Page 1 of 16 1234511 ... LastLast
Results 1 to 100 of 1507

Thread: Atheism vs. Religion

  1. #1

    Default Atheism vs. Religion

    This is the thread for debate. Leave my other thread for its original purpose, thanks.
    "Men never do evil so completely and cheerfully as when they do it from religious conviction" - Blaise Pascal

  2. #2

    Default

    To help Chmilz try and get his other thread on topic I'll dive into start this thread.

    Similar to armin:
    People can believe what they want as long as it doesn't affect me.
    I am perfectly happy to keep religious discussion out of my conversations and frankly haven't a clue what the beliefs of most I know are.

    The few that I do it is because they have brought it forward due to circumstances of a moment, (going for a drink-sorry I can't and that type of thing).

    I believe to each their own and as long as you don't make it my problem I don't have a concern (religious or atheist).

    I have experienced a fair variety of christian based religions over my life and due to various circumstances have a distaste for organized religion.

    But I do believe in something more and think the basic principals of the 10 commandments, by and large, are a pretty decent model to live by.

    Along with the whole "Do unto others as you would have them do unto you".

    For those that are devout and are part of organized religions...great, I am very happy that you have found a way to fill your desires and please all the power to you.

    To those that are atheist...same thing.

    But don't push etheir at me and I am happy.

    Tom

  3. #3
    In Guantanamo (Banned)
    Join Date
    Jan 2012
    Posts
    252

    Default

    Here's my take.

    Whether or not there has been intelligent design or a supreme-creator is a tiresome and ultimately semantic debate for children. If faith is necessary for a given man to live, then to dislodge it by reason is harmful; if not, attempts to impose faith pervert whatever hope is implicit in it when it properly exists.

    And hope is the key word in this discussion, intimately tied up to after-life survival. The denial of which is the single weakest point in the standard, tiresome, and hateful platform of the hitchens and the dawkins pygmies. Never mind psychiatric evidence that in no way precludes after-life survival and indeed supports it somewhat. Never mind the accumulated wisdom and tradition of the ages, taught by people kinder, stronger, and better than the dour and childish formula pushers who confuse their axioms with some kind of empirical truth. But simply put, ethics and morality as absolute guides to behavior do not exist without animal immortality. Oh you have ethics, you say. Actually that's completely debatable, but let's say you do. And so what. You die and vanish -- who cares. And that other person the mass murderer, pedophile, racist, coward, un-Canadian -- everything he does will have no effect after all.

    The denial of afterlife leaves us no hope whatever.

    Do I believe in what the churches teach? Some parts of it.
    Do I believe they teach some sort of "deeper truth"? Hell, no. There's nothing deep about it.

    Is there any difference beetween any of the monotheistic and pantheist cults? Only this. The more entities are granted the possibility of conscience, soul, and emotion, the more natural wisdom there is in the given cult.

    Am I theist? No.
    Am I atheist? No.
    Am I agnostic? No.

    Do I find the endless religion/atheism shouting match tedious beyond words and beyond tears? Yes.

    Do I know there is afterlife? No.

    Do I have hope? I want to.

  4. #4

    Default

    I'd just like to comment on those that argue that the 'burden on proof' is on the religious, I'd dissagree and say that the burden of proof is on the claimant. For example, if an atheist steps up to a believer and says "there is no god", the atheist carries the burden of proof because they're the one making the claim. Naturally the reverse is true if the believer makes the claim that there is a god.

    I mean this on a person to person basis by the way.

  5. #5

    Default

    Leading atheist believes in a superior being of higher intelligence.

    Advocating a better Edmonton through effective, efficient and economical transit.

  6. #6

    Default

    Crude, but the basic premise is valid...


  7. #7
    First One is Always Free
    Join Date
    Jan 2008
    Location
    St. Albert, Alberta
    Posts
    36

    Default

    For those who were not able to use the link Edmonton PRT provided, here is another version of the same interview:

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GlZtEjtlirc

    Quote Originally Posted by Edmonton PRT View Post
    Leading atheist believes in a superior being of higher intelligence.
    Richard Dawkins does not assert that he believes in a superior being or "god." At the end of the interview, he even goes on record saying that he does not believe in any god any where.

    If you have listened to Ben Stein as much as I have, he typically asks atheists loaded questions to try and make a point. He's performed similar logical fallacies on the late Christopher Hitchens and others in his documentary "Expelled."

    It appears that Richard Dawkins toys with the idea of exploring intelligent design. Although I'm not sure how old this interview is, Richard Dawkins has gone on record saying that he no longer debates intelligent design believers / creationists because there is nothing to debate. Evolution continues to win the argument hands down.
    Against everything that supports status quo.
    http://twitter.com/LeePasternak

  8. #8
    First One is Always Free
    Join Date
    Jan 2008
    Location
    St. Albert, Alberta
    Posts
    36

    Default

    Are the Ten Commandments a model to live by? It's a rather short list if it's considered to be a model to live by. The first four commandments don't have anything to do with morals or ethical codes of conduct. But rather they point to a jealous and paranoid god and the fourth commandment is merely an order for Christians to follow.

    "Thou shalt have no other gods before me."

    "Thou shalt not make for thyself an idol."

    "Thou shalt not use the Lord's name in vain."

    "Thou shalt keep the Sabbath holy."
    Against everything that supports status quo.
    http://twitter.com/LeePasternak

  9. #9

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by lat View Post
    Crude, but the basic premise is valid...

    Atheism is a cult. LOL
    Advocating a better Edmonton through effective, efficient and economical transit.

  10. #10

    Default

    cult
    Noun:
    A system of religious veneration and devotion directed toward a particular figure or object.
    A relatively small group of people having religious beliefs or practices regarded by others as strange or sinister.

  11. #11

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by lpasternak1 View Post
    Are the Ten Commandments a model to live by? It's a rather short list if it's considered to be a model to live by. The first four commandments don't have anything to do with morals or ethical codes of conduct. But rather they point to a jealous and paranoid god and the fourth commandment is merely an order for Christians to follow.

    "Thou shalt have no other gods before me."

    "Thou shalt not make for thyself an idol."

    "Thou shalt not use the Lord's name in vain."

    "Thou shalt keep the Sabbath holy."
    OFFS

    Did you miss this part of the comment
    the basic principals of the 10 commandments, by and large, are a pretty decent model to live by.

  12. #12

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by lat View Post
    cult
    Noun:
    A system of religious veneration and devotion directed toward a particular figure or object.
    A relatively small group of people having religious beliefs or practices regarded by others as strange or sinister.
    Some people are devote atheists
    Advocating a better Edmonton through effective, efficient and economical transit.

  13. #13
    never answered e-mail
    Join Date
    Mar 2008
    Location
    Edmonton, AB
    Posts
    656

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Edmonton PRT View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by lat View Post
    cult
    Noun:
    A system of religious veneration and devotion directed toward a particular figure or object.
    A relatively small group of people having religious beliefs or practices regarded by others as strange or sinister.
    Some people are devote atheists
    Some people are devoted to the their favourite TV show or brand of pop, I wouldn't call them a cult. In anyone with firm positions or points-of-view qualify as a "cult" then the word loses any kind of specific meaning. I'm a trekkie, can tell you the name of each an episode just by watching a minute or two. And I certainly know which ones are my favourites, and if you ask me (really, please don't) I'll happily talk about them for hours. Does that make me the member of a cult?

  14. #14

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Edmonton PRT View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by lat View Post
    cult
    Noun:
    A system of religious veneration and devotion directed toward a particular figure or object.
    A relatively small group of people having religious beliefs or practices regarded by others as strange or sinister.
    Some people are devote atheists
    See bolded text.

  15. #15

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Thomas Hinderks View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by lpasternak1 View Post
    Are the Ten Commandments a model to live by? It's a rather short list if it's considered to be a model to live by. The first four commandments don't have anything to do with morals or ethical codes of conduct. But rather they point to a jealous and paranoid god and the fourth commandment is merely an order for Christians to follow.

    "Thou shalt have no other gods before me."

    "Thou shalt not make for thyself an idol."

    "Thou shalt not use the Lord's name in vain."

    "Thou shalt keep the Sabbath holy."
    OFFS

    Did you miss this part of the comment
    the basic principals of the 10 commandments, by and large, are a pretty decent model to live by.
    Funny, I don't much care for that list and yet I live a good life, and by most definitions, "moral".
    "Men never do evil so completely and cheerfully as when they do it from religious conviction" - Blaise Pascal

  16. #16

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by lpasternak1 View Post
    "Thou shalt have no other gods before me."

    "Thou shalt not make for thyself an idol."

    "Thou shalt not use the Lord's name in vain."

    "Thou shalt keep the Sabbath holy."
    Yeah, if you aren't a religious person, the first 4 commandments mean nothing. Even the 5th commandment, honoring your father and mother, is a debatable one.


    However, any moral person would agree that the last 5 commandments are good for a functioning society.

  17. #17

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Chmilz View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by Thomas Hinderks View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by lpasternak1 View Post
    Are the Ten Commandments a model to live by? It's a rather short list if it's considered to be a model to live by. The first four commandments don't have anything to do with morals or ethical codes of conduct. But rather they point to a jealous and paranoid god and the fourth commandment is merely an order for Christians to follow.

    "Thou shalt have no other gods before me."

    "Thou shalt not make for thyself an idol."

    "Thou shalt not use the Lord's name in vain."

    "Thou shalt keep the Sabbath holy."
    OFFS

    Did you miss this part of the comment
    the basic principals of the 10 commandments, by and large, are a pretty decent model to live by.
    Funny, I don't much care for that list and yet I live a good life, and by most definitions, "moral".
    Mr Oilers gets it but for select others once more for effect:
    the basic principals

  18. #18

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by lat View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by Edmonton PRT View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by lat View Post
    cult
    Noun:
    A system of religious veneration and devotion directed toward a particular figure or object.
    A relatively small group of people having religious beliefs or practices regarded by others as strange or sinister.
    Some people are devote atheists
    See bolded text.
    Chill out lat Read my post again, the point in bold.

    Atheism is a cult. LOL
    Advocating a better Edmonton through effective, efficient and economical transit.

  19. #19
    I'd rather C2E than work!
    Join Date
    Feb 2009
    Location
    Westmount, Edmonton
    Posts
    5,326

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by lpasternak1 View Post
    For those who were not able to use the link Edmonton PRT provided, here is another version of the same interview:

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GlZtEjtlirc

    Quote Originally Posted by Edmonton PRT View Post
    Leading atheist believes in a superior being of higher intelligence.
    Richard Dawkins does not assert that he believes in a superior being or "god." At the end of the interview, he even goes on record saying that he does not believe in any god any where.

    If you have listened to Ben Stein as much as I have, he typically asks atheists loaded questions to try and make a point. He's performed similar logical fallacies on the late Christopher Hitchens and others in his documentary "Expelled."

    It appears that Richard Dawkins toys with the idea of exploring intelligent design. Although I'm not sure how old this interview is, Richard Dawkins has gone on record saying that he no longer debates intelligent design believers / creationists because there is nothing to debate. Evolution continues to win the argument hands down.
    Dawkins has a lengthy post about this interview on his blog:

    http://richarddawkins.net/articles/2394

    In the portion clipped here Dawkins says he engaged in a thought experiment as to whether life could have been seeded here by another intelligence. He says it is possible but, in the part Stein left out, that intelligence would still have to have evolved somehow. The problem that ID always skips away from is that, if we are too complex to have evolved, then the same should hold true for our designer.

    Finally, the problem with Ben Stein's expelled is that he Godwin's the debate. The underlying premise is that Darwinism and atheists caused the Holocaust. To that end he tries to convince people that current atheists believe the Holocaust was a good thing, which patently untrue. It's a propaganda piece aimed at demonizing atheists as amoral mass murderers. It's as ridiculous as it is offensive.

    "For every complex problem there is an answer that is clear, simple, and wrong"

  20. #20

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Edmonton PRT View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by lat View Post
    cult
    Noun:
    A system of religious veneration and devotion directed toward a particular figure or object.
    A relatively small group of people having religious beliefs or practices regarded by others as strange or sinister.
    Some people are devote atheists
    Some people create straw man ideas of what an atheist is.

  21. #21

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by c--b View Post
    I'd just like to comment on those that argue that the 'burden on proof' is on the religious, I'd dissagree and say that the burden of proof is on the claimant. For example, if an atheist steps up to a believer and says "there is no god", the atheist carries the burden of proof because they're the one making the claim. Naturally the reverse is true if the believer makes the claim that there is a god.

    I mean this on a person to person basis by the way.
    If I were to attempt to persuade a believer that there is no god and that they should be atheist, then yes, it is upon me to support my position with facts and reasoned arguments. However, I cannot prove a negative.

    Now, telling me to prove myself to you simply because I am an atheist - sorry, the burden of proof is on those claiming there is a god.

  22. #22
    First One is Always Free
    Join Date
    Jan 2008
    Location
    St. Albert, Alberta
    Posts
    36

    Default

    Tom,

    I wasn't attacking your position but rather attacking the list itself. But I do send regards. And I do thank you for your condescending assumptions.
    Last edited by lpasternak1; 31-01-2012 at 11:54 AM.
    Against everything that supports status quo.
    http://twitter.com/LeePasternak

  23. #23

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by c--b View Post
    I'd just like to comment on those that argue that the 'burden on proof' is on the religious, I'd dissagree and say that the burden of proof is on the claimant. For example, if an atheist steps up to a believer and says "there is no god", the atheist carries the burden of proof because they're the one making the claim. Naturally the reverse is true if the believer makes the claim that there is a god.

    I mean this on a person to person basis by the way.
    It's a Black Swan argument. See Talib's book for a better description but, when all people ever saw were white swans, black swans were thought an impossibility. It's very tough to prove something is an impossibility. In terms of superior beings, it's almost irrational to say they can or can't exist when we consider what else we don't know about the universe.

    Similarly, questions like; What's beyond the edge of the universe, is there even a beyond the edge of the universe, are there other universes, etc., are hard for us to definitively prove one way or the other. Proving the existence of some omnipotent entity that might exist but doesn't want to be known to exist, at least beyond any shadow of a doubt in everyones mind, would also be beyond our capabilities.

    Hence someone invented the word "faith".

  24. #24
    In Guantanamo (Banned)
    Join Date
    Jan 2012
    Posts
    252

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by KC View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by c--b View Post
    I'd just like to comment on those that argue that the 'burden on proof' is on the religious, I'd dissagree and say that the burden of proof is on the claimant. For example, if an atheist steps up to a believer and says "there is no god", the atheist carries the burden of proof because they're the one making the claim. Naturally the reverse is true if the believer makes the claim that there is a god.

    I mean this on a person to person basis by the way.
    It's a Black Swan argument. See Talib's book for a better description but, when all people ever saw were white swans, black swans were thought an impossibility. It's very tough to prove something is an impossibility. In terms of superior beings, it's almost irrational to say they can or can't exist when we consider what else we don't know about the universe.

    Similarly, questions like; What's beyond the edge of the universe, is there even a beyond the edge of the universe, are there other universes, etc., are hard for us to definitively prove one way or the other. Proving the existence of some omnipotent entity that might exist but doesn't want to be known to exist, at least beyond any shadow of a doubt in everyones mind, would also be beyond our capabilities.

    Hence someone invented the word "faith".
    Very well put.

    I'd like to add this: to destroy faith by preaching its negation (either way) is a particularly nasty crime. It destroys hope.

  25. #25
    First One is Always Free
    Join Date
    Jan 2008
    Location
    St. Albert, Alberta
    Posts
    36

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Edmonton PRT View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by lat View Post
    Crude, but the basic premise is valid...

    Atheism is a cult. LOL
    Hardly a cult.
    Last edited by lpasternak1; 31-01-2012 at 11:51 AM.
    Against everything that supports status quo.
    http://twitter.com/LeePasternak

  26. #26
    In Guantanamo (Banned)
    Join Date
    Jan 2012
    Posts
    252

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by lpasternak1 View Post
    Hardly a cult.
    Not exactly.

    The main characteristics of a cult are:

    (1) A set of unverifiable beliefs. Both theism and its negation qualify.

    (2) A set of rituals. Both the worship ceremonies and the prescribed scientific method qualify.

    (3) A charismatic leader. One man's Ratzinger is another man's Hitchens.

    (4) A tendency to proselytize. 'Nuff said.

    (5) A consequent set of normative ethics. 'Nuff said.

    (6) A tendency for the cultists to deny they are in a cult. As you said.

    A cult.

  27. #27

    Default

    And the theory of evolution is not a law. It is a theory.

    I believe in the theory but there are many unexplained issues. I believe in God but there are many unexplained issues.
    Advocating a better Edmonton through effective, efficient and economical transit.

  28. #28

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Arsoys View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by lpasternak1 View Post
    Hardly a cult.
    Not exactly.

    The main characteristics of a cult are:

    (1) A set of unverifiable beliefs. Both theism and its negation qualify.

    (2) A set of rituals. Both the worship ceremonies and the prescribed scientific method qualify.

    (3) A charismatic leader. One man's Ratzinger is another man's Hitchens.

    (4) A tendency to proselytize. 'Nuff said.

    (5) A consequent set of normative ethics. 'Nuff said.

    (6) A tendency for the cultists to deny they are in a cult. As you said.

    A cult.
    Yet more straw man assumptions about what an atheist is.

    OK, here's the truth. Every morning, I wake up and perform the scientific method in front of my icons of Christopher Hitchens and Richard Dawkins. Three times a day, I face the direction of England (the home country of both Hitchens and Dawkins) and repeat "There is no god" 15 times.

    When faced with a difficult question, I ask myself, "WWDD," or "What would Darwin do?"

    My fellow atheists and I gather twice weekly in a community hall basement and together we read Origin of the Species and again, perform the scientific method. Then we dress in black suit and tie to go door-to-door sharing pamphlets about the glory of evolutionary theory.

    Because we don't believe in god, we are free to ignore the 10 commandments. Thus, we often engage in sprees of hitting on our neighbours' wives and murdering innocents, whilst shouting, "God damn!"

    I end each day the same way I begin: conducting the scientific method in front of my twin icons of Dawkins and Hitchens.

  29. #29
    In Guantanamo (Banned)
    Join Date
    Jan 2012
    Posts
    252

    Default

    Actually, Dusty Bear, your cultism manifests itself in another, less elegant way. Even if you never once performed the rituals you've just admitted to performing.

    You sneer at the "foibles" of the believers. The fact you admit these foibles gives "us atheists" plenty to talk about clearly demonstrates your opinion of self-superiority.

    Which is the zeroth characteristic of a cult, the one I omitted to mention.

    By the way, my argument was not straw man. You could not reply at all to four of the six points. The major ones.
    Last edited by Arsoys; 31-01-2012 at 12:38 PM.

  30. #30

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Arsoys View Post
    Actually, Dusty Bear, your cultism manifests itself in another, less elegant way. Even if you never once performed the rituals you've just admitted to performing.

    You sneer at the "foibles" of the believers. The fact you admit these foibles gives "us atheists" plenty to talk about clearly demonstrates your opinion of self-superiority.

    Which the zeroth characteristic of a cult, the one I omitted to mention.

    By the way, my argument was not straw man. You could not reply at all to four of the six points. The major ones.
    Too bad you can't recognize a tongue in cheek comment when you see one.

  31. #31
    In Guantanamo (Banned)
    Join Date
    Jan 2012
    Posts
    252

    Default

    Irony is the last refuge of the incompetent arguer.

  32. #32
    never answered e-mail
    Join Date
    Mar 2008
    Location
    Edmonton, AB
    Posts
    656

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Dusty Bear View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by Arsoys View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by lpasternak1 View Post
    Hardly a cult.
    Not exactly.

    The main characteristics of a cult are:

    (1) A set of unverifiable beliefs. Both theism and its negation qualify.

    (2) A set of rituals. Both the worship ceremonies and the prescribed scientific method qualify.

    (3) A charismatic leader. One man's Ratzinger is another man's Hitchens.

    (4) A tendency to proselytize. 'Nuff said.

    (5) A consequent set of normative ethics. 'Nuff said.

    (6) A tendency for the cultists to deny they are in a cult. As you said.

    A cult.
    Yet more straw man assumptions about what an atheist is.

    OK, here's the truth. Every morning, I wake up and perform the scientific method in front of my icons of Christopher Hitchens and Richard Dawkins. Three times a day, I face the direction of England (the home country of both Hitchens and Dawkins) and repeat "There is no god" 15 times.

    When faced with a difficult question, I ask myself, "WWDD," or "What would Darwin do?"

    My fellow atheists and I gather twice weekly in a community hall basement and together we read Origin of the Species and again, perform the scientific method. Then we dress in black suit and tie to go door-to-door sharing pamphlets about the glory of evolutionary theory.

    Because we don't believe in god, we are free to ignore the 10 commandments. Thus, we often engage in sprees of hitting on our neighbours' wives and murdering innocents, whilst shouting, "God damn!"

    I end each day the same way I begin: conducting the scientific method in front of my twin icons of Dawkins and Hitchens.
    LOL

    If you use icons you must be a Catholic atheist. Us Protestant atheists don't bother, but we do sing more.

    By the way, I've been meaning to ask, when you celebrate communion, do you really believe the wine literally becomes the ink from Darwin's fountain pen? I've always wanted to know.

  33. #33
    In Guantanamo (Banned)
    Join Date
    Jan 2012
    Posts
    252

    Default

    Ah Jeremy. Such a deep question. The answer, with no irony whatever, is yes.

  34. #34

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Arsoys View Post
    Irony is the last refuge of the incompetent arguer.
    Whoa, got me there. So let me take it bit more seriously.

    (1) A set of unverifiable beliefs. Both theism and its negation qualify.

    I can't prove definitively god doesn't exist. Mind you, I can't prove the spaghetti monster doesn't either. I didn't invent either concept, so I don't need to disprove them. Put simply, I have not seen evidence god exists, thus I don't believe in one.

    (2) A set of rituals. Both the worship ceremonies and the prescribed scientific method qualify.

    A gross misunderstanding of scientific method. Did you know that the scientific method not only requires evidence, it demands that its conclusions be challenged? I have no idea what you mean by worship ceremonies. Are you assuming we all bow down to Hitchens and Dawkins? Not even close.

    (3) A charismatic leader. One man's Ratzinger is another man's Hitchens.

    Again, not even close. Sure, there are probably some mindless automatons who blindly follow the word of Hitch, but I don't agree with a lot of things he's said and done. Whereas the pope is supposed to represent god on earth.

    (4) A tendency to proselytize. 'Nuff said.

    Aside from these two recent threads, I mostly keep it to myself. As do most atheists I know.

    (5) A consequent set of normative ethics. 'Nuff said.

    You'll have to explain what you mean by this. "'Nuff said" isn't exactly proving your argument.

    (6) A tendency for the cultists to deny they are in a cult. As you said.

    There's no winning this one. Whether I admit or deny it, QED I'm in a cult. It's a fallacious argument.

  35. #35
    In Guantanamo (Banned)
    Join Date
    Jan 2012
    Posts
    252

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Dusty Bear View Post
    I can't prove definitively god doesn't exist. Mind you, I can't prove the spaghetti monster doesn't either. I didn't invent either concept, so I don't need to disprove them. Put simply, I have not seen evidence god exists, thus I don't believe in one.
    Logically, if both G and its negation ~G are unprovable within formal system R, both R U { G } and R U { ~G } are valid formal systems.

    A gross misunderstanding of scientific method. Did you know that the scientific method not only requires evidence, it demands that its conclusions be challenged? I have no idea what you mean by worship ceremonies. Are you assuming we all bow down to Hitchens and Dawkins? Not even close.
    By worship ceremonies I meant exclusively the liturgies and the standardized prayers of the various theist cults. The reason I made these equivalent to the scientific method is as follows.

    RC statement: There is no salvation outside the church.
    Scientism: Empirical positivism (the scientific method) is the only path to knowledge.

    The parallel is obvious.

    Again, not even close. Sure, there are probably some mindless automatons who blindly follow the word of Hitch, but I don't agree with a lot of things he's said and done. Whereas the pope is supposed to represent god on earth.
    Hitchens claimed there is no afterlife. Ratzinger claims a virgin birth. Both statements are unverifiable. Both men are cited as authorities by those who agree with each. Both are criticized in some of their statements by some of their nominal followers.

    By the way, if my continued use of RC christianity is tiresome, substitute any other religion/leader at will.

    Likewise Hitchens and any other militant "skeptic".

    Aside from these two recent threads, I mostly keep [proselytization] to myself. As do most atheists I know.
    The publication of books such as "God is not Great" qualifies. Has qualified for entire millennia.

    You'll have to explain what you mean by this. "'Nuff said" isn't exactly proving your argument.
    Explanation. I meant that both theists and atheists base the verifiably observable fact that human societies adopt remarkably similar moral codes (with due allowances for who exactly gets to benefit from these) on respectively the axiom G and the axiom ~G, both equally valid logically as above.

    There's no winning this one. Whether I admit or deny it, QED I'm in a cult. It's a fallacious argument.
    No, it's not a fallacious argument. It's a trivial argument. Which makes it no less true.

  36. #36
    I'd rather C2E than work!
    Join Date
    Feb 2009
    Location
    Westmount, Edmonton
    Posts
    5,326

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Edmonton PRT View Post
    And the theory of evolution is not a law. It is a theory.
    That's the equivalent of saying a tree is not a branch. Scientific laws are constituent components of scientific theories which are, in turn, proven hypotheses.

    Of course there isn't one "Theory of Evolution", there are a set of theories and hypotheses all based around Darwin's starting point of natural selection. These theories and hypotheses have been continually researched, updated, and expanded upon over the last 170 years.

    While it's true that not every detail has been explained that does not change the fact the evidence in favour of natural selection and evolution is enormous. The fact that evolution and natural selection occur is proven in the sense that for it to be wrong would require a centuries worth of research and data to all be wrong.

    One could say that nothing short of the Second Coming could disprove it.

    "For every complex problem there is an answer that is clear, simple, and wrong"

  37. #37
    In Guantanamo (Banned)
    Join Date
    Jan 2012
    Posts
    252

    Default

    The fact that the hypothesis of natural selection is not falsifiable, as you wrote above, is exactly what makes it unscientific within empirical positivism.

    Actually a large number of other non-intelligent-design hypotheses retaining the transmutation of species in time have been proposed. These include punctuated equilibrium, genetic drift, and various others. They are not Darwinian.

    The continued attacks on Darwin and the continued support of Darwin are both equally tiresome.

  38. #38

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Edmonton PRT View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by lat View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by Edmonton PRT View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by lat View Post
    cult
    Noun:
    A system of religious veneration and devotion directed toward a particular figure or object.
    A relatively small group of people having religious beliefs or practices regarded by others as strange or sinister.
    Some people are devote atheists
    See bolded text.
    Chill out lat Read my post again, the point in bold.

    Atheism is a cult. LOL
    I'm chill, you're just not funny.

    LOL

    Edit:

    Now, THIS guy is funny!

    Last edited by lat; 31-01-2012 at 02:13 PM.

  39. #39
    I'd rather C2E than work!
    Join Date
    Feb 2009
    Location
    Westmount, Edmonton
    Posts
    5,326

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Arsoys View Post
    The fact that the hypothesis of natural selection is not falsifiable, as you wrote above, is exactly what makes it unscientific within empirical positivism.
    Natural selection is falsifiable and was held as such by Karl Popper himself. Popper did raise the issue that natural selection is extremely difficult to directly test however there are plenty of potential observations that could disprove it. Perhaps the simplest example would be if we found fossils of modern species from millions of years ago. It easy to come up with a wide variety of possibilities that, if observed, would disprove natural selection. To date there have been none.

    BTW, ascribing all of evolutionary theory to Darwin is disingenuous and seems aimed at trivializing it as the work of one man. The fact of the matter is that thousands of scientists over 160 years have extended our understanding of evolution to the point that Darwin would barely recognize it.

    "For every complex problem there is an answer that is clear, simple, and wrong"

  40. #40

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Paul Turnbull View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by Arsoys View Post
    The fact that the hypothesis of natural selection is not falsifiable, as you wrote above, is exactly what makes it unscientific within empirical positivism.
    Natural selection is falsifiable and was held as such by Karl Popper himself. Popper did raise the issue that natural selection is extremely difficult to directly test however there are plenty of potential observations that could disprove it. Perhaps the simplest example would be if we found fossils of modern species from millions of years ago. It easy to come up with a wide variety of possibilities that, if observed, would disprove natural selection. To date there have been none.

    BTW, ascribing all of evolutionary theory to Darwin is disingenuous and seems aimed at trivializing it as the work of one man. The fact of the matter is that thousands of scientists over 160 years have extended our understanding of evolution to the point that Darwin would barely recognize it.
    Honestly, this is an argument that you can't win.

    I think that's Arsoys's point. You can argue till you're blue in the face on evolutionary studies but many people just won't accept that as 100% tangible proof that god doesn't exist.

    On the other side, you can scream 'god is real', all you want, but without sufficient evidence, people aren't really obligated to accept your opinion as fact.

    You're wasting your time.

    Arsoys's attitude is the closest to mine. I understand the idea of 'hope', in that maybe there is a heaven and people will be reunited, but to spend your days lingering and dwelling on the issue is wasteful to one's time spent alive.

  41. #41
    I'd rather C2E than work!
    Join Date
    Feb 2009
    Location
    Westmount, Edmonton
    Posts
    5,326

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by armin View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by Paul Turnbull View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by Arsoys View Post
    The fact that the hypothesis of natural selection is not falsifiable, as you wrote above, is exactly what makes it unscientific within empirical positivism.
    Natural selection is falsifiable and was held as such by Karl Popper himself. Popper did raise the issue that natural selection is extremely difficult to directly test however there are plenty of potential observations that could disprove it. Perhaps the simplest example would be if we found fossils of modern species from millions of years ago. It easy to come up with a wide variety of possibilities that, if observed, would disprove natural selection. To date there have been none.

    BTW, ascribing all of evolutionary theory to Darwin is disingenuous and seems aimed at trivializing it as the work of one man. The fact of the matter is that thousands of scientists over 160 years have extended our understanding of evolution to the point that Darwin would barely recognize it.
    Honestly, this is an argument that you can't win.

    I think that's Arsoys's point. You can argue till you're blue in the face on evolutionary studies but many people just won't accept that as 100% tangible proof that god doesn't exist.

    On the other side, you can scream 'god is real', all you want, but without sufficient evidence, people aren't really obligated to accept your opinion as fact.

    You're wasting your time.

    Arsoys's attitude is the closest to mine. I understand the idea of 'hope', in that maybe there is a heaven and people will be reunited, but to spend your days lingering and dwelling on the issue is wasteful to one's time spent alive.
    I don't have to convince Arsoy to win. I participate in these kinds of debates because ceding the floor to an idea is to give it dominance. I don't tend to start these conversations but I do feel it's important that certain points get made and errors of fact addressed. Everything that happens online has an audience.

    I'm also not arguing in favour of evolution to disprove the existence of a god. With the exception of the young earth creationists the two have very little to do with each other. For example the Catholic Church officially accepts evolution.

    "For every complex problem there is an answer that is clear, simple, and wrong"

  42. #42

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Dusty Bear View Post
    (6) A tendency for the cultists to deny they are in a cult. As you said.

    There's no winning this one. Whether I admit or deny it, QED I'm in a cult. It's a fallacious argument.
    Reminds me of the Salem witch trials. The crazy people that accused women of being witches and then killed them developed a perfect test:

    Throw them in water. Only witches float on water. So if the woman swims, they kill her. If she drowns, she dies. There's no winning regardless of the truth.
    "Men never do evil so completely and cheerfully as when they do it from religious conviction" - Blaise Pascal

  43. #43

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by KC View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by c--b View Post
    I'd just like to comment on those that argue that the 'burden on proof' is on the religious, I'd dissagree and say that the burden of proof is on the claimant. For example, if an atheist steps up to a believer and says "there is no god", the atheist carries the burden of proof because they're the one making the claim. Naturally the reverse is true if the believer makes the claim that there is a god.

    I mean this on a person to person basis by the way.
    It's a Black Swan argument. See Talib's book for a better description but, when all people ever saw were white swans, black swans were thought an impossibility. It's very tough to prove something is an impossibility. In terms of superior beings, it's almost irrational to say they can or can't exist when we consider what else we don't know about the universe.

    Similarly, questions like; What's beyond the edge of the universe, is there even a beyond the edge of the universe, are there other universes, etc., are hard for us to definitively prove one way or the other. Proving the existence of some omnipotent entity that might exist but doesn't want to be known to exist, at least beyond any shadow of a doubt in everyones mind, would also be beyond our capabilities.

    Hence someone invented the word "faith".
    I might be wrong, but the term 'burden of proof' has nothing to do whether a claim can or can't be proven, I'm simply saying that if you claim something, it is your duty to provide evidence supporting it; whether you can or can't to the audiences satisfaction is beside the point.

    It's just naive to say that a person should prove a point to your satisfaction, when they're perfectly satisfied with the explanation they've found to their own satisfaction when you are in fact the one bringing up the topic and making the claim.

    Ironically enough I'm actually not at all religious, it just irks me when logic is used in an impractical and unworkable manner.

  44. #44

    Default

    I am atheist, but I assure you there is no cult. Unless you consider my wife and I a cult.

  45. #45
    First One is Always Free
    Join Date
    Jan 2008
    Location
    St. Albert, Alberta
    Posts
    36

    Default

    Do we have free will because God made us have it? Or do we have free will because God says so? Like so many other things, even the idea of “free” is restricted by organized religion.

    A much more solid argument can be made that religion actually promotes anti-freedom. It tells people what they can and cannot eat and on which day. Religion dictates when one can engage in sexual relations and with whom. And it censors what sort of books followers can read; that is if they are even allowed to learn how to read in the first place.

    Religion even goes as far as saying why people do good deeds. Be good and reap the rewards in heaven. Be bad and be exiled to eternal damnation in hell. Can’t people just be inherently good? Religion appears to make one seem selfish. Yet it makes one out to be selfish through negative reinforcement.

    It is the ultimate irony that those who represent a loving and merciful God would resort to scare tactics and fear mongering when they encounter non-believers or those of other religious affiliations. Religion has been responsible for several wars and violent acts of discrimination. Witch hunts in Africa occur to this day. Homosexuals face the death penalty in countries around the globe. Teenage rape victims are prohibited from seeking abortions because their religion says so. Priests molest boys on a somewhat daily basis. Genital mutilation is performed on babies without restraint in the form of circumcision not only on boys, but girls as well. Terrorists strap bombs to their chests or drive cargo vans into embassies under the false pretense that they will be heroes and will have orgies in heaven with virgins. All of this is done in the name of religion.

    There are so many different religions out there that make the claim if one does not believe in their doctrine, they will be sent to hell. If that’s the case, wouldn’t we all go to hell? The fact that there are hundreds of different religions in existence today really makes a compelling argument that religion is a manmade institution. Which god is the right god?

    And where is this all loving and merciful God? There is no evidence I see which would point to a God. Even miracles are curious. A whole town has to burn down for its now homeless residents to find that the school remains untarnished. A child has to suffer months to a disease or cancer only to have it go in remission. Some miracles these are. Only after pain, suffering, and destruction will God show his love for us. He appears to have a rather twisted sense of humor.

    Atheism is the proverbial square one. It does not claim that there is no god. Rather, it is skeptical of claims that there is one unless compelling evidence shows otherwise. It does not believe in fairy tales. There are no gods here. There are no rituals. There are not even a concrete set of morals, ethics or political stances that atheists can unanimously adhere to.
    The very essence of atheism is to be free. There is no agenda. There are no institutions or places of worship. Atheists can see the beauty in the natural world. No eternally burning bushes, talking snakes, big bosses in the sky, or magic tricks required.

    “Is God willing but not able? Then he is not omnipotent.

    Is He able but not willing? Then he is malevolent.

    Is He able and willing? Then whence commeth evil?

    Is He neither able nor willing? Then why call him God?”

    -Epicurus.
    Last edited by lpasternak1; 31-01-2012 at 11:44 PM.
    Against everything that supports status quo.
    http://twitter.com/LeePasternak

  46. #46

    Default

    When religion is used to force women to bear the child of their rapists, it's lost all touch with reality. Rick Santorum, U.S. Presidential candidate and former US Congressman believes that if a woman gets pregnant due to a rape, the child is "a gift from god" and she must bring it to term. What sort of god would give someone a "gift" like this? Since god wants her to have the child, would the next step be not allowing her to give it up after the child is born? How can any religion possibly think that rape is the act of a loving god?

    The choice should be up to the woman herself, not someone who's looking to further their political and religious agenda. If she decides to keep the child, more power to her. Either way, it's not an easy decision but it should be hers to decide.

    http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/arti...#ixzz1kVpThO3q

  47. #47

    Default

    What I see in this discussion is:

    1) Highly targeted to the "Christian" side of religious beliefs.
    Is that because of the fact that our laws, society etc has been founded on them making them easier to criticize?
    Or political correctness?

    2) The arguments target the details within the interpretations of organized religion not the actual concept of...something else?

    Being someone that doesn't not par take of organized religion, but still has a belief "system" (might not be the right word) or my own I could care less of the details within them.

    Interesting
    Last edited by Thomas Hinderks; 01-02-2012 at 10:32 AM. Reason: Format

  48. #48
    First One is Always Free
    Join Date
    Jan 2008
    Location
    St. Albert, Alberta
    Posts
    36

    Default

    The only flaw with Arsoy's argument is that it is a generalization.
    Against everything that supports status quo.
    http://twitter.com/LeePasternak

  49. #49
    I'd rather C2E than work!
    Join Date
    Feb 2009
    Location
    Westmount, Edmonton
    Posts
    5,326

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by lpasternak1 View Post
    The only flaw with Arsoy's argument is that it is a generalization.
    More than that. He generalizes to the point rendering the words meaningless as well avoiding inconvenient points.

    For example, his first point that a cult has a set of unverifiable beliefs and that theism and its negation both qualify ignores that while a belief may never be completely verifiable it can have a preponderance of evidence. Atheisms position would be that there is no evidence for a god while there is a lot of evidence that a god is not required to explain the universe.

    By claiming the scientific method is a ritual he broadens the definition of the word to include not just a series of specific actions performed primarily for symbolic reasons to a method or set of rules to accomplish a task. Is cooking a ritual? Is building a house a ritual?

    He also neglects that in a cult everyone follows the charismatic leader. Many atheists do not care at all about Hitchens or Dawkins and many believe they have done more harm than good. Now if he wanted to argue that there is something akin to a cult of personality around Hitchens or Dawkins that would make more sense.

    It's also worth noting he also leaves out other major characteristics of cults: organization and coercive persuasion. There is no atheistic movement that isolating people from their friends and families, giving them new identities tied to the group, or entrapping them.

    Arsoys is calling atheism a cult because the word has connotations that will upset people not because atheism conforms to any standard definition of what a cult is.

    "For every complex problem there is an answer that is clear, simple, and wrong"

  50. #50
    In Guantanamo (Banned)
    Join Date
    Jan 2012
    Posts
    252

    Default

    I am calling atheism a cult primarily because of the superiority atheists feel toward theists.

    I use Christianity as the example because it is the most familiar one. Take any other cult whatever, nothing would change.

    All the rest is very tiresome.
    Last edited by Arsoys; 01-02-2012 at 12:06 PM.

  51. #51

    Default

    ^Why wouldn't we? Atheists are right and have millions of years of evidence to back it up, and theists are wrong and have zero evidence at all. It's a comically lopsided fight.
    "Men never do evil so completely and cheerfully as when they do it from religious conviction" - Blaise Pascal

  52. #52
    In Guantanamo (Banned)
    Join Date
    Jan 2012
    Posts
    252

    Default

    ALL of the science is perfectly consistent with the idea that someone somewhere once said make-it-so. And no amount of self-stroking will change that, or convince anyone of anything except that you are probably wrong.

    Even if you are probably not.

  53. #53
    Partially Addicted to C2E
    Join Date
    Jan 2012
    Location
    Downtown Edmonton
    Posts
    369

    Default

    ....lets try not to generalize. I am an atheist and don't feel superior to theists. I respect their beliefs, as I would hope they would mine.

    The disrespect comes in when you have people using their convictions to justify discriminatory beliefs or actions (like homophobia, mistreatment of women, etcetc).
    edmonton - madrid - edmonton
    @BrettSMcKenna

  54. #54

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Arsoys View Post
    I am calling atheism a cult primarily because of the superiority atheists feel toward theists.
    Theists are just as capable of displaying a sense of superiority.

  55. #55
    never answered e-mail
    Join Date
    Mar 2008
    Location
    Edmonton, AB
    Posts
    656

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by brett- View Post
    ....lets try not to generalize. I am an atheist and don't feel superior to theists. I respect their beliefs, as I would hope they would mine.

    The disrespect comes in when you have people using their convictions to justify discriminatory beliefs or actions (like homophobia, mistreatment of women, etcetc).
    Neither do I. Besides, being correct (assuming for the sake of argument "we" are) in itself does not make one superior.

  56. #56
    never answered e-mail
    Join Date
    Mar 2008
    Location
    Edmonton, AB
    Posts
    656

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Arsoys View Post
    ALL of the science is perfectly consistent with the idea that someone somewhere once said make-it-so. And no amount of self-stroking will change that, or convince anyone of anything except that you are probably wrong.

    Even if you are probably not.
    All the science, eh? Alright, let's see. What scientific theories? Which experiments demonstrated their validity? Which scientists performed them? Which peer-reviewed journals published the results? Which further theories came forth as a result? And so on.

  57. #57

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Arsoys View Post
    ALL of the science is perfectly consistent with the idea that someone somewhere once said make-it-so.
    Even if that's true, I'll side with the guy who believes in the god that made your god. And even then I'd side with the guy that believes in the god that made the god that made your god. And so on and so forth, into infinity.

    If you believe that some divine power created everything, where did that divine power come from? If it's always existed, then it's equally plausible that there is no divine power and the physical world we have has always existed, and that's what the evidence is pointing towards.
    "Men never do evil so completely and cheerfully as when they do it from religious conviction" - Blaise Pascal

  58. #58
    In Guantanamo (Banned)
    Join Date
    Jan 2012
    Posts
    252

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Jeremy View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by Arsoys View Post
    ALL of the science is perfectly consistent with the idea that someone somewhere once said make-it-so. And no amount of self-stroking will change that, or convince anyone of anything except that you are probably wrong.

    Even if you are probably not.
    All the science, eh? Alright, let's see. What scientific theories? Which experiments demonstrated their validity? Which scientists performed them? Which peer-reviewed journals published the results? Which further theories came forth as a result? And so on.
    Talk about missing the point.

  59. #59

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Arsoys View Post
    I am calling atheism a cult primarily because of the superiority atheists feel toward theists.
    What "superiority" are you talking about?

  60. #60
    Becoming a C2E Power Poster
    Join Date
    Feb 2009
    Location
    Edmonton, AB
    Posts
    480

    Default

    ^ This:
    Quote Originally Posted by Chmilz View Post
    ^Why wouldn't we? Atheists are right and have millions of years of evidence to back it up, and theists are wrong and have zero evidence at all. It's a comically lopsided fight.

  61. #61

    Default

    I'm not sure of the definition of what I am, but I don't think I'm an Atheist. I've found that Atheists often argue that they don't believe in God, however in most debates I've had, they really believe in no God. I would say that I don't believe in God but also don't believe in no God. Logically one needs evidence in order believe one way or the other, or at least I do, and there is absolutely no evidence of either.

    Here's an analogy: Someone comes to you with a box and says there might be a ball in the box or there might not. You can't open the box, you can't touch the box, there is absolutely no way for you to examine the box. Now you must choose to believe that there is a ball or not. Until there is some sort of evidence, how can you believe one way or the other? Either is possible. Both could be wrong. I don't get it.
    Last edited by jacoblost; 01-02-2012 at 03:48 PM.

  62. #62

    Default

    One more thing... Atheism vs Religion and Creation vs Evolution are not the same debate. True, it’s hard to be Atheist and believe in Creationism; however one can be Religious or believe in God and still believe in Evolution.

    (oh, btw, completely off topic, you can't believe in Creationism and believe in drug resistant bacteria! Thats Evolution!)
    Last edited by jacoblost; 01-02-2012 at 03:55 PM.

  63. #63
    never answered e-mail
    Join Date
    Mar 2008
    Location
    Edmonton, AB
    Posts
    656

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by azzey View Post
    ^ This:
    Quote Originally Posted by Chmilz View Post
    ^Why wouldn't we? Atheists are right and have millions of years of evidence to back it up, and theists are wrong and have zero evidence at all. It's a comically lopsided fight.
    Then, to be kind, the original comment was missing a modifer. Some atheists may feel superior, some may not, which I can only assume would also be true of theists.

  64. #64

    Default

    C2E has a cult like following...




    Advocating a better Edmonton through effective, efficient and economical transit.

  65. #65

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by jacoblost View Post
    One more thing... Atheism vs Religion and Creation vs Evolution are not the same debate. True, itís hard to be Atheist and believe in Creationism; however one can be Religious or believe in God and still believe in Evolution.

    (oh, btw, completely off topic, you can't believe in Creationism and believe in drug resistant bacteria! Thats Evolution!)
    Whenever a Christian or Muslim or whatever hears an Atheist state they don't believe in God, they interpret it as Atheists don't believe in their god. What they often misunderstand is that throughout history there's been many different religions with many different gods, many with multiple gods. Atheists don't believe in ANY god, whether it's a god that created man, the god of toilet tissue, Zeus and his lightning bolts, or any other higher power. Whether it's Scientology or a religion that believes that there's a divine power that affects only luck, we don't believe in it.
    "Men never do evil so completely and cheerfully as when they do it from religious conviction" - Blaise Pascal

  66. #66

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by MrOilers View Post
    What "superiority" are you talking about?
    See post #51.
    He who posteth too much, should moveth out of his parents basement and get a life.

  67. #67
    C2E Hard Core Contributor
    Join Date
    Jan 2007
    Location
    Edmonton - Blue Quill
    Posts
    3,057

    Default

    I once read something that a Christian said in an argument with an atheist:
    "If I'm wrong, what have I lost?
    "If you're wrong, what have you lost?"
    Fly Edmonton first. Support EIA

  68. #68
    I'd rather C2E than work!
    Join Date
    Feb 2009
    Location
    Westmount, Edmonton
    Posts
    5,326

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by 24karat View Post
    I once read something that a Christian said in an argument with an atheist:
    "If I'm wrong, what have I lost?
    "If you're wrong, what have you lost?"
    Nothing if God is a reasonable entity.

    "For every complex problem there is an answer that is clear, simple, and wrong"

  69. #69

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by 24karat View Post
    I once read something that a Christian said in an argument with an atheist:
    "If I'm wrong, what have I lost?
    "If you're wrong, what have you lost?"
    Well if the believer happens to be wrong and being a good person puts you straight into eternal torture and damnation because somebody mixed up the message along the way, you have quite a bit to lose. For this arguement to work you have to take a leap of faith that the believer even got the right god.

    Tying to get you to believe something on false authority? Unheard-of!

  70. #70

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by 24karat View Post
    I once read something that a Christian said in an argument with an atheist:
    "If I'm wrong, what have I lost?
    "If you're wrong, what have you lost?"
    What has the Christian lost? They wasted a lot of time praying, attending services, trying to understand scriptures, etc., for one. Second, they might not have even been doing it right, nor believing in the correct god.

    What has the Atheist lost? Nothing.

  71. #71

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by MrOilers View Post
    What has the Atheist lost? Everything.
    Fixed that for you.
    Advocating a better Edmonton through effective, efficient and economical transit.

  72. #72

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Edmonton PRT View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by MrOilers View Post
    What has the Atheist lost? Everything.
    Fixed that for you.
    Heh. I suggest one's integrity is worth far more than your "everything."

  73. #73

    Default

    Frankly a heaven full of Christians would be hell for the rest of us.

  74. #74
    Partially Addicted to C2E
    Join Date
    Jan 2012
    Location
    Downtown Edmonton
    Posts
    369

    Default

    ^+1 , my friend.
    edmonton - madrid - edmonton
    @BrettSMcKenna

  75. #75

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Edmonton PRT View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by MrOilers View Post
    What has the Atheist lost? Everything.
    Fixed that for you.
    Explain.

  76. #76
    In Guantanamo (Banned)
    Join Date
    Jan 2012
    Posts
    252

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by bolo View Post
    Frankly a heaven full of Christians would be hell for the rest of us.
    Well, well, well. An atheist contemplating their just rewards.

  77. #77

    Default

    Everyone is an atheist to some degree.

    For example, how many Christians believe in the hundreds of gods throughout the world and history, such as Odin, Osiris, Ra, Shiva, Zeus, or any of the Greek gods?

    I think it is fair to say that Christians are atheistic when it comes to all of those gods. Atheists are just believe in one fewer god than Christians.

  78. #78
    In Guantanamo (Banned)
    Join Date
    Jan 2012
    Posts
    252

    Default

    ^This is exactly, precisely, why the argument over gods becomes one of semantics.

    The deeper issue, though, is the unanswerable question of the afterlife.

  79. #79
    C2E Stole my Heart!!!!
    Join Date
    Dec 2009
    Location
    Downtown Edmonton
    Posts
    9,601

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by 24karat View Post
    I once read something that a Christian said in an argument with an atheist:
    "If I'm wrong, what have I lost?
    "If you're wrong, what have you lost?"
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pascal%27s_Wager

    It's long since been slapped down by about a hundred different philosophers.

  80. #80

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Marcel Petrin View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by 24karat View Post
    I once read something that a Christian said in an argument with an atheist:
    "If I'm wrong, what have I lost?
    "If you're wrong, what have you lost?"
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pascal%27s_Wager

    It's long since been slapped down by about a hundred different philosophers.
    Yup. Hedging your bets isn't exactly the kind of faith many religions demand.

  81. #81

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Marcel Petrin View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by 24karat View Post
    I once read something that a Christian said in an argument with an atheist:
    "If I'm wrong, what have I lost?
    "If you're wrong, what have you lost?"
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pascal%27s_Wager

    It's long since been slapped down by about a hundred different philosophers.
    waiting for someone to discount your post due to the source...

  82. #82

    Default

    Yup. Hedging your bets isn't exactly the kind of faith many religions demand.
    Gotta laugh...

    The arguments here continue to be in the major extent against the Christian Religion.
    Still avoiding other religions...
    Still avoiding the real question...

    Interesting

  83. #83
    I'd rather C2E than work!
    Join Date
    Feb 2009
    Location
    Westmount, Edmonton
    Posts
    5,326

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Thomas Hinderks View Post
    Yup. Hedging your bets isn't exactly the kind of faith many religions demand.
    Gotta laugh...

    The arguments here continue to be in the major extent against the Christian Religion.
    Still avoiding other religions...
    Still avoiding the real question...

    Interesting
    Most people here will focus on Christianity because that's they're familiar with. In my case my personal atheism does not stem from specific issues with Christianity but with the basic premises of most religions that there are supernatural beings. Conversations I have on religion and atheism tend to focus on Christianity because the people I'm talking to are Christian. There's little point in discussing Hinduism with them.

    I'm not sure what think the real question is but perhaps when you're done being cryptic you'll enlighten us.

    "For every complex problem there is an answer that is clear, simple, and wrong"

  84. #84

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Paul Turnbull View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by Thomas Hinderks View Post
    Yup. Hedging your bets isn't exactly the kind of faith many religions demand.
    Gotta laugh...

    The arguments here continue to be in the major extent against the Christian Religion.
    Still avoiding other religions...
    Still avoiding the real question...

    Interesting
    Most people here will focus on Christianity because that's they're familiar with. In my case my personal atheism does not stem from specific issues with Christianity but with the basic premises of most religions that there are supernatural beings. Conversations I have on religion and atheism tend to focus on Christianity because the people I'm talking to are Christian. There's little point in discussing Hinduism with them.

    I'm not sure what think the real question is but perhaps when you're done being cryptic you'll enlighten us.
    +1

  85. #85

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Thomas Hinderks View Post
    What I see in this discussion is:

    1) Highly targeted to the "Christian" side of religious beliefs.
    Is that because of the fact that our laws, society etc has been founded on them making them easier to criticize?
    Or political correctness?

    2) The arguments target the details within the interpretations of organized religion not the actual concept of...something else?

    Being someone that doesn't not par take of organized religion, but still has a belief "system" (might not be the right word) of my own I could care less of the details within them.

    Interesting
    From post #47 above

  86. #86
    I'd rather C2E than work!
    Join Date
    Feb 2009
    Location
    Westmount, Edmonton
    Posts
    5,326

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Thomas Hinderks View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by Thomas Hinderks View Post
    What I see in this discussion is:

    1) Highly targeted to the "Christian" side of religious beliefs.
    Is that because of the fact that our laws, society etc has been founded on them making them easier to criticize?
    Or political correctness?

    2) The arguments target the details within the interpretations of organized religion not the actual concept of...something else?

    Being someone that doesn't not par take of organized religion, but still has a belief "system" (might not be the right word) of my own I could care less of the details within them.

    Interesting
    From post #47 above
    Quote Originally Posted by Thomas Hinderks View Post
    ...

    2) The arguments target the details within the interpretations of organized religion not the actual concept of...something else?
    Still seems cryptic. It's hard to concretely address such a vague concept. Could you provide more detail as to what you mean?

    "For every complex problem there is an answer that is clear, simple, and wrong"

  87. #87
    never answered e-mail
    Join Date
    Mar 2008
    Location
    Edmonton, AB
    Posts
    656

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Thomas Hinderks View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by Thomas Hinderks View Post
    What I see in this discussion is:

    1) Highly targeted to the "Christian" side of religious beliefs.
    Is that because of the fact that our laws, society etc has been founded on them making them easier to criticize?
    Or political correctness?

    2) The arguments target the details within the interpretations of organized religion not the actual concept of...something else?

    Being someone that doesn't not par take of organized religion, but still has a belief "system" (might not be the right word) of my own I could care less of the details within them.

    Interesting
    From post #47 above
    If it'll make you feel better I'll go on record stating as a non-believer I don't believe in any of the gods from the religions of the world, both large and small, nor do I believe in any of the gods from the religions of history. Not only am I willing to reject the belief in the faith-based tenents of every religion that has every had adherents, but I'll add for completeness any and all of what could be collectively described as the supernatural. Outside of the heads of both many and few, depending on the belief in question (religious or otherwise) none of it, none of it, is real. For what it's worth, in that regard, every religion both large and small, both current and historical, are all equal.

    And if it won't make you feel any better, well, I'm just as happy to state it anyway.

  88. #88

    Default

    Paul

    Still seems cryptic. It's hard to concretely address such a vague concept. Could you provide more detail as to what you mean?
    Something beyond ourselves...hate the expression but, Higher Power or similar, trying not to use the "God" word.

    As I see things science definitely does not answer all the questions and I have seen first hand too many things that can not be explained through science.

    So I see there is "something" more..call it what you may.

  89. #89
    never answered e-mail
    Join Date
    Mar 2008
    Location
    Edmonton, AB
    Posts
    656

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Thomas Hinderks View Post
    Paul

    Still seems cryptic. It's hard to concretely address such a vague concept. Could you provide more detail as to what you mean?
    Something beyond ourselves...hate the expression but, Higher Power or similar, trying not to use the "God" word.

    As I see things science definitely does not answer all the questions and I have seen first hand too many things that can not be explained through science.

    So I see there is "something" more..call it what you may.
    I'd call it impatience. Or possibly false dicotomy. Occasionally, it's a question of a loaded question. My favourite example of that would be "why are we here?" Beyond the obvious banal notion of cause-and-effect, no one that I know of has answered the qestion that shold be asked first, namely "Does there need to be a (presumably "higher") reason we're here in the first place?"

  90. #90

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Thomas Hinderks View Post
    ...

    So I see there is "something" more..call it what you may.
    I'd call it fear (or awe) of that which is seemingly beyond coincidence or presently inexplicable. Such circumstances are used repeatedly and logically unjustifiably as an excuse to provide credence to or to believe in the absurd.

    While not necessarily directed at you, Thomas, I would ask any believer of any faith (or belief) whether they might have found their particular tenets without having been provided knowledge of its existence from a human-derived source. And, to be clear, to attribute such a source as devinely inspired is, in my opinion, an utter failure to stand accountable for one's beliefs.

    And I am *really* grumpy right now.

  91. #91

    Default

    Jeremy
    I'd call it impatience. Or possibly false dicotomy. Occasionally, it's a question of a loaded question. My favourite example of that would be "why are we here?" Beyond the obvious banal notion of cause-and-effect, no one that I know of has answered the qestion that shold be asked first, namely "Does there need to be a (presumably "higher") reason we're here in the first place?"
    My 2 bits

    You bend to far to the religious side of the argument for me. The other thing you need to appreciate is I assume I am more than a little older than most on the forum.

    I personally have never asked:
    "why are we here?"
    or
    "Does there need to be a (presumably "higher") reason we're here in the first place?"

    As far back as high school studying the sciences things have left too many holes.

    Yes I am grounded in the sciences, evolution etc. to the far greatest extent agree with the provable world.

    But I have also seen and first hand experienced things that have defied logic, the sciences and reason.

    There are also things in the sciences that contradict in my mind.

    I agree with the sciences in that..."matter cannot be created or destroyed"

    I also agree with scientific theory behind the "big bang" creating the universe as we know it.

    But if matter cannot be created or destroyed and agreeing with the "big bang theory" where did the matter come from to create the "big bang"?

    As an example, there are many others.

    So I have come to believe that somewhere between the two ends lies the truth.

    As far as organized religion..I'll pass thanks.

    Spill

    While I have been exposed to and tried many different organized religions on for size, as I said above, I'll pass.

    My belief comes from unanswered questions and contradictions of my own questioning and experience...not those insinuated or pushed upon me.

    Tom
    Last edited by Thomas Hinderks; 03-02-2012 at 09:19 PM. Reason: Comment added immediately after

  92. #92
    never answered e-mail
    Join Date
    Mar 2008
    Location
    Edmonton, AB
    Posts
    656

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Thomas Hinderks View Post
    Jeremy
    I'd call it impatience. Or possibly false dicotomy. Occasionally, it's a question of a loaded question. My favourite example of that would be "why are we here?" Beyond the obvious banal notion of cause-and-effect, no one that I know of has answered the qestion that shold be asked first, namely "Does there need to be a (presumably "higher") reason we're here in the first place?"
    My 2 bits

    You bend to far to the religious side of the argument for me. The other thing you need to appreciate is I assume I am more than a little older than most on the forum.

    I personally have never asked:
    "why are we here?"
    or
    "Does there need to be a (presumably "higher") reason we're here in the first place?"

    As far back as high school studying the sciences things have left too many holes.

    Yes I am grounded in the sciences, evolution etc. to the far greatest extent agree with the provable world.

    But I have also seen and first hand experienced things that have defied logic, the sciences and reason.

    There are also things in the sciences that contradict in my mind.

    I agree with the sciences in that..."matter cannot be created or destroyed"

    I also agree with scientific theory behind the "big bang" creating the universe as we know it.

    But if matter cannot be created or destroyed and agreeing with the "big bang theory" where did the matter come from to create the "big bang"?

    As an example, there are many others.

    So I have come to believe that somewhere between the two ends lies the truth.

    As far as organized religion..I'll pass thanks.

    Spill

    While I have been exposed to and tried many different organized religions on for size, as I said above, I'll pass.

    My belief comes from unanswered questions and contradictions of my own questioning and experience...not those insinuated or pushed upon me.

    Tom
    No problem, I know, those were just examples of typical questions. As to your specific questions, I'm reading Krauss's A Universe From Nothing at the moment, you may find some answers there. I would only ask that you remember that just because science hasn't answered a question yet, doesn't mean it won't ever be able to, nor that a supernatural explaination is the only alternative.

  93. #93

    Default

    No problem, I know, those were just examples of typical questions. As to your specific questions, I'm reading Krauss's A Universe From Nothing at the moment, you may find some answers there. I would only ask that you remember that just because science hasn't answered a question yet, doesn't mean it won't ever be able to, nor that a supernatural explaination is the only alternative.
    Thanks for the reasoned and intelligent response.

    If I get the time (I am still at work, started pre 8am and this is a typical day) I will try and catch the book.

    And the nice part of having a questioning mind is I continue to question all options...that said I wouldn't call my current train of thought "Super natural", more along the lines of questioning practical.

    Tom

  94. #94

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by MrOilers View Post
    Everyone is an atheist to some degree.

    For example, how many Christians believe in the hundreds of gods throughout the world and history, such as Odin, Osiris, Ra, Shiva, Zeus, or any of the Greek gods?

    I think it is fair to say that Christians are atheistic when it comes to all of those gods. Atheists are just believe in one fewer god than Christians.
    Interesting topic you brought up. I am a Christian and I also believe that all those "gods" you mention are real. They were not fairy tales. They were real. The Titans were real too.

  95. #95

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Thomas Hinderks View Post
    As far as organized religion..I'll pass thanks.
    Tom, in my mind "organized religion" and Christianity are two very separate things. It's no wonder that organized religion turns people off. It does the same to me. But that doesn't mean we can't believe in God.

    This guy breaks it down pretty well in this video.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1IAhDGYlpqY

  96. #96

    Default

    YouTube George Carlin Religion he nails it..

  97. #97

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Vincent View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by Thomas Hinderks View Post
    As far as organized religion..I'll pass thanks.
    Tom, in my mind "organized religion" and Christianity are two very separate things. It's no wonder that organized religion turns people off. It does the same to me. But that doesn't mean we can't believe in God.

    This guy breaks it down pretty well in this video.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1IAhDGYlpqY
    Appreciate the comment Vincent...and as I said above the basics of Christianity make a pretty good model to live by...so I do (as well as I can).

    Also as I said above I do believe in something more.

    Tom

  98. #98
    In Guantanamo (Banned)
    Join Date
    Jan 2012
    Posts
    252

    Default

    The reason it's perfectly acceptable to focus on Christianity (or Judaism or Mohameddanism or Buddhism) is that atheism is a monotheistic concept.

    Animal spirits, mythological figures, numina, or whatever else the polytheistic religions call gods are a different thing altogether.

    Also I think it is fair to say that every single one of the proud atheists on here is a Christian atheist first and last. It was the Lord of Hosts and His son Jesus, give or take that silly Dove, that they agreed not to believe in.

  99. #99
    never answered e-mail
    Join Date
    Mar 2008
    Location
    Edmonton, AB
    Posts
    656

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Arsoys View Post
    The reason it's perfectly acceptable to focus on Christianity (or Judaism or Mohameddanism or Buddhism) is that atheism is a monotheistic concept.

    Animal spirits, mythological figures, numina, or whatever else the polytheistic religions call gods are a different thing altogether.

    Also I think it is fair to say that every single one of the proud atheists on here is a Christian atheist first and last. It was the Lord of Hosts and His son Jesus, give or take that silly Dove, that they agreed not to believe in.
    Not only not fair, but patently false.

  100. #100

    Default

    Jeremy, you made some interesting points. So I have to note the irony in your glasses half empty comment.

    The glass is neither half empty nor half full for it is topped off with another moment of optimism.

    Begin with invalid questions and what do we gain?

    Jeremy...
    "Some people's glasses are not only half-empty, but also cracked and leaking.
    Just remember, they're not happy until you're not happy!"

Page 1 of 16 1234511 ... LastLast

Bookmarks

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •