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patriot45
01-26-2009, 02:10 PM
Hehe, bring out the wackies!





Human beings like to believe they’re totally rational creatures. To take an extreme example, atheists are convinced they can prove that God doesn’t exist. This is a particularly fascinating phenomenon because among those who believed in God’s existence are such brainy people as Albert Einstein, Rene Descartes, Albert Schweitzer, Ralph Waldo Emerson, Johann Sebastian Bach, Thomas Jefferson, George Washington, Thomas Aquinas, John Milton, Michelangelo, Herman Melville and even the deeply cynical Graham Greene. While representing the opposing point of view, we have the likes of Madalyn Murray O’Hair and Bill Maher. And yet, any number of atheists who have to take off their shoes in order to count up to 11 are absolutely convinced they’re right.


In our own time, a great many people who are deeply skeptical when it comes to God are zealots when it comes to man-made global warming (aka climate change). Al Gore, who isn’t any more intelligent than Joe Biden and got worse grades in college than George W. Bush , is the high priest of what we might call the weather religion.

Now, in the distant past, mankind believed all sorts of things we now discount. For instance, people used to believe the earth was flat. They were also convinced that the sun revolved around the earth. While both beliefs have been proven wrong along the way, I’d say those people had far better reasons for believing hogwash than we do today.

I mean, it makes sense to believe the earth is flat. People are accustomed to flat surfaces. I can see a natural reluctance to accept the notion that the earth is round. After all, you can balance yourself on top of a large ball, but not on the bottom. So, if I lived hundreds of years ago, I would wonder why if the earth was round, people in places like Australia and Brazil and southern Africa didn’t fall off.


Continued here (http://townhall.com/columnists/BurtPrelutsky/2009/01/26/do_either_god_or_al_gore_exist)

djones520
01-26-2009, 02:39 PM
Thanks for calling me a dumb shit. It's always appreciated. :rolleyes:

patriot45
01-26-2009, 03:00 PM
Thanks for calling me a dumb shit. It's always appreciated. :rolleyes:

You're a flat Earther?!:eek::D

FlaGator
01-26-2009, 03:09 PM
Now you've done it. You've created a thread that will call out all the global warming atheists, will run for about 300 messages and end up being a discussion on abortion, pretty much like all the rest of the threads of this nature. ;)

Lars1701a
01-26-2009, 03:11 PM
Now you've done it. You've created a thread that will call out all the global warming atheists, will run for about 300 messages and end up being a discussion on abortion, pretty much like all the rest of the threads of this nature. ;)

or somehow get shifted to the civilwar :confused::D

FlaGator
01-26-2009, 03:18 PM
or somehow get shifted to the civilwar :confused::D

We should just cut to the chase and start discussing abortion during the civil war and how it contributed to global warming and post-modern atheism.

Celtic Rose
01-26-2009, 03:32 PM
Okay, my brother and I had a discussion about Atheism yesterday, and I want to see what you all think.

Is Atheism a religion, and if it is not, then should they be able to use the first amendment's "Freedom of Religion" clause in lawsuits? Second question, is a belief in God necessary for a belief system to be considered a religion?

FlaGator
01-26-2009, 03:36 PM
Okay, my brother and I had a discussion about Atheism yesterday, and I want to see what you all think.

Is Atheism a religion, and if it is not, then should they be able to use the first amendment's "Freedom of Religion" clause in lawsuits? Second question, is a belief in God necessary for a belief system to be considered a religion?

I see atheism as a belief system because they can't prove that there is no God any more that I can prove beyond a shadow of a doubt that there is a God. If there are two diametrically opposed views on a given topic and proof can not be garnered by either side to win the day then both are beliefs.

By definition religion is organized set of beliefs and rituals set around the worship of a deity figure.

biccat
01-26-2009, 03:38 PM
Thanks for calling me a dumb shit. It's always appreciated. :rolleyes:

To be fair, I think the term was "besotted."

wilbur
01-26-2009, 07:06 PM
Hehe, bring out the wackies!

Human beings like to believe they’re totally rational creatures. To take an extreme example, atheists are convinced they can prove that God doesn’t exist.

I, for one, can say I have never claimed we are totally rational creatures. We have capabilities for rational thought and reason... and those two things combined with scientific-like methodology are most effective tools we have for acquiring knowledge.

Really, I don't say I can prove God doesn't exist... and the new school of outspoken atheist authors/polemicists like Harris, Dawkins or Hitchens never say this either. The more vague the concept of God, the harder it becomes to argue against.... that is, the closer you get to deism or as the characteristics of God start to become more elastic and vague, its becomes harder to make specific claims against the idea. For example, perhaps a theist might concede that God is simply a super being and it doesn't make much sense to consider him "all powerful" and perfect. As points are conceded here and there, the idea gets harder to defeat outright, but the idea of God also ends up becoming very diminished compared to the usual conceptions of the God of classical theism. The God of classical theism, for one, has been pretty thoroughly scoured... and I think shown to be a pretty incoherent idea.



This is a particularly fascinating phenomenon because among those who believed in God’s existence are such brainy people as Albert Einstein, Rene Descartes, Albert Schweitzer, Ralph Waldo Emerson, Johann Sebastian Bach, Thomas Jefferson, George Washington, Thomas Aquinas, John Milton, Michelangelo, Herman Melville and even the deeply cynical Graham Greene. While representing the opposing point of view, we have the likes of Madalyn Murray O’Hair and Bill Maher. And yet, any number of atheists who have to take off their shoes in order to count up to 11 are absolutely convinced they’re right.



There are at least a couple deists on that list who veer a lot closer to atheism than to theism. Some even think Jefferson was more atheist than deist. He certainly had MUCH contempt for organized religion.

A pattern I have noticed in discussions with theists (not saying you have done it) is to compare deism or pantheism, or some such other more wishy-washy god-concepts as no better than, or equivalent too, atheism... and in some sense they are right. People like that may have some god-related transcendental or spiritual appreciation for life and the universe, but the gods aren't prescribing behaviours or intervening in their lives.... and definitely aren't talking to them. Then in another conversation, another day, those same theists will sometimes whip out the official List Of Smart Guys Who Believe In God and So Should You (TM) which ironically always include piles of deists or pantheists (ala, Einstein, Jefferson). It amuses me.

wilbur
01-26-2009, 07:11 PM
Okay, my brother and I had a discussion about Atheism yesterday, and I want to see what you all think.

Is Atheism a religion, and if it is not, then should they be able to use the first amendment's "Freedom of Religion" clause in lawsuits?

While its a popular canard, atheism is not a religion.

Pretend you had a child in that public school where the teacher forced them all to take Muslim names and do a mock prayer to Allah... are you saying you think its possible that an atheist has no grounds to sue, while a theist who isnt Muslim should? I don't think that makes much sense.


Second question, is a belief in God necessary for a belief system to be considered a religion?

Buddhism has no concept of a divine creator or really any God.. yet it does have some transcendental spiritual aspects to it... and many categorize it as religion.

djones520
01-26-2009, 07:20 PM
Okay, my brother and I had a discussion about Atheism yesterday, and I want to see what you all think.

Is Atheism a religion, and if it is not, then should they be able to use the first amendment's "Freedom of Religion" clause in lawsuits? Second question, is a belief in God necessary for a belief system to be considered a religion?

I view it as an unorganized religion, since it's based off of faith just like any other religion.

wilbur
01-26-2009, 07:28 PM
On a side note, I just noticed this is the same author who did the atheism/homosexual article that you posted a while back.

Still as wrong as ever ;)

biccat
01-26-2009, 08:12 PM
Really, I don't say I can prove God doesn't exist... and the new school of outspoken atheist authors/polemicists like Harris, Dawkins or Hitchens never say this either.

Really? (http://blogs.discovermagazine.com/cosmicvariance/2006/10/29/the-god-conundrum/)


Some of you may be wondering: “Does God exist?” Fortunately, Richard Dawkins has written a new book, The God Delusion, that addresses precisely this question. As it turns out, the answer is: “No, God does not exist.”

Well, so much for that one.

FlaGator
01-26-2009, 08:27 PM
Some of you may be wondering: “Does God exist?” Fortunately, Richard Dawkins has written a new book, The God Delusion, that addresses precisely this question. As it turns out, the answer is: “No, God does not exist.”

Never believe anything from a guy who hosted Family Feud.

wilbur
01-26-2009, 08:47 PM
Really? (http://blogs.discovermagazine.com/cosmicvariance/2006/10/29/the-god-conundrum/)



Yes really.



Well, so much for that one.

Maybe you should check the source material... the author of that article should too. He (Dawkins) makes the claim that God is improbable.

patriot45
01-26-2009, 09:48 PM
Yes really.



Maybe you should check the source material... the author of that article should too. He (Dawkins) makes the claim that God is improbable.


This is a particularly fascinating phenomenon because among those who believed in God’s existence are such brainy people as Albert Einstein, Rene Descartes, Albert Schweitzer, Ralph Waldo Emerson, Johann Sebastian Bach, Thomas Jefferson, George Washington, Thomas Aquinas, John Milton, Michelangelo, Herman Melville and even the deeply cynical Graham Greene.

I don't even have to side with these guys, I already believe in God, and the reason is I take it on faith. You have to take your beliefs on faith also! We are even, but if I'm right, you in trouble!

wilbur
01-26-2009, 09:54 PM
I see atheism as a belief system because they can't prove that there is no God any more that I can prove beyond a shadow of a doubt that there is a God. If there are two diametrically opposed views on a given topic and proof can not be garnered by either side to win the day then both are beliefs.

By definition religion is organized set of beliefs and rituals set around the worship of a deity figure.

It is not reasonable to believe just anything that cannot empiracally be disproved.

MrsSmith
01-26-2009, 10:05 PM
While its a popular canard, atheism is not a religion.




Atheist Inmate Cleared to Study His 'Religion' (http://www.courthousenews.com/BlogArchive/atheist.htm)

Finding that atheism is a "religion" for First Amendment purposes, a federal appeals court said Wisconsin prison officials violated the rights of an inmate by barring him from forming a study group for atheists.

"A religion need not be based on a belief in the existence of a supreme being," the 7th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals noted in reinstating the Establishment Clause claim of James Kaufman, who proposed a group that would "stimulate and promote Freedom of Thought and inquiry concerning religious beliefs."

In a summary judgment, a trial judge said prison officials were justified in rejecting Kaufman's proposal under the strict standards that apply to inmate social groups such as chess clubs. They had concluded he was not motivated by "religious" beliefs.

An inmate obviously is not constitutionally entitled to have a chess club "evaluated as if chess were a religion, no matter how devoted he is to the game," Judge Diane P. Wood wrote for the appeals court. Nevertheless, the opinion continued,

Atheism is Kaufman’s religion, and the group that he wanted to start was religious in nature even though it expressly rejects a belief in a supreme being.

Atheism is Kaufman’s religion, and the group that he wanted to start was religious in nature...

MrsSmith
01-26-2009, 10:06 PM
It is not reasonable to believe just anything that cannot empiracally be disproved.

Like the "origin of life" theories...

wilbur
01-26-2009, 10:14 PM
Atheism is Kaufman’s religion, and the group that he wanted to start was religious in nature...

We all know that when a court declares something, MrsSmith agrees!

Actually, it looks like theres more too this:


The court continued: "The Supreme Court has said that a religion, for purposes of the First Amendment, is distinct from a way of life,' even it that way of life is inspired by philosophical beliefs or other secular concerns. A religion need not be based on a belief in the existence of a supreme being, (or beings, for polytheistic faiths) nor must it be a mainstream faith." Thus, the court concluded, atheism is equivalent to religion for purposes of the First Amendment and Kaufman should have been given the right to meet to discuss atheism and related topics with fellow inmates.

...

The task of distinguishing religion from nonreligion has proven to be a difficult one for American courts. The operative word of the religion clauses--religion--was left undefined By the framers. This omission, however, did not result from oversight. Defining the term would have placed a permanent imprimatur on those forms of faith and belief that conformed to their definition. The framers instead chose to leave the term undefined, thus protecting a diversity of beliefs, not merely the traditional ones, from undue advancement or prohibition of expression by government. This guarantee of freedom of religion, the centrepiece or American liberties, has served to protect all religions, old and new, against governmental preference, intrusion, and harassment.



http://findarticles.com/p/articles/mi_hb3244/is_/ai_n29228841

Long article, haven't finished reading it... but perhaps for the purposes of the first amendment, we can call 'atheism' religion... though it is not a religion in the popular common usage of the term.

patriot45
01-26-2009, 10:16 PM
We all know that when a court declares something, MrsSmith agrees!

Does Al Gore exist? He is the God of Global Warming, thats a new religion.

wilbur
01-26-2009, 10:25 PM
Does Al Gore exist? He is the God of Global Warming, thats a new religion.

I've said this before, but it's even more amusing to me is when theists attempt to marginalize something by calling it religion. Shouldn't you respect it more if that were the case? ;)

I'm pretty sure Al Gore exists.

MrsSmith
01-26-2009, 10:30 PM
We all know that when a court declares something, MrsSmith agrees!

It's the law of the land. Federal court and all. Not appealed. Therefore, atheism is evidently a religion.

wilbur
01-26-2009, 10:34 PM
It's the law of the land. Federal court and all. Not appealed. Therefore, atheism is evidently a religion.

See my edit.

AmPat
01-26-2009, 10:36 PM
I've said this before, but it's even more amusing to me is when theists attempt to marginalize something by calling it religion. Shouldn't you respect it more if that were the case? ;)

I'm pretty sure Al Gore exists.
I'm with Jesus on this one. You can take all the religious mumbo-jumbo and burn it. The trappings, cathedrals, robes, and silly hats, and thrown them in a fire. I'll still believe in my Savior. Religion I can do without.

patriot45
01-26-2009, 10:37 PM
I've said this before, but it's even more amusing to me is when theists attempt to marginalize something by calling it religion. Shouldn't you respect it more if that were the case? ;)

I'm pretty sure Al Gore exists.

Haha, I'm not a Theist! And I didn't proclaim global warming a religion nor AlGore its God, others did. I only ask because you believe in Global Warming.

wilbur
01-26-2009, 10:40 PM
Haha, I'm not a Theist!

Since when?! :confused: My mistake, I guess.


And I didn't proclaim global warming a religion nor AlGore its God, others did. I only ask because you believe in Global Warming.

I'm pretty sure Al Gore exists...

But I don't listen to a word he says or writes, I haven't seen his movie, didn't support him as a VP... I don't read or follow Green Peace, PETA, or the Sierra Club.... but do accept climate change as a sound scientific theory.

patriot45
01-26-2009, 10:43 PM
Since when?! :confused:



I'm pretty sure Al Gore exists...

But I don't listen to a word he says or writes, I haven't seen his movie, didn't support him as a VP... I don't read or follow Green Peace, PETA, or the Sierra Club.... but do accept climate change as a sound scientific theory.


You convinced me! You accept it on faith, your faith in global warming!

wilbur
01-26-2009, 10:45 PM
You convinced me! You accept it on faith, your faith in global warming!

It really tickles some people to accuse the atheists of 'faith' doesnt it ;) Faith is the wrong word to use. I simply put more stock in the most well supported ideas. Thats reasonable.. faith isnt.

patriot45
01-26-2009, 10:46 PM
It really tickles some people to accuse the atheists of 'faith' doesnt it ;) Faith is the wrong word to use. I simply put more stock in the most well supported ideas. Thats reasonable.. faith isnt.


Is that called, parsing words? Your faith is strong!

MrsSmith
01-26-2009, 10:47 PM
See my edit.


though it is not a religion in the popular common usage of the term.


The God of classical theism, for one, has been pretty thoroughly scoured... and I think shown to be a pretty incoherent idea.

It seems that your opinion of God is equivalent to the majority's opinion of atheism, so considering atheism a religion may well fit within "the popular common usage of the term." Especially in light of the fact that theists understand Christianity is NOT a religion, but rather a relationship. Atheism certainly fits far better with the popular concept of "religion" than does Christianity.

Odysseus
01-26-2009, 10:50 PM
We should just cut to the chase and start discussing abortion during the civil war and how it contributed to global warming and post-modern atheism.
Now that would be an amazing Master's thesis! "Antebellum Abortion Policies and Their Impact on Modern Systems of Skepticism and Climate Change." My future is assured!

Okay, my brother and I had a discussion about Atheism yesterday, and I want to see what you all think.

Is Atheism a religion, and if it is not, then should they be able to use the first amendment's "Freedom of Religion" clause in lawsuits? Second question, is a belief in God necessary for a belief system to be considered a religion?
First, let's define religion. Wikipedia has a good start:


A religion is a set of stories, symbols, beliefs and practices, often with a supernatural quality, that give meaning to the practitioner's experiences of life through reference to an ultimate power or reality.

Let's throw in a few other aspects of religion: redemption or atonement, ritual, sacrifice, enforcement of orthodoxy and prosletyzing.

Does a religion have to be supernatural in nature? Not according to the Scientologists. So, any belief system can become a religion, or at least a cult. Atheism, which is the denial of religion, is not, necessarily a religion, but it can easily become one for those who take it to an extreme. Certainly, militant atheists have their own myths and beliefs, seek to convert those they see as benighted and consider religious thought to be, at best, superstition, but more often than not, they are offended by just the idea of it. The response of a militant atheist to a profession of faith are very similar to those of a militant believer confronted with a heresy.

The militant global warming freaks, or Climatistas, show the same habits, only moreso.
Their myths and stories are the supposed warming trends and their claims that man is the instigator of global warming, the symbols are their computer models (which they brandish like totems or charms against the evil doubters) and the various green images that they adopt (organic foods, recycled products, reusable grocery bags, etc.), and the ritual practices are the various superficial things that they do to demonstrate their greenness, from going to rallies to driving hybrids, and don't forget the modern sale of indulgences, the carbon credit. Heresy is met by vitriolic denunciations of those who oppose their worldview, ostracism and threats to prosecute unbelievers as saboteurs of the environment. Is a climatista any less likely to be enraged by an expression of disbelief than a Moslem who's just heard a story of a flushed Koran? The AlGorean worldview is as much a religion as any cult.

Water Closet
01-26-2009, 10:51 PM
Al Gore - Probably, but unfortunately
God - Probably not, fortunately or unfortunately - who knows

wilbur
01-26-2009, 10:51 PM
Is that called, parsing words? Your faith is strong!

See, there you go again!!

patriot45
01-26-2009, 10:53 PM
See, there you go again!!

Touche!

wilbur
01-26-2009, 11:08 PM
Does a religion have to be supernatural in nature? Not according to the Scientologists. So, any belief system can become a religion, or at least a cult. Atheism, which is the denial of religion, is not, necessarily a religion, but it can easily become one for those who take it to an extreme. Certainly, militant atheists have their own myths and beliefs, seek to convert those they see as benighted and consider religious thought to be, at best, superstition, but more often than not, they are offended by just the idea of it. The response of a militant atheist to a profession of faith are very similar to those of a militant believer confronted with a heresy.


Certainly, there are those people though I can't think of anyone famous like this off the top of my head. But you've really generalized the concept of religion to include just about any kind of strong opinion.

The application of the title 'religion' to all these ideas has a purpose behind it... and thats the purpose that offends me and also makes it dishonest to boot. The religion tag is like a scarlet letter for what ever idea that gets its label (hilarious!). It maligns whatever it touches (ohh the irony). An idea automatically becomes irrational if you can make the religion tag stick.. then one can sit back and say things like "See! They try to convince people of their arguments! Its a religion! They are militant!". The hilarious part about this is... it really only works so well because the person who becomes convinced of such a thing generally has a religion... only this new strange one isnt theirs... therefore its heretical and to be opposed just as fervently as Satan, or any heretical doctrine. This whole business is simply a rhetorical game... but no real connection with reality.

The liberals also play this game... and will promptly call belief in intangibles like 'free markets' and 'invisible hands' religion.

patriot45
01-26-2009, 11:21 PM
Certainly, there are those people though I can't think of anyone famous like this off the top of my head. But you've really generalized the concept of religion to include just about any kind of strong opinion.

The application of the title 'religion' to all these ideas has a purpose behind it... and thats the purpose that offends me and also makes it dishonest to boot. The religion tag is like a scarlet letter for what ever idea that gets its label (hilarious!). It maligns whatever it touches (ohh the irony). An idea automatically becomes irrational if you can make the religion tag stick.. then one can sit back and say things like "See! They try to convince people of their arguments! Its a religion! They are militant!". The hilarious part about this is... it really only works so well because the person who becomes convinced of such a thing generally has a religion... only this new strange one isnt theirs... therefore its heretical and to be opposed just as fervently as Satan, or any heretical doctrine. This whole business is simply a rhetorical game... but no real connection with reality.

The liberals also play this game... and will promptly call belief in intangibles like 'free markets' and 'invisible hands' religion.

Defence of your beliefs is normal. As I said, I did not put any labels on your strong opinions, I just mentioned you had faith in things most people find absurd!

FlaGator
01-27-2009, 06:28 AM
It is not reasonable to believe just anything that cannot empiracally be disproved.

You believe a lot of things that can not be empiracally proved. For example, you beleive that a person would go who his grave being horribly tortured for a lie that he knows is a lie. You can prove this and when asked for one example of this occuring you were unable to produce one. However you still accepted this irrational position over the rational one that Jesus Christ is exactly who whe said he is and the Apostles were martyred for teaching what they knew to be true.

wilbur
01-27-2009, 09:34 AM
You believe a lot of things that can not be empiracally proved. For example, you beleive that a person would go who his grave being horribly tortured for a lie that he knows is a lie. You can prove this and when asked for one example of this occuring you were unable to produce one. However you still accepted this irrational position over the rational one that Jesus Christ is exactly who whe said he is and the Apostles were martyred for teaching what they knew to be true.

I said its not reasonable to believe just anything... we all have to accept or operate as if certain things are true even though we cannot empirically prove them... as an example, think of how we act in regards to any future event. We can't be certain the events we expect to happen, will happen, and that all our preparations in the present will not horribly backfire or be completely moot. Science is totally oriented towards predicting future events based on past ones... those predictions may not be valid in the future.. it operates on the assumption of 'the continued identity of things'... unprovable, nor disprovable in any empirical way.. but it is a reasonable assumption (or belief, if you will).. Its reasonable to believe a scientific prediction... or that the sun will rise tomorrow.. or that tomorrow won't be the day that the earth is destroyed etc etc.

But say I believe that every time I sit down and say a few words over my plate of spaghetti that a transubstantiation occurs... it turns into the real flesh and blood of the flying spaghetti monster... and when I eat it, it grants me a piece of his special tasty grace. I tell you that if you examine the spaghetti you won't be able to notice any material difference... but IF you really believe in the sacrament, you will "know" that it is true. Reasonable to believe? Can you disprove it?

As for the resurrection, I only say that there really isn't any such inexplicable, baffling human behaviour... that is so unbelievably baffling and inexplicable that it makes the resurrection story the only, or most likely plausible alternative. Maybe its not reasonable to believe someone died for a lie, Fla... but its not reasonable to believe the resurrection either... which might cause both of us to look for alternative explanations.... such as inaccuracy in the texts or your assumptions about the history of those events. The occurrence of an honest, true supernatural resurrection would not be in any persons reasonable range of possibilities when trying to piece together any other event of the past... one would always look for another explanation. But you make a special exception, that would be unreasonable in any other circumstance, in order to make the case for your beliefs. Miracles of that sort are naturally unprovable, and unreasonable... which is why its so puzzling that so many think that the creator of the universe would act in such baffling ways that defy the rules of his universe... and as a consequence, make the truth of them not only inherently unknowable... but completely unreasonable and ridiculous... all the while staking the eternal salvation of his most prized creation on such ridiculous things, all under the auspices of faith. Can't disprove it... but its not reasonable.

patriot45
01-27-2009, 10:05 AM
Maybe a cartoon will work for ya!

Somebody's making a monkey out of you! (http://www.thetruthforyouth.com/NEW%20Comics/SM/pages/SM_1.htm)

wilbur
01-27-2009, 10:10 AM
Maybe a cartoon will work for ya!

Somebody's making a monkey out of you! (http://www.thetruthforyouth.com/NEW%20Comics/SM/pages/SM_1.htm)

Hahaha.... Now that's funny.

I'm picturing several people here sombrely nodding in agreement with that cartoon.

FlaGator
01-27-2009, 12:52 PM
I said its not reasonable to believe just anything... we all have to accept or operate as if certain things are true even though we cannot empirically prove them... as an example, think of how we act in regards to any future event. We can't be certain the events we expect to happen, will happen, and that all our preparations in the present will not horribly backfire or be completely moot. Science is totally oriented towards predicting future events based on past ones... those predictions may not be valid in the future.. it operates on the assumption of 'the continued identity of things'... unprovable, nor disprovable in any empirical way.. but it is a reasonable assumption (or belief, if you will).. Its reasonable to believe a scientific prediction... or that the sun will rise tomorrow.. or that tomorrow won't be the day that the earth is destroyed etc etc.

But say I believe that every time I sit down and say a few words over my plate of spaghetti that a transubstantiation occurs... it turns into the real flesh and blood of the flying spaghetti monster... and when I eat it, it grants me a piece of his special tasty grace. I tell you that if you examine the spaghetti you won't be able to notice any material difference... but IF you really believe in the sacrament, you will "know" that it is true. Reasonable to believe? Can you disprove it?

As for the resurrection, I only say that there really isn't any such inexplicable, baffling human behaviour... that is so unbelievably baffling and inexplicable that it makes the resurrection story the only, or most likely plausible alternative. Maybe its not reasonable to believe someone died for a lie, Fla... but its not reasonable to believe the resurrection either... which might cause both of us to look for alternative explanations.... such as inaccuracy in the texts or your assumptions about the history of those events. The occurrence of an honest, true supernatural resurrection would not be in any persons reasonable range of possibilities when trying to piece together any other event of the past... one would always look for another explanation. But you make a special exception, that would be unreasonable in any other circumstance, in order to make the case for your beliefs. Miracles of that sort are naturally unprovable, and unreasonable... which is why its so puzzling that so many think that the creator of the universe would act in such baffling ways that defy the rules of his universe... and as a consequence, make the truth of them not only inherently unknowable... but completely unreasonable and ridiculous... all the while staking the eternal salvation of his most prized creation on such ridiculous things, all under the auspices of faith. Can't disprove it... but its not reasonable.

I wasn't even thinking as far ahead at predicting future events. Scientists may choose to infer the future from the past but that is not a given. Take man made global warming for example. They infer the future based on an incomplete understanding of the present with very little acknowledgement to previous trends in the ice record. When some do acknowledge the previous climate trends they best you can get out of them is that mankind's involvement is pushing us over the edge. Again, this is a belief based on no previous evidence and inference from the flimsy evidence that currently exists. They will cite Venus as an example of the greenhouse effect run amok, but here the comparison is apples and oranges because no one knows what the initial conditions on Venus were. If Venus has always been like that (and there is zero evidence that it hasn't) then the assumption that Earth will become like Venus is completely groundless since Venus may not have had a carbon-cycle to recapture the CO2 in it's atmosphere.

For the time being we should avoid the larger details of religious belief and stick with belief systems in general and I stand by my original assessment that atheism and theism/deism are belief systems because you can convince me that no go exists because you have no evidence disputing His existence. I cannot convince you because I have no empirical evidence, just clues that point to a creator of a designed universe. I suspect that even if I could discover some solid evidence you would dispute it anyways because the existence of a Creator does not fit into your world view.

I will venture in to this:

Maybe its not reasonable to believe someone died for a lie, Fla... but its not reasonable to believe the resurrection either...

Einstein could not come to terms with an expanding universe because it defied what he believed about the universe. When the evidence of his own calculations was presented to him he chose to rework the math instead of accepting what his own work showed him. This relates to you and the above quote. You made a decision to accept an irrational choice because the logical one did not conform to your view of how things are. Just something for you to think about my friend.

wilbur
01-27-2009, 02:41 PM
For the time being we should avoid the larger details of religious belief and stick with belief systems in general and I stand by my original assessment that atheism and theism/deism are belief systems because you can convince me that no go exists because you have no evidence disputing His existence. I cannot convince you because I have no empirical evidence, just clues that point to a creator of a designed universe.


The gotcha is that those clues only point you to his existence, because you already accept a priori that a creator exists. If you don't accept that, the 'clues' are simply puzzles or phenomena to which an explanation is not forthcoming at the moment.

All things are not equally reasonable, simply because they cannot be disproved. Lots of people try to defend theism this way, or say that is equally reasonable as non-belief, because you cannot empiracally disprove gods. This is a sort of intellectual or epistemological relativism. If you follow this sort of idea to its ultimate conclusions, you end up equally validating every religion, or even any unfalsible idea. This is where the flying spaghetti monster or Russell's teapot come in handy. .. they illustrate that idea remarkably well.



I suspect that even if I could discover some solid evidence you would dispute it anyways because the existence of a Creator does not fit into your world view.


Its a difference in epistemologies. Examining religious belief systems or claims within the context of the epistemology of science, either tells us that they are premature or unknowable or that they are incoherent.... or perhaps even correct, but usually for incorrect reasons. But not all epistemologies are equally defendable or reasonable... unless your a relativist.

This is what most people miss in debates like creationism vs evolution. Its not one theory vs another... its one system for attaining knowledge vs an entirely different one... and one is reasonable (science) and the other isnt (science, but with axiomatic literalism and hermaneutics thrown in... which of course throws off any subsequent conclusions made within that system).



Einstein could not come to terms with an expanding universe because it defied what he believed about the universe. When the evidence of his own calculations was presented to him he chose to rework the math instead of accepting what his own work showed him. This relates to you and the above quote. You made a decision to accept an irrational choice because the logical one did not conform to your view of how things are. Just something for you to think about my friend.

The difference is that Einsteins math can be verified or falsified.

FlaGator
01-27-2009, 03:06 PM
The gotcha is that those clues only point you to his existence, because you already accept a priori that a creator exists. If you don't accept that, the 'clues' are simply puzzles or phenomena to which an explanation is not forthcoming at the moment.

All things are not equally reasonable, simply because they cannot be disproved. Lots of people try to defend theism this way, or say that is equally reasonable as non-belief, because you cannot empiracally disprove gods. This is a sort of intellectual or epistemological relativism. If you follow this sort of idea to its ultimate conclusions, you end up equally validating every religion, or even any unfalsible idea. This is where the flying spaghetti monster or Russell's teapot come in handy. .. they illustrate that idea remarkably well.


People are convicted in a court of law everyday on the basis of clues. I defend theis on the basis of reasoning and rational thought. Others before me (Plato and Aeristotal come to mind) used pure reason and logic to deduce the existence of a Creator. ONly in the modern era has it become unfashionable to accept the existence of a creator force.



Its a difference in epistemologies. Examining religious belief systems or claims within the context of the epistemology of science, either tells us that they are premature or unknowable or that they are incoherent.... or perhaps even correct, but usually for incorrect reasons. But not all epistemologies are equally defendable or reasonable... unless your a relativist.

This is what most people miss in debates like creationism vs evolution. Its not one theory vs another... its one system for attaining knowledge vs an entirely different one... and one is reasonable (science) and the other isnt (science, but with axiomatic literalism and hermaneutics thrown in... which of course throws off any subsequent conclusions made within that system).

I'm not trying to debate creationism vs. evolution because I believe that God is capable of using either one in the creation process and from my perspective it doesn't matter which one is correct. On an intellectual level I enjoy the discussion but it really has no bearing on what I belief. I can cite for you examples of God working in my life but unless these events happened to you, you would probably will not be willing to accept them. The events in my life didn't give me faith but they reinforced the faith that God had given me previously. To be honest here, I do not try to change you view on things, I give you reasons for the way I see things. At best I hope to get you to consider things from my shoes and open you mind to the possibility that there may be more to reality than what you can verify by your senses. I have been in your shoes and seen the world as you do. Interestingly enough, when I came be a believer all the science that I had learned and been fascinated with didn't change. It became incorporated in my view of the sacred and holy.




The difference is that Einsteins math can be verified or falsified.

But Einstein didn't believe his math even though he verified it and then changed it.

Odysseus
01-27-2009, 09:08 PM
Certainly, there are those people though I can't think of anyone famous like this off the top of my head.

Well, you're not exactly famous, but are you sure that you don't know anyone like that? Think real hard...


But you've really generalized the concept of religion to include just about any kind of strong opinion.
No, I was very careful to point out that there are specific aspects to religious belief and patterns of behavior associated with it. Environmentalism is a secular cult with all of the trappings of a religion (even a divinity, for those who claim to worship Gaeia or nature as a personification). Not all strongly held opinions or beliefs meet the test.


The application of the title 'religion' to all these ideas has a purpose behind it... and thats the purpose that offends me and also makes it dishonest to boot. The religion tag is like a scarlet letter for what ever idea that gets its label (hilarious!). It maligns whatever it touches (ohh the irony). An idea automatically becomes irrational if you can make the religion tag stick.. then one can sit back and say things like "See! They try to convince people of their arguments! Its a religion! They are militant!". The hilarious part about this is... it really only works so well because the person who becomes convinced of such a thing generally has a religion... only this new strange one isnt theirs... therefore its heretical and to be opposed just as fervently as Satan, or any heretical doctrine. This whole business is simply a rhetorical game... but no real connection with reality.
Spoken like a true believer.
Of course, that only applies if you consider religious connotations to be insulting. Calling someone "spiritual" is considered positive, even in secular circles, while calling that same person "religious" is an insult. Why is that?

I said its not reasonable to believe just anything...
No, to the atheist, the only reasonable belief is in nothing.

wilbur
01-27-2009, 09:22 PM
Well, you're not exactly famous, but are you sure that you don't know anyone like that? Think real hard...

No, I was very careful to point out that there are specific aspects to religious belief and patterns of behavior associated with it. Environmentalism is a secular cult with all of the trappings of a religion (even a divinity, for those who claim to worship Gaeia or nature as a personification). Not all strongly held opinions or beliefs meet the test.

Spoken like a true believer.
Of course, that only applies if you consider religious connotations to be insulting. Calling someone "spiritual" is considered positive, even in secular circles, while calling that same person "religious" is an insult. Why is that?


You tell me... most everybody around these parts favourite method for trying to understand opposing beliefs is to try and reduce them all to religion... usually the connotation that comes with it is negative... since the "religion" is one of the many that isnt the One True Religion (TM). That is what passes for thinking coherently about a topic, apparently. Turn it into religion, then dismiss it (with much fanfare and rabble of course).

wilbur
01-27-2009, 10:08 PM
People are convicted in a court of law everyday on the basis of clues. I defend theis on the basis of reasoning and rational thought. Others before me (Plato and Aeristotal come to mind) used pure reason and logic to deduce the existence of a Creator. ONly in the modern era has it become unfashionable to accept the existence of a creator force.


I don't think evidence for God is ever held to the same standards that even our own court of law uses... If it were, heck, I think we could simply use the courts to prove God exists.



I'm not trying to debate creationism vs. evolution because I believe that God is capable of using either one in the creation process and from my perspective it doesn't matter which one is correct. On an intellectual level I enjoy the discussion but it really has no bearing on what I belief.

I only brought it up as an example of an alternate epistemology... but compared to science, all religion is a different epistemology.... and those epistemologies will determine how we filter and examine evidence for our beliefs.

You said originally: "I suspect that even if I could discover some solid evidence you would dispute it anyways because the existence of a Creator does not fit into your world view."

In a sense, I was sort of agreeing with this. But that's not quite right. It depends on the evidence. Alleged holy books, supposedly authored by God, filled with stories of never before and never since seen miracles from incomprehensibly superstitious times don't pass muster with me... this is because I try to examine these sorts of things with the same criteria I would use for anything else. There could conceivably be possible evidence that would be able to convince me... its not all that hard to imagine. But its absent from the universe as far as I have seen. What does pass muster, is atheism... in the absence of evidence for a claim, the only reasonable position is absence of belief of that claim.

I do wonder, how many here could still be theists if they applied the same scepticism to their religion as they apply to global warming or liberalism... and sometimes even evolution.



I can cite for you examples of God working in my life but unless these events happened to you, you would probably will not be willing to accept them. The events in my life didn't give me faith but they reinforced the faith that God had given me previously. To be honest here, I do not try to change you view on things, I give you reasons for the way I see things. At best I hope to get you to consider things from my shoes and open you mind to the possibility that there may be more to reality than what you can verify by your senses. I have been in your shoes and seen the world as you do. Interestingly enough, when I came be a believer all the science that I had learned and been fascinated with didn't change. It became incorporated in my view of the sacred and holy.


I don't really hope to change anyone else's mind... I feel more like I am continually trying to clear up misconceptions.. about myself, the positions I and others with similar opinions hold on many topics.

Odysseus
01-28-2009, 04:47 PM
You tell me... most everybody around these parts favourite method for trying to understand opposing beliefs is to try and reduce them all to religion... usually the connotation that comes with it is negative... since the "religion" is one of the many that isnt the One True Religion (TM). That is what passes for thinking coherently about a topic, apparently. Turn it into religion, then dismiss it (with much fanfare and rabble of course).
But only if you see religion as something base and corrupt. I'm a very lapsed Jew (I blame the bacon, that foul, yummy, salty bacon), but I have enough respect for Christianity and Judaism that I don't simply dismiss believers as benighted losers or superstitious dupes. I also see far too many people who consider themselves rational, dispassionate practitioners of reason who embrace ideas that are demonstrably false or which they cannot grasp, but cling to anyway out of a desire to appears smarter than they are. Enlightenment is a genuinely difficult thing, because it demands a desire for knowledge of what is good and true over the desire to corrupt such knowledge for your own ends. Science and religion are both based on faith in the idea that the universe is based on objective truths that can be sought and known, and that the pursuit of these truths will make us better for having made the attempt. Religion and science are both searches for truth. The real question, then, is not whether atheism is a religion, but what is the difference between a religion and a cult? To me, the answer is that the religion seeks truth, while the cult seeks power, pleasure, wealth or some other temporal reward under the guise of faith. That's the difference between the climatologist who seeks to genuinely understand the mechanisms of weather and the climatista who seeks to use science as a means of wielding power over others. It's the same thing in religion. The believer who seeks to understand the universe out of love for creation very different from the suicide bomber who seeks to impose his will on those who have rejected and shamed him by their refusal to bow before him. If your atheism is rooted in a genuine desire to understand the universe and find a philosophy of life that makes yours meaningful, then it's religious in nature, and I mean that in a positive way. If, on the other hand, it's just rage at the order of things and a desire to attack believers, then it will bring you no peace, and you will continue to tilt at windmills, churches and temples. Been there myself, and it sucked. I don't claim to know what the order of the universe is, but I do know that there are certain values that always seem to be associated with those that I consider good, and certain values that are obviously evil.


In a sense, I was sort of agreeing with this. But that's not quite right. It depends on the evidence. Alleged holy books, supposedly authored by God, filled with stories of never before and never since seen miracles from incomprehensibly superstitious times don't pass muster with me... this is because I try to examine these sorts of things with the same criteria I would use for anything else. There could conceivably be possible evidence that would be able to convince me... its not all that hard to imagine. But its absent from the universe as far as I have seen. What does pass muster, is atheism... in the absence of evidence for a claim, the only reasonable position is absence of belief of that claim.
No, the only logical response to an unproveable thesis is to acknowledge that you don't know the answer, not that you know the answer to be wrong because you cannot prove it.

wilbur
01-28-2009, 05:27 PM
But only if you see religion as something base and corrupt. I'm a very lapsed Jew (I blame the bacon, that foul, yummy, salty bacon),


I can't blame you there...



but I have enough respect for Christianity and Judaism that I don't simply dismiss believers as benighted losers or superstitious dupes. I also see far too many people who consider themselves rational, dispassionate practitioners of reason who embrace ideas that are demonstrably false or which they cannot grasp, but cling to anyway out of a desire to appears smarter than they are.

True dis-passion all the time is an impossibility if you actually have any opinions at all. I see far to many reasonable people get accused of irrational frothing, or reason hypocrisy because they become forceful or stern in their arguments... often a necessity, especially when our culture indulges the theist to throw any and all kind of vitriol they can think of at a non-believer.. and then it listens with sympathy when the theist claims persecution if the non-believer responds in kind.

Its similar to the religion trick. Accuse the atheist of "religion". Accuse them of irrationality while talking about resurrections and holy crackers. Accuse them of being mean after telling them they are amoral wretches.. or sometimes even that they caused the holocaust. Sometimes atheists are irrational and dogmatic. But it happens far less than one would think listening to most theists talk about atheists.



Enlightenment is a genuinely difficult thing, because it demands a desire for knowledge of what is good and true over the desire to corrupt such knowledge for your own ends.

I agree, it is profoundly difficult.



Science and religion are both based on faith in the idea that the universe is based on objective truths that can be sought and known, and that the pursuit of these truths will make us better for having made the attempt.

That assumption is held as axiomatic in science yes, and mostly in religions. They part ways when the religious introduce axioms about the existence of God or particular books being dictated by God. At that point, the have violated the axioms regarding objectivity and sit squarely in the company of the relativists... since they then must justify their 'God axioms' by saying since we cannot disprove them, it is reasonable to think they are valid.



Religion and science are both searches for truth. The real question, then, is not whether atheism is a religion, but what is the difference between a religion and a cult? To me, the answer is that the religion seeks truth, while the cult seeks power, pleasure, wealth or some other temporal reward under the guise of faith. That's the difference between the climatologist who seeks to genuinely understand the mechanisms of weather and the climatista who seeks to use science as a means of wielding power over others. It's the same thing in religion.


No gripes there. But if I may indulge in the fun for a second... if you can call climate change a religion, then you must really admit climate change denial has become its mirror image... sure there are those who have reasonable and decent arguments behind their opinions.. but the vast majority are the type that indignantly say stuff like this: "Pfffft!! It snowed in [insert some warm locale here] today!! What a hoax!!!"


The believer who seeks to understand the universe out of love for creation very different from the suicide bomber who seeks to impose his will on those who have rejected and shamed him by their refusal to bow before him. If your atheism is rooted in a genuine desire to understand the universe and find a philosophy of life that makes yours meaningful, then it's religious in nature, and I mean that in a positive way. If, on the other hand, it's just rage at the order of things and a desire to attack believers, then it will bring you no peace, and you will continue to tilt at windmills, churches and temples. Been there myself, and it sucked. I don't claim to know what the order of the universe is, but I do know that there are certain values that always seem to be associated with those that I consider good, and certain values that are obviously evil.

No, the only logical response to an unproveable thesis is to acknowledge that you don't know the answer, not that you know the answer to be wrong because you cannot prove it.

I do acknowledged that I don't have the answer.... hey... some religion out there might just actually be the one true religion. But an idea doesn't automatically get standing or credibility simply because it cannot be disproved.

MrsSmith
01-29-2009, 07:45 PM
Ravi Zacharias’ Address to the United Nations’ Prayer (http://www.lifewithoutlimbs.org/passionate-articles-details.php?articlesID=16)

>>>

What I want to say to you is, How do we understand what is morally right and what is morally wrong? As sobering as it is, as terrifying as it is, isn’t it true that for some, a year ago today was a good day, and for millions of others it was an evil day? How do we find out what is good and what is evil; what is moral and what is transcendently true, that which transcends our cultures?

Let me give you a hint. I was on a live radio program in Washington and I gave a simple syllogism to start the program: Objective moral values only exist if God exists. Number two, objective moral values do exist; therefore, God exists. Let me repeat it for you: Objective moral values only exist if God exists. Objective moral values do exist; therefore, God exists.

The telephone lines then lit up; I knew they would. I said to one man, “Challenge either my ability to give the argument or the assumptions there.” He said, “I deny your first premise that objective moral values do exist.” I said, “You deny it?” He said, “Yes.” I said, “Sir, so is it alright for me to be a racist? I can hate a man or a woman on the basis of his or her ethnicity? There are no objective moral values to that? That I can despise you or you can despise me purely on the basis of my ethnicity or yours, is that all right?”


>>>

How do we arrive at a moral law? Listen to the words of Kai Nielsen, the atheistic philosopher: “We have been unable to show that reason requires the moral point of view or that really rational persons need not be egoists or classical immoralists. Reason doesn’t decide here. The picture I have painted for you is not a pleasant one. Reflection on it depresses me. Pure practical reason, even with a good knowledge of the facts, will not take you to morality.”

>>>


Atheistic thinker Hobart Mowrer, one time president of the American Psychological Association, committed suicide in his eighties. He was one time professor at Harvard, instructor at Yale, earned a Ph.D. from Johns Hopkins, and he wrote these powerful words: “For several decades we psychologists looked upon the whole matter of sin and moral accountability as a great incubus and acclaimed our liberation from it as epoch making. But at length we have discovered that to be free in this sense, that is, to have the excuse of being sick rather than sinful, is to court the danger of also becoming lost. This danger is, I believe, betokened by the widespread interest in existentialism, which we are presently witnessing. In becoming amoral, ethically neutral and free, we have cut the very roots of our being, lost our deepest sense of selfhood and identity, and with neurotics, themselves, we find ourselves asking, ‘Who am I, what is my deepest destiny, what does living mean?’”


Objective moral values only exist if God exists. Number two, objective moral values do exist; therefore, God exists...


Great speech.

wilbur
01-29-2009, 08:02 PM
Objective moral values only exist if God exists. Number two, objective moral values do exist; therefore, God exists...


Great speech.

William Lane Craig makes the same argument.

The premise is not valid and easily dealt with. Objective moral values... moral values being systems or rules of conduct that generally aid or increase our well being, either collectively or individually (or both)... exist if an objective reality exists. There are behaviours that can be identified objectively that lead to betters results...Therefore there are objective morals, and therefore an objective reality exists.

One cannot reasonably contest that certain behaviours lead to better results... better results are generally results that align with our natural orientations... orientations towards survival, happiness, success etc. These rules are objective... can be divined by any human being simply by observing the universe, trying things and observing the results.. scientifically. This is sort of the consequentialist view.... one that I tend to agree with. What are objective morals, if not objective truths that aid in navigating an objective reality? They are necessary if there is any objective reality.

MrsSmith
01-29-2009, 10:09 PM
William Lane Craig makes the same argument.

The premise is not valid and easily dealt with. Objective moral values... moral values being systems or rules of conduct that generally aid or increase our well being, either collectively or individually (or both)... exist if an objective reality exists. There are behaviours that can be identified objectively that lead to betters results...Therefore there are objective morals, and therefore an objective reality exists.

One cannot reasonably contest that certain behaviours lead to better results... better results are generally results that align with our natural orientations... orientations towards survival, happiness, success etc. These rules are objective... can be divined by any human being simply by observing the universe, trying things and observing the results.. scientifically. This is sort of the consequentialist view.... one that I tend to agree with. What are objective morals, if not objective truths that aid in navigating an objective reality? They are necessary if there is any objective reality.

Yet you support the murder of the unborn, in direct contradiction to "natural orientations." (Which, of course, are only "natural" in Western Civilization due to the influence of Christianity, and not at all natural in human society as a whole.) Objective moral values that change from one culture to another are not objective.

Of course, then, you do agree that it's fine for a person to discrimate on the basis of race, since that is "natural," right?

wilbur
01-30-2009, 12:12 AM
Yet you support the murder of the unborn, in direct contradiction to "natural orientations." (Which, of course, are only "natural" in Western Civilization due to the influence of Christianity, and not at all natural in human society as a whole.) Objective moral values that change from one culture to another are not objective.


There might be more than one right way to do things.. but it doesnt mean each way isnt objectively a good, well way to live... and that there arent other objectively bad, harmful ways to live.

And not ALL morals (or things we may call morals, anyways) are objective...

RobJohnson
01-30-2009, 03:09 AM
We should just cut to the chase and start discussing abortion during the civil war and how it contributed to global warming and post-modern atheism.

LOL!!!

:D

The Night Owl
02-11-2009, 12:00 PM
Human beings like to believe they’re totally rational creatures. To take an extreme example, atheists are convinced they can prove that God doesn’t exist.

I'm an atheist and I'm convinced that I can't prove that God doesn't exist.

The Night Owl
02-11-2009, 12:02 PM
Yet you support the murder of the unborn, in direct contradiction to "natural orientations." (Which, of course, are only "natural" in Western Civilization due to the influence of Christianity, and not at all natural in human society as a whole.) Objective moral values that change from one culture to another are not objective.


Assuming that you are a US citizen and a taxpayer, one can argue that you, Mrs. Smith, support a government which allows what you consider to be the murder of the unborn.