Debate and Discussion

Does Atheism "make sense" to you?
CorruptComics at 8:12AM, March 15, 2007
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Swing and a miss.
last edited on July 14, 2011 11:46AM
kingofsnake at 8:43AM, March 15, 2007
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lothar
in response to the original question - what is a “god” anyway? if atheism is that i dont believe in the traditional human concept of some superbeing creating and watching over this planet than i am labeled an atheist!

agnostic. just because you reject some aspects of traditional religion does not make you an athiest. By definition athiest must reject all transcendent ideas. If you suspect that theres something out there, but you, and likely no other human has any idea what that something is, then you're agnostic


all the gods and religions are just reflections of the human mind, that's not taking into account this whole universe that obviously exists outside our planet, we ar goldfish crackers that cant see outside of our box.
Theism vs Atheism is realy irrelevant to me , if there actually were gods they are either very week or dont care about us ! or cruel bastards that enjoy our suffering, i meen , seriously , who here would create this world and let it get so messed up as it is ? why would you do that?


Could easily be like a parent letting us make our own mistakes. You're rejecting the idea of a “traditional human concpet of a superbeing” partly because you are attributing characteristics that you believe one must have if one existed. In reality if one existed its far more likely that we'd have no idea what his characteristics or motivations were. If something is fucked up, its more likely than not that one of us fucked it up, not some godhead in the clouds manipulating fate to ruin our lives.

lothar
Unless “god” is nuthing more than a highly advanced alien race that enjoys skrewing with other cultures, but is subject to the laws of reletivity and can't manage to watch this planet 24/7 and only visits every thousand years or so ?/?
sadly i dont think that is the case and humans have just made up all these gods to excuse for their own ignorance or feelings of weekness !

I don't quite follow from hypothesis to conclusion, especially with this next blurb

lothar
but its irellevant
what i am more concerned with is imortality and the existence of the soul, something that need not be related to any theism, and seems to be of much more importance to us!

It doesn't make logical sense to believe that human souls are infinite but there is no other infinite besides human souls. Did these infinite souls come into existence or were they always in existence? If the former how were they created? If the latter why would the enter finite body's on this planet that, as you represented, kind of sucks? What were they doing before that? Where did all this finite stuff come from? It's all finite, so it couldn't have always existed.

You're never going to find a scientific answer to the nature of the soul. If you want an answer at all you're going to have to relate it to some sort of belief system, either an already organized one or one of your own making
last edited on July 14, 2011 1:15PM
Neilsama at 9:41AM, March 15, 2007
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You know what? I took a break from this, because I was starting to get a little hot under the collar. I knew that if I responded to Snakes, I was going to get VERY condescending. Well, I read his response, and I'm afraid that nothing's going to stop that. I WILL provide as direct and respectful a response as possible, but bear in mind that this is going to be QUITE scathing.

kingofsnake
Neilsama
AHEM!!! STRAWMAN!!!! MAN OF STRAW! STRAW! MAN!
this is immature. stick with the argument or don't argue.
Well maybe if you actually LISTENED! I don't know how else to call to your attention that you're putting words in my mouth! I AM arguing. You're making shit up about my position that isn't true, and that's uncalled for!

A strawman argument is when one creates a caricature of his oppenent (i.e., a strawman) and then visciously attacks the strawman. You have been doing that this ENTIRE thread! You even opened your first to me with a semantic argument, just so you could redefine my position into one of an agnostic, because apparently, you think atheists are people who think they know everything. What atheists do you know who say this?!

kingofsnake
I never said anything about omniscience. I'm talking about god. Not MY God. just god. The sooner you can see the difference the sooner you'll be able to follow my arguments rather than pick out specific points you disagree with instead of addressing the argument as a whole.
“I never said anything about omniscience”

YES YOU DID!!!! You accused me of arguing as if there's nothing else in the universe to know. If my position was that, then I would be arguing from OMNISCIENCE!!!! Do you not know what omniscience is?!??

Your entire debate has been a PROJECTION of your own way of thinking. In other words, you're attempting to accuse me of what you're doing, which is not providing any reason for your position. I have actually shown you mine. I assume an objective real world in which knowledge is aquired a certain way. In this universe, reverse logic is invalid. God belief, or at least YOUR version of it, requires reverse logic. You have to believe that God without reason.

I have been trying to show you, via examples of the Flying Spaghetti Monster and the brain in a jar, that you reject other unproven concepts via logic, and yet you abandon said logic when it comes to God. You assume his existence apriori, and then you insist that it's the atheist's job to debunk the God concept.

This is called special pleading. You cannot simply introduce a meme into human awareness and then award it a legitimacy until such time as it's proven false. That's not how logic works, and it's certainly not how I come to conclusions.

I would like to use your example as one to show that MY atheism makes sense, because I treat all concepts the same. I evaluate my real world, the way in which I aquire knowledge, and then use that context of knowledge aquisition in my day to day life. For God belief, on the other hand, one must start with the God concept and then work backwards to try to establish a legitimacy that doesn't exist.

kingofsnake
There is no basis for illegitimacy, thereby, should one follow scientific meathod, it is legitimate until shown to be otherwise. What else do I have to prove exists before I can have a legitimate debate about it? Beauty? Truth? Evil? The Matrix? I'm going to to start saying that theres no such thing as dodo birds. Now we can't talk about them unless you prove their legitimacy first.

It doesn't matter whether god is legitimate. The concept of god is legitimate, thats enough.
This is essentially whining. You can't prove God, so you have to start asking questions that relate to the very core of how we learn things. Presuppositionalists do this all the time. This is facetiously call the “argument from desperation”. You think you can slip through by saying “Well, the scientific method is assumed legitimate in advance”. Balderdash!

The scientific method is based on our methods of aquiring knowledge. In other words, there's a philosophy behind it that says that all knowledge is aquired through trial-and-error reduction. As it is, it took humanity quite some time to even establish what the scientific method even was. For example, we had to discover that human testimony was not an objective way of observing the facts, because people lie. We had to learn that assuming the facts in advance, we basically taint our aquisition of knowledge, because we've assumed the conclusion at the beginning, such as in your circular “order is evidence for a God” argument.

We assume that the scientific method is correct, because it's an methodology of applying logic and logic is an axiom of human existence. You can no more question logic than you can your own existence, because the second you raise a question, you assume that logic is real and that you are a person living in a time-space universe.

Which brings me to the Matrix. I'm so glad you brought that up. The Matrix is basically the “brain in the jar” concept updated into 21st century lore. The Matrix is a fun concept to rattle around in your brain. Our whole existence may not even be real. THERE MAY NOT BE A SPOON. But you know what the monkeywrench in that work is? You don't believe it.

And I'll tell you why. It's because you assume that this world is real. You answer my posts as if I'm a real person living somewhere in the midwest, feverishly typing away at a computer. To even vocalize such a concept as the Matrix, you have to accept certain axioms of this universe's existence. Otherwise, you simply wouldn't act. If you tried to assume that this world didn't exist, you would be reduced to a state of catatonic arrest.

But then, I might be painting a false dichotomy here. After all, in the movie, Neo is perfectly capable of dealing with the dualism of the real world and the Matrix. Granted, he has to unshackle his mind a bit when he's in the Matrix in order to jump over buildings and such, but he can act within the Matrix without consciously accepting its reality. The problem still exists that he believes, as you do, that he exists in a time-space universe, and that logic is real. In order for him to discover the Matrix, it had to be indicated to him via absurdity.

So it seems that Neo had one advantage in his favor, in that he at least had some evidence to sway his perception of the world around him. I'm not saying that he necessarily acted logically all the way through. After all, he's only a movie character walking around in a movie.

This is actually brings me to one of the reasons that I really don't like the Matrix, because it encourages people to use that movie as an analog for accepting things without reason. It gets them thinking, “Wow! How do I learn about things that aren't learnable. I know! I'll just start believing hypothetical concepts without any sort of empiracism!” How do you know we live in a Matrix. “Oh, this other guy told me.” How did he learn about it? “He read it somewhere.”

At some point, it either reduces itself to someone made it up, or someone observed something that lead to a conclusion. The same goes with religion. In Christianity, for example, we have a bunch of teachings that are passed down through written literature and word-of-mouth. Well, how did people even get this concept of a God who creates a universe? Did a bunch of ancient people make it up?

“Oh, no”, says the Christian. “A long time ago, God DID talk to people, and he told them about his kingdom. This tradition is handed down via his word in the Bible!” Oh, in other words, circular logic and special pleading. I understand now.

kingofsnake
And the point that I'm trying to bring to you is that lack of knowlegde equally does not legitimize the belief in no God.
:D LOL!!

Oh come ON! You can do better than that.

A lack of knowledge of the Flying Spaghetti Monster does not legitimize your rejection of His devine meatballiness! How you are so incapable of seeing the analogy is beyond me.

The point is: YOU are abandoning logic to assume that the God meme is correct, and yet your trying to pass the onus onto me. You won't fess up and say those three frightening little words: “I don't know”.

The human mind is like a slate onto which concepts are written. (In other words, we're not not omniscient.) The God concept is a meme introduced to the slate for potential archival. We have a choice to accept and reject it, and the means by which we accept or reject things of this nature is via logic. Since logic is not employed in accepting God, I am justified in rejecting the meme. You, on the other hand, are not justified in confiscating legitimacy for your God concept.

But what you're trying to do is to suggest that I have this equally* invalid COUNTER-MEME, for which you're attemping to place onus upon me. You seem BLISSFULLY unaware that my counter-meme is entirely dependant upon the existence of yours. In other words, had the god meme not even be introduced into human consciousness, it wouldn't make sense for there to be a atheist meme.

The theist brings the meme in and does not justify it. I simply mean to appeal to logic to ask you how you feel justified bringing that meme in, and you've done a spectacular job dodging that question.

STOP SHIFTING THE BURDEN OF PROOF!



kingofsnake
Your suggestion that the fact that something is unprovable thereby makes it illegitimate is as much of a presumption as the opposite. The very nature of the fact that it's unprovable means that you can not make claims to it's legitimacy on an empirical basis alone. Your conclusions that there is no God become based on your belief that there is no God. The very nature of atheism is that it is an unprovable belief structure based on the rejection of having to accept something that is an unprovable belief structure, therby being hypocritical.

At least I claim to nothing other than that my belief that there is god is a belief and nothing more. You're trying to sugarcoat your beliefs with evidence that you don't have.
“The assumption of the opposite”. What opposite am I assuming? I don't presume to know the origin of the universe, the answer to unexplained anomolies, and why the universe is as it is. Wait, are you trying once again to construct a strawman by insinuating that I'm coming from an arrogant know-it-all point of view?

I am simply asking you to justify your meme. You keep trying to evade this point by pushing the burden of proof onto me without justification. By pushing the onus onto me, you are awarding theism a legitimacy it has not earned.

If you did this in any other circumstance, it would be uncalled for. If I said, “Hot dogs orbit Jupiter”, you would be justified in rejecting that claim and assuming that it was false. Why? Because I've provided no evidence or reason for accepting that claim.

Now imagine if I turned it around on you and said, “Well, you don't have any reason for believing THE OPPOSITE!”. Do you see how asinine that is? That's your argument. It's a burden-shifting fallacy, and you have been busted on this again and again and again!

Not only is your argument bad, it ranks as one of the single worst arguments against atheism I have ever seen. Not only are you wrong, you're OBVIOUSLY wrong.

So again, your entire argument against my point of view is that I reject a concept that you admit is unprovable. And yet, in any other case, if you were to be presented with an unproven concept, you would reject that claim. The flying hot dogs. The Flying Spaghetti Monster. The brain in a jar. These are things you don't believe in.

You live in a dualistic paradigm where logic is an option. I reject your reality and substitute my own.

Show's over, kids. $5. Out to the right.
last edited on July 14, 2011 2:10PM
kingofsnake at 11:14AM, March 15, 2007
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Neilsama
Well maybe if you actually LISTENED! I don't know how else to call to your attention that you're putting words in my mouth! I AM arguing. You're making shit up about my position that isn't true, and that's uncalled for!

I'm only following the logical path of your arguments. If I'm misinterpreting them, perhaps you should explain them more clearly.

Neilsama
A strawman argument is when one creates a caricature of his oppenent (i.e., a strawman) and then visciously attacks the strawman. You have been doing that this ENTIRE thread! You even opened your first to me with a semantic argument, just so you could redefine my position into one of an agnostic, because apparently, you think atheists are people who think they know everything. What atheists do you know who say this?!

Now who's running a strawman argument? I just like using the correct terminology in in argument otherwise you and I will clearly mean two different things when we say the same word. Go get a dictionary.

Neilsama
YES YOU DID!!!! You accused me of arguing as if there's nothing else in the universe to know. If my position was that, then I would be arguing from OMNISCIENCE!!!! Do you not know what omniscience is?!??

Sure do, but i misunderstood you're statements as attributing the quality of omniscience to a god figure, not in suggesting the ludicrousness of your own omniscience. Don't get pissed at me because you weren't clear.

Neilsama
Your entire debate has been a PROJECTION of your own way of thinking. In other words, you're attempting to accuse me of what you're doing, which is not providing any reason for your position. I have actually shown you mine. I assume an objective real world in which knowledge is aquired a certain way. In this universe, reverse logic is invalid. God belief, or at least YOUR version of it, requires reverse logic. You have to believe that God without reason.

My way of thinking is scientific theory, wherein something must be assumed to be correct until it is proved to be otherwise. My hypothesis that there is a God is valid until I am proved wrong. Your hypothesis that there is no God is equally valid until proved wrong. However, you're basing your hypothesis that there is no God on the fact that my hypothesis has no empirical data to back it up, not on any empirical data of your own.

The term “reverse logic” that you've coined is meaningless to me unless you define it. I can't argue with it because I don't know what you mean.

Neilsama
I have been trying to show you, via examples of the Flying Spaghetti Monster and the brain in a jar, that you reject other unproven concepts via logic, and yet you abandon said logic when it comes to God. You assume his existence apriori, and then you insist that it's the atheist's job to debunk the God concept.

I didn't reject either of these. I never taked about the brain in the jar, and I said that theres no way of attributing characteristics to God outside of faith, and therein it is equally likely that whatever God I worship and the Flying Spaghetti Monster is the true God.

Who's putting words in peoples mouths now.

Neilsama
This is called special pleading. You cannot simply introduce a meme into human awareness and then award it a legitimacy until such time as it's proven false. That's not how logic works, and it's certainly not how I come to conclusions.

I would like to use your example as one to show that MY atheism makes sense, because I treat all concepts the same. I evaluate my real world, the way in which I aquire knowledge, and then use that context of knowledge aquisition in my day to day life. For God belief, on the other hand, one must start with the God concept and then work backwards to try to establish a legitimacy that doesn't exist.

kingofsnake
There is no basis for illegitimacy, thereby, should one follow scientific meathod, it is legitimate until shown to be otherwise. What else do I have to prove exists before I can have a legitimate debate about it? Beauty? Truth? Evil? The Matrix? I'm going to to start saying that theres no such thing as dodo birds. Now we can't talk about them unless you prove their legitimacy first.

It doesn't matter whether god is legitimate. The concept of god is legitimate, thats enough.

This is essentially whining. You can't prove God, so you have to start asking questions that relate to the very core of how we learn things. Presuppositionalists do this all the time. This is facetiously call the “argument from desperation”. You think you can slip through by saying “Well, the scientific method is assumed legitimate in advance”. Balderdash!


I'm sorry, are you saying that I need to prove scientifc meathod is legitimate now? My argument was that I was relating God (a transcendant being of which we have concept but not proof) to other transcendant properties of which we have concept but not proof. We have concept of beauty. But there is no proof that beauty exists. It's a made up term to describe an unmeasurable property. I don't have to prove that beauty exists in order to discuss it, because the concept of beauty exists. So whether or not beauty really exists we can still discuss the concept.

let me requote you here:

Neilsama
I evaluate my real world, the way in which I aquire knowledge, and then use that context of knowledge aquisition in my day to day life.

Do you really have more knowledge on beauty than you do on god? Sure you know what you think is beautiful, but do you think that that is what beauty is? Is it only what you think? Or are there other things that you don't think are beautiful but you know posess beauty? You have no proof to the legitimacy of beauty. Shouldn't you assume then, by your own statements, there is no beauty except that which is you opinion. If you were to suggest that your opinion of how beautiful something is was not a reflection on how the beautiful the object really is but only how beautiful your preception of that object is you would be supporting a theory that has yet to be legitimized, because there is no proof that beauty exists at all.
last edited on July 14, 2011 1:15PM
kingofsnake at 11:15AM, March 15, 2007
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Neilsama
The scientific method is based on our methods of aquiring knowledge. In other words, there's a philosophy behind it that says that all knowledge is aquired through trial-and-error reduction. As it is, it took humanity quite some time to even establish what the scientific method even was. For example, we had to discover that human testimony was not an objective way of observing the facts, because people lie. We had to learn that assuming the facts in advance, we basically taint our aquisition of knowledge, because we've assumed the conclusion at the beginning, such as in your circular “order is evidence for a God” argument.

There is another argument I didn't make. I said order was evidence of the possiblity of god, not order is the evidence of god. I never said it was the conclusion, I said it was a possible conclusion. I don't know who you're arguing with, but it's not me. I must be easy to debate against when you don't read my responses well.

Neilsama
We assume that the scientific method is correct, because it's an methodology of applying logic and logic is an axiom of human existence. You can no more question logic than you can your own existence, because the second you raise a question, you assume that logic is real and that you are a person living in a time-space universe.

Ok so I don't have to show scientific method is legitimate afterall, thats good.

Neilsama
Which brings me to the Matrix. I'm so glad you brought that up. The Matrix is basically the “brain in the jar” concept updated into 21st century lore. The Matrix is a fun concept to rattle around in your brain. Our whole existence may not even be real. THERE MAY NOT BE A SPOON. But you know what the monkeywrench in that work is? You don't believe it.

Whether or not I believe it is moot. It has just as much validity as my theory as it does yours. Do you know theres no Matrix? Do you know? No, you don't. You don't beleive there's a matrix, but thats not knowledge. It's a belief. You believe theres no God. Do you know theres no God? No, you can't. That's a belief. It's not a fact; it's a belief, and it's just as valid as any other belief that you can't prove until you prove it.

Neilsama
And I'll tell you why. It's because you assume that this world is real. You answer my posts as if I'm a real person living somewhere in the midwest, feverishly typing away at a computer. To even vocalize such a concept as the Matrix, you have to accept certain axioms of this universe's existence. Otherwise, you simply wouldn't act. If you tried to assume that this world didn't exist, you would be reduced to a state of catatonic arrest.

But then, I might be painting a false dichotomy here. After all, in the movie, Neo is perfectly capable of dealing with the dualism of the real world and the Matrix. Granted, he has to unshackle his mind a bit when he's in the Matrix in order to jump over buildings and such, but he can act within the Matrix without consciously accepting its reality. The problem still exists that he believes, as you do, that he exists in a time-space universe, and that logic is real. In order for him to discover the Matrix, it had to be indicated to him via absurdity.

So it seems that Neo had one advantage in his favor, in that he at least had some evidence to sway his perception of the world around him. I'm not saying that he necessarily acted logically all the way through. After all, he's only a movie character walking around in a movie.

This is actually brings me to one of the reasons that I really don't like the Matrix, because it encourages people to use that movie as an analog for accepting things without reason. It gets them thinking, “Wow! How do I learn about things that aren't learnable. I know! I'll just start believing hypothetical concepts without any sort of empiracism!” How do you know we live in a Matrix. “Oh, this other guy told me.” How did he learn about it? “He read it somewhere.”

At some point, it either reduces itself to someone made it up, or someone observed something that lead to a conclusion. The same goes with religion. In Christianity, for example, we have a bunch of teachings that are passed down through written literature and word-of-mouth. Well, how did people even get this concept of a God who creates a universe? Did a bunch of ancient people make it up?

“Oh, no”, says the Christian. “A long time ago, God DID talk to people, and he told them about his kingdom. This tradition is handed down via his word in the Bible!” Oh, in other words, circular logic and special pleading. I understand now.

immaterial. I don't care about your opinions of a movie. We're not talking about a movie. Also, way to attack my particular religion. This argument has nothing to do with christianity. Once again, I'm not talking about my God. I'm just talking about the concept of god. Apparently you can't see the difference.


Neilsama
kingofsnake
And the point that I'm trying to bring to you is that lack of knowlegde equally does not legitimize the belief in no God.
:D LOL!!

Oh come ON! You can do better than that.

A lack of knowledge of the Flying Spaghetti Monster does not legitimize your rejection of His devine meatballiness! How you are so incapable of seeing the analogy is beyond me.

This is neither here or there. I'm not talking about a specific deity. I'm talking about the concept of God. Try to keep up.

Of course my lack of knowlege is not what legitimizes my rejection of the FSM. I reject the FSM because I'm choosing to exercise belief in a different deity. My belief doesn't legitimize MY God, but the concept of god is equally legitimate as the concept of beauty, or of morality, or of evil, or of any thing else that can't be measured but we still discuss as if it were a legitimate property.

Neilsama
The point is: YOU are abandoning logic to assume that the God meme is correct, and yet your trying to pass the onus onto me. You won't fess up and say those three frightening little words: “I don't know”.

No, the point is: you have no logic to assume that it's incorrect. You're telling me that because I have no proof of my hypothesis then the opposite must be true. Where, in reality, you don't have any proof for your hypothesis either. That doesn't make my hypothesis true either, it makes them equally true, Schrodinger's Cat.
last edited on July 14, 2011 1:15PM
kingofsnake at 11:15AM, March 15, 2007
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Neilsama
The human mind is like a slate onto which concepts are written. (In other words, we're not not omniscient.) The God concept is a meme introduced to the slate for potential archival. We have a choice to accept and reject it, and the means by which we accept or reject things of this nature is via logic. Since logic is not employed in accepting God, I am justified in rejecting the meme. You, on the other hand, are not justified in confiscating legitimacy for your God concept.

This is perfect. You are taking up the exact position you correctly burn creationist on. You're not arguing that creationism is right, you're arguing that evolution is wrong. My lack of proof does not ergo make your theory correct. It's just a theory. You have no proof to the opposite. You're only proof is that I have none, and thats not proof enough to justify your theory. I have the same proof on your theory, and that's not what I'm using to justify my theory.

Neilsama
But what you're trying to do is to suggest that I have this equally* invalid COUNTER-MEME, for which you're attemping to place onus upon me. You seem BLISSFULLY unaware that my counter-meme is entirely dependant upon the existence of yours. In other words, had the god meme not even be introduced into human consciousness, it wouldn't make sense for there to be a atheist meme.

lol counter-meme. making up words is fun. you're assuming that god was a meme that was at one time introduced into human consciousness. By who? another human? What do you base this assumption on? How does it have any more validity than if I were to state that the god meme came about because god introduced it? Where is your proof? You can't prove your theory. It doesn't have any more validity than any other theory. Jesus, the Matrix, the FSM, Athiesm, they are all equally valid. You don't have any proof.

Neilsama
The theist brings the meme in and does not justify it. I simply mean to appeal to logic to ask you how you feel justified bringing that meme in, and you've done a spectacular job dodging that question.

STOP SHIFTING THE BURDEN OF PROOF!



Still don't see why the burden of proof would be on my unprovable theory any more than it would be on your unprovable theory. None of your “logical arguments” are very cohesive. The wedge strategy, as you call it, with intelligent design, doesn't apply here, because our arguments are contradictive, whereas evolution and intelligent design are not. Whether or not intelligent design is correct does not affect whether or not evolution is correct. With our discussion, if the anti-god argument is correct than the pro-argument must therefore be incorrect. Your example doesn't apply.

Neilsama
kingofsnake
Your suggestion that the fact that something is unprovable thereby makes it illegitimate is as much of a presumption as the opposite. The very nature of the fact that it's unprovable means that you can not make claims to it's legitimacy on an empirical basis alone. Your conclusions that there is no God become based on your belief that there is no God. The very nature of atheism is that it is an unprovable belief structure based on the rejection of having to accept something that is an unprovable belief structure, therby being hypocritical.

At least I claim to nothing other than that my belief that there is god is a belief and nothing more. You're trying to sugarcoat your beliefs with evidence that you don't have.

“The assumption of the opposite”. What opposite am I assuming? I don't presume to know the origin of the universe, the answer to unexplained anomolies, and why the universe is as it is. Wait, are you trying once again to construct a strawman by insinuating that I'm coming from an arrogant know-it-all point of view?

Sorry, I meant “the presumption that the fact that something is unprovable thereby makes it legitimate.” Clearly I'm trying to indicate that both stances are equally ludicrous. If you don't understand what I wrote, just ask me to reiterate rather than misinterpret it and descend into all this childish hooplah

Neilsama
I am simply asking you to justify your meme. You keep trying to evade this point by pushing the burden of proof onto me without justification. By pushing the onus onto me, you are awarding theism a legitimacy it has not earned.

I've never tried to justify my meme, because I've never cared to. I've been justifying the concept my meme is based on. I'm not sure if you're using concept and meme interchangably. I suspect that you are. The concepts are equally just. I'm not saying that ergo my concept is correct. I'm saying that you can't assume that your concept is correct.

Neilsama
If you did this in any other circumstance, it would be uncalled for. If I said, “Hot dogs orbit Jupiter”, you would be justified in rejecting that claim and assuming that it was false. Why? Because I've provided no evidence or reason for accepting that claim.

But scientifically I would not be justified in rejecting this claim until I looked at jupiter and determined that there were no hotdogs orbiting it.

Neilsama
Now imagine if I turned it around on you and said, “Well, you don't have any reason for believing THE OPPOSITE!”. Do you see how asinine that is? That's your argument. It's a burden-shifting fallacy, and you have been busted on this again and again and again!

But you did do that, and I said order in the universe. I had a reason. You can't prove it wrong. You might not agree with my reason (and really its not even my reason just the first one that came to my head) but unless you can prove it wrong then my concept is legitimate. You've provided no reasons except in that because you don't accept the legitimacy of my concept I must accept the legitimacy of yours.

Neilsama
Not only is your argument bad, it ranks as one of the single worst arguments against atheism I have ever seen. Not only are you wrong, you're OBVIOUSLY wrong.

So again, your entire argument against my point of view is that I reject a concept that you admit is unprovable. And yet, in any other case, if you were to be presented with an unproven concept, you would reject that claim. The flying hot dogs. The Flying Spaghetti Monster. The brain in a jar. These are things you don't believe in.

All things I don't believe in but can't logically reject the concept of. The argument you're debating against is OBVIOUSLY wrong. How bout instead you argue with me, rather than what you're trying to twist me into saying.

Neilsama
You live in a dualistic paradigm where logic is an option. I reject your reality and substitute my own.

Show's over, kids. $5. Out to the right.

I don't have much more to say, other than its good you were able to keep from getting “hot under the collar” while you wrote this. You might have misinterpreted what I said and acted like an ass.

Also, I LOVE how you end your responses as if I'm not going to respond.
It's cute. Naive. But cute.
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ozoneocean at 11:42AM, March 15, 2007
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One of the areas we're going astray here is in thinking that if someone isn't one thing, then they must be the other thing. To begin with, people are not either Atheist, Theist, or Agnostic unless they actually claim to profess such a belief, (non-belief, philosophical outlook, or whatever you define your position as). And I don't think that Theism is really a direct antonym for atheism…

This is because religion isn't necessarily solely dependent on the existence of the divine, while atheism rejects religion because of the inclusion of the divine. Theists aren't necessarily religious either. Religions are cultural constructs and it's very easy to focus on historical and mythological origin stories while ignoring the cultural, social, and societal realities that actually make up the religion. Like saying: “I reject America as the land of the free because it was founded by slave owners” -which unfairly discounts everything else about the country. The reason why I say that theists aren't always religious is obviously because all that theism requires is belief in the divine and divine authority, which can be totally independent of a religious framework. And you also have Deism as well which is unlike Theism in that it describes a belief in divinity based on evidence of reason and nature rather than revelation, but a divinity without authority or current existence in the world.

I just want to redefine the situation here and try and stop people from thinking in terms of “one thing must oppose the other”. The trouble is that what we're talking about is a lot more subtle than that, it's not a case of light being defined by darkness so to speak.
 
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ccs1989 at 1:38PM, March 15, 2007
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I just tend not the believe in the kind of God that Islam and Christianity always cite. You know, the one in the sky who listens to people and gives them spiritual gifts, who creates commandments or writes a book which becomes a best-seller, and everyone has got to read it an follow it. Only there are a bunch of said books that conflict, and if you don't follow the laws of one you go to a bad place, and if you don't follow the other you go to a bad place. Therefore everyone is f-ed in the end in someone's opinion.

So no, I don't believe in that kind of God. But there could easily be a natural order to the universe. God might be some kind of universal equation for all we know. Kind of like how binary code allows computers to do everything, and everything is built up from there.

Therefore I think that straight out denial of any sort of underlying order is foolish. However if we're talking about the kind of God you find in the Bible, then I suppose you could call me an atheist. The probability of that kind of God existing is very slim. Not impossible, but very very unlikely.
http://ccs1989.deviantart.com

“If one advances confidently in the direction of his dreams, and endeavors to live the life which he has imagined, he will meet with a success unexpected in common hours.”
-Henry David Thoreau, Walden
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LIZARD_B1TE at 1:58PM, March 15, 2007
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ozoneocean
And I don't think that Theism is really a direct antonym for atheism…

Well, the “a-” prefix means “not”, so I guess they really are opposites.
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reconjsh at 1:59PM, March 15, 2007
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LIZARD_B1TE
ozoneocean
And I don't think that Theism is really a direct antonym for atheism…

Well, the “a-” prefix means “not”, so I guess they really are opposites.

Ya know what? That never really dawned on me till you just said that. Lol. Man, I'm a dumbass.
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ozoneocean at 2:09PM, March 15, 2007
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LIZARD_B1TE
ozoneocean
And I don't think that Theism is really a direct antonym for atheism…
Well, the “a-” prefix means “not”, so I guess they really are opposites.
Sorry Lizard, philosophy, language, and conceptual subjects aren't about mathematical accuracy, That's what I'm trying to say. If you approach the subject from such an amazingly superficial level you may as well not approach it at all.

-edit-Think of it like this: “Black” people aren't the opposite of “white” people, although to go by those names you'd think they would be. :)
 
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7384395948urhfdjfrueruieieueue at 2:44PM, March 15, 2007
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Am I the only one who finds Neil's last post really ironic?
i will also like to know you the more
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reconjsh at 3:24PM, March 15, 2007
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Atom Apple
Am I the only one who finds Neil's last post really ironic?

What's ironic about it? I actually didn't read all of snake's replies because it was just too much reading.
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LIZARD_B1TE at 4:28PM, March 15, 2007
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ozoneocean
LIZARD_B1TE
ozoneocean
And I don't think that Theism is really a direct antonym for atheism…
Well, the “a-” prefix means “not”, so I guess they really are opposites.
Sorry Lizard, philosophy, language, and conceptual subjects aren't about mathematical accuracy, That's what I'm trying to say. If you approach the subject from such an amazingly superficial level you may as well not approach it at all.

-edit-Think of it like this: “Black” people aren't the opposite of “white” people, although to go by those names you'd think they would be. :)

I know, I was just pinting out that they are opposites.

“Theo” means God.

Theism means belief in God, Atheism means no belief in God.

They are opposites, Agnosticism and Deism really just run between the two.
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ozoneocean at 5:05PM, March 15, 2007
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But they aren't really opposites because those aren't really the true meanings in practise- they are opposites in a strict semantic sense, but semantics do not define reality. Agnosticism and Deism do NOT “run between the two”, they are actually quite different things.

I'll give you another example: The Arctic and the Antarctic. If we were to go by semantics, then Antarctica would be no more than a place that's opposite to the Arctic -geographically. But it's not, it's a continent with its own unique ecosystem, geography and particular weather conditions. It's really quite a singular place, not limited or adequately defined the constraints of mere name.

Going by the meaning of a name, a “Homophobe” would be: the fear of things that are the same. But this is not what a homophobe is. ;)
 
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7384395948urhfdjfrueruieieueue at 6:25AM, March 16, 2007
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reconjsh
Atom Apple
Am I the only one who finds Neil's last post really ironic?

What's ironic about it? I actually didn't read all of snake's replies because it was just too much reading.
There was one part, but now I lost it. :p

Edit: This is it.
Someone
The point is: YOU are abandoning logic to assume that the God meme is correct, and yet your trying to pass the onus onto me. You won't fess up and say those three frightening little words: “I don't know”.
There are a few other funny things, too.
i will also like to know you the more
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LIZARD_B1TE at 5:11PM, March 16, 2007
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ozoneocean
But they aren't really opposites because those aren't really the true meanings in practise- they are opposites in a strict semantic sense, but semantics do not define reality. Agnosticism and Deism do NOT “run between the two”, they are actually quite different things.

Well, yeah, I see your point.
And I guess deism would really be considered a form of theism as it does involve belief in a higher power.

The examples you pointed out conscerning blacks and whites and artic and anartic could actually be attributed to how the meanings are interpreted. People really aren't “black” or “white” (well, most people, there are some blacks who are actually black, and I guess albinoes could be considered white…) Anyway, if black and white are interpreted as skin color, and not as describing the actual person, then it's basically “light skin” and “dark skin”. Light and Dark are opposites, thus, they are opposites in that sense.

The Artic/Anartic one requires a bit more thought, though I'm pretty sure the opposition is in the location rather than the place itself. North pole, south pole. (well, the poles are in the artic/anartic, but you get what I'm saying) North and South are opposites.

Like I said, Theism and Atheism are shown as opposites as one is a belief in God or a higher power, and the other is no belief in God or a higher power. This case is actually a bit more definitive and literal than your examples. you wouldn't say that good/bad, hate/love, and life/death aren't opposites. Heh. Come to think of it, “are” and “aren't” are opposites too.

People seem to assume that theism involves an actual religious belief system, when, really, all you need to do is believe in some kind of higher power or “god” to be called theist. An atheist does not believe in those, thus, they are opposites. Not just in a grammatical sense, but in the sense of their definitions as well.

ozoneocean
Going by the meaning of a name, a “Homophobe” would be: the fear of things that are the same. But this is not what a homophobe is. ;)

Haha. Actually, it could also mean “fear of humans”, depending on which definition of “homo” you use.
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ozoneocean at 9:31AM, March 17, 2007
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The point is meaning though Lizard. Someone who believes in god isn't automatically a Theist. Theism describes a particular way of thinking about divinity, not in a general way that you're thinking about. ;)
And because of the way religions are constructed and the way people relate to them, a lot of ostensibly religious people are basically agnostic and some are diest: they accept the form of their religion, but the existence of a divinity to them doesn't matter so much, or is perhaps real, but has no active part to play anymore.

While Atheism isn't about simply rejecting divinity. It can mean someone that constructs their idea of the universe based totally on provable, observable phenomena. And the only reason the divine has no part in that is because it hasn't been observed or proved yet: but it could be included if it was. But an Atheist could also be someone who rejects religion because of the fact that it's based on the divine. These people would be more anti-religious than anything else, their reson detra is opposition to a social institution on intellectual grounds, not necessarily the idea of divinity at all.

Do you see the problem with trying to bring things back to simple semantic differences? It's just the same as in my examples of Black and White etc. These are just names for things.

Further to the Homophobe thing too, if we were to stick to strict naming rules then most of the world's population would be classed as “homosexual”, because most of us are only a single sex. The only heterosexuals would be the hermaphrodites. lol!
 
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reconjsh at 9:59AM, March 17, 2007
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ozoneocean
Further to the Homophobe thing too, if we were to stick to strict naming rules then most of the world's population would be classed as “homosexual”, because most of us are only a single sex. The only heterosexuals would be the hermaphrodites. lol!

Awesome, I'm STILL a heterosexual. lol

*looks around nervously*
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Ludus Pragma at 3:21PM, March 17, 2007
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This debate has become much more complicated than it needes to be because we have not defined our terms. As Lothar pointed out on the first page we have not come to a clear agrement on what “God” is.

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reconjsh at 3:30PM, March 17, 2007
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Ludus Pragma
This debate has become much more complicated than it needes to be because we have not defined our terms. As Lothar pointed out on the first page we have not come to a clear agrement on what “God” is.
lol, welcome to every debate I've seen on these forums. Even if we define terms, state presumptions, and make a precise assertation… there's still no way we'll have a formal debate. Too few people know what fallacies are. :(
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Ludus Pragma at 6:24PM, March 17, 2007
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Does Atheism “make sense” to you?

Yes.


The universe as is currently understood does not require the intervention of any supernatural forces to explain the phenomenon that occure with in. As such the existance of any such supernatural forces, like god, are an unnecessary complication that needs to be proven. There has yet to be any verifiable evidence so I don't beleive in God or Leperacons.


Reconjsh, hey I know what fallacies are…they're a type of pudding right?
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ozoneocean at 7:43PM, March 17, 2007
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Ludus Pragma
The universe as is currently understood does not require the intervention of any supernatural forces to explain the phenomenon that occure with in. As such the existance of any such supernatural forces, like god, are an unnecessary complication that needs to be proven.
But that's not what a divine existence would necessarily do; i.e. affect or change the universe physically. And besides, there are a lot of unexplained and strange phenomena that you could fit a “god” into if you were so inclined. The thing with the universe is you can never fully understand it because the more we know, the more we know that we don't know.

How do we prove the existence of the divine? I don't think you even have to until you come up with some theory that requires such a bizarre element and you decide exactly what form it takes within that theory.

Ahahaha, but that's just me being “devil's advocate” again… You've explained your position and that's all you have to do.
 
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Ronson at 2:36PM, March 19, 2007
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Does Atheism make sense to me?

Yeah. Now, I've breezed through a lot of the posts. I will say that I side with Neil on most of it, but I think the essential misunderstanding is in what atheism is.

I believe that a God of any sort is extremely unlikely. Pigs flying unlikely. Science and logic seem to point to a world that is run by nature, and nature seems to follow very specific rules. We don't know all of these rules, but we do discover more of them all the time. These rules follow logic, math, rational thought.

Now, I said “extremely unlikely.” I'm sure a bunch of folks went “Aha! You aren't an atheist at all! You're just an agnostic poser!”

Well, words are shifty things and you could come to that conclusion. I stopped calling myself an agnostic a long time ago because I was tired of people saying “oh, so you don't know what you believe.”

I do know what I believe. I believe that there is almost certainly not a God.

As a result, I try to live my life as if there were no God. I scrutinize the laws and conventions of society and make sure they aren't rooted some arbitrary religious beliefs. There are things like that - like not working on Saturdays or Sundays. Most of them have been (happily) taken off of government's shoulders, and our society is the better for it.

I also live my life as if this were the only one I had. Because to me it is. No heaven, no hell, just now until the day I die.

So, am I a letch? A drunkard? A druggie? A hedonist? A glutton?

No, though I do eat too much. It turns out that anything in excess will prevent you from being happy. Moderation is not just a religious idea, it's a survival tool.

I'm an atheist. You can parse my words to say I'm not, but you are doing just that: parsing words.

…oh, and I don't care what anyone else believes, just don't try to thrust your beliefs on me and we'll be fine. :)
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kingofsnake at 4:20PM, March 19, 2007
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Ronson
I do know what I believe. I believe that there is almost certainly not a God.
and
Ronson
…oh, and I don't care what anyone else believes, just don't try to thrust your beliefs on me and we'll be fine. :)

My only real problem with Neil's position is that he says he knows theres no god. I'm not about to front anyone for their beliefs. But when they try to pass it off as fact, without any proof to back it up, I get a little rattled. Especially when that claim is akin to chatizing me for my own beliefs. I don't go around telling athiests that I know there is a god without data backing it up. I just choose to believe that there is one. All I really demand is the same respect I would show anyone else. I don't believe in any of the eastern religions, but I don't go treating them like children just because we have different beliefs. Because I can't say for a fact that I'm right. I don't see how some athiests think that they do, and are thereby justified in their degredation of theists.
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Ronson at 4:43AM, March 20, 2007
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My only real problem with Neil's position is that he says he knows theres no god. I'm not about to front anyone for their beliefs. But when they try to pass it off as fact, without any proof to back it up, I get a little rattled. Especially when that claim is akin to chatizing me for my own beliefs. I don't go around telling athiests that I know there is a god without data backing it up.

I didn't get that from Neil's posts at all. As I said, I agree with the things he said. Looking back, I think I particularly like it when he said “I am saying that there is no logical basis for even bringing the God concept into a debate. You cannot demand disproof of a baseless supposition. It would be the same as me demanding that you disprove the flying spaghetti monster.”

This is true. There is no logical belief to believe in God. He said in a few places that he's not suggesting that we not allow people to believe in what they want, just that they shouldn't be able to use their beliefs to harm society. Again I agree.

Now, that's enough about Neil. Back to you…

I just choose to believe that there is one. All I really demand is the same respect I would show anyone else. I don't believe in any of the eastern religions, but I don't go treating them like children just because we have different beliefs. Because I can't say for a fact that I'm right. I don't see how some athiests think that they do, and are thereby justified in their degredation of theists.

When you say “degredation”, I think you are referring to statements like “it isn't logical or rational to believe in God.” (If I'm wrong in your particular case here, and there's something else you think makes you feel like you're treated as a child, we can discuss that as well. But I know that statement rankles more than a few theists.)

Well, I think we need to call a spade a spade here. It really ISN'T logical or rational. Logical and Rational beliefs are built upon facts and there aren't any facts in regards to God. In the words of the late Douglas Adams: “I refuse to exist,” says God,“Because proof denies faith and without faith I am nothing.”

You say it yourself. You “choose to believe that there is” a God. Well, that's an arbitrary and mostly emotional choice. You certainly can't point to any scientific evaluation on the subject or even any natural laws that support your choice.

If you are going to make a choice based on irrational and illogical reasons, the only thing you have to do is accept that. There's no shame in it unless you perceive there to be shame.

The simple truth is that everyone on Earth eventually has to make choices that have no logical or rational basis. We just don't have access to the immutable truths in life. It is not “better” or “worse” to wait for facts before making a decision. It's just how some folks are wired.

What I find amusing is that our society seems to think religious belief IS rational. Or rather, that because so many people believe something (or their own version of that thing) that THAT belief system is in someway valid. As an atheist, I will say that I look upon all religions the same way and that I really don't see much difference between organized religion and the belief in Santa Claus or UFOs.

I don't disrespect those who believe in UFOs, as their entitled to believe as they wish. But I do hope that they don't start spending my tax money to prove their theories - or worse, to force me to accept their theories.

Side note: The Santa Claus things amazes me. Christians (mostly) convince kids there's a Santa - a magic man who knows everything about you. Eventually, they come clean and tell the kid it was just a hoax. Then they get surprised when - given the first concrete reason to distrust what their parents tell them - they question religion and the world around them. But that's a discussion for another day.
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kingofsnake at 7:22AM, March 20, 2007
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Ronson
Side note: The Santa Claus things amazes me. Christians (mostly) convince kids there's a Santa - a magic man who knows everything about you. Eventually, they come clean and tell the kid it was just a hoax. Then they get surprised when - given the first concrete reason to distrust what their parents tell them - they question religion and the world around them. But that's a discussion for another day.

I myself am not surprised by this. I would want my kids to question religion and the world around them. Going into religion ONLY because that's what your parents raised you as is foolish, lack of theological study is why such a great population nowadays don't believe in anything. I think more and more young people are agnostic (usually the “self-proclaimed athiest that thinks there is something supernatural out there, but doesn't think it's anything we've identified yet” more of the anti-christianity but not nessecarily anti-theism stance) because they're directed towards religion by their parents, but aren't given the tools to make their own decision.

Although I hardly thing Santa Claus is the catalyst for all this, he certainly doesn't help.

Discussion for another day, probably, but an interesting enough topic that i wanted to say something about it.
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LIZARD_B1TE at 12:04PM, March 20, 2007
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Will people stop talking about FSM? The guy who founded that “religion” even acknowledges that it is a parody. Try to use some other version of God. Something that isn't based in parody, like an ancient mythology or something.
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kingofsnake at 12:13PM, March 20, 2007
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The fact that it is a parody is the point
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Ronson at 1:51PM, March 20, 2007
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kingofsnake is correct. FSM is a parody created to show the absurdity of unskeptical belief systems. Mostly, it points out that religions often have a set of established “history” that is unproven, followed by theories for how the universe works that are untested and rules of behavior that are part common sense and part societal bias.

The only thing that makes FSM less believable than any other organized religion is that the creator admits it's a parody. Had he not, there would be nothing to distinguish it from other religions.

You think FSM is irrational or at least absurd? Look into Scientology.

Or get into a debate about the differences between the Christian sects. Was Mary a vigin? What about her mom? Is Adam and Eve an allegory or a historical account? Was Jesus light or dark skinned? Is the eucharist really Jesus' body after the priest says his words over it? Are statues blasphemy? How many wives can you have?

These are the issues that have divided the Christian faith into hundreds of different varieties.

Irrational. Absurd. But, as I've said, we all eventually have to accept some irrational and absurd thinking in our lives. It's up to us as individuals to decide how much.
last edited on July 14, 2011 3:10PM

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