Sarku said it and Enterprise-D said it but why let them have all the fun...so I’ll say it again, just in case our resident religious mind can’t comprehend some basic principles. A wasted effort but fun and funny if one doesn’t take these people seriously. lightgigantic The mind-set is the same, the motives the same, the strategies the same. Only slight differences between Christian minds and Muslim minds and Hindu minds and whatever minds. And this is where we witness the true quality of your mind. Excuse me for starting out like this but this is a forum where we should speak honestly and clearly. Succumbing to the need for civility is the beginning of hypocrisy. I find you, and those like you, borderline retarded or, at least psychologically stunted. We see here the full affect of what I was talking about in my ‘Christian Debate Tactics’ (Replace 'Christian' with Hindu if you want) when I mentioned the ‘turning the tables’ strategy. The religious mind mistakenly believes - or desperately want to - that the burden of proof rests with the one not-believing and that if he, the non-beleiver, cannot prove that something does not exist then it therefore must exist. This is called ‘proving a negative’. Let us examine its effects. If I say there is a green monster living in my basement or that I can fly, if the unbeliever cannot prove that there is no green monster or that I cannot fly, then both statements must be true or at least possible. Our resident religious specimen uses words like “plurality” or “ontology” or “epistemology” in an attempt to appear thinking or intelligent when it is incapable of simple logic. He wants to sit in the grownup section, even while still remaining as child, just by using adult words. He supposes that the Atheist must disprove his God in order for his God to not be. If a negative cannot be proven then its opposite must be true....right? Please Register or Log in to view the hidden image! This is called reverse reasoning, a strategy religious minds often use as a way around their inability to provide any evidence besides Scripture. Scripture being a man’s work describing a man’s opinion about something he has no direct knowledge of. Here we see the quantity over quality argument. If an idea is popular it is automatically possible or more possible. Popularity dictates 'truth'. People have believed in stupidities since the beginning of time. The earth was flat for the majority of Europeans once upon a time. But majorities are also regional. One majority will believe one thing, in this region, and a completely different thing, in another, making absolutes regionally relevant. Funny how "universal truths" are so geographically cotained. We also witness here a simplification of the opposition in the “It’s all in your imagination” hypothetical argument. Given the logic our specimen is exhibiting here everything does exist if it cannot be shown to not exist. I cannot prove that Santa Claus does not exist, therefore he does. I cannot prove that Olympus is not populated by gods so therefore it must be. If we established this form of reasoning in everyday life we would not need to have money only ask that the other prove that we do not. If he is unable to then we can both assume that I do have money. Then we could all purchase anything on hypothesis. We can call it ‘Reverse Reasoning Credit’. Here reality isn’t constructed based on ongoing investigation but it pre-exists completed and indisputable and all that remains is for it to be proven or disproven. It IS until someone shows that it IS or IS not. If it cannot be proven then the burden is diverted upon the opposition who must disprove it or else risk constituting it as real if they cannot. Do we see now why such minds cannot be rehabilitated or reasoned with and why, in numbers and given enough political clout, they become dangerous? Who can reason with a Muslim fanatic who is willing to die and kill for a belief he cannot prove but believes because he was taught to and which he reasons is true because it cannot be disproved? Can I disprove Leprechauns? No. I can reason them away as implausible but I cannot completely exclude them as possible, if I am truly open-minded. Therefore Leprechauns, according to this bright beacon of thought, are fact. Watch him use the very strategies I described: The ‘reversing the tables’ strategy comes complete with accusations he himself is guilty of. “Dancing” I ask: who’s dancing here? The only type of mind that would be swayed by his tactics is the desperate soul seeking a way out of his suffering and wanting to feel special in a universe that could care less. Should such souls be nurtured and protected? And before we answer, guided by our compassions, let us consider the consequences of allowing such minds to believe they are on the right track or making a good point or that they are the equals of more rational minds. Sheep to the slaughter. Watch the reversal tactic continuing. He entered the fray with a preemptive strike across atheism’s bow and now he uses the very strategies I’ve described, even after he read them. He has no other arsenal. His worldview, his very peace of mind is built upon this shaky edifice. Where have I excluded absolutes as being possible? I’ve only described them as improbable, especially for the human mind to fathom, and improbable since an absolute would be inert by definition. A universe containing an absolute would cease having dimensions. A singularity. Why would an absolute move or create? Movement and creation and action is a sign of lack or imperfection. The perfect would need nothing and would have no reason to do anything. I deem absolutes improbable. But our specimen attempts to divert the burden and the conversation away from him self and his absolutist hypothesis. I say: if there is an absolute then prove it. I say: I’m open to arguments, describe this absolute and then describe how you came to this conclusion or this knowledge or this certainty. If I say I found the fountain of youth, the other, even if he may find the idea improbable, illogical and absurd, will nevertheless ask to be taken there. If I answer back: “Disprove that I’ve found the fountain of youth.” Because I cannot take him there then who is the hypocrite? I’m open. Lead me to your absolute. Show me. Don’t show me a map that supposedly was written by someone who had seen it. Don’t tell me the villagers all believe in it and therefore it must be there. Don’t use the word ‘epistemology’ to hide your ignorance and dullness of mind. Don’t talk to me about hearsay, SHOW ME!!!!! Reason yourself to it. Show me the train of thought which lead you to this ultimate, absolute conclusion. If you cannot. Go off and play with the villagers and talk and laugh about how you will all remain young, when you drink from the fountain, whereas I, the unbeliever, will die an old man. Thinking is food for adults. Children should eat on their own little tables. It all depends on how you define the word ‘God’. You are using a religious definition. God is ‘good’, he is conscious (although why something perfect would require consciousness is unknown), he cares for you and your little family and friends, he has created a special place for you, he is human-like in both form and temperament. You certainly know a lot about a theoretical something - and all this from a Book, no less. A Book mommy and daddy introduced you to from an early age or was it a friend? Exactly, my infantile friend. I cannot definitely determine it that is why I refuse to project my insecurities, fears and hopes upon it and paint it with the most positive, for me, colors and call this miasma a ‘truth’. You have yet to even define the term ‘God’. Surprising given that it is you claiming to know what it is. I say openly, like Socrates did: I do not know. But from what I do know and see and think, my opinion of what existence is, is more reliable and well-thought out than yours. I am still willing to abandon it all if new evidence changes my mind. I recognize the inherit conflict of interest in any thinking, which makes me skeptical even of my own thoughts. This is why I come here to compare them with those of others. I seek out rivals to test my thoughts. You are not even worth being considered a rival. An entertaining distraction, you are, bringing me back to my early adolescence when such matters were still unclear to me. I'm a cat palying with a tiny mouse. Even such play becomes boring in time. You are still stuck in adolescence. It is a product of this ‘Dumbing-Down’ or what I’ve referred to in other threads as ‘Domestication, Institutionalization and Feminization’ of man. You are the perfect specimen for studying the degradation of mankind. My belief rises or wanes in accordance to the logic and the evidence provided. I have met Chinese, I have seen pictures of China, I find the idea of China entirely plausible, I witness Chinese effects on the world and so I consider China to be highly probable. I’ve never seen gravity, but I see its effects and then I read books that give plausible explanations for it. Not absolute explanations, PLAUSIBLE ones. But you require concreteness and certainty, don’t you little brain? Like a little child you feel anxiety and fear at the thought that your existence is tenuous and uncertain. You need something, someone to be there to catch you, to make you definite, to offer you hope. You want a way out of being self-reliant and self-responsible. You want a great big old daddy….. Here, again, our specimen is trying to equate the two lines of reasoning by completely ignoring the arguments. Yes, tiny mind, all human actions are motivated by fear and insecurity. Some, like you, give into it and create clever little fantasy worlds to escape reality through them. Others face it, no matter what. Some, like you, attempt to gain power through belonging within something bigger and stronger than them, because they feel so small and weak on their own. Others attempt to empower self. Some, like you, succumb and surrender to the dark and unknown, choosing to cast there benevolent, kind, loving entities, to pacify their many fears. Others try to cast light in the darkness and conquer the unknown. Both are guided by the Will to Power but each uses different methods. Yes, my dim-witted believer in fairy-tales, haven’t you heard? I have a tiny penis, nobody loves me and I’ve never left my mommy’s basement. Now show us what you’ve learned in your many travels, sage. Show us the absolute. And they grab onto anything, ANYTHING, to save themselves. But your worldview is so Black & White. Who said I’m a materialist, little brain? You’ve created this caricature in your mind. The opposite of religion isn’t anarchy, materialism, violence and amorality. Is that what has frightened you into your little brain’s corner? Spirituality need not define an anthropomorphic God, little brain, nor is man devoid of morality and compassion if he does not believe in your absolute. Morality and compassion are ingrained into our DNA, as part of our social behavior. They are both survival mechanisms, just like your belief in the absurd, and we cannot help but be as we are. Yes, you want to give meaning and purpose to your suffering, I see it. You do not want to suffer in vain, do you little mind? Life and Suffering are tautologies, little one. I’ve described my reasoning on this subject elsewhere. Here’s a brief synopsis of what I believe but still remain skeptical about even if my 'style' does not reveal it: The universe is characterized by increasing entropy creating time/space which we can call change or possibility. The universe is in Flux, to put it briefly. Matter is a manifestation of an attempt to stabilize and end this flux; find that absolute you already think exists, the singularity, the perfect...you can use either word even the word God. The more stable the union the more hard the matter, the more long-lived. Life is matter animated. Life is a self-limiting, self-ordering unity, attempting to separate itself from the universal flux and create a pocket of order and control and stability and power within the chaotic, for it, flux. As matter is an instance of ephemeral ordering, life is a more efficient attempt at it. Where inanimate matter is this stabilizing attempt blind and guided by nothing but chance, life is animated matter - a sophistication of this same process. It becomes more efficient in the attempt to find perfection. As the universe is constantly rearranging itself it creates pushes and pulls and strains and forces on matter and life as each unity tries to appropriate the necessary energies and achieve stability. Life, then, needs to constantly upkeep itself, heal itself, grow and repair itself. This produced NEED. Life experiences universal flux as NEED. Life is in constant NEED. Consciousness is a further sophistication of this same phenomenon. The conscious mind becomes self-aware, in time through evolution, and guides its efforts towards self-fulfillment. God is a manifestation, a projection of this Need to find an end, a stable, perfect, singular fulfillment. Consciousness interprets this ceaseless NEED as suffering. When a need is temporarily assuaged suffering decreases and is experienced as pleasure. When it is not, it grows in intensity and is experiences as pain or despair. Suffering being the universal flux interpreted by a conscious mind as sensation. If you embrace life you must embrace suffering. Sorry to break it to you in this way. But even little mind's must try to grow up sooner or later. Yes, but for those incapable of finding it here how convenient to create the circumstances by which their worldly sufferings will lead to other-worldly eternal pleasures. The revenge of the meek upon nature. No, shame is the mind feeling exposed to the Other(s). It is the fear of being negatively judged by the community. It is a form of mass control based on the establishment of moral systems. Morality is the rule of the community over the individual. Shame is one of the punishments. One feels ashamed of one’s self, often when he breaks a moral code he has been indoctrinated within. I may feel ashamed of my nakedness because my community has brought me up to believe being clothed is moral or that exposing my sexual organs is dangerous or unethical. I love your usage of extreme imagery to create an effect. Telling... In nature incest is deplorable because it produces unwanted mutations. Sex is meant to combine dissimilar traits into new unities. We are therefore not inclined to perform such acts, unless we suffer from some mental disease. Morality, in this instance, in in accordance to genetic law. Sometimes it is not. Why indeed. This is why communal living necessitates a loss of self. It creates neurosis by establishing rules which repress and suppress natural inclinations and places limits to individual actions. Morals are social contracts. Oh…oh…the sarcasm is entertaining. Please Register or Log in to view the hidden image! I reside as far way from you as possible. The hypocrisy in your selflessness and morality is intriguing but nauseating, as well. Like maggots on a corpse. No, discipline is essential for control and empowerment. I’m talking about freedom. You forget that morality isn’t the monopoly of religion. Religion is a product of social behavior. Morality is a projection of this. I, as a social being, must have a moral code even when not believing in an absolute moral dogma. I am what I strive to become. Animals believe in no absolute god nor do they have a religion but they exhibit moral behavior, little brain. I’m talking about the hypocrisy of the religious mind who cannot even recognize the self-interested, absolutist motives behind his own unquestioning belief. Such minds are capable of the worse atrocities, all in the name of the “better good”. There are dogmatic everythings. Presently we are dealing with your brand. You cannot prove a positive by disproving a negative, little brain. Name one historical instance when this was so. Communism wasn’t about Atheism, it was about a dogmatic ideal that used atheism as a part of its meme. Theism was its equal adversary. In fact Communism and Christianity have much in common. Communal interests above individual ones. Sharing. A strict moral code. Authoritarianism. Close-mindedness. Absolutism. See Christian Burdens in my original text. Another tautology under your world-view. Man has free-will, just as long as he applies it towards God’s Will. If man’s will is truly free then it is evil. If it is in accordance to God's, or what another human will has described God’s will as being, then it is good. What a wonderful way to control minds, don’t you think, little mind? This makes free-will the personification of Evil, the taint, the serpent within the goodness of God’s garden. It’s another way of causing shame. As is often the case Scripture speaks through metaphor. It is only imbeciles that take it literally. Scripture alludes to the evils of doing what you will when this goes against God – here God becomes a representation of community. Ergo morality becomes a form of mass control. Communal Will over Individual Will. So, it’s all part of a game. He already knows what will happen but He’s allowing us, in his loving, compassionate way, to suffer through it anyways. He creates and then punishes the creation for being as He created it to be. Nice. Given your definitions then religion is evil. It closes the mind up within a hypothetical and denies it possibility with a perchance, a threat and a possible reward. What?! Use 'epistemology' or 'ontology' again, it makes you seem like you know what you are talking about. Oh, I see now which particular brand of religion you’ve bought. Why would I “hit myself over the head with a hammer”? Are you using an absurdity to prove an equal absurdity? Try again. Exactly, little brain. Where is the free-will God gave you then? You are free to follow Him or suffer, according to your meme, but you are not free to not follow Him or choose to not make the choice at all. Your choice: Suffer or Surrender. No surprise that your kind always chooses surrender, then, is it? How benevolent He is, especially given that His “omniscience” makes Him aware of your choice even before He’s forced you to make it. All this towards what end? Is he amusing Himself? If He is then He is not perfect because He lacks something which requires fulfillment. Imperfect gods for imperfect beings. And if the universe had a cause how could it be the universe? God exists because if He had a cause He would not be God? Is that what you said? What a wonderful piece of circular reasoning. Your kind is known for its intelligence. How does one determine the reliability of your authorities? Second-hand knowledge is judged by the source providing it. In science the source is judged by its success in predicting phenomena. I can judge another by his previous conduct. In your case the source and the writer is beyond your ability to judge and he offers no standard to judge him by, so you take him at his word. That was deep. You know God’s “general desire”? So, god desires? Does not desire denote NEED? Desire is the focusing of Need upon an object or an objective. What is this “correct epistemology” in a world full of “correct epistemologies”? So, there are now 2 universes? I see. No human error here creating “duality”. Mind/Body. How pathetic. You didn’t answer the question, little brain. Then why us, at all? Avoiding the question again. I understand. Avoiding the question again. If a human father can forgive his child for whatever misdeed and if a human father wants his child to surpass him, then why does your God display such vain vulgarity? Avoiding the question again. I love my parents. The one still alive, that is. But what does my personal life have to do with the question? Answer it, little brain. Evasive tactics 101. Oh, I got the picture alright, little mind. Again you do not answer the question but go off on a tangent which you have a ready speech for. Please, little mind, never change. My interests are benefited by you remaining in this state of stunted mental growth. The only danger I perceive in you is when you acquire political force through numbers, because as individuals you lack any quality at all. It is when imbeciles are harnessed and their delusions directed that they can become dangerous. Cattle in groups are dangerous. People, like this specimen, require shoddy logic, reverse reasoning and emotional motives to believe in what they so desperately want to believe. If manipulated it can be used and it is regularly used. Watch the news - study marketing - study politics. Using our specimen’s reasoning I ask a final question: If no one can prove that there is a Minotaur in my basement I can only conclude, in accordance with little mind’s reasoning, that there is one. Someone told me and I read it in a book that such creatures are real. Ta, ta….