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Thread: An experiment in Atheism

  1. #281
    uniquely dreadful S.A.M.'s Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by GhostofMaxwell. View Post
    I assume nothing of the sort. No measuring device is 100% accurate, no condition can be precisely repeated, and quantum laws have a habit of making things never the exact same twice.
    These are all your assumptions so you can wrongly say: if something cannot be totally black and white, one can assume that anything can be merited as the answer. Like we dont know 100% that a bird outside the window stays up by pushing down the air, so we may as well say the combined people in all the world think it up there.
    These are not my assumptions, they are the assumptions of people who believe in science, inspite of the empiricism, the variance, the deviation, error, confidence intervals and levels of significance. Ultimately, its all about what you believe corroborates your assumptions and leads you to inferences which form the basis of your next assumption.

    Of course, common sense plays a large part in all this, but surely, we are not arguing on a subjective, unobservable, untestable, unrepeatable quality as the value of science?

    Ta-Ta, gotta go now.

  2. #282
    Quote Originally Posted by S.A.M. View Post
    These are not my assumptions, they are the assumptions of people who believe in science, inspite of the empiricism, the variance, the deviation, error, confidence intervals and levels of significance. Ultimately, its all about what you believe corroborates your assumptions and leads you to inferences which form the basis of your next assumption.

    Of course, common sense plays a large part in all this, but surely, we are not arguing on a subjective, unobservable, untestable, unrepeatable quality as the value of science?

    Ta-Ta, gotta go now.
    I dont believe in science. You obviously either believe or dont believe, things are not that black and white.

  3. #283
    uniquely dreadful S.A.M.'s Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by GhostofMaxwell. View Post
    I dont believe in science. You obviously either believe or dont believe, things are not that black and white.
    I believe we measure our perception using the scientific method and perceive the results as inferences.

  4. #284
    Quote Originally Posted by S.A.M. View Post
    I believe we measure our perception using the scientific method and perceive the results as inferences.
    And thats all we can do. It's better than saying we cant infer anything so lets just sit here breaking rocks with a deer antler.

  5. #285
    uniquely dreadful S.A.M.'s Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by GhostofMaxwell. View Post
    And thats all we can do. It's better than saying we cant infer anything so lets just sit here breaking rocks with a deer antler.
    Yes lets have faith in ourselves instead and do the best we can with our limitations. That way we can move forward, sah?
    Last edited by S.A.M.; 07-05-07 at 04:35 PM. Reason: Yes, not no.

  6. #286
    strong conclusions are conveinient but faith they are not.

    Why are you stuck in this mind-set that science needs absolutes?

  7. #287
    uniquely dreadful S.A.M.'s Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by GhostofMaxwell. View Post
    strong conclusions are conveinient but faith they are not.

    Why are you stuck in this mind-set that science needs absolutes?
    On the contrary, I am saying that it doesn't.

  8. #288
    Encephaloid Martini (Q)'s Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by S.A.M. View Post
    I believe we measure our perception using the scientific method and perceive the results as inferences.
    A common misunderstanding amongst theists who don't know what the scientific method entails. Inferences are based on circumstantial evidence and NOT observation.

  9. #289
    uniquely dreadful S.A.M.'s Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by (Q) View Post
    A common misunderstanding amongst theists who don't know what the scientific method entails. Inferences are based on circumstantial evidence and NOT observation.
    Really, how do you er assess the evidence without using your senses?
    Last edited by S.A.M.; 07-05-07 at 05:10 PM. Reason: appositeness

  10. #290

  11. #291
    uniquely dreadful S.A.M.'s Avatar
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    Ya I know all that, I'd like to know how you separate the scientific method from empiricism.

    It is a fundamental requirement of scientific method that all hypotheses and theories must be tested against observations of the natural world, rather than resting solely on a priori reasoning, intuition, or revelation. Hence, science is considered to be methodologically empirical in nature.

  12. #292
    Jan Ardena:

    How would a "miracle" witnessed by thousands of reliable witnesses
    be better evidence than one reliable witness, or sciptures?
    Comparing one witness to thousands is fairly obvious. One witness can easily be mistaken; with thousands that is less likely.

    When it comes to particular "scripture", things are on very shaky ground indeed. For example, all the Christian gospels were written decades after the death of Jesus. That alone leaves them very open to questioning. They are hardly eyewitness accounts.

    How could you deduce that God or gods exist from such an event?
    The same way I would deduce that sharks exist if I saw a shark.

    God tells us (through) scripture that there is an afterlife.
    Does that qualify as God telling us something we don't know?
    No, because you haven't shown that God told you there was an afterlife, and that the idea wasn't just made up by human beings.

    To try and think of something that constitutes evidence for God, signifies a lack of understanding (imo).
    Because belief in God rests of faith rather than evidence?

    Thus, atheists do not believe in gods, any more than they believe in Santa Claus.
    Correct me if I'm wrong, but that's another way of saying God doesn't exist, unless atheists believe Santa may exist.
    Yes.

    Then why don't atheists just admit they believe God doesn't exist?
    Why the song and dance?
    What song and dance? Atheists freely admit they don't believe God exists. That's the definition of "atheist".

    If suicide bombings were really a way to get to heaven, wouldn't every muslim be a suicide bomber?
    Some indoctrination is stronger than other indoctrination. I assume some Muslims doubt whether killing yourself will get you into paradise. Of course, if you truly believe suicide will get you eternal bliss, you'll do it, won't you?

    theist: one who believes in one or more supernatural beings.
    atheist: one who does not believe in supernatural beings.
    Or;

    theist; one who believes in God
    atheist; one who does not believe in God.

    I would say that is the proper, simpler definition as "supernatural beings" could mean anything.
    There are many different gods. Atheism involves not believing in any of them: Yahweh, Allah, Zeus, Shiva, etc. etc. There are also polytheistic religions, pantheistic religions and so on. Supernatural beings keeps things general. For non-belief in just the Christian God, for example, we can call a person "non-Christian". Obviously, a person can be non-Christian and yet not atheist. But they can't be atheist and believe in any god.

  13. #293
    Dude, what are you doing asking here, go read The God Delusion. Here, I'll type you a praise from the back...

    "At last, one of the best nonfiction writers alive today has assembled his thoughts on religion into a characteristcally elegant book. If you think that science is just another religion, that religion is about our higher values, or that scientists are just as dogmatic as believers, then read this book and see if you can counter Dawkins's arguments. They are passionately stated and poetically expressed but are rooted in reason and evidence." - Steven pinker, Johnstone Professor, Harvard University.

    Sounds like just what you are looking for.

  14. #294
    Valued Senior Member Jan Ardena's Avatar
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    James R,

    Comparing one witness to thousands is fairly obvious. One witness can easily be mistaken; with thousands that is less likely.
    "Less likely" still doesn't make it true, which means we are back to square one again, so I conclude "a miracle of some sort" could not be counted as evidence of God, lest it be true, which means it doesn't matter how many people witness it.

    When it comes to particular "scripture", things are on very shaky ground indeed. For example, all the Christian gospels were written decades after the death of Jesus. That alone leaves them very open to questioning. They are hardly eyewitness accounts.
    Evidence of Gods existence is not dependant on when the scriptures were written, plus the bible is not the only scripture.

    The same way I would deduce that sharks exist if I saw a shark.
    So when you say "some sort of miracle", you really mean God must show himself?

    No, because you haven't shown that God told you there was an afterlife, and that the idea wasn't just made up by human beings.
    I'm not sure what you mean by "...you haven't shown that God told you... ".
    What reasons would human beings have for making up an idea such as afterlife?

    Because belief in God rests of faith rather than evidence?
    Not necessarily. One can believe in God without faith, it all depends on how you define "believe in".

    Yes.


    What song and dance? Atheists freely admit they don't believe God exists. That's the definition of "atheist".
    And theist don't believe God doesn't exist.
    What it boils down to, is that we believe either God exists, or doesn't exist.

    Of course, if you truly believe suicide will get you eternal bliss, you'll do it, won't you?
    Whatever you truly believe, you will adhere to, but we're talking about muslims, and Islam.

    There are many different gods. Atheism involves not believing in any of them: Yahweh, Allah, Zeus, Shiva, etc. etc.
    Why put Zeus and Shiva in the same category as Yahweh and Allah?
    God and gods, are two categories.

    There are also polytheistic religions, pantheistic religions and so on. Supernatural beings keeps things general.
    But that's not what "theist" means, it means belief in God. You have taken it upon yourself to lump everything together, as if it doesn't matter.
    Everything is derived from "God" the Supreme Being, from whom everything emanatesm, even atheism.

    For non-belief in just the Christian God, for example, we can call a person "non-Christian".
    That is a modern teminology. A christian is a follower of Christ, period. Christ believed in the same Supreme Being that I mentioned earlier.

    Obviously, a person can be non-Christian and yet not atheist. But they can't be atheist and believe in any god.
    Why not? It would depend on the "god" they believed in. Some atheists regard themselves as "naturalists", meaning they believe in nature, and nature is regarded as a personality in some religions.
    My understanding of wiccans/witches is that they believe in nature, not God.
    They profess that their magic is not of a supernatural nature, but nature itself. They are, imo, atheist.
    Satanists also fall into the category of atheism, or at least some types of satanists. Buddha talked about Lord Indra, the king of the demi-gods, and his abode, and his followers are classed as atheist.

    Jan.

  15. #295
    Quote Originally Posted by Jan Ardena View Post


    So when you say "some sort of miracle", you really mean God must show himself?
    You dont need to go nearly as far as that. Just evidence that a claimed miracle is seperate from chance and alternative explanation would be plenty.

    What reasons would human beings have for making up an idea such as afterlife?
    Wishful thinking would be one reason, I'm sure my fellow atheists can state many more.


    Not necessarily. One can believe in God without faith, it all depends on how you define "believe in".
    No. as that would not be belief in god now would it?




    And theist don't believe God doesn't exist.
    What it boils down to, is that we believe either God exists, or doesn't exist.
    Then you are a mislabeled agnostic.







    Why not? It would depend on the "god" they believed in. Some atheists regard themselves as "naturalists", meaning they believe in nature, and nature is regarded as a personality in some religions.
    My understanding of wiccans/witches is that they believe in nature, not God.
    They profess that their magic is not of a supernatural nature, but nature itself. They are, imo, atheist.
    Satanists also fall into the category of atheism, or at least some types of satanists. Buddha talked about Lord Indra, the king of the demi-gods, and his abode, and his followers are classed as atheist.
    Then you are mislabeling them athiest.

  16. #296
    Hippomonstrosesquippedalo phobe Sarkus's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jan Ardena View Post
    What reasons would human beings have for making up an idea such as afterlife?
    The obvious one is out of a fear of death.

    What it boils down to, is that we believe either God exists, or doesn't exist.
    Not true - I am an atheist and have neither a belief in God's existence nor his non-existence.

    Why put Zeus and Shiva in the same category as Yahweh and Allah?
    God and gods, are two categories.
    In what way? Or is this a case of "my god is better than your god"?
    You may label your one god "God", but God is still a god.

    But that's not what "theist" means, it means belief in God.
    No - it doesn't.
    It means a belief in one or more divinities.

    What you are referring to is oft called "Classical Theism" - so it is you who appears to be erroneously exluding the rest of the gods as if they don't matter.

  17. #297
    Valued Senior Member Jan Ardena's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by GhostofMaxwell. View Post
    I just gave an explanation as to why the greater the number the greater the precision. I never proposed to give you the brain to make you think with.
    But it doesn't mean its not true.
    How could "distrubution of repeated measurements" determine whether it is true or not?
    If it can determine truth, then only one testimony is needed.
    Your explanation does not apply in this scenario, because it cannot determine whether or not God exists, or even that the miracles were indeed miracles, and not some random act of nature.
    Our belief would only be encouraged our own revelation, or the revelation of others, which brings us back to the same point again. Can you not see this?
    In other words science is not the tool or the method to decide whether God exists or not.

    Jan.

  18. #298
    Valued Senior Member Jan Ardena's Avatar
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    Sarkus,

    The obvious one is out of a fear of death.
    non-sequitor.

    Not true - I am an atheist and have neither a belief in God's existence nor his non-existence.
    I would say that's not true, by our conversations.

    In what way? Or is this a case of "my god is better than your god"?
    You may label your one god "God", but God is still a god.
    That is pure ignorance.
    I suggest you read any scripture.;

    No - it doesn't.
    It means a belief in one or more divinities.
    And where do all the divinities come from.
    Again read scriptures.

    What you are referring to is oft called "Classical Theism" - so it is you who appears to be erroneously exluding the rest of the gods as if they don't matter.
    You can give whatever name you like to it, but it means a belief in God period.

    Jan.

  19. #299
    Valued Senior Member Jan Ardena's Avatar
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    GhostofMaxwell,

    You dont need to go nearly as far as that. Just evidence that a claimed miracle is seperate from chance and alternative explanation would be plenty.
    And how would you conclude that God exists from such an event?

    Wishful thinking would be one reason, I'm sure my fellow atheists can state many more.
    No need to invent the afterlife for that.

    No. as that would not be belief in god now would it?
    Why? Faith and belief are two different things. Faith is need to act upon your beliefs.

    Then you are mislabeling them athiest.
    Do any of these groups of people believing in God?

    Jan.

  20. #300
    Quote Originally Posted by Jan Ardena View Post


    Do any of these groups of people believing in God?

    Jan.
    You said they believe in a deity but are still calling them atheist. That is mislabeling in my book.

    Atheism is the state of possessing zero belief in a supreme being.

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