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  1. #91
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    Wow, what a mess.

    I'd recommend reading anything by Bart Ehrman - especially Misquoting Jesus and Jesus Interrupted, also his lectures from The Teaching Company.

    Christopher Hitchens was regurgitating Robert Ingersoll. Nothing new or interesting.

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  3. #92
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    Quote Originally Posted by Liffey View Post
    Kamber's questions were fair. They came off like actual questions rather than an attack, so I wouldn't call it an argument. hardly an argument on my part at least!

    but yeah that is kind of the inevitable course of these threads... doesn't hurt as long as we're all respectful though
    Thanks for not feeling attacked!

    My stance is more Deistic-- the complexity of nature itself would seem to point more towards a Higher Power than any texts. Science doesn't have any answers for us regarding what happened before the Big Bang, the ultimate purpose of the Universe, or whether we may again experience consciousness on some level after our current mortal lives are over. But, we still can and do ask these questions.

    My Indian proposition indicates the failings of a text that I believe was simply written by fallible men who ended up with absurdities when "The World" that God "so loved" turned out to be a much larger place than the writers could envision.

    I think the questions proposed by various theologies are relevant, but much in the textual traditions of these is patently absurd.

    Non-Biblical Catholic dogma may allow us to place the Indians in some sort of Limbo or Purgatory, but if we are following the Born Again Protestant angle of "all you need is the Bible," I don't think you can find anything in there to explain away scores of generations of dead Indians who where once very much made of flesh and bone, not of straw!

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  4. #93
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    Quote Originally Posted by R a n d i s View Post
    People will argue so hard because deep down they know that they might be wrong, this is why they get so angry and protective about their religions. Having true faith people would not feel the need to explain themselves.
    It is like telling a kid that his mama is a , he will get mad, even if he suspects the truth. This is how humans work.
    Every intelligent person with a healthy mind will see the bible for what it is and everyone else will see what they deserve.
    So true. I hate it when you get people, religious or otherwise, who feel that they must attempt to force their beliefs onto you, and get angry if you don't choose to agree with them. I was raised Catholic, though I don't subscribe to Catholic dogma. I suppose I'm kind of religious, though I would imagine that my beliefs and such put me more into the role of agnostic. I pretty much see the Bible as a story book and choose not to take it literally. I don't know if there is a higher power (alien, god(s), giant spaghetti monster or otherwise), though it might be nice to float amongst the clouds for all eternity, getting to meet awesome historical figures and the like, knowing there's someone looking out for you. If there is a god I know s/he didn't create the world in 6 days, taking Sunday to rest. Science proves that. If someone wants to discuss theology with me I'm fine with that (though I don't claim to be any kind of expert on the subject) but when they try to turn it into an argument that they're right and I'm wrong it annoys me. My ex's dad used to do that. He claimed my family brainwashed me into being Catholic and that I was dragged kicking and screaming to church, and that my parents were bad for 'forcing' me to become part of what he viewed a religious cult. That upset me because he assumed that because my parents are religious that must also mean they're closed-minded zealots. And yet he was the one demonstrating closed-mindedness, to the point where he didn't care that he was hurting my feelings.

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  5. #94
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    How can anyone doubt the existence of God? I mean seriously, just look at this banana.

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  7. #95
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    ted has gotten really popular

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  8. #96
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    Quote Originally Posted by kev ferrara View Post
    Yes, of course it's Zaius. Haven't you ever heard.... oh never mind.

    When the literalists are hungry, no joke goes unkilled or uncooked. Yeesh!
    I do get it...



    Quote Originally Posted by kev ferrara View Post
    (I guess this Ayn-Rand-on-the-dole meme is going to be all over the net now as "proof" that she's a hypocrite. God I hate the politics of the drive-by snark. As the saying goes, a lie goes half way around the world before truth gets its pants on.)
    I'm a laissez-faire snarker.

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  10. #97
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    Don't you wish you could have your faith and eat it too?



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  12. #98
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    I love how people quote what Jesus said...as if the people who wrote about Jesus actually met him. The people who wrote about Jesus started writing what he allegedly said 100+ years after he allegedly died. Lot of allegations out there for this stuff to be considered fact.

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  13. #99
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    I have no real point to make, I just really wanted to post this;



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  15. #100
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jason Ross View Post
    I love how people quote what Jesus said...as if the people who wrote about Jesus actually met him. The people who wrote about Jesus started writing what he allegedly said 100+ years after he allegedly died. Lot of allegations out there for this stuff to be considered fact.

    What an ignorant comment...

    Its cool if you guys dont agree with a religion. But going around degrading a group of people's religious beliefs is no different then the shit you guys are accusing religious institutions of doing.

    I wish you would have the audacity to say some shit like this at a mosque or at a synagogue...

    You'd get the shit slapped out of you...not for what you say...but for your disrespect and insolence.

    No one cares if you are atheist, or anyone here. The problem is when people start trying to force their views on others.

    And although you guys banter around accusing religion of brain washing you deny the fact that almost every major philosopher through the ages support theism.

    And i have yet to see you guys cite any sources for your opinions.

    You're just a bunch of angry people who probably had a bad experience ONCE and feel entitled to make broad assumptions.

    You take a verse, a piece of history, the actions of an institution... whatever and you make this big sweeping conclusions without including vital contextual historical, literary, and social information.

    I agree that history is jacked up. And no one is denying that. People dont believe and follow theism because they are perfect.... its the realization that we are not perfect and the hope of renewing our hearts and minds.

    i absolutely hate when people try to make these obscure references to information that doesnt seem to exists...or try to draw these abstract connections between religious organizations.

    Even more i think that if you are not a believer in a particular religion then you have no authority or credibility to judge its nuances, beliefs, and structure.

    You dont see a doctor trying to teach you how to draw. You dont see a singer teaching medical students...so you as a disenfranchised atheist shouldnt feel the to make these critical, and ignorant, assumptions based on convoluted statistics and generalizations.

    Go read a freaking book and get outside of your box. And stop thinking that we are all the same. Because you're only propogating the very hate that you accuse us religious folk of having.

    I would appreciate this thread closed, because clearly this has turned from intelligent discussion to hate speech.

    Last edited by JakehC; February 3rd, 2011 at 03:20 PM.
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  17. #101
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    But going around degrading a group of people's religious beliefs is no different then the shit you guys are accusing religious institutions of doing.
    Disagreeing with people/hurting their feelings does not = worsening of aids epidemics due to ignorance, pushing for legislation promoting beliefs based on nothing or excommunication because a 13 year old aborted her baby because she was impregnated by her father and would die if she carried it. So it's a teensy weensy bit different.

    I wish you would have the audacity to say some shit like this at a mosque or at a synagogue... You'd get the shit slapped out of you...not for what you say...but for your disrespect and insolence.
    Did it occur to you that we're having the discussion here because doing that would be disturbing a group's peaceful religious gathering, and our goal isn't just to get people shit tossed up?

    No one cares if you are atheist, or anyone here. The problem is when people start trying to force their views on others.
    Talking about it =/= pushing.

    And although you guys banter around accusing religion of brain washing you deny the fact that almost every major philosopher through the ages support theism.
    Argument from authority :/

    Even more i think that if you are not a believer in a particular religion then you have no authority or credibility to judge its nuances, beliefs, and structure.
    Why not? you're saying because I don't Believe that Valkyries will take me to the promised land when i die I can't make a comment on the nuances of Norse mythology? you're saying that if i studied the hell out of the religious texts that a group cites as the inspiration for their religion, then the people in the pews who've never read the bible and think that it doesn't mention slavery is endorsed/regulated is more qualified to comment on the religion than I am?

    You dont see a doctor trying to teach you how to draw. You dont see a singer teaching medical students...so you as a disenfranchised atheist shouldnt feel the to make these critical, and ignorant, assumptions based on convoluted statistics and generalizations.
    Argument from authority again.

    The rest of what you wrote makes broad generalizations about... well everything and doesn't address specific comments. You quoted jason Ross' comment but just said how "ignorant" it was without addressing anything about it. Here watch this;

    ----------------------------------

    You're just a bunch of angry people who probably had a bad experience ONCE and feel entitled to make broad assumptions.

    You take a verse, a piece of history, the actions of an institution... whatever and you make this big sweeping conclusions without including vital contextual historical, literary, and social information.

    I agree that history is jacked up. And no one is denying that. People dont believe and follow theism because they are perfect.... its the realization that we are not perfect and the hope of renewing our hearts and minds.

    i absolutely hate when people try to make these obscure references to information that doesnt seem to exists...or try to draw these abstract connections between religious organizations.

    Even more i think that if you are not a believer in a particular religion then you have no authority or credibility to judge its nuances, beliefs, and structure.

    Wow what an ignorant comment. You know this is just like you guys in Group B; you take a bunch of stuff you heard and wrapped it all up in ignorance and what do you get? ignorant comments like you ignorantly posted. This is just like that time not long ago when you made a reference that I won't specify... Jeeeez
    ----------------------------------

    See how infuriating that reply is, the fact that you can't comment on it because it's just a rambling ball of verbal shit tumbling down the hill of vagueness?


    As you say -


    What an ignorant comment...



    and just as post script; I was fully intending to stay out of this. If i wanted to go off on any comments there were plenty of views expressed here that oppose my own. I commented here because it really pisses me off when we have a good back and forth going, and someone gets sand in their va jay jay (or gets sand in their va jay jay on behalf of someone else) and tries to shut down the discussion.

    Discussion = good.

    Last edited by Jason Rainville; February 3rd, 2011 at 11:42 AM.
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  19. #102
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    Ive already expressed that atheism isnt a problem for me. And obviously it isnt a problem for other religious folk around here either.

    But apparently you feel victimized by religion in some way. But seriously you're putting your coins in the wrong bucket.... go be atheist and be the best you can be.

    No one cares if you think your equivalent to a monkey, or if you dont believe you have a soul. Or whatever particular "BELIEF" you have as an atheist... Thats a personal problem. And i have no issue with it being discussed here. But be FOR something instead of AGAINST everything that you done believe... isnt that what you're supposed to be accusing us of? why do you have to be a hypocrite?

    If you want to be beneficial then be the exact opposite of those who you seem to have such a problem with. why do atheists always seem to do the very same thing, with the same mob mentality, that they accuse religious folk of? you're no exception then? Then can i inductively reason that maybe this weakens the credibility of the perspective from which you make your opinions? often times you'll see that when a person is soooooooooo bothered by something, its merely because its something they see in themselves or an unresolved internal conflict...

    You guys are just like those bullies in elementary schools. You dont have enough to say about yourself so you feel the need to constantly ramble on about how everyone else sucks. THAT is immaturity. I havnt seen a thread of Jews hating on christians here, i havnt see a threat on how blacks are still angry at white people, i havnt even see a thread on bashing any other group. But for some reason its perfectly fine to speak in a demonizing way toward those who subscribe to religious beliefs...all the more if they are christian oriented. Because apparently its just fine and honkey-dorey on this forum.

    You take tubes of Jim Jones paint mixed with errant teachings of religious fanaticism and cast it as the shadow of anyone who believes in something beyond himself.

    You act as if every (or even most) religious person has these magical fantasies about a bearded man in the sky casting lighting bolts on sinners. you know what i think. i think if you really dont believe in god...then why do you care so much? why does it offend the? Because if someone is really cracking your nut that badlely then maybe you need to re-evaluate yourself.

    If you've ever done any credible research and reading other than that dawkins shit, you would know that religion isnt a topic of deduction (for either side) because logically G-d can neither be proven as a fact or as a falsity. Its belief on both sides. and at best you can make a good argument for whatever decision you come to. and neither should it be pitted against scientific research, as the empirical methodology is flawed even in the eyes of philosophical though.

    Please dont try take these obscure references from the Torah and treat it as if its all inclusive theology. You neither understand or desire to understand the complexities of the Jewish legal system of halakah.
    As an atheist you inherently live in a universe of moral relativism. and since that is TRUE then how can you, and by what means do you, judge those who subscribe to moral absolutism? That doesnt make sense by any ounce of logic.

    I understand you disagree with many things, and that is fine... but a tleast a religious person can provide a valid reason for the things they do and believe with centuries worth of anthropology and archeology to support those beliefs. And dont try to deny any of the existing evidence that links humans to spiritually for atleast the past 5000 years.

    Go read a book... start with Francis Bacon...

    And then go take a class on logic....THEN come play with the big boys cause you obviously dont know how to make a good rebuttle or an argument for your position.

    I smell a big dollop of bullshit and... this thread has turned into hate speech and should be locked.


    -I eat Niggas for breakfust

    Last edited by JakehC; February 3rd, 2011 at 02:58 PM.
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  20. #103
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    There is something to be learned from a rainstorm. When meeting with a sudden shower, you try not to get wet and run quickly along the road. But doing such things as passing under the eaves of houses, you still get wet. When you are resolved from the beginning, you will not be perplexed, though you still get the same soaking.

    "Everything must serve the idea. The means used to convey the idea should be the simplest and clear. Just what is required. No extra images. To me this is a universal principle of art. Saying as much as possible with a minimum of means."
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  22. #104
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    lolbbq - I suggest taking a few deep breaths, and calming down a little. I see no reason for the thread to be locked just because someone disagrees with you. If you don't want the temperature raised round here then back off a little.

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  24. #105
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    Im not angry. i think this the origional intent of the thread is fine.

    But i think the direction of this discussion is silly...
    All im doing is reasoning for the other side.

    I was atheist for 4 years, and ive read all the books and ive watched all the videos. I lived it.
    Im not even christian, but i can see that this thread is very biased and very oriented to demonizing.
    i DO have a problem with improper use of information and propaganda (whether its from religious people or atheists) to come to uncogent conclusions about religious establishments.


    The guy who started this thread Jeremy Gordon is a friend who i thoroughly respect, and if he remembers our discussions from last year about this topic then he should know that im the last person to bash or banter the intent of his thread. What i think is silly is the level of mockery that always accompanies such discussions.

    I think the issues with religion are relevant and should be taken seriously to change the way that religious groups interact with society. that is important, and i acknowlede that assertion. but the jumps that are being made from premise to conclusion do not follow a good, well thought out scheme of logic they way its being presented here.

    You know... when i go to synagogue i hear the comments and remarks about non-jews, and atheists...i do. and believe me i make a fierce defense to protect you guys and try to create understanding and change within my own sphere of influence. buts its contrary to my work as a mediator to see this kind of Lashon haRa. So please dont think im just one of those people walking on theological volatility. because i'm not. I think that if there are serious issues that prove and support an opinion then thats fine... and as a person who desires truth i will/should acknowledge that... and also have the gal to navigate through other's opinions.

    I agree in the validity of your emotional disengagements with religious affairs, but using an emotional disengagement as the cornerstone of a proposition is just...really stupid.

    But anyways, im done with this thread and ill do what i should have done. Ill click the little "X" on the corner of my screen and remember why i dont hang out with you guys here in the lounge...

    (I would be more than glad to verse you guys on critical assessment of Judeo-Christian literature...any day)

    -Im startin to feel like a dungeon dragon...

    Trying to narrow down an atheist research paper

    Last edited by JakehC; February 3rd, 2011 at 03:37 PM.
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  25. #106
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    I'm not reading any of this but I want to put out an idea to mull over.

    How old are you? How old do you feel? How long do you reasonably expect to live? How long would be too long? A hundred? 110?

    When I was a child, I asked my dad why dogs die so young. He said they don't have as much to learn as we do. Eventually, for all of us, there comes a point where death is the next thing to do - all we have left.

    Scientists estimate the known universe is what, 13 billion years old? Even if there was a god capable of creating all this, setting it all in motion, and he were perfectly capable of living and working infinitely. How long do you think he'd really want to live? A few thousand years? What, a million?

    This is all hypothetical, way beyond our powers of inference, but to my limited human way of thinking, it seems entirely plausable that, if there were a god, he would've committed suicide a long time ago.

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    Quote Originally Posted by lolbbq View Post
    Ive already expressed that atheism isnt a problem for me. And obviously it isnt a problem for other religious folk around here either.

    But apparently you feel victimized by religion in some way. But seriously you're putting your coins in the wrong bucket.... go be atheist and be the best you can be.

    No one cares if you think your equivalent to a monkey, or if you dont believe you have a soul. Or whatever particular "BELIEF" you have as an atheist... Thats a personal problem. And i have no issue with it being discussed here. But be FOR something instead of AGAINST everything that you done believe... isnt that what you're supposed to be accusing us of? why do you have to be a hypocrite?

    If you want to be beneficial then be the exact opposite of those who you seem to have such a problem with. why do atheists always seem to do the very same thing, with the same mob mentality, that they accuse religious folk of? you're no exception then? Then can i inductively reason that maybe this weakens the credibility of the perspective from which you make your opinions? often times you'll see that when a person is soooooooooo bothered by something, its merely because its something they see in themselves or an unresolved internal conflict...

    You guys are just like those bullies in elementary schools. You dont have enough to say about yourself so you feel the need to constantly ramble on about how everyone else sucks. THAT is immaturity. I havnt seen a thread of Jews hating on christians here, i havnt see a threat on how blacks are still angry at white people, i havnt even see a thread on bashing any other group. But for some reason its perfectly fine to speak in a demonizing way toward those who subscribe to religious beliefs...all the more if they are christian oriented. Because apparently its just fine and honkey-dorey on this forum.

    You take tubes of Jim Jones paint mixed with errant teachings of religious fanaticism and cast it as the shadow of anyone who believes in something beyond himself.

    You act as if every (or even most) religious person has these magical fantasies about a bearded man in the sky casting lighting bolts on sinners. you know what i think. i think if you really dont believe in god...then why do you care so much? why does it offend the? Because if someone is really cracking your nut that badlely then maybe you need to re-evaluate yourself.

    If you've ever done any credible research and reading other than that dawkins shit, you would know that religion isnt a topic of deduction (for either side) because logically G-d can neither be proven as a fact or as a falsity. Its belief on both sides. and at best you can make a good argument for whatever decision you come to. and neither should it be pitted against scientific research, as the empirical methodology is flawed even in the eyes of philosophical though.

    Please dont try take these obscure references from the Torah and treat it as if its all inclusive theology. You neither understand or desire to understand the complexities of the Jewish legal system of halakah.
    As an atheist you inherently live in a universe of moral relativism. and since that is TRUE then how can you, and by what means do you, judge those who subscribe to moral absolutism? That doesnt make sense by any ounce of logic.

    I understand you disagree with many things, and that is fine... but a tleast a religious person can provide a valid reason for the things they do and believe with centuries worth of anthropology and archeology to support those beliefs. And dont try to deny any of the existing evidence that links humans to spiritually for atleast the past 5000 years.

    Go read a book... start with Francis Bacon...

    And then go take a class on logic....THEN come play with the big boys cause you obviously dont know how to make a good rebuttle or an argument for your position.

    I smell a big dollop of bullshit and... this thread has turned into hate speech and should be locked.


    -I eat Niggas for breakfust
    Read your own post back and tell me you're not playing the victim of the big bad atheists yourself here.

    You say atheism can be discussed as long as the discussion is about positive assertions about the beliefs of atheists, and not about attacks on beliefs of theists. The problem with that, of course, is that atheism is not a belief. It requires religious or supernatural belief, by definition, it would seem, to be able to even have the discussion in the first place. It's hard to argue why you don't believe in something if you're not allowed even to mention what that something is and why it's something you have difficulty believing in.

    The next bit of your post is the nice kind of broad, sweeping generalisation and victimisation that you (ironically) so vehemently attacked in your previous post. I should point out that believing humans are "the equivalent of a monkey" is not so much a belief as it is an undeniable fact. We are primates, we do share a common ancestor with other apes, and evolution via random mutation and natural selection is not a debatable theory, it's cold, hard, irrefutable scientific fact.

    You then ask why it matters if other people believe in a god, and it's a valid question. In an ideal world a person should be allowed to believe anything he'd want, and it wouldn't be anyone else's business. The problem, however, is that religion has a way of asserting itself in society. It has this eerie way of continuously cropping back up to, for instance, halt certain areas of scientific research. Or to stop homosexuals (and in many countries women) from having equal rights. Or to redefine rape so only the absolute minimum of victims can benefit from state subsidised abortion. Or to stone people to death for any number of offences of religious law. So yes, which rites someone chooses to observe and which chants he chooses to recite in the privacy of his own home or the house of worship he attends is no business of anyone else's, but ONLY as long as it doesn't intrude on the freedoms of any other (human) being. When it starts to interfere with the way society at large functions the line must be drawn. No one should be allowed to tell anyone else how to live their lives based on personal beliefs which are neither testable nor falsifiable. It's simply not acceptable.

    You talk about proving the existence or non-existence of a divine creator, but you're wrong to place an equal burden of proof on both sides. Extraordinary claims require extraordinary evidence, and the onus lies with the person making the extraordinary claim, not the person refusing to believe that claim. Atheism, after all, is not the belief in the non-existence of "god", but the lack of the belief in the existence of that god. At first glance perhaps that looks like petty semantics, but it's an important distinction to make. If I were to tell you I know of the existence of an invisible talking manticore that only I can hear you'll have a very hard time disproving its existence, and I daresay you wouldn't feel the need to. It would be entirely up to me to provide you with undeniable evidence of its existence before I could expect you to believe it. I daresay an omniscient, omnipresent, omnipotent creator of absolutely anything and everything would be a step up even from that manticore.

    Another important thing to remember is that the overwhelmingly vast majority of atheists either used to be theists, or were at least raised in the religion of their parents or grandparents. And even those who weren't were in some cases educated on the matter during various stages of their education. So to claim there is no way for atheists to grasp the intricacies of religion is to either intentionally misrepresent matters, or to grossly underestimate atheists.

    Your point about moral absolutism is an entire discussion on its own. Short version: morality is innate in human beings. It serves evolutionary purposes. I'll gladly concede that it cannot be conclusively shown to be so, but then neither can you show it to be divinely inspired. Just so you don't think I'm dodging your actual question, which was how can someone who doesn't subscribe to moral absolutism judge those who do: morally, that's for each individual to decide for himself, legally it's a matter of man-made legislation that everyone has to abide by. Not a perfect system by any stretch of the imagination, I'll grant you, but I doubt anyone can offer a more workable alternative to be honest.

    The bit about theists having "valid reason for the things they do and believe" makes little sense to me, and anthropology and archaeology hardly support those beliefs themselves. They show that people believed them, and perhaps why they did, but they don't validate of provide evidence for the beliefs themselves. Archaeology neither does nor can prove that, for instance, the god Hephaestus could make invisible yet unbreakable nets to catch his adulterous wife in bed with another god. It can perhaps show that that was a story that was widely believed by the Greeks, but that does nothing to prove the veracity of the story itself. They're sciences that study cultures, not the supernatural. Also, saying humanity has a tendency towards the spiritual doesn't prove anything at all. Just because there's a tendency towards believing something does not mean the beliefs have to be right, not in any way, shape or form.

    As a final point I think it's worth mentioning that, while you claim there's a lot of hate speech in this thread, I must confess almost all the nastiness I can find seems to be contained in your own, incredibly condescending posts. Not exactly fair to try try and get a thread closed for nastiness that you yourself actively sought to provoke, is it?

    Anyway, that's my opinion, such as it is. I'll crawl back into obscurity now.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Jorre Wampers View Post
    Read your own post back and tell me you're not playing the victim of the big bad atheists yourself here.

    You say atheism can be discussed as long as the discussion is about positive assertions about the beliefs of atheists, and not about attacks on beliefs of theists. The problem with that, of course, is that atheism is not a belief. It requires religious or supernatural belief, by definition, it would seem, to be able to even have the discussion in the first place. It's hard to argue why you don't believe in something if you're not allowed even to mention what that something is and why it's something you have difficulty believing in.

    The next bit of your post is the nice kind of broad, sweeping generalisation and victimisation that you (ironically) so vehemently attacked in your previous post. I should point out that believing humans are "the equivalent of a monkey" is not so much a belief as it is an undeniable fact. We are primates, we do share a common ancestor with other apes, and evolution via random mutation and natural selection is not a debatable theory, it's cold, hard, irrefutable scientific fact.

    You then ask why it matters if other people believe in a god, and it's a valid question. In an ideal world a person should be allowed to believe anything he'd want, and it wouldn't be anyone else's business. The problem, however, is that religion has a way of asserting itself in society. It has this eerie way of continuously cropping back up to, for instance, halt certain areas of scientific research. Or to stop homosexuals (and in many countries women) from having equal rights. Or to redefine rape so only the absolute minimum of victims can benefit from state subsidised abortion. Or to stone people to death for any number of offences of religious law. So yes, which rites someone chooses to observe and which chants he chooses to recite in the privacy of his own home or the house of worship he attends is no business of anyone else's, but ONLY as long as it doesn't intrude on the freedoms of any other (human) being. When it starts to interfere with the way society at large functions the line must be drawn. No one should be allowed to tell anyone else how to live their lives based on personal beliefs which are neither testable nor falsifiable. It's simply not acceptable.

    You talk about proving the existence or non-existence of a divine creator, but you're wrong to place an equal burden of proof on both sides. Extraordinary claims require extraordinary evidence, and the onus lies with the person making the extraordinary claim, not the person refusing to believe that claim. Atheism, after all, is not the belief in the non-existence of "god", but the lack of the belief in the existence of that god. At first glance perhaps that looks like petty semantics, but it's an important distinction to make. If I were to tell you I know of the existence of an invisible talking manticore that only I can hear you'll have a very hard time disproving its existence, and I daresay you wouldn't feel the need to. It would be entirely up to me to provide you with undeniable evidence of its existence before I could expect you to believe it. I daresay an omniscient, omnipresent, omnipotent creator of absolutely anything and everything would be a step up even from that manticore.

    Another important thing to remember is that the overwhelmingly vast majority of atheists either used to be theists, or were at least raised in the religion of their parents or grandparents. And even those who weren't were in some cases educated on the matter during various stages of their education. So to claim there is no way for atheists to grasp the intricacies of religion is to either intentionally misrepresent matters, or to grossly underestimate atheists.

    Your point about moral absolutism is an entire discussion on its own. Short version: morality is innate in human beings. It serves evolutionary purposes. I'll gladly concede that it cannot be conclusively shown to be so, but then neither can you show it to be divinely inspired. Just so you don't think I'm dodging your actual question, which was how can someone who doesn't subscribe to moral absolutism judge those who do: morally, that's for each individual to decide for himself, legally it's a matter of man-made legislation that everyone has to abide by. Not a perfect system by any stretch of the imagination, I'll grant you, but I doubt anyone can offer a more workable alternative to be honest.

    The bit about theists having "valid reason for the things they do and believe" makes little sense to me, and anthropology and archaeology hardly support those beliefs themselves. They show that people believed them, and perhaps why they did, but they don't validate of provide evidence for the beliefs themselves. Archaeology neither does nor can prove that, for instance, the god Hephaestus could make invisible yet unbreakable nets to catch his adulterous wife in bed with another god. It can perhaps show that that was a story that was widely believed by the Greeks, but that does nothing to prove the veracity of the story itself. They're sciences that study cultures, not the supernatural. Also, saying humanity has a tendency towards the spiritual doesn't prove anything at all. Just because there's a tendency towards believing something does not mean the beliefs have to be right, not in any way, shape or form.

    As a final point I think it's worth mentioning that, while you claim there's a lot of hate speech in this thread, I must confess almost all the nastiness I can find seems to be contained in your own, incredibly condescending posts. Not exactly fair to try try and get a thread closed for nastiness that you yourself actively sought to provoke, is it?

    Anyway, that's my opinion, such as it is. I'll crawl back into obscurity now.
    You typed all that yourself...

    thats cute... go you!

    Ive already said all im going to say. I can copy and paste my same rebuttles here... all day.

    You're not saying anything new or unique.

    Archaeology and anthropology do incredibly support religous history and context. they dont necessarily prove that G-d exists, but they make a strong argument for why a person chooses to be a part of the religious system of their preference. And that same evidence shows the on going human story of spirituality.

    If you are honestly going to make such a bold statement that clearly is just an emotionally driven knee-jerk re-buttle then you're not worth responding to...

    ... When atheists want to challenge apologetics they turn to refuting Greek deism (without understand the context of how the greeks viewed their own religious beliefs)

    ... when they want to mock sincere faith they point to christianity (whose beliefs are argued and contemplated by almost every modern philosopher to date)

    ... when they want to demonize religious fervency they point to muslims who get the most skewed images plastered in social media

    ... and when they want to focus on elitism they point the finger at Jews who really have no problem with atheists, because its perfectly fine within the Jewish religious system for a non-jew to be Atheist...

    And the whole time someone somewhere is convinced that these systems are congruent...and that these issues are caused by they fact that they all associate with deism...

    Great claims do require great evidence. I agree. The argument of religion is a matter of experience, and opinion. which is why i reinforce my opinion that i have no problem with atheism. the burdon of proof doesnt fall on me for my belief in God, because im neither trying to convince you or debate your atheism.

    but if you really want to get into i can surely go into some deep shit... without even cracking open a particular piece of religious texts.

    But, before you even head that direction i think you could sincerely use some clarification on some of your attributions.

    All i simply care about is that propaganda isnt floating around here. Other than that i respect other's opinions.

    I believe in Fidiesm philosophically. And i think this is the most reasonable conclusion...and i think that its a very bold move to stand against the father of empiricism.

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    I'm sorry, I was (apparently mistakenly) under the impression that you were open to proper adult conversation, but apparently your only interest is arrogant and childish condescension drawn out over a long series of vague non-statements, straw-man arguments, personal insults and random non-sequiturs. Had I known such was the case I wouldn't have bothered in the first place.

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    Straw men, straw men everywhere.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Jorre Wampers View Post
    I'm sorry, I was (apparently mistakenly) under the impression that you were open to proper adult conversation, but apparently your only interest is arrogant and childish condescension drawn out over a long series of vague non-statements, straw-man arguments, personal insults and random non-sequiturs. Had I known such was the case I wouldn't have bothered in the first place.
    Apparently you missed the part when i was saying goodbye.

    Talk about a non-statement... I give my sources. this is nothing new, and a person of any intellectual bearing would see that. and im not apologetic about the fact that you seem to have missed some important acknowlegements in your assessments (like the socio-religious importance of archeology and anthropological data that supports the stories and history of religious culture)... And if you consider what i say non-statements then you have a bigger problem than my views.

    If you want to have an intellectual debate go for it.
    Open a thread.
    But ill let you bitch to yourself.

    i dont need to debate because i already know what i believe, and so does everyone else in this thread. which is exactly why this discussion shouldnt be taking place.

    Vague non-statements? Ive the support and intellectual backing of Bacon, Descartes, Philo, Aristotle, Plato, Socrates , and the entire Atomists, Kant, Schelling and the entire Pythagorean school of thinking.

    And anyone who has ever cracked open the works of Miamonides, or The Alter Rebbe... hell, even modern thinkers like Michael Brown or Zacharias...

    For me it isnt a matter of proving G-d to anyone. But i do want to defend the idea that even within scientific empiricism deism is still within the realm of plausibility...

    however raining pigs from magical cotton candy clouds... is not.

    Anyways, please tell me you've more to say than your empty BIG words... because im hardly intimidated by a idiot of non-effect like yourself.
    Youve yet to cite any credible sources or people... and your understanding of my intent (not to mention your own argument) has bigger holes than... Pamela Anderson :p

    And dont pull out the Dawkins card because anyone with a computer and look up Dawkin's comments about aliens being creators of the universe.... and i have to say such a belief takes an immense amount of faith...

    you're not ready. youre obviously to offended. and you apparently envision me yelling at my computer screen to get your attention... who are you? and furthermore do i even care. Im not trying to make you or anyone else look like a fool. And althought i think you are grossly mistaken in your views... you are entitled to them no matter how dumb they are.

    Ok, thats the last time im going to get dragged back into this tired thread. And i think i DONT need to respond to you to be valid. I was closing the door on this before you even arrived to the party...

    so go back to daycare. :p

    Ill let Ben Stein baby sit you:



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    Quote Originally Posted by lolbbq View Post
    however raining pigs from magical cotton candy clouds... is not.
    You can't prove that it's not.

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    If you want to believe in religion, fine. Its a free country.

    But if you want to argue religion, you have to deal with dissent.

    So....

    Hey there.... That voice you talk to in your head, that is your own subconscious. This was not understood even a century and a half ago, when many still believed they were talking to God when they were talking to themselves. It has been a colossal misunderstanding since man first began forming language and talking to himself in his head that this interior voice was from outside the mind. I still know some evangelicals who think that what they say to themselves in their own head is God giving them advice. Get sane and drop that shit.

    News flash: Heaven is the human imagination, the place where all things are possible, actions don't have consequences, you remain young forever, and you can revisit everybody you used to know as they once were at their best. When you sleep your imagination takes over. Death was understood to be a permanent sleep, where you would exist permanently in your imagination... in heaven.

    Ever have a waking dream where you saw a deceased loved one or pet as they once were just where they used to sit or roam... thems ghosks!

    Next.

    The word soul is just another word for Consciousness.

    Spirit is the archaic word for Idea or Concept.

    Next time you read the bible, substitute out these words and it will make a lot more sense.

    Now that we've dispensed with the past, we can turn to the future...

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    Quote Originally Posted by lolbbq View Post
    What an ignorant comment...
    It's a fact that the bible was written by men who never met Jesus. Yes regular dudes with hairy faces and hairy balls. There is nothing divine about them. The gospel authors never met Jesus...they didn't even meet people who met Jesus. Look it up for yourself.

    Quote Originally Posted by lolbbq View Post
    I wish you would have the audacity to say some shit like this at a mosque or at a synagogue...You'd get the shit slapped out of you...not for what you say...but for your disrespect and insolence.
    Another problem with religion...Freedom of speech ends when the topic is superstition that the person you're talking to actually believes in. I would never want to slap someone who does not "believe" in evolution or that the earth is round. I even talk to Jehova's witnesses without slapping them even though they do not agree with me and waking me up at 8 am on Sunday. It takes religion for people to behave violently when disagreements arise on the validity of supernatural claims.

    Quote Originally Posted by lolbbq View Post
    i absolutely hate when people try to make these obscure references to information that doesnt seem to exists...or try to draw these abstract connections between religious organizations.
    This is RELIGION you're describing. You mean like a god existing or that pagans are Satanists?

    Quote Originally Posted by lolbbq View Post
    Even more i think that if you are not a believer in a particular religion then you have no authority or credibility to judge its nuances, beliefs, and structure.
    UTTER NONSENSE! Especially when those beliefs, nuances, and structures affect political discourse or our children's minds. Take Mormons for example...It was doctrine by Joseph Smith that inter race marriages were an abomination and that black people can only get to heaven as slaves. Should you simply not be allowed to "judge" the religion simply because you're not an expert on Mormonism? Examples for any religion can be found.

    Quote Originally Posted by lolbbq View Post
    The problem is when people start trying to force their views on others.
    I agree because Christians and Muslims NEVER do this.

    Quote Originally Posted by lolbbq View Post
    You dont see a doctor trying to teach you how to draw. You dont see a singer teaching medical students...so you as a disenfranchised atheist shouldnt feel the to make these critical, and ignorant, assumptions based on convoluted statistics and generalizations
    Not to be a smart ass but sometimes medical illustrators are doctors and I'm sure that a singer somewhere when to med school and became a doctor. But to address your point I do not need to go to seminary school or become a theologist in order to reject the claim that a human walked on water, reanimated a corpse, himself rose from the dead after 3 days of being dead, and bodily flew up to heaven on some clouds.

    Quote Originally Posted by lolbbq View Post
    Go read a freaking book and get outside of your box. And stop thinking that we are all the same. Because you're only propogating the very hate that you accuse us religious folk of having.
    You got all of this from the fact that no one who wrote about Jesus ever met him?

    Not really sure why you attached the Richard Dawkins video...nothing he said helped any religious claim. You let Ben pull you by your nose to the conclusion he wanted you to draw.

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    So how's that paper coming alongm OP?

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    When will people see the fallacy of e-debating religious topics?

    Besides, I think the OP simply wanted help (some links) pointing to sources for a paper he/she is writing.

    As a side note: when debating, stick to arguable fact. Coloring the comments with opinion is fine, but don't argue the opinions, cause that's irrelevant.
    And remember, if you want others to accept your subjective opinions, you have to be willing to accept theirs as well.


    Sorry if this sounds preachy, just seen this thread on a thousand forums over many years. Thought I'd try to help. Cheers.

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    Quote Originally Posted by lolbbq View Post
    Apparently you missed the part when i was saying goodbye.

    Talk about a non-statement... I give my sources. this is nothing new, and a person of any intellectual bearing would see that. and im not apologetic about the fact that you seem to have missed some important acknowlegements in your assessments (like the socio-religious importance of archeology and anthropological data that supports the stories and history of religious culture)... And if you consider what i say non-statements then you have a bigger problem than my views.

    If you want to have an intellectual debate go for it.
    Open a thread.
    But ill let you bitch to yourself.

    i dont need to debate because i already know what i believe, and so does everyone else in this thread. which is exactly why this discussion shouldnt be taking place.

    Vague non-statements? Ive the support and intellectual backing of Bacon, Descartes, Philo, Aristotle, Plato, Socrates , and the entire Atomists, Kant, Schelling and the entire Pythagorean school of thinking.

    And anyone who has ever cracked open the works of Miamonides, or The Alter Rebbe... hell, even modern thinkers like Michael Brown or Zacharias...

    For me it isnt a matter of proving G-d to anyone. But i do want to defend the idea that even within scientific empiricism deism is still within the realm of plausibility...

    however raining pigs from magical cotton candy clouds... is not.

    Anyways, please tell me you've more to say than your empty BIG words... because im hardly intimidated by a idiot of non-effect like yourself.
    Youve yet to cite any credible sources or people... and your understanding of my intent (not to mention your own argument) has bigger holes than... Pamela Anderson :p

    And dont pull out the Dawkins card because anyone with a computer and look up Dawkin's comments about aliens being creators of the universe.... and i have to say such a belief takes an immense amount of faith...

    you're not ready. youre obviously to offended. and you apparently envision me yelling at my computer screen to get your attention... who are you? and furthermore do i even care. Im not trying to make you or anyone else look like a fool. And althought i think you are grossly mistaken in your views... you are entitled to them no matter how dumb they are.

    Ok, thats the last time im going to get dragged back into this tired thread. And i think i DONT need to respond to you to be valid. I was closing the door on this before you even arrived to the party...

    so go back to daycare. :p

    Ill let Ben Stein baby sit you:



    -Feel free to have the last word after this...

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    No no, I keep reading the part where you say you're leaving. Over and over and again. I wonder if it'll stick this time. Even if you don't reply though, I'm sure you'll still be reading this so I will make one last effort.

    I. You're operating under a very generous definition of "citing sources", apparently. There's a very impressive list of philosophers in this post, sure, but Bacon's the only one of those you've mentioned in all the preceding posts on this page. And even when he's mentioned it's only in a condescending throwaway line, not as a source for anything you said in any of your posts. Claiming you quoted sources for everything you said is, even at its mildest, a gross exaggeration of the facts.

    As for my own sources:
    *In the first paragraph I used a definition of atheism. I hardly think it needs any clarification beyond what I already said, but if you disagree I'll be happy to elaborate.

    *Second paragraph's about evolution. I know you're not a fan of Richard Dawkins, but as an evolutionary biologist he does seem perfectly suited to serve as a source to support this argument. Alternatively, I could offer up Bluefooted of this forum, who I believe also has a Ph.d in biology if not evolutionary biology, and says the same thing. Or if she doesn't suffice, there's a whole plethora of scientists in the field who also make the exact same claim. Evolution is not a topic of debate among scientists, it's accepted truth. Incomplete, perhaps, but fact nonetheless.

    *The third paragraph again doesn't require a source. The examples where religion tries to influence legislature are all more than well known, and I'm sure you can think of plenty of other examples yourself. The part about drawing the line at imposing personal beliefs on others is supported directly by your American constitution and its amendments, as you don't need me to tell you. I can also name any number of humanists and secularists who would agree. If you insist on a name I'll go for that most remarkable of human beings Stephen Fry.

    *Fourth paragraph, you agreed was correct: extraordinary claims require extraordinary evidence. I brought it up because you claimed it is as impossible to disprove the existence of god as it is to prove his existence. My point again relates to the misconception of the definition of atheism being a positive disbelief in god rather than a lack of positive belief in god, and the fact that the burden of proof lies with the one making the positive claim. That's a logical fact which require no citation of sources, I would think.

    *For the fifth paragraph I could offer up A.C. Grayling as a source, if you'd like. He's been known to make the exact same point about atheists being former theists. Furthermore, you use a very similar technique yourself, where you claim great understanding of atheism because you were an atheist for four years. It's the same basic point.

    *The sixth paragraph about moral absolutism is one where I never claimed to have perfect factual knowledge. My side's based mainly on Sam Harris' and Richard Dawkins' discussions on the matter. Harris looks at it from a neuroscientists' point of view (the way morality is handled purely by the brain itself), Dawkins discusses the evolutionary purposes of morality. I can go for the trifecta and mention Hitchens as another who believes that religion gets its morality from man, and not the other way around.

    *You've said nothing to disprove what I claimed about archaeology and anthropology in the next paragraph. My only point was that you cannot use those sciences to support the supernatural itself, which you appeared (at least to me) to be doing in the post I originally replied to. You now talk about "stories and history of religious culture", so it would seem you're not disputing what I said. I'll restate that I never argued that they don't talk about the cultural role of religion or any of that. But a species' tendency towards spiritualism is simply not proof that the spiritual beliefs themselves are true. Nor is any cultural or social benefit that might spring forth from those beliefs. That's simply not the way it works.

    *The last bit about the way you conduct yourself in these arguments is just observable fact. You say you like empiricism so that should be a treat for you.



    II. Trying to be demeaning about the way someone writes is (one of many) ad hominem attacks. If you must know, English is not my primary language, so if the way I write seems stiff or academic to you, perhaps that's because I've not been exposed to it in the same way you have been your entire life. It has absolutely no bearing on the argument, however.

    III. You claim my arguments have "bigger holes than Pamela Anderson" and my beliefs are dumb, yet not a single thing you've said since my initial post backs that statement up. I know it's a widely used construct of cults, but in the real world repeating the same thing over and over to yourself does not constitute proof in any way. At no point have you shown that my definition of atheism is wrong. At no point have you shown evolution to be a myth. At no point have you shown why believers should be allowed to force their beliefs on the society they live in (nor could you). You did not disagree with me about the burden of proof, and you said nothing of significance about archaeology and anthropology. Yet you're the one complaining about unsubstantiated claims. You type a lot, but say very little.

    IV. Your outright repudiation of Dawkins as a possible source to cite because of that one theory is laughable. He's a scientist with more than adequate credentials in his field, and as such he is a figure of authority in that field. If your way of disregarding sources is to be applied than we should also find a new theory of gravity, for instance, because Newton believed in all sorts of superstitious nonsense. The same can be said for almost any scientist of significance that came before him. It has absolutely no impact on their science.

    V. I don't imagine you yelling and ranting at the screen. To say your debating style is less than polite would be to understate things quite severely, but I doubt you're genuinely raving at home. However, even if I did it would have no relevance to the debate at all.

    VI. In many ways Ben Stein in an absolute moron, and your video proves nothing. If you have questions about the universe I suggest you go ask someone who's actually spent his life studying it, like professor Brian Cox for instance. I never claimed to have all the answers myself.

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  39. #119
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    Quote Originally Posted by JBurrough View Post
    when debating, stick to arguable fact.
    I hate to get meta here and argue about arguing, but huh? The point of debate and arguing is opinions.

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    I love this thread. Every morning i read it while drinking my coffee, it does cheer me up for some reason. People People discussing la la land with such enormous dedication, it seems so mystical and foreign.

    Intelligent designs that took billions of years and more "try and error" than atoms in a diamond... does not seem so intelligent to me.

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