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Old 12-04-2007, 10:57 PM   #256
Simon Bridge
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Quote:
Originally Posted by truthfatal View Post
I would imagine that the monotheist would have as much trouble imagining no god as I would have imagining one(or more!) god(s)
Nicely worded.

Quote:
I actually disagree on this point, rational agnosticism is in my opinion the only valid stance on the existence of one or more deities.
"Rational" is the qualifying word here. However - those that support the idea that all agnosticism is irrational (ill founded in reason) would assert that there is no reason to suppose the existence of god(s) at all, and many reasons to suppose the opposite. The tools of rational enquiry must lead us to give weight to the proposition that there are no gods.

An agnostic could point out that a 99.99% chance of something being the case is not the same as being able to, rationally, assert that we know this is the case.

Quote:
We also enjoy tearing down the theists new and improved arguments, though I rarely see one that hasn't already been thoroughly debunked.
I have yet to see any new ones.

This last is off a review of "The God Delusion" (Richard Dawkins) which is critical that Dawkins fails to adress any "new" proofs. Yet it fails to provide any examples.

A quick trawl of the internet for "proofs of god" yealds a great many pundins giving oft-refuted medieval "proofs" as totally convincing (to the rational mind - if you are not convinced then you're irrational, so it all boils down to faith again.)
 
Old 12-04-2007, 11:01 PM   #257
truthfatal
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I don't recall the source of the quote, but in regards to atheism being a religion of sorts:

Atheism is a religion in the same way that being bald is a hair colour.
 
Old 12-04-2007, 11:08 PM   #258
Simon Bridge
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You might also want to look at Godel's prove of the ontological argument of God's existence.
As it relates to completeness... Godel's ontological argument for the existence of God utilizes the same trick that he used to prove incompleteness in a set of axioms.

In other words, it is an intellectual critique of Anselms attempt, by pointing out that the approach is one that contains a logic contradiction and thus can be used to "prove" anything. That's why it is an exercise for students.
 
Old 12-05-2007, 05:04 AM   #259
jay73
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Atheism is a religion in the same way that being bald is a hair colour.
I would have to disagree. Any knowledge (or claim to such) ultimately rests on an act of faith. Science and atheism are no exception to this.

Whatever we believe/know is groundless; the only way of covering up this insight is convention, i.e. a set of tenets that underpin, define and organize a particular world view. These tenets are the equivalents of the rules that define games. Games work/exist only as long as people are willing to play by the rules and believe that the rules are real enough to justify sanctioning when they are broken. But is there an objective (and more importantly, universally binding) reason for people to accept such rules?
Or take the grammatical rules that organize languages. Why do I have to build my sentences differently in English than in Dutch? Easy, because those are the rules of English, there isn't any other reason. There isn't any "Thou shalt worship the rules of the English tongue." Look at the state of English (or any other Western language today) and that should be perfectly obvious.

I think it is not difficult to see this principle at work elsewhere too. One of the tenets of the religious "game" is that there is some transcendent entity, whether it is God or something else (and this again is defined by the tenets of the particular religion you embrace (or that embraces you? Do we choose what we believe?)). Depending on the religion, other rules include worship, specific social conventions, specific attitudes to the afterlife, etc. Similarly, the scientific "game" rests on a set of tenets that include empiricism, falsifiablity, proof, prediction, etc.

The fundamental question with all such "games" is : how is one going to prove in an objective way that these tenets need to be true, real and exclusive and that a person has to accept them? The great religions tend to have an easy time of it: because God told us what it is all about, look, we have the Book. Whatever doesn't dovetail is eventually reduced to something more palatable. Like that joke in the video that one of the previous posters put up here: Ask a creationist how they explain the existence of fossils and they'll say "God put them here to test our faith". Reduction to something that fits in better. Science and atheism aren't all that different, though. Whatever doesn't fit their world view/conviction simply isn't true either. Why? Because it doesn't fit their world view. If we can't explain it yet, then surely one day we will. And if we can't we'll resort to calling it "chance". Sounds all too much like "the mysterious ways of God" that will make perfect sense to us come the Day of Judgment or the works of the Devil, who was invented to explain what was otherwise inexplicable.

I think (but who will tell) that the only reason that atheism is more convincing to many today is that it better suits the kind of world we are living in nowadays. But who will prove that today's world is the one that we should live in? Considering how focused we are on growth and progress, I would bet hardly anyone.

Last edited by jay73; 12-05-2007 at 05:07 AM.
 
Old 12-05-2007, 08:10 AM   #260
laceupboots
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Originally Posted by Simon Bridge View Post
Sorry, I thought you cited your upbringing... so you're an xian because you were taught to be?
I did site my upbringing, I was given the opportunity to learn about God and the Bible and make my own decision, my decision is I believe in God. Mankind is not an accident and neither is the earth. And I never said nuthin' about being a xian, whatever that is, I just said I believe in God.

Last edited by laceupboots; 12-05-2007 at 08:11 AM.
 
Old 12-05-2007, 08:36 AM   #261
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But is there an objective (and more importantly, universally binding) reason for people to accept such rules?
Science is a method for figuring out which rules are sufficiently "real". There are other methods - they have been less successful.

I doubt that rules of grammar are quite the same sort of rules as Gravitation and causeality. They don't involve the same sort of game. And this is the point: not all games are equally real.

Faith requires belief in the absence of evidence - and, in the face of contrary evidence. The rules in the science game demand that the Atheist gives up his position in the face of contrary evidence.

So, in terms of game theory, the rulesets are different. Faith is part of the rules of the "religeon" game and is not part of the Atheist game. Atheists and theists are typically playing different games.

Of course, some atheists take it on faith that there is no God. Some theists claim scientific evidence. So what?

Quote:
Science and [theism?] aren't all that different, though. Whatever doesn't fit their world view/conviction simply isn't true either. Why? Because it doesn't fit their world view. If we can't explain it yet, then surely one day we will.
Actually, this in not quite correct. When a phenominon has been presented and there is no existing body of science that adequately describes it, science has nothing to say about it. Ideas about it are neither true nor false and the phenominon becomes the center of research efforts.

Since scientists means are finite, lines of research are chosen according to principles, previously discovered, that have proved fruitful in the past. As each possibility is tested and disproved, the search narrows.

The history of science is full of discoveries in the face of contrary belief. Researchers were looking for something else, or were actively attempting to disprove an idea. In fact, actively disproving is the core mechanism in scientific knowledge. Something that withstands active and systematic disbelief is more likely to be close to the truth.

It may come about that there is something that we will be unable to understand. We don't hold a mountain impassable just because it doesn't yield to pick and shovel.

The argument "we will be able to explain it later" is often used in response to the "God of the gaps" argument. A Theist insists that an unexplained phenomenon is produced by God. Challenges the Atheist to explain it, who shrugs and admits that he doesn't know. But, unexplainable now is no guarantee that it will remain unexplained in the future. He points out that there are a great many things that have been unknown in the past, none of which, it turned out, were caused by God. Maybe this time, sure. But that isn't the way to bet.
 
Old 12-05-2007, 08:51 AM   #262
Simon Bridge
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And I never said nuthin' about being a xian, whatever that is, I just said I believe in God.
OK, easy mistake. You claimed to believe in God and cited your (Southern Baptist was it?) upbringing in relation to it. I think the assumption of Christianity is, therefore, excusable.

So: you are a theist because of your upbringing?
Quote:
I was given the opportunity to learn about God and the Bible and make my own decision, my decision is I believe in God.
... Ahh, now thats more like it. Why didn't you just say so?

Did you have the opportunity to learn about other belief systems? I mean, this is an important decision really, more important that buying a house or a car. Yet if you were to buy a car, wouldn't you shop around, look for the best options for you? If you don't at least know something about cars, how can you make an informed choice?

BTW: "X" is the first letter in Χριστός - Christ. Used by early Christians to indicate Jesus Christ, also in "Xmas" - coming up. So, Xian is shorthand for Christian.
 
Old 12-05-2007, 08:53 AM   #263
alred
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by saying "i'm an atheist" is like saying i cant solve the problem when you , you , you and you and you and you are still around ... atheist can build but cant maintain ...

and also ... god/s are not competing as they never know about that ... so we need a non-competing morals too ... morals that can be as simple as honoring(but needs to be indoctrinated this firmly into future generations) iou written into the same pit where we are "on loan" to their grains ... "bloody hell , just look at these people , they did came in the end ... !! ... one by one ..."

and ... they are also people come to me asking why i wash up so oftently , why i dress myself up all over cleanly all the time , why i dont eat with my hands and why suddenly i stop eating for such a long period ... but i would never say that you and you and you are actually "mongolians" too ...

yup , the mongolians ... they thought that things can be learnt , appreciated , assimilated and/or imitated like eating "ang gu kue" ... things are not so simple until like that ...



.

Last edited by alred; 12-05-2007 at 08:56 AM.
 
Old 12-05-2007, 09:06 AM   #264
laceupboots
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Simon Bridge View Post
OK, easy mistake. You claimed to believe in God and cited your (Southern Baptist was it?) upbringing in relation to it. I think the assumption of Christianity is, therefore, excusable.

So: you are a theist because of your upbringing?... Ahh, now thats more like it. Why didn't you just say so?

Did you have the opportunity to learn about other belief systems? I mean, this is an important decision really, more important that buying a house or a car. Yet if you were to buy a car, wouldn't you shop around, look for the best options for you? If you don't at least know something about cars, how can you make an informed choice?

BTW: "X" is the first letter in Χριστός - Christ. Used by early Christians to indicate Jesus Christ, also in "Xmas" - coming up. So, Xian is shorthand for Christian.
I was given the chance to learn about other belief systems as well. Have a good day.
 
Old 12-05-2007, 11:23 AM   #265
XavierP
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Simon Bridge View Post
BTW: "X" is the first letter in Χριστός - Christ. Used by early Christians to indicate Jesus Christ, also in "Xmas" - coming up. So, Xian is shorthand for Christian.
I thought the shorthand was Xtian...?
 
Old 12-05-2007, 11:59 AM   #266
trickykid
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Originally Posted by laceupboots View Post
I was given the chance to learn about other belief systems as well. Have a good day.
Yeah but did you learn these other religions outside of the Baptist church or upbringing? There would be a difference I'd imagine if another Baptist was teaching you about another religion..

And for those discussing Buddhism, to me it's just a "way of life". Or a way to live your life. I really don't consider it a religion. Someone can be spiritual and live a certain way of life without it actually being a religion to me. I'm full blown atheist, my wife claims to be spiritual but doesn't believe in a God or Gods. She also practiced Wiccan and witchcraft. Both against any organized religion though, those are the axis of evil and violence in the world we know of.
 
Old 12-05-2007, 12:19 PM   #267
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Quote:
Originally Posted by XavierP View Post
I thought the shorthand was Xtian...?
I never saw either before :} ... How odd.



Cheers,
Tink
 
Old 12-05-2007, 12:48 PM   #268
laceupboots
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Originally Posted by trickykid View Post
Yeah but did you learn these other religions outside of the Baptist church or upbringing? There would be a difference I'd imagine if another Baptist was teaching you about another religion..

And for those discussing Buddhism, to me it's just a "way of life". Or a way to live your life. I really don't consider it a religion. Someone can be spiritual and live a certain way of life without it actually being a religion to me. I'm full blown atheist, my wife claims to be spiritual but doesn't believe in a God or Gods. She also practiced Wiccan and witchcraft. Both against any organized religion though, those are the axis of evil and violence in the world we know of.
I did learn about other religions outside of the Baptist church. Wicca is not a religion that I got to go to a church and check out, like Lutheren or a Catholic church. I have read briefly about it, don't Wicca believe in the balance of nature and that there are many Gods and Goddesses, each in charge of a different aspect of nature? I have nothing against atheist and feel no obligation to change anyone's opinion
about God.
 
Old 12-05-2007, 02:52 PM   #269
trickykid
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Originally Posted by laceupboots View Post
I did learn about other religions outside of the Baptist church. Wicca is not a religion that I got to go to a church and check out, like Lutheren or a Catholic church. I have read briefly about it, don't Wicca believe in the balance of nature and that there are many Gods and Goddesses, each in charge of a different aspect of nature? I have nothing against atheist and feel no obligation to change anyone's opinion
about God.
Wicca doesn't necessarily mean you believe in a God or Gods. It's more of a nature based religion or ritual. I think the main distinction of Wicca is everyone really has their own style, there's really no organization that backs it up like other religions. Most of the Wiccans I've known usually practice it alone. Some do it in groups, just depends really.

The Wikipedia article on it is pretty straight forward and accurate: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wicca

I like your stance on atheists, the no obligation to change one's opinion. That's how most atheists are, believe in what you want and go on with your life, just don't shove it down other's throats on who's right or wrong, cause like I said earlier in this thread, no one knows the real answer until you're dead...
 
Old 12-05-2007, 03:34 PM   #270
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Maybe .. God created Man ... Then Man created God ... Then each group claims this is the way...
Ego EGo EGO
 
  


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