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-   -   When Does Religion Become Just Silly? (http://www.internationalskeptics.com/forums/showthread.php?t=341273)

ynot 10th January 2020 11:57 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by JoeMorgue (Post 12949652)
I rest my case.

But, but, "if I think [aka believe] that they probably don't exist” then I can say “They probably don’t exist”, and "if I think [aka believe] that they probably do exist” then I can say “They probably do exist”. Both statements are equally valid and correct (aka true) and aren't conflicting at all, because my truths are belief truths and are always true according to whatever I believe at any particular time. QuiteEducationallyDeluded :rolleyes:.

I Am The Scum 10th January 2020 12:58 PM

It's hard to tell who's even trying to make sense in this thread.

The Atheist 10th January 2020 01:04 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by arthwollipot (Post 12949407)
Yes, that's already been established, thanks.

I'm not surprised, but I wasn't about to read four pages on talk about a fairytale to find it.

Quote:

Originally Posted by I Am The Scum (Post 12950024)
It's hard to tell who's even trying to make sense in this thread.

Nobody.

How do you make sense out of discussing anything to do with an invisible, unknowable entity whose proponents can't even agree on what it's all about?

It's exactly the same as discussing what colour unicorns are.

Forty-five years ago, at school, I told my mates that religion was a crutch for the weak-willed. I still concur with that analysis, and the proof is in religion itself - it gives people what they want, which is why evangelicals love Trump.

**** the bible, it's all about meeeee!

ynot 10th January 2020 01:10 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by I Am The Scum (Post 12950024)
It's hard to tell who's even trying to make sense in this thread.

I wasn't trying to make sense, I was trying to be sarcastic (no sense required).

Perhaps I was trying to make sense by mocking nonsense.

Thor 2 12th January 2020 02:46 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Roger Ramjets (Post 12948818)
On the contrary, it is the heart of the matter. You asserted that religion 'becomes just silly' when it includes the notion of a caring god who takes great interest in our activities (implying that it is not otherwise just silly).

Well that is the start of the silliness.

This leads on to the supreme silliness of the God offering himself as a sacrifice to be tortured and killed by man, so that He can bring Himself to forgive man for having the temerity to turn out less than perfect, when He made him so.

Quote:

But if many other notions are also silly then why single out religion?
Because that is the subject matter of the thread.

Quote:

And it's relevant to this thread too, because you cannot dismiss an activity as 'just silly' if it is beneficial.
I am talking about specific beliefs being silly. Just because some folks have these beliefs doesn't mean they become incapable of doing good things.

Thor 2 14th January 2020 03:04 PM

I have been reading John Selby Spong who quoted the following example of silliness I thought of interest:

Deuteronomy 23:1

“If a man’s testicles are crushed or his penis is cut off, he may not be admitted to the assembly of the LORD."


Seems a bit harsh I think. I wonder what inspires this kind of thinking and obsession with genitalia. :confused:

Roger Ramjets 14th January 2020 05:05 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Thor 2 (Post 12951864)
Well that is the start of the silliness.

I disagree. The mere notion of a god is the start of the silliness.

Quote:

This leads on to the supreme silliness of the God offering himself as a sacrifice to be tortured and killed by man, so that He can bring Himself to forgive man for having the temerity to turn out less than perfect, when He made him so.
But if you accept the notion of a god then what follows isn't that much sillier. It could even be quite logical.

Quote:

I am talking about specific beliefs being silly. Just because some folks have these beliefs doesn't mean they become incapable of doing good things.
But if beliefs lead to doing good things, does the silliness really matter that much? Most people believe multiple silly things, many of which are far less beneficial than believing that a god (if such a thing existed) would likely take an interest in His creation. Because a god that buggered off immediately after creating the Universe is useless at best. Why would anyone want to believe in such an entity, and what good would it do them?

I can understand why people would want to believe in a god that rewards good deeds and punishes bad, that they can talk to when troubled (even if no one is actually listening), and gives some meaning to their lives. But a god that offers no justice, no guidance, no solace, no hope? A god that pretends to not exist just so it doesn't have to deal with us? That is silly - and I can quite understand why someone would not want to accept the notion of such a god.

Darat 14th January 2020 05:45 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Thor 2 (Post 12954255)
I have been reading John Selby Spong who quoted the following example of silliness I thought of interest:



Deuteronomy 23:1



“If a man’s testicles are crushed or his penis is cut off, he may not be admitted to the assembly of the LORD."





Seems a bit harsh I think. I wonder what inspires this kind of thinking and obsession with genitalia. :confused:

How about a fully quote

And the Lord spoke to Moses, saying, 'Speak to Aaron, saying, None of your offspring throughout their generations who has a blemish may approach to offer the bread of his God. For no one who has a blemish shall draw near, a man blind or lame, or one who has a mutilated face or a limb too long, or a man who has an injured foot or an injured hand, or a hunchback or a dwarf or a man with a defect in his sight or an itching disease or scabs or crushed testicles. No man of the offspring of Aaron the priest who has a blemish shall come near to offer the Lord's food offerings; since he has a blemish, he shall not come near to offer the bread of his God. He … shall not go through the veil or approach the altar, because he has a blemish, that he may not profane my sanctuaries, for I am the Lord who sanctifies them.'

Yep all those that need glasses aren't allowed to worship.

Thor 2 15th January 2020 03:20 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Roger Ramjets (Post 12954390)
I disagree. The mere notion of a god is the start of the silliness.

But if you accept the notion of a god then what follows isn't that much sillier. It could even be quite logical.

Well we do not agree on this point it seems. There are many who are not 100% sure of the non existence of some kind of god who do not seem to be mentally impaired. Even Richard Dawkins is numbered among these although he doesn't rate the chances of a god existence highly - as indeed I do not.

Quote:

But if beliefs lead to doing good things, does the silliness really matter that much? Most people believe multiple silly things, many of which are far less beneficial than believing that a god (if such a thing existed) would likely take an interest in His creation. Because a god that buggered off immediately after creating the Universe is useless at best. Why would anyone want to believe in such an entity, and what good would it do them?

I can understand why people would want to believe in a god that rewards good deeds and punishes bad, that they can talk to when troubled (even if no one is actually listening), and gives some meaning to their lives. But a god that offers no justice, no guidance, no solace, no hope? A god that pretends to not exist just so it doesn't have to deal with us? That is silly - and I can quite understand why someone would not want to accept the notion of such a god.

If you would stick to the topic it would help. You could start another thread about the good things the religious do in spite of silliness, to expound your theories about the subject if you like.

Thor 2 15th January 2020 03:25 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Darat (Post 12954423)
How about a fully quote

And the Lord spoke to Moses, saying, 'Speak to Aaron, saying, None of your offspring throughout their generations who has a blemish may approach to offer the bread of his God. For no one who has a blemish shall draw near, a man blind or lame, or one who has a mutilated face or a limb too long, or a man who has an injured foot or an injured hand, or a hunchback or a dwarf or a man with a defect in his sight or an itching disease or scabs or crushed testicles. No man of the offspring of Aaron the priest who has a blemish shall come near to offer the Lord's food offerings; since he has a blemish, he shall not come near to offer the bread of his God. He … shall not go through the veil or approach the altar, because he has a blemish, that he may not profane my sanctuaries, for I am the Lord who sanctifies them.'

Yep all those that need glasses aren't allowed to worship.

Oh boy another mention about crushed testicles! Seems the Biblical scribes had a bit of a hang up about a man's hanging treasures. :D

Darat 15th January 2020 03:30 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Thor 2 (Post 12955451)
Well we do not agree on this point it seems. There are many who are not 100% sure of the non existence of some kind of god who do not seem to be mentally impaired. Even Richard Dawkins is numbered among these although he doesn't rate the chances of a god existence highly - as indeed I do not.









If you would stick to the topic it would help. You could start another thread about the good things the religious do in spite of silliness, to expound your theories about the subject if you like.

The problem with Dawkins approach is that all he is saying is "something could exist".

But that is not a god that those that follow a religion claim to believe in, their gods have definitions, attributes and so on. I think it causes unnecessary ambiguity to use the word "god" as Dawkins uses it.

arthwollipot 15th January 2020 06:25 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Thor 2 (Post 12955463)
Oh boy another mention about crushed testicles! Seems the Biblical scribes had a bit of a hang up about a man's hanging treasures. :D

No more so than a man's mutilated face or a man's itching disease. Not in this passage, at least.

LarryS 15th January 2020 07:47 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Thor 2 (Post 12938431)
I can accept the notion of a god, however you define it, as being involved in creation. I don't entirely discount the possibility what's more, although I think it most unlikely.

The notion of a caring god, who takes great interest in our activities, I find much harder to accept. This not only because the god seemingly prefers not to intervene in our favour, and keeps itself invisible, but because the purpose behind our creation eludes me.

When we progress to the notion of a god who creates perfect beings, (angels and us), who then turn out to be not perfect, (which is somehow there own fault), then you've lost me altogether.

So then we go still further, to notions of a place of eternal torment, where hapless souls suffer for eternity, just because they don't believe in the the secretive god.

I mean it just gets sillier and sillier.

I think that Ame Perdue said it best in the New Rubaiyat:

"But still I hear the Wrangling Sects proclaim
Their Paradises and their Seas of Flame,
Their Holy Ghosts and mystic Trinities.
With no degree of Intellectual Shame."

Yes "Intellectual Shame" is what's missing.

Any anti religion topic is easy and there’s no honor in participating. A more challenging thread would be - when do scientists (science) be silly. I vote for when they speak of multiverses.

arthwollipot 15th January 2020 08:58 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by LarryS (Post 12955709)
Any anti religion topic is easy and there’s no honor in participating. A more challenging thread would be - when do scientists (science) be silly. I vote for when they speak of multiverses.

That might be an interesting thread, if you'd like to start it.

DuvalHMFIC 16th January 2020 06:20 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by LarryS (Post 12955709)
Any anti religion topic is easy and there’s no honor in participating. A more challenging thread would be - when do scientists (science) be silly. I vote for when they speak of multiverses.

I'm in the middle of (trying) to read "Something Deeply Hidden", so I'd be interested in a thread about this as well.

psionl0 16th January 2020 08:03 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Roger Ramjets (Post 12954390)
The mere notion of a god is the start of the silliness.

No, it's thinking you know the answer.

JoeMorgue 16th January 2020 08:05 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by psionl0 (Post 12956157)
No, it's thinking you know the answer.

"God did it with magic" is also thinking you know the answer, it's just the wrong answer that doesn't actually answer anything.

Thor 2 16th January 2020 01:59 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by arthwollipot (Post 12955644)
No more so than a man's mutilated face or a man's itching disease. Not in this passage, at least.


Those things don't tickle my funny bone, but maybe that's just me.

Thor 2 16th January 2020 02:01 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by LarryS (Post 12955709)
Any anti religion topic is easy and there’s no honor in participating. A more challenging thread would be - when do scientists (science) be silly. I vote for when they speak of multiverses.

Quote:

Originally Posted by arthwollipot (Post 12955757)
That might be an interesting thread, if you'd like to start it.


Yup, go for it Larry. :thumbsup:

arthwollipot 16th January 2020 06:01 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Thor 2 (Post 12956611)
Those things don't tickle my funny bone, but maybe that's just me.

Testicles, like farts, are almost always funny.

psionl0 16th January 2020 08:05 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by JoeMorgue (Post 12956160)
"God did it with magic" is also thinking you know the answer,

Yes.

Quote:

Originally Posted by JoeMorgue (Post 12956160)
it's just the wrong answer that doesn't actually answer anything.

Only somebody who knows the "right" answer can say that an answer is wrong.

Ulf Nereng 16th January 2020 09:05 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by psionl0 (Post 12956955)
Yes.


Only somebody who knows the "right" answer can say that an answer is wrong.

No, that's not right. We can often tell if an answer is absurd, contradictory or if it flies in the face of proven facts. We can thus rule out some possible answers without necessarily knowing what the right answer is.

Thor 2 17th January 2020 12:02 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Ulf Nereng (Post 12956998)
No, that's not right. We can often tell if an answer is absurd, contradictory or if it flies in the face of proven facts. We can thus rule out some possible answers without necessarily knowing what the right answer is.


Hi there Ulf and belated welcome to the forum.

I came from Sweden originally and have a cousin named Ulf. Maybe we have some generic similarities triggering a bias toward the absurd. Mind you there are many here who take issue with the utterances of psion. Join the club. :)

Pixel42 17th January 2020 12:20 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Ulf Nereng (Post 12956998)
No, that's not right. We can often tell if an answer is absurd, contradictory or if it flies in the face of proven facts. We can thus rule out some possible answers without necessarily knowing what the right answer is.

We can also recognise when an answer multiplies entities unnecessarily, and apply Occam's Razor. Answers which create more problems than they solve are usually rejected if there is no good reason (e.g. objective evidence) to accept them.

psionl0 17th January 2020 12:26 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Ulf Nereng (Post 12956998)
No, that's not right. We can often tell if an answer is absurd, contradictory or if it flies in the face of proven facts. We can thus rule out some possible answers without necessarily knowing what the right answer is.

Sure, the existing religious answers seem implausible - even if we assume somebody is reading the religious texts correctly.

That doesn't mean that "no gods" is the correct answer. Even the atheists on this forum stop short of saying that.

Ulf Nereng 17th January 2020 04:28 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Thor 2 (Post 12957094)
Hi there Ulf and belated welcome to the forum.

I came from Sweden originally and have a cousin named Ulf. Maybe we have some generic similarities triggering a bias toward the absurd. Mind you there are many here who take issue with the utterances of psion. Join the club. :)

Hi Thor! I think it's just that we scandinavians are more level-headed than those other folks! :D

Ulf Nereng 17th January 2020 04:31 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Pixel42 (Post 12957106)
We can also recognise when an answer multiplies entities unnecessarily, and apply Occam's Razor. Answers which create more problems than they solve are usually rejected if there is no good reason (e.g. objective evidence) to accept them.

Yes, that's true! Or as Laplace said: "Sire, I had no need of that hypothesis." (Possibly apocryphal quote)

JoeMorgue 17th January 2020 06:58 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by psionl0 (Post 12956955)
Only somebody who knows the "right" answer can say that an answer is wrong.

Nonsense, across the board anti-intellectual, magic thinking nonsense.

Dave Rogers 17th January 2020 07:09 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by psionl0 (Post 12956955)
Only somebody who knows the "right" answer can say that an answer is wrong.

Not true. If you ask me many fingers Dave Allen had and I tell you he had 27,359, you could reasonably tell me I'm wrong without knowing he'd had one amputated.

Dave

Steve 17th January 2020 08:50 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by psionl0 (Post 12957111)
Sure, the existing religious answers seem implausible - even if we assume somebody is reading the religious texts correctly.

That doesn't mean that "no gods" is the correct answer. Even the atheists on this forum stop short of saying that.

.... (clears throat) ..... There are no gods!

Darat 17th January 2020 09:06 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by psionl0 (Post 12957111)
Sure, the existing religious answers seem implausible - even if we assume somebody is reading the religious texts correctly.



That doesn't mean that "no gods" is the correct answer. Even the atheists on this forum stop short of saying that.

Which God, that the religious say exists, exists?

Darat 17th January 2020 09:11 AM

Whenever we get to this inevitable point I think my definition of an atheist is the bestear!

If you answer "Which God do you believe in?" with "None" then you are an atheist. It helps to keep the burden of proof where it belongs, and that is with those that say a god exists.

A person without a belief in a god has nothing to prove.

ynot 17th January 2020 05:12 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by psionl0 (Post 12957111)
Sure, the existing religious answers seem impossible implausible - even if we assume somebody is reading the religious texts correctly.

ftfy

Quote:

Originally Posted by psionl0 (Post 12957111)
That doesn't mean that "no gods" is the correct answer. Even the atheists on this forum stop short of saying that.

Rubbish! "No god(s)" is the correct atheist answer to "Which god(s) do you believe in?"

In case you still don't understand, believing in "no gods" (not believing in any gods) is what makes a person an atheist.

BTW - You never answered this question . . .
Quote:

Originally Posted by ynot (Post 12948157)
What's a definition of "probably" that makes them not conflicting answers?

I suspect you never will . . .

psionl0 17th January 2020 07:40 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Steve (Post 12957426)
.... (clears throat) ..... There are no gods!

Quote:

Originally Posted by ynot (Post 12957932)
"No god(s)" is the correct atheist answer to "Which god(s) do you believe in?"

In case you still don't understand, believing in "no gods" (not believing in any gods) is what makes a person an atheist.

OK so some of the atheists here "know" that there are no gods.

I guess those posters who get all steamed up and point out that atheism is a LACK of belief aren't really atheists then.

Steve 17th January 2020 08:12 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by psionl0 (Post 12957986)
OK so some of the atheists here "know" that there are no gods.

I guess those posters who get all steamed up and point out that atheism is a LACK of belief aren't really atheists then.

Suit yourself. Your need to classify people is your issue and no one else’s.

I also lack a belief in gods.

psionl0 17th January 2020 08:30 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Steve (Post 12957426)
.... (clears throat) ..... There are no gods!

Quote:

Originally Posted by Steve (Post 12958002)
I also lack a belief in gods.

Is this because you know (rather than believe) that there are no gods?

If so, I'm sure that the world is eagerly awaiting your proof of the negative.

Steve 17th January 2020 08:54 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by psionl0 (Post 12958009)
Is this because you know (rather than believe) that there are no gods?

If so, I'm sure that the world is eagerly awaiting your proof of the negative.

Makes no difference. I lack a belief in things that do not exist, gods included.

Why are you sure that the world is eagerly awaiting my proof? Is that something you believe? I am quite sure the world, and everyone in it, doesn’t give a flying **** about me proving anything.

psionl0 17th January 2020 10:26 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Steve (Post 12958019)
Makes no difference.

It makes all the difference in the world. Either you know that there are no gods or you believe that there are no gods. You can't weasel out of this by trying to change your unequivocal declaration into "lack of belief".

If you know that there are no gods then you must have proof. Otherwise, this when it becomes silly.

The Atheist 18th January 2020 12:14 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by psionl0 (Post 12958009)
Is this because you know (rather than believe) that there are no gods?

If so, I'm sure that the world is eagerly awaiting your proof of the negative.

Logically correct, but factually stupid.

There are no gods, period.

No, I can't prove it, just as I can't disprove Bertrand Russell's teapot, but when there is zero evidence for something that, if it exists, obeys no laws of physics, maths or biology and which is a childish & selfish belief, I'm quite happy to call crock of **** on both gods and that argument.

And I type as someone who used to accept your position.

Proof of gods is like religion itself - strictly for the gutless.

I can't prove the earth won't be swallowed by an enormous mutant star goat next week, either.

psionl0 18th January 2020 12:30 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by The Atheist (Post 12958123)
No, I can't prove it, just as I can't disprove Bertrand Russell's teapot,

That analogy is always used incorrectly. You can't establish that there is no Russell's teapot orbiting a celestial body. But that doesn't mean that there are no solid objects orbiting that body.

Similarly, you can't prove that a god with certain characteristics exists. That isn't proof that there are no gods. Even if you could prove that every single god that has ever been believed in doesn't exist, you still haven't proven that there are no gods.


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