A Request Directed to Sciforums' "Atheists"

Discussion in 'Religion' started by Tiassa, Mar 21, 2014.

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  1. Aqueous Id flat Earth skeptic Valued Senior Member

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    You can see the problem with that reasoning by substituting another word, to which you hold no prejudice, for "god".

    For example which of these would you endorse:

    1. stating Buddha exists is as delusional as stating Budda doesn't exist.
    2. stating Thor exists is as delusional as stating Thor doesn't exist.
    3. stating Ra exists is as delusional as stating Ra doesn't exist.
    4. stating The Great White Wolf exists is as delusional as stating The Great White Wolf doesn't exist.
    5. stating Paul Bunyon exists is as delusional as stating Paul Bunyon doesn't exist.


    As you see, it's pretty hard to draw the axiom you've posed.


    I can give you a list of scientists who I think would rise that challenge. If you still have any school books on World History, you can just look at the credentials of the authors. Usually they begin at Chapter 1 explaining the mythological roots of religion.

    Well, Ok, what's the probability that religions do not evolve from superstion, myth, legend or fable?

    If that's too hard to devise a probability density function for, to solve for the mean and variance, then we can turn to the thousands of tablets recovered out of Mesopotamia and just read them. That would save a lot of effort since that work has all been done long ago.
     
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  3. Balerion Banned Banned

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    I don't know where you get that idea. What principle is this based on? I mean, how does learning require submission? Am I expecting too much when I hope that you'll offer more than a semantic argument?

    What way doesn't matter. It's the scope and importance of the religious injunction versus the irrelevancy of cleaning one's room that's important. If that's too complicated for you, try this: Religion makes bigger claims and asks far more of you than your parents do, so it's not a valid comparison.
     
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  5. Balerion Banned Banned

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    Which amounts to, "None of the mods like me, so I'm using this particular double-standard to get on their good side."

    I think your reasoning and your conclusion are both incorrect. What you're suggesting is that reason is not enough, that we must also appeal to one's ego to convince them of the truth. I happen to disagree with that. I've had my mind changed about things in the middle of very uncivil debates, and while I probably had no desire to admit it, that fact didn't diminish the impact the new information had on my worldview going forward.

    I also don't see heated discussion as being a valid reason to dismiss the atheists here as a brainless cult. What's brainless about being angry, or having no respect for religious bigotry? You'll remember, most of the arguments here between atheists and theists isn't about the existence of God, but about the humanity of groups religious people seem to think aren't quite equal to them, or the insistence upon enforcing their beliefs on those who don't share them. I have no respect for this view, and I won't show any. Appeals to reason should be enough, and if they're not, that's their failing. I'm certainly not going to pretend that we're talking about two equally valid opinions when one is that gays are dangerous, such as we've seen from Syne, or that religion should be taught in biology class. Why should I be expected to?
     
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  7. leopold Valued Senior Member

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    my comment wasn't about substituting anything.
    it was about the concept of "god, the creator of life and the universe".
    sorry, ridiculous and absurd isn't proof.
    well let's see it then.
    be sure to include the evidence they base their conclusions on.
    i'm not sure because i have no clue whether god exists or not.
     
  8. leopold Valued Senior Member

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    you either submit to the truth or not.
    you either submit to what was said or not.
    you either submit to what you see or not.
    simple enough?
    you are the one that said such a lifestyle was precise.
    what exactly did you mean by the words "precisely this way"?
    you brought it up so you should be able to answer it.
    this is a blanket statement and it in no way applies to the worlds religion.
    not sure about religion but the KJV does indeed make grandiose claims such as creating life and the universe.
     
  9. Aqueous Id flat Earth skeptic Valued Senior Member

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    You mean to say there is only one God in all of mythology?

    ok, so let me revise what I posted to limit "god" to that definition:

    stating Tiamat exists is as delusional as stating Tiamat doesn't exist
    stating Quetzalcoatl exists is as delusional as stating Quetzalcoatl doesn't exist
    stating Brahma exists is as delusional as stating Brahma doesn't exist
    stating The Great Spirit exists is as delusional as stating The Great Spirit doesn't exist
    stating Nüwa exists is as delusional as stating Nüwa doesn't exist
    :
    etc.

    What did I post that was either ridiculous or absurd. I have already established that there is incontrovertible evidence that cultures invented gods to explain phenomena for which they had no science. That's purely a fact of history. It's not clear to me what you are objecting to.

    You'll have to dig through the material to find what you're looking for. I can help you get started:

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_creation_myths

    If you follow the links there are thousands of cites constituting the list of authors I said I would provide.


    The clues are all there in the above reference. There's no denying the vast evidence of the cultural fabrication of myths concerning every deity that you deem worthy of incorporating into your claim

    stating <name of deity> exists is as delusional as stating <name of deity> doesn't exist.

    As you see there is nothing delusional about this. It's very cut and dry. What's delusional is to start with all the facts and evidence we have available to us in this day and age, and yet to blindly decide to treat the myth as historical narrative. That's my whole thesis in a nutshell. To correct what you wrote, in order for it to be logically consistent with the evidence:

    stating God exists is as delusional as stating myths don't exist

    I think that's the ball-breaker that all of the God vs Science argument keeps tiptoeing around.
     
  10. Balerion Banned Banned

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    It's too simple. As in, you haven't given this enough thought.

    To submit means to defer to another's authority. That isn't learning, that's simply allowing someone else to make the decision for you. Also, you're conflating "submit" with "acknowledge." You can acknowledge what you see, but you can't submit to it, because what you see is not a force or an authority in and of itself.

    Perhaps if you had continued reading beyond that sentence, you would have had your answer:

    I don't know how to make it any more simple than that.

    There may be a few exceptions, but the vast majority of religions practiced in the world today make truth claims such as how the world originated, how the world will end, and what the nature of the world is. The vast majority of religions also lay out guidelines for behavior, most of them dictating even minute details of a person's life, from how they treat others to what they eat and how they prepare it.
     
  11. Bells Staff Member

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    Then the parent is doing it wrong and will end up having the child grow up never having its own opinions and views or beliefs or understanding the difference between right and wrong.

    Parent child relationship should not be based on one submitting to the other to learn or the way you seem to describe it. It's based on trust and understanding and respect. It is about the parent encouraging the child to develop its own views and opinions.

    I find the whole concept of a child submitting to the parent to be disturbing.
     
  12. Jan Ardena Valued Senior Member

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    It seems they carried on their ways in the (creation of) the Roman Catholic (institutional) Church, which is why when people say ''oh so and so was a Catholic, it can have mixed reactions.

    jan.
     
  13. leopold Valued Senior Member

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    what proof has science shown you that leads you to believe god is a myth?


    basically i object to people (such as yourself) making factual statements about god when in fact you have no clue as to its existence.
    YOU might find the notion absurd, I might find the notion absurd, BUT absurd IS NOT proof aqueous.
    you present a scientist then present their evidence.
    keep in mind this is proof for the existence/ non existence of god.
    you keep forgetting that science has been completely unable to prove/ disprove god.
     
  14. Sarkus Hippomonstrosesquippedalo phobe Valued Senior Member

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    The notion of God is an unscientific one from the outset, I'd have thought. Only certain claims can be approached by science.

    What science can do in such matters is provide a path to help one reach what they consider a rational conclusion that fits the observations, and then say "I don't know" to the rest.

    But what is rational to hold as true one day might be shown to be in error the next.
     
  15. scifes In withdrawal. Valued Senior Member

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    Whoa whoa whoa, wasn't Q permabanned eons ago?

    nice thread btw, I really like it, though I lost interest after the first few posts.
     
  16. spidergoat Venued Serial Memberlist Valued Senior Member

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    In the absence of any "clues" that god does exist, it's reasonable to assume it doesn't. And define god.
     
  17. Fraggle Rocker Staff Member

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    But that is a very common element in many religions--at least the various Abrahamic faiths. In Saudi Arabia it is illegal to establish a Christian church because Islam is more important.

    Huh??? We are keenly aware of history and the myriad eras in which the leaders of the dominant religion in a region persecuted those of other religions or no religion. And as I noted above, one does not have to be a scholar of history to trip over one of these scenarios: all one has to do is read about the plight of the Christians in Saudi Arabia, the Muslims in certain African nations, or the Jews in--well just about everywhere at one time or another (except China, where they were treated so well that they assimilated--a lesson that the Jewish elders in the rather tolerant USA find absolutely frightening).

    Why do you think it is fair to hold atheists to a different standard than the supernaturalists? We're all human beings with the same DNA. Being an atheist is tough; unless one is somewhat isolated in an academic environment or lives in an extremely progressive, cosmopolitan urban area in an extremely "Blue" state like Maryland, one is likely to have few friends, and when socializing with many of them one has to be careful what topics one brings up.

    The religionists are allowed to wax irrational anytime they want, because their philosophy is based on irrationality. But we claim to be rational so we have to keep our shit together 24/7. Even under the stress of living in an irrational civilization!

    This is not correctly stated. The correct statement is that there is NO respectable evidence to support the existence of God. We are even welcome to invoke the Rule of Laplace ("Sagan's Law" for our American majority) and demand extraordinary evidence to support an extraordinary assertion before we are obliged to treat it with respect. The reason it is extraordinary is that it claims to falsify the fundamental premise that underlies the entire scientific method, a premise that has been challenged for 500 years, often with great hostility, and never come close to falsification: that the natural universe is a closed system whose behavior can be predicted by theories derived logically from empirical observation of its past and present behavior.

    I suppose this could be reworded in such a way as to claim to present evidence that God is artificial (or "imaginary" as I prefer to call him, since I find little difference between the myth about God and the myths about King Arthur and Robin Hood), but we hesitate to argue in this manner. To do so in just this one case is to single out theism from all the other categories of crackpottery, pseudoscience and antiscience, and in the long run is probably not advisable.

    At least Haile Selassie was a real historical figure. Evidence for the reality of Jesus is so minimal--given that the Romans were consummate recordkeepers--that it's only courtesy for us to grant it the status of scholarship.

    Yes. See below for more on Jung's model of archetypes.

    Jung identified an enormous set of motifs that recur consistently in almost all cultures in almost all eras. These include images that keep popping up in art, ceremonies that keep popping up in rituals, and stories that keep popping up in legends. He coined the term archetypes for them.

    Basically they are nothing more or less than instincts programmed into our brain hardware. Most instincts serve an obvious purpose. For example, any animal who does not instinctively run away from a larger animal with both eyes in front of its face (a predator) will not live long enough to reproduce, so his species will soon be dominated by individuals who have synapses properly programmed for escape.

    The reason for the survival of belief in supernatural phenomena is not so easy to identify. But our genes are loaded with "junk DNA" and perhaps this is an example of that. Until and unless religion becomes a survival handicap, it will be carried along. Considering that the Christians, Muslims and Jews are currently preparing for a three-way Nuclear Holy War, that time may come sooner than we think.

    This is (probably) a uniquely American perspective, since virtually all of the fundamentalist Christian churches are headquartered here--with a few in Africa.

    It's instructive to note that Christianity is on the wane in Europe and the Antipodes. Unfortunately Islam is growing and it's tracking about 600 years behind the development of Christianity, putting it at the beginning of its own Reformation. Unfortunately that euphemistically-named event was in actuality a century of cruel religious warfare.

    Only a typical ignorant American Christian could say something so stupid and cruel. In the early years of the Holocaust and WWII, quite a few Jews managed to escape from Germany and its conquered territories. One shipload of them docked in an American port--where they were refused permission to come ashore because before Pearl Harbor the USA tried desperately to maintain a position of neutrality. The Jews were distraught, so in desperation they sailed for Port-au-Prince--a port that had not already warned them to stay away. The Haitians--never a wealthy people and often on the verge of starvation themselves--welcomed them with open arms and shared their meager rations with them.

    I would suggest that if anyone wants to see a genuinely "good Christian" who tries very hard to live a life that Jesus would be proud of, they should follow the Jews to Haiti. It certainly ain't Pat Robertson!

    Indeed. It is possible to follow the teachings of Jesus without getting mired in the Old Testament crap.

    I may be an atheist, but I love Jesus. He's a great role model, with a few obvious wrong turns that can be blamed on the naïveté of his era, such as not understanding the important role that moneychangers play in a robust economy. It doesn't matter that he's not real. I also love Winnie the Pooh, Frodo Baggins and Kermit the Frog. They have all taught me some very important things that (hopefully) make me a better person.

    Ah yes, I was wondering when you'd bring your breathtaking moderation skills to this thread. Of course you'd like to 86 a discussion that pokes holes in your facile arguments in defense of religion.

    No. Humans are apes, as were our ancestors since Ardipithecus broke off from the chimpanzee line 7MYA. Gorillas, chimpanzees, humans and orangutans: the Great Apes. The various species of gibbons: the Lesser Apes. Anyone who finds it difficult to believe that we are apes has never watched the Olympic gymnasts. And we do all that with no prehensile toes! (Fully bipedal Ardipithecus, a textbook case of a transitional species, retained just one on each foot, to make a swift escape into the trees when predators appeared.)

    There are those who will say that we can't blame religion for all of this. To whom I would point out that in the last 1300 years (since the rise of Islam, what a coincidence

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    ), religion has been the motivator for the majority of government-sponsored killing or "war." Jung put it more bluntly: "The wars among the Christian nations have been the bloodiest in human history." He overlooked Genghis Khan, who killed a full 10% of the people reachable by the transportation technology of his era, but that exception does not detract from the veracity of the statistic. In WWII the combatants could reach the entire planet's population with the transportation technology of that era, and they killed 3% of us--including a large percentage of one demographic group that was not even fighting: the Jews.

    And spare me the tired arguments about the depravities of the communists having nothing to do with religion nyaa nyaa nyaa. Marx was a devout Christian and his slogan, "To each according to his needs, from each according to his abilitiy," is an elaboration of a line in the Book of Acts. Imagine anyone but an Abrahamist saying with a straight face that a civilization can survive if what a man takes from it need not correlate with what he gives back? Communism is a fairytale economic system derived from the fairytale of Christianity.

    That's what the Hindus say. They insist that all of the "gods" we see in different religions, or even in a single religion such as theirs, are merely the various aspects of the one God. He is simply too big and has too many facets to be able to intelligently discuss him as a single entity. On a PBS series about religion, an Indian lady said that she had nonchalantly prayed in a synagogue, a mosque and several Christian churches, because she knew that she was talking to the same god in all of them.

    What science has shown us is that the natural universe operates under a set of logical laws that we have been steadily discovering for millennia, perhaps going back to Archimedes discovering buoyancy, and continuing up to yesterday's discovery of relativity and the Big Bang and today's discovery of dark matter and energy. As I noted earlier, this demonstrates that the natural universe is a closed system, one that is not operated upon by fantastic creatures and unbelievable forces which pop out of an invisible, illogical supernatural universe at random intervals for (apparently) the express purpose of fucking up the operation of the natural universe and making a mockery of science.

    One of the principles that make up the scientific method is the assertion that it is never necessary to prove a negative. The burden of proof always falls on the person who makes a claim. Otherwise the finite resources of science would be dissipated in an endless series of tests of every crackpot hypothesis brought to the gate of the Academy.

    We don't have to. See above: "It is never necessary to prove a negative." It is the responsibility of the people who assert that God exists, to provide evidence supporting that assertion. So far, the best they've got is a tortilla (one out of millions fried every year) with a scorch mark they claim is the exact likeness of a figure from the Bible--a person of whom no portraits exist against which to compare it!
     
  18. (Q) Encephaloid Martini Valued Senior Member

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    You have banned others for much less than placing "a big steaming dump in your subforum". But, it's understandable you'll do nothing about this because the rules don't apply to you mods.

    If you had any balls, you would close this thread and give Tiassa a time out. This IS the fight to pick.
     
  19. Yazata Valued Senior Member

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    I don't want to put words into Syne's mouth, but I got the impression that although he agrees that this thread is a "big steaming dump", he doesn't have the power to discipline other moderators. I also got the impression ("I have enough trouble with the other staff") that there are problems in the heavens and that if Syne provokes the better-connected deities, he might be cast out of Olympus.

    Bottom line, I'm not convinced that Syne is the villain in this. He might agree with you more than you think, but believes that he's effectively powerless in confronting the higher gods.
     
  20. Fraggle Rocker Staff Member

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    Moderators do not have the software permissions to moderate each other.
     
  21. Sorcerer Put a Spell on you Registered Senior Member

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    A very good post, Watery One, and much better than I could manage.

    As far as the sharia law areas in England, it's mob rule basically with the police turning a blind eye in the cause of 'community relations'. There have been other similar issues with the police ignoring concerted attacks by groups of Muslim men on white girls. This is one example:

    http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/uknews/crime/10061217/Imams-promote-grooming-rings-Muslim-leader-claims.html
     
  22. Balerion Banned Banned

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    He could have tossed the thread into the cesspool. "I might get booted for doing my job" is not a valid reason for inaction.
     
  23. (Q) Encephaloid Martini Valued Senior Member

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    I would agree that Syne is not the villian here, but he could certainly become a hero. There's a mod forum where they discuss us. It is this forum that Syne has an opportunity to air this dirty laundry with the other mods and run roughshod over Tiassa for dumping in his forum.
     
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