear their flayed skin as a mask while you dance about singing Abba songs?

You're not answering that question I note. I believe your silence is an admission of guilt. Remember Skeptic: I believe it therefore it's true until you disprove it. To your own standards will you be held.

Louis

P.S. Added in edit: Oh and Skeptic, that other thread contains the answers tto your questions by the way. Which of course you'd know having read it and understood it, right? Your lack of comprehension and laziness is not my fault. Sorry.

--------------
Bye.

  
skeptic



Posts: 1163
Joined: May 2006

(Permalink) Posted: Oct. 28 2007,08:40   

*yawn*

  
hereoisreal



Posts: 745
Joined: Feb. 2006

(Permalink) Posted: Oct. 28 2007,10:33   

Louis:

"Think of a litmus test for acid. You take your blue litmus paper and dip it into your solution. If it turns pink it tells you that the solution is, past a certain pH, acidic. It doesn't tell you what the acid is, or even, past the turning point pH, how acidic the solution is with any degree of accuracy."
*****************************************
Story # 303 on hereoisreal.com:

PH

         One day I was compiling notes on PH. I debated whether to include them in my book.  In PH, I see the words God, Jesus, and gap.  The word Jesus has a numerical value of 74.  My pool test kit says that a PH of 7.4 is perfect.  When a tropical storm's winds reach 74 miles per hour, it is then classed as a hurricane.  Joseph, Mary's husband's name contains PH.  The golden wedge of Ophir includes PH.  Ph plus one equals phone.  

         As I was thinking of these things, NASA began a news conference on TV following the return of the shuttle.  The first question by news reporters brought a response that NASA was "concerned about the PH in the fuel cells."

Zero

--------------
360  miracles and more at:
http://www.hereoisreal.com/....eal.com

Great news. God’s wife is pregnant! (Rev. 12:5)

It's not over till the fat lady sings! (Isa. 54:1 & Zec 9:9)

   
skeptic



Posts: 1163
Joined: May 2006

(Permalink) Posted: Oct. 28 2007,10:41   

Zero, I checked out the website and a had a few questions but the most prominent one was is this your website or are you just reposting clips from it?

  
IanBrown_101



Posts: 927
Joined: April 2007

(Permalink) Posted: Oct. 28 2007,10:49   

Quote
Now on the subject of atheism, I continually hear that atheists don't believe in God because there is no evidence to support the claim.  Isn't also the case that there is not evidence refuting the claim?  Wouldn't the question of God be in a neutral position in terms of evidence?  If I were to try to convince you of the existence of God then I would need to offer evidence to change that initial belief but what is the foundation for the initial belief?


You cannot be serious. Either you're joking, trolling or a moron.

--------------
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.

   
hereoisreal



Posts: 745
Joined: Feb. 2006

(Permalink) Posted: Oct. 28 2007,11:12   

Quote (skeptic @ Oct. 28 2007,10:41)
Zero, I checked out the website and a had a few questions but the most prominent one was is this your website or are you just reposting clips from it?

hereoisreal.com is my web site and I have many
other stories that I have not posted there.

PM me with your q's.

Hang in here with your faith.

Zero

--------------
360  miracles and more at:
http://www.hereoisreal.com/....eal.com

Great news. God’s wife is pregnant! (Rev. 12:5)

It's not over till the fat lady sings! (Isa. 54:1 & Zec 9:9)

   
Louis



Posts: 6436
Joined: Jan. 2006

(Permalink) Posted: Oct. 28 2007,11:18   

Quote (skeptic @ Oct. 28 2007,14:40)
*yawn*

Wake up, there's a good chap. Hard night raping dead children was it?

Louis

P.S. Hero and Obliviot about to have a mutual appreciation episode? Oh don't! That would be too funny! Two utterly clueless whackos buttering each other up. Teh funny, I couldn't take it.

--------------
Bye.

  
Louis



Posts: 6436
Joined: Jan. 2006

(Permalink) Posted: Oct. 28 2007,11:39   

Actually, I do have a serious question:

Obliviot, are you elderly and senile, or simply mentally ill?

As I read over these threads I've noticed you do nothiing more that assert your claims without basis, claim all is relative, make snide remarks and be undeservingly patronising and try very very hard to pretend that nobody else has said anything, then repeat the process in the hope that everyone else is as forgetful and lazy as you are.

I urge anyone curious, or who thinks I am being unduly harsh to poor wikkle Obliviot, to read/reread this thread. His vacuity and bile is there in black and white for all to see.

It's frustrating to try to deal with the pointless cretin because I've assumed he is mentally balanced. I think I may have been mistaken about that assessment.

Oh well.

Louis

--------------
Bye.

  
skeptic



Posts: 1163
Joined: May 2006

(Permalink) Posted: Oct. 28 2007,15:55   

Quote (IanBrown_101 @ Oct. 28 2007,10:49)
Quote
Now on the subject of atheism, I continually hear that atheists don't believe in God because there is no evidence to support the claim.  Isn't also the case that there is not evidence refuting the claim?  Wouldn't the question of God be in a neutral position in terms of evidence?  If I were to try to convince you of the existence of God then I would need to offer evidence to change that initial belief but what is the foundation for the initial belief?


You cannot be serious. Either you're joking, trolling or a moron.

No, that is a serious question.  I'm not sure which part of that quote is upsetting you but I'm more than happy to discuss.  Could you elaborate a little further?

  
skeptic



Posts: 1163
Joined: May 2006

(Permalink) Posted: Oct. 28 2007,15:57   

Quote (hereoisreal @ Oct. 28 2007,11:12)
Quote (skeptic @ Oct. 28 2007,10:41)
Zero, I checked out the website and a had a few questions but the most prominent one was is this your website or are you just reposting clips from it?

hereoisreal.com is my web site and I have many
other stories that I have not posted there.

PM me with your q's.

Hang in here with your faith.

Zero

Just wanted to make sure I wasn't talking to a parody.  Is the general theme you're trying to get across is that you can see evidence for God all around you if you look?

  
hereoisreal



Posts: 745
Joined: Feb. 2006

(Permalink) Posted: Oct. 28 2007,17:44   

Quote (skeptic @ Oct. 28 2007,15:57)
Quote (hereoisreal @ Oct. 28 2007,11:12)
 
Quote (skeptic @ Oct. 28 2007,10:41)
Zero, I checked out the website and a had a few questions but the most prominent one was is this your website or are you just reposting clips from it?

hereoisreal.com is my web site and I have many
other stories that I have not posted there.

PM me with your q's.

Hang in here with your faith.

Zero

Just wanted to make sure I wasn't talking to a parody.  Is the general theme you're trying to get across is that you can see evidence for God all around you if you look?

Yes, I am a fish and God is water.
Some of the other fish are saying, " I
can't wait to get on dry land.  A better
place."

Zero

--------------
360  miracles and more at:
http://www.hereoisreal.com/....eal.com

Great news. God’s wife is pregnant! (Rev. 12:5)

It's not over till the fat lady sings! (Isa. 54:1 & Zec 9:9)

   
skeptic



Posts: 1163
Joined: May 2006

(Permalink) Posted: Oct. 28 2007,18:11   

but what if the dirty little secret is that there is no dry land?

  
hereoisreal



Posts: 745
Joined: Feb. 2006

(Permalink) Posted: Oct. 28 2007,18:15   

Quote (skeptic @ Oct. 28 2007,18:11)
but what if the dirty little secret is that there is no dry land?

A dry land with everything 'free'?

--------------
360  miracles and more at:
http://www.hereoisreal.com/....eal.com

Great news. God’s wife is pregnant! (Rev. 12:5)

It's not over till the fat lady sings! (Isa. 54:1 & Zec 9:9)

   
IanBrown_101



Posts: 927
Joined: April 2007

(Permalink) Posted: Oct. 28 2007,22:01   

Quote (skeptic @ Oct. 28 2007,21:55)
Quote (IanBrown_101 @ Oct. 28 2007,10:49)
 
Quote
Now on the subject of atheism, I continually hear that atheists don't believe in God because there is no evidence to support the claim.  Isn't also the case that there is not evidence refuting the claim?  Wouldn't the question of God be in a neutral position in terms of evidence?  If I were to try to convince you of the existence of God then I would need to offer evidence to change that initial belief but what is the foundation for the initial belief?


You cannot be serious. Either you're joking, trolling or a moron.

No, that is a serious question.  I'm not sure which part of that quote is upsetting you but I'm more than happy to discuss.  Could you elaborate a little further?

Absence of evidence is indeed evidence of absence. The religious, whether they be the kindly love thy neighbour types, or the psycho kill the heathen types and all in between are making an absolute claim, there IS a god and he/she/it/they is/are X Y and Z.

I don't see any need to believe in your god, therefore I say I don't believe in he/she/it/them as there is no evidence. For you to turn that around and say "but there is no evidence AGAINST god" is a completely ridiculous statement. There isn't any evidence against vampirism either, should we consider the question of their existence neutral? How about the FSM? Ra? Zeus?

Seriously, the "YOU don't have any either" argument would be really impressive if you were five. You aren't. Don't use it, and learn how evidence works.

Oh, and by the by, "upsetting"? Either you're claiming you think I'm upset, in which case you can't understand emotion and motivation online well, or you're concern trolling.

--------------
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.

   
Stephen Elliott



Posts: 1754
Joined: Oct. 2005

(Permalink) Posted: Oct. 29 2007,02:47   

An atempt at a reply.

If it was proven that "God" did not exist I would like to think that I could accept that. Damn, it seems that is the most likely scenario anyway.

My reaction? I am dissapointed that I did not tell loved ones just how much they meant to me while they was alive as I expected to have a 2nd chance.

Fuck!

As for 3)

If evolutionaty biology was wrong due to a trick from a god I would be pissed off. WTF would be going on if everything we think we know was just a trick?...hang on. For most human experience everything is wrong. Nothing we experience holds true (in the micro or macro World compared to us).

  
Louis



Posts: 6436
Joined: Jan. 2006

(Permalink) Posted: Oct. 29 2007,03:17   

Quote (IanBrown_101 @ Oct. 29 2007,04:01)
Quote (skeptic @ Oct. 28 2007,21:55)
 
Quote (IanBrown_101 @ Oct. 28 2007,10:49)
   
Quote
Now on the subject of atheism, I continually hear that atheists don't believe in God because there is no evidence to support the claim.  Isn't also the case that there is not evidence refuting the claim?  Wouldn't the question of God be in a neutral position in terms of evidence?  If I were to try to convince you of the existence of God then I would need to offer evidence to change that initial belief but what is the foundation for the initial belief?


You cannot be serious. Either you're joking, trolling or a moron.

No, that is a serious question.  I'm not sure which part of that quote is upsetting you but I'm more than happy to discuss.  Could you elaborate a little further?

Absence of evidence is indeed evidence of absence. The religious, whether they be the kindly love thy neighbour types, or the psycho kill the heathen types and all in between are making an absolute claim, there IS a god and he/she/it/they is/are X Y and Z.

I don't see any need to believe in your god, therefore I say I don't believe in he/she/it/them as there is no evidence. For you to turn that around and say "but there is no evidence AGAINST god" is a completely ridiculous statement. There isn't any evidence against vampirism either, should we consider the question of their existence neutral? How about the FSM? Ra? Zeus?

Seriously, the "YOU don't have any either" argument would be really impressive if you were five. You aren't. Don't use it, and learn how evidence works.

Oh, and by the by, "upsetting"? Either you're claiming you think I'm upset, in which case you can't understand emotion and motivation online well, or you're concern trolling.

Even better than that Ian, for certain "god hypotheses" the evidence we DO have rules them out, just like certain kinetic studies would rule out a specific mechanistic hypothesis for a chemical reaction.

What Obliviot is doing and will do is shift the goalposts. He is treating his god right now like a deist god, i.e. one that doesn't interact with the universe. He will claim that his god DOES interact with the universe (i.e. answers prayers change X or Y performs miracles etc) and someone will point out to him that if his god interacts with the universe that this interaction is in principle detectable, and thus his god hypothesis is open to falsification on the basis of the plain of, bog standard evidence. Obliviiot has demonstrated in the past that he cannot follow that simple chain of logic and tries to weasel out of it.

Please don't take my word for that, look at the last few pages of the "No reason for conflict between religion and science?" thread, where Reciprocating Bill (that rude, horrible and dastardly individual who is stupid and mean and combatative) and I (that wonderful, polite, intelligent, respectful pacifist) try to explain this to Obliviot. The weaselling he attempts is quite hilarious. He also hasn't supported his claims of mind/brain duality yet either, just FYI, because he'll doubtless return to them.

All in all Obliviot's claims rest on a curious mixture of essentialism, extreme relativism, some whacky version of presuppositionalism, no small quantity of ignorance and (I've come to realise) mental illness. Were I a psychiatrist he'd make an interesting study. At least for a few minutes.

Louis

P.S. Thanks Steve for your answer, nice to have you back!

--------------
Bye.

  
Louis



Posts: 6436
Joined: Jan. 2006

(Permalink) Posted: Oct. 29 2007,03:23   

Even though I've contributed more than my fair share to the derailing of this thread myself, I'm going to ask everyone, myself included, a favour:

Please can we port this discussion to the No Reason for a Rift Between Science and Religion? thread.

There are two reasons for this:

1) That thread contains a lot of discussion from many people about the topics this "conversation" is covering, it would be nice to have everything in one thread.

2) This thread has a purpose and there are further questions to come, this derail (however wonderful or not) is hindering that purpose. Since I'm the guy who originated the thread I reckon I have some right to ask that it be kept on topic.

Thanks to everyone in advance.

Louis

--------------
Bye.

  
Louis



Posts: 6436
Joined: Jan. 2006

(Permalink) Posted: Oct. 29 2007,04:10   

OK so hopefully, with the discussion that is derailing this thread moving to where it is more relevant, we can continue with what this thread was intended to do.

Thanks to everyone who has answered the questions at the start. The next questions are potentially more controversial (and represent what I think is the only genuine controversy in the whole creationism/evolutionary debacle), and riff on the theme of "Wrong? Moi?".

1) If someone presents an idea that is demonstrably wrong, i.e. is demonstrably and uncontroversially contrary to the available evidence, what do you do?

Assuming of course this idea is presented for discussion and not, for example in a social environment where discussion would not be preux.

2) How does one convince any person of a proposition or the merits of any specific idea?

3) If the person who presented the erroneous idea in question 1) is persistant in advancing the erroneous idea, how does one go about correcting them, if one does at all?

So the second part of this thread is to do with strategy.

Cheers

Louis

--------------
Bye.

  
skeptic



Posts: 1163
Joined: May 2006

(Permalink) Posted: Oct. 29 2007,08:08   

Quote (IanBrown_101 @ Oct. 28 2007,22:01)
Quote (skeptic @ Oct. 28 2007,21:55)
 
Quote (IanBrown_101 @ Oct. 28 2007,10:49)
 
Quote
Now on the subject of atheism, I continually hear that atheists don't believe in God because there is no evidence to support the claim.  Isn't also the case that there is not evidence refuting the claim?  Wouldn't the question of God be in a neutral position in terms of evidence?  If I were to try to convince you of the existence of God then I would need to offer evidence to change that initial belief but what is the foundation for the initial belief?


You cannot be serious. Either you're joking, trolling or a moron.

No, that is a serious question.  I'm not sure which part of that quote is upsetting you but I'm more than happy to discuss.  Could you elaborate a little further?

Absence of evidence is indeed evidence of absence. The religious, whether they be the kindly love thy neighbour types, or the psycho kill the heathen types and all in between are making an absolute claim, there IS a god and he/she/it/they is/are X Y and Z.

I don't see any need to believe in your god, therefore I say I don't believe in he/she/it/them as there is no evidence. For you to turn that around and say "but there is no evidence AGAINST god" is a completely ridiculous statement. There isn't any evidence against vampirism either, should we consider the question of their existence neutral? How about the FSM? Ra? Zeus?

Seriously, the "YOU don't have any either" argument would be really impressive if you were five. You aren't. Don't use it, and learn how evidence works.

Oh, and by the by, "upsetting"? Either you're claiming you think I'm upset, in which case you can't understand emotion and motivation online well, or you're concern trolling.

I made no emotional inference, "upsetting" was used in reference to the point of disagreement, what was the offending portion.  For give the flowerly language, lol.

The evidence claim I think is open to many problems but my primary issue is that it appears inadequate to approach this question.  Let me explain.  There is no objective evidence that I know of for the existence of a God, any God.  Are we in agreement there?  All evidence that I see stems from the individual and relies upon personal revelation or introspection.  At the same time, there is a fine line between acknowledging the lack of objective evidence and making the unprovable statement that there is no God.  I don't see that too many people get into trouble saying "I don't believe in God" or in your case "I don't see the need in believing in God."  What I'm trying to warn against is the next step in which individuals say "There is no God" and for that statement there is no evidence.  I hope that distinction is clear.

Just to ward off the coming critique I'd like to say one thing about my belief in God.  I believe in God as a fundamental belief based upon nothing more than the evidence of existence.  Just the very fact that anything exists necessitates a belief in God for me.  I don't believe that this rises to the level of objective evidence and there's no way to examine the alternative.  So I accept the existence of God based upon no objective evidence and just to avoid any contradiction, I believe that God exists but there is a chance that I am wrong and God does not exist.  I have to accept that the possibility is real.

As far as your next batch of questions, Louis, I'd say the intention here is transparent.  Also, I'm not sure how productive it is to go on to the next step when issues still remain stemming from the first questions.  But I guess I'll play along and wait to read answers that are completely predictable and redundant.  Isn't that the primary purpose for this entire discussion board?

  
Richardthughes



Posts: 10756
Joined: Jan. 2006

(Permalink) Posted: Oct. 29 2007,10:17   

Quote
All evidence that I see stems from the individual and relies upon personal revelation or introspection.


That's not evidence, then. Conjecture, perhaps.

--------------
"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

  
hereoisreal



Posts: 745
Joined: Feb. 2006

(Permalink) Posted: Oct. 29 2007,11:15   

Edit/moved to my thread

--------------
360  miracles and more at:
http://www.hereoisreal.com/....eal.com

Great news. God’s wife is pregnant! (Rev. 12:5)

It's not over till the fat lady sings! (Isa. 54:1 & Zec 9:9)

   
skeptic



Posts: 1163
Joined: May 2006

(Permalink) Posted: Oct. 29 2007,12:11   

After looking at the first question, I think it may actually be more complex then first impression.

First, is the person willing to admit that their position is proven wrong?  Are they even willing to admit that their position could be proven wrong?  Without affirmatives here there is no real reason to continue.

Secondly, what is the purpose of conversation with this person?  Is there any reason to even attempt to persuade this person that their position is incorrect?  In short, what is to be gained?  I would submit that just to correct their error is not sufficient.

As to the second question, I'm pretty sure methods of persuation are well documented unless you're asking for something new or original be proposed.

And the third questions goes back to the original evaluation of the goal of the conversation, or maybe I just answered the third question prematurely.  What is to be gained and what will be acheived?

Again, I point out that the stated purpose of this board is to discuss strategy used in combating ID/YEC promoters.  Aren't you just trying to recreate and compress that overall discussion into one small thread?

  
hereoisreal



Posts: 745
Joined: Feb. 2006

(Permalink) Posted: Oct. 29 2007,12:28   

Skeptic:

"First, is the person willing to admit that their position is proven wrong?  Are they even willing to admit that their position could be proven wrong?  Without affirmatives here there is no real reason to continue."

****************************************
I just posted what I think are affirmatives.  If
my math doesn't check out.  I am wrong.

Zero

--------------
360  miracles and more at:
http://www.hereoisreal.com/....eal.com

Great news. God’s wife is pregnant! (Rev. 12:5)

It's not over till the fat lady sings! (Isa. 54:1 & Zec 9:9)

   
Erasmus, FCD



Posts: 6349
Joined: June 2007

(Permalink) Posted: Oct. 29 2007,12:47   

Yeah hero, I just was overcome by your calculations and fell down upon my knees and received forgiveness.  

Now I'm not sure if I can lose it or not.  Is it true that God cannot see our sins when we are covered by the blood of Jesus, or must we continually seek redemption.  Cause, uh, it has a lot to do with my plans for later on this evening.  thanx k bai.

--------------
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

  
stevestory



Posts: 10127
Joined: Oct. 2005

(Permalink) Posted: Oct. 29 2007,12:51   

hereoisreal, don't take this the wrong way, but your numerological ruminations are gibberish. We don't mind if you post that stuff on the thread we made for you, but please keep it there and don't impose it on other conversations.

   
Louis



Posts: 6436
Joined: Jan. 2006

(Permalink) Posted: Oct. 29 2007,13:32   

Quote (skeptic @ Oct. 29 2007,14:08)
As far as your next batch of questions, Louis, I'd say the intention here is transparent.  Also, I'm not sure how productive it is to go on to the next step when issues still remain stemming from the first questions.  But I guess I'll play along and wait to read answers that are completely predictable and redundant.  Isn't that the primary purpose for this entire discussion board?

Obliviot,

1) There are no issues lingering from the first questions that are relevant to the intentions behind this thread. They are however relevant to the theme of another thread, hence why I am asking very nicely that everyoone (me included) deal with them there. Questions dealing with (for example) epistemology and the nature of theism/deism/atheism etc are best dealt with there because here they are distracting from the purposes I set this thread up for.

2) Be careful about assuming intentions and motivations on the part of others. Firstly, for the obvious reason that you are not in full possession of the relevant data, and secondly (and in your case more importantly) you regularly demonstrate that you can't even read for basic comprehension or follow/form a coherent argument. Under those circumstances attempting intuition/telepathy is unadvisable in the extreme.

3) Your answers on this topic are most welcome. Especially welcome as it happens, because you are a person whoo thinks other people are expressing erroneous ideas, so those questionspertain to you too.

4) As I've said before many times, the topic of strategy or framing is very controversial, the only really controversial topic relevant to these issues. Bearing in mind how several people have admitted the possibility of error on key topics, finding out what those people think about correcting errors when they encounter them is potentially interesting.

5) Completely predictable and redundant answers are the primary purpose of this message board? Really? Then why do you waste your time here? Yet more underservingly patronising wank from you, as usual. You've got one fuck of a big mouth for someone who cannot back even the simplest of his claims up, and yet whines continually about your "opinion" being heard. What novelty do you think YOU have contributed? For fuck's sake Obliviot, you're still harping on about mind/brain duality a debate settled at least as firmly as the "debate" over evolutionary biology and an oblate spheroid earth!

Perhaps you'd care to put your money where your mouth is and actually predict these redundant and predicatble answers. Perhaps you'd care to offer some novel, unpredictable and useful ones.

I'll make a prediction: Not only will you NOT provide any novel or useful answers to the questions, you will simply ignore them until someone says something you don't like, at which point you will whine about it and assert your asinine claims with, as usual, absolutely nothing to support them other than you mind buggeringly ignorant say so.

By Jimminy you are quite the pathetic fuckwit aren't you? I think you should simply leave this forum. After all not a single person thinks you contribute anything of value, and a reasonable case could be made that you are here to do nothing but annoy and whine. You offer nothing of substance, a fact I can demonstrate by linking/quoting a series of your posts with ease. Couple this to the fact that in your amazing ignorance you claim that people vastly more educated, erudite and intelligent than yourself (demonstrably) offer you nothing of interest other than predictable, redundant banality, and you're clearly wasting your and out time. Why bother? You don't present any alternative viewpoint and certainly nothing supported or supportable, I for one prefer my religious people intelligent, something you clearly are not. The only conclusion is that your trolling for kicks. So why not simply fuck off? Annoyance factor? How adult!

Louis

--------------
Bye.

  
Louis



Posts: 6436
Joined: Jan. 2006

(Permalink) Posted: Oct. 29 2007,13:34   

Quote (skeptic @ Oct. 29 2007,18:11)
After looking at the first question, I think it may actually be more complex then first impression.

First, is the person willing to admit that their position is proven wrong?  Are they even willing to admit that their position could be proven wrong?  Without affirmatives here there is no real reason to continue.

Secondly, what is the purpose of conversation with this person?  Is there any reason to even attempt to persuade this person that their position is incorrect?  In short, what is to be gained?  I would submit that just to correct their error is not sufficient.

As to the second question, I'm pretty sure methods of persuation are well documented unless you're asking for something new or original be proposed.

And the third questions goes back to the original evaluation of the goal of the conversation, or maybe I just answered the third question prematurely.  What is to be gained and what will be acheived?

Again, I point out that the stated purpose of this board is to discuss strategy used in combating ID/YEC promoters.  Aren't you just trying to recreate and compress that overall discussion into one small thread?

And you should note that everyone except you (and Dr GH, but like I said before, how much of that is tongue in cheek) has said that they could be proven wrong on the basis of the evidence. You on the other hand have provided logically fallacious blither to pretend that you cannot be demonstrated in error until death.

You're fucking pathetic. Now either answer the questions on this thread as they are asked on this thread or, take your justifications for your asinine and vacuous claims and faith to the relevant thread.

Louis

--------------
Bye.

  
Louis



Posts: 6436
Joined: Jan. 2006

(Permalink) Posted: Oct. 29 2007,13:36   

Fuck it! I forgot to read that poster I made. I've treated Obliviot as if he were a mentally capable, mentally healthy individual capable of intellectual discussion and rational argument. I am in error to do so.

Bugger!

Louis

--------------
Bye.

  
hereoisreal



Posts: 745
Joined: Feb. 2006

(Permalink) Posted: Oct. 29 2007,13:51   

Quote (Erasmus @ FCD,Oct. 29 2007,12:47)
Yeah hero, I just was overcome by your calculations and fell down upon my knees and received forgiveness.  

Now I'm not sure if I can lose it or not.  Is it true that God cannot see our sins when we are covered by the blood of Jesus, or must we continually seek redemption.  Cause, uh, it has a lot to do with my plans for later on this evening.  thanx k bai.

Below is part of my post on this thread the 25th.
**********************************

Once Jesus told a story about a son, a prodigal son.  
First he left home with great riches.  For a while he was in heaven.
No work and all play, as long as he paid the bill.  When the
money ran out, he found himself in hell, all work and no pay.
Then he jerked himself up by his boot straps and came home.
No one died for his sins.  He raised himself from the dead.

****************************

Is there any mention of the shedding of blood
for salvation below?

Eze 33:18  When the righteous turneth from his righteousness, and committeth iniquity, he shall even die thereby.

Eze 33:19  But if the wicked turn from his wickedness, and do that which is lawful and right, he shall live
thereby.
********************
Steve, I will comply with your request.

Zero

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360  miracles and more at:
http://www.hereoisreal.com/....eal.com

Great news. God’s wife is pregnant! (Rev. 12:5)

It's not over till the fat lady sings! (Isa. 54:1 & Zec 9:9)

   
Reciprocating Bill



Posts: 4265
Joined: Oct. 2006

(Permalink) Posted: Oct. 29 2007,14:26   

Quote (skeptic @ Oct. 29 2007,09:08)
The evidence claim I think is open to many problems but my primary issue is that it appears inadequate to approach this question.  Let me explain.  There is no objective evidence that I know of for the existence of a God, any God.  Are we in agreement there?  All evidence that I see stems from the individual and relies upon personal revelation or introspection.  At the same time, there is a fine line between acknowledging the lack of objective evidence and making the unprovable statement that there is no God.  I don't see that too many people get into trouble saying "I don't believe in God" or in your case "I don't see the need in believing in God."  What I'm trying to warn against is the next step in which individuals say "There is no God" and for that statement there is no evidence.  I hope that distinction is clear.

I'll weigh in and state that I believe Skeptic is 100% correct in this assertion. The world as we experience it can be construed as consistent with the exisitence of a deistic God, or construed as wholey inconsistent with that assertion. I happen to construe it as absent God, but am certain that I will live out my days with no evidentiary basis for that conclusion. Similarly, if you are believer in a deistic God I am quite certain that the world will yield no confirmation of your belief.  

         
Quote
Just to ward off the coming critique I'd like to say one thing about my belief in God.  I believe in God as a fundamental belief based upon nothing more than the evidence of existence.  Just the very fact that anything exists necessitates a belief in God for me.  I don't believe that this rises to the level of objective evidence and there's no way to examine the alternative.  So I accept the existence of God based upon no objective evidence and just to avoid any contradiction, I believe that God exists but there is a chance that I am wrong and God does not exist.  I have to accept that the possibility is real.

I also agree that were I to come to believe in God, the fact of the universe (in its astounding, quite incomprehensible scale), rather than any particular facts within that universe, would comprise the "evidence" of God. Of course, nothing about that is truly compelling (and I am not so compelled), but were I to be, that would be all the justification one would need.

Notice that it is the abstract, deistic sort of God to which these arguments apply. I think that the evidence is clear that a theistic, personal God(s) who possesses intentional states and has a stake in and guides human affairs does NOT exist in any of the ways in which religions have been prone to assert.

I'll also say (late as I am to this discussion), that I find the imagined reactions of the atheists and agnostics posted here to date to be HUGELY unrealistic (sort of, "gee, I'd be happy to find something new about the world. That would be cool."). Were I to discover/conclude that there IS a God, particularly a theistic, personal God, my entire view of myself and my place in the world would be inverted and everted, and I would, I expect, experience a combination of joy and terrifying vertigo. Combined with that would be terrible sadness, upon recognizing that I had lived most of a life and squandered years that I might have been communing with this newly discovered God through prayer, meditation, etc. I would also be left to wonder how I could be so certain about something, yet so wrong, and would immediately be confronted with the question of what harm I had done to others by, through my careful reasoning, obscuring or delaying their discovery of God. I would likely be seized by remorse. Surely my relationship with other believers would be dramatically altered, as well, as many of them will have been immediately converted in my perception from nice but somewhat deluded people to persons who had "been there" all along. In some instances my embarrassment would be quite acute.  

Lest anyone forget as they read the above, I remain an atheist (more or less), and would argue that a believer who discovered his views to be mistaken would likely be subject to similar upheaval - although minus the joy, I would imagine.

--------------
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



Posts: 4402
Joined: Dec. 2006

(Permalink) Posted: Oct. 29 2007,14:35   

I may not know about all the philiosophy stuff, but I do know that skeptic and hero are about to get a room together and shout out Oh God at the appropriate moments, and then they will go to Ted Haggard's re-hab center to get de-gayed.

--------------
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

  
Louis



Posts: 6436
Joined: Jan. 2006

(Permalink) Posted: Oct. 29 2007,15:12   

Bill,

I don't agree that the dichotomy being set up is valid. The fact that something exists as opposed to nothing does not neccessitate belief in a deist god. It's an appeal to ignorance. There may yet be reasons why something rather than nothing exists which we have not uncovered. There is a huge leap to a deity implicit in that claim, one that does not follow from that simple observation. It also neglects what we know about quantum mechanics for example, and represents a very deterministic attitude to what isn't like so simply deterministic an issue. Perhaps Haldane was right when he said that "Now my own suspicion is that the universe is not only queerer than we suppose, but queerer than we can suppose. I suspect that there are more things in heaven and earth than are dreamed of, or can be dreamed of, in any philosophy". Perhaps he wasn't, but I think we should be a little careful about positing unobserved (and potentially unobservable) entities as causative agents or as valid ideas unless there is corroboration. I'm even more concerned that the most common leap after this big one is the leap from "A god exists" to "MY god exists". Other than that, Skeptic isn't the only one to mention the errors inherent in strong atheism/antitheism/anterotheism.

Secondly, I also don't agree that the "gee, I'd be happy to find out something new about the world" attitude is hugely unrealistic. Oversimplified perhaps! However, that said I also agree with a lot of what you've said after that.

There are a number of assumptions I would take issue with however. These assumptions rest on the nature(s) of this new found deity/deities. For a simple example what if the deity in question was novel, not one of the ones imagined by humans before? How do yu know that this deity can be communicated with by prayer/meditation etc. How do you know for example that your atheism and use of reason in debate with theists wasn't exactly what this deity wanted? My point is that, as I said before, apart from the excitement of new discovery, the other feelings and ramifications of discovery that a deity/set of deities exist(s) are very dependant on the nature of that deity/those deities. I'd feel a lot more like you describe if for example Jehovah/Allah/Yahweh or the Sikh God was the one who existed because, as you imply, there are definite details about those deities' preferences and I wouldn't have fulfilled them (if those details are accurate at least).

Of the other emotions you decribe the one that interests me is the shock/dismay. Why would you be shocked/dismayed? I don't understand why you would have to reevaluate your entire place in the world (again this is at least partly dependant on the nature of the deity/deities) unless your atheism is somehow emotionally significant for you. Maybe that's my limitation, maybe that's a factor of our different cultures (religion has such a tiny impact on my day to day life, and hasn't had more impact for the better part of twenty years). The thing is I genuinely don't care one way or the other whether a deity/set of deities exist or not, with the obvious caveat that my caring is entirely modifiable dependant on the properties and attributes of that deity/those deities.

The fact of any entity of any kind existing or not is a scientific one, dependant on the evidence. This might be hard for some people to understand but the issue of a deity's existance is no more emotive an issue for me in principle than any other issue. The issue of its attriubtes is vastly more emotive. I liken it to the Loch Ness Monster: I'd be very exicted about it existing, it would be a fascinating thing but that's it. However, if I discovered it whilst paddling in Loch Ness and it was nibbling my leg off, I'd be a lot more emotional! It's the attributes and relevance of those attributes to me personally that trigger any emotive response other than fascination with a new piece of knowledge. That's why I want to make it clear that the two issues are seperate.

Louis

--------------
Bye.

  
skeptic



Posts: 1163
Joined: May 2006

(Permalink) Posted: Oct. 29 2007,16:17   

I think you may have highlighted a semantic difference and comes down to your version of entity.  If you require an entity to be open for examination by science then it becomes self-fulfilling that only scientifically-examinable entities exist.  If, on the other hand, there are indeed more things then we can possibly imagine then the our level of scientific examination is severely limited.  With this limited understanding a lack of evidence means nothing.  Also, you can substitute Thing for Deity and it may sound better, or less religious, but Existence could be taken as evidence of Something, whatever it may be.  Once the existence of Something is accepted, the actual characteristics of that something just become a matter of personal choice as the objective determinations between these somethings are largely absent.

  
Louis



Posts: 6436
Joined: Jan. 2006

(Permalink) Posted: Oct. 29 2007,16:58   

I have replied on the relevant thread. I don't see what is so hard about a request from the originator of a thread to keep it on topic when we have a perfectly decent thread already set up to deal with the relevant issues that are derailing this one. Please continue the epistemological aspects of this discussion there. I understand there is naturally some overlap, BUT I am trying to have ths thread free from the usual bunkum that accompanies the issues tangentially relevant to the questions I have asked here. I'd appreciate people's help.

Ta

Louis

--------------
Bye.

  
skeptic



Posts: 1163
Joined: May 2006

(Permalink) Posted: Oct. 29 2007,17:48   

For my part, I find it derailing to go back and forth when one conversation covers both issues.  As far as this supposed conversation ownership, please grow up.

ADDED IN EDIT:
I have posted on the other thread but I still think it would all be relevant in one place.  I think I was swayed by your polite tone.

  
Reciprocating Bill



Posts: 4265
Joined: Oct. 2006

(Permalink) Posted: Oct. 29 2007,20:13   

Quote (Louis @ Oct. 29 2007,16:12)
Bill,

I don't agree that the dichotomy being set up is valid. The fact that something exists as opposed to nothing does not neccessitate belief in a deist god. It's an appeal to ignorance...

Louis

Hi Louis -

Of course, I am here describing/defending a position that I don't actually hold.  

That said, the word I used is "justify":  "...that would be all the justification one would need."  The standard isn't proof - so far as I can tell, there is no proof to be had either way - but rather justification; in the likely permanent absence of evidentiary proof (and almost certainly the absence of likely evidentiary proof in my lifetime, which is what counts in my case), I would say that belief in God can be "justified." Just as belief that no God exists can be "justified." In essence, this is an existential choice, and the justification of that choice: which sort of life does one wish to experience? The sort of life in which one believes in God (perhaps mistakenly), or the one in which one does not (perhaps mistakenly).
             
Quote
There may yet be reasons why something rather than nothing exists which we have not uncovered. There is a huge leap to a deity implicit in that claim, one that does not follow from that simple observation...

I think here you are bypassing the really interesting thrust of your original questions: simply, what would the consequence of concluding or discovering you are wrong about one of these important dimensions of world view? To get mired in analysis of the rationale for the shift in view distracts from the original question: as I read it, you are asking "stipulate that you came to understand/know that your view is wrong; what consequence would that have?"
               
Quote
Secondly, I also don't agree that the "gee, I'd be happy to find out something new about the world" attitude is hugely unrealistic.

Perhaps I should stay with what I know: I am guessing that would be an unrealistic portrayal of what my own reaction would likely be.
           
Quote
There are a number of assumptions I would take issue with however. These assumptions rest on the nature(s) of this new found deity/deities. For a simple example what if the deity in question was novel, not one of the ones imagined by humans before? How do yu know that this deity can be communicated with by prayer/meditation etc. How do you know for example that your atheism and use of reason in debate with theists wasn't exactly what this deity wanted? My point is that, as I said before, apart from the excitement of new discovery, the other feelings and ramifications of discovery that a deity/set of deities exist(s) are very dependant on the nature of that deity/those deities. I'd feel a lot more like you describe if for example Jehovah/Allah/Yahweh or the Sikh God was the one who existed because, as you imply, there are definite details about those deities' preferences and I wouldn't have fulfilled them (if those details are accurate at least).

Of course, you are absolutely right here. In imagining this counterfactual reality I was imagining a personal God, one that both authored all reality (whatever that means) and yet with which one can have an intimate relationship. I started from a contemporary conception of God that is, I think, extraordinarily powerful, which is why it is both widely held and often transformative. This is what I envisioned stipulating as I imagined my counterfactual world. Of course, all sorts of other demiurges are possible, however.  

Wouldn't you be stunned, and rendered speechless, to come to realize that (say) the essence of your being and the author of the universe were similar in nature, capable of communing - indeed that your essence is in reality an infinitesimal droplet of that essentially infinitely oceanic author - a fact that forever liberates you from death? And would you not be dismayed to learn that you had resisted that idea all your life, now that you understood yourself to be wrong?

But the above IS counterfactual:

"Speaking for myself, I feel my level of comprehension of such things stands in relation to these facts much as an ocean going larva stands in relation to the Pacific ocean itself. Indeed, the universe being disclosed by contemporary science (and here I most emphatically include evolutionary biology) is so vastly larger and richer than any pre-modern view of any deity that I would argue that the concept of “God” is best properly viewed as an historical placeholder for these larger, vastly more rich realities, a placeholder that we could only just now have discarded. If some people are not quite ready for that, I understand completely.

What we don’t find in this contemporary view, however, is a larger agency that resembles human agency, nor refuge from death.  That’s the tradeoff. I am an atheist in that sense: I don’t believe in life after death, and I don’t believe that something resembling the human capacity for intentionality and design underlies this particular shebang.  I am sympathetic to those who believe that it does, but happen to believe that they are mistaken."

RB

--------------
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

  
Louis



Posts: 6436
Joined: Jan. 2006

(Permalink) Posted: Oct. 30 2007,07:25   

Quote (Reciprocating Bill @ Oct. 30 2007,01:13)
Quote (Louis @ Oct. 29 2007,16:12)
Bill,

I don't agree that the dichotomy being set up is valid. The fact that something exists as opposed to nothing does not neccessitate belief in a deist god. It's an appeal to ignorance...

Louis

Hi Louis -

Of course, I am here describing/defending a position that I don't actually hold.  

That said, the word I used is "justify":  "...that would be all the justification one would need."  The standard isn't proof - so far as I can tell, there is no proof to be had either way - but rather justification; in the likely permanent absence of evidentiary proof (and almost certainly the absence of likely evidentiary proof in my lifetime, which is what counts in my case), I would say that belief in God can be "justified." Just as belief that no God exists can be "justified." In essence, this is an existential choice, and the justification of that choice: which sort of life does one wish to experience? The sort of life in which one believes in God (perhaps mistakenly), or the one in which one does not (perhaps mistakenly).
             
Quote
There may yet be reasons why something rather than nothing exists which we have not uncovered. There is a huge leap to a deity implicit in that claim, one that does not follow from that simple observation...

I think here you are bypassing the really interesting thrust of your original questions: simply, what would the consequence of concluding or discovering you are wrong about one of these important dimensions of world view? To get mired in analysis of the rationale for the shift in view distracts from the original question: as I read it, you are asking "stipulate that you came to understand/know that your view is wrong; what consequence would that have?"
               
Quote
Secondly, I also don't agree that the "gee, I'd be happy to find out something new about the world" attitude is hugely unrealistic.

Perhaps I should stay with what I know: I am guessing that would be an unrealistic portrayal of what my own reaction would likely be.
           
Quote
There are a number of assumptions I would take issue with however. These assumptions rest on the nature(s) of this new found deity/deities. For a simple example what if the deity in question was novel, not one of the ones imagined by humans before? How do yu know that this deity can be communicated with by prayer/meditation etc. How do you know for example that your atheism and use of reason in debate with theists wasn't exactly what this deity wanted? My point is that, as I said before, apart from the excitement of new discovery, the other feelings and ramifications of discovery that a deity/set of deities exist(s) are very dependant on the nature of that deity/those deities. I'd feel a lot more like you describe if for example Jehovah/Allah/Yahweh or the Sikh God was the one who existed because, as you imply, there are definite details about those deities' preferences and I wouldn't have fulfilled them (if those details are accurate at least).

Of course, you are absolutely right here. In imagining this counterfactual reality I was imagining a personal God, one that both authored all reality (whatever that means) and yet with which one can have an intimate relationship. I started from a contemporary conception of God that is, I think, extraordinarily powerful, which is why it is both widely held and often transformative. This is what I envisioned stipulating as I imagined my counterfactual world. Of course, all sorts of other demiurges are possible, however.  

Wouldn't you be stunned, and rendered speechless, to come to realize that (say) the essence of your being and the author of the universe were similar in nature, capable of communing - indeed that your essence is in reality an infinitesimal droplet of that essentially infinitely oceanic author - a fact that forever liberates you from death? And would you not be dismayed to learn that you had resisted that idea all your life, now that you understood yourself to be wrong?

But the above IS counterfactual:

"Speaking for myself, I feel my level of comprehension of such things stands in relation to these facts much as an ocean going larva stands in relation to the Pacific ocean itself. Indeed, the universe being disclosed by contemporary science (and here I most emphatically include evolutionary biology) is so vastly larger and richer than any pre-modern view of any deity that I would argue that the concept of “God” is best properly viewed as an historical placeholder for these larger, vastly more rich realities, a placeholder that we could only just now have discarded. If some people are not quite ready for that, I understand completely.

What we don’t find in this contemporary view, however, is a larger agency that resembles human agency, nor refuge from death.  That’s the tradeoff. I am an atheist in that sense: I don’t believe in life after death, and I don’t believe that something resembling the human capacity for intentionality and design underlie this particular shebang.  I am sympathetic to those who believe that it does, but happen to believe that they are mistaken."

RB

Hi Bill,

Oh I agree that the interesting part of the question is the "if, then" aspect you mention (hence why I'm trying to keep it that way. I might fail occsionally, I'm not perfect, who knew!? ;-) ).

I have to say that I'm not even sure I'd go as far as agreeing with "justified", even though I see the distinction you're making and have reached similar accomodations with believing friends in these discussions.

Anyway enough of that and onto the interesting stuff!

Would I be stunned etc if I came to realise that the essence of my being and the author of the universe were similar in nature and capoable of communicating? Sure! But that is, again, one type of deity. Dr GH raised an interesting point that an evolved deity might be the thing that existed, i.e. one not necessarily the creator/author/prime mover type of deity.

However, since I already think (due to an overwhelming preponderance of evidence) that my "essence" is exactly the same as that of the universe around me, and that I am an infinitesimal droplet of that "essence", an "essence" which, as far as the word "forever" means anything will continue on forever deathless, the idea of some conscious entity that fulfills this role is entirely superfluous to requirements.

Lest anyone think I'm being all woo woo mystical and spiritual, I'm not. Bog standard atoms and molecules are good enough for me. My consciousness is unlikely to persist after my death in anything like the same form (I do wonder what the demcomposition of one's brain feels like, consciousness after all arises from the chemistry of our brains. We might blink out like an extinguished lamp, we might fade away gradually, we might become  someone else briefly [I.e. that which is me might change, not that I possess someone] I don't know, I've never done it and haven't figured out a way to test it yet). Is that such a terrible thing? Out of all the possible people that could have lived, i have done and am doing. That a big enough bonus for me!

On a seperate but related note, I have never understood why people are so determined to add spiritual crap to an already wonderful universe. Ok, so that's not entirely true because I do understand it! What I mean is that the reality of the universe is wonderful enough, and we uncover more of it every day, why waste time claiming that it works a way it demonstrably does not? Why not explore how it does work and celebrate that?

[Swiss Tony] As with all things, the universe is very much like making love to a beautiful woman. Tease her, query her, get her to reveal some of herself and then probe as far as you can. But if you're thinking about someone else whilst you're doing it then you've missed the point of what you're doing![/Swiss Tony]

As for resisting the idea of a deity all my life, well I simply haven't! I don't resist the idea at all, in fact just like chupacbra, UFOs, unicorns, pixies, sorcery, homeopathy, refloxology, shamanism, voodoo and supporting the England rugby team I welcome the idea. I just hold it to the same standards as any other idea. It really is that simple. Which I understand might be hard for some people (not you) to grasp. I say this a lot but I simply don't care about WHAT is known, I care about HOW we know it. If gods and demons and angels and unicorns etc exist then there's only one way to find out. I don't think a combination of appeals to mystery and ignorance, special pleading, claims of divine revelation and faux special uniqueness acheive this. If a god, or some gods, or just unicorns exist, I want to know dammit! Hell, I'd be happy with magic. I'd quite like to see the change in my spam email from "take this pill to make your dick bigger" to "cast this level 1 dick embiggening charm to make your dick bigger". It would amuse me.

That last bit is humourous. If the world worked by magic, we'd be in a horrible mess.

What you have said before, and that you quote again, I think is spot on by the way! I cannot add to it because it's already quite wonderful. So I won't!

Cheers

Louis

--------------
Bye.

  
Reciprocating Bill



Posts: 4265
Joined: Oct. 2006

(Permalink) Posted: Oct. 30 2007,18:14   

Quote (Louis @ Oct. 30 2007,08:25)
I have to say that I'm not even sure I'd go as far as agreeing with "justified", even though I see the distinction you're making and have reached similar accomodations with believing friends in these discussions.

"Justification" is clearly a much less demanding standard than "evidentiary proof," and (as I understand it) may still be applicable when proof is not. For example, I might embark on an expedition to climb Everest, which would entail a huge outlay in time, money, effort, and risk, and you might wonder how I justify such a decision. I can't "prove" that it is a correct choice (such an attempt would probably entail a category error), but I might cite my expected top of the world epiphanies, or the challenge of conquest, or a deathbed promise to my dear old dad - any of which may, so far as I am concerned, justify my choice. Similar considerations may not appeal to you because they are largely subjective and individual - but there is no metric through which you can "prove" that my choice and related justification is incorrect, or through which I can prove that it is. Ultimately, it probably gets no better vis belief in god, or belief in no-god.

That said, there can be community standards of justification to which one may feel compelled to appeal. If we were both members of a community in which deathbed promises to dear old dads are sacrosanct, you would agree that my climb is justified. Richard Rorty, may he rest in oblivion, actually felt that particular kinds of formal justification to particular communities is all that science really has, but that is another matter.  
 
Quote
Would I be stunned etc if I came to realise that the essence of my being and the author of the universe were similar in nature and capoable of communicating? Sure! But that is, again, one type of deity. Dr GH raised an interesting point that an evolved deity might be the thing that existed, i.e. one not necessarily the creator/author/prime mover type of deity

I think the best way to enter into the spirit of your challenge is to select the most appealing and formidable version available of the position one rejects - and then imagine accepting it. The above was a sketch of my version of the most Best God You Never Heard in Your Life.

Skeptic, if you are reading this, why not simply stipulate the most formidable and credible counterfactual belief you can imagine vis, for example, belief in God (rather than attempting to evade or eviscerate that belief) and grapple with the fantasy that you have concluded, during your lifetime, that this formidable counterfactual is actually factual? It can be an interesting exercise.  
   
Quote
However, since I already think (due to an overwhelming preponderance of evidence) that my "essence" is exactly the same as that of the universe around me, and that I am an infinitesimal droplet of that "essence", an "essence" which, as far as the word "forever" means anything will continue on forever deathless, the idea of some conscious entity that fulfills this role is entirely superfluous to requirements.

I'm down with that in my non-counterfactual mode.

--------------
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



Posts: 1163
Joined: May 2006

(Permalink) Posted: Oct. 30 2007,21:33   

I thought I did that with my original answer but looking back I actually see two possibilities.  One, there is no God, no After, no Meaning and this life is all there is.  In this case, I would conduct myself in the same general way because I am that person.  For really profound changes in who I am I would have to actually go back and know this fact from childhood and then live my life under this new reality.  As can be seen, the end result may be beyond prediction.  Interesting thought though.  The second possibility would be the existence of God but not only is it not the God of my understanding it is the Anti-God of my understanding.  In that instance, if Satan were ruler of the universe, I doubt if I could readily accept that existence.  It would completely contradict everything I believe or wish to believe.  From a purely scientific perspective I can accept that there may be nothing more to the universe than naturalistic causes.  I may not see that logically but I can accept it rationally.  As far as the second one, there's nothing I could do to accept that reality, probably because I abhor the consequences and that could be the root of my bias.  Now I realize that you may call foul here.  I enter into hypocrisy because there is no more valid justification for God over Satan and above the individual level I'll accept that.  I can only say that on a personal level everything I believe coincides with a God choice over a Satan choice and that drives my justification.  If public sentiment is any help here it seems I'm in the majority.  That's all for now but I've still got to go over to the other thread and respond there.  So much for efficiency.

  
Reciprocating Bill



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(Permalink) Posted: Oct. 30 2007,22:07   

Quote (skeptic @ Oct. 30 2007,22:33)
I thought I did that with my original answer but looking back I actually see two possibilities.  One, there is no God, no After, no Meaning and this life is all there is.  In this case, I would conduct myself in the same general way because I am that person.  For really profound changes in who I am I would have to actually go back and know this fact from childhood and then live my life under this new reality.  As can be seen, the end result may be beyond prediction.  Interesting thought though.  The second possibility would be the existence of God but not only is it not the God of my understanding it is the Anti-God of my understanding.  In that instance, if Satan were ruler of the universe, I doubt if I could readily accept that existence.  It would completely contradict everything I believe or wish to believe.  From a purely scientific perspective I can accept that there may be nothing more to the universe than naturalistic causes.  I may not see that logically but I can accept it rationally.  As far as the second one, there's nothing I could do to accept that reality, probably because I abhor the consequences and that could be the root of my bias.  Now I realize that you may call foul here.  I enter into hypocrisy because there is no more valid justification for God over Satan and above the individual level I'll accept that.  I can only say that on a personal level everything I believe coincides with a God choice over a Satan choice and that drives my justification.  If public sentiment is any help here it seems I'm in the majority.  That's all for now but I've still got to go over to the other thread and respond there.  So much for efficiency.

I wonder. With regard to "no meaning," I feel this is yet another "category error": Neither "the universe/life has meaning" nor "the universe/life has no meaning" are appropriate statements; both commit Ryle's category error and are themselves (both of them) statements without intelligible meaning. Only intentional human actions and human communication (and perhaps those of a handful of other complex, social organisms) can have "meaning" or "no meaning," just as only only human actions can be either "deliberate" or "accidental." And of course "mean" provocatively slides between "intend" and "signify."

I can tell you from personal experience that, as a (more or less) atheist I don't wander about lamenting that "life has no meaning," any more than I trouble myself over the fact that "light has no meaning." I don't even know what it means to assert that "light has meaning," and similarly that "light has no meaning." Similarly for "life."  Utterances have meaning, not natural phenomena, and from where I sit, lives are natural phenomena.

With regard to your Satanic scenario, I take it that Louis' question is pulling more for your reaction to your recognition that a given cherished belief is incorrect, and asks you to stipulate that you come to recognize that the opposite is true (even if you cannot imagine how that could occur). So "I doubt I could readily accept that existence" doesn't apply: you are being asked to stipulate that you do "accept that existence," and then imagine where you would go from there. (I don't think I would like your Satanic scenario any more than do you - in fact, it would be a more wrenching shift from the point of view of categories of belief for me than for you.)

--------------
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

  
hereoisreal



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(Permalink) Posted: Oct. 30 2007,22:23   

Skeptic:

"If public sentiment is any help here it seems I'm in the majority."
******************************
Skeptic, don't count on the majority being right.

IMO, this may be the big, big bang.  (The first will be last)

Rev 20:7 ¶ And when the thousand years are expired, Satan shall be loosed out of his prison,
Rev 20:8  And shall go out to deceive the nations which are in the four quarters of the earth, Gog and Magog, to gather them together to battle: the number of whom [is] as the sand of the sea.
Rev 20:9  And they went up on the breadth of the earth, and compassed the camp of the saints about, and the beloved city: and fire came down from God out of heaven, and devoured them.

Zero

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360  miracles and more at:
http://www.hereoisreal.com/....eal.com

Great news. God’s wife is pregnant! (Rev. 12:5)

It's not over till the fat lady sings! (Isa. 54:1 & Zec 9:9)

   
skeptic



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(Permalink) Posted: Oct. 31 2007,00:09   

lol, well said Zero.

Bill, sorry let me expand as I can see reading it back that I gave the wrong impression.  In terms of accepting that existence, I was referring to the choice that I would make as to whether or not I would live any longer.  That in itself is a massive diversion from myself as I would never contemplate suicide normally.  Maybe I would choose martyrdom, lol.

Also, life having meaning refers only transcendentally and only under the assumption that God exists, hence there is a purpose that we may or may not find.  This also assumes a God of purpose and not incidental existence.  I've heard numerous debates on whether or not morals or meaning exist in the absence of God and while they are interesting I think you know where I come down in that debate.

  
Louis



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(Permalink) Posted: Oct. 31 2007,06:53   

Quote (skeptic @ Oct. 31 2007,05:09)
lol, well said Zero.

Bill, sorry let me expand as I can see reading it back that I gave the wrong impression.  In terms of accepting that existence, I was referring to the choice that I would make as to whether or not I would live any longer.  That in itself is a massive diversion from myself as I would never contemplate suicide normally.  Maybe I would choose martyrdom, lol.

Also, life having meaning refers only transcendentally and only under the assumption that God exists, hence there is a purpose that we may or may not find.  This also assumes a God of purpose and not incidental existence.  I've heard numerous debates on whether or not morals or meaning exist in the absence of God and while they are interesting I think you know where I come down in that debate.

Ahhh the old "atheists are immoral and have no meaning to their lives" canard. Welcome back old friend! It's been weeks since we've seen you.

Yup, Obliviot, we know which position you occupy in that "debate" We also know you're wrong. Not because you disagree with me/us/anyone but because there is no actual debate, the evidence is against your position and you have none to muster in your defense. Your position is maintained by ignorance and mere assertion.

Of course unless you have some evidence you've been keeping from us? No? Didn't think so. If you DO have something, start a thread about it. I for one would be fascinated to see this evidence. Really I would.

Other than that, I'm going to go along with Bill here and say that if a Satan-like character were the one true creator god then that would be the most extreme opposite case from where I stand. Not only would the universe contain an active purposeful director, but that director would be malevolent to life (not merely humans) and to the universe itself (doesn't Satan want to destroy creation in some readings, as opposed to merely having dominion over it). That would entail a teleology so paradoxical I'd be seriously unimpressed to discover it was true! (Seriously unimpressed might be something of an understatement).

Louis

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Louis



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(Permalink) Posted: Oct. 31 2007,07:12   

Quote (Reciprocating Bill @ Oct. 30 2007,23:14)
Similar considerations may not appeal to you because they are largely subjective and individual - but there is no metric through which you can "prove" that my choice and related justification is incorrect, or through which I can prove that it is. Ultimately, it probably gets no better vis belief in god, or belief in no-god.

That said, there can be community standards of justification to which one may feel compelled to appeal. If we were both members of a community in which deathbed promises to dear old dads are sacrosanct, you would agree that my climb is justified. Richard Rorty, may he rest in oblivion, actually felt that particular kinds of formal justification to particular communities is all that science really has, but that is another matter.  

Bill,

Understood. However I think there is one method (perhaps not a metric in the sense used) by which one could demonstrate the "incorrectness" (don't like that word, I'll explain why) of a specific justifcation of for a specific action. That method is, as you note not evidence based, but reason based. One could demonstrate that the justification was a non sequitur, i.e. that the conclusion/action didn't follow from the justification for it.

The "dear old deathbed dad" is a great example. The justification for climbing Everest being that your Dad on his deathbed said "Climb Everest, son" and then died, and that your cultural/personal context (oh ho! Here he goes again with context) was such that great import was placed on that and thus that climbing Everest was your only choice. This is a great "justification" for your actions, especially as those actions are derived logically from the fact that your Dad wanted you to climb everest as his dying wish and you place great import on your Dad's dying wish.

However, if you said "On my Dad's deathbed he said nothing and died therefore I am going to climb Everest because my Dad expressedly told me to and I place great import on my father's dying words" you wouldn't have such a logical justification. Ignore the evidencial aspect for a moment (i.e. we know that he did or did not say such a thing): a) "My father's dying words were do X, I place great import on my father's dying words therefore I shall do X" is logically coherent in a given context. b) "My father had no dying words, I place great import on my father's dying words therefore I shall do X" is logically incoherent the conclusion does not flow from the premise.

What I mean by this is not that I can definitively prove someone's individual justification for any action false, but that in specific cases, within specific contexts, one can demonstrate that the conclusions do not follow from the premises (i.e. actions do not logically follow from the justifications). It comes back to the relativist argument (which I accept by the way) that one cannot judge a society different from one's own by the standards of one's own society. There is an important and problematic extension of this (which I do not accept) which is that therefore one cannot judge a society different from one's own by the standards of itself. I really do see this "politically correct" type stance advocated occasionally.

This also has bearings on the extreme relativism used as a get out clause by weaselly personages appealing to nihilism or solipsisim. They assert (implicitly at least) that because we cannot know everything, any proposal for anything we don't know is equal to any other proposal for the same unknown. At the very least the manner in which they advance their (almost Dadaist!) extreme relativist claim demonstrates the falsity of that claim! Oh well!

Louis

P.S. Why don't I like the word "incorrect" in that context? because I prefer the comparatively baggage free "inconsistent".

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Reciprocating Bill



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(Permalink) Posted: Oct. 31 2007,07:18   

Quote (skeptic @ Oct. 31 2007,01:09)
lol, well said Zero.

Bill, sorry let me expand as I can see reading it back that I gave the wrong impression.  In terms of accepting that existence, I was referring to the choice that I would make as to whether or not I would live any longer.  That in itself is a massive diversion from myself as I would never contemplate suicide normally.  Maybe I would choose martyrdom, lol.

Also, life having meaning refers only transcendentally and only under the assumption that God exists, hence there is a purpose that we may or may not find.  This also assumes a God of purpose and not incidental existence.  I've heard numerous debates on whether or not morals or meaning exist in the absence of God and while they are interesting I think you know where I come down in that debate.

Wow.

Would you commit suicide if you discovered/concluded that God doesn't exist? Or only if you discovered/concluded that Satan is the Head Godcho?

With respect to meaning: The human predicament is that we have the opportunity to live embodied lives pulsing with consciousness and agency and love and even sometimes excruciating moral choices - fully aware of death. We then in fact extinguish. Very likely, one can only fully embrace that life, including its moral dilemmas, by fully embracing awareness of death; denial of death necessarily attenuates one's capacity for living, because it entails constantly turning away from something we know to be true. Similarly, denial of death also entails misperceiving others, because one misperceives the predicament in which they find themselves. Death is real. That is the predicament that cries out for a solution, and a resolution through the discovery of "meaning."  

IMHO, many believers don't find "meaning" for this or in this; they simply deny it by pretending that death isn't real, and that moral dilemmas are not real (they've already been "adjudicated"; one merely need consult case law found in the good book). Their solution is to deny the flat-ass reality staring us all in the face, and conclude not only that death and the resulting permanent separations aren't real (both for ourselves and for others), but construe an extended imaginary after-death as containing moral resolutions that are often absent in life. This strikes me as wish fulfillment, not as the discovery of meaning in the reality of the human predicament.

That this can result in the attenuation of one's moral sense was driven home to me in a heated discussion regarding the Iraq war in which I participated prior to the 2004 elections. During the course of the debate I challenged my discussant to imagine her children (then in their late teens) being drafted into the conflict, and perhaps violently loosing their lives. She blithely stated that this possibility made no difference to her political calculus - because of her serene confidence that "this life" is part of a much larger picture, that from within that larger perspective the moral choices that motivate the war are clear, and that from within that perspective the deaths of her children is an illusion. I left that conversation astounded by the unreality of her position, and frankly terrified by the knowledge that our fearless leaders either embrace a similarly deluded world view, or are pandering to those who do. At minimum, I want those who are capable of launching war to understand that death is real.

[Rod Serling] The counterfactual belief I  submit for your consideration is that the above is correct.[/Rod Serling]

--------------
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

  
hereoisreal



Posts: 745
Joined: Feb. 2006

(Permalink) Posted: Oct. 31 2007,07:25   

Rev 12:5  And she brought forth a man child, who was to
rule all nations with a rod of iron: and her child was caught
up unto God, and [to] his throne.

Doesn't leave much room for separation of church and state.

--------------
360  miracles and more at:
http://www.hereoisreal.com/....eal.com

Great news. God’s wife is pregnant! (Rev. 12:5)

It's not over till the fat lady sings! (Isa. 54:1 & Zec 9:9)

   
skeptic



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(Permalink) Posted: Oct. 31 2007,08:13   

only the Head Honcho scenario!  If you knew me personally you'd see how huge a deviation this is from my actual beliefs as not only do I not believe in suicide I formally saw no rational or irrational justification for it.  Taking that into account, as a believer I may have a much more graphic picture of a Satan-like God which pushes this choice as an option.  The over used "Hell on Earth" scenario comes to mind and that is much worse than the Hollywood-picture we're accustomed to, at least in my worst nightmares.

Louis, I never said atheists are bad people.  Feeling guilty?  What I'm saying is I do not believe that absolute morals can exist without an absolute authority.  In that absence, all morals becomes relative.  With anyone or society defining morality as they see fit, that constitutes no morality overall.  Or in other words, morality would be meaningless because it would become all things to all people.

Oh, and I really don't know how you come to the conclusion that I'm any kind of relativist.  If that is the case, you have seriously misunderstood me.

  
Reciprocating Bill



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(Permalink) Posted: Oct. 31 2007,08:32   

Quote (skeptic @ Oct. 31 2007,09:13)
only the Head Honcho scenario!  If you knew me personally you'd see how huge a deviation this is from my actual beliefs as not only do I not believe in suicide I formally saw no rational or irrational justification for it.  Taking that into account, as a believer I may have a much more graphic picture of a Satan-like God which pushes this choice as an option.  The over used "Hell on Earth" scenario comes to mind and that is much worse than the Hollywood-picture we're accustomed to, at least in my worst nightmares.

Vis Hell on Earth, keep in mind that we are not envisioning a different world, a Bosch-like nightmare landscape in which twisted demons are everywhere sweeping tens of thousands of souls into hell as smoke rises on the horizon*. We've already agreed that the consequence of these options cannot be confirmed or disconfirmed through inspection of the world around us. So nothing changes. Only your construal of the world changes; the world itself continues just as it is.

*That's Iraq, thanks in significant measure to our current administration's one-dimensional, believer's view of history and morality.

--------------
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

  
IanBrown_101



Posts: 927
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(Permalink) Posted: Oct. 31 2007,08:46   

Quote (skeptic @ Oct. 31 2007,14:13)
What I'm saying is I do not believe that absolute morals can exist without an absolute authority.  In that absence, all morals becomes relative.

YES! I think he has it!

Quote
With anyone or society defining morality as they see fit, that constitutes no morality overall.  Or in other words, morality would be meaningless because it would become all things to all people.


Ohhh, swing and a miss.

Morality is defined by the people based upon a wide variety of stimuli, in certain cultures some practices we think are vile or wrong are done on a regular basis. Does that mean they are wrong? No, it means we as westerners from MEDC countries perceive them to be so. Just because we turn our noses up at long pig doesn't mean it is ipso facto wrong to consume it, for who is to tell us what is right?

Without god morals do indeed become relative, but this isn't some sort of anarchistic or nihilistic view of the world, but one where there are o "savage" and "civilized" cultures, only equality and difference.  While I don't doubt that there are certain practices which are frowned upon world wide, such as murder, that doesn't mean they are absolutely wrong, but that we as humans have seen that they are harmful to the species and therefore condemn them, ad brand them as "wrong" or "evil".

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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.

   
skeptic



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(Permalink) Posted: Oct. 31 2007,09:29   

Bill, something would have to change as the counterfactual scenario becomes real.  In terms of evidence or actions or whatever necessary to make this change possible.  I can't predict what that change would be and that's where the old nightmares jump in to fill that void.

Ian, with societies defining their own values then Morality doesn't exist only individual morality is real.  If one believes that murder is wrong not because most people agree but just because it's wrong, you move towards a universal Morality.  I think this is too closely related to theistic/spiritual belief.  In essence, if you have a theistic/spiritual viewpoint then you accept Morality and if you don't then morals are relative because there is no ultimate authority.  We're actually debating whether or not there is a basis for the theistic/spiritual belief and morality just becomes a subset of that discussion.

  
Reciprocating Bill



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(Permalink) Posted: Oct. 31 2007,10:18   

Quote (skeptic @ Oct. 31 2007,10:29)
Bill, something would have to change as the counterfactual scenario becomes real.  In terms of evidence or actions or whatever necessary to make this change possible.  I can't predict what that change would be and that's where the old nightmares jump in to fill that void.

I think what you are missing is that, so far as we can empirically determine, your Satanic scenario may already be true. If it is, there is nothing to change - the world as we have already experienced it is the world of a Satanic God. After all, your original post acknowledged that there is no empirical means to determine whether God exists, or does not exist. Similarly, there is no test conducted by means of observation of events in the world that can rule in or rule out your Satanic version.

--------------
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

  
huwp



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(Permalink) Posted: Oct. 31 2007,11:54   

Absolute Morals?

Goodness me, I'm not sure absolute morals even exist within the Judao-Christian worldview, let alone other cultures.  Certainly some of the strictures of Leviticus would hardly be considered moral now.

Surely morals are defined by the society in which they operate and who then enforces them.

Or are the only true morals formed by the society in which you live as revealed by your religious viewpoint?

Stone the crows, good job you weren't born somewhere else or at some other time!

Back to lurking.

Huwp

  
Louis



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(Permalink) Posted: Oct. 31 2007,11:55   

Obliviot:

1)

Quote
Louis, I never said atheists are bad people.  Feeling guilty?  What I'm saying is I do not believe that absolute morals can exist without an absolute authority.  In that absence, all morals becomes relative.  With anyone or society defining morality as they see fit, that constitutes no morality overall.  Or in other words, morality would be meaningless because it would become all things to all people.

Oh, and I really don't know how you come to the conclusion that I'm any kind of relativist.  If that is the case, you have seriously misunderstood me.


ORLY? So, following your {ahem} reasoning: if god doesn't exist, absolute morals don't exist, therefore everyone is as immoral or moral as everyone else because it's all meaningless (something I seriously disagree with), everyone is simply some amoral, meaningless creature. (Way to make a category error! Well done!)

However, if god does exist (as you believe it does) and the source/judge/standard of morality is god then people who do not believe in god and don't believe in absolute morality must be immoral (regardless of their acts) for they have no absolutist moral reference and go so far as to deny the existance of one. You don't actually have to say "all atheists are bad people" Obliviot, to make it obvious that this is what you think and imply by your comments. QED, to your own standards will you be held.

Your question about feeling guilty btw, whilst probably tongue in cheek, is another dead give away. The implication being that I am an atheist because I wish to reject absolute morality and thus assuage my personal guilt for something or other. It's a classic.

2)

Quote
Ian, with societies defining their own values then Morality doesn't exist only individual morality is real.  If one believes that murder is wrong not because most people agree but just because it's wrong, you move towards a universal Morality.  I think this is too closely related to theistic/spiritual belief.  In essence, if you have a theistic/spiritual viewpoint then you accept Morality and if you don't then morals are relative because there is no ultimate authority.  We're actually debating whether or not there is a basis for the theistic/spiritual belief and morality just becomes a subset of that discussion.


Category error again! One can posit absolute morals from an atheist ethical stance, just as one can posit relativist morals from a theist ethical stance. An example of the former would be a claim of hardwired moral instincts derived from a process of evolution, the simplest example of the latter would be conflicting moral systems in a polytheistic world.

One thing that interests me, and it's certainly one of the reasons that arguing with you is so frustrating, is that you often extend your personal faith to a universal claim. This is yet another example: you have declared by assertion alone that in the absence of god there are no absolute morals, in fact you've gone further than that (as the quotes reveal) you claim that:

Quote
In that absence, all morals becomes relative.  With anyone or society defining morality as they see fit, that constitutes no morality overall.  Or in other words, morality would be meaningless because it would become all things to all people


You've gone beyond claiming the obvious (that in the absence of an absolute moral yardstick, morals are not absolute) and straight into the claim that in any system of relativist morality all morality is meaningless and effectively non-existant. You've extended something you believe to be true for you (without an absolute yardstick for your personal morals to check against you would consider yourself without morals) to making a claim about the way the world works (without an absolute moral yardstick, no meaningful morals actually exist at all). Hence why I continually question on what basis you do this because, as usual, the facts are against you.

Oh and incidentally, the comments I've made about you being a relativist are to do with your convenient appeals to relativism when it comes to epistemology, not ethics. Do try to keep up.

I would go further and say that I can confidently predict that you, like most claimants to absolutist morality based on some religious text/faith are a hypocrite. How can I say such a shocking thing? Because you will have interpreted sections of your religious text/faith in order that their otherwise clear denunciations of moral precepts don't apply to you. How do I predict this? Because I will bet pounds to pins that you don't kill unbelievers and witches, that you wear cloth comprised of two materials, that you've probably had a prawn cocktail etc etc etc. So where clear moral abominations ahve been laid out by the bible you have cherry picked...sorry interpreted... the bits that are conveniently in concord with at least some of the extra-biblical morals that have developed in the society you are part of. Moral codes that have demonstrably changed with time, fashions in thought etc. Demonstrating that although you spout off about absolute morals, you are, like everyone else a moral relativist in practise.

Louis

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Louis



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(Permalink) Posted: Oct. 31 2007,12:00   

ARRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRGGGGGGGGGGGHHHHHHHHHHH!!!!

I AM DERAILING MY OWN DAMNED THREAD!!!!!!!!!!!!! FUCK IT FUCK IT FUCK IT!!!

{Hits self in hed with spade}

R Bill gets it.

Louis

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Bye.

  
skeptic



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(Permalink) Posted: Oct. 31 2007,12:41   

Quote (Reciprocating Bill @ Oct. 31 2007,10:18)
Quote (skeptic @ Oct. 31 2007,10:29)
Bill, something would have to change as the counterfactual scenario becomes real.  In terms of evidence or actions or whatever necessary to make this change possible.  I can't predict what that change would be and that's where the old nightmares jump in to fill that void.

I think what you are missing is that, so far as we can empirically determine, your Satanic scenario may already be true. If it is, there is nothing to change - the world as we have already experienced it is the world of a Satanic God. After all, your original post acknowledged that there is no empirical means to determine whether God exists, or does not exist. Similarly, there is no test conducted by means of observation of events in the world that can rule in or rule out your Satanic version.

Yes, but the original question also stipulates that I gain some new knowledge or am presented with new evidence that reveals this new reality to me.  Someone would have to pull back the Wizard's curtain, so to speak.  Would that be a significant change?  I think so unless it happened only for me and if that is the case then I would have to conclude that I'd gone insane.

  
skeptic



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(Permalink) Posted: Oct. 31 2007,13:01   

Wow, this is a long one but I'll try to do it justice.  One thing I've noticed is you tend to take what I say and then run about four steps farther with your inferences.  Slow down the attack engine and engage the mind.

Actually, rather than saying everyone was amoral you could say that everyone was equally moral.  How could anyone say that their worldview was any better or more moral than anyone else's?  With no standard morals actually become meaningless and every society operates according to their own ethics.  Of course, the ethics of society are merely reflective of the individual members of that society.  Even at that level who gets to say what is more moral except through the majority or by way of authoritartian decree.  It's not that any particular group is good or bad, there is just no such thing as good or bad outside of any specific society.

Also, genetically hard-wired morals are not absolute.  They would be just as susceptable to evolutionary pressure as any other trait and would change over time to benefit the survival of the species (if you believe in that stuff, lol).

Two other points.  For one, I present my opinions as I'm asked.  Naturally, I'm going to believe my claims.  IMO, universal morals exist and so I must extend that throughout my opinions in order to remain consistent.  Otherwise, I would have to formulate two separate opinions, mine and one that conforms with the opinions of those around me.  Also, you are throwing different theologies together to support this case of hypocrisy.  Let me save you the trouble, I admit that I'm a hypocrite but probably not in the way you understand.  In fact, it's probably a basic human characteristic that we all suffer from at times but I don't think we really want to have that discussion, do we?

  
Reciprocating Bill



Posts: 4265
Joined: Oct. 2006

(Permalink) Posted: Oct. 31 2007,13:45   

Quote (skeptic @ Oct. 31 2007,13:41)
 
Quote (Reciprocating Bill @ Oct. 31 2007,10:18)
 
Quote (skeptic @ Oct. 31 2007,10:29)
Bill, something would have to change as the counterfactual scenario becomes real.  In terms of evidence or actions or whatever necessary to make this change possible.  I can't predict what that change would be and that's where the old nightmares jump in to fill that void.

I think what you are missing is that, so far as we can empirically determine, your Satanic scenario may already be true. If it is, there is nothing to change - the world as we have already experienced it is the world of a Satanic God. After all, your original post acknowledged that there is no empirical means to determine whether God exists, or does not exist. Similarly, there is no test conducted by means of observation of events in the world that can rule in or rule out your Satanic version.

Yes, but the original question also stipulates that I gain some new knowledge or am presented with new evidence that reveals this new reality to me.  Someone would have to pull back the Wizard's curtain, so to speak.  Would that be a significant change?  I think so unless it happened only for me and if that is the case then I would have to conclude that I'd gone insane.

No - go back and read Louis' original post. He doesn't say anything about evidence - he simply asks, "What if you are wrong? How would you feel and what would you do?" And, once again, since you and I have already agreed that no evidence can, for example, confirm or disconfirm the existence/nonexistence of God, it follows that no decisive change is necessary, or at least detectable.

So we return to the spirit of the original question: What if you are wrong, and the universe as we know it, and have always known it, is governed by Satan and there is no other God? No nightmare scenarios, history grinds on as before, and so on.  

Again, enter into the spirit of the question, rather than finding objections for doing so that violate the premise of the question (e.g. "for me to believe that, something would have to be different. I would need to see the wizard behind the curtain," etc.). Take the conceptual plunge.

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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

  
Louis



Posts: 6436
Joined: Jan. 2006

(Permalink) Posted: Oct. 31 2007,13:49   

Since I recognise that I am derailing this thread, I'll ask again:

Skeptic PLEASE take the moral claims (which are tied to your epistemological ones btw) to the relevant thread. Notice that R Bill replied to one aspect of your post above and not the other.

R Bill gets it, and as such has vastly more self control when dealing with your asinine drivel than I do.

How many times do I have to ask this? The only reason these things are tied in this thread is because you insist on tieing them. You can answer the questions in this thread without insisting on a defense of your current views, the questions require that one either assumes one is already wrong (which in many instances you've done well and thank you for it) or admits that one is incapable of doing so and works from that point. The issue is not then to defend your current thinking but to explore the ramifications of the antithesis of your current thinking. There is a whole thread set up for you to defend your curren t thinking in DO IT THERE PLEASE.

I'm tempted to ask Steve to port comments, because whilst the temptation to defend current thoughts is strong for all of us, it defeats the purpose of this thread.

Louis

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Bye.

  
skeptic



Posts: 1163
Joined: May 2006

(Permalink) Posted: Oct. 31 2007,14:50   

Louis, you may continue to be tempted to do any childish thing you wish.  I have neither the time nor the inclination to go back and forth just to satisfy some neurotic housekeeping fixation.  I will answer the questions posed to me where ever they appear without predujice.

Under that situation, Bill, then I could only conclude that God's name was really Satan and nothing else has changed.  Without some new revelation everything I believe is still reinforced by the present state of affairs.  I would experience a lot of uncertainty concerning the exact nature of the afterlife but I don't dwell too much of afterlife concerns so I doubt it would have any significant effect.  Now, by my count I've answered this question four times with each answer being essentially the same, outside of the Obvious Satan-is-King scenario.  Does that about cover it?

  
Louis



Posts: 6436
Joined: Jan. 2006

(Permalink) Posted: Oct. 31 2007,15:12   

You don't read to good do you, son?

I'll quote me:

Quote
Since I recognise that I am derailing this thread, I'll ask again


***I*** am derailing the thread. You're not helping, and I explain why later.

Quote
You can answer the questions in this thread without insisting on a defense of your current views, the questions require that one either assumes one is already wrong (which in many instances you've done well and thank you for it) or admits that one is incapable of doing so and works from that point. The issue is not then to defend your current thinking but to explore the ramifications of the antithesis of your current thinking.


I'll break this down for you: did I say you have not answered the questions? No. Read the bolded part again, this time for comprehension.

Then read that paragraph again. It's not neurotic housekeeping, I am trying (occasionally failing myself as admitted) to acheive a specific conversational goal with this thread that its degeneration into the standard bloody awful defense of your views and our dismantling of them will not serve. Why this is a problem for you is beyond me.

It's YOU who keeps bringing up all these tangets based on a defense of your beliefs, no one else. People (myself unfortunately included) then reply to them and the thread gets derailed. Your answers to the questions on this thread are most welcome, encouraged even, your derailments are not. I am asking as nicely as my extremely limited patience with your arrogant foolishness allows me to.

Louis

ADDED IN EDIT: Oh and just FYI, I am tempted to ask Steve to port COMMENTS not just YOUR COMMENTS. Please Obliviot, learn to fucking read for the very basic levels of comprehension. COMMENTS includes mine, yours, Bill's every off topic comment that is better placed in a thread DEDICATED to you defending your views. This thread is not that thread. That defense detracts from this thread, it is a major disruptive element to this thread. Sometimes Obliviot, harsher measures than might be needed elsewhere are needed to keep a thread on topic. This is one of those cases. This thread asks a very specific thing in a very specific way. Jokes and fucking about are all well and good, but if this thread turns into a defense of the status quo views of you, me or anyone then the purpose of THIS thread is defeated. Grow the fuck up will you.

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Bye.

  
Mr_Christopher



Posts: 1238
Joined: Jan. 2006

(Permalink) Posted: Oct. 31 2007,15:30   

Quote
exact nature of the afterlife


What afterlife would that be?  I thought worms ate you in the afterlife.  Are you suggesting something else happens.

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

  
Reciprocating Bill



Posts: 4265
Joined: Oct. 2006

(Permalink) Posted: Oct. 31 2007,17:04   

Quote (skeptic @ Oct. 31 2007,15:50)
Louis, you may continue to be tempted to do any childish thing you wish.  I have neither the time nor the inclination to go back and forth just to satisfy some neurotic housekeeping fixation.  I will answer the questions posed to me where ever they appear without predujice.

Under that situation, Bill, then I could only conclude that God's name was really Satan and nothing else has changed.  Without some new revelation everything I believe is still reinforced by the present state of affairs.  I would experience a lot of uncertainty concerning the exact nature of the afterlife but I don't dwell too much of afterlife concerns so I doubt it would have any significant effect.  Now, by my count I've answered this question four times with each answer being essentially the same, outside of the Obvious Satan-is-King scenario.  Does that about cover it?

I'd say you've responded several times, but not really entered into the hypothetical proposed by Louis.

Naturally, a Satan as God could easily arrange thing such that some remain believers in God as ordinarily construed, and their beliefs are consistently confirmed by their experiences - so all of your current experiences would remain intact under this scenario. Afterall, he is a deceptive dude (or so the story goes).

But this gets silly, and it appears you really aren't interested in grappling with the question.

--------------
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

  
IanBrown_101



Posts: 927
Joined: April 2007

(Permalink) Posted: Oct. 31 2007,19:31   

Quote (skeptic @ Oct. 31 2007,15:29)
Ian, with societies defining their own values then Morality doesn't exist only individual morality is real.  If one believes that murder is wrong not because most people agree but just because it's wrong, you move towards a universal Morality.  I think this is too closely related to theistic/spiritual belief.  In essence, if you have a theistic/spiritual viewpoint then you accept Morality and if you don't then morals are relative because there is no ultimate authority.  We're actually debating whether or not there is a basis for the theistic/spiritual belief and morality just becomes a subset of that discussion.

What now?

Look, morals are all relative, however they are also dictated by our society, and we are brought up (usually) to believe our society has the "true" version of morals. "We think X is bad and Y is good, therefore this is true."

I didn't say anything about god, except commenting on how no god would equal relative morals. I was telling you that morality is relative in terms of the universe as a whole, but to our societies it is, more or less, fixed. The only thing I mentioned even remotely close to universal morals was when I mentioned some behaviors that are universally reviled. Note that they are still relativistic, but that every culture notes how they are harmful, and attempts to expunge them. Just because it hurts our species (and we therefore see it is "bad") doesn't mean that it is, within itself, a bad act. Killing humans might be morally "right" if such a definition can be made, but virtually all human culture has made this, except in certain circumstances, a "bad" behavior.

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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.

   
skeptic



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Joined: May 2006

(Permalink) Posted: Oct. 31 2007,23:06   

Ian, that's a perfectly naturalistic viewpoint and I have no quarrel with it's validity.

Bill, I'm now confused.  I was under the impression that I had satisfied the original intention.  Maybe I'm not clear on what is really being asked here.

Louis, I have no idea what kind of weird powertrip you're on here but you should really get that checked.  To actually think that you get to dictate the course a discussion takes is truely warped.  Learn to go with the flow, you'll be happier in the end and it will probably lower your blood pressure as well.

  
Louis



Posts: 6436
Joined: Jan. 2006

(Permalink) Posted: Nov. 01 2007,02:26   

Quote (skeptic @ Nov. 01 2007,04:06)
Ian, that's a perfectly naturalistic viewpoint and I have no quarrel with it's validity.

Bill, I'm now confused.  I was under the impression that I had satisfied the original intention.  Maybe I'm not clear on what is really being asked here.

Louis, I have no idea what kind of weird powertrip you're on here but you should really get that checked.  To actually think that you get to dictate the course a discussion takes is truely warped.  Learn to go with the flow, you'll be happier in the end and it will probably lower your blood pressure as well.

{sigh}

Obliviot,

Try to cram this into what passes for your brain:

I am not on any power trip (I have no power, what power trip could I be on? I'm ASKING that people do something), in 99.9999999999% of the discussions I have I do indeed go with the flow (as one of the more randomn and humour infected commenters on this board it would be amazing if I didn't do so). I set up this thread with a specific set of questions to have a specific conversation. Those questions presume that one's current thinking has already been demonstrated as being wrong. It's a hypothetical question, not a request for justification of that current thinking. Do you see the distinction?

The derailment (that I hold my hands up to being a part of) distracts from those questions and that render the conversation that I am trying to kick off impossible. This is especially the case if the derailment involves a defense of someone's, ANYONE'S, current views.

So please, stop resisiting and being a prick about this. There is whole thread set up for you to defend your current thinking on. That thread's entire purpose is for you to defend your current thinking on. Normally, on most threads this wouldn't be a problem, just this thread because of the nature of the questions. Do you get this yet?

Please grow the fuck up and do as you are asked.

Louis

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Bye.

  
Louis



Posts: 6436
Joined: Jan. 2006

(Permalink) Posted: Nov. 01 2007,02:33   

Everyone except that fucking pointless little turd Obliviot,

Please stop feeding the troll.

I KNOW I am vastly more guilty of this than anyone else is, so please take my very humble request with the self-castigation I intend for myself.

The questions on this thread presume (to some extent) our current thinking, whatever it may be, to already in error. Obliviot has a whole tread on which you or he can expplore his views on morality, the existance of a deity or his love of chihauhaus.

Normally I wouldn't ask such a thing, but certain conversations are sensitive to derailment and this is one. To engage (no matter how tempting) an attack/defense of certain views defeats the purpose of this series of hypothetical questions.

Please help me out. And if you see me derailing this thread any more, jump on me with hobnailed boots and give me a good kicking. I know it's a pain in the arse to post a message here directing Obliviot to the other thread, but it will be very gratefully recieved. Thanks in advance.

Louis

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Bye.

  
Louis



Posts: 6436
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(Permalink) Posted: Nov. 01 2007,02:36   

Dear FSM!! I am illiterate in the mornings!

Louis

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Bye.

  
Reciprocating Bill



Posts: 4265
Joined: Oct. 2006

(Permalink) Posted: Nov. 01 2007,07:05   

Quote (skeptic @ Nov. 01 2007,00:06)
Bill, I'm now confused.  I was under the impression that I had satisfied the original intention.  Maybe I'm not clear on what is really being asked here.

I do find one instance where you have responded to the question:
   
Quote
If it became possible to disprove the existence of God while we were still living that would be an entirely different question.  Given that premise,  I would see some changes in my life, the obvious ones like attending church but overall I would not change much else because in general I'm very happy with myself and the way life has turned out based upon the choices I have made which were influenced by my beliefs.

But most (although not all) of your responses read as resistance to the premise:
 
Quote
I wouldn't ever learn that God or something "else" doesn't exist because I would die and that would be it. Oblivion.  Consequently, I couldn't change anything about my actions, political, social or otherwise, because the premise is not presently disprovable."
 
     
Quote
One other thing, as a basis for this hypothetical we would have to actually "know" that God doesn't exist.  Hence the disprove comment.  Otherwise, we're really just in the same boat we are now with no one really knowing the Truth.  Without proof that God doesn't exist, or even that specific deities don't exist, a person of faith would find it very difficult to honestly contemplate what life would be like without God because faith is all they're running on in the first place.  Does that make any sense?

     
Quote
1) the theist decides that there is no more reason to believe then not believe and changes his mind.  There's no real rational reason to discuss this scenario as it just relies upon a switching of faith.

2) the theist is presented with evidence that God (or even a specific deity), in fact, does not exist.  This case REQUIRES the theist to reassess his faith and all areas of his life affected and influenced by this faith.  I answered the question with this scenario in mind.

     
Quote
What I know is that it's very hard to discuss faith with someone who believes differently in any substitive way because there's a massive difference in fundamental viewpoints.  So, again, to reiterate, I would have to see evidence of no God to believe otherwise.

     
Quote
My faith, or anyones else's, is completely valid for the individual.  Outside of that limited scope it doesn't apply.  The background for my faith is not transferable to someone else; they have to make up their own mind and come to their own conclusion.

     
Quote
The scenario necessary for that change of perspective is where I run into trouble ...

     
Quote
Given this scenario, what you're really asking is a personal assessment with there being only one authority and that's the individual answering the question.  There are no right answers and based upon your previous extrapolation there are no sensible answers.  Or to put it more correctly, there are no answers that are any more valid than any other.  You criticism on these grounds seem unfounded.

     
Quote
The hypothetical did not ask me to ponder the nature of the evidence presented just its impact upon my behavior.  I answered that but I did comment upon the nature of the evidence as an aside.  I do have trouble imagining a hypothetical in which the existence of God can be refuted with positive evidence rather than negative.  That may be my limitation but it also arises from the belief that God lies outside of rational examination.

     
Quote
Any suggestion that contradicts my beliefs would be taken skeptically.  My general beliefs and my belief in a specific deity are completely intertwined and I'm not sure that I could seperate them.

     
Quote
One more time and slowly,  I believe in God as the initial condition not as an arrived at concept through and examination of pros and cons.  Do you see the distinction?

     
Quote
I repeatedly admit that I can not imagine a case in which the hypothetical becomes real.

     
Quote
The evidence claim I think is open to many problems but my primary issue is that it appears inadequate to approach this question.  Let me explain.  There is no objective evidence that I know of for the existence of a God, any God.

You more recently have resisted contemplating your own Satanic alternative, insisting that there would be unpredictable, draconian differences in the world and hence that your reaction is unpredictable.

Now, clearly these comments occur in the context of a running exchange with Louis (and me) and we have all been guilty of getting off track. But your responses generally left me with the impression that you will really only be dragged kicking and screaming into the premise of the question: Stipulate your discovery of being mistaken. What then?

(No longer attending church? OK. But what about your psychological/emotional reaction?)

--------------
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

  
Louis



Posts: 6436
Joined: Jan. 2006

(Permalink) Posted: Nov. 01 2007,08:26   

As an additional clarification of the original questions, we might want to consider the objective ramifications of our current thinking being in error a bit more. For example:

What would the world behave like with God/Satan actually in charge in the manner some people would have us believe?

What would the world behave like with no gods at all?

What would the world look like if evolutionary biology was false and all species had been created independantly?

As an example of very quick and trivial responses to the first question and the third: we might expect intercessory prayer to work (we also might not, but that's an extension of the argument). We might not expect to find the twin nested hierarchy we do find in nature (some might argue that god did it this way). I'm not answering these questions per se, I am just showing how we might explore them. Other suggestions are welcome.

Louis

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Bye.

  
J-Dog



Posts: 4402
Joined: Dec. 2006

(Permalink) Posted: Nov. 01 2007,11:07   

Quote (Louis @ Nov. 01 2007,08:26)
As an additional clarification of the original questions, we might want to consider the objective ramifications of our current thinking being in error a bit more. For example:

What would the world behave like with God/Satan actually in charge in the manner some people would have us believe?

What would the world behave like with no gods at all?

What would the world look like if evolutionary biology was false and all species had been created independantly?

As an example of very quick and trivial responses to the first question and the third: we might expect intercessory prayer to work (we also might not, but that's an extension of the argument). We might not expect to find the twin nested hierarchy we do find in nature (some might argue that god did it this way). I'm not answering these questions per se, I am just showing how we might explore them. Other suggestions are welcome.

Louis

Louis - You need to switch your meds back dude!  You are being way too nice and understanding...

The Old Louis We Know would have been all over skeptic, asking him what would he do if he ever pulled his head out of his rectum and actually used rational thought, instead of myth to organize his life.

That's what I would say too, excpet then, I might get moved to the wall,  if I were to actually say it, so I won't.

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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

  
Louis



Posts: 6436
Joined: Jan. 2006

(Permalink) Posted: Nov. 01 2007,11:31   

J Dog,

1) Meds? We don't need no steeeeking meds! Anyway, becoming angry at morons is not a disease. NOT becoming angry at morons is a disease.

2) Every day, in every way, I am getting better and better. One day I will be like iron, when a moron utters some vacuous blither my eyebrow won't even twitch.

3) I would never say anything like that to Obliviot. How DARE you suggest such a thing. I don't even know where the Bathroom Wall is. Honestly, the nerve of you cavemen!

;-)

Louis

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Bye.

  
skeptic



Posts: 1163
Joined: May 2006

(Permalink) Posted: Nov. 01 2007,12:02   

Bill, I think I can see your point and understand my answers at the same time.  I think I was trying to go in two different directions at once.  For one, was answering right off the top of my head but in the case of the other I was really trying to examine the hypothetical in order to really dig into how it would change my thoughts or behaviors.  I see I've failed in this area because I'm having trouble sticking just to a simple "I was wrong - what now?" situation.  I think the nature of my wrongness, if I may stretch the language so, would go along towards predicting my behavior.  One reason for this could be how intregral my faith is to my life and how each complements the other.  Maybe I just lack imagination.

The church question, on the other hand, is an easy and obvious one for me.  The emotional/psychological/and spiritual effects that I get from church have nothing to do with the building, the people, or the participation.  My impact is derived from my relationship with God.  This is somewhat in contrast with many current interpretations but it's my personal understanding.  I've gone many times in life outside of a church environment because I don't need church to augment my faith.  So in the absense of God there's no reason I see to attend church.  That time would be much better spent with my family, playing golf, watching football, etc.

Sorry if that last bit violated the new regime we're operating under but I'm just responding as asked.  I have no intention of being purposefully difficult on this matter, it's just a matter of time and conveinence for me to stay in one place.  LOL, as usual, I disagree.

  
Louis



Posts: 6436
Joined: Jan. 2006

(Permalink) Posted: Nov. 01 2007,12:50   

Quote (skeptic @ Nov. 01 2007,17:02)
Sorry if that last bit violated the new regime we're operating under but I'm just responding as asked.  I have no intention of being purposefully difficult on this matter, it's just a matter of time and conveinence for me to stay in one place.  LOL, as usual, I disagree.

1) Since that "last bit" actually was an attempt to answer the question, it doesn't go outside any "regime" new or otherwise (trying to keep a thread on topic hardly constitutes "new" or a "regime", but I'll let your insulting innuendos slide for now). So well done, you're beginning to get it!

2) I notice that you are admitting (again) what I have said all along, you lack the ability to think outside of your faith, for whatever reason. Not all reasons for this are uncomplimentary/bad by the way. A simple unfamiliarity with the process is sufficient. I lack the ability to pilot a space shuttle, but I have the capacity to learn to do so. Perhaps you have the capacity to learn to think outside your faith.

3) You're not trying to be difficult and yet actually answering a question as it is asked and clicking a mouse pointer twice (once on each link) to get to another thread to expand on tangential issues is too big an imposition on your time and convenience?

You're lying. Full stop. Well I suppose there is one other interpretation. You're stupid. Full stop. You have sufficient time and lack of inconvenience to comment on both threads, all that is required is that you do not derail THIS thread by trying to defend or justify your current beliefs. Hardly tricky or onerous is it?

To be blunt, your objection is quite obvious. You clearly don't like the fact that it's me who is doing the asking. Tough. Enough with the whiny asides please. Those too are derailment. This is the last time I will ask. After this, I'm going to ask that Steve ports irrelevant comments to the relevant thread or the Bathroom Wall, mine, yours or anyone's. Whether he'll do this is anyone's guess but I can ask I suppose. Your disagreement is a) not rational or based on a sound arguument (it's sheer petulent whining after all) and b) an irrelevance.

Louis

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Bye.

  
skeptic



Posts: 1163
Joined: May 2006

(Permalink) Posted: Nov. 01 2007,17:43   

2) actually, I think I tried to offer an explanation for this.  I believe that my faith is wrapped very tightly to my thinking process or maybe it's the other way around.  In any case, this makes it very difficult, for me, to entertain undeveloped hypotheticals.  Basically, I need more details to get an accurate picture of what a world outside my faith would look like in order to seriously consider how I would react.  Take that as you will.

As far as the rest of you comments, again you miss the mark.  Five steps ahead is definitely your MO.  The inconvenience I am referring to is when in the course of conversation an alternate topic comes up or a question is asked.  I'm not going to stop, post a note to see appropriate thread and then continue that discussion elsewhere.  I'm going to answer the question in place and continue on.  That is much less disruptive and more convenient for me.  I can offer one suggestion.  For every comment you submit to Steve for processing, I propose you enter a post identifying the offending post.  That way we can review your justification and keep track of your success rate, call it Louis' Whin-O-Meter.

  
Reciprocating Bill



Posts: 4265
Joined: Oct. 2006

(Permalink) Posted: Nov. 01 2007,18:26   

Quote (skeptic @ Nov. 01 2007,18:43)
I believe that my faith is wrapped very tightly to my thinking process or maybe it's the other way around.  In any case, this makes it very difficult, for me, to entertain undeveloped hypotheticals.  Basically, I need more details to get an accurate picture of what a world outside my faith would look like in order to seriously consider how I would react.  Take that as you will.

That is quite an admission.  It suggests that, were you to discover that your faith is misplaced, you would literally have difficulty thinking (so entwined is your thinking with your faith), or knowing how to act (so entwined is your picture of the world with your faith).  

There. I just answered Louis' question for you.

--------------
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



Posts: 1163
Joined: May 2006

(Permalink) Posted: Nov. 01 2007,21:20   

I'm not so sure because I'd be presented with a reality to process.  I'd have to process it.  I don't think I'd blue-screen because the reality of the situation would be undeniable.  I can only base that assumption on the pragmatic aspect of my thinking but I believe it to be true.

  
Louis



Posts: 6436
Joined: Jan. 2006

(Permalink) Posted: Nov. 02 2007,03:11   

Obliviot,

The questions require that you use your *imagination* to devise a world at odds with your current thinking and thus *imagine* what that world would look like and how you would interact with it.

The questions already assume that the person answering the question has been shown to be wrong. So trying to describe the fact that you cannot imagine how you can be wrong, while it answers the question (great, thank you), is not an excuse to start answering what the question does NOT ask (i.e. a justification for your current thinking).

Try to answer questions as they are asked, not as you think they are asked or would like them to be asked. I might have mentioned this before.

Louis

P.S. I've explained why this particular thread is sensitive to derailment enough. Your choice to misrepresent that, your churlishness and basic admission of trolling intent have been noted.

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Bye.

  
hereoisreal



Posts: 745
Joined: Feb. 2006

(Permalink) Posted: Nov. 02 2007,05:33   

Louis:

"P.S. I've explained why this particular thread is sensitive to derailment enough."

*********************************
How can you tell that a train has come by?  It leaves it's tracks.

Zero

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360  miracles and more at:
http://www.hereoisreal.com/....eal.com

Great news. God’s wife is pregnant! (Rev. 12:5)

It's not over till the fat lady sings! (Isa. 54:1 & Zec 9:9)

   
Louis



Posts: 6436
Joined: Jan. 2006

(Permalink) Posted: Nov. 02 2007,05:42   

Hereoisreal,

Do you have answers to the questions posed at the start of this thread? I ask because you've posted several times and not once dealt with the issues pertaining to the topic of this thread. Please keep your off topic, tangential and inane comments off this thread. Spam your own thread.

Louis

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Bye.

  
hereoisreal



Posts: 745
Joined: Feb. 2006

(Permalink) Posted: Nov. 02 2007,06:14   

Louis, your train of thought was derailed before I came by.  Your
comment was exactly as I had imagined it would be, although that's
kinda hard to prove being hypothetical.

Asking someone to predict how they would feel if they would be
hit by a train next year is straining the imagination.

IMO, this thread is a can of worms and it stinks.

This is not spam and I'll PP&P (post as I please, where I please and
when I please) as long as Steve & Wes allow.

Have a good day.

Zero

--------------
360  miracles and more at:
http://www.hereoisreal.com/....eal.com

Great news. God’s wife is pregnant! (Rev. 12:5)

It's not over till the fat lady sings! (Isa. 54:1 & Zec 9:9)

   
Reciprocating Bill



Posts: 4265
Joined: Oct. 2006

(Permalink) Posted: Nov. 02 2007,06:31   

Quote (skeptic @ Nov. 01 2007,22:20)
I'm not so sure because I'd be presented with a reality to process.  I'd have to process it.  I don't think I'd blue-screen because the reality of the situation would be undeniable.  I can only base that assumption on the pragmatic aspect of my thinking but I believe it to be true.

That, my friend, would be the beginning of a genuinely scientific attitude toward the world.

You can do that now. If such unencumbered reasoning gives different answers from that of your "faith entwined" reasoning, then you have an interesting dilemma on your hands.

--------------
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

  
Louis



Posts: 6436
Joined: Jan. 2006

(Permalink) Posted: Nov. 02 2007,07:22   

Quote (hereoisreal @ Nov. 02 2007,11:14)
Louis, your train of thought was derailed before I came by.  Your
comment was exactly as I had imagined it would be, although that's
kinda hard to prove being hypothetical.

Asking someone to predict how they would feel if they would be
hit by a train next year is straining the imagination.

IMO, this thread is a can of worms and it stinks.

This is not spam and I'll PP&P (post as I please, where I please and
when I please) as long as Steve & Wes allow.

Have a good day.

Zero

Oh dear I am surrounded by fuckwits.

Louis

P.S. Editted to Add: I find it particularly interesting that certain people when asked at least relatively nicely not to shit on the carpet, deliberately shit on the carpet and assert their right to shit on the carpet at will. The point of setting up a hypothetical question is to explore that hypothetical question, NOT to come up with reasons for NOT exploring that hypothetical question or to fuck about disrupting a conversation about that question.

The British comedian Mark Thomas amusingly summed this attitude up by referring to a certain "Little Britainer" attitude amongst some circles of UK society that the EU is the epitome of evil thusly:

"If you want to get Daily Mail readers to eat their own shit, it's simple. Just release a story saying Brussels has banned eating your own shit. The next day the Daily Mail will have plastered across the front page: 'Barmy Brussels Bureaucrats Won't Let Us Eat Our Own Cack!!!' and people across the country will be saying 'Have you seen this dear, the EU won't let us eat our own shit, those socialist bastards want to stop the age old British tradition of eating your own shit, well I'll show them!'"

So in that vein: Hereoisreal and Obliviot: Spam this thread thoroughly. I don't want to see even one single on topic answer. Do not even attempt to answer a question as it is asked, nor even think about posting something on topic. I want spammed pictures of such indescribable vileness that even a Catholic bishop would pull his cock out of a child for just five minutes to contemplate their vulgarity. In every way I want you to detract and distract from the purpose of this thread. Do not in any way take anything in good faith, do not respond favourably to any request, no matter how mean or even how reasonable, to keep on topic in just one tiny thread out of the whole universe.

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Bye.

  
Louis



Posts: 6436
Joined: Jan. 2006

(Permalink) Posted: Nov. 02 2007,07:43   

Oh and just whilst I think of it:

I think it speaks volumes, if we are to get into intentions, about people Like Hereoisreal and Skeptic that no matter how nicely or nastily they are asked to try very hard to enter into the spirit of a specific experiment, they outright refuse.

I think people like this are called trolls. And certainly deserve nothing but contempt.

Louis

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Bye.

  
J-Dog



Posts: 4402
Joined: Dec. 2006

(Permalink) Posted: Nov. 02 2007,08:37   

Quote (hereoisreal @ Nov. 02 2007,06:14)
Louis, your train of thought was derailed before I came by.  Your
comment was exactly as I had imagined it would be, although that's
kinda hard to prove being hypothetical.

Asking someone to predict how they would feel if they would be
hit by a train next year is straining the imagination.

IMO, this thread is a can of worms and it stinks.

This is not spam and I'll PP&P (post as I please, where I please and
when I please) as long as Steve & Wes allow.

Have a good day.

Zero

Your post is rude and pointless.  You are on report.

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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

  
skeptic



Posts: 1163
Joined: May 2006

(Permalink) Posted: Nov. 02 2007,09:08   

Bill, that's exactly right.  I am constantly evaluating reality and measuring it against my perceived reality.  I don't believe I am unique in this respect as I'd bet we all do that to some degree whether consciously or unconsciously.  The contrast we run into is that I have yet to be presented with a case causing me to reevaluate this position.

J-Dog, you're absolutely right, it's time to clean this thread up.  Louis, you are also on report.  It's time for you to drop your childish vulgarity and start contributing productively to this thread.  Otherwise, I see no alternative other then having all your posts stuck over on the Wall with all the rest of the filth.

  
J-Dog



Posts: 4402
Joined: Dec. 2006

(Permalink) Posted: Nov. 02 2007,09:26   

Quote (skeptic @ Nov. 02 2007,09:08)
Bill, that's exactly right.  I am constantly evaluating reality and measuring it against my perceived reality.  I don't believe I am unique in this respect as I'd bet we all do that to some degree whether consciously or unconsciously.  The contrast we run into is that I have yet to be presented with a case causing me to reevaluate this position.

J-Dog, you're absolutely right, it's time to clean this thread up.  Louis, you are also on report.  It's time for you to drop your childish vulgarity and start contributing productively to this thread.  Otherwise, I see no alternative other then having all your posts stuck over on the Wall with all the rest of the filth.

Jesue H Christ on a stick skeptic - give it up!

I think Louis has shown remarkable restraint, given your inabiltity to post on target.  

If you don't have anything to contribute, then don't post!

Go say a prayer and beg Your Lord and Savior for forgiveness, and for your pennance, go flagellate yourself.  Severely.

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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

  
Louis



Posts: 6436
Joined: Jan. 2006

(Permalink) Posted: Nov. 02 2007,10:14   

J-Dog,

No, I reckon Skeptic's got a point. It takes two to tango. Granted he is being a prick about how he expresses it. Granted he is just being his standard trolling whiny fucking pathetic self. Granted he is a contempable pissant.

HOWEVER! None of that takes away from an implication of his comment being absolutely correct: by my asking for people to keep on topic, I am making off topic comments. Something of a catch 22! I can't ask people to keep on topic and explain why certain derailments are very poisonous to the actual thrust of the question without posting and asking them to stay on topic, which is itself off topic! As I have no authority, I can't port comments, ban people etc etc. I can ONLY ask.

Granted, I agree that I'd love it if Skeptic would answer a question as it is asked rather than finding excuses not to do so, as R Bill ably demonstrated. That said he has made a couple of stabs at doing it, so I'm not complaining 100%.

However like I said, there is a manifest lack of good faith on his part. At least one reason why Skeptic is fucking about is because I've asked him not to. Notice I haven't said "keep on topic on all threads at all time", I HAVE said "the specific questions in this thread are very susceptible to being dragged into a standard defense of current thinking when we are trying to imagine non-current thinking". Frankly I'm not sure how much clearer I can ask. Equally frankly I am bemused as to why it's such a problem to comply with a simple request. Same applies to Hereoisreal.

It's more than annoying that I feel I have to continually remind Skeptic that this thread is not intended for the attack or defense of anyone's current thinking. Ergo any attack or defense of anyone's current thinking misses the point and thus is off topic. In several posts he makes two sorts of comments in one post: on topic ones flirting with engaging in the questions and off topic ones either defending current views or providing excuses not to engage with the questions. I have no problem with the former element. The latter element not only misses the point of the questions but are actually poisonous to discussions of the questions because they are attempts not to enage the question as it is asked.

It amazes me that so simple a request is so hard to deal with for these people. On any other board a derailment of an attempt at a serious discussion would get its own thread (in this case one already exists) and the thread would be able to proceed in parallel to the derailment. That way an actual discussion can occur.

However, it is extremely obvious that Skeptic does not want to engage with the question as it is written, nor does he want to have an actual discussion. He is trolling, disrupting pure and simple. Hence irrelevant whines about pronafity etc. Frankly, in the words of Frank Zappa, he can fuck himself with a rubber hose. Well, that or actually try to remain on topic in this one, single, insignificant thread, or go away. His choice.

Perhaps sadly I cannot MAKE him do anything, which in a way is very amusing because (and I hold my hands up to my many failures so often I hope I don't need to do so again here) every opportunity I give him to behave like a prick and show just how much of an intellectually vacuous hypocrite he really is, he takes with both hands and great glee. That's a central irony of our discussions. Yes, I use naughty words and imagery, yes I am short tempered when it comes to fools and foolishness, yes I could be nicer, yes I could be more careful about what and how I post on occasion. BUT (and this really is a very central BUT) this is a text/image limited format, not a conversation in person (sadly). It lacks the rigour of a carefully referenced and structured written discussion, motivations and such like are very very hard to distinguish reliably, yet at every opportunity to engage rationally and with intellectual rigour that Skeptic is given, he refuses to do so. That is very, very telling.

Louis

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Bye.