How is the FSM any more absurd than the Christian God?

Discussion in 'Religion Archives' started by wynn, May 7, 2012.

  1. Bells Staff Member

    It is a classic tactic often employed by theists.

    At the end of the day, he has no evidence or proof of his claims. Only what he believes may be false and what his faith tells him to be true. In short, God is real because his faith tells him so and FSM has to be wrong because his faith tells him so and because he cannot imagine how it could be real.

    He cannot understand how it is possible that the two could ever be in the same category. Well he can, but to do that would mean that he would have to rid himself of his faith. His excuses speak loudly. The Bible is allowed artistic license, but Henderson is not.

    Look, you can't really blame him. This is a hard thing for him to swallow.

    And the reason is because for him to admit it would be that he would be admitting that there is no evidence that God exists. I think pity and empathy may be more in order. As much as I cannot stand the man, and as much as I agree he is blatantly dishonest to the point where I have put him back on ignore for now, the reason he is doing so is because this goes directly to something that would be very important to him. And that is his faith.

    And as much as I did cringe reading his actions in this thread, I cringed more out of pity for him. Because for him to be able to be honest with you and Sarkus in this thread, he would have to be honest with himself first and he isn't ready to do that yet and he may never be ready to do that, simply because it would have meant his having to confront his own faith.
    Last edited: May 16, 2012
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  3. lightgigantic Banned Banned

    Most atheists tend to reject strong atheism because it tends to make them look stupid.

    IOW rejecting an omniscient entity on the strength of presenting one's self as omniscient has problems

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  5. Bells Staff Member

    Speaking of the holy trinity..

    You don't think presenting an omniscient being based solely on 'personal faith' as evidence of its existence is problematic? You don't think saying 'there is a God because I believe or say so' makes you sound stupid?

    I have yet to see an atheist present themselves as a form of God or as someone who is "omniscient". So can the dramatics LG.

    Atheists reject God because they see no proof of God. There is a difference.
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  7. spidergoat Liddle' Dick Tater Valued Senior Member

    He's correct, unless the standard for coming to a conclusion about something isn't absolute certainty, but rather something close to 99.999%.
  8. GeoffP Caput gerat lupinum Valued Senior Member

    Kettle, meet plate

    Oh! Which claims, I wonder.

    I did say earlier that JDawg's assertion was the most ridiculous I'd seen so far on SF, but this actually surpasses that.

    Bravo... ? :shrug:

    Yes, yes: theism/Abrahamism is allowed artistic license to falsify itself, but poor Henderson is not. Oh, those double standards. Frankly, I was amazed that everyone just took to bitching instead of pulling out those double standards to put the other side of the equation in the same place as FSM, but I guess the former is easier.

    Well... in that there is in fact no such evidence... and that I think I've already stated that there's no such evidence...yes, yes, I think I agree. I do pity you. I forget from time to time the fraction of the population with something of an unavoidable intellectual disconnect. Probably excessive emotionality. Anyway, if you're thinking of taking up the reading of tea leaves, don't give up your day job.

    That does raise a few issues - mods putting people on ignore? Odd. That issue fades in and out like a moderator visiting a thread she doesn't understand.

    Anyway, it's strange to find an atheist - who has taken an actual stance on the issue of God - criticizing an agnostic for their supposed taking up of sides.

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    As an empiricist and statistician, I am convinced that it's important to generate meaningful comparisons. I'm sorry that questioning - even distally - the concept of such a popular element of the pseudointellectual zeitgeist produces such a childish response in some members of the SF community. I do genuinely feel sorry for the people who lack emotional filters, but I'm also doubly sorry if they also happen to be in any kind of academic track, because that's bad for everyone else. Just where exactly are we headed? One hopes this attitude isn't common.

    I utterly don't include Spidergoat in this: we disagree, but he doesn't throw a tantrum because we disagree. Same for James, with whom I didn't argue specifically, and who never rageposted on it either.

    In a more general area: why is it that some members of the SF community assign themselves a moral high ground while engaging in the same behavior they say they deplore so strongly? Well, I mean, I know why, but is unintrospection really so common?
  9. Balerion Banned Banned

    That's an excellent point, Bells. The implications of admitting he's wrong on this are far greater to him than they are to you or me. His faith depends on God being a very special concept, and to equate its arguments to those for a parody like the FSM probably shakes his faith to the very core.

    You see the same kind of denial out of Jan Ardena and Wynn, actually. They both insist upon monotheistic definitions as the only legitimate concept of an ultimate creator. I once asked Wynn why she insisted upon this, and she replied, "There can only be one omniptotent being." Part of this stems from reasons I really can't state without being disparaging, so I'll trust that you know what I'm talking about, but it also comes from a desire for the familiar, and to her the familiar is the monotheistic God character. To admit that there's no more reason to believe that the universe had a single and omnipotent creator than there is to believe that it had ten creators with limited power, or that it grew as a boil on the backside of a steer in some alternate universe, would be to upset everything she "knows." Having one's convictions completely turned on their head is a big event, and even though you and I might such a prospect exhilarating, not everyone is as intellectually strong as that.

    That said, it's still annoying to have to deal with the absurdity of these arguments. I mean, I'm trying to get Jan to explain how he/she supposes that every religion in human history is based on the same being (which is Jan's mechanism for reconciling the contradictory nature of religion, of course), but it's like running into a wall. People like that will never give it to you straight, because it's not just you they're trying to convince; they're also trying to maintain this shroud of ignorance around themselves, and often that endeavor requires obfuscation and contradiction.

    To be honest with you, I saw Geoff as something of an ally here because he, like me, is willing to criticize Islam at a time when doing so will get you branded as a bigot (here at Sciforums and, sadly, in some part of the Western world), but I'm thinking you have the right idea in putting him on ignore. I try not to have too many people on that list, because this place can get awfully quiet if you shut out all the loons, but sometimes the efforts aren't worth it.
  10. Balerion Banned Banned

    I'm not a strong atheist, either. I can't possibly say I know there is no first mover. I don't think there is, but I can't know for sure. What I can say is that the God character of the Judeo-Christian faith is a fabrication. We know that it is, because the evidence against its existence is overwhelming.

    Contrary to your personal and confused definition of "God", this in not the same thing as saying "There is no ultimate creator."

    If it required omniscience to reject an omniscient entity, there would be no such thing as atheism. But even agnostics reject Allah and God and Zeus and other gods. The act of rejection does not require one to assert a god does not exist, only that there is no evidence for it.

    What I'm claiming is that there is no Christian God, which is far more significant than a rejection of it. I can reject it based on its lack of evidence; I assert its non-existence based on the evidence against it. And as was the case of a simple rejection, omniscience is not required to make this assertion.
  11. lightgigantic Banned Banned

    I guess I took it on face value that you wouldn't scurry behind a weaker form of atheism when you said you wouldn't


    I never said that there was no such thing as strong atheism.

    I simply said that most atheists, after they have calmed down a bit, reject it.

    So (the christian) god doesn't exist but you don't reject god?
    Or are you saying that you reject god but not the notion of his existence?
  12. lightgigantic Banned Banned

    No more than the statement "I think you have a disease/ a weakness in your financial portfolio/loose CV joints" is stupid ..... depending on who it comes from

    Look no further than this thread ... unless you can explain how evidence can support an absolute negative

    Which is what they have to be painfully reminded of when they absent mindedly stumble into the idiocy of strong atheism
  13. Balerion Banned Banned

    I didn't. Your concept of what it means to say "There is no Christian God" is incorrect, and I am not beholden to it. You think to say this means to say that there is no creator of the universe, but that's not what it means.

    Are you asking or offering?

    No, you said my position required me to be omniscient, which is incorrect. I do reject strong atheism. I don't claim to know that there is no creator of the universe.

    You need to differentiate the Christian "God" from the concept of a creator. The concept of a creator has existed since long before Christianity or Judaism, so creationism as a general concept is not synonymous with, or reliant upon, Yahweh.

    I reject all gods. That's another thing you need to get straight. Rejection doesn't mean that I know no gods exist, it simply means that I have no evidence for them, and so have no reason to believe that they exist.

    As it pertains to the Yahweh, I am saying it does not exist. But this not mean that I say no creator of the universe exists. What you need to understand is that Yahweh is not the only concept of such a creator, but one of many, and a fairly recent one in the grand scheme, so the assertion that it does not exist is not an assertion that there is no possible creator of the universe.

    This isn't a difficult concept, LG. If you're not intelligent enough to keep up, drop out now. But if you are, then I don't want to read any more of this crap about "rejecting" God meaning that I'm "rejecting" (your term, apparently, for asserting the non-existence of something) the concept of a creator.
  14. GeoffP Caput gerat lupinum Valued Senior Member

    I love the mutual congratulation here. Very poignant.

    It might, if I had faith, and if the FSM worked. You two are so impressively myopic that it forces me to wonder who's arguing from faith here. I mean, can either of you read? I practically gave you a superior comparison. No matter; if it contradicts your faith in a comfortable fallacy, I imagine it shakes you up too hard to see too clearly. I asked too much. Mea culpa. Out of curiosity, though: how do you reconcile a position based on faith with the declaration of no faith of any kind?

    Whoops! Probably shouldn't have mentioned that one. Just for clarification - and not because I think you'll understand the difference - I'm a critic of Islamic supremacism; forgive me, but I don't think your objections are quite so precise. Oh well. You've certainly earned each other. I think, based on Bells' interpretations of character, you'd do well to get on board with Fraggle. Good hunting.

    No, no: feel no hesitation. I utterly endorse this idea. It saves me time dealing with the obtuse, deliberate or otherwise. Please - ignore away. I insist.
  15. Bells Staff Member

    Yes it is.

    And the reason is simple.

    Personally I am comfortable with being an atheist, with believing there is no God. You may or may not be as well. He is not comfortable with that because he is not sure. He is, I would assume after his performance in this thread, an agnostic. Thus, he could be plagued with 'what if' questions. I moved past that a long long time ago. And I am comfortable with that and for him to say that FSM is not more absurd than the Christian God or any other religious deity, especially the Abrahamic deity, then it would mean that God may actually not exist as he believes the FSM does not exist.

    It is a giant step for anyone to take, even him. And it is not something I would feel comfortable pushing someone into that direction because when one does push, then the result can be that he is pushed into deeper theism to try and reconnect with his faith. Which is also fine.

    The thing with atheism is that it is personal. It's a journey we take as individuals and it is a realisation we come to on our own. Especially if one comes from a religious background.

    Yes it would and we have seen the result of pushing him. He runs around in circles, becomes intellectually dishonest, becomes deliberately contradictory and utterly predictable. He will never admit it because he is unsure about God or he believes in God. It's best not to push. Faith is personal and to him, it is probably deeply personal and it is something he has to live with. We do not.

    Wynn and Jan.. heh.. Look, I once watched them try and discuss theism and trying to explain the scripture and the Bible and it was funny and frankly, I just don't bother anymore because it is just cruel to make fun of people.

    No they aren't.

    But one thing I have noticed with certain individuals is that when confronted with atheism and when the folly of theism is spread out bare on the ground, they retreat futher into theism and make even more outrageous claims. Ask Jan to define theism and you'll see my point. As funny as that episode was, they do retreat futher into the argument of the ridiculous and frankly, the debate then becomes one filled with a stupid amount of dishonesty and we enter the bad zone of thread locking time.

    You can't win.

    When it comes to one's personal beliefs and one's faith, you will never win.

    And frankly, there will come a point in time where you will see that short of chuckling at their arguments, you just won't win and you will stop trying. It's fun in the meantime, but faith is personal and as hilarious as it is to watch them delve into such ridiculous arguments, the end will always be exactly the same.

    As you are well aware, Geoff and I do not get along. At all. The few times we have managed to have some level of civil discourse, it always ended badly and the last time it did, I ended up resigning my position as moderator. So I put him on ignore for large blocks of time. Not because I don't care to read what he says, but because I do not enjoy reading his posts when he goes off on a tangent and runs around in circles like he is here. It iritates me to see a grown intelligent man behave this way. But frankly, it has become predictable. He has become predictable to me. Let me guess, he has queried my being a moderator and putting him on ignore? Or he has tried to use my own words about his stance and applied it to me? Predictable. When I put Geoff on ignore, it isn't to drown out the woowoo. It is to drown out someone I find personally irritating and boring and overly predictable, but mostly, because it avoids conflict. This is nothing new and I don't mean it as an insult to him. He feels the same about me. What I feel for him is mirrored.

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    Look, you two get along. Usually. What you have experienced here is something I have experienced many times with Geoff and it has been quite a few years now. What I am suggesting to you is that you just back off a bit. Understand that this is something personal to him. Demanding someone confront their personal faith can be harmful to the other. In short, even though I think he's a dick (yes, that feeling is mutual), it doesn't mean that he should be hung out to dry by people he considers to be his friends because of his personal theistic beliefs. That is not what being an atheist should be about.
  16. Balerion Banned Banned

    All you gave us are inferior comparisons and a reason to giggle. You know that you're wrong, so this incessant moaning is unnecessary. We've got you pegged, Geoff.

    I understand the difference, and as I said to you at the time, Islamic supremacism/fundamentalism/etc. is what I was talking about. I said the same thing to Bells, so I wasn't aware that repetition of that distinction was necessary.

    Oh, I'm sure. It would benefit you greatly to have one less person making you look like a fool.
  17. Balerion Banned Banned

    That's all fair enough, and if the guy wasn't asserting that his position is right and mine is wrong, I'd leave him to his delusion. But the rules change a bit when one puts themselves on the line.

    As for the point about comfort and coming to the realization oneself, and not being forced into it, I completely understand your point, and I think you stated it beautifully. But again, I think to some extent people who come to places like do so either to have their minds changed, or to be reassured. Since I can't reassure him, I can only try to change his mind. It may not be me who does the trick, but perhaps the cumulative effect of having reasonable people knocking down all of his arguments will one day make him realize the score. If I can be a part of that, great.

    Agreed, but when he's the one doing the pushing...I mean, he has made some very exasperated protests to certain ideas here. He's begging for it, in other words.

    Good point.

    Another good point. But the same could be said of many topics here, and I'd like to avoid that slippery slope of "There's no point in it."

    I see what you're saying, but I prefer not to be so fatalistic about it. People do change their minds. Perhaps the "Holy Trinity" won't, but their stubbornness isn't so much a product of faith as it is of ignorance. The whole Vedas discussion, for example. I feel that if they can have these bad ideas debunked enough, they might move on.

    The challenge is getting them reduced to their faith. If I can get that far, then I'm happy.

    That all makes sense, and his "Smart Guy, Dumb Ideas" shtick is really what bothers me about him, as well. He's replied to you a couple of times, but I haven't read them, but I do know that he reacted very strongly to my point to you about putting him on my own ignore list. Clearly, it is a sensitive issue for him.

    I can't disagree with anything you say here, only your understanding of what exactly is going on here. Perhaps it's because you have him on ignore, but you are unaware that he is the one pressing the issue. It's not as if he's being attacked. He's very much a part of this.

    I will agree that is has outlasted its usefulness, but it's going to be a soft landing in any case. I'm not going to reduce myself to "You're a fucking idiot scumbag and I hope you die," and I really can't see him doing that either, so at worst we're just going to walk away. But in the meantime, I'm not obligated to let him off the hook when he's constantly challenging me with junk. Again, I do understand that it's an entirely different animal for me than it is for him, but that doesn't mean I have to acquiesce to stupid ideas. When I feel it's over, I'll bow out.
    Last edited: May 16, 2012
  18. wynn ˙ Valued Senior Member

    I'm saying that I'm not going to fight someone just because they provoke me.

    You challenged me to prove you wrong, and I didn't accept that challenge.
    Last edited: May 16, 2012
  19. wynn ˙ Valued Senior Member

    Psychological projection is a psychological defense mechanism. It's also regarded as an immature defense mechanism ...


    Looks like the words of a new Joseph Smith!

    (Mormons actually aspire to become god-like.)
  20. wynn ˙ Valued Senior Member

    First of all, I don't think anyone ever claimed "There is God because I believe or say so." That would be to state that God's existence depends on one's belief.

    Secondly, expressing faith in God doesn't automatically make one sound stupid, it only could make one sound stupid depending on whom one is talking to and why.

    And thirdly, it is a grammatical mistake to say "a God."

    Numerous people here do it all the time ...

    I don't think this is the whole story.

    Other than that, proof of God would require omniscience in order to be recognized as proof of God to begin with.
  21. Balerion Banned Banned

    I'm going to need you to explain how that is true, Wynn.
  22. wynn ˙ Valued Senior Member

    No, it seems to me that you are trying to get others to agree to the importance that you believe falsibiability plays in all this; it seems to me that you want others to view falsifiability as the ultimate factor for deciding truthfulness.

    Do you believe that the people who do not place belief/trust/faith in that which has no proof, or at least no possibility of proof, are superior to other people?

    It is also a truism that cannot translate into practice. So it's useless.

    I take objection to the air of judgmental certainty with which you speak about what supposedly goes on in other people's minds and lives.

    I'm in the process of trying to understand why you place so much weight on falsifiaibility. At the moment, that is all I can say, but my comments on the issue are throughout my posts, even if in an individual comment passage, I don't say much.

    But merely seeking consistency and critical thought on the matter doesn't really put your mind to ease - or does it?

    Good for what?

    I think we tend to take for granted that we seek to be right - but it seems we often don't pay much attention to the intentions behind this quest.
    Not rarely, we seek to be right about something simply because we hope we will get an ego boost from that being right ...

    As you say, important people in your life believe in unfalsifiable things, and these people influence you. Since they believe in unfalsifiable things that you don't believe in, you are left with these people's influence and are none the wiser ...

    As it is, conceptualizing the whole problem in terms of falsifiability makes it unresolvable.
  23. wynn ˙ Valued Senior Member

    Proof of X is proof of X only if we can also be sure that it is not also proof of Y or proof of Z.


    What would you propose could be proof of God?
    A prayer answered? But for that to count as proof of God, you'd have to exclude the possibility of chance or some other agent that answered the prayer.
    An example of natural laws overturned? But for that to count as proof of God, you'd have to exclude the possibility of chance or some other phenomenon.

    To continue in this same manner, it would require omniscience to be able to exclude all those other things that are not God, to show that something was indeed caused by God, and not by something else.

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