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Thread: "If I am right, I go to heaven, if you are right, you die anyway."

  1. #201
    had a mod but let him go spidergoat's Avatar
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    Why is empiricism ineffective when we can see that the products of empirical investigation are so obviously effective (rockets to the moon, etc.)?

  2. #202
    Quote Originally Posted by Trooper View Post
    All animals accumulate information, but for most, that information dies with them. We humans however, can pass on information that accumulates from generation to generation. As a species, we are continually learning. There is no reason to assume that ancient knowledge is foreknowledge, something to be recovered rather than discovered.
    No idea what all that is about. Seems you're continuing a conversation with someone else, on other matters.

    Of course, we all have biases at some level but cherry picking ancient text is a sure fire way of confirming them. When you have to tell yourself that, some parts are only meant to be taken figuratively, symbolically, or metaphorically then it’s time to exercise a little bias awareness.
    I can't help it if you are so literal-minded that you are blind to obvious literary devices that you would probably be able to recognize in any context you don't have a cognitive bias on.

    Like Richard Dawkins, I too, feel that belief may have had an evolutionary advantage, but religious beliefs are simply a byproduct, and merely a consequence of something that had an evolutionary advantage. For our own protection, as children, we had to listen to our parents, and believe whatever they told us.

    Not believing in something does not guarantee accuracy, but it does help to clear away superstitions and falsehoods.
    Sounds like a lot of justification not warranted by anything I've said. Relax, your worldview is not under attack.

    What’s your opinion? Do you think it is better to believe, or not to believe in something that appears incoherent, unjustifiable, and unprovable?
    Taking all obvious literary devices as indiscriminately literal will likely leave you confused.

    Quote Originally Posted by JDawg View Post
    So my worldview is reason and logic? I've always understood "worldview" to imply preconceptions about the world that are not necessarily based on anything. But then, I suppose if I believe there is nothing after death, that would be part of a worldview, wouldn't it? Alright then. But that still doesn't mean atheism is a world view. It would be a consequence of rational thinking. I can't bring myself to say that "atheism is a result of my worldview," because it implies a rigidity or inflexibility that simply isn't there, but if that's what it is, that's what it is.
    Rational thinking can only be objectively verified by evidence, without which your opinion of what is rational is purely subjective. There is no evidence to support or deny atheism, nor support a claim of it being objectively rational.

    You seem to have erroneously understood several things. Read the above definition of worldview again. Can you honestly say that atheism has absolutely nothing to do with how you live your life?

    I misunderstood you at first. But "I do not believe in God" is not an opinion, it's a fact. If I were to say "Yahweh does not exist," then you're getting into opinions, and some atheists define it as the latter, rather than the former.
    No doubt, but then that statement alone gives you no factual grounds upon which to argue the statement "I do believe in God".

    And at any rate, there's enough evidence to say with certainty that the God character of the Bible is not an historical figure. There are enough contradictions and signs of low birth, so to speak, to be able to say without a doubt that Yahweh is a mythical character. I mean, is it an opinion that Zeus doesn't exist? C'mon.
    Gods have always been characterized as an idealization of man, with the one progressing with the notion of the other. In this respect, it is the thing characterized, not the specific characterization, that constitutes theism.

  3. #203
    Quote Originally Posted by Syne View Post
    Rational thinking can only be objectively verified by evidence, without which your opinion of what is rational is purely subjective. There is no evidence to support or deny atheism, nor support a claim of it being objectively rational.
    That's nonsense, of course. You're quite good at nonsense, I'll give you that. Atheism is supported by the fact that there is no evidence of the existence of God, as well as plenty of evidence against the existence of God. I don't know how many times this must be repeated before you understand it.

    You seem to have erroneously understood several things. Read the above definition of worldview again. Can you honestly say that atheism has absolutely nothing to do with how you live your life?
    Here you go again, trying to define atheism as a worldview. And of course, I never said that my atheism has nothing to do with my life. But then, being a Mets fan has something to do with my life. Plenty of things have an impact on my life, but you wouldn't call any of them worldviews. Or maybe you would, since you don't seem to have the foggiest idea what the hell a worldview actually is.

    No doubt, but then that statement alone gives you no factual grounds upon which to argue the statement "I do believe in God".
    Just as "I do believe in God" gives you no factual grounds upon which to argue the statement "I don't believe in God." Atheism is not an argument, it is a position based on certain criteria. It's like saying "Global Climate Change is an actual phenomenon." The statement is not the argument, but the position.

    Gods have always been characterized as an idealization of man, with the one progressing with the notion of the other. In this respect, it is the thing characterized, not the specific characterization, that constitutes theism.
    That our gods are so parochial is evidence of their human authorship. The fact that all societies have had something like a divine creator only speaks to our answer-seeking nature, and that agency was our first logical conclusion. What it does not imply, as you're trying to, is that they're all sort of talking about the same thing, but dressing it differently to suit their needs.

  4. #204
    Quote Originally Posted by JDawg View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by Syne
    Rational thinking can only be objectively verified by evidence, without which your opinion of what is rational is purely subjective. There is no evidence to support or deny atheism, nor support a claim of it being objectively rational.
    That's nonsense, of course. You're quite good at nonsense, I'll give you that. Atheism is supported by the fact that there is no evidence of the existence of God, as well as plenty of evidence against the existence of God. I don't know how many times this must be repeated before you understand it.
    Yes, yes. Resort to ad hominems when you can't make a valid argument. Case in point: "plenty of evidence against the existence of God". Really? So you've gone from the statement "I don't believe in God" to "a god does not exist"? So what is this evidence? You know, other than your indiscriminate literal insistence of obvious literary devices.

    Repeat all you like. Insistence does not evidence make. Actually that is the sort of evidence asserted and accepted only by pseudoscience and the ilk.

    Here you go again, trying to define atheism as a worldview. And of course, I never said that my atheism has nothing to do with my life. But then, being a Mets fan has something to do with my life. Plenty of things have an impact on my life, but you wouldn't call any of them worldviews. Or maybe you would, since you don't seem to have the foggiest idea what the hell a worldview actually is.
    Straw man. Must I really provide you with the simple definition yet again?

    world·view
    1. The overall perspective from which one sees and interprets the world.
    2. A collection of beliefs about life and the universe held by an individual or a group.

    Does being a "Mets fan" inform your "overall perspective"? Quit being obtuse and arguing ad absurdum.

    Just as "I do believe in God" gives you no factual grounds upon which to argue the statement "I don't believe in God." Atheism is not an argument, it is a position based on certain criteria. It's like saying "Global Climate Change is an actual phenomenon." The statement is not the argument, but the position.
    You're equivocating. I said that atheism is an opinion, and since you've here agreed that atheism and theism are equivalent claims, they must be subjective opinion. I've never said otherwise. Yet another straw man, as I also never said anything about atheism being an argument.

    You cannot argue for atheism without asserting a god does not exist. So an advocating atheist is, ipso facto, making a claim subject to evidence, but then you just said: "If I were to say "Yahweh does not exist," then you're getting into opinions."

    So which is it? Do you have objective facts, or is it only opinion?

    That our gods are so parochial is evidence of their human authorship. The fact that all societies have had something like a divine creator only speaks to our answer-seeking nature, and that agency was our first logical conclusion. What it does not imply, as you're trying to, is that they're all sort of talking about the same thing, but dressing it differently to suit their needs.
    Do you even hear yourself? "that agency was our first logical conclusion" So there's logic in it after all?!

    At the very least, it is factual that all of the Abrahamic religions share the exact same god. So how are the differences in between these not "dressing it"? Quite aside from theism not addressing any particular religion, but deity with traits common throughout all religion.

  5. #205
    Quote Originally Posted by aaqucnaona View Post
    No, and situaitional decisions based on the the circumstances rather than ideologies are a good example of my point.
    All decisions are based on some ideology.

    Circumstances don't make people do anything. How people understand the circumstances (ie. the ideology they employ) is what leads them to decide one way or another.

  6. #206
    I can't help it if you are so literal-minded that you are blind to obvious literary devices that you would probably be able to recognize in any context you don't have a cognitive bias on.
    I am perfectly capable of appreciating literary fiction. Besides, I believe it is the conservative Christians who are literal-minded. Aren’t they the ones who are confident that the Bible is the authoritative Word of God?

    The problem is that none of the original manuscripts currently exists and the authors are dead and buried. Don’t you think that the various techniques of hermeneutics only intensify subjectivity? Most agree that genesis 1-11 are literary stories representing mythology rather than history, but what about the gospels. Do you feel that they are literary works or historical?
    Last edited by Trooper; 04-25-12 at 12:42 AM.

  7. #207
    This sentence is a lie aaqucnaona's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by lightgigantic View Post
    In order to ardently stand by the precept that the universe is bereft of sentient orchestration of course
    Again, if someone claims that stuff with absolute conviction, he is no longer a rationalist, for we can only we sceptics right now, we dont have enough to go on to be counter-claimants. We can only say that the claims present to us are incorrect, but I agree with you than we cannot go further than that [currently, atleast].

  8. #208
    Quote Originally Posted by spidergoat View Post
    Why is empiricism ineffective when we can see that the products of empirical investigation are so obviously effective (rockets to the moon, etc.)?
    I mentioned it earlier

    "... since reductionist views of reality are not only non-evidenced but also logically incapable of being successful (on account of being epistemologically bound to a metonymic scope between the micro and macrocosm - IOW the further one goes into the grander scheme of things, whether via the telescope or microscope, the hazier it gets - to the point of fading out to nothing - on account of the intrinsic limitation of the senses, the core tool of empiricism)"

  9. #209
    Quote Originally Posted by aaqucnaona View Post
    Again, if someone claims that stuff with absolute conviction, he is no longer a rationalist, for we can only we sceptics right now, we dont have enough to go on to be counter-claimants. We can only say that the claims present to us are incorrect, but I agree with you than we cannot go further than that [currently, atleast].
    Then, by your own conviction atheism must be adverse to rationalism since the very term atheist weighs in at being convinced of a number of (non-evidenced) points ( .... at least for those who don't now start scurrying to the ramparts of "chairs and stones" atheism")

  10. #210
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    Quote Originally Posted by Syne View Post
    What you find compelling is subjective opinion, short of conclusive evidence. To argue against the existence of a god requires a bit more than an agnostic nonacceptance. Qualifiers such as "granted" seem superfluous or equivocal.
    But arguing against the existence of God wasn't your point. Your point was 'atheism is an opinion - that god doesn't exist'. That's wrong.

    Atheism is simply a stance - that god is not accepted without compelling evidence.

  11. #211
    Quote Originally Posted by DaveC426913 View Post
    But arguing against the existence of God wasn't your point. Your point was 'atheism is an opinion - that god doesn't exist'. That's wrong.

    Atheism is simply a stance - that god is not accepted without compelling evidence.
    perhaps that statement would make sense if atheism wasn't staved to the hilt with theories, ideas, misconceptions and preconceptions that effectively prohibit any investigation of evidence on the subject.

  12. #212
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    Quote Originally Posted by JDawg View Post
    Atheism is supported by the fact that there is no evidence of the existence of God
    This is a misrepresentation of what a fact is.

    A fact is essentially indisputable. It is not "factual" that there is no evidence of god. There is quite a bit of debate about what evidence constitutes evidence of God. It doesn't matter whether you or I or a million people don't accept the evidence or the conclusion. Since it is the very thing that is in dispute, it is not fact. This is the fallacy of foregone conclusion.
    Last edited by DaveC426913; 04-25-12 at 09:05 AM.

  13. #213
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    Quote Originally Posted by lightgigantic View Post
    perhaps that statement would make sense if atheism wasn't staved to the hilt with theories, ideas, misconceptions and preconceptions that effectively prohibit any investigation of evidence on the subject.
    Atheism has no theories.
    Atheism has no ideas.
    Atheism simply puts the onus on the claimant to make a compelling case.

    It is true that people who are atheists may also have theories, ideas and misconceptions, but that doesn't mean the same thing.

    Consider: there are lots of theists who think that the death penalty is a good idea. Can I then state that "theism condones capital punishment"?

    No. Correlation does not imply causation.

  14. #214
    Quote Originally Posted by DaveC426913 View Post
    Atheism has no theories.
    Atheism has no ideas.
    Atheism simply puts the onus on the claimant to make a compelling case.


    It is true that people who are atheists may also have theories, ideas and misconceptions, but that doesn't mean the same thing.

    Consider: there are lots of theists who think that the death penalty is a good idea. Can I then state that "theism condones capital punishment"?

    No. Correlation does not imply causation.
    If those theories, ideas and misconceptions are exclusive to the atheist creed then they certainly do own them.

    The only way you can weasel out of it is if you play the "implicit atheism of chairs and stones" card (which I anticipate you will be pulling out very shortly)

  15. #215
    had a mod but let him go spidergoat's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by lightgigantic View Post
    I mentioned it earlier

    "... since reductionist views of reality are not only non-evidenced but also logically incapable of being successful (on account of being epistemologically bound to a metonymic scope between the micro and macrocosm - IOW the further one goes into the grander scheme of things, whether via the telescope or microscope, the hazier it gets - to the point of fading out to nothing - on account of the intrinsic limitation of the senses, the core tool of empiricism)"
    You may mention the limitations of empiricism, but you don't have anything better.

  16. #216
    Quote Originally Posted by spidergoat View Post
    You may mention the limitations of empiricism, but you don't have anything better.
    Sure - I guess it doesn't take much to beat something that is inherently incapable and useless for the given task

  17. #217
    Quote Originally Posted by DaveC426913 View Post
    Atheism has no theories.
    Atheism has no ideas.
    There is no atheism either!



    Atheism simply puts the onus on the claimant to make a compelling case.
    No. Some atheists put the onus on the claimant to make a compelling case.

    Some Buddhist atheists, for example, would be perfectly happy to just let any theist say whatever he wants to say.
    Last edited by wynn; 04-25-12 at 09:37 AM.

  18. #218
    Quote Originally Posted by spidergoat View Post
    You may mention the limitations of empiricism, but you don't have anything better.
    At least the food he cooks is better than yours.
    That is rather important.

  19. #219
    Quote Originally Posted by Syne View Post
    Yes, yes. Resort to ad hominems when you can't make a valid argument. Case in point: "plenty of evidence against the existence of God". Really? So you've gone from the statement "I don't believe in God" to "a god does not exist"? So what is this evidence? You know, other than your indiscriminate literal insistence of obvious literary devices.

    Repeat all you like. Insistence does not evidence make. Actually that is the sort of evidence asserted and accepted only by pseudoscience and the ilk.

    I didn't say "a god does not exist." I am convinced the God of Abraham does not exist, however, and I base this on all the various evidences against it. We've discussed this evidences at length, and they don't simply rely on the correct interpretations of the Bible.


    Straw man. Must I really provide you with the simple definition yet again?

    world·view
    1. The overall perspective from which one sees and interprets the world.
    2. A collection of beliefs about life and the universe held by an individual or a group.

    Does being a "Mets fan" inform your "overall perspective"? Quit being obtuse and arguing ad absurdum.
    You're not stupid, so don't pretend you don't understand why I bring up the Mets. Atheism does not inform my overall perspective. It's a position based on evidence (and the lack of it), not a worldview. In other words, atheism is as much a worldview as my Mets fandom is.

    You're equivocating. I said that atheism is an opinion, and since you've here agreed that atheism and theism are equivalent claims, they must be subjective opinion. I've never said otherwise. Yet another straw man, as I also never said anything about atheism being an argument.
    Being equivalent claims does not therefore make them subjective opinions. I can claim that a corpse is alive, but that does not mean the counter-claim of "the corpse is dead" is therefore a subjective opinion.

    You cannot argue for atheism without asserting a god does not exist. So an advocating atheist is, ipso facto, making a claim subject to evidence, but then you just said: "If I were to say "Yahweh does not exist," then you're getting into opinions."

    So which is it? Do you have objective facts, or is it only opinion?
    It would only be an opinion of one were to say "There is no creator," because it's impossible, at least as of yet, to say one way or the other conclusively. That's what I should have said.

    Do you even hear yourself? "that agency was our first logical conclusion" So there's logic in it after all?!
    At the time when these gods were invented, sure. Nobody knew what made thunder happen, or what brought floods or famines. They needed to explain these things, and without science to help them understand the world, they had to come up with something else. And agency would have made sense to people who did not know any better. I mean, you even see those arguments put forward today, so clearly they have a value to people who lack knowledge to the contrary.

    At the very least, it is factual that all of the Abrahamic religions share the exact same god. So how are the differences in between these not "dressing it"?
    Well, you were talking about theism overall, not simply Judaism and its schismatic branches. But even then, they all rely on very different claims. I don't see how that can be described simply as "dressing." Is the God of the New Testament really the Allah of the Quran?

    Quite aside from theism not addressing any particular religion, but deity with traits common throughout all religion.
    Well, listen, it's no surprise that the religions you're thinking of (the Abrahamic religions) share traits with the pagan religions of the region, since those pagan faiths are the ones the Abrahamic faiths are to varying degrees based upon, and from which Christianity especially borrowed extensively from for political purposes. But as you broaden your scope, the similarities dwindle. If you want to broaden the scope to "theology" as a whole, really the only trait they all have in common is the assertion that the world exists because a god or gods made it so.

  20. #220
    had a mod but let him go spidergoat's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by lightgigantic View Post
    Sure - I guess it doesn't take much to beat something that is inherently incapable and useless for the given task
    If you assume without evidence that there is a realm or force outside the observable, then we will always be left lacking. Therefore, you can both dismiss the science that contradicts your worldview (that the universe is the result of something other than naturalistic mechanisms), and set yourself up as a kind of authority on that which is unknowable. Convenient! And intellectually the epitome of dishonesty.

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