Friday, February 09, 2007

Doggerel #59: "I've Got Better Things to Do!"

Welcome back to "Doggerel," where I ramble on about words and phrases that are misused, abused, or just plain meaningless.

We've all got lives to live, hobbies to entertain, paychecks to earn, and so forth, but in my experience, the people who use this bit of doggerel typically don't seem to know how to use their time effectively. I suppose I should coin a term like "complementary doggerel," since it's only really abused when it goes along with a poster who uses a lot of other doggerel or bad arguments.

First, if you're taking the time to post, please make sure there's some substance behind what you type. If all you can do is post something without content, please be brief in doing so. Wordy piles of nothing can be quite annoying, and can serve to stifle discussion among the people who have reason to care about the issue. Going through several paragraphs in hopes of finding something meaningful takes time, and scrolling past blocks of text to get to people who are actually contributing something can become tedious.

Second, if your time is limited, please wait until you have nothing better to do to post and perform research as necessary to make fully-baked arguments instead of half-baked fallacies. Science takes work.

Third, don't use this as a blanket exit excuse. Lots of trolls have used this as a way to storm off when they're getting roasted. Give us at least some hint of what these 'better things' are, and it'll seem more plausible.

Fourth, don't post shortly after saying this. Such behavior is contrary to the phrase. If you run out of better things to do, make sure you spend some of your time researching before posting. We don't need you falling into another bit of doggerel.

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Doggerel Index

190 comments:

Tom Foss said...

Very nice post, and it should quiet the folks who say you're repeating yourself with these.

I see this Doggerel fairly often, especially when some creduloid on an unrelated message board brings up some piece of woo, and then gets backed into a corner. I'm always reminded of a Homer Simpson quote at that point: "That's boring! You're boring everyone! Quit boring everyone!" The wooster's trying to speak for everyone and downplay the importance of the conversation, in order to assuage his own damaged ego.

Sadly, YouTube doesn't have a clip.

Weapon of Mass Instruction said...

Researching?

Ok, why won't you be a good example and go first.

You know like the preacher that practices what he preaches.

Bronze Dog said...

Did a little research myself using genetic algorithms designed to approximate evolution. (This one's simpler than most) Ran a lot of simulations, so I have to warn you: Staring at it in super fast forward can give you motion sickness. Looking forward to an enhanced version of the software that will allow for larger populations and genomes, as well as visibly testing Irreducibly Complex structures that show up.

Of course, there's a lot of other people's research I can refer to.

Tom Foss said...

Bronze Dog, you don't understand! In the magical land of Cocksnack, the word "research" means "find some website that you agree with and copy and paste full articles into comment threads." You keep making those blue underlined things that somehow take a reader to a reputable source; that's lazy. If you can't copy and paste twenty pages of text into a comment window, then it's not worth reading!

Gosh!

Rockstar Ryan said...

Tom:

It is -6 degrees in Lincoln, NE. There are 2 feet of snow on the ground, and I had to leave 30 mins early just to be late to work. The first person who called me (Your Rockstar is in customer service) was a dick.

But that was the funniest god damn thing I've read for awhile. Rock on smart asses!

Tom Foss said...

I'm glad to know I could make a Rockstar's day better :).

Bronze Dog said...

The wooster's trying to speak for everyone and downplay the importance of the conversation, in order to assuage his own damaged ego.

Just remembered one item that made it onto a sort of "Everything I Need to Know I Learned from My Cat" list that's fitting: "If at first you don't succeed, feign disinterest."

Brent Parker said...

You say we all have lives to live and maybe people like me should consider doing some study in our spare time to make fullbaked aruguments. Do you have a life you are living Bronze?? You certainly are spending much of it in study on the basics of life.

I just don't have the need to do such in depth study. I know the truth Bronze. It has set me freee. It is in the pages of the Bible. Have I done study outside of the Bible? Yes, but I didn't need to do much to come to the revelation that the Bible is innerrant. It satisfies my mind and spirit, and fullfills my cravings for significance. So it is not a cop out, it is the answer to ALL of your meaningless arguments.

I don't prefer fear and spuerstitions.

It is clear that you do.

I have faith...the opposite of fear.

You on the other hand have fear which is why
you continue to stay so on top of your intellectual understandings, that at the end of the day speak of your lack of faith.

Be blessed my friend. I have nothing but love for you Bronze. Take care.

Bronze Dog said...

Brent said:

I just don't have the need to do such in depth study. I know the truth Bronze. It has set me freee. It is in the pages of the Bible. Have I done study outside of the Bible? Yes, but I didn't need to do much to come to the revelation that the Bible is innerrant. It satisfies my mind and spirit, and fullfills my cravings for significance. So it is not a cop out, it is the answer to ALL of your meaningless arguments.

So, all you've got is hubris: To me, faith is nothing but an assertion of infallibility. How do you know it's inerrant?

As for significance, I'm the sort who prefers to achieve that feeling through good deeds and the people who care for me.

I don't prefer fear and spuerstitions.

It is clear that you do.


My psychological projection senses are tingling. Knowledge is one of the best tools we have for dispelling fear. So far, the best route we have to knowledge is the scientific method.

Perhaps you'd like to explain why your religion is so much different from all the other cults out there. I don't see much difference between you and the astrologers, ghost fans, Muslims, and generic Eastern mysticism I've encountered as a blogging skeptic.

I have faith...the opposite of fear.

There's a difference between having a security blanket that allegedly protects you from the Boogey Man under your bed and knowing that there's no such thing as a Boogey Man.

You on the other hand have fear which is why
you continue to stay so on top of your intellectual understandings, that at the end of the day speak of your lack of faith.


The fact that you mistake curiosity, fascination, and pleasant surprise for fear tells me there's something fundamentally wrong with you.

Just about every fundie I encounter eventually sinks to thinly veiled threats of violence in their uninspired, shallow efforts to convert me. I see very little courage in religion. Fear is one of their favorite tools.

Be blessed my friend. I have nothing but love for you Bronze. Take care.

Pardon me if I doubt your sincerity. It's in so very short supply among the people who make the sorts of arguments you do.

Brent Parker said...

Knowledge will only carry you so far. You will never "figure it all out". Your endless search, just like Darwin's, will inevitably lead you to understand your need of a Savior

What is the difference in Christianity and other religions/ belief systems?? Jesus, my friend, Jesus. We believe He is the son of God, born of a virgin, sacrificed His life for the remission of our sins.

How are the results of those belief different from others??

When we move toward God in faith, He moves toward us.

His presence touches our innermost being, and brings satisfaction to the soul.

Again, Bronze, faith is not a cop out. It is the answer to all of our life's issues.

The way to eternal life. The Bible says God uses the simple things to confound the wise.

That there is a way that SEEMS right to a man , but the end thereof is death.

Ya gotta have faith buddy.

I am sorry if you have encountered Chritians that have not loved you effectively.

I have also, but had to realize they are just sinners, saved by grace, and they will fail us. God however will never fail you. God is Love, and Love never fails. Take care and please know my words are sincere. Be blessed!"

Bronze Dog said...

Brent said:

Knowledge will only carry you so far. You will never "figure it all out". Your endless search, just like Darwin's, will inevitably lead you to understand your need of a Savior

Of course there are limits. I don't have the hubris to think we can ever have certainty.

Oh, and if you're referring to Darwin's alleged deathbed conversion, that's an oft repeated lie. The "witness" wasn't anywhere near Darwin at the time.

What is the difference in Christianity and other religions/ belief systems?? Jesus, my friend, Jesus. We believe He is the son of God, born of a virgin, sacrificed His life for the remission of our sins.

The needless sacrifice of sentient beings isn't something that'll get you on my good side.

How are the results of those belief different from others??

When we move toward God in faith, He moves toward us.

His presence touches our innermost being, and brings satisfaction to the soul.


Still sounding very much like all the other various woos.

Again, Bronze, faith is not a cop out. It is the answer to all of our life's issues.

Faith is pure arrogance and hubris. It is the assertion of personal infallibility and absolute certainty. To claim faith is to put yourself up as a god.

Science acknowledges our shortcomings and does what it can to compensate for them. I'm humble enough to know I'm not perfect.

The way to eternal life. The Bible says God uses the simple things to confound the wise.

That there is a way that SEEMS right to a man , but the end thereof is death.


And there morality goes out the window, and the thinly veiled threat I predicted comes in.

Ya gotta have faith buddy.

I am sorry if you have encountered Chritians that have not loved you effectively.


Faith is unearned arrogance.

I've met many Christians who are loving people, including my recently deceased grandmother. You're the sort of person she pitied. It's a shame her funeral was stolen from her.

I have also, but had to realize they are just sinners, saved by grace, and they will fail us.

Reminds me of several preachers who got caught performing all sorts of crimes and getting thrown in jail. They'd use that as an excuse to say we should never criticize them or treat them like criminals.

God however will never fail you. God is Love, and Love never fails. Take care and please know my words are sincere. Be blessed!"

You've done plenty to show your utter lack of sincerity or love with that thinly veiled threat of Hell. If your stone idol is love, why doesn't he just snap his fingers to make sure no one ever goes to Hell?

Brent Parker said...

We all mess it up my friend.

I can assure you if she was Christian, she would share the same perspectives on your defiant arguments and would likely have much more mercy on me even if I have failed to love you propoerly and Jesus would.

Grace Grace Grace....but for the grace of God, there go I.

Read the Bible.

There are many accounts of the Pharasees and religious zealots that cringed at the concept of grace.

It is God's way of letting us know, He is God and we are priviledged to be loved and forgiven by him. God doesn't snap his fingers and take everyone to Heaven, because man sinned in the garden of eden and that original sin brought the curse of death and hell to those that don't repent.

Before Jesus they sacrificed the best lamb they had each sabbeth for the remission of sins.

God said, no more, and sent the perfect sacrifice, in Jesus, so that when we believe on Him we are forever saved from the curse of sin. That is by grace...unmerited favor.

If He simly granted heaven with
no temptation in the garden or in our own lives, what good would our companionship be to Him.

Remember God is love.

In order to be in relationship with him, we must offer him one thing....LOVE. So you see this is not about a list of rules, do's and dont's, requirements to make it to Heaven. It is about being in right relationship with God, through faith in jesus Christ, His son, the perfect sacrifice for our sin.

God knew there would never be anything we could do or offer to nulify our sin. Therefor, He did it for us, in sending Jesus to die and rise again to Himself. All we have to do is believe. Awesome! I certainly need Him as my Savior. Don't you?

You are so right to say Faith is unearned.

That is the beauty of it.

It is by grace we are saved, not of our works, lest any man should baost.

How in the world do you find arrogance in that?

It is your vain effort to explain God away that is arrogant.

As for the preachers that have been caught in gross sin, i make no excuse for them, but the grace of God is always there for us to repent and try again.

That may sound too easy, and many have taken His grace and Mercy for granted, but His mercy is far reaching Bronze.

There can come a point in anyone's life that they come to a place of no correction, no conviction, be careful not to push that envelope.

On that note, allow me to comment on the "threat of Hell".

You must first understand the omnipotence of God and the ultimate authority He has over all creation, before you can truly appreciate His love and forgiveness.

Until you acknowledge that, you will see no need for forgiveness or grace. I don't think I made any direct threat of Hell anyway, Bronze.

Maybe that is just God's Spirit convicting you."

Bronze Dog said...

I can assure you if she was Christian, she would share the same perspectives on your defiant arguments and would likely have much more mercy on me even if I have failed to love you propoerly and Jesus would.

The ever-changing definition of "Christian." Part of the No True Scotsman fallacy.

Anyway, I would think she'd consider you the more defiant one: You're shrinking God and if you're a Young Earth Creationist, you're claiming most of the universe is a lie he authored.

Read the Bible.

Reading the Bible is one of the things that got me where I am today.

There are many accounts of the Pharasees and religious zealots that cringed at the concept of grace.

I'd cringe too at any idea that so easily gives people freedom from accountability for their actions.

It is God's way of letting us know, He is God and we are priviledged to be loved and forgiven by him. God doesn't snap his fingers and take everyone to Heaven, because man sinned in the garden of eden and that original sin brought the curse of death and hell to those that don't repent.

1. As sentient beings, we have the right not to be tortured for eternity. Torture is wrong, therefore any sort of Hell is wrong.

2. Why'd God make up these random rules about "sin" and heredity. I am not responsible for my ancestor's actions.

3. You speak as if sin has nothing to do with morality. To you, it's just some kind of bureaucratic anti-brownie points.

4. Surely an omnipotent, omnibenevolent being can endure everyone going to Heaven. Sounds like a rather small, pathetic stone idol if he can't.

Before Jesus they sacrificed the best lamb they had each sabbeth for the remission of sins.

Why are these bureaucratic anti-brownie points dispelled by being cruel to an animal?

God said, no more, and sent the perfect sacrifice, in Jesus, so that when we believe on Him we are forever saved from the curse of sin. That is by grace...unmerited favor.

1. What was he waiting for?
2. Now we're getting into the sacrifice of sentient beings. Even blacker territory.

If He simly granted heaven with
no temptation in the garden or in our own lives, what good would our companionship be to Him.


How can an omnipotent being have its existence improved? And why is his random desire for companionship so paramount? What about our companionship for each other? Does your selfish, childish stone idol condemn people to Hell because they don't live up to his random desires in a companion? Does he not care that we care about one another?

Remember God is love.

Then why put all the crazy random conditions on it? Doesn't sound like love to me: Far too shallow and empty.

In order to be in relationship with him, we must offer him one thing....LOVE. So you see this is not about a list of rules, do's and dont's, requirements to make it to Heaven. It is about being in right relationship with God, through faith in jesus Christ, His son, the perfect sacrifice for our sin.

Boy is there a lot of self-contradiction in there.

1. How can I love someone who demanded blood sacrifices for no reason?
2. So what if I don't love him? That doesn't give him the right to send me or anyone to an eternity of torture. If a human did it, everyone would rightly call him a psychopath.

God knew there would never be anything we could do or offer to nulify our sin. Therefor, He did it for us, in sending Jesus to die and rise again to Himself. All we have to do is believe. Awesome! I certainly need Him as my Savior. Don't you?

There goes the bureaucratic cheat. Why didn't God just decide to be more forgiving and dispense with the random "sin" rules that have nothing to do with morality?

You are so right to say Faith is unearned.

That is the beauty of it.


So, it's beautiful that you can claim absolute certainty about anything. Some people have done that to perform some very evil acts. What's to stop you? You've already used it to invent crazy rules to justify evils of the past.

It is by grace we are saved, not of our works, lest any man should baost.

Used by plenty of people to justify evil actions. No accountability for their evil works, so they can just be selfish like their deity and get a reward for empty adulation. I would think boasting would be a very minor annoyance next to people like you screaming about the infallibility of their faith as they blow themselves up to hurt whoever they want.

How in the world do you find arrogance in that?

It is your vain effort to explain God away that is arrogant.


You're the one claiming absolutely infallible knowledge. I'm the one using a system of forced humility known as "science" to arrive at answers. Your system of knowing assumes that you were infallible in choosing it. My system is designed to compensate for mortal biases and treats every bit of knowledge as reversible if wrong.

Of course, your side also arbitrarily demands special rules when you try to use science, claiming that scientific claims of yours are beyond science.

As for the preachers that have been caught in gross sin, i make no excuse for them, but the grace of God is always there for us to repent and try again.

That's one very small step up. Though I have my doubts about your sincerity, again.

That may sound too easy, and many have taken His grace and Mercy for granted, but His mercy is far reaching Bronze.

Good people shouldn't require someone's mercy to simply exist happily.

There can come a point in anyone's life that they come to a place of no correction, no conviction, be careful not to push that envelope.

I would think that of you: Someone who thinks he is infallible will refuse the very idea that he could be corrected. Faith is thinking your "knowledge" is infallible. Quite frankly, I'm scared for my physical well being when people like you get too much conviction.

On that note, allow me to comment on the "threat of Hell".

You must first understand the omnipotence of God and the ultimate authority He has over all creation, before you can truly appreciate His love and forgiveness.


Sounds like "Might makes Right" all over again. You're no different from all the other amoral fundies. Authority doesn't come from power. It also isn't granted randomly.

Until you acknowledge that, you will see no need for forgiveness or grace. I don't think I made any direct threat of Hell anyway, Bronze.

Maybe that is just God's Spirit convicting you."


So, I have to condone evil for selfish benefit. I'll pass.

Oh, and the indirect threats of Hell are one big blow against your sincerity. If you think I deserve an eternity of torture for not placating your childish stone idol, come out and say it. You come across like a mob boss who loves euphemisms for his crimes... I mean "business."

Brent Parker said...

White flag is out. Take care Bronze...I simply don't have the time to beat dead horses.....I'll be praying for you.

Bronze Dog said...

Seems none of your camp ever has answers. Quite frankly, all the crazy theology tends to add more layers of cruelty and childishness.

Anonymous said...

A small point among a waterfall of larger points, but I never understood the whole "Jesus was the ultimate sacrifice" thing.

Dark Jaguar said...

Dang it, accidental submission.

Anyway, here's what I mean. Even if one accepts the idea that Jesus was a superior sacrifice to the average sentient being, there's the idea of what point is there in sacrifice.

Apparently the idea is that something, anything, has to suffer to "pay" for a crime. Well what's the point of that? If a police officer can't find the person who robbed a bank and decides he's going to put himself in jail to pay for that guy's crime, what good does that do anyone, anywhere? The crime is still there, and even if the guilty party decides to "accept the generous offer", what's the point of the police officer being in jail again? What's the functional difference between that and simply pardoning the offender outright?

If your answer is that "the crime was still done" then that just brings us back to square one. Etiher the guy is pardoned or he's not. If the crime can't be wiped away just by saying "I forgive you", then the money still needs to be returned and the guy still needs to be removed from a position where he could rob someone again. If it CAN be simply forgiven, then there's no reason, at all, to punish someone who had nothing to do with it.

This is doubly true in the case of a god that supposedly MAKES the moral rules. Why the heck does the one who decides what's right and wrong feel obligated to sacrifice someone who had nothing to do with it to make the "forgiveness" complete? Is it suffering just for the sake of suffering? It seems that way.

Bronze Dog said...

Excellently put, DJ.

Dark Jaguar said...

Oh, and much like Bronze Dog, I myself took to reading the bible to become a better Christian and that act, along with studying the reality of a lot of the science I had been mis-taught, is what killed my faith. Don't presume that reading the bible will magically fix our faith. Instead, I'd like to ask you if you ever bothered.

Here's what I mean. Have you actually read it and contrasted and compaired a lot of parts? I don't mean just reading this phrase and that phrase from a "bible study helper" guide. I mean try reading chapter by chapter in the order it's presented, entire "books" of it in one go, checking parts against other parts yourself. Bible thumpers love the phrase "context is king" but they never bother checking the context themselves. Instead they do the opposite of actually checking context and invent their own "context" as the situation warrents, totally dropping that interpretation the moment it makes another part look bad. For the average christian, "context" is interpreting parts over and over until they can remove a contradiction they noticed, even if it doesn't make any sense. It means reading the same sorts of phrases as symbolic in one chapter and literal the next simply because that's the only way to have it "make sense".

Brent Parker said...

Our camp has THE ONLY ANSWER, Jesus and a personal relationship with Him.

You just don't want to accept that answer.

is too simple for you. Too easy. You, in your pride and arrogance, are chasing after the wind to figure it all out.

There is a God Bronze and the reality is, you're not Him.

You can't even take air into your lungs without His permission.

Repent, the kingdom of Heaven is at hand!

Again, take your bitterness from past circustances and give it to God.

It is childish to hold on to it and fight so hard to disprove God's exsistance and your need for Him in your life.

We can go on with this like the energizer bunny, and my answers will remain the same, but maybe in different fashion...God love you and you need His love, and forgiveness in your life.

If you had a Christian grandmother, this is nothing new to you. How long will you run?

Dark Jaguar said...

Rather than actually discuss the points he's making, you just make unsubstantiated claims again.

What differentiates your camp's claim from the next? What would tell me "oh THIS one's the right answer".

As of yet, we have a pretty good idea what allows us to breathe. Diaphram, muscle contractions, nerve signals, and difference in air pressure. However, there have been no signs that a flag called "permission from god" is needed. This may have been needed long ago when people believed in a thing called the "vital force" but today we've adequatly explained breathing without the need to invoke such a thing.

We could be wrong, but no evidence has as yet been provided to show so. This is not arrogance, this is the opposite of it. Rather, you are the one suggesting you are 100% right with no evidence at all. What I did, and what I assume BD here also did, was actually take the time to examine my own faith and found it lacking. Now I could have arrogantly decided that even though everything in the world says otherwise, I'm going to believe it "because I know I'm right", or I could change my views to fit the world around me. Which one seems like arrogance to you?

Oh, and note that there's nothing there that I didn't once believe myself. I grew up. This isn't about bitterness. I didn't have my family murdered by ninjas and bitterly strike out at my idea of god for not being there. I've had a pretty good life actually. I simply examined the evidence. And, in a nice little twist I always try to remind those who proselatize to me of, it was in an attempt to be closer to god. My thinking then was simply that if I truly believed, I wouldn't be afraid of any knowledge, as it would "always lead to god". I have to wonder if you have convictions of that level.

Bronze Dog said...

You watch too much Hollywood, Brent.

Our camp has THE ONLY ANSWER, Jesus and a personal relationship with Him.

You just don't want to accept that answer.


I might, if you had something other than pure hubris and arrogance to substantiate it. You are not infallible.

Of course, I doubt I'd want a relationship with the foul pictures you paint of them.

is too simple for you. Too easy. You, in your pride and arrogance, are chasing after the wind to figure it all out.

To paraphrase a wise fictional character: "The quick and easy path leads to the Dark Side." Rather than presume I'm infallible like you have and make a choice backed only by arrogance, I choose the line of evidence gathering that forces humility on those doing the gathering: Science.

There is a God Bronze and the reality is, you're not Him.

There is no evidence for the existence of deities. I am just another fallible mortal. You, on the other hand, seem to think you're perfect in regards to what you believe. That's what faith is: Putting yourself up on a pedestal. Faith is a form of idolatry.

You can't even take air into your lungs without His permission.

What DJ said. Plus, it sounds like a protection racket to me. I exist. I shouldn't need permission from some arbitrary, totalitarian authority to live.

Repent, the kingdom of Heaven is at hand!

At least you're getting a little more direct, now.

Again, take your bitterness from past circustances and give it to God.

Like I said, you watch too much Hollywood. The only bitterness I have is that Christians like you constantly ask me to condone evil. Heck, I had a talk with a new Sunday school teacher back when I was 14 who spouted many of the same bad rationalizations for condoning evil. That was the last time I attended. Getting onto the internet and running into fundies like you hasn't changed my attitude.

It is childish to hold on to it and fight so hard to disprove God's exsistance and your need for Him in your life.

1. You watch too much Hollywood.
2. You're the one who has to prove the existence of God. You're the one making the positive claim, therefore you have the burden of proof.
3. Protection racket, again.

We can go on with this like the energizer bunny, and my answers will remain the same, but maybe in different fashion...God love you and you need His love, and forgiveness in your life.

What answers? You've been doing a good job of dodging my big points.

It seems to me that love is an alien concept to you. You fling it around like a marketing phrase without comprehension of what it truly means. Given that you've got a personal relationship with someone you describe as a mob boss, I guess I shouldn't be surprised.

If you had a Christian grandmother, this is nothing new to you. How long will you run?

Sounds to me that you're the one who's running. You don't want me to drag you down from your self-idolatry and convince you that you're as fallible as any mortal. You don't want to admit that the deity you've painted is utterly immoral.

I can't seem to find any spot where you've discussed morality. Or have you ascended beyond such trivial mortal concerns?

Brent Parker said...

I have no more revelation for you Bronze. That is it. You need repentance and a relationship with God.

It is you that has no concept of what Love is, because you dont know the author of it.

Until you do, you will misunderstand who He is and where I come from in my attempt to share His love with you.

Again, you must first recognize His authority over yourself and mankind, before you can begin to grasp His love and appreciate it.

Once more, I would urge you to stop running from His conviction and face the fact that you need Him.

Your vain efforts to live this life on your own and throiugh your own intellect will eventually bring you to a place where you will have to choose whom you will serve. i will be praying you make the right choice when that day comes...

My last and final word and though is again, what if I am right and you are wrong.

You would inevidably say why would I serve a God that gives me an ultimatum to serve Him.

Yhe answer, because it is a priviledge, not a comma!
nd to
love and serve Him and the reward is eternal life.

You just have to get ato aplace first where you recognize He is real, He is God,and that is it.

It is His world. He created it. You have the choice to live in in forever or die in your sin and suffer separation from Him and his people forever, the substitute being Hell. Take care.

Brent Parker said...

I have not in anyway dodged your "big points" I have addressed every point you have made.

Again, you just won't accept that JESUS is the answer to all of your meaningless arguments.

You are deceived my friend

You have bought into a bunch of heathenistic philosophy.

You have done so out of your anger and resentment toward God for circumtnaces in your life that you feel were unfair.

You have been the one to dodge the only point I have tried to make from beginning to end.

That is the fact that We as a people are in moral decay and need repentance from our sin in order that God will bless us as he once did.

Until you address that issue, not intellectually, but spiritually, on a personal level with God Himself, you and I will never agree on much at all.

I really feel my point has been made as many ways as i can say it.

I know the conviction of God is upon you, first because it is inevidable, second because you wouldn't strive so hard and long to disprove Him and His omnipotence
unless His Spirit was convicting you.

In other words this prolonged effort of yours is a result of His conviction, you are trying to explain away and feel stable in.

Tom Foss said...

It is you that has no concept of what Love is, because you dont know the author of it.

Sounds to me like you're just trying to redefine love to mean something other than what it actually means. See, when I (or Bronze Dog, I imagine) tell someone "I love you," I don't mean "you need to meet these arbitrary standards and believe everything I say, or I'll torture you." Love doesn't come with strings attached; love doesn't come with threats and ultimatums; love doesn't require you to pass silly tests of loyalty; love doesn't exist for the benefit of just one of the people involved (as your "what good would our companionship be to him" phrase suggests). If we applied what you've said about God to a human relationship, no one in their right minds would call it "love"; they'd call it what it is: sadism.

Why is it that a relationship that would be sadistic, malevolent, and illegal by human standards gets to be the pinnacle of perfect love when God's doing it? Shouldn't this perfect loving God be held to more perfect morals than humans, rather than looser ones?

Until you do, you will misunderstand who He is and where I come from in my attempt to share His love with you.

From my point of view, Bronze Dog understands quite well: you're saying "love God, or else," and you don't seem to get that that's not love. Your God is a petty bully and an attention whore; I see nothing in there to admire or emulate, let alone love.

Again, you must first recognize His authority over yourself and mankind, before you can begin to grasp His love and appreciate it.

And before we can recognize his authority over anything, you have to present some shred of evidence that suggests that he exists, and isn't just a character in a bronze age book. Until then, he remains exactly as real and important to me as Zeus, Allah, Vishnu, and every other god who demands my belief and affection--which is to say, not real at all.

Once more, I would urge you to stop running from His conviction and face the fact that you need Him.

And I would urge you to stop running from the conviction of the invisible space pixies and face the fact that you need invisible space pixies.

How can I need something that doesn't exist? Until I see evidence that this God is more than just words on a page, I don't see any way that I could possibly "need" it.

Your vain efforts to live this life on your own and throiugh your own intellect will eventually bring you to a place where you will have to choose whom you will serve.

And you know this how? Once again, you've accused BD & Co. of arrogance, yet you assert absolute knowledge of things you couldn't possibly know through any kind of personal experience or evidence. Like anyone else, you have no idea what happens to anyone when we die; there's a chance that you'll have to "choose who you serve," there's an equal chance that you'll be instantly reincarnated as an aardvark, and a similarly equal chance that you'll end up in Valhalla with a bunch of Norse warriors. When you base your beliefs on faith, you have no way of distinguishing which beliefs are more likely to be true--those who believe in reincarnation have just as much faith and just as much certainty as those who believe in Heaven and Hell--and just as much evidence, for that matter.

Incidentally, why do we have to serve anyone? I don't believe in the Devil any more than I believe in God. If I serve anyone, it's the people I care about and the betterment of the world at large. If that's not good enough for a God, then I see no reason to serve him.

My last and final word and though is again, what if I am right and you are wrong.

My God, Brent, I've never thought of that before! Why, how could I have gone this long as an atheist without wondering if I might be wrong?

Brent, as Bronze Dog said before, we're largely scientists. Science is all about wondering if your current conclusions are wrong. Rather than just assuming one way or another, however, we figure out tests and look for evidence to find out if our beliefs are wrong. If I were to see some actual evidence for God or Allah or Vishnu or Zeus or the Flying Spaghetti Monster, I would say "well, gosh, guess I was wrong" and change my beliefs accordingly. But until that point, I have no evidence that any gods exist, and so I have to stick with my current conclusion: that no gods exist.

I might be wrong, sure. And you might be wrong too. What if Jesus isn't God, and Allah is? Aren't you afraid that you'll spend eternity burning in Hell as an infidel against Islam? What if Zeus is the true god? Aren't you afraid of spending eternity beyond the River Styx in the Underworld? What if Anubis is the real god? Aren't you afraid that you'll spend the afterlife with all these unnecessary organs, wishing you'd had some servants buried with you?

Even if I believed in a god, Brent, I'd still have to wonder if I was wrong--there are lots of other gods who could be the real god, and there's no guarantee that the one I pick will be the right one or a false one. Not every religion can be right, Brent, but they can all be wrong.

You would inevidably say why would I serve a God that gives me an ultimatum to serve Him.

Yhe answer, because it is a priviledge, not a comma!
nd to
love and serve Him and the reward is eternal life.


You might want to look up the word "ultimatum" in the dictionary, Brent, because I'm pretty sure "Love me or I'll torture you forever" qualifies.

You just have to get ato aplace first where you recognize He is real, He is God,and that is it.

And in order to get to that place, we just need some evidence that what you say is true. If you're so sure that your god is the real one, that he exists and all the other gods are false, then it should be simple for you to provide some good, solid evidence to back up your claims. That's all we want, Brent, and surely you can provide it rather than let us all fry for eternity in hellfire, right?

It is His world. He created it.

And then he left it alone. I think we can call squatters' rights at this point.

You have the choice to live in in forever or die in your sin and suffer separation from Him and his people forever, the substitute being Hell. Take care.

I can't choose what I believe, Brent. I have to be convinced. I can't just make a choice and suddenly believe that the sky is pink-and-red polka-dotted; I could say I believed that and act like I believed that, but I'd still know that it's blue. Similarly, I could say that I believed in God and act like I believed in God, but unless I saw some convincing evidence for God, I still wouldn't actually believe. I'd just be putting on a show.

Bronze Dog said...

(This post typed out before Tom's)

Brent said: It is you that has no concept of what Love is, because you dont know the author of it.

1. You don't need to know the author to appreciate a work.
2. I don't know how much more I can describe your non-loving nature with your own statements. You keep describing your deity, who is allegedly made of the stuff as selfish and immoral.

Again, you must first recognize His authority over yourself and mankind, before you can begin to grasp His love and appreciate it.

You've been spending quite a number of posts not providing a basis for that authority. Is arbitrariness your final answer?

Your vain efforts to live this life on your own and throiugh your own intellect will eventually bring you to a place where you will have to choose whom you will serve. i will be praying you make the right choice when that day comes...

I "serve" my fellow sentient beings. You would have me cast aside many of them for the sake of one's selfishness.

My last and final word and though is again, what if I am right and you are wrong.

Ah, yes, the selfish stench of Pascal's Wager.

You would inevidably say why would I serve a God that gives me an ultimatum to serve Him.

Yhe answer, because it is a priviledge, not a comma!
nd to
love and serve Him and the reward is eternal life.


In other words, exactly what I thought: Selfishness.

You just have to get ato aplace first where you recognize He is real, He is God,and that is it.

It is His world. He created it. You have the choice to live in in forever or die in your sin and suffer separation from Him and his people forever, the substitute being Hell. Take care.


You're a very violent person at heart, aren't you?

I have not in anyway dodged your "big points" I have addressed every point you have made.

You missed out on the whole "morality" thing I'm deep into. You should read up on it, sometime.

Again, you just won't accept that JESUS is the answer to all of your meaningless arguments.

And there we get to the meat of it: Morality is meaningless to you.

You are deceived my friend

You have bought into a bunch of heathenistic philosophy.


What, "Torture is wrong" is heathen philosophy? I suppose it is, given that Christianity is a big fan of that sort of thing.

You've certainly brought in a lot of hedonistic philosophy yourself.

You have done so out of your anger and resentment toward God for circumtnaces in your life that you feel were unfair.

You're an idiot who watches too much Hollywood. I'm mostly happy with my life. If there's any unfairness, it's largely in other people's lives. Of course, you're the one who's advocating unfairness.

You have been the one to dodge the only point I have tried to make from beginning to end.

That is the fact that We as a people are in moral decay and need repentance from our sin in order that God will bless us as he once did.

Until you address that issue, not intellectually, but spiritually, on a personal level with God Himself, you and I will never agree on much at all.


I keep asking for elaboration on that, but you aren't very forthcoming with it.

I really feel my point has been made as many ways as i can say it.

Yeah, and I've pointed out how it's inherently selfish and immoral. But you don't seem to care about that.

I know the conviction of God is upon you, first because it is inevidable, second because you wouldn't strive so hard and long to disprove Him and His omnipotence
unless His Spirit was convicting you.


Here's a little thing you might need reminding of: Thou shalt not bear false witness. I'm not out to disprove stuff. I'm out to point out that you've failed to prove your case. Your boundless arrogance in declaring yourself infallible in picking the right faith does not fit in an evidence locker or a scientific journal.

And given from what I've seen from you and others in your camp, I'm certainly not one to take you at your word.

In other words this prolonged effort of yours is a result of His conviction, you are trying to explain away and feel stable in.

You don't know anything about me. The fact that you keep trying to appeal to my selfishness shows that quite well. Try appealing to my morality instead. Convince me that having a relationship with a mob boss is the moral thing to do.

Of course, you're going to avoid any discussion over morality as anything other than random.

MWchase said...

(Typed concurrently with the other two posts above.)

I see #8, #21, #39, #43, #56, #66, #87, #133, and #163. Is that bingo?

Quite aside from citing all of the Doggerel entries I could, you really did dodge his points. In order to convince him that, say, he's misunderstanding the nature of sin, you have to say more than "God is love."

I'm especially amused by the idea that he's bought into a "heathenistic philosophy" as a result of reading the bible. Heavens! Ban and burn that book, it leads people into sin!

You have done so out of your anger and resentment toward God for circumtnaces in your life that you feel were unfair.

I hear that completely ignoring what people say is an excellent way to form counterarguments.

I know the conviction of God is upon you, first because it is inevidable, second because you wouldn't strive so hard and long to disprove Him and His omnipotence
unless His Spirit was convicting you.

In other words this prolonged effort of yours is a result of His conviction, you are trying to explain away and feel stable in.


Blast! That's #156 that I missed.

The reason anybody spends effort on this kind of thing is because those kinds of logical fallacies and failures of reading comprehension (either that, or you, ahem, arrogantly assumed that you know him better than he knows himself) harm the level of discourse, and, by extension, harm society by distorting people's sense of right and wrong, and how they should help others, or get help for themselves.

Bronze Dog said...

(Posted after reading Tom's)

Excellently put as always, Tom. You've covered the evidence angle quite well, while I mostly ranted on the morality angle.

I can live (somewhat uneasily) with people being merely silly by believing in silly things, but I can't stand the nihilism and hedonism that so often leads to violence, terrorism, and persecution.

Tom Foss said...

Again, you just won't accept that JESUS is the answer to all of your meaningless arguments.

Oh, now I get it. "2+2=JESUS." "What is the unified field theory? JESUS." "Why is it okay for God to torture people, but not for people to torture people? JESUS." "What evidence is there to suggest that Jesus was God? JESUS." It's all so simple.

No, wait, it's all so simplistic. Sorry, Brent, Jesus isn't an answer, he's just another bundle of questions. And just saying his name does nothing to provide evidence for your God's existence, nor does it justify your belief that all the other gods are nonexistent.

You have done so out of your anger and resentment toward God for circumtnaces in your life that you feel were unfair.

Ah, the straw-atheist. I haven't seen him in awhile. Surprisingly, Brent, I have no resentment toward God, and I'm pretty happy with my life right now. See, I can't feel resentful toward something I don't think exists; that'd be pretty silly of me. I mean, I don't feel resentful that Superman wasn't there to stop the fender-bender I had a few months ago. I don't feel resentful that Spider-Man didn't catch me when I fell and broke my arm in 3rd grade. It doesn't make sense to resent something that isn't real.

That is the fact that We as a people are in moral decay and need repentance from our sin in order that God will bless us as he once did.

No, that's not a fact. That's an opinion. Learn the difference. If it were a fact, it'd be independently verifiable. When I look at the morals of industrialized, western society and compare them to the morals promoted in, for instance, the Bible, I don't see decay, I see progress. The Bible condones slavery, contains no prohibitions on rape, requires death as punishment for things which harm no one, promotes the idea that one person should be punished for the crimes of other people, and suggests that infinite punishment is an appropriate response to finite actions. Today we recognize that slavery is wrong, that death is an absurd punishment for victimless crimes, that people should not be punished for the crimes that their ancestors committed, and that punishment should be proportionate to the crime committed, not cruel and unusual. If that's "decay," then bring on the decomposition.

Until you address that issue, not intellectually, but spiritually, on a personal level with God Himself, you and I will never agree on much at all.

And until you provide some evidence that there's a "God himself" to be addressing the issue with, we can't exactly get to that point.

I know the conviction of God is upon you, first because it is inevidable, second because you wouldn't strive so hard and long to disprove Him and His omnipotence
unless His Spirit was convicting you.


Pretending for a moment that I actually understand what you're saying there, we're not "striving to disprove God." We recognize that "disproof" is unattainable. What we're looking for is any evidence that would prove God, and so far we haven't seen any. The burden of proof is on you, Brent, and everyone else who claims that gods exist. Until we see some evidence for those claims, though, we can't justify believing any of them.

Finally, if God's spirit is so hell-bent on convicting us (whatever that means), then why doesn't he just pop by and show himself? I know what it would take to convince me that there's a God, and I'm sure Bronze Dog could say the same. It shouldn't be so hard for an omnipotent God to provide me with the evidence I'd need to believe in him. Seems to me that if he doesn't present such evidence, then he must not care too much about me or my ultimate fate. And I can't love someone, Brent, who doesn't care about me.

Bronze Dog said...

Thread is moving fast tonight. Well, I was missing the troll roasts, so I guess I got what I was wishing for. :)

Thanks for the Doggerel spotting, MWChase, and keep 'em coming, Tom. You've got a much better understanding of me than the cliche factory who speaks without comprehension.

Brent Parker said...

Wow, Tom, I love ya buddy, but do you really think I have enough time to read and conclusively respond to the book you just posted? You must be exhausted! Take care. We will have to agree to disagree on these issues. I wish you the best.

Akusai said...

Brent, you come off as an overly enthusiastic, hyperactively positive, and none-too sincere youth pastor. I've known a number of them in my time and your prose, stilted as it sometimes is, fits the profile. Do you smile so much it hurts your face and pretend to be friends with people you don't really like just so you can have a chance to convert them? I bet you do. The signs are there. I mean, really.

Wow, Tom, I love ya buddy

?

No you don't. Stop being an asshole.

but do you really think I have enough time to read and conclusively respond to the book you just posted?

Backhanded compliment? Check.

You must be exhausted!

Way to imply that he (a)wasted his time and (b)gets physically drained from thinking.

Whether you have the time or not, you've at least demonstrated you lack the ability to respond "conclusively" to Tom, Mr. God-Exists-Cause-I-Say-So-And-Ain't-Faith-Grand. Not only do you lack basic critical thinking skills, you appear to have zero respect for them in principle. Faith is the answer, and anyone who takes the time to post a thought-out response is just being a Silly Willy and posting a "book" and "exhausting" themselves.

I wish you the best.

Fuck you.

Perky Skeptic said...

Bible = torture p0rn.

I know this, 'cause I've read it.

MWchase said...

In addition, it's got a scarily comprehensive list of prohibitions against different kinds of incestuous threesomes. I'm not sure which is odder: that they covered so much, or that they didn't find a shorter way to say it.

Back on topic, I more or less agree with Akusai. Yep.

Tom Foss said...

Wow, Tom, I love ya buddy, but do you really think I have enough time to read and conclusively respond to the book you just posted?

Wow, just wow. I doubt this is a first, but it's certainly a rarity. How often do you see someone post blatant Doggerel on the comment thread for that same doggerel? Brent, you must have absolutely no sense of irony.

But, just for research's sake, I broke out the stopwatch and read through my two posts. I'm a pretty brisk reader, I admit, but I made it in just under four minutes. Allowing for different reading abilities, Brent, you just said that six or seven maximum minutes of reading is too much for you to handle.

You say "I love ya," but to quote a great thinker, "you keep using that word. I do not think it means what you think it means." If I loved someone and I knew they were in grave danger, I'd do anything to help get them out of it. I certainly wouldn't wuss out because it might require me to do a few minutes of light reading.

But if you want the Reader's Digest condensed version of my posts, Brent, it's this: "where's the proof?" If you honestly cared about any of us, you'd give us the evidence that shows that your particular God is real. That's all I'm asking for, Brent--some shred of evidence that sets your God apart from all the others.

Building on the same point, if your God were as loving and caring as you claimed, he'd pop down to each of us nonbelievers and give us the evidence that we each need to believe in him, so we don't end up burning in his furnace. Again, if I love someone and know they're in danger, I'll do everything in my power to help them escape that danger. Why won't your God, who is supposedly love, do the same?

Incidentally, if that post was too long for you, how did you ever make it through the Bible? The things a damn brick; the book needs an editor desperately. There's no way any modern author could get away with writing that many chapters that are just about family trees. Once again, I guess the standards for God are looser than those for everyone else.

Take care. We will have to agree to disagree on these issues.

No, I'm afraid we're just going to have to agree. See, it seems that we both agree that you have no evidence to demonstrate that your God exists--if you had any, you'd have given it, right? And we must agree that your standards for God are obviously lower than anyone else's standards for normal humans, because you've said nothing to dispute that. And I think we can clearly agree that your claims of caring what happens to us are outright lies, a show for the heathens, since anyone who really loved and cared for his fellow humans would actually do something to help them, rather than refuse to provide a single shred of the evidence they need to become believers.

I wish you the best.

Liar.

BD: Thread is moving fast tonight. Well, I was missing the troll roasts, so I guess I got what I was wishing for. :)

Yeah, I can't believe how much I enjoyed this. Like riding a bike again.

Akusai: No you don't. Stop being an asshole.

Note to all: here's the benefit of meeting your favorite skeptics in person--thereafter, you can hear their voices when you read their posted smackdowns.

So BD, when are you coming up to the midwest?

MWChase: I'm not sure which is odder: that they covered so much, or that they didn't find a shorter way to say it.

I think what's oddest is what they leave out. In all the bits about whose nakedness you can't uncover and who you can't lie with, there's nothing about uncle-niece incest, among others. You'd think that'd be an important one.

Brent Parker said...

It is not the time it takes to read it , but the time to think through and respond effectively. I guess to be frank with you, I never have time to carry on meaningless arguments.

You are only here to argue.

Your main point was made long ago, as was mine. You deny God. I honor Him. Take care. I am done Tom.

Bronze Dog said...

Your "point" lacks elaboration.

We "deny" your god for the same reason we deny all the other gods, fairies, unicorns, kitsune, dragons, the bogey man, Santa Claus, alien visitations, and so forth: Lack of evidence.

Of course, you don't believe in evidence. You substitute self-idolatry (known as "faith") for anything substantial.

How about this, if you come back:

Prove that you understand what point we're making by telling us what you think it is.

Brent Parker said...

You're out of time Bronze. My time is far too valuable for this nonsense.

Not valuable in a monetary way, although that applies, but in the way of being responsible with my time and energy.

You're wasting it in other words.

I am not the man that will prove anything to you, except by the furits I bear.

Take them for what they are worth to you.

You're lost and you know it.

Goodbye

Akusai said...

May I politely request that we all stop feeding the troll?

Bronze Dog said...

Hey, it's my blog. ;) Anyway, he hasn't been detracting from other comment threads since more people are here. Quick post coming up, though.

He's getting a lot more snippy, so he's wearing out anyway. It continues to say a lot about Brent that he's maintaining his effort appeal to my selfishness instead of morality.

MWchase said...

Similarly to the above, it took me just under four minutes to read The Theist's Guide to Converting Atheists. Have a look, Brent. If you can meet the (highly reasonable) standards that Ebon lays out, you'll save countless atheists from hell. Is that worth your time?

Dunc said...

How often do you see someone post blatant Doggerel on the comment thread for that same doggerel?

About four times now... That's another irony meter broken. Still, nice of Brent to stop by and spend so much of his time providing such a perfect, textbook example of this Doggerel. So perfect (and ostensibly spurred by a topic completely unmentioned in this particular thread) that I'm wondering whether he's genuine - maybe he's some kind of performance artist.

Bravo, sir!

Dikkii said...

Brent Parker wrote:

Again, you just won't accept that JESUS is the answer to all of your meaningless arguments.

I love this fallback that fundies feel the need to use.

It reminds me of a thread that ran on my blog for a little bit where we were discussing the utter pointlessness (and totally ill-defined nature) of the question "What is the meaning of life?"

A commenter - a theist - insisted that the answer to the question was God.

I suggested to the commenter that if the question was eventually defined as, "What's two all-beef patties, special sauce, lettuce, cheese, pickles and onion on a sesame seed bun better known as?" she would look pretty silly if she suggested God.

She didn't get it.

Brent Parker said...

Bronze,unfortunately, I have not convinced you that I too have taken a very personal and individual look at God and my beleifs.

I went through much of the investigative scepticism you have and are still going through.


I walked away from God and ignored His convictions for quite some time.

In that period of my life I looked at other religions and idelologies.

I found that by living that way, I was nver able to have peace. I was never able to get ahead financially, I was never able to develop and nurture meaningful relationships. I was a failure in most every areana of life.

When i came back to my original convictions, life began to turn around for me. I began to have a peace even when things were looking dim. I began to prosper.

I began to gain meaningful and intimate relationships. I am happier when I listen and obey those conscious searing leadings of the Holy Spirit.

This is the simple reason I have had no desire to have an intellectual battle with you over proving God's exsistance
and disproving your idelologies.

It is of no value to me. I don't have all the answers Bronze (mwchase,tom foss,etc.). Neither do you. And as long and hard as you try, you will never prove or disprove anything either of us have talked about.

To use the scientific method as your only or main scource to prove life principles is a very limited scource of turning out any factual evidence.

There are very few proven scientific facts and all of the ones that have been proven have been disproved by God at one time or another.

He does that to prove His omnipotence.

How? Like healing blind eyes, deaf ears, cripled legs, but most importantly broken lives, such as my own. My life Bronze et al, is my evidence of God's exsistence and love for mankind.

It is proof that faith is not only valid, but essential for human growth from the inside out. Not all knowledge will lead to God.

Right thinking leads to finding Him. Wrong tinking is the Devil's tool for taking us away from God. We know the difference by staying true to our conscience.

Right for me from an intellectual standpoint can be very different from right for a starving mother with starving babies in Africa.

Ways of life and ife habits have moral apptitude based on our person relationship with our father, God. He grows us individually for specific purposes. This all requires faith.

Faith in the most basic principles...God is God, We are not. Jesus came as the son of God to remediate our sins.

Jesus beat death, hell and the grave, by resurection. the rest is detail that God deals with each of us on differently. He is still dealing with you. He is still dealing with me. We must listen and obey, and in the end receive His ultimate reward of eternal life."

Bronze Dog said...

Brent comes back:

"I found that by living that way, I was nver able to have peace. I was never able to get ahead financially, I was never able to develop and nurture meaningful relationships. I was a failure in most every areana of life."

Ah, yes, the personal anecdote where you presume that you're the gold standard and that none of us could possibly find life to be better after conversion. Of course, none of that has to do with the truth of the beliefs.

When i came back to my original convictions, life began to turn around for me. I began to have a peace even when things were looking dim. I began to prosper.

Merely thinking about your beliefs disgusts me morally. Condoning evil doesn't sit well with me. How do you deal with a stone idol who thinks slavery and torture are permissible?

This is the simple reason I have had no desire to have an intellectual battle with you over proving God's exsistance
and disproving your idelologies.


Then why did you spend any time whatsoever here?

It is of no value to me. I don't have all the answers Bronze (mwchase,tom foss,etc.). Neither do you. And as long and hard as you try, you will never prove or disprove anything either of us have talked about.

You really need to acquaint yourself with the rest of the Doggerel series. You're spouting a lot of excuses for sloth and apathy.

Of course, you're contradicting your earlier posts.

There are very few proven scientific facts and all of the ones that have been proven have been disproved by God at one time or another.

He does that to prove His omnipotence.


You don't know anything about how science works, do you?

It should be amusing to hear you explain how your deity "disproved" any scientific theory. Suspect it's going to involve a lot of premeditated lies about evolution and "randomness."

How? Like healing blind eyes, deaf ears, cripled legs, but most importantly broken lives, such as my own. My life Bronze et al, is my evidence of God's exsistence and love for mankind.

You don't pay close attention to faith healers, do you? I have yet to see one that honestly handles the allegedly healed people: They cherry pick, exaggerate lesser problems, etcetera.

Of course, Why Won't God Heal Amputees? THAT would be a lot more convincing to see.

As for broken lives, there are plenty of lives broken by theism. You'll need to put numbers there.

Right thinking leads to finding Him. Wrong tinking is the Devil's tool for taking us away from God. We know the difference by staying true to our conscience.

This from someone who seems awfully determined to avoid talking about morality and bribe me into loyalty with ethereal cookies after my death and threats of equally ethereal fire.

Ways of life and ife habits have moral apptitude based on our person relationship with our father, God. He grows us individually for specific purposes. This all requires faith.

About time morality gets mentioned, and only vaguely. Given crime statistics I've seen so far, atheism has the advantage. Of course, the whole thing kind of falls flat when the source document talks about the proper circumstances for selling a daughter into slavery.

Faith in the most basic principles...God is God, We are not. Jesus came as the son of God to remediate our sins.

Funny, faith still looks like it's premised on personal infallibility in randomly picking the right one. Science at least includes falsification criteria for its theories and hypotheses so that wrong ideas can be disproved by appropriate evidence. Faith never seems to ask, "What if I'm wrong?"

Jesus beat death, hell and the grave, by resurection. the rest is detail that God deals with each of us on differently. He is still dealing with you. He is still dealing with me. We must listen and obey, and in the end receive His ultimate reward of eternal life."

Back onto the moral relativism of Divine Command Theory. Yippie.

The only ways you'll get to me involve good evidence and an appeal to real morality. You need to prove that you're right in two meanings of the word: Accuracy and morally. You've been doing a crappy job on both, and the latter is the most irritating.

Dunc said...

I found that by living that way, I was nver able to have peace. I was never able to get ahead financially, I was never able to develop and nurture meaningful relationships. I was a failure in most every areana of life.

When i came back to my original convictions, life began to turn around for me. I began to have a peace even when things were looking dim. I began to prosper.


Congratulations. You've just presented the worst theological argument I have ever seen, and I've seen a lot.

Ways of life and ife habits have moral apptitude based on our person relationship with our father, God. He grows us individually for specific purposes.

Dude, I do not want to know about your relationship with your abusive father.

Perky Skeptic said...

Dammit, Bronze Dog, now I'm craving ethereal cookies!


... Oh, wait, real cookies in the pantry! :D

Brent Parker said...

You have so misperceived me. I am in no way saying I am better or the standard for anyone else.

Bronze, i am not talking about "faith healers" when it comes to healings. i am talking about people I personally know that have been heal;ed of blindness, deafness, etc.

Your so right, faith never asks, "what if I am wrong" That is the very definition of faith!

It is also TOTALLy based on personal falibility. It says, I am unable to prove everything, therefore I need a relationship with God by faith to rest in the unknowns.

I have said many times throughout this ongoing conversation, that I will not "get to you" by reason, but by prayer, through faith.

I have admitted that i don't have all the answers. Neither do you, despite your arrogant attitude that suggest you do, someday will, or that the scientific meathod is infalliable and through human effort will eventually provide answers for all unknowns.

I have remained as morally accurate as i possibly know how.

The fact is, you will never
recognize that, because you insist on holding on to your hard hearted, meaningless reasonings, that don't amount to anything, but more doubt and unbelief.

Bronze, this is really a watse of my time at this point. Why?

Because you need more that an ongoing conversation with "accuracy and morality".

You need an experience with the living God. I will pray for exactly that. In days, weeks, months, and years to come, you will have your proof that God exsists and loves you.

It will come as an answer to my prayers and the prayers of others for you. It will come by divine revelation. When it does, you will have a choice to love and serve God or not. He will never force your will, but the rewards is clear; eternal life with Him.

The alternative is also clear; Hell. You can have the last word, and I will read it out of respect, but I feel no need to respond any further. God bless you Bronze.

Bronze Dog said...

Brent said:

Bronze, i am not talking about "faith healers" when it comes to healings. i am talking about people I personally know that have been heal;ed of blindness, deafness, etc.

Got documentation?

Your so right, faith never asks, "what if I am wrong" That is the very definition of faith!

There's the hubris of it.

It is also TOTALLy based on personal falibility. It says, I am unable to prove everything, therefore I need a relationship with God by faith to rest in the unknowns.

If you're trying to be sarcastic, the previous bit makes it hard to tell. What's so hard about resting with unknowns? I have no problem with there being unknowns.

I have said many times throughout this ongoing conversation, that I will not "get to you" by reason, but by prayer, through faith.

That's what lots of other people have said. About all they manage to do is disgust me with their amorality. At least when I don't manage to laugh at the absurdity. You're on equal footing with most woos I've encountered.

I have admitted that i don't have all the answers. Neither do you, despite your arrogant attitude that suggest you do, someday will, or that the scientific meathod is infalliable and through human effort will eventually provide answers for all unknowns.

You don't have a very good attention span, do you? The point is that you don't have any answers whatsoever. You want to substitute the arrogance of faith for careful investigation.

I have remained as morally accurate as i possibly know how.

Then you are a very evil person, judging from your comments thus far.

The fact is, you will never
recognize that, because you insist on holding on to your hard hearted, meaningless reasonings, that don't amount to anything, but more doubt and unbelief.


I don't take well to militant apathy. I consider caring to be a very worthwhile endeavor. To care for other people, you have to solve problems. Gaining knowledge about the problems people face is a very important step towards solving them. I'm not one to give up on the people I care about.

Bronze, this is really a watse of my time at this point. Why?

I told you as much, which is why I kept suggesting you try a productive approach, rather than the evil one of appealing to my selfishness.

Because you need more that an ongoing conversation with "accuracy and morality".

So selfishness trumps everything, huh?

You need an experience with the living God. I will pray for exactly that. In days, weeks, months, and years to come, you will have your proof that God exsists and loves you.

No one's been able to find it throughout human history. All they have are special appeals to claim that they're not subject to the same limitations everyone else has.

It will come as an answer to my prayers and the prayers of others for you. It will come by divine revelation. When it does, you will have a choice to love and serve God or not. He will never force your will, but the rewards is clear; eternal life with Him.

Ah, yes, divine revelation. More declaration of infallibility, as if someone can have magical knowledge that they had a true vision instead of a hallucination that's not subject to mortal failings.

The alternative is also clear; Hell. You can have the last word, and I will read it out of respect, but I feel no need to respond any further. God bless you Bronze.

And we move to violence, again. If your deity is so evil, why would I want such a personal relationship? Evil is evil is evil. Bribery and threats will get you nowhere with me. Don't crash any planes into tall buildings while you're mindlessly obeying your cruel deity in the name of ethereal cookies.

MWchase said...

In no particular order...

It is also TOTALLy based on personal falibility. It says, I am unable to prove everything, therefore I need a relationship with God by faith to rest in the unknowns.

We can't prove everything, so let's not even try? How... delightfully fatalistic.

I am in no way saying I am better or the standard for anyone else.

Then why would your anecdotal evidence hold any force? Every one of us has counter-anecdotes. They're our daily lives.

I have said many times throughout this ongoing conversation, that I will not "get to you" by reason, but by prayer, through faith.

In other words, the decision that you and others like you claim is the most important one of our lives cannot be made "correctly" with so much as the aid of the propositional calculus?

I don't know... rejecting reason sounds like the first step to insanity.

Brent Parker said...

Be blessed my friend, be blessed!

Bronze Dog said...

Another fundie, another complete lack of effort.

RightintheFace said...

An atheist needs to be convinced. A person of faith doesn't. It's as simple as that. Why Bronze and his ilk need to keep bringing this up is beyond me. Smacks of insecurity to me.

Bronze Dog said...

Sounds like projection to me. Science is designed with safeguards and faith isn't. It takes effort to develop scientific confidence. Faith only requires an enormous ego and sloth.

Rightintheface said...

You are looking for nothing more than a reason to call a person of faith stupid.

I'm not biting.
Sorry.

You're not a skeptic. You're an elitist.

Your sense of self-importance is either sad or hilarious.

One of these topics comes up every couple months or so.

You or Tom Foss or Infophile will come in and make all people of faith look like lunatics, you'll feel vindicated in thinking of us in that way, and I'll continue to be saddened by your disrespect but otherwise indifferent to what you think of me and my faith in God.

I'm perfectly happy with your skepticism; it's your crappy treatment of your fellow humans that pisses me off.

Akusai said...

Crappy treatment of fellow humans?

Seriously, now.

Calling a spade a spade is not crappy treatment. Engaging in heated debate is not crappy treatment. Insulting somebody for a failure to see their own pathetic biases may be categorized as crappy, but I think it is far crappier to condemn people to Hell for disagreeing with you.

I may not believe Hell exists, but that doesn't make it okay to threaten or coerce people with threats of eternal torture. That's just not very nice.

And has anybody else noticed how the subtext when someone calls someone else "elitist" is always "You think you're so elite but I'm actually better than you?"

Bronze Dog said...

Rightintheface bloviated:

You are looking for nothing more than a reason to call a person of faith stupid.

So, another woo who claims a psychic pipeline to my thoughts. If you'd bother to pay attention, you'd notice that wasn't the central theme. It was trying to get him to justify his beliefs. Instead of engaging me logically or morally, he tried to appeal to my sloth and selfishness.

I'm not biting.
Sorry.


Yeah, right. You came in like that, just like Brent did.

You're not a skeptic. You're an elitist.

Says the guy who claims to know my thoughts and defends someone else who claims a magical way of knowing things that bypasses all his human failings. Get the beam out of your own eye.

Your sense of self-importance is either sad or hilarious.

Right. If you'd like to get around to reading the rest of the Doggerel series, you'll note that I repeatedly point out how irrelevant I am to the argument. Also, I'm the one who constantly points out the inherent appeals to selfishness Brent tried and failed to appeal to.

Of course, projecting all these sins onto me doesn't change the fact that there's still no good evidence for a deity, or somehow washes away the immorality of a deity who speaks in ultimatums.

One of these topics comes up every couple months or so.

More like constantly, unless you're talking specifically here. It's been a while since I've had a troll roast.

You or Tom Foss or Infophile will come in and make all people of faith look like lunatics, you'll feel vindicated in thinking of us in that way, and I'll continue to be saddened by your disrespect but otherwise indifferent to what you think of me and my faith in God.

We ridicule the ridiculous. You don't need our help to look like lunatics. You ARE lunatics. It's your doing. We're just willing to confront you about your evils. Faith is a sin.

I'm perfectly happy with your skepticism; it's your crappy treatment of your fellow humans that pisses me off.

MY treatment? People like you are perfectly content with eternal torture for others. A few harsh words in response to harsh words is hardly anything compared that sort of moral relativism.

You fundies are monsters.

der commisar said...

Bronze,have you had a chance to look at Aspelmeyer and friends new outlook on realtiy vs non locality?

Seems pretty interesting. Are they really looking back to the weird sheet in 2007 experiments?

Tell me if I'm wrong but it seems they simply 'chose' non locality over reality only because it makes more sense, kinda like we get it(as human), and yet with more modern experiments they screw that up. ...

Dunc said...

Man, for a guy who claims not to have the time for all of this, Brent sure does go on a lot...

Rightintheface said...

I'm not defending Brent I am commenting on the nature of most of your posts.


You want to look at all this biological evidence, but you ignore the anthropological reasons for the development of religion (if you want to relegate this to science) and you ignore the evidence that means something to me.

You scoff at it. You are NOT looking for debate. That's clear.

This is one of those threads where you try to bait people in so you can call them stupid. As you say, 'calling a spade a spade is not crappy treatment' so I guess calling you an egotistical, shortsighted loser with a need to put people down' is completely in line?

I have NEVER put you down for not believing. You are picking fights. You wouldn't do this to my face, you wouldn't do this if we were friends, I just question why you think this is any different.

Akusai said...

but you ignore the anthropological reasons for the development of religion

Who's doing that? And besides, what does that have to do with the existence of God or the utility of faith as a truth-generating method of inquiry?

and you ignore the evidence that means something to me.

And what evidence would that be? Reliable, repeatable, and not anecdotal, I hope. Point me toward the journal in which it's published and then we'll talk.

Until then, you're just bloviating and playing the victim, pretending that faith is somehow above reproach.

This is one of those threads where you try to bait people in so you can call them stupid.

No, this is one of those threads where BD outlines why he thinks a particular claim, debate tactic, word, or phrase is "misused, abused, or just plain meaningless." If somebody shows up and says something any of us thinks is stupid, then we'll probably call them stupid.

You wouldn't do this to my face

Sure would. Have before with others. Don't know why you'd be any different.

you wouldn't do this if we were friends

See previous response.

I just question why you think this is any different.

Clearly I do not.

Dunc said...

This is one of those threads where you try to bait people in so you can call them stupid.

No, this is one of those threads that had been stone dead for over 18 months before Brent showed up and started proselytizing.

You are picking fights.

No, you're picking fights. You're the one who showed up out of the blue on someone else's blog to start bad-mouthing people. If we come over to your blog and start bad-mouthing you and your commenters, then we'll be picking fights.

Wrestler/Judoka said...

I think the debate here and at most junctures between theist and atheist on divinty is an Argument of Ignorance. Neither one can prove or dis-prove their conclusions, there for the argument turns into a vicious regress that accomplishes nothing but reinforcing each parties negative stereotyps of each other.

The regress recipricating on the concept of divinity, theist insisting on its existance, atheist insisting on its non-existance.

Now as far as where the burden of proof lies, it is ordinary rule in debating, no matter the venue, that "the necessity of proof lies with he who complains."

As an example,in that, Richard Dawkins has initiated a debate, so there in lies his burden to make his point, beyond a shadow of doubt.

He must convince theists of the reciprical of his outlined premisses before they can refute.

You mention calling a spade a spade......in his publishing of the request via the web page for theists to convert or convince him of the existance of divinity, Richard Dawkins has set up a Strawman Argument in that the premisses and conclusions he has proposed are reached through an apparent flawed path of reasoning.

They are informal fallacies set up to incite refutable responses.

I refer to Dawkins argument as Strawman because he does not wish to be convinced or converted, only to, as Rightintheface has established, draw theists into an argument he has already laid the ground work to refute, as in an Argument of Ignorance, neither party will prevail as neither will admit or concede convincing as each side will refute the conclusions of the other ad nausium.

The points are mute, the argument is nule, and he who has concieved the argument has no intentions of being convinced, therefor there is no point to the argument.

Dikkii said...

Wrestler/Judoka wrote this:

Now as far as where the burden of proof lies, it is ordinary rule in debating, no matter the venue, that "the necessity of proof lies with he who complains."

We can use the word "claims" in place of "complains".

Then you wrote this:

As an example,in that, Richard Dawkins has initiated a debate, so there in lies his burden to make his point, beyond a shadow of doubt.

I don't know about you, but Dawkins didn't initiate this debate at all. If you know anything at all about history, you'll see that Religion originally made the claims (or complaints, if you like) and Dawkins merely responded to them.

Until Religion provides evidence, Dawkins, or any other religious skeptic for that matter, doesn't have to do diddley-squat except wait for that evidence to be produced.

You contradicted yourself big time on this one, Wrestler/Judoka.

Dunc said...

Atheists do not insist on the non-existence of divinity. We're just not prepared to accept that it does exist simply on someone else's say-so, nor are we prepared to accept the existence of one specific form of divinity on someone else's say-so.

I'm perfectly prepared to concede the possibility of the existence of God(dess)(e)(s). I'm not prepared to actively believe in one specific God on the basis of arguments like "this ancient book says so" or "I believe it, so you should too", or even "you'll go to Hell if you don't", which is basically all we've seen here.

And even if you were to actually demonstrate the existence of any given God(dess)(e)(s), that's still not necessarily enough to convince me that [he / she / it / they] [is / are] worthy of my worship. If it turned out that God was evil, would you still worship Him?

As for Dawkins... Who mentioned Dawkins? I don't give a stuff what he thinks of the matter.

Bronze Dog said...

This is the thread that never ends...

Rightintheface: You want to look at all this biological evidence, but you ignore the anthropological reasons for the development of religion (if you want to relegate this to science) and you ignore the evidence that means something to me.

You don't know me very well. The fact that you've attached yourself to something wrong doesn't make it right. It's that simple.

Of course, nothing is beyond criticism. I don't know about you, but I live in a nation that's supposed to have free speech that lets anyone criticize whatever they want. We've got a lot of religious people here who want to tear that down, though.

You scoff at it. You are NOT looking for debate. That's clear.

If you'd bother to read, you'd notice that it was Brent who was running away from any sort of debate. He's the one making the claim, so he needed to present the evidence. I also laid out a number of large moral criticisms he never answered. Or answered in a way that made it worse.

This is one of those threads where you try to bait people in so you can call them stupid. As you say, 'calling a spade a spade is not crappy treatment' so I guess calling you an egotistical, shortsighted loser with a need to put people down' is completely in line?

1. As Akusai said, this is a thread about how trollish the "I've got better things to do!" so-called argument is.
2. You're describing Brent to a tee. He came in a hostile manner posting off-topic, and he was treated appropriately for such a troll. From where I stand, it's people like Brent who are doing their damnedness to burn down the world.


I have NEVER put you down for not believing. You are picking fights. You wouldn't do this to my face, you wouldn't do this if we were friends, I just question why you think this is any different.

You came in and lied about the nature of this troll roast. Heck, I'd probably be willing to risk outing myself if someone like showed up to defend some Brent-like person. And, of course, I don't think I could ever be friends with someone like you, based on first impressions alone.

Wrestler bloviated:

I think the debate here and at most junctures between theist and atheist on divinty is an Argument of Ignorance. Neither one can prove or dis-prove their conclusions, there for the argument turns into a vicious regress that accomplishes nothing but reinforcing each parties negative stereotyps of each other.

Our tentative conclusion of atheism is based on the lack of evidence on the theist's part. Of course, you're going to forget that right after the period.

As for stereotypes, if you don't want them reinforced, don't act in a stereotypical manner. I may be angry right now, but I generally never act anything like what the woos say I do, and actively make a note to subvert their projection by explaining how science really works and how skeptics REALLY think.

Of course, you woos have probably avoided looking at any other Doggerel entries, so you just seem to spout more, ignoring the bulk of my comments, focus on my irritation, and just parrot what you've been told about us.

The regress recipricating on the concept of divinity, theist insisting on its existance, atheist insisting on its non-existance.

I don't insist on the non-existence of a deity. How many times do we have to tell you that? You're the one making the positive claim, therefore you're the one who has to line up the evidence.

Now as far as where the burden of proof lies, it is ordinary rule in debating, no matter the venue, that "the necessity of proof lies with he who complains."

Gee, let's determine all burden of proof by lack of popularity instead of the nature of the claim. The existence of something is a positive claim. Additionally, how can we disprove something that your camp changes the definition of on a routine basis. Theists can't even agree on the number of deities.

As an example,in that, Richard Dawkins has initiated a debate, so there in lies his burden to make his point, beyond a shadow of doubt.

1. Who cares about Dawkins? He's cool, but unimportant. The arguments are what matter.
2. In science, there is ALWAYS a shadow of a doubt. That's why hypotheses and theories have to be falsifiable. Certainty only comes from hubris.
3. Again, it's the theists who still have the burden of proof. Positive claims. They're the complainers who just stayed ahead in popularity from massive PR campaigns. Theism has made no scientific progress. Still can't consistently define a deity or make predictions.

The rest of Wrestler's post is just rather bad. He doesn't know what a straw man is. He obviously never read Dawkins, and he obviously didn't read what Brent was posting. Brent had affirmed my stance that faith is closed-mindedness: He never asks himself "What if I'm wrong."

Dawkins is willing to believe if he sees evidence, but IDiots and fundies spend all their time dodging the process: They won't define their deity in a manner that makes it subject to proof (thereby removing any effects it'd have on the world) or making other excuses. The theist's strategy is one of strict retreat followed by arrogant boasting.

Dino said...

I think there is God or some higher power and if you take the rules of faith (prior to them being polluted by organized religion/men) they do make sense. If this Earth is truly the place where we test our spirit and faith, then we cannot (in order for the test to work) have direct knowledge of another word/dimension/heaven.

Why? Because life can be too hard and imagine, for example, what would happen if we knew for sure there is paradise. There would be mass suicides all over the world as soon as people hit hardships because it would just be easier that way. If someone is meant to build their soul or character on this plane by living with a problem of any sort then they must be denied the certainty of heaven because if he or she knew they'd likely off themselves rather then "suffer" thru the experience and possibly build the soul.

I think God, or whatever you wish to call this higher power, did leave many signs along the way for anyone who wants to see them. I also think that the relationship between humans and God is very complex and long and that the complete truth of religion is hidden within many different religions. Kind of like a mosaic which you need to put together. I think, when properly practiced in the spirit of love, humanity and compassion, all monotheist religions provide path to enlightenment but I also think that the path can only be explored individually and not under the complete trust into humans/priests who claim to be the exclusive guides to such enlightenment.

I will finish with one final thought. I don't think science and rational thought, and religion at its pure core are mutually exclusive. I think they can complement each other. There is something spiritual within us, there are thoughts, emotions, dreams, desires, premonitions, sense of connectivity, yearning to know the reason why we are here, hope that we are part of something more. We are capable of noble and heroic acts, of love and sacrifice and that is not just a product of biology. Sure, you can explain how this or that chemical in your body or hormone produces certain feelings etc, but you can't explain why the combination of those hormones or chemicals produces certain type of emotion and why we all feel that there is something more, albeight we don't know what.

King of Ferrets said...

Lesse:
1)Why should there be a test of spirit/faith? If there is an omnipotent being, he already knows who would pass and who would fail. Additionally, since suicide is considered wrong by most religions, it probably wouldn't result in mass suicide, since that would result in Hell.
2)Signs left by God my stinky mustalid ass. There are no signs left by God; pretty much everything we've found so far has a non-God explanation, and we're working on the rest. Also, if we're supposed to piece it together out of the monotheistic religions (why those by the way? They're not near as much fun as polytheistic ones), then how do we know what is true and what isn't from the holy texts? Answer: We fucking can't!
3) There's no spiritual emotions or whatever in us. We aren't the special creations of God with special emotions only for us. Things like dolphins and bonobos have been known to show altruism, for example.
[Dr. Cox] o/' Wrong wrong wrong wrong wrong, wrong wrong wrong wrong! You're wrong! You're wrong! You're wrong! o/' [/Dr. Cox]

Rightintheface said...

Some atheists do threaten violence, call for the pope to be executed, etc. Some atheists DO think that I shouldn't have the right to practice my religion, publicly or privately.

Should I hold you accountable for their lunacy the way you hold me accountable for the Spanish Inquisition?What you do is no different than the idiots that attempt to force school districts to teach creationism in science class.

You insist upon the sole validity of your world view and paint anyone who thinks differently as ignorant or blind.

I don't do that as a Christian; if someone does that, please JOIN ME in condemning their short-sighted stupidity.

You're grouping people together who don't deserve to be grouped. I balance my religious belief with scientific understanding. I have no difficulty keeping the two quite separate.

I acknowledge the logical fallacies in Christianity but simultaneously maintain that faith isn't something to be proved or disproved.

There are plenty of things in this world that beg explanations outside of science. Science has no complete description or understanding of love, hope, rage, racism, etc.

Anthropology, neuroscience, etc. may explain some aspects, but there are esoteric concepts that are very salient despite their lack of empirical substantiation.

Regardless, I'm not interested in convincing you.

As I've said several times, I just want you to stop feigning superiority based on your thoughts on a completely subjective matter. Even if God doesn't exist, faith does, and there is a scientific and anthropologically sound reason. So shut up.

On another point:

I work in an area of "unproven therapy." Last week a patient with a spinal cord injury moved her wrist for the first time in 16 years. Go ahead, mister expert. Tell me everything you know about "health freedom."I am sick to death of your pseudo-intellectual posturing.

Dino said...

King of Ferrets

1) Maybe for the same reason you drink water and eat every day though you know you will need to do it again. Mix this thought with the concept of free will and the answer should be there. As for the Hell maybe the suicide rule is there to scare people off. Maybe there is no hell in the classical sense;

2) I would strongly disagree with you. Just observe around you.

3) If you truly feel that then I think you are empty inside.

MWchase said...

*pokes stomach* ... Emptiness weighs a lot.

In all seriousness, I've never seen a call from atheists for violence or the execution of religious leaders solely because they're religious leaders. Care to grace us with a link?

In addition, I don't think it's generally so much "holding accountable" (which would make no sense) so much as pointing out that, unlike the Holocaust, or the gulags, or what have you, the Inquisition actually was associated with the ideas that people (like Ben Stein, to name an easy target) say they were associated with. If that makes any sense.

King of Ferrets said...

Dino: Still wrong!

1) So if there wasn't a test of spirit I'd be dead? But I thought the point of the afterlife was that nobody dies? Also, if there is no Hell in the classical sense, and it was revealed, most people probably would commit mass suicide; but, if there wasn't, why make the test in the first place? Just to see what happens even though you already know?

2) Some 39, I see. Maybe 125 by implication. Also, how are we supposed to know what is real from the different books and what isn't? You don't answer that.

3)35, maybe 56, 85, and 142. I do feel things, I just don't see any reason to think they're God-given emotions instead of just naturally evolved emotions.

Rightintheface's latest crap: Yes, some atheists are crazy. Most aren't. Those that do usually do it because religion has a history of fucking things up for everyone. I disagree with them, but it's a reaction, albeit a really stupid one, to religious people committing some of the most egregious human rights abuses in the history of the world. They do things not in the name of atheism, but instead in the name of stopping human rights abuses. I disagree with that reaction, but we really do need to find a way to stop the exceptionally stupid people causing the abuses. I just think it should be done nonviolently. Christians, on the other hand, did the Spanish Inquisition because God told them that witches existed and should be killed, and the Crusades because God said the Middle East was really really holy. So for the accusations against the atheists, its more 81, and with the Christians it's because of the religion.
Other doggerel used: 56, 85, and 142 (see above for links), maybe 16, though I'm not sure if it counts from that post; I could probably find out if I went back and checked. Also 50 and 69.

King of Ferrets said...

See MW for shorter-winded version, kinda.

Rightintheface said...

My comment was specifically for Bronze Dog,awaiting your reply.

Akusai said...

I work in an area of "unproven therapy." Last week a patient with a spinal cord injury moved her wrist for the first time in 16 years.

Anecdotal evidence, jackass.

Bronze Dog said...

Was catching up on some games this weekend, so I was content to let my readers handle some of this, but I've got some time.

Dino: I think there is God or some higher power and if you take the rules of faith (prior to them being polluted by organized religion/men) they do make sense. If this Earth is truly the place where we test our spirit and faith, then we cannot (in order for the test to work) have direct knowledge of another word/dimension/heaven.

"Rules of faith" is a new one on me. Last I checked, there were none. Organized religion does tend to use that for malicious advantage, though. Don't make free-range woo any less silly.

Of course, as my mustelid friend said, why have a test of faith? What's the point?

RITF: Some atheists do threaten violence, call for the pope to be executed, etc. Some atheists DO think that I shouldn't have the right to practice my religion, publicly or privately.

They're so extraordinarily rare, I never run into them. Aside from that nexus of economic, social, and biological woo Stalin and his immediate camp, I don't see much reason to believe they exist. And they're hypocritical and dead wrong if they do. You'll never catch me defending views like that.

Should I hold you accountable for their lunacy the way you hold me accountable for the Spanish Inquisition?What you do is no different than the idiots that attempt to force school districts to teach creationism in science class.

I don't hold you accountable for the Spanish Inquisition. I just find the fundie attitude a dangerous thing that often leads to similar atrocities. Of course, I have a hard time seeing how a skeptical, scientific mindset would lead where you're saying.

You insist upon the sole validity of your world view and paint anyone who thinks differently as ignorant or blind.

Its validity is based on logic. It's the sole one I know of, since no one has ever presented a good case for other ways of knowing.

You're grouping people together who don't deserve to be grouped. I balance my religious belief with scientific understanding. I have no difficulty keeping the two quite separate.

How do you do that?

I acknowledge the logical fallacies in Christianity but simultaneously maintain that faith isn't something to be proved or disproved.

Sounds like forced apathy.

There are plenty of things in this world that beg explanations outside of science. Science has no complete description or understanding of love, hope, rage, racism, etc.

What makes those things "outside" science? Just because we don't have tidy explanations yet doesn't mean we can never get them.

Anthropology, neuroscience, etc. may explain some aspects, but there are esoteric concepts that are very salient despite their lack of empirical substantiation.

Define "esoteric" and "salient" in this context.

Regardless, I'm not interested in convincing you.

No one ever is, and yet they post with a passion. I suspect that many might fear feeling silly when they try to explain themselves.

As I've said several times, I just want you to stop feigning superiority based on your thoughts on a completely subjective matter.

1. I'm not feigning superiority. I'm simply pointing out the inherent flaws of the ivory tower known as "faith."
2. You should try reading the fundies' posts.
3. What do you mean "subjective"? Lot of people use a lot of different definitions for that word.

Even if God doesn't exist, faith does, and there is a scientific and anthropologically sound reason. So shut up.

What the frell is your point? Are you trying to tell me I don't have the right to criticize people if they'll be offended? Is that it?

And if someone's claiming evidence for a deity, I need the right to inquire about it and criticize flaws. You can't ban curiosity.

On another point:

I work in an area of "unproven therapy." Last week a patient with a spinal cord injury moved her wrist for the first time in 16 years. Go ahead, mister expert. Tell me everything you know about "health freedom."I am sick to death of your pseudo-intellectual posturing.


Ah, yes, the anecdote. You don't pay attention to skeptics, do you?

As for "health freedom": Noun: Deceptive political euphemism for laissez-faire capitalism in the medical industry and deregulation of human experimentation so that anyone can perform it without ethical review.

Bronze Dog said...

Correction: Was actually thinking of a different slogan as economic policy for "health freedom": Caveat emptor: Let the buyer beware. That's pretty much how alties would like to practice: No warrantees, no records (not that they do a lot of record keeping anyway), no malpractice suits, none of the things that we rely on to keep real doctors honest and transparent.

MWchase said...

Actually, it's a bit confusing how subjectivity enters into it. Faith objectively exists, so I suppose the point is that we should never criticize people's opinions/feelings. Or something.

Somebody remind me which of us are supposed to be the relativists, again? (Unless I missed it, that didn't factor into this discussion yet. It's just... that's kind of everywhere.)

Rightintheface said...

See? From a guy who supposedly knows so much, you know so little. My anecdotal evidence has happened time after time. It's been the product of some of the greatest medical minds of our time. Hey, have you heard of Christopher Reeve?

Tell me again how much you know.

Rightintheface said...

Good, I'm glad you don't defend those views.

But neither do I defend the extreme views shared by some people of faith, and I don't want to be crucified with them, as it were.

You talk about "what I believe" but faith is a personal thing. As I've said, I don't believe in Hell.

I don't believe in original sin. I don't believe that mine is the right way, or that you can absolutely know anything.

I trust that God knows all the right answers and I try to live according to the rules he's set down.

Many things in the bible are misconstrued, misinterpreted, and/or just twisted to suit the needs of people craving power, superiority, etc.

Similarly, you're twisting scripture and religious dogma (often without understanding or appreciation of the difference) to suit your world view. It's not the right thing to do.

I agree that a fundamentalist attitude is a dangerous thing. I'm not a fundamentalist. If you want to rail against fundamentalism, do so.

But don't include me in that.

Also, realize that the hallmark of fundamentalism is close-minded insistence that you have nothing to learn from the opposing viewpoint. Who does that sound like?

We can't prove or disprove God, and I'm not going down that road. However, religion exists, and it has been both a source of tremendous good and tremendous evil.

This is specifically because people implement it. That has nothing to do with God or religion, because people seek power in any number of ways.

Christians have a saying (trite though it may be, it's applicable here) that one should "hate the sin, not the sinner."

I don't appreciate or deserve being lumped in with the bible thumping lunatic preaching on the street corner that "god hates f*gs."

I don't have anything in common with Pat effing Robertson or Billy Graham or Hagee or Wright or any lunatic that uses religion to preach hatred, intolerance, or advance their own goals for power.

You need to separate out specifically what you disagree with.

It isn't that I believe in God, it's how I act on that belief, right? Yell about that. But be specific to the people acting that way.

As for "validity based on logic", logic is flawed and doesn't explain the esoteric.

It's a good tool for explaining the world around you but God isn't explainable in that way.

Especially if he isn't real but is just a concept that makes me act a certain way.

Like I've said, it's like trying to prove that 2+2=4 because pancakes are fluffy and delicious.

Logic is irrelevant when discussing God.

You cling to logic like some cling desperately to beliefs that God will cure their cancer.

God has no place in science, and logic has no place in faith.

Sure, some people get defensive and argue otherwise. You're attacking a fundamental belief system. Doesn't make them right, or you better.

Next, How do I separate religion and science. I believe in evolution. I believe in scientific principles. I believe that God is the source of life, but the methods of creation are able to be observed.

The big bang, the dinosaurs, evolution...it's all rooted in God to me, but that doesn't mean that the process can't be systematically observed and learned from.

I don't believe that God makes the blood pump in my veins, but I believe that evolution has given me a four chambered heart that pumps blood efficiently.

I believe that God lit the match that started this whole business.

Another example: I am pro-life because I believe that God abhors killing, especially the innocent. I believe that a fetus is a living thing, and "Thou shalt not kill" is meaningful to me.

But I haven't yet voted for a pro-life candidate because I haven't yet trusted a politician that I've seen run to legislate such a delicate and important matter in a responsible way.

So I maintain my religious belief, but I don't abandon all reason in pursuit of one small part of my belief system. Make sense?

To me, it isn't forced apathy to understand that some concepts are bigger than what I can understand.

Sit and think of the concept of infinity.

That's a mathematical reality.

Pi will likely go on forever, but our brains are not organized to really be able to conceptualize that concept.

It's too big, and it fails to fit our brain's need to organize information.

Sit and think about the ever-expanding universe. What's it expanding into? Where does it stop? We have NO idea, and that's okay.

As time goes on we'll likely learn more and more, but so many of the things we know are in truth much bigger than our initial pitiful attempts at understanding.

Hell, we thought humors ruled the body. We thought atoms were the smallest particles. We thought the earth was flat.

The truth each time was very exciting and opened up new ways of understanding the world. Doesn't mean I mistrust science, but it does mean I acknowledge its limitations. Just like I do with religion.

Love isn't something science can explain.

Science, like religion, needs to understand its place.

The world is not as logical and ordered as you pretend. Science explains the explainable.

You'll never be able to predict who I fall in love with.

You'll never be able to predict my choice of career, my favorite candy, or what specific combination of feeding, dancing, singing, rocking and diaper changes will make the colicky baby finally fall asleep (trust me.)

Some things don't need explanations, and even if we get them, some people will find that other things work better for them. Infant care is a great example of that.

We've done certain things that don't fall in with the AMA guidelines, and my daughter is still doing great. I know the scientific reason for their recommendations, but I've chosen otherwise. Is that logical? No. Is it human? Absolutely.

So I've pretty much defined them, but for the sake of addressing point for point, I'll do it again here:

esoteric-abstract concepts defined differently by each person, and that are not able to be sufficiently explained by science.
salient-observable phenomena that fall within science's scope of explanation.

i.e. you might be able to explain the biochemical changes in my brain when I look at my daughter, but you'll never be able to explain the crazy illogical things I would do for her.

You can explain the reaction of a family that keeps a member alive on ventilators although there is no chance that person will ever wake again.

As a medical professional, I face this every day.

People aren't logical.

They often ignore the most logical options because of emotional reactions.

I've watched doctors refuse surgeries for their children that they would recommend to any other patient. At the end of the day, they don't want someone to cut their baby.

I post because what I *am* interested in is getting EVERYONE; you, Akusai, and everyone in between; to be rational and respectful. You don't have to agree with me, but I'm sick of being cut down by you.

I'm also sick of people cutting atheists down and talking about them going to Hell. Neither side is right. And once again, faith isn't something to CONVINCE anyone of. That's something many Christians ignore, I agree, but don't paint everyone with the same brush. That's ignorant too.

You are feigning superiority. You're using logic to try and disprove something not bound to the rules of HUMAN logic. I do read the "fundies" posts. I find yours and theirs equally ridiculous.

sub·jec·tive var interfaceflash = new LEXICOFlashObject ( "http://cache.lexico.com/d/g/speaker.swf", "speaker", "17", "18", " /səbˈdʒɛktɪv/ Pronunciation Key - Show Spelled Pronunciation[suhb-jek-tiv] Pronunciation Key - Show IPA Pronunciation
1.existing in the mind; belonging to the thinking subject rather than to the object of thought (opposed to objective). 2.pertaining to or characteristic of an individual; personal; individual: a subjective evaluation. 3.placing excessive emphasis on one's own moods, attitudes, opinions, etc.; unduly egocentric. 4.Philosophy. relating to or of the nature of an object as it is known in the mind as distinct from a thing in itself. 5.relating to properties or specific conditions of the mind as distinguished from general or universal experience.

Akusai said...

See? From a guy who supposedly knows so much, you know so little. My anecdotal evidence has happened time after time. It's been the product of some of the greatest medical minds of our time. Hey, have you heard of Christopher Reeve?

Tell me again how much you know.


What the hell are you talking about, you dolt?

King of Ferrets said...

Just because your anecdote has supposedly happened many times doesn't make it any more true. We can't verify many times any more than 1 time.

Christopher Reeve: Wikipedia says he's a guy who got healed with surgery. Then he lobbied for stem cell research and people who have spinal cord injuries. How is this related again? Also, he isn't a great medical mind.

Just because you don't defend those views doesn't mean they weren't directly inspired by the teachings of your religion. Atheism, however, does not say that we should go around killing Popes, unlike Christianity which says we should go around killing witches.

You do have the "I can't learn anything from you" viewpoint; if I remember correctly, did you not say: "As I've said several times, I just want you to stop feigning superiority based on your thoughts on a completely subjective matter. Even if God doesn't exist, faith does, and there is a scientific and anthropologically sound reason. So shut up."? Doesn't that say that you don't think you can learn anything from the viewpoint that faith is silly, unnecessary, and sometimes even dangerous?

Could you list some "tremendous good" that religion is responsible for? Because I can rail off a list of tremendous evil.

Once again, you are a fundamentalist, just not quite the same kind.

Logic is not flawed; logical deduction is what science is based on, and science could detect pretty much anything that can be at all measured as having an effect on the universe. Logically, God is more than likely impossible, and the all-loving Christian god is actually impossible. You can't really be all-loving and then not, for example, heal a quadriplegic who's having a horrible life because of it.

So, then, you aren't a Christian, but a Deist. The Deist god is the one who just lit the match and let things happen. Christianity doesn't really allow for that perspective.

It's entirely possible that there are some things that are just too big to understand, but the concept of an all loving God isn't one of them. An all loving God could not do many of the things attributed to him.

The limitation of science is basically anything with an observable effect. The scientific method allows for measurement of any observable effect, if you have the equipment to test for said effect.

Most of this crap is just an extended "You can't find an atom of love!" doggerel. I've linked to it before, too lazy to do so again. By the way, we can explain why you would do the crazy things for her; you've already accomplished the goal of reproducing, now you want your child to reproduce. Just because people object illogically to things on emotional grounds does not necessarily make it the right course of action.

There's no "human" logic; logic is universal.

Lastly, I'd like to point out again that you aren't really a Christian. You don't believe a vast majority of the things that are basically required to be a Christian, and are mentioned as being true multiple times in your own goddamn holy book!

Bronze Dog said...

RITF said:

See? From a guy who supposedly knows so much, you know so little. My anecdotal evidence has happened time after time. It's been the product of some of the greatest medical minds of our time. Hey, have you heard of Christopher Reeve?

Tell me again how much you know.


It's not the number of times it happens, it's the consistency. What you're doing is cherrypicking from the noise of the entire world. It's a form of bias, something science is designed to minimize. And no, famous people who played superheroes don't count any more than everyday people.

But neither do I defend the extreme views shared by some people of faith, and I don't want to be crucified with them, as it were.

So you don't have all of the same moral failings. Doesn't mean there's any merit to faith or these unspecific other ways of knowing.

I trust that God knows all the right answers and I try to live according to the rules he's set down.

How do you know he exists and that he's set down rules? Of course, there's a LOT of debate about those rules, especially the kind that demand stoning, and how to interpret those away. I generally took the route of just burning those bits out when I discovered them.

Similarly, you're twisting scripture and religious dogma (often without understanding or appreciation of the difference) to suit your world view. It's not the right thing to do.

How so? This seems to be the first mention of scripture in this thread. I'm complaining about the elitist nature of "faith."

I agree that a fundamentalist attitude is a dangerous thing. I'm not a fundamentalist. If you want to rail against fundamentalism, do so.

First you tell me to shut up, and now you tell me to continue. Of course, I'm mostly going on about the negative merit of the idea of "faith" and "other ways of knowing."

Of course, now I recognize you as an apologist, rather than a fundamentalist. Doesn't exactly help you, since you don't do much except add on more layers of bad explanations.

Also, realize that the hallmark of fundamentalism is close-minded insistence that you have nothing to learn from the opposing viewpoint. Who does that sound like?

You don't know me very well, and you obviously haven't read anything I've had to say. If you'd like to show that there's something to be learned by these other ways of knowing, do so. I won't just take your word for it.

We can't prove or disprove God, and I'm not going down that road. However, religion exists, and it has been both a source of tremendous good and tremendous evil.

At least you come out and admit it. If you can't find evidence for it, it might as well be nothing: Anything that has effects will leave evidence.

As for the "tremendous good", I don't see it. Usually, religion just steals the credit for good people doing good things.

This is specifically because people implement it. That has nothing to do with God or religion, because people seek power in any number of ways.

Good people will do good things. Evil people will do evil things. To make good people do evil things, that takes religion.

Christians have a saying (trite though it may be, it's applicable here) that one should "hate the sin, not the sinner."

And that's a policy I try to maintain for the sin of faith. The fundies I've met online who come in spouting veiled threats don't help matters, though.

I don't appreciate or deserve being lumped in with the bible thumping lunatic preaching on the street corner that "god hates f*gs."

Then don't leap to the defense of one threatening people with eternal torture as if he were a helpless, blameless victim.

I don't have anything in common with Pat effing Robertson or Billy Graham or Hagee or Wright or any lunatic that uses religion to preach hatred, intolerance, or advance their own goals for power.

You have "faith." You may not be equal in intensity, but you share that negative attribute.

God has no place in science, and logic has no place in faith.

Why not? Because you say so? If God has effects, he's subject to science.

I believe that God lit the match that started this whole business.

How do you know? What evidence do you have? Evolution, the Big Bang, and so forth were based on evidence. Why change the approach all of the sudden?

To me, it isn't forced apathy to understand that some concepts are bigger than what I can understand.

There's no way to know for certain if something's too big to grasp. Why not try to push the envelope, especially since we've been making accelerating progress on countless things thanks to the scientific method.

Sit and think of the concept of infinity.

That's a mathematical reality.

Pi will likely go on forever, but our brains are not organized to really be able to conceptualize that concept.

It's too big, and it fails to fit our brain's need to organize information.


Maybe for you. I fail to see what's so hard about that. There's a difference between inconceivable and jaw-droppingly big/amazing/whatever.

Sit and think about the ever-expanding universe. What's it expanding into? Where does it stop? We have NO idea, and that's okay.

Depending on how you're talking about it, those concepts are either meaningless or being tinkered with right now by M-theorists and those guys at the LHC.

As time goes on we'll likely learn more and more, but so many of the things we know are in truth much bigger than our initial pitiful attempts at understanding.

Thanks to science spitting in the face of faith.

Hell, we thought humors ruled the body. We thought atoms were the smallest particles. We thought the earth was flat.

Science acknowledges we are always wrong. We've been getting steadily less wrong (AKA more accurate) as the evidence piles up.

Love isn't something science can explain.

Why not?

The world is not as logical and ordered as you pretend. Science explains the explainable.

Last time I checked, the universe was orderly. Of course, you can't know what's unexplainable, since that would require some sort of proof of a big negative.

You'll never be able to predict who I fall in love with.

How do you know we'll never gain the requisite knowledge? Pessimism isn't evidence. Besides, some people are able to read others' character well and make some predictions. May not be gold standard science, but it's usually based on general principles, observation of behavior, and so forth. Not fortune telling.

You'll never be able to predict my choice of career, my favorite candy, or what specific combination of feeding, dancing, singing, rocking and diaper changes will make the colicky baby finally fall asleep (trust me.)

Why not? Again, just because we can't do it now doesn't mean we'll never gain that sort of knowledge. Pessimism is not evidence.

esoteric-abstract concepts defined differently by each person, and that are not able to be sufficiently explained by science.

First half's a language problem, not a logic one. Second half is a baseless assertion.

salient-observable phenomena that fall within science's scope of explanation.

Anything that has an effect. Got it.

i.e. you might be able to explain the biochemical changes in my brain when I look at my daughter, but you'll never be able to explain the crazy illogical things I would do for her.

Crazy illogical things such as?

You can explain the reaction of a family that keeps a member alive on ventilators although there is no chance that person will ever wake again.

Not a problem at all.

As a medical professional, I face this every day.

People aren't logical.

They often ignore the most logical options because of emotional reactions.


Exactly. What's your point?

I post because what I *am* interested in is getting EVERYONE; you, Akusai, and everyone in between; to be rational and respectful. You don't have to agree with me, but I'm sick of being cut down by you.

Hey, we're not perfect. You come in nasty, you shouldn't be surprised if we respond in kind.

I'm also sick of people cutting atheists down and talking about them going to Hell.

That's something I don't see happening very often.

Neither side is right. And once again, faith isn't something to CONVINCE anyone of. That's something many Christians ignore, I agree, but don't paint everyone with the same brush. That's ignorant too.

You're still performing some bad behaviors. Merely being less silly/nasty/whatever than they are doesn't shield you from criticism.

You are feigning superiority. You're using logic to try and disprove something not bound to the rules of HUMAN logic. I do read the "fundies" posts. I find yours and theirs equally ridiculous.

How can you know something is beyond human logic? Because you, presumably a human, say so?

[Definitions of "subjective"]

Don't see how any of those help your argument.

Bronze Dog said...

Seems Ferret got eloquent while I was typing. Well said.

In addition to the offspring angle, there's also a lot of other subconscious reasons with very logical evolutionary underpinnings why someone would go to great lengths to protect someone that apply just as well to unrelated people. Dawkins wrote an awesome bit about the different types of altruism in the God Delusion. I should probably reread it since it got me giddy and hopeful for mankind's future.

Akusai said...

What I see is "I'm in the middle; I think you're both ridiculous, therefore I'm right."

Just because you split the difference between two sides doesn't mean you're right. Sometimes one side is just right.

King of Ferrets said...

BD: Eh, maybe. I think your refutations of his arguments were better logically, though.

Akusai: An analogy that I stole from somewhere I can't remember that can illustrate that example better: We shouldn't kill half the world's kittens just because some people think all kittens should die and some think none should die.

Rightintheface said...

I'm on lunch break so excuse my partial answer. I speak out against both sides of this extremist debate. I do it here against you and I get after people who preach bigotry or intolerance using God as a weapon too. It may be that homosexuality is wrong, but the bible also says love thy neighbor and let God be the one to judge. So, is it my role to tell a gay person they're doing something terrible? That's where the scripture is INTERPRETED and important differences in belief come into play. Some believe that you're supposed to tell them; that it's your duty to 'protect' them from sin. Others like myself believe that loving them, being a good example, and reserving the judgment for God to take care of is the more "Christian" method. The bible was written by men. Even if it wasn't, and it truly were purely God-inspired, it's been translated roughly 20 times and is INTERPRETED by men, who are by their very nature imperfect. How can we be sure we get it right? My solution is to do as the bible suggests and have "faith like a child." Many of you want to tell me that I'm "not a Christian" because I don't believe some ridiculous extraneous piece of dogma. I believe in God. I believe in Jesus Christ. I believe Jesus died for my sins. That's Christianity. Everything else is fluff. What you do with that information is what's important.
The larger issue is this: Can you coexist with me with my beliefs? I have married an athiest, my best and oldest friends are atheists, and yet my family is deeply religious.

Yes, I took crap because I didn't marry a Christian.

Yes, the discussion of whether our kids would go to church was difficult. But I've managed to coexist with people of vastly different beliefs. I can only conclude that the strife here isn't coming from me. Many of you don't want your beliefs put to the same level of scrutiny. You don't answer the big questions either. And yet, though you rail against people of faith when they try to force their theories down your throat, but turn around and exhibit the same behavior.

Bronze Dog said...

RITF comes back, labels us "extremists" for reasons he hasn't done much to explain.

It may be that homosexuality is wrong, but the bible also says love thy neighbor and let God be the one to judge. So, is it my role to tell a gay person they're doing something terrible? That's where the scripture is INTERPRETED and important differences in belief come into play.

Tell me, how do you interpret Leviticus 20:13: "If a man also lie with mankind, as he lieth with a woman, both of them have committed an abomination: they shall surely be put to death; their blood shall be upon them."

My solution is to do as the bible suggests and have "faith like a child." Many of you want to tell me that I'm "not a Christian" because I don't believe some ridiculous extraneous piece of dogma. I believe in God. I believe in Jesus Christ. I believe Jesus died for my sins. That's Christianity. Everything else is fluff.

Sounds more like non-reliance on the Bible, in which case, I'd like to know more about what evidence you use to believe in any of this silly stuff. Doesn't matter to me if you're whatever "Christian" means this week, but you do apparently believe in the supernatural without evidence. My complaints are the same as any woo, bronze age or newage (rhymes with sewage).

The larger issue is this: Can you coexist with me with my beliefs?

Being silly is your right, and I've never done anything to suggest otherwise. Atheists who do are either thankfully dead Communists/woos or popular fiction.

I can only conclude that the strife here isn't coming from me. Many of you don't want your beliefs put to the same level of scrutiny. You don't answer the big questions either.

You don't read for comprehension, do you? The problem is you holding back. You don't answer the most important questions we ask.

And yet, though you rail against people of faith when they try to force their theories down your throat, but turn around and exhibit the same behavior.

Doggerel #91
You really don't understand the issues, our views, or the nature of our responses, do you? You're just repeating from a script and ignoring what we're really saying.

So, stop holding back. What's your evidence for all this "supernatural" stuff you're claiming? If it's "beyond science," how can you possibly know anything about it? How do you determine if something is "beyond science" or "beyond logic"?

Wrestler/Judoka said...

As I said, it's my opinion Dawkins has no intention of being convinced of anything, other than what he has concluded already.

As for any religion needing to justify itself to any one atheist, I not so sure that individual is being presumptuous.



I think when discussing anything to do with metaphysics, it is hard to establish conclusions based entirely on empirical evidence.

There in lies the crux of the regress.

I think it is more an argument in epistemology than one of theology vs science.


Someone stated that "The existence of something is a positive claim."

Please explain scientificly how this is possible.

Someone else stated "Additionally, how can we disprove something that your camp changes the definition of on a routine basis."

You've established in other places that religion is unchanging and dogmatic, please explain your meaning here in relation to the above quote.

Finally we have this quote

"In science, there is ALWAYS a shadow of a doubt."



With the last statement I again am of the opinion that the argument is mute.

Atheists will reject any conclusion that has anything to do with divinity so there is no use "convincing" them of anything.

As I stated before I think it is more a study in epistemology as historian Jacques Barzun termed science, "a faith as fanatical as any in history" and warned against the use of scientific thought to suppress considerations of meaning as integral to human existence.

BTW, religion or theism of any type is not my "camp".

I just think Dawkons and atheists pule about the "oppression" they get from religions.

If your not worried about your destiny, stop griping about others.

The premise that you, Bronze, are attempting in some self imposed grandious way to educate the ignorant for their own good and the good of posterity is noble at best, presumptuous as it seems.

King of Ferrets said...

Wrestler/Judoka: Why the hell are you talking about Dawkins? Nobody here said anything about Dawkins! Nobody here cares about Dawkins at the moment! This thread is NOT ABOUT DAWKINS!

1) If it has an effect that can be measured, then it pretty much can have conclusions based at least on some empirical evidence.

2) Uhhh... saying something exists is a positive claim. That's one of the more common subsets. Saying that I exist, God exists, a flying purple magical humanoid-reptile ninja exists, saying that Bigfoot exists, those are all positive claims. They need evidence. The only one of those that has good evidence at the moment would be my existence, by the way.

3) This is because, if it looks like God can be scientifically disproved, they shrink him so that they can still have their "God-given" dogma.

4) Just because there's always a doubt, you think the argument of God's existence is mute? That doesn't even make sense. The only way I can make sense of that is that because nothing can be certain, all arguments are moot. Except not all arguments are moot. So that doesn't work anyway.

5) Lesse; not entirely sure what this last section means. I'll just address some things I notice that kinda make sense: First, you say: "Atheists will reject any conclusion that has anything to do with divinity so there is no use "convincing" them of anything." Well, that's not true for one, we just don't have any evidence of divinity, and for two, how do you make that work with this: "religion or theism of any type is not my "camp"". So what are you then? Agnostic? If that's the case, then why are you arguing for one side? And why defend the existence of a God you only think has a possibility of existing?

Next, "As I stated before I think it is more a study in epistemology as historian Jacques Barzun termed science, "a faith as fanatical as any in history" and warned against the use of scientific thought to suppress considerations of meaning as integral to human existence."
I'm.... not sure what the hell you're talking about. Are you saying science shouldn't apply to religion? Why should asking for evidence suppress something? Because, really, all science is is asking from evidence and, if there is none, seeing if you can find it.

Dawkins again? NOBODY FUCKING CARES. SHUT THE FUCK UP ABOUT DAWKINS. Also, what the hell is pule?

We are worried about our "destiny", if by destiny you mean future. Specifically, we are worried that the future of the human race will be completely fucked over if religions nuts get to govern everything.

Okay, so Bronze is noble. That's true, but unrelated.

King of Ferrets said...

I'm not gonna bother addressing RITF, since Bronze did it better than I could.

MWchase said...

The religion that is preached is typically static.

The aspects of religion that are defended are quite likely to be carefully redefined so that one criticism or another does not apply, regardless of whether this redefinition should have any effect on doctrine.

See, for example, the God of the Gaps.


Also, we're not worried about our "destiny". We're worried about the here and now, and the rights guaranteed us as citizens, as well as basic acknowledgment of human dignity by those around us. Not a huge deal for me, to be honest, but there's a reason that BD isn't "outted". The point isn't conversion, but understanding.

MWchase said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
der commissar said...

They apply the strictest of science to particle physics, why all the talk on 'strange results'?

Is psychology a science compared to neurophysics/chemistry?

Is it the expert is the one who knows the most mistakes?

Science is the one I worship while applying my brake but I beleieve it doesnt mean anything yet on the big questions. I look forward to its answers tho. Just that I'll be dead before I get any.lol

Bronze Dog said...

Not getting what you're saying. Do have a guess about one:

They apply the strictest of science to particle physics, why all the talk on 'strange results'?

Strange is not antithetical to science. Truth doesn't have to agree with all the commonsense shortcuts we evolved for our macro scale perspective.

Akusai said...

Why all this talk about the "big questions?" People who bring them up just kind of assume (1)those questions are as "big" as they think they are and (2)they can actually be answered in some meaningful way.

I don't think "Is there a God?" or "What is the meaning of life?" are "big questions." The first is as subject to science as any other and the second just might be completely meaningless. I won't concede initially that questions of this type are "important" or worth answering. I think it's up for debate whether or not they actually are.

der commissar said...

I'm just asking Bronze, give me some stats on particle physics similar to those who you might qualify in such large sums.


...or really, I mean, if you're just talking to yourself.

How about' 'how ''''oh so very little'''' particle physics means to what we're actually talking about.'lol



...you gotta love that one.

In the meantime, I guess Im gonna have to trust you not to make offence to those that are looking for one....and start this shieet without telling us the physics of what were made or, and our dreams ans whatnot.

Ask me to out forth an opinion. I gotta good one. I think.

We all, wanna know better questions.

Get back to us all via physics.

It seems they didnt talk this manner after the accelerator let alone blackball. Are you saying that there is no God? Show some evidence.

Dikkii said...

Are you saying that there is no God? Show some evidence.

Tell you what, Commissar. How about you show us evidence that God exists, and then I'll get to work on the evidence that you'd like us to provide.

After all, that's the first claim.

Do we have a deal?

Thought not.

BD, where are all these fundies coming from. Sockpuppets?

Wikinite said...

"Are you saying that there is no God? Show some evidence."

Yes I am. Evidence? Modus, Tollens, Exception, Look it up (hint: it's even on the site!)

Wikinite said...

looks like I was wrong. the post I was refering to is actually over on Infophilia.
MTE

MWchase said...

Put like that, it almost sounds like they're dismissing generations of unsuccessful apologists as base incompetents.

Don't get me wrong. I don't agree with apologists, but I will admit that they turn an excellent phrase.

Bronze Dog said...

I'm just asking Bronze, give me some stats on particle physics similar to those who you might qualify in such large sums.


...or really, I mean, if you're just talking to yourself.


You've got to work on your articulation. I have no idea what you're asking. What sorts of stats?

How about' 'how ''''oh so very little'''' particle physics means to what we're actually talking about.'lol



...you gotta love that one.


Now I think I know what you're talking about here: Our common sense is based on our macro view of the world where all the quantum interactions have already averaged out.

Example that comes to mind: Entropy is like a casino. Though players (individual interactions) might occasionally get lucky, the odds are against it, so the house/entropy wins in the end. We're just used to seeing the casino steadily make money, not watching the individual games.

So, quantum physics still has an effect, but variations tend to be incredibly small that we can, for practical purposes, mostly ignore them.

In the meantime, I guess Im gonna have to trust you not to make offence to those that are looking for one....and start this shieet without telling us the physics of what were made or, and our dreams ans whatnot.

I currently have to rely on neurologists for the nitty-gritty details about the brain. Some I don't know. I do know that there's a lot of water and a large variety of carbon molecules of varying complexity involved. Some people, however, have come in here and arrogantly claimed without evidence that there's something more than matter involved. I'm asking them to explain.

Are you saying that there is no God? Show some evidence.

Define "God." Modus Tollens exception rules out some definitions as nonexistent because they don't live up to the predictions they make. Others are too poorly defined to have meaningful discussion about. Still others are unfalsifiable and essentially designed to be impossible to disprove by crazy, impotent definition.

Wrestler/Judoka said...

As I stated earlier,to use an example of a prominent atheist

I do not think Richard Dawkins has any intentions of being convinced of anything he has not already drawn a conclusion on.

His "challenge" has more than likely not been accepted due to the fact taht most theists could give a rip what he thinks and feel they have nothing to prove to him or any other atheist.

He, Dawkins, has set up a Strawman argument with propositions, premisses and conclusions that are refutable on any grounds a strong athiest may take.

Since strong atheists have no accepted concept of divinity, any reference in the argument to the existance of divinity would moot the argument, and any acceptable conclusions.

The discussion of divinity is in the realm of metaphysics, so the empirical evidence Dawkins' premisses request can not be met with acceptable conclusions on a strong atheists acceptable grounds of understanding, as empirical evidence can not always be applied to conslusions in metaphysics.

As I said before a study in epistemology would substantiate this.

Having said all that I feel Dawkins, and Bronze as it were, have no intentions of accepting any conclusions to the premisses or propostions that have been put forth as there is no way to apply empirical evidence to the metaphysics of divinity.

If they as idividuals do not want to believe in any sort of divinity given their reliance on the scrutinization of scientific empirical evindence, then this is their perogative, as thier spirituality is their own business, as it is for any atheist.

I think the presiding idea that theists have a burdan of proof to bear for their own personal beliefs is the basic premise that Dawkins has manifest in his request, shrouded in the guise that he sincerly wishes to be convinced of divinity.

I think his request has not been answered to his satisfaction as this is obvious and again I think most theists would not feel the need to justify thier personal beliefs to him, or any other athiest.

It stikes me as discourtious.

If Dawkins wants to question his own beliefs he is more than welcome to research any theism he wants as any free person can. He has obviously taken the time and effort to research theisms for ulterior reasons.

If Dawkins had a sincere desire to be convinced or converted, I doubt he would be posting invitations to ingage in a strawman argument on the world wide web.

King of Ferrets said...

Shut up about Dawkins! If you want to discuss specific people, discuss the people you're debating. Seriously.

King of Ferrets said...

Oh, by the way, basically your entire post is unimportant. The data and such is what's important, not motivations.

MWchase said...

Sounds to me like just looking for the loudest way to avoid having to make a good argument/admit defeat.

"The mean nasty prominent big name atheists are completely close-minded and ignorant in the fantasy scenario I concocted! See? See how obstinate they are? How can you stand to share a position with them?"

I'd accuse you of a strawman by way of picking our conclusions for us, but your narrative isn't even fleshed out enough for that.

Look... if the existence of "divinity" is relevant, then it must have some measurable effect. It must consistently do something that causes something else to behave in a likewise predictable and well-correlated fashion, and so on. If all you have to base your promptings of divinity on is texts and feelings, then that is the sole domain of that divinity. If we can't find some way to 'see' it, then we can't be expected to take it into account.

So, BD... did I rehash your points enough, do you think?

Bronze Dog said...

Yeah, think you've got the sort of thing I'd say down.

Rightintheface said...

You'll probably be pretty angry to know that I do regard atheism as a matter of faith.

Agnosticism no, but as my best friend says "anyone who thinks he can prove it one way or another is an idiot."

None of us know. Not by any stretch. You either make a leap of faith to believe or not believe. Or you sit in the middle and say "we don't know."

As for public policy, what other method would you have us use? Look at it this way; let's assume God doesn't exist. Just for the sake of argument, religion is all a lie.

However, doesn't it then fall under the same definitions as any other moral code EVER made? I.e., it's a socially constructed idea of right and wrong held by a particular group of people.

Some people will hold onto it because of tradition, some people will move away from it out of frustration, some people will maintain core beliefs (don't kill, don't steal, love thy neighbor) and try to make it applicable to their everyday lives. How is that different than just going by what momma taught me about being a good person?

King of Ferrets said...

A) We assume the negative hypothesis. That's science. We do admit that we don't know 100% sure, but we assume that something that there is no evidence for isn't something that exists. Are you agnostic about Carl Sagan's invisible intangible dragon that breathes heatless fire and never produces a trace of evidence, or do you refuse to believe it exists? How about a little kid's imaginary friend? Same here.
B) Because the religion tends to be immoral. The Bible never condemns rape, only condemns slavery when it's the Jews being enslaved, and threatens to send anyone who doesn't believe in Jesus to hell, despite him not having any evidence. You aren't being a good little boy momma told you to be if you're doing that, you're being the immoral jackass your mom taught you to be. By the way, it's not just a moral code; faith, for example, is not a part of a moral code really, but it's a part of religion, and it's often damaging. See faith healing.

Bronze Dog said...

RITF: You'll probably be pretty angry to know that I do regard atheism as a matter of faith.

Agnosticism no, but as my best friend says "anyone who thinks he can prove it one way or another is an idiot."


1. As Ferret says, it's the null hypothesis. It's up to the positive claimants to prove their case.

2. Your failure to posit a well-defined falsifiable definition of "God" is the problem. You might as well complain about us being faithful aglarbists.

None of us know. Not by any stretch. You either make a leap of faith to believe or not believe. Or you sit in the middle and say "we don't know."

Wow, you really don't understand what's going on, do you? There are gods that fail because the evidence predicted by their existence doesn't exist. There are gods that fail because there's no meaningful content about them: No predictions, no effects, etcetera.

As for public policy, what other method would you have us use? Look at it this way; let's assume God doesn't exist. Just for the sake of argument, religion is all a lie.

However, doesn't it then fall under the same definitions as any other moral code EVER made? I.e., it's a socially constructed idea of right and wrong held by a particular group of people.


I fail to see the similarity between those two concepts. One is a collection of ideas about how we should behave. The other is an allegedly real entity.

Rough analogy: It's the difference between a chess strategy and the alleged existence of a chess piece called the Super King, which can move to any square on the board.

Some people will hold onto it because of tradition, some people will move away from it out of frustration, some people will maintain core beliefs (don't kill, don't steal, love thy neighbor) and try to make it applicable to their everyday lives. How is that different than just going by what momma taught me about being a good person?

One is built around an entity that most likely doesn't exist. It doesn't help that this alleged entity is often described as barbaric and can provide easy "justification" for anything.

King of Ferrets said...

Durn you and your being better than me at this BD!
PS: GDL is boring without you doing anything.

Bronze Dog said...

Yeah, sorry about that. :P I'll get to posting a game concept I had a while back: 2.5D shooter.

King of Ferrets said...

2.5D?

Rightintheface said...

If I say "I know for sure there's a God" you ask me to prove it. Fair enough, if in fact I care whether you believe or not.

If you say "I know for sure there's no God" then the burden of proof is no longer on me.

Now, I could talk till I'm blue in the face about things I think substantiate the existence of God, and you would use lots of latin words and such to tell me why I'm wrong.

You wouldn't accept the arguments I brought to bear. Neither would I accept the proofs that God doesn't exist.

So we're at an impasse. I can accept that, but you others can't seem to. You want to point out how I'm "wrong" again. Notice, that I haven't presumed to call you "wrong" once for believing what you believe?

Notice that I accept your world view, even if I disagree? Why is that beyond some people? I won't say "beyond atheists" because there are plenty of Christians guilty of the same garbage.

Rightintheface said...

Jesus, man, I feel sorry for you. To go through life all bitter, constantly looking for someone to battle and belittle to make you feel better....I'll say a prayer for you.

King of Ferrets said...

We don't say that we're sure there's no God. We just don't see any evidence there is one. By the way, we've already debunked all of your arguments; I don't think you can say the same of ours.
Doggerel, explicitly stated or implied: 5, 7, 8, 25, 35, 66, 71, 105, 147, 152.
By the way, I could use a lot of Latin words, but I won't. Because, really, if my post is going to be in all Latin, you won't understand it!

Bronze Dog said...

RITF: If I say "I know for sure there's a God" you ask me to prove it. Fair enough, if in fact I care whether you believe or not.

Pretty much forfeiting the argument, there. So, what's you're point in posting here?

If you say "I know for sure there's no God" then the burden of proof is no longer on me.

Depends on the definition of "God" you're using. Modus Tollens exception could apply if your theistic hypothesis fails in its predictions.

As for us, you haven't paid attention: We're not the type to make that claim unless you provide us with room to make an MT exception. If Wrestler feels like making an appearance, Dawkins excludes himself from that category and I agree with the line of reasoning behind it.

Now, I could talk till I'm blue in the face about things I think substantiate the existence of God, and you would use lots of latin words and such to tell me why I'm wrong.

Those are logical fallacies. We can use non-Latin terms for them if you're that adverse.

You wouldn't accept the arguments I brought to bear. Neither would I accept the proofs that God doesn't exist.

1. Why should we accept fallacious arguments? If you make an appeal to popularity, I shouldn't accept it. If you make an appeal to elitism or tradition, I shouldn't accept it. You should appeal to evidence.
2. We aren't in the business of negative proofs. I don't need to prove the non-existence of unicorns, just the lack of evidence for them. You're the one who needs to define your claim and test it. The evidence will do the rest.

So we're at an impasse. I can accept that, but you others can't seem to. You want to point out how I'm "wrong" again. Notice, that I haven't presumed to call you "wrong" once for believing what you believe?

We're at the impasse because you're deliberately holding back in your claims. You won't talk about anything except to whine about people who aren't us.

Notice that I accept your world view, even if I disagree? Why is that beyond some people? I won't say "beyond atheists" because there are plenty of Christians guilty of the same garbage.

Define "accept". All I hear from you is "It's bad to criticize anything!" It's like you're trying to burn half of the First Amendment because it's personally inconvenient. Meanwhile I support both freedom of speech and religion.

It doesn't help that you've been consistently spreading theist lies about how we think or what we believe.

Jesus, man, I feel sorry for you. To go through life all bitter, constantly looking for someone to battle and belittle to make you feel better....I'll say a prayer for you.

Psychological projection, as always. Why do you woos have to be such downers?

Enjoy your bitter, cynical, unexamined life of restricted speech where criticism, intellectual discussion, and honest examination are concepts worthy of derision.

MWchase said...

Not to blatantly bait (I think this might be a "damned lie" as in "Lies, damned lies, and statistics".) or anything, but I'd like to see these alleged "arguments" and maybe try deconstructing them. Don't worry, I never learned Latin, and I promise not to randomly sprinkle in Spanish like a kids' TV show. No promise that I won't cite Doggerel, though. That's kind of what it's for.

Bronze Dog said...

To summarize where I think RITF is:

"Waaaaah! I won't explain my views because then we might have an argument involving arguments I won't bother to understand! Instead I should just pretend I already know the outcome based on what Hollywood propaganda says about these people! I should act indignant about the very idea of debate because that entails the possibility of someone being wrong!

King of Ferrets said...

Hey, BD, stop insulting him- I think he might be retarded.

King of Ferrets said...

Wait, nevermind, he only seems to be limited in one adaptive behavior; the communication skills one. The Almighty Wikipedia says he has to have 2. Though I'm not sure about his daily life...

Bronze Dog said...

Heh. I wouldn't go that far. He strikes me more as some passive-aggressive troll who prefers to spend his time whining about people who want to squeeze actual discussion out of him. We can't get anywhere with him because he won't give us anything meaningful to work with. We can't discuss Glarb because he won't define it for us. Instead he gets whiny about the very idea of discussing Glarb.

King of Ferrets said...

I like giving people the benefit of the doubt instead of assuming they're just an asshole.

Bronze Dog said...

I prefer to give such benefit early, though there are grounds for disqualification: Creationists falsely characterizing evolution as 'random', threats of Hell (no matter how indirect), and in RITF's case, he lost it by defending an evil fundie who was quite clearly in the wrong.

RITF's efforts to avoid addressing the very real people by complaining about fictional Hollywood atheists would have worn out any such generosity long ago, anyway.

Tim Neal said...

I hate to repeat what everyone else is saying, but I encounter this sentiment a lot and I think it's important to respond. The two requests for proof (for the existence of a god, and the non-existence of a god) are not equivalent. Proving the existence of god is a matter of finding some evidence, or trustworthy testimony of evidence, to the effect that god exists. Proving the non-existence of god (or anything, really) is a whole different ball game. The best we can do is to say that god has no observable effect; that the notion doesn't offer any additional explanation for the facts of the world beyond what we already have. Since we don't need god's presence to account for the way things are, we can set god aside. That's the crux of the non-existence argument.

All of the above all old news -- you've heard the story countless times. What I don't get (and maybe it can be explained) is how, if god is truly beyond the reach of evidence and that believing is a matter of a leap of faith, we can ever have public discussions about religion or that two people could ever believe in the same god.

Further, if there's no evidence, how can one know anything about god?

Usually, god is described as having certain characteristics and attributes. Believers argue about these characteristics and attributes.

Do you believe that all those arguments are groundless?

If not, how can you find out whether god is good or evil?

Is there a different sort of evidence than that used in figuring, say, the chances of it raining tomorrow?

JC said...

I was planning to make a long comment about the difference between believing that x, knowing that x, and claiming to know that x; including how not believing that x isn't the same as believing not-x.

Maybe I'd even talk about empirical evidence vs. explanatory power in metaphysics. Then I read Rightintheface's comments...

If anyone wants me I'll be despairing for mankind.

Wrestler/Judoka said...

I think Arisotle said it best,


"To say of something which is that it is not, or to say of something which is not that it is, is false. However, to say of something which is that it is, or of something which is not that it is not, is true."

The argument has reached its regress ad nausium via a Münchhausen-Trilemma.

It can not here nor anywhere soon be concluded.

Divinity has found an accepted existance if not only in the minds and manifestations of theists. In that way it exists, this I would hope even the strongest of atheists would agree.

King of Ferrets said...

Yeah, but Hannibal Lecter also exists within the mind. Doesn't mean he actually does exist.

MWchase said...

(Typed before reading KoF's)

We're not denying the existence of belief, we're denying the truth of belief. If you want to define existence in that sense, than a great many other things can also be said to exist, that may or must contradict your beliefs.

Anyway... hm. "Regress ad nauseum" is an amazingly uncommon phrase. And the trilemma appears to say that there's no intrinsic truth, and truth can't follow from a lack of truth. I'd dispute that, actually... one way to justify something logically is to show that it is equivalent to a tautology, which must be true. (On the other hand, logic itself can be made subject, which is why it's given an axiomatic basis: "ex cathedra" (for a sufficiently loose definition) truth that's optional.) But I digress. I'm pretty sure that would only apply if both sides had presented reasoned arguments.

Wrestler/Judoka said...

The relevence of reasonable would be decided upon by the indiviual.

The original post was of Dawkins requesting of theists to present him with verifiable evidence, empirical, of the propositions and premisses he has set forth.

To strong atheists, who have no accepted concept of divinity, no argument refering to any sort of divinity would be reasonable.

Dawkins is requesting that premisses of a metaphysical nature be verified with empirical evidence.

This is a virtual impossibility given that a strong atheist would not give reasonable concession to the validity of any metaphysics as by their own volition they do not consider any evidence other than empirical in their conclusions.

Again,

For Dawkins requests to be taken seriously, or reasonable to theists, he would have to entertain the concepts of metaphysics as they relate to the propostions he has issued.

The strong atheists postion is an extreme one, given their premise to not acknowledge any concept that is not empiricaly evident.

There are concepts that are inexpainable by modern scientific method and theory. That's not to say science will not explain them in the future, but at this time it is beyond science.

The existance of divinity is one of those concepts.

It is scientificaly accepted through the many philosophical disciplines that a metaphysical concept can not be catagorized as false or non-existant simply on the grounds that it will not stand up to empirical evidence.

Things like Santa Clause, the Great Pumpkin, The Flying Tea Pot, Hannabil Lecter, (Which is a fictional character) ect, are refutable and can be proven non-existant through modern scientific method. Concepts like these fall more into the catagory of mysticism and mythology.

The concept of divinity, theism, has yet to be proven false or non-existant by popular and accepted modern science.

Divinity could exist on those grounds alone. That it is explored by philosophical branches of science, epistemology, metaphysics, ect, lends more creadence to its existance, given that science has devoted branches of its ranks to the study of its existance and meaning.

The ultimate questions here does god or do gods exist, is theism valid, more than likely will not be answered here by our meager intelects if ever.

This post has been edited by Wrestler/Judoka: Yesterday, 11:12 PM

MWchase said...

...

Does somebody want to explain why that last post appears to be copied and pasted from an entirely separate forum?

Besides the obvious, that the whole "Dawkins" rant has been pasted in, with no regard to the rest of the thread.

You see what trolls have done to discourse? All of that was literally completely independent of anything we said, but we couldn't tell, because sometimes actual arguments display that kind of responsiveness.

Would moving for a ban over literally contributing nothing be out of line?

MWchase said...

My crack about one side not having any reasoned arguments stands.

King of Ferrets said...

I support banning the troll.

Akusai said...

I support inquiry into the nature of these various posters. It seems odd to me that they'd all show up on the same thread around the same time to say (more or less) the same thing, though I'll admit with various degrees of linguistic ineptitude, from RITF who is perfectly understandable, to wrestler/judoka, who is just this side of word salad half the time.

Why here? Why now? These are the big questions that need answered.

Bronze Dog said...

Sorry I've been offline for a while.

The trolls can now regard this as an ultimatum: No more copypasta. Provide arguments that are relevant to what's being posted HERE.

As for Wrestler's latest copypasta:

The concept of divinity, theism, has yet to be proven false or non-existant by popular and accepted modern science.

The concept of divinity has yet to be defined in a meaningful manner.

Divinity could exist on those grounds alone. That it is explored by philosophical branches of science, epistemology, metaphysics, ect, lends more creadence to its existance, given that science has devoted branches of its ranks to the study of its existance and meaning.

1. Science is the most successful branch of philosophy.

2. The fact that some ivory tower humans like to gibber about something proves nothing. Theologists have accomplished nothing except finding new ways to gibber about old concepts.

3. Are you saying divinity has no observable effects on the universe?

Wrestler said...

Explain to me how to provide physical evidence of metaphysical concepts.

You claim that we should study effects in the physical world but
I'm not so sure that all concepts of divinity interact in the physical world as physical entities. Again, the premisses of metaphysics apply.

applying empirical evidence to metaphysics is a lofty endevour. Also again, strong atheists would do not entertain discussion that is not of an empirical nature which makes conclusions nearly imposible. But to hold the positon that nothing exists with out physical and empirical evidence is a fallacy. Science would even support this. Quantam mechanics comes to mind.

"Quantum mechanics provides probabilistic results because the physical universe is itself probabilistic rather than deterministic."

and the EPR paradox.

Metaphysics is a science as it is a branch of Philosophy which is the study of general problems concerning matters such as existence, knowledge, truth, beauty, justice, validity, mind, and language ect.

The argument is not that science has to prove god (nor do theists), it is that athiests use science to attempt to disprove theism.

Therefore the burdan of proof lies on the complainer. If atheists do not want theists to beleive in theism, they have the burdan of proof to disprove theisms.


Someone,Bronze or Akusai I don't know which,likes to invoke the God of the gaps refutation.But the gaps are still there no matter the "filler" invoked. I think the difference lies in perception.

King of Ferrets said...

So, you can't show us that God healed an amputee, then? Or performed any other miracles that could have basically no other cause? If every single believer got together and prayed for it, God could not heal every single illness in the world at once and make donuts rain from the sky?

It's entirely possible there's something that's not just probabilistic behind quantum mechanics, and we just haven't discovered it yet. The really big and really small things are fucking hard to research.

Philosophy isn't really science, from what I understand. Some branches will invoke logic, but you can only extend logic out from a certain conclusion based on the evidence so far before something else screws with the idea. And some branches, like theology, just say, "Screw science!" and leave the evidence behind altogether.

As for us needing to provide the evidence, because science isn't being used to justify God... well, I was going to put a long rant here, but basically, YOU FAIL AT SCIENCE.

God of the gaps is a fallacy. The gaps do, in fact, go away when filled.

Bronze Dog said...

Explain to me how to provide physical evidence of metaphysical concepts.

You claim that we should study effects in the physical world but
I'm not so sure that all concepts of divinity interact in the physical world as physical entities. Again, the premisses of metaphysics apply.


Define "metaphysical" as you use it. Can we observe "metaphysical" effects? Too often, those sorts of words end up incoherent.

Also again, strong atheists...

Are irrelevant as far as I can tell. No one here's a "strong atheist" who has certainty about the negative, right? Dawkins isn't one, either.

But to hold the positon that nothing exists with out physical and empirical evidence is a fallacy. Science would even support this. Quantam mechanics comes to mind.

If it doesn't leave physical evidence, it might as well not exist. I have a hard time conceiving of something that does absolutely nothing.

Oh, and what does QM have to do with this?

"Quantum mechanics provides probabilistic results because the physical universe is itself probabilistic rather than deterministic."

Sooooo... What's your point?

and the EPR paradox.

Glanced over Wikipedia's entry. Seems to me you're making the point of "QM is weird, therefore..."

Wait, what is your point?

Metaphysics is a science as it is a branch of Philosophy which is the study of general problems concerning matters such as existence, knowledge, truth, beauty, justice, validity, mind, and language ect.

Which doesn't really jive with your other statements, unless you're equating God to an exercise in art appreciation.

The argument is not that science has to prove god (nor do theists), it is that athiests use science to attempt to disprove theism.

You don't pay attention to atheists, do you? Especially not us.

Therefore the burdan of proof lies on the complainer. If atheists do not want theists to beleive in theism, they have the burdan of proof to disprove theisms.

You fail to realize that you theists have been the "complainers" (positive claimants) ever since our distant ancestors invented the idea of spirits and gods. You have made zero progress in your complaint. You haven't even defined your complaint.

Of course, it's not the complainer who has the burden of proof, it's the person making the positive claim. The "complainer" angle is an invention I have never heard.

Someone,Bronze or Akusai I don't know which,likes to invoke the God of the gaps refutation.But the gaps are still there no matter the "filler" invoked. I think the difference lies in perception.

Gaps are "I don't know." You're the sort to fill those gaps with "God, because I say so for no reason whatsoever." Our objection to that "complaint" is that you don't have a reason or a meaningful definition of what you're filling it with. You might as well be talking about Glarb.

King of Ferrets said...

A quote that just came up on the random quote generator from Pharyngula: "When he that speaks, and he to whom he speaks, neither of them understand what is meant, that is metaphysics." -Voltaire
I think it might apply here.

Once again, I complain that BD is far better than me at this. I think Wrestler would say I have to provide evidence for this, which would be BD's latest comment.

Bronze Dog said...

And Voltaire completely owns me, either way.

Covers the point I'm trying to make quite nicely: "Metaphysics" is just being used as a buzzword to avoid being clear in his meaning.

Akusai said...

Someone order an Appeal to Metaphysics?

Check.

For the record, metaphysics is not science. Philosophy is not science. Science broke away from philosophy centuries ago. Trying to bolster metaphysics and aesthetics up to the level of working, repeatable, scientific induction, the most successful continued endeavor in human history, is laughable.

Metaphysics is word soup and hot air about things that cannot, by definition, ever be known. It is very much not science.

King of Ferrets said...

I should take some goddamn notes.

MWchase said...

You, um... do realize that one of the major complaints about string theory (remember that thing? Even stranger than QM) is that it doesn't make any experimental predictions that would allow people to falsify it.

Let's go over this. Maybe if everybody says it, Care-Bear-style, it'll sink in: Science deals in observations. If doing one thing as opposed to another leads to different observations, in a consistent fashion, then we can establish a relationship between what we did and what we observed.

By adding in "metaphysics", you are claiming the existence of something with no observable relationship to anything else. In effect, things would be no different if it did not exist, and good explanations do not multiply entities unnecessarily.

As to "the God of the Gaps", by defining "God" to 'complement' our current understanding of the world, you're essentially staking God's existence and the eternal reward of a glorious life after death, on, say, whether the LHC works. Science marches on. As King of Ferrets said, the Gaps only exist because science lets them, for the moment. Our knowledge of the world isn't a patchwork of science and GODDIDIT, it is science.

Wrestler said...

It's my opinion that the God of the Gaps argument is a dismissive Argument from Ignorance that subjugates theisms attempts to address concepts of the physical and metaphysical universe that science has yet to explain.

My main points are:

1)There are physical occurance that have been documented that science can not explain.


2)If there are occurances that are not scientificaly explainable, then there must be a metaphysical explanation, this could be divinity.

3)Divinity could play a part in our existance. Until it is definitively refuted by science, what science can not explain, theism will attempt to.

As I've said before, the burden of proof falls on the complainer.

The burden is reciprocal given whomever decides to lay forth the argument.

To touch on Dawkins again (sorry King of Ferrets)

Dawkins laid forth a Strawman argument that established premisses that were refutable by a strong atheists extreme stance on the existance of divinity.

Dawkins did not put forth arguments that supported atheism to be challenged, but put forth arguments of theism to be supported in the argument.

He started the argument, by expressing the premisses of theism to be proven not refuted. It is an infinate regress based on the concept of divinity.

Like I've said from the start, it is a Strawman Argument and not one it seems theists are willing to delve into on the fallacious premisses Dawkins has set up.



Russell's teapot and Sagan's Dragon(often referred to on skeptic and atheist sites) also need to be addressed:

Neither one is a theology or even a philosophy that attmepts to decipher reality as a theology and philosophy does and they are not theistic in nature.

They should be more classified as a Parody religion to set up a fallacious argument to point out the deficiencies of an the argumentum ad populum which is what Russell and Sagan suggest theism is.

Both are easily refutable by modern scientific standards. Need I indulge?

Akusai said...

As I've said before, the burden of proof falls on the complainer.

As you've shown before, you are woefully ignorant. The burden of proof lies on the person making the positive claim. That is it. Black and white. You can't shift the burden of proof by saying "Oh, well this person has an argument about X, therefore they have the burden of proof." The person making the positive claim "X exists," or "X does Y," or something like that, when the claim is backed by questionable or no evidence, is the one who has the burden of proof. Stop repeating this total bullshit inaccuracy as if saying it one more time might make it true.

Neither one is a theology or even a philosophy that attmepts to decipher reality as a theology and philosophy does and they are not theistic in nature.

So? They demonstrate that when a claim has no evidence to back it up and (in the case of Sagan's dragon) has no effects whatsoever on physical reality, that claim can be neither confirmed or (and here's the kicker) falsified. Whining that they aren't fully-fleshed theologies or philosophies both misses the point and makes you guilty of broad special pleading. That they are not theologies is completely irrelevant.

They should be more classified as a Parody religion to set up a fallacious argument to point out the deficiencies of an the argumentum ad populum which is what Russell and Sagan suggest theism is.

No, they are analogies. They offer Object A (teapot/dragon) in which you are asked to believe even though there is a total absence of evidentiary support for its existence. The leap, then, is to say "See? That's just like and god ever."

If you're looking for a parody religion, look up the Invisible Pink Unicorn or the Flying Spaghetti Monster.

And how do they even address an argumentum ad populum? They don't. They address directly a lack of evidence.

You're not nearly as smart as you think you are, and your insistence on saying the same wrong things over and over and continually bringing up Richard Dawkins when he is irrelevant to the conversation (and you mischaracterize his stance with tortured phrasing) shows that you really have nothing useful to add here.

MWchase said...

Saying that "science cannot explain" something because it does not currently explain it is fatalism, and completely ignores the presence of every. Scientific. Discovery. Ever.

And Akusai is right about the IPU. Shall I talk about Her Divine Invisible Pinkness for a bit? Actually, it looks like this FAQ pretty conclusively proves her existence by your standards of proof.

Bronze Dog said...

It's my opinion that the God of the Gaps argument is a dismissive Argument from Ignorance that subjugates theisms attempts to address concepts of the physical and metaphysical universe that science has yet to explain.

Theists are claiming to know something often deliberately without any evidence, logical rationale, or grounds for changing their mind if they're wrong. We SHOULD be dismissive of that sort of unbridled arrogance and special pleading.

1)There are physical occurance that have been documented that science can not explain.

Can not explain YET. Absolute pessimism isn't a good premise to start from.

2)If there are occurances that are not scientificaly explainable, then there must be a metaphysical explanation, this could be divinity.

Ah, yes, "everything that can be invented has been invented." Scientists are all trying to collect welfare because all the data in the universe have been collected. I wonder what would have happened if you showed up a few centuries earlier to tell us this.

3)Divinity could play a part in our existance. Until it is definitively refuted by science, what science can not explain, theism will attempt to.

If it played a part in our existence, that would make it subject to science. Anything that has effects is subject to scientific investigation.

You're terrified of saying "I don't know," aren't you? Scientifically minded people like me are perfectly content to say "I don't know, but maybe someone can find out." You, however, are so eager to say we're never going to make any progress, and so arrogant to say that because we don't know now, you KNOW it's some magical, poorly defined concept some gibberers like to throw around.

As I've said before, the burden of proof falls on the complainer.

Stop inventing your own rules of debate.

The burden is reciprocal given whomever decides to lay forth the argument.

You're the one laying out the sloppy, unsound arguments. We just point out how sloppy and unsound those arguments are. You never read anything we post for comprehension, do you?

Dawkins laid forth a Strawman argument that established premisses that were refutable by a strong atheists extreme stance on the existance of divinity.

What straw man argument? Describe what your real argument is. If Dawkins committed a fallacy, it's irrelevant to our conversation here. It doesn't help that you're exactly what I was suspecting when you laid out your poorly thought-out "points."

Also, there are no "strong" atheists involved in this conversation. Dawkins is not a strong atheist. If you actually read anything of his, you'd know that. I think you're getting to the point of deliberately lying. --- Deliberately setting up your own straw men: I'm not a strong atheist. Akusai isn't. KoF isn't. Dawkins isn't. So why are you talking about these fictional strong atheists?

Dawkins did not put forth arguments that supported atheism to be challenged, but put forth arguments of theism to be supported in the argument.

Wrong. He put forth the fallacies committed by theism: Why their challenge, i.e. "complaint" has failed.

He started the argument, by expressing the premisses of theism to be proven not refuted. It is an infinate regress based on the concept of divinity.

Parse this sentence for us. Sounds like gibberish.

Like I've said from the start, it is a Strawman Argument and not one it seems theists are willing to delve into on the fallacious premisses Dawkins has set up.

More like your straw men. Of course, even if your pseudo-Dawkins existed, so what? We wouldn't care because we want you to argue with US.

Russell's teapot and Sagan's Dragon(often referred to on skeptic and atheist sites) also need to be addressed:

Neither one is a theology or even a philosophy that attmepts to decipher reality as a theology and philosophy does and they are not theistic in nature.

They should be more classified as a Parody religion to set up a fallacious argument to point out the deficiencies of an the argumentum ad populum which is what Russell and Sagan suggest theism is.

Both are easily refutable by modern scientific standards. Need I indulge?


You don't know anything about those arguments, do you? Popularity has absolutely nothing to do with them.

Carl Sagan's Dragon, as I put it.

But anyway, indulge me on how you "scientifically disprove" that dragon in the garage. She's eager to know.

RightintheFace said...

Knowledge is easy. faith is harder, I think.

King of Ferrets said...

Not really, but even if that were true, being stupid is often easier than being smart.

Bronze Dog said...

Knowledge takes investigation. Faith requires making stuff up or just repeating what someone else made up.

King of Ferrets said...

I think what he means by knowledge is knowing something that's already been investigated.

Der Commissar said...

Bronze,

Some like to speculate, others don't.

What is your own personal opinion on why the 'weird' in the sub-atomic world?


..and then your opinion after reading knowledge about it.


Sincere question.

Bronze Dog said...

There's a difference between speculating and making claims. I've run into a lot of people who claim that because QM is weird, their weird thing must be true because of QM. That's what I suspected about you, and you haven't clarified what your point is.

As for why QM's weird: The laws of physics are the laws of physics. It's our failing that we perceive it as weird and against our macro intuitions. The environment was forgiving enough that our ancestors didn't need to understand wave functions and non-locality to survive and reproduce. We only needed to think of macro objects, where everything on the quantum scale tended to average out.

Akusai said...

What is your own personal opinion on why the 'weird' in the sub-atomic world?

This is like asking him "What is your own personal opinion on why the sub-atomic world is totally awesome?" but, instead of being facetious or ironic, you meant it seriously and thought the question had rhetorical impact and scientific significance.

QM and the physics of the subatomic simply are what they are. QM is only "weird" because it's counterintuitive to us meat-based monkeybrains. It's only weird in your head. You're taking your own subjective perception of a natural phenomenon and pretending that it is somehow quantifiably significant.

Just because you think something is weird doesn't mean we have to buy your line of reasoning. Thinking something is weird, in fact, is a pretty poor place to begin your reasoning.

I think its kind of weird that animals poop. It's such a strange behavior, and kind of gross, terribly undignified, and often hilarious. But the weirdness I find in defecation says far more about me than about the act of pooping. Likewise with your "weird" perception of QM.

Jimmy_Blue said...

Rightintheface:

Knowledge is easy. faith is harder, I think.

Well that's hardly a ringing endorsement.

Hey everybody. Apparently investigation, repeated experimentation, hypothosis, calculation and then confirm or repeat the cycle are easy. But simply believing, well that's tough.

By the way, been over to Dr Novella's place to talk to a medical professional yet?

I'm still waiting to speak to the medical professional I know so I can post some more over on Skeptico. Do drop by again.

Wrestler said...

In his most recent posts, Bronze began to belittle my points, how I crafted the arguments of them, and even my reading comprehension and basic understanding of common concepts of philosophy, metaphysics and science.

This is what I expected of him and what I think Dawkins expects to achieve by setting up the challenge, and as I stated much earlier, an Argument from Ignorance such as this always ends up in an infinate regress and only accomplishes to reinforce the negative stereotypes of each side.

I only endevoure to play devil's advocate in this debate as I think individual opinions of divinity are not the point here.

So let me continue one more time, and hopefuly the last.......




Bronze wrote "Can not explain YET. Absolute pessimism isn't a good premise to start from."


It would be better for the argument to finish my quote and include the part where I say that science may well in the future explain the gaps. This being of course, optimistic.

Bronze wrote "Ah, yes, "everything that can be invented has been invented." Scientists are all trying to collect welfare because all the data in the universe have been collected. I wonder what would have happened if you showed up a few centuries earlier to tell us this."

I'm not sure what you mean here or how it rebutes the quoted post?

Bronze wrote "If it played a part in our existence, that would make it subject to science. Anything that has effects is subject to scientific investigation.You're terrified of saying "I don't know," aren't you? Scientifically minded people like me are perfectly content to say "I don't know, but maybe someone can find out." You, however, are so eager to say we're never going to make any progress, and so arrogant to say that because we don't know now, you KNOW it's some magical, poorly defined concept some gibberers like to throw around."

But not particulate science if the part it plays is metaphysical. The effects of which would again be a question of of teh demarcation problem.YOU DON'T KNOW ME!

Sorry, I had a flash back to my douncer days.

But seriuosly, lets leave the personal assessmenst of ones mental faculties, morals, character and, principles to our respective theropists.

My personal opinions and conclusions are irrelenvent to the argument, as your should be. I argue for the sake of it as this argument will not be won here by either standard


Bronze wrote "Stop inventing your own rules of debate."

From Wiki"Burden of proof (Latin: onus probandi) is the obligation to prove allegations which are presented in a legal action.

Under the Latin maxim necessitas probandi incumbit ei qui agit, the ordinary rule is that "the necessity of proof lies with he who complains." ""Outside a legal context, "burden of proof" means that someone suggesting a new theory or stating a claim must provide evidence to support it: it is not sufficient to say "you can't disprove this."

Specifically, when anyone is making a bold claim, either positive or negative, it is not someone else's responsibility to disprove the claim, but is rather the responsibility of the person who is making the bold claim to prove it."

Dawkins issued the challenge as a Stawman argument, stating the views of theists en-retro, no differently that a theist would state that the Big Bang theory provides the event for the begining of the universe but not he catalyst for the begining of the existance of life.

Bronze wrote "What straw man argument? Describe what your real argument is. If Dawkins committed a fallacy, it's irrelevant to our conversation here. It doesn't help that you're exactly what I was suspecting when you laid out your poorly thought-out "points."Also, there are no "strong" atheists involved in this conversation. Dawkins is not a strong atheist. If you actually read anything of his, you'd know that. I think you're getting to the point of deliberately lying. --- Deliberately setting up your own straw men: I'm not a strong atheist. Y-chromosome isn't. Fightingchef isn't. Dawkins isn't. So why are you talking about these fictional strong atheists?"

I think YOU have reached the end of your intelectual rope.I've stated and restated these "points" and YOU have yet to argue them succesfuly. What did you expect of me for that matter, I'm interested in hearing your assesment?

For the premisses to be proven to an athiest, they would have to have a concept of divinity, which most athiests, especialy strong atheists, don't have or do not accpet.

So the argument is moot. Dawkins will refute every conclusion, not matter the validity or rationale'.

The only part of the original aregument that I interjected my personal opinion into was my opinion that Dawkins issued the challenge as a fallacy in that he had no intetion of being convinced or converted, his intention was to "stir the pot" so to speak and do just as YOU have done and belittle the argument to this point of being a personal argument between indiviuals and not a debate on the subject matter.

Bronze wrote "Parse this sentence for us. Sounds like gibberish."

Well of course it does, you've become unreasonable. But just for kicks and giggles.

His challenge was to prove the theistic premisses he set forth. He did not refuted them in this argument. He took the fallacious stance that the validity of divinity would be substanciated by providing empirical proof of the conclusions he set forth.

The conclusions he put forth can not be proven with empirical evidence by particulate science. The conclusions are perceptual and perception being a metaphysical concept would not stand up to empirical evidence.


Bronze wrote "More like your straw men. Of course, even if your pseudo-Dawkins existed, so what? We wouldn't care because we want you to argue with US."

But I don't want to argue with you, I want to debate the issue of divinity and its existance. You've proven my above point about the purpose of Dawkins challenge.

Bronze wrote "You don't know anything about those arguments, do you? Popularity has absolutely nothing to do with them.But anyway, indulge me on how you "scientifically disprove" that dragon in the garage. She's eager to know."

I assure you I do. Russells' Tea Pot arguement is an argument used to refute the idea of burden of proof as it pertains to religion. It is his example of an argument from ignorance, as is Sagan's Dragon.They don't exist on the grounds that we can not apply empirical evidence to support these claims, they don't exist because we already know they are apocryphal stories made up to prove a point

Wrestler said...

Sorry to interject the names of other atheists I've debated previously (Y-chromosome,Fightingchef) but it was intentional because they presented almost the exact same arguments as you guys.

Akusai said...

The "boldness" or "novelness" of the claim or "complaint" has nothing to do with the burden of proof. It has everything to do with the contents of the claim, not how it is perceived by people. If the claim is positive, i.e. "Unicorns exist," then the claimant has to provide evidence or the rest of us will maintain the null hypothesis.

A denial in the face of a lack of evidence (maintaining the null hypothesis) does not require proof. It doesn't even make sense to say that the burden of proof is on someone denying claim X because there is no evidence for claim X.

Of course, you don't seem to understand or care about empirical evidence, as you think that metaphysics is a science.

MWchase said...

No, see, metaphysics is outside of science, and we don't know the (his) definition of it.

It's perfectly possible to define something without asserting its existence. In fact, to deny the existence of an ill-defined concept (as he says divinity is to us) is a very poor denial.

One point I'd like to make about whether there are strong atheists here. There are arguments that conclusively refute the existence of certain conceptions of God, while leaving other conceptions unchallenged.

I somewhat doubt your assertion that your tone about the potential for scientific discovery was "optimistic".

Divinity could play a part in our existance. Until it is definitively refuted by science, what science can not explain, theism will attempt to.

Science is based on methodological naturalism, which states that "explanations of observable effects are practical and useful only when they hypothesize natural causes (i.e., specific mechanisms, not indeterminate miracles)"--wiki. Therefore, as the invocation of a higher power runs counter to the basic principles of science, and is in that sense "foreign" and "new" to the current body of scientific knowledge.

We'll base what we think on science because we do not rely on other ways of knowing.

Speaking of, let's talk about divinity. Why not? When we consider the world around us, why should we invoke the supernatural in our attempts to understand it.

No pressure, but if the centuries have told us anything, it's that you're going to need a knockout argument.

MWchase said...

(Should be obvious, but second-to-last paragraph should end in a question mark. I can't believe I missed that in preview...)

Bronze Dog said...

Deleted a massive post because I don't feel like giving Wrestler more room for red herrings so he can stall debate further.

1. Still showing zero understanding of Dawkins, Sagan, or Russell.

2. You've defined theists as the ones making the bold claim: Being the complainers. When you've got gaps, "I don't know" is not a bold claim.

3. If you want to make a post about what Dawkins allegedly said, quote him and provide a source. I've got my copy of The God Delusion sitting right next to me right now.

4. If you want to debate about divinity, you should start with defining it. Please be coherent.

Rightintheface said...

Wrestler,

I've read your posts with interest and have very much enjoyed them, but as you yourself pointed out earlier on, you aren't likely to "convince" someone like Bronze who is dead set on not believing.

Don't get me wrong, I want to continue to hear your thoughts, but I don't think they're going to do what you want them to do.

Bronze Dog said...

RITF, I don't see how you could find anything of content in his posts. He's erected a lot of straw men, and he's the big roadblock to debate: He's erected language barriers, saying we won't believe in "divinity," whatever that is before he even defines it.

He's declaring the outcome based on his stereotypes before he even gives us any chance whatsoever to subvert his expectations. The debate can't start until he gives us something meaningful to debate.

It doesn't help that he can't understand the Sagan's dragon in the garage and the point behind it. Instead he just seemed to make up some random epistemology rule that people can never accidentally make up something that happens to be true.

Israelforever said...

I wonder if Bronze believes in religious tolerance, because it happens to be one of the cornerstones of American democracy.

This county was founded on principles of religious freedom by people who were persecuted and demonized by the "ACLU's" and "People for the American Ways" of their day.

That's why we have a little thing in this country called the First Amendment, which guarantees freedom OF religion, NOT freedom FROM religion.

Instead of trying to silence people who hold different views, wouldn't the tolerant position be to RESPECT their right to free speech and free religious exercise without going all "exorcist" on them, Bronze?

Bronze Dog said...

Israel Forever:

I wonder if Bronze believes in religious tolerance, because it happens to be one of the cornerstones of American democracy.

Of course I do. I rely on its protection and go up against a lot of fundies who'd love to tear it down.

This county was founded on principles of religious freedom by people who were persecuted and demonized by the "ACLU's" and "People for the American Ways" of their day.

Someone sure doesn't understand the ACLU or me. I look up to the Founding Fathers for establishing the first amendment.

That's why we have a little thing in this country called the First Amendment, which guarantees freedom OF religion, NOT freedom FROM religion.

So, are you saying I have no right to be an atheist? Or are you saying that the government must respect an establishment of at least one religion because I have no freedom from having the state impose a religion on me? Just what the hell kind of freedom excludes the right to not partake of it.

Freedom of speech doesn't forbid me from being silent or from finding a nice quiet corner when I feel like it.

Instead of trying to silence people who hold different views, wouldn't the tolerant position be to RESPECT their right to free speech and free religious exercise without going all "exorcist" on them, Bronze?

Since when is criticizing the same as silencing? Methinks someone is engaging in base propaganda by conflating the two very opposite things. Criticism is a right I have thanks to the first amendment. I will exercise it whenever I wish.

The silencing of opposing views is wrong, and something people like me will not engage in without good reason.

I tolerate different views: They will never have to worry about me trying to tear them down through the legal system, physically, or anything like that. The government's tolerance of your religion is a right: It won't judge you based on your religion, and that's exactly how it should be.

I have no need to respect the ridiculous and dangerous. Respect isn't a right. It's something you must earn. The first amendment gives me the right to criticize whatever I think is wrong. Telling me to shut up because you're offended by my free speech is quite hypocritical from an alleged fan of the first amendment.

So, Israelforever, I would highly recommend you take a good, long look in the mirror before you make another comment.

Akusai said...

The ACLU tries to curtail free exercise? The ACLU doesn't believe in religious tolerance?

Fuck you.

The ACLU has taken up for Fred Phelps, perhaps the most vile, hate-filled, evil, and disgusting religious person in America.

They don't believe in freedom of religion? You're so completely full of shit it's laughable.

Here they sued a school district that punished an American Indian child for wearing long hair for religious reasons. Get that through your skull: they fought the system for oppressing a person's right to free exercise.

They have taken up in the past for children who were told to stop praying in school, or who were told a religious topic was not appropriate for a paper or project. They protect free exercise like nobody else.

What they oppose is mandated state religion in all of its forms, whether a state employee leading a public school class in prayer (how people can think this is constitutional is beyond me), or a public school teaching religious nonsense like creationism or intelligent design in science classes.

So pull the other one. Maybe if you actually did some research into the ACLU, what they actually stand for, and who they've represented in the past, you'd be less ignorant.

It's just that "militant atheist" bullshit all over again. For any other group to be militant, they have to, I don't know, be militant. Have guns. Commit acts of violence.

For atheists, you speak up in opposition of religion, you dare to question its place in society, you fight for your own right not to be forced to believe, and suddenly you're a tyrant, trying to silence people and send them to the gulag.

Who tries to change the law to mandate specific religious behaviors in the people of the United States? Conservative religionists or atheists? And taking "Under God" out of the pledge or off the money doesn't fucking count. That does not mandate a specific religious behavior, it removes divisive, undeniably pro-religious commentary from official national paraphernalia. It does not force people not to believe. It does not make second-class citizens of believers. It does not promulgate unscientific falsehood in the name of religious indoctrination of children. Those things are done by the religious.

But if all I say is "That's wrong," suddenly I'm a fascist.

Here's a clue, dipshit: freedom of religion just is freedom from religion, if one is not religious. "Freedom of religion" does not mean "You're free to have whatever religion you want provided you at least have one." As long as atheists, agnostics, and doubters of all stripes exist, their freedom of religion is exactly equivalent to freedom from religion, and any act by the government to change that is unconstitutional oppression of a minority.

Christ on a bike, what is it with this thread and stupid assholes?

Bronze Dog said...

Oh, and on the chance that you're misunderstanding the comment I left about deleting an extra-long comment: The comment I deleted was one I was typing because I realized Wrestler would latch onto the unimportant parts to stall in telling me more about his views.

And notice a pattern in my recent comments?: It's mostly "Tell me more!" "This doesn't make sense! Explain it!"

And I'm doing this in a thread that's been hijacked with off-topic comments, even though I have a rule against off-topic comments in my policy. The posts these are attached to is how bad the complaint "I've got better things to do!" doesn't make you look good in an online argument.

I'm hardly silencing anyone: I'm being generous in the face of overtly trollish behavior.

So, back to the off-topic I'm actually interested in:

Wrestler: Define divinity. Dumb it down for me if you must. The debate about it can't start if you won't tell me what you want to debate about. Give me a chance BEFORE you make presumptions based on stereotypes.

MWchase said...

I reiterate BD's call for some definitions of the words that Wrestler says we don't understand.

(And debate would never, ever work if asking people what they mean when they use certain words was silencing them. How would it look to you if we all started insisting that knowledge of "phlemdra" completely annihilates all of the other side's arguments in this thread, and accused you of fascism whenever you asked for a definition?)

(On a tangent, comparing the ACLU to the seventeenth-century Anglican Church... Bravo, sir. You may have created an alternative to Godwin's Law.)

MWchase said...

(Also, it occurs to me that claiming that the First Amendment doesn't protect the choice to be non-religious is like saying that the Second Amendment mandates carrying guns.)

Akusai said...

Or that other clauses of the first amendment force you to listen to anyone who is talking, or require that you read the newspaper.

Dikkii said...

I reiterate BD's call for some definitions of the words that Wrestler says we don't understand.

I don't. Wrestler is inconsistent and incoherent. I'm not sure that I have your level of patience, MW, or yours, either, BD.

I would have given up long ago.

MWchase said...

I guess I've just been itching for a 'nice' argument to dissect. Maybe I should just put up a YouTube video critiquing the conclusions drawn from the concept of philosophical zombies and let the flames wash over me.

Wrestler said...

I will not insult your intellegence by quoting definitions of Metaphysics to you.

I'm sure you know these.

I think your question is how do I apply this to divinity and how it relates to this thread.

It may very well be true that divinity only exists at the metaphysical level, and only effects the physical universe through metaphysical, (or trancendent of particulate science,) influences, such as thought, intuition, precognition, premonition, emotion, ect;.

Of course metaphysical and psychological phenomema, other than those caused by physiological causes, have no particulate assemblage and there for can not stand up to the observable physical evidence that science needs to make its conclusions.

Dawkins' challenge was for theists to provide the physical evidence needed by science to substanciate certain claims of divinity. Divinity being defined as a god like entity or entities.

The crux lies in that the claims of divinity he put forth can already be easily refuted by atheist, as the physical manifestations of the claims are open to interpretation.

The claim of a vision of the Virgin Mary standing on a hill side, could easily be refuted as a hallucinantion by atheists. People have hallucinations all the time for various and sundry reasons, and with out being able to physiologicaly analyze the individual that makes the claim of the vision, at the specific time or within a reasonable amount of time of the vision, then there would be no particulate scientific way to verify if the individual was being influenced physiologcaly or if they were being influenced metaphysicaly by a divine ascendancy. Atheists that demand particulate scientific evidence of divinity/god would catagoricaly refute the claim of the vision as a physiological hallucination even if they could not substanciate that it was a physiological hallucination with particulate scientific evidence in the way of physiologicaly analyzing the individual to find out if they had a physiological cause for the hallucination. Given the time frame from the event of the vision to the time of any physiological examination the individuals metabolic processes could very easily erase any evidence of any physiological cause for the hallucination. Therefore the atheist could not prove that it was the manifestation of a physiological cause, but still would not concider a metaphysical cause as most will not entertain the concepts of the metaphysics related to the existance of divinity, as they only concider the evidence of particulate science rational or reasonable. Of course the theist would accept the possibility of a divine ascendancy and although the clergy of most religions would catagoricaly investigate the claim, there would be the enthusiastic followers that would accept it with out scrutany.

The nature of the premisses Dawkins set forth closely resemble the hypothetical scenario above, in that, for each there is an "out" for atheists to refute the claims of divinity on the grounds that there is no way to sustanciate the claims with evidence acceptable to particualte science, whether that be circumstantial, relational or situational. Since most athiests and escpecialy strong atheists would not even condicer anything invovling metaphysics, concidering their need for empirical evidence to draw conclusions, then the possible lack of a solid way to verify a claim of divinity by scientific evidence would be refuted on these grounds. As soon as the theist imply that there was a metaphysical aspect of divinity in the claim, the atheist would refute it, even if by meer consiquence, the claim could not stand up to empirical evidence.

I labeled the challenge a Strawman argument for the fact that Dawkins initiated a fallacy into the challenge by claiming he would converted or be convinced of the existance of divinity if theists could substanciate the claims with scientific evidence. As I have related above, and many times through the course of this thread, that is almost impossible to do due to the nature of how the claims were put forth and the fact that Dawkins has no intentions what so ever to be convinced or converted. The latter fact being the fallacy.

The argument for or against the existance of god/gods/divinity is, has always been and will always be, an Argument from Ignorance in that neither side can prove or disprove their points to each others satisfaction.

Rightintheface said...

I think the concept espoused by some that they ought to be able to be "free from religion" is laughable.

You don't have the right to be free of anything.

You don't have the right to not be offended.

Where those concepts come into play isn't the law, but in how we choose to treat one another. I just wish we could aspire to better than what we're doing, which was how I entered this thread in the first place.

Rightintheface said...

My main problem is the demonization of theists or "woos" that seems to be prevalent here.

Look at our current presidential race and the accompanying debate. It isn't enough for many to say "I disagree with Obama's principles" or even more personal judgements such as "I am concerned with Palin's reputation for misappropriation of funds, etc."

People have this need to demonize the "other side."

That's what I'm trying to do here; I don't mind if people disagree with me, but there's no need to demonize me.

Bronze gets carried away. If he's honest with himself, he'll know that I have no problem with his atheism, but he's too busy being an aggressive jerk.

It isn't enough for him to say "I disagree" or "I don't buy your argument" he keeps beating you over the head with it as though he has a RIGHT to an answer.

If and when he learns some manners, I'll continue to speak with him about what I believe. If he wants to be a jerk, I'll continue to laugh.

At the end of the day, I look at it like this. He might be more scientifically certain of the validity of his world view, but look how bitter he is. I believe in something I can't prove, and I'm happy. Even if I'm wrong, I'm going to live my entire life feeling content and at peace with my faith. You can't put a price on that.

Akusai said...

Of course metaphysical and psychological phenomema, other than those caused by physiological causes, have no particulate assemblage and there for can not stand up to the observable physical evidence that science needs to make its conclusions.

1) Find me some psychological phenomena that do not have physiological causes. I'm sure the Nobel committee would love to have a look.

2) If something has no observable physical evidence, then it may as well not exist at all. That, sir, is the real point of Sagan's dragon in the garage.

The argument for or against the existance of god/gods/divinity is, has always been and will always be, an Argument from Ignorance in that neither side can prove or disprove their points to each others satisfaction.

It is not an argument from ignorance to say there is no evidence for a deity, you stupid shit.

It is pointing out a lack of evidence. Argument from ignorance is when one says "I don't know what causes X, therefore it was Y," like when someone says "I don't know what caused life, so it was God." That's the argument from ignorance. Stop redefining logical fallacies to mean what you want them to, you fucking twit.

Bronze Dog said...

Cutting down a long post from line-by-line to some simple questions and observations.

Where the hell do you get this "particulate" crap, Wrestler? I don't believe that, Dawkins doesn't believe that. You don't know anything at all about the philosophy of science, do you?

Methinks you're just parroting stuff some apologist made up.

As for empirical evidence: Does divinity do stuff? If so, the stuff it does is the empirical evidence.

As for your definition of divinity: Define "gods".

It would have looked a better for you if you just focused on those definitions and breaking down the language barrier, rather than spout your unfounded stereotypes all over the place.

Moving on:

RITF: "I think the concept espoused by some that they ought to be able to be "free from religion" is laughable.

You don't have the right to be free of anything.


I'm only claiming the right to criticize. Are you saying I do not have that right?

You don't have the right to not be offended.

Israelforever certainly seemed to think otherwise. And since when was offense an issue? That's irrelevant to the whole argument.

Where those concepts come into play isn't the law, but in how we choose to treat one another. I just wish we could aspire to better than what we're doing, which was how I entered this thread in the first place.

Riiiiight. I have no right to be rude when I criticize rude people who have made what I consider to be very sloppy arguments. Apparently someone else here thinks he's got the right not to be offended.

My main problem is the demonization of theists or "woos" that seems to be prevalent here.

If you don't want to be criticized, don't do something worthy of criticism. I have the right to criticize people.

People have this need to demonize the "other side."

That's what I'm trying to do here; I don't mind if people disagree with me, but there's no need to demonize me.


Such hypocrisy. You came in demonizing us. And when we called you on it, you labeled that as demonizing.

Bronze gets carried away. If he's honest with himself, he'll know that I have no problem with his atheism, but he's too busy being an aggressive jerk.

Wow, you really don't understand the problem I have with you, do you? If you come in as an aggressive, lying jerk, don't expect me to be polite.

From my standpoint, you first popped in to complain I was being too aggressive in expressing my anti-torture views and my views against artful euphemisms for torture.

It isn't enough for him to say "I disagree" or "I don't buy your argument" he keeps beating you over the head with it as though he has a RIGHT to an answer.

You haven't been following, have you? I can't disagree with something when I don't understand a view. All of this recent rash with Wrestler has been me trying to get him to explain his views. I can't disagree if he's too busy spouting off malicious stereotypes to explain himself.

If and when he learns some manners, I'll continue to speak with him about what I believe. If he wants to be a jerk, I'll continue to laugh.

I'm being rude to rude people like you. You started it, and you're post is only continuing it. If you were honest with yourself, you'd recognize that instead of bashing freedom of speech and misrepresenting what we're saying.

At the end of the day, I look at it like this. He might be more scientifically certain of the validity of his world view, but look how bitter he is. I believe in something I can't prove, and I'm happy. Even if I'm wrong, I'm going to live my entire life feeling content and at peace with my faith. You can't put a price on that.

I'm quite happy normally. You came in spouting lies and hate speech (which, by the way, I haven't silenced), and expect me to be cheery?

I wish I could go George Carlin and consistently find laughter out of the horrors apologists and fundies bring to the world by tearing down our rights, but I can get riled up.

At least I can find my sense of humor sometimes.

MWchase said...

(Written while BD and Akusai posted.)

(There are definitions of metaphysics out there, but what it means has varied over time due to mistranslation and 'pop' labeling. Ideally, we'd like to know exactly which definition you're using.)

It may very well be true that divinity only exists at the metaphysical level, and only effects the physical universe through metaphysical, (or trancendent of particulate science,) influences, such as thought, intuition, precognition, premonition, emotion, ect;.

I'm not sure I see how science would be inherently limited in detecting these "metaphysical effects". Put bluntly and simplistically, if you can get a gauge to wiggle as a result of something, science can measure it. If it can't be detected, that's a shortcoming of ever-improving measurement techniques, and not the scientific method itself.

I'll admit, I don't actually pay all that much attention to Dawkins, so I'll skip to the bottom of the post.

The argument for or against the existance of god/gods/divinity is, has always been and will always be, an Argument from Ignorance in that neither side can prove or disprove their points to each others satisfaction.

Once you've reduced the deities in question to those consistent with the observable universe, all that's left to help people make a decision is

Occam's razor.

I think the concept espoused by some that they ought to be able to be "free from religion" is laughable.

The idea of freedom of religion as applied to the public sphere is that a representative government should not privilege any religious dogma over any other. That can't have been what you're talking about, or you'd be arguing that offering tax deductions for dressing like a pirate in accordance with Pastafarianism is a perfectly cromulent action on the part of the federal government.

Private individuals and organizations can sponsor whatever beliefs they want, so long as their beliefs don't involve violating the private property of others. (An awkward construction by which I mean to encompass ever criminal act from assault on up to child sacrifice, and a couple others besides.)

Actually, the idea that somebody is thinking something about God or whatever isn't really enough to offend us. I know I reserve my ire at the opinions of others for the people who liked some of the typographic carpetstains my school system called "required summer reading".

Bronze Dog said...

Oh, on "insulting my intelligence":

Dumb down everything you need to tear down the language barrier by defining these things you're talking about.

Pretending that you know what I believe and what I'll say before you've even gotten the debate started is the far worse insult.

Don't be afraid of offending me, either. I never complained about that. What I complain about is immorality, stalling debate, and propaganda-oriented misconceptions and lies about me and my friends.

Dino said...

What I don't understand (and I am directing this comments at "both sides" of the argument here) is why so many assume that science, modern society and critical thinking AND religion somehow "cancel each other out" and are always and completely incompatible.

I disagree with such position.

Although I am not Catholic, I had an opportunity to spend some time with the Franciscan monks in Europe (in their monastery). Now, here were the people who were religiously educated but were also very, very well versed in science and critical thinking AND (and this is the important part) they were able through their personal faith as well as education and empirical knowledge to, during my conversations with them, easily reconcile the esoteric and scientific reality of life.

I must admit that, as much as I dislike extreme Bible thumpers, I also dislike extreme science-force-feeding. I firmly believe that there is God for several (personal) reasons:

1. The world is to imaginative (notice - I did not say complexed but imaginative) and full of incredible creatures, creations, designs, colors, etc, for all this to just be a coincidence. Now, you can analyze and figure out how something took place (i.e. evolution) but you really have no way of proving why we have moral compass, why we feel right from wrong, why we feel love. You can even find chemicals whose reaction in the human body produces these emotions but you still don't know why?

2. Truth is always somewhere in between.

I think science and religion should learn to work together for the betterment of the mankind. I read, a while ago, a study that was conducted. They had 2 groups of patients who underwent similar surgeries and/or were taking same therapy and were suffering from same illnesses. One group of patients was prayed for; the other group was not prayed for (neither patient group knew this). The study showed that the group of patients that was (unbeknown to them) prayed for recovered much quicker and much better.

Now, we can debate why this took place and whether it can be explained rationally but what if we assume that those people who prayed, by praying, sent some of their love or life energy to those who were ill and thus expedited their recovery? What if we all are capable (as I believe we are) of sending energy to others?

Know how sometimes you have a 2 minutes stressful conversation or fight and suddenly you feel drained? Why? Obviously you lost energy of some sort? Or how when you are in love or passionate about something you suddenly have too much of it?

As I said, science and religion need each other. Faith and imagination can pair with rationality to achieve incredible things.

Dino

Bronze Dog said...

Dino (who I just saw as I was going to bed): 1. The world is to imaginative (notice - I did not say complexed but imaginative) and full of incredible creatures, creations, designs, colors, etc, for all this to just be a coincidence. Now, you can analyze and figure out how something took place (i.e. evolution) but you really have no way of proving why we have moral compass, why we feel right from wrong, why we feel love. You can even find chemicals whose reaction in the human body produces these emotions but you still don't know why?

It's not coincidence. There's any number of possible outcomes. It's egoism that makes it "coincidence," thinking this particular outcome is somehow special in the face of unconsidered alternate possibilities.

You're not very imaginative about morality, are you? I highly recommend chapter 6 of The God Delusion for massive detail.

To paraphrase very quickly: Altruism, teamwork, and social structures are very effective means for our genes' selfish ends. There's also plenty of logical,
"selfish" reasons to act altruistically.

As for emotions, even if we don't know why a particular chemical produces a particular emotion, that doesn't lend any support to religion whatsoever. Argument from ignorance is a fallacy.

2. Truth is always somewhere in between.

Fallacy: False compromise. It is entirely possible for one side to be right and one side to be wrong. If you've got someone arguing 2+2=4 and someone saying 2+2=5, that does not mean that 2+2=4.5.

I think science and religion should learn to work together for the betterment of the mankind. I read, a while ago, a study that was conducted. They had 2 groups of patients who underwent similar surgeries and/or were taking same therapy and were suffering from same illnesses. One group of patients was prayed for; the other group was not prayed for (neither patient group knew this). The study showed that the group of patients that was (unbeknown to them) prayed for recovered much quicker and much better.

And there are studies where those prayed for get worse, as well as others where nothing happens. The one instance you're talking about was likely one instance of luck, considering the background of negative results.

Now, we can debate why this took place and whether it can be explained rationally but what if we assume that those people who prayed, by praying, sent some of their love or life energy to those who were ill and thus expedited their recovery? What if we all are capable (as I believe we are) of sending energy to others?

Don't ask "what if" if you can find out. The experiment is repeatable, so I'd like to know if it's been repeated with the same results.

Of course, since it produces observable physical effects, that would mean this "energy" is physical and subject to science.

Know how sometimes you have a 2 minutes stressful conversation or fight and suddenly you feel drained? Why? Obviously you lost energy of some sort? Or how when you are in love or passionate about something you suddenly have too much of it?

Thinking, pumping blood, etcetera expend chemical energy. As for energy surges: That's your body tapping into reserves, adrenaline, and such. It doesn't help that we're fallible in assessing how much energy we have.

As I said, science and religion need each other. Faith and imagination can pair with rationality to achieve incredible things.

Imagination, yes. Faith, no. Faith is the substitution of arrogance for evidence.

Akusai said...

Prayer is like all other forms of woo, from acupuncture to remote viewing: the better the study, the lower the measured "effect." Time and time again that's the case. A small study with loose controls shows some "effect," attributed to the woo it was intended to measure. When the sample size is increased and the experimental design is tightened up, the effect shrinks. The bigger and tighter the study is, the more the effect shrinks, until all the really well-designed studies show no positive effect. It's an interesting inverse relationship.

MWchase said...

What I don't understand (and I am directing this comments at "both sides" of the argument here) is why so many assume that science, modern society and critical thinking AND religion somehow "cancel each other out" and are always and completely incompatible.

I thought most of "my side" was saying that the claims of the third should be subject to analysis by the first and second.

Incompatibility only enters into it when somebody goes and invokes faith.

(Yes, I admit that reducing a religion to a set of "claims" is not how most people would rather I approached the question of whether to convert to theirs. Tough. I've had a near-death experience or two, and surgery, so those clearly aren't 'conversion events' for me.)

Wrestler said...

For one to have a concept of divinity, one would have to have a concept that things exist outside of the material world. Here in lies the crux, again, of the debate and the point I've been reiterating from the start. Some Atheists refuse to entertain the concept of anything non-material. With that mind set, there is no possible way to validate the existance of divinity to those that insist on empirical evidence to substanciate divinity. Due to the processes of physical science, there is no way to prove non-material existance, metaphysical existance, satisfactorily, although these things do exist.....................................................


or we wouldn't be having this discussion.

Bronze Dog said...

Wrestler, your definition of materialism/naturalism/whatever is artificially restricted.

What is boils down to is that the methodical naturalism covers everything that does stuff and expands its definition when it finds new things.

When you're asking me to "go beyond the material", you're asking me to believe in stuff that does nothing.

MWchase said...

I'm not sure where I got this quote from. I think it was from this blog, in another discussion:

"To talk of immaterial existences is to talk of nothings. To say that the human soul, angels, god, are immaterial, is to say they are nothings, or that there is no god, no angels, no soul."

I don't feel like name-dropping, so does anybody on the other side want to guess who said that?

And on a slight (but more slight than my others) tangent, if something exists, then we should be able to test for its existence. There has to be some test that we can perform that shows how it effects the world. For if it didn't, we may imagine a world that lacks it, and we can see that such a world would be exactly the same, down to this argument. If there's no way to test for what you propose, it doesn't matter which of us is correct, because any impact that divinity could have would provide a way for us to test for its existence, which would distinguish the two hypothetical worlds.

Succinctly, if divinity can't be detected, then whether it exists actually has no bearing on the outcome of this argument.

Bronze Dog said...

Thomas Jefferson said it.

Someone named Margaret posted it on one of my rants.

Rightintheface said...

I think that there is a fundamental flaw in the thinking of many of the atheist arguments here that can't distinguish between faith and religion. Don't expect you to get it, don't expect you to care, and that's fine. I make a distinction in my thinking.

I don't want it to be "wrong" or "illegal" to criticize religion. That's a straw man that Bronze keeps asserting. I want to be treated like a decent human being. You don't need to disrespect me to disagree with me.

MWchase said...

Were we even talking about religion besides Brent's conversion attempts? I thought lately we were just trying to get Wrestler to explain something, anything about his theology besides the fact that our limited minds would reject it out of hand.

As I see it, our arguments could apply equally well to the beliefs of somebody who claimed that aliens would occasionally alter events completely imperceptibly in accordance with their mysterious plan. The issue isn't religion, it's why we don't hold beliefs that are cornerstones of some religions.

I don't want it to be "wrong" or "illegal" to criticize religion. That's a straw man that Bronze keeps asserting. I want to be treated like a decent human being. You don't need to disrespect me to disagree with me.

Hmm... I thought he was just talking about the efforts of the ACLU, which was isrealforever's thing. I didn't see anything else going back through this massive wall of text, so could we have a quote? (All I can tell for sure is that the quotes around " 'illegal' " are airquotes, not attribution, because Tom was the only one besides you to say it, and he used it in a completely different context.)

Bronze Dog said...

RITF: I think that there is a fundamental flaw in the thinking of many of the atheist arguments here that can't distinguish between faith and religion. Don't expect you to get it, don't expect you to care, and that's fine. I make a distinction in my thinking.

Faith is arrogance and "tradition" used instead of evidence. Religion is a set of beliefs founded on faith. Unless you'd like to come up with another few dozen definitions for religion.

I don't want it to be "wrong" or "illegal" to criticize religion. That's a straw man that Bronze keeps asserting.

I was asking if that's what you believe because you didn't demonstrate any understanding of what freedom of religion and speech means.

I want to be treated like a decent human being. You don't need to disrespect me to disagree with me.

Such hypocrisy. If you don't want me to disrespect you, act in a respectful manner. Respect is not a right. It is something you have to earn from other people. You are not entitled to have everyone like you. I tolerate you probably much more than I should be expected to, given your behavior. You have given me no reason to do anything else.

You came in spewing hate and lies. How did you expect me to respond?

You leaped to the defense of what certainly looked like a pro-torture person. How did you expect me to respond?

It's people like you that convince me pseudo-moderate apologists are the fundies' best friends.