ISF Logo   IS Forum
Forum Index Register Members List Events Mark Forums Read Help

Go Back   International Skeptics Forum » General Topics » Religion and Philosophy
 


Welcome to the International Skeptics Forum, where we discuss skepticism, critical thinking, the paranormal and science in a friendly but lively way. You are currently viewing the forum as a guest, which means you are missing out on discussing matters that are of interest to you. Please consider registering so you can gain full use of the forum features and interact with other Members. Registration is simple, fast and free! Click here to register today.
Reply
Old 8th February 2020, 02:39 PM   #881
abaddon
Penultimate Amazing
 
abaddon's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2011
Location: Republic of Ireland
Posts: 20,296
Originally Posted by JoeMorgue View Post
This is as deep into pure speculation as I'm comfortable getting but I've always had a hunch (I could be wrong, I'm not saying for certain) that a lot of stuff that gets turned into religious dogma that people literally believe is true started off as... I don't "joke" because that's more flippant then I mean but with a higher level of understood symbolism and less literalness.

Like it wouldn't surprise me if some goat herder in the Dead Sea a few thousand years ago looked at the Dead Sea Salt Formations, went "Hey that one kind looks like a lady looking back over her shoulder" (in the way we'd say that about a cloud or whatever) and a bunch of people laughed and said "Yes it does, how amusing" and that's where it ended for most of them... except one guy who's brain was wired a certain way and went further with it.
Sure. The Dead Sea salt columns as an origin for the myth is, for example, an interesting conceit, intriguing possibly. But good luck to anyone trying to find evidence for it.
__________________
Who is General Failure? And why is he reading my hard drive?


...love and buttercakes...
abaddon is offline   Quote this post in a PM   Nominate this post for this month's language award Copy a direct link to this post Reply With Quote Back to Top
Old 8th February 2020, 02:48 PM   #882
acbytesla
Penultimate Amazing
 
acbytesla's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2012
Posts: 24,942
Originally Posted by Thor 2 View Post
It is interesting how words take on a meaning other than that originally thought. Atheist just means not a theist, nothing more - well to me anyway.

I recall Dawkins relating the tale of a woman whose daughter forthrightly told her she was an atheist. "An Atheist", the mother exclaimed, "I can accept you not believing in God, but to be an Atheist! ......"

Sweden is one of the least religious countries in the world, and yet I find when talking to relations of mine in that country, most do not self describe as atheist. Strange? The word now seems to imply a radical, almost militant, mind set.
Dawkins is referring to Julie Sweeney a comedian who use to be on SNL. Sweeney said that in her one woman show.
__________________
Just because I'm paranoid doesn't mean they're not out to get to me.
.
acbytesla is offline   Quote this post in a PM   Nominate this post for this month's language award Copy a direct link to this post Reply With Quote Back to Top
Old 9th February 2020, 03:40 AM   #883
Darat
Lackey
Administrator
 
Darat's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2001
Location: South East, UK
Posts: 91,546
Originally Posted by acbytesla View Post
Dawkins is referring to Julie Sweeney a comedian who use to be on SNL. Sweeney said that in her one woman show.
There is always one of my favourites anecdotes by Quentin Crisp.

At one of his one man shows:

"When I told the people of Northern Ireland that I was an atheist, a woman in the audience stood up and said, 'Yes, but is it the God of the Catholics or the God of the Protestants in whom you don't believe?' "
__________________
I wish I knew how to quit you
Darat is offline   Quote this post in a PM   Nominate this post for this month's language award Copy a direct link to this post Reply With Quote Back to Top
Old 9th February 2020, 07:57 AM   #884
Rincewind
Philosopher
 
Join Date: Apr 2010
Location: Adirondacks, NY - with Magrat!
Posts: 8,337
Christianity has been pretty silly all along.

After all, it was so badly designed there are thousands of different flavors now!

Unless, I suppose, God was looking to be entertained, so it was deliberate, to give him plenty of laughs seeing how silly humans are?
__________________
I used to think I was happy. then I met Magrat...
Rincewind is offline   Quote this post in a PM   Nominate this post for this month's language award Copy a direct link to this post Reply With Quote Back to Top
Old 9th February 2020, 11:45 AM   #885
acbytesla
Penultimate Amazing
 
acbytesla's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2012
Posts: 24,942
Originally Posted by Darat View Post
There is always one of my favourites anecdotes by Quentin Crisp.

At one of his one man shows:

"When I told the people of Northern Ireland that I was an atheist, a woman in the audience stood up and said, 'Yes, but is it the God of the Catholics or the God of the Protestants in whom you don't believe?' "
I like that one.


It reminds me of the story Christopher Hitchens use to tell about the man pulled out of his car in Northern Ireland and was asked, "are Protestant or Catholic"? He replied "neither. actually, I'm Jewish atheist". They then asked, "well, then are you Catholic or Protestant Jewish atheist"?
__________________
Just because I'm paranoid doesn't mean they're not out to get to me.
.
acbytesla is offline   Quote this post in a PM   Nominate this post for this month's language award Copy a direct link to this post Reply With Quote Back to Top
Old 9th February 2020, 01:58 PM   #886
Thor 2
Philosopher
 
Thor 2's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2016
Location: Brisbane, Aust.
Posts: 6,175
Originally Posted by acbytesla View Post
I like that one.


It reminds me of the story Christopher Hitchens use to tell about the man pulled out of his car in Northern Ireland and was asked, "are Protestant or Catholic"? He replied "neither. actually, I'm Jewish atheist". They then asked, "well, then are you Catholic or Protestant Jewish atheist"?


I am reminded of one of Dara O'Brian's performances where he describes himself as "Not a very spiritual man ...... I don't believe in God ....... still a Catholic!"
__________________
Thinking is a faith hazard.
Thor 2 is offline   Quote this post in a PM   Nominate this post for this month's language award Copy a direct link to this post Reply With Quote Back to Top
Old 9th February 2020, 02:17 PM   #887
acbytesla
Penultimate Amazing
 
acbytesla's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2012
Posts: 24,942
Originally Posted by Thor 2 View Post


I am reminded of one of Dara O'Brian's performances where he describes himself as "Not a very spiritual man ...... I don't believe in God ....... still a Catholic!"
If you want silly. How about this one?

God shows up at a party.

YouTube Video This video is not hosted by the ISF. The ISF can not be held responsible for the suitability or legality of this material. By clicking the link below you agree to view content from an external website.
I AGREE
__________________
Just because I'm paranoid doesn't mean they're not out to get to me.
.
acbytesla is offline   Quote this post in a PM   Nominate this post for this month's language award Copy a direct link to this post Reply With Quote Back to Top
Old 9th February 2020, 02:30 PM   #888
abaddon
Penultimate Amazing
 
abaddon's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2011
Location: Republic of Ireland
Posts: 20,296
Originally Posted by Thor 2 View Post


I am reminded of one of Dara O'Brian's performances where he describes himself as "Not a very spiritual man ...... I don't believe in God ....... still a Catholic!"
Dara is a funny guy, but like all good comedy, it is founded on a grain of truth. Once upon a long a not so long ago, Ireland was a 97% catholic country ostensibly. Everyone living in it knew it wasn't.

Usually, an underground subversive movement is carried out by a minority, but here it was everyone. Illegally importing contraceptives was an actual thing. There were Al Capone equivalents hurling condoms hither and yon. Yet everyone continued to tug the forelock to the clergy in public, while ignoring them in private. It was bizarre.
__________________
Who is General Failure? And why is he reading my hard drive?


...love and buttercakes...
abaddon is offline   Quote this post in a PM   Nominate this post for this month's language award Copy a direct link to this post Reply With Quote Back to Top
Old 10th February 2020, 05:31 PM   #889
Roger Ramjets
Illuminator
 
Roger Ramjets's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2008
Posts: 4,508
Originally Posted by acbytesla View Post
About 3 months ago I got in this discussion with a religious person who said he believes God is real because he drove further than he should of been able to on a tank of gas. He prayed to make it to his destination and he did. I said I didn't buy it was a miracle. That there must have been a reason. His response was I was just closed off. Finally, I gave in that it could have been a miracle. I doubt it. But yes it could have been. But even if it was a God that answered his prayers, there is no reason, none, to say his mileage God was the Jesus God.
This is a good story because it shows how easily people can draw wrong conclusions about cause and effect. Yet all of us do it all the time, because despite its flaws this skill is essential for our survival.

Quote:
For something to be believable, you have to prove the cause and effect, not just that one event followed another. And why should we even consider the cause to be an imaginary being without a shred of evidence for? And is possible only in the sense that everything and anything is possible even though we KNOW that many things are not actually possible?
For something to be believable you just have to believe it - and then it is stuck in your mind. Once a religious person gets the concept of a god in their heads it's difficult to give up, even when the evidence shows it doesn't exist. But that situation doesn't just apply to gods. Everybody has at least some wrong ideas that they hang onto in spite of contrary evidence.

How many times have you thought it was 'lucky' that things turned out a certain way? That's wrong thinking because being 'lucky' implies low odds, a position you don't want to be in. But most people are happier thinking of it as 'good fortune' rather than considering what 'should' have happened. Logically we should be living our lives based only on cold hard facts and rigorous statistics, but who wants to do that? We are people, not machines, and we need our fantasies to help us cope in an uncaring Universe.
__________________
We don't want good, sound arguments. We want arguments that sound good.
Roger Ramjets is offline   Quote this post in a PM   Nominate this post for this month's language award Copy a direct link to this post Reply With Quote Back to Top
Old 10th February 2020, 06:28 PM   #890
abaddon
Penultimate Amazing
 
abaddon's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2011
Location: Republic of Ireland
Posts: 20,296
Originally Posted by Roger Ramjets View Post
This is a good story because it shows how easily people can draw wrong conclusions about cause and effect. Yet all of us do it all the time, because despite its flaws this skill is essential for our survival.
Nope. The miraculous filling of Uncle Bob's gas tank is a bucket of old hat that has persisted for a long time yet has no basis in fact. It's BS and always has been. For all the decades this claimed miracle has been wandering the intertubes.
__________________
Who is General Failure? And why is he reading my hard drive?


...love and buttercakes...
abaddon is offline   Quote this post in a PM   Nominate this post for this month's language award Copy a direct link to this post Reply With Quote Back to Top
Old 10th February 2020, 07:49 PM   #891
acbytesla
Penultimate Amazing
 
acbytesla's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2012
Posts: 24,942
Originally Posted by Roger Ramjets View Post
This is a good story because it shows how easily people can draw wrong conclusions about cause and effect. Yet all of us do it all the time, because despite its flaws this skill is essential for our survival.

For something to be believable you just have to believe it - and then it is stuck in your mind. Once a religious person gets the concept of a god in their heads it's difficult to give up, even when the evidence shows it doesn't exist. But that situation doesn't just apply to gods. Everybody has at least some wrong ideas that they hang onto in spite of contrary evidence.

How many times have you thought it was 'lucky' that things turned out a certain way? That's wrong thinking because being 'lucky' implies low odds, a position you don't want to be in. But most people are happier thinking of it as 'good fortune' rather than considering what 'should' have happened. Logically we should be living our lives based only on cold hard facts and rigorous statistics, but who wants to do that? We are people, not machines, and we need our fantasies to help us cope in an uncaring Universe.
Basically, "post hoc, ergo propter hoc".

But what I really hate about the "god" conclusion is how people ignore all the times their prayers are not fulfilled. What about the time the car broke down in the middle of nowhere and they had to walk for miles? Or when they lost their job? Then it is always explained that God has his own plans.

Cause and effect. It is often very hard to to conclude what the cause is for anything. Let alone that the cause is something you really don't have clue is actually real.

Yet we're surrounded by people who do. I love it when I hear people attribute feeling ill to something they ate. Now maybe it was, and maybe it wasn't. But they really don't know.

Even some very smart people like Frances Collins who was the head of the NIH and the Human Genome Project fall prey to this kind of thinking. One day while hiking through the woods he came across a waterfall that froze into three branches and decided the Trinity was true. It's so incredibly silly and here this giant of science uses this to become an evangelical Christian.
__________________
Just because I'm paranoid doesn't mean they're not out to get to me.
.

Last edited by acbytesla; 10th February 2020 at 08:07 PM.
acbytesla is offline   Quote this post in a PM   Nominate this post for this month's language award Copy a direct link to this post Reply With Quote Back to Top
Old 10th February 2020, 08:20 PM   #892
Steve
Philosopher
 
Steve's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2005
Posts: 7,043
There is a sign in front of a church on my route to work “Pray for Wuhan and all the victims”. It has been there for several weeks since the number of infected was much smaller. Makes me wonder if they have considered that their prayers are not having the effect they hoped for.
__________________
Caption from and old New Yorker cartoon - Why am I shouting? Because I'm wrong!"
Steve is offline   Quote this post in a PM   Nominate this post for this month's language award Copy a direct link to this post Reply With Quote Back to Top
Old 11th February 2020, 01:21 PM   #893
Thor 2
Philosopher
 
Thor 2's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2016
Location: Brisbane, Aust.
Posts: 6,175
Originally Posted by Steve View Post
There is a sign in front of a church on my route to work “Pray for Wuhan and all the victims”. It has been there for several weeks since the number of infected was much smaller. Makes me wonder if they have considered that their prayers are not having the effect they hoped for.

Quite obviously the people praying did not have enough faith. God gets miffed if the faithful are short on faith so he doesn't answer their prayers.

You would think this action, or lack thereof, would diminish the religious conviction of the faithful. Not so it seems. The convoluted reasoning in the religious mind, just accommodates the lack of response to prayer, as God having His reasons. Reasons us poor sinners wouldn't understand.

The mind befuddled by religion - who can understand it?
__________________
Thinking is a faith hazard.
Thor 2 is offline   Quote this post in a PM   Nominate this post for this month's language award Copy a direct link to this post Reply With Quote Back to Top
Old 11th February 2020, 01:25 PM   #894
JoeMorgue
Self Employed
Remittance Man
 
JoeMorgue's Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2009
Location: Florida
Posts: 24,769
"Guys my grandfather is very sick, could everyone please pray for him"

*The next day*

"My grandfather is feeling much better and stronger! Thank you everybody!"

*The day after that*

"Okay my grandfather is running half marathons and doing Crossfit. Can everybody stop praying now?"

*The day after that*

"Everybody please stop praying for my grandfather! He's gotten too strong! The police can't stop him! He just flipped over a car!"
__________________
- "Ernest Hemingway once wrote that the world is a fine place and worth fighting for. I agree with the second part." - Detective Sommerset
- "Stupidity does not cancel out stupidity to yield genius. It breeds like a bucket-full of coked out hamsters." - The Oatmeal
- "To the best of my knowledge the only thing philosophy has ever proven is that Descartes could think." - SMBC
JoeMorgue is offline   Quote this post in a PM   Nominate this post for this month's language award Copy a direct link to this post Reply With Quote Back to Top
Old 11th February 2020, 07:58 PM   #895
arthwollipot
Observer of Phenomena
Pronouns: he/him
 
arthwollipot's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2005
Location: Location, Location
Posts: 66,836
Originally Posted by acbytesla View Post
"Agnostic" means you don't know. Which frankly in my view is the most worthless word ever coined.
An alternative meaning for "agnostic" is that you can't know. This is the agnostic possibility that psion was banging on about. The problem is that being unable to know whether something exists is philosophically identical with knowing that it does not. If it exists, it ought to be possible to know that it exists, and if it isn't, there's no reason to suggest that it exists - there is no gap for it to fill. It is an unnecessary entity and it's philisophically and epistemologically preferable to occam's razor it right out of there.
__________________
Self-described nerd.

My mom told me she tries never to make fun of people for not knowing something.
- Randall Munroe
arthwollipot is online now   Quote this post in a PM   Nominate this post for this month's language award Copy a direct link to this post Reply With Quote Back to Top
Old 11th February 2020, 11:11 PM   #896
Darat
Lackey
Administrator
 
Darat's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2001
Location: South East, UK
Posts: 91,546
Originally Posted by arthwollipot View Post
An alternative meaning for "agnostic" is that you can't know. This is the agnostic possibility that psion was banging on about. The problem is that being unable to know whether something exists is philosophically identical with knowing that it does not. If it exists, it ought to be possible to know that it exists, and if it isn't, there's no reason to suggest that it exists - there is no gap for it to fill. It is an unnecessary entity and it's philisophically and epistemologically preferable to occam's razor it right out of there.
To a degree. Remember Psion10's argument for his "possible" god was really a weak form of the ontological argument, based on being able to create a sentence in English that seems to be meaningful at first glance.
__________________
I wish I knew how to quit you
Darat is offline   Quote this post in a PM   Nominate this post for this month's language award Copy a direct link to this post Reply With Quote Back to Top
Old 11th February 2020, 11:20 PM   #897
psionl0
Skeptical about skeptics
 
psionl0's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2010
Location: 31°57'S 115°57'E
Posts: 16,284
Originally Posted by arthwollipot View Post
The problem is that being unable to know whether something exists is philosophically identical with knowing that it does not.
Not knowing if a container has something in it is "philosophically" identical to knowing that it is empty???

Originally Posted by arthwollipot View Post
If it exists, it ought to be possible to know that it exists
Why?
__________________
"The process by which banks create money is so simple that the mind is repelled. Where something so important is involved, a deeper mystery seems only decent." - Galbraith, 1975
psionl0 is offline   Quote this post in a PM   Nominate this post for this month's language award Copy a direct link to this post Reply With Quote Back to Top
Old 11th February 2020, 11:22 PM   #898
psionl0
Skeptical about skeptics
 
psionl0's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2010
Location: 31°57'S 115°57'E
Posts: 16,284
Originally Posted by Darat View Post
To a degree. Remember Psion10 <somebody else>'s argument for his "possible" god was really a weak form of the ontological argument, based on being able to create a sentence in English that seems to be meaningful at first glance.
FTFY.
__________________
"The process by which banks create money is so simple that the mind is repelled. Where something so important is involved, a deeper mystery seems only decent." - Galbraith, 1975
psionl0 is offline   Quote this post in a PM   Nominate this post for this month's language award Copy a direct link to this post Reply With Quote Back to Top
Old 11th February 2020, 11:51 PM   #899
ynot
Philosopher
 
ynot's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2006
Posts: 8,832
Originally Posted by psionl0 View Post
Not knowing if a container has something in it is "philosophically" identical to knowing that it is empty???
"Not knowing [what is possible to know]", isn't the same thing as "being unable to know [what is impossible to know].

If it's impossible to know that something exists then it's rational to conclude it doesn't exist, and irrational to conclude it does exist.
__________________
Paranormal/supernatural beliefs are knowledge placebos.
Rumours of a god’s existence have been greatly exaggerated.
Make beliefs truths and you get make-believe truths.

Last edited by ynot; 12th February 2020 at 12:03 AM.
ynot is offline   Quote this post in a PM   Nominate this post for this month's language award Copy a direct link to this post Reply With Quote Back to Top
Old 12th February 2020, 12:03 AM   #900
psionl0
Skeptical about skeptics
 
psionl0's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2010
Location: 31°57'S 115°57'E
Posts: 16,284
Originally Posted by ynot View Post
"Not knowing [what is possible to know]", isn't the same thing as "being unable to know [what is impossible to know].

If it's impossible to know something exists then it's rational to conclude it doesn't exist, and irrational to conclude it does exist.
You are arguing that if it is impossible to (ever) examine the contents of a container then we must conclude that it is empty.

That is just as silly as saying that it contains X or even that there is "something" in the container.

Anybody who makes any statement whatsoever about what is in the container is just farting.
__________________
"The process by which banks create money is so simple that the mind is repelled. Where something so important is involved, a deeper mystery seems only decent." - Galbraith, 1975

Last edited by psionl0; 12th February 2020 at 12:08 AM.
psionl0 is offline   Quote this post in a PM   Nominate this post for this month's language award Copy a direct link to this post Reply With Quote Back to Top
Old 12th February 2020, 12:16 AM   #901
ynot
Philosopher
 
ynot's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2006
Posts: 8,832
Originally Posted by psionl0 View Post
You are arguing that if it is impossible to (ever) examine the contents of a container then we must conclude that it is empty.

That is just as silly as saying that it contains X or even that there is "something" in the container.

Anybody who makes any statement whatsoever about what is in the container is just farting.
You obviously don’t have a clue what I’m arguing. I didn’t mention a container at all. However - A container can never be truly empty as it always contains something. To say a container can contain "nothing" (as you are) is what is really silly. (your analogy attempt is crap).


Q - "Does this container contain a marble?"
A - "I don't know."

Q - “Does this container possibly contain a marble?”
A - “I don’t know”.

Q - “Does this container possibly not contain a marble?”
A - “I don’t know”.

Q - "Does this container contain a god?"
A - "I don't know a god actually exists that can possibly be contained in any container."

Unless you can provide some evidence a god does exist, or method by which a god could even possibly exist, your are truly "just farting".
__________________
Paranormal/supernatural beliefs are knowledge placebos.
Rumours of a god’s existence have been greatly exaggerated.
Make beliefs truths and you get make-believe truths.

Last edited by ynot; 12th February 2020 at 12:47 AM.
ynot is offline   Quote this post in a PM   Nominate this post for this month's language award Copy a direct link to this post Reply With Quote Back to Top
Old 12th February 2020, 12:55 AM   #902
psionl0
Skeptical about skeptics
 
psionl0's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2010
Location: 31°57'S 115°57'E
Posts: 16,284
Originally Posted by ynot View Post
You obviously don’t have a clue what I’m arguing. I didn’t mention a container at all.
You literally quoted a post about a container and your response wasn't about a "container at all"?

Originally Posted by ynot View Post
However - A container can never be truly empty as it always contains something. To say a container can contain "nothing" (as you are) is what is really silly. (your analogy attempt is crap).
That is just verbal (or is it textual?) diarrhea.
__________________
"The process by which banks create money is so simple that the mind is repelled. Where something so important is involved, a deeper mystery seems only decent." - Galbraith, 1975

Last edited by psionl0; 12th February 2020 at 01:01 AM.
psionl0 is offline   Quote this post in a PM   Nominate this post for this month's language award Copy a direct link to this post Reply With Quote Back to Top
Old 12th February 2020, 01:02 AM   #903
ynot
Philosopher
 
ynot's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2006
Posts: 8,832
Originally Posted by psionl0 View Post
You literally quoted a post about a container and your response wasn't about a "container at all"?


That is just verbal (or is it textual?) diarrhea.
Are you still claiming to have a "scientific mind"?
__________________
Paranormal/supernatural beliefs are knowledge placebos.
Rumours of a god’s existence have been greatly exaggerated.
Make beliefs truths and you get make-believe truths.
ynot is offline   Quote this post in a PM   Nominate this post for this month's language award Copy a direct link to this post Reply With Quote Back to Top
Old 12th February 2020, 01:12 AM   #904
psionl0
Skeptical about skeptics
 
psionl0's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2010
Location: 31°57'S 115°57'E
Posts: 16,284
Originally Posted by ynot View Post
Are you still claiming to have a "scientific mind"?
You don't need a scientific mind to realize that it is possible for a container to be empty. "Contain nothing" (as if "nothing" was "something") is just nonsense and definitely doesn't prove that a container can't be empty.
__________________
"The process by which banks create money is so simple that the mind is repelled. Where something so important is involved, a deeper mystery seems only decent." - Galbraith, 1975
psionl0 is offline   Quote this post in a PM   Nominate this post for this month's language award Copy a direct link to this post Reply With Quote Back to Top
Old 12th February 2020, 04:15 AM   #905
Darat
Lackey
Administrator
 
Darat's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2001
Location: South East, UK
Posts: 91,546
Originally Posted by psionl0 View Post
You don't need a scientific mind to realize that it is possible for a container to be empty. "Contain nothing" (as if "nothing" was "something") is just nonsense and definitely doesn't prove that a container can't be empty.
We know a container can't be empty.
__________________
I wish I knew how to quit you
Darat is offline   Quote this post in a PM   Nominate this post for this month's language award Copy a direct link to this post Reply With Quote Back to Top
Old 12th February 2020, 04:20 AM   #906
Minoosh
Penultimate Amazing
 
Minoosh's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2011
Posts: 10,938
Originally Posted by ynot View Post

If it's impossible to know that something exists then it's rational to conclude it doesn't exist, and irrational to conclude it does exist.
Show me any scripture and I can pretty quickly conclude it is nonsense.
I haven't made an exhaustive study, but I did take a college course or two and was de facto religion editor at a pretty good-sized newspaper. I never did know how some people could be so sure they were on the right path - the odds of any given religion being true aren't great - if one religion is true, all the others are false.

But that sentence above: I don't know about the logic of the first part: If it's impossible to know that something exists, it's rational to conclude it doesn't exist. I offer my flawed analogy: It's currently impossible to know if there is life on other planets, yet it's irrational (IMO) to conclude it doesn't exist. And then you say, if it's impossible to know, it's irrational to conclude it does exist. But I could make a strong argument from probabilities that it's extremely likely to exist - so it would be rational to conclude it does exist. I can't prove it; but there is a strong inductive argument.

There is a lot of talking past each other on this thread. I know what I mean when I say I'm agnostic but some people think that's the most useless word ever invented. Still others tell me I'm an atheist. "I don't know" is considered an unacceptable position. But I really don't understand why. Maybe I'll come up with a better analogy. To me it's just a literal truth: I don't know. Why is that not a valid position?
Minoosh is online now   Quote this post in a PM   Nominate this post for this month's language award Copy a direct link to this post Reply With Quote Back to Top
Old 12th February 2020, 05:00 AM   #907
psionl0
Skeptical about skeptics
 
psionl0's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2010
Location: 31°57'S 115°57'E
Posts: 16,284
Originally Posted by Darat View Post
We know a container can't be empty.
__________________
"The process by which banks create money is so simple that the mind is repelled. Where something so important is involved, a deeper mystery seems only decent." - Galbraith, 1975
psionl0 is offline   Quote this post in a PM   Nominate this post for this month's language award Copy a direct link to this post Reply With Quote Back to Top
Old 12th February 2020, 05:17 AM   #908
Belz...
Fiend God
 
Belz...'s Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2005
Location: In the details
Posts: 89,107
Originally Posted by JoeMorgue View Post
This is as deep into pure speculation as I'm comfortable getting but I've always had a hunch (I could be wrong, I'm not saying for certain) that a lot of stuff that gets turned into religious dogma that people literally believe is true started off as... I don't "joke" because that's more flippant then I mean but with a higher level of understood symbolism and less literalness.

Like it wouldn't surprise me if some goat herder in the Dead Sea a few thousand years ago looked at the Dead Sea Salt Formations, went "Hey that one kind looks like a lady looking back over her shoulder" (in the way we'd say that about a cloud or whatever) and a bunch of people laughed and said "Yes it does, how amusing" and that's where it ended for most of them... except one guy who's brain was wired a certain way and went further with it.
I've been saying for decades that earlier spiritual people were far less adamant about their stories than those of today.
__________________
Master of the Shining Darkness

"My views are nonsense. So what?" - BobTheCoward


Belz... is offline   Quote this post in a PM   Nominate this post for this month's language award Copy a direct link to this post Reply With Quote Back to Top
Old 12th February 2020, 05:32 AM   #909
sphenisc
Philosopher
 
sphenisc's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2004
Posts: 5,197
Originally Posted by ynot View Post
If it's impossible to know that something exists then it's rational to conclude it doesn't exist, and irrational to conclude it does exist.
Of course, no-one's ever actually SEEN Occam's Razor...
__________________
"The cure for everything is salt water - tears, sweat or the sea." Isak Dinesen
sphenisc is offline   Quote this post in a PM   Nominate this post for this month's language award Copy a direct link to this post Reply With Quote Back to Top
Old 12th February 2020, 06:37 AM   #910
JoeMorgue
Self Employed
Remittance Man
 
JoeMorgue's Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2009
Location: Florida
Posts: 24,769
Oh look who's unflounced and fringe resetted. Jabba would be proud.

Philosophical nonsense about "Can we truly know if a container is empty" is not the point and yet another "No I demand we stop and discuss God differently then everything else" tactic.

Psion has heard someone call something "empty" at some point in their life and I assure you didn't freak out and have a crisis of faith over it. When Psion's car runs out of case he doesn't start yelling at the fuel gauge "HOW CAN YOU TRULY SAY SOMETHING IS EMPTY!?"

Dragon in the Garage still. Hasn't been addressed and it's still equally valid to every argument/excuse/apologetic put forth for the giant invisible sky wizard.

The only difference is when you look into your garage and don't see a dragon you stop looking for a dragon, indeed you never feel the need to start looking in the first place so nobody takes you to task for not... not seeing something the wrong way. But with God we just have to keep looking because the God Botherers say so and we let them dictate the course of the discussion and for some reason keep letting ourselves getting taking to task for not seeing something that isn't there the wrong way.

That's the question we're dancing around and letting Psion, like a good little apologists, start the discussion at the wrong end of and make us all work backwards, refuse to answer.

WHY ARE LOOKING FOR A GOD IN THE FIRST PLACE?

I take a jar of peanuts, dump all the peanuts out, show you empty jar and I want to know why you see God in it and not a dragon.
__________________
- "Ernest Hemingway once wrote that the world is a fine place and worth fighting for. I agree with the second part." - Detective Sommerset
- "Stupidity does not cancel out stupidity to yield genius. It breeds like a bucket-full of coked out hamsters." - The Oatmeal
- "To the best of my knowledge the only thing philosophy has ever proven is that Descartes could think." - SMBC

Last edited by JoeMorgue; 12th February 2020 at 06:50 AM.
JoeMorgue is offline   Quote this post in a PM   Nominate this post for this month's language award Copy a direct link to this post Reply With Quote Back to Top
Old 12th February 2020, 06:48 AM   #911
Belz...
Fiend God
 
Belz...'s Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2005
Location: In the details
Posts: 89,107
Originally Posted by psionl0 View Post
Not knowing if a container has something in it is "philosophically" identical to knowing that it is empty???
Do you deliberately strawman other people's arguments? That would be quite ironic, given the accusations you've thrown in this thread.
__________________
Master of the Shining Darkness

"My views are nonsense. So what?" - BobTheCoward


Belz... is offline   Quote this post in a PM   Nominate this post for this month's language award Copy a direct link to this post Reply With Quote Back to Top
Old 12th February 2020, 06:51 AM   #912
Darat
Lackey
Administrator
 
Darat's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2001
Location: South East, UK
Posts: 91,546
Originally Posted by Minoosh View Post
Show me any scripture and I can pretty quickly conclude it is nonsense.

I haven't made an exhaustive study, but I did take a college course or two and was de facto religion editor at a pretty good-sized newspaper. I never did know how some people could be so sure they were on the right path - the odds of any given religion being true aren't great - if one religion is true, all the others are false.



But that sentence above: I don't know about the logic of the first part: If it's impossible to know that something exists, it's rational to conclude it doesn't exist. I offer my flawed analogy: It's currently impossible to know if there is life on other planets, yet it's irrational (IMO) to conclude it doesn't exist. And then you say, if it's impossible to know, it's irrational to conclude it does exist. But I could make a strong argument from probabilities that it's extremely likely to exist - so it would be rational to conclude it does exist. I can't prove it; but there is a strong inductive argument.



There is a lot of talking past each other on this thread. I know what I mean when I say I'm agnostic but some people think that's the most useless word ever invented. Still others tell me I'm an atheist. "I don't know" is considered an unacceptable position. But I really don't understand why. Maybe I'll come up with a better analogy. To me it's just a literal truth: I don't know. Why is that not a valid position?
Theism and its opposite atheism should have nothing to do with knowledge, they are statements about belief. Stating you are an atheist is simply saying that when asked about which god you believe in you answer "none". An atheist may also believe a "god" could exist.
__________________
I wish I knew how to quit you
Darat is offline   Quote this post in a PM   Nominate this post for this month's language award Copy a direct link to this post Reply With Quote Back to Top
Old 12th February 2020, 06:54 AM   #913
JoeMorgue
Self Employed
Remittance Man
 
JoeMorgue's Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2009
Location: Florida
Posts: 24,769
That's why I don't like the term atheist, it puts the ball back into the theist court by making the question a specifically theological one.
__________________
- "Ernest Hemingway once wrote that the world is a fine place and worth fighting for. I agree with the second part." - Detective Sommerset
- "Stupidity does not cancel out stupidity to yield genius. It breeds like a bucket-full of coked out hamsters." - The Oatmeal
- "To the best of my knowledge the only thing philosophy has ever proven is that Descartes could think." - SMBC
JoeMorgue is offline   Quote this post in a PM   Nominate this post for this month's language award Copy a direct link to this post Reply With Quote Back to Top
Old 12th February 2020, 07:13 AM   #914
sphenisc
Philosopher
 
sphenisc's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2004
Posts: 5,197
Originally Posted by Minoosh View Post
Show me any scripture and I can pretty quickly conclude it is nonsense.
I haven't made an exhaustive study, but I did take a college course or two and was de facto religion editor at a pretty good-sized newspaper. I never did know how some people could be so sure they were on the right path - the odds of any given religion being true aren't great - if one religion is true, all the others are false.

But that sentence above: I don't know about the logic of the first part: If it's impossible to know that something exists, it's rational to conclude it doesn't exist. I offer my flawed analogy: It's currently impossible to know if there is life on other planets, yet it's irrational (IMO) to conclude it doesn't exist. And then you say, if it's impossible to know, it's irrational to conclude it does exist. But I could make a strong argument from probabilities that it's extremely likely to exist - so it would be rational to conclude it does exist. I can't prove it; but there is a strong inductive argument.

There is a lot of talking past each other on this thread. I know what I mean when I say I'm agnostic but some people think that's the most useless word ever invented. Still others tell me I'm an atheist. "I don't know" is considered an unacceptable position. But I really don't understand why. Maybe I'll come up with a better analogy. To me it's just a literal truth: I don't know. Why is that not a valid position?
Jesus wept.
__________________
"The cure for everything is salt water - tears, sweat or the sea." Isak Dinesen
sphenisc is offline   Quote this post in a PM   Nominate this post for this month's language award Copy a direct link to this post Reply With Quote Back to Top
Old 12th February 2020, 07:24 AM   #915
JoeMorgue
Self Employed
Remittance Man
 
JoeMorgue's Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2009
Location: Florida
Posts: 24,769
Originally Posted by Minoosh View Post
"I don't know" is considered an unacceptable position. But I really don't understand why. Maybe I'll come up with a better analogy. To me it's just a literal truth: I don't know. Why is that not a valid position?
My head is gonna hit the desk so hard it's gonna burrow into it at this point.

I literally don't know what words to say in what order to break people out of this.

"I don't know" is intellectually dishonest when you bend backwards to only apply to one topic.

Nobody looks for the dragon in the garage and concludes "Well it's inconclusive, so the right thing to do is to say you that don't know and not make any declarative statements."

The whole coy, passive aggressive "What? Oh alls little ole' me is saying is that I'm not sure and don't want to say anything for certain, golly me gosh I don't see what all the hostility is about" only works if we're pretending this discussion is taking place in a vacuum or lie and say put this much effort into not coming to conclusions based on any excuse we can find in other discussions.

If you looked in a garage, didn't see a dragon, said "There is no dragon" and someone started freaking out that someone dared to make a declarative statement about the existence of the dragon instead of a wishy-washy "Well we can't say for suuuuuuuuuuuuuuure..." piece of apologetics, you'd be where I'm at now.
__________________
- "Ernest Hemingway once wrote that the world is a fine place and worth fighting for. I agree with the second part." - Detective Sommerset
- "Stupidity does not cancel out stupidity to yield genius. It breeds like a bucket-full of coked out hamsters." - The Oatmeal
- "To the best of my knowledge the only thing philosophy has ever proven is that Descartes could think." - SMBC
JoeMorgue is offline   Quote this post in a PM   Nominate this post for this month's language award Copy a direct link to this post Reply With Quote Back to Top
Old 12th February 2020, 08:06 AM   #916
psionl0
Skeptical about skeptics
 
psionl0's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2010
Location: 31°57'S 115°57'E
Posts: 16,284
Originally Posted by Belz... View Post
Do you deliberately strawman other people's arguments?
No. That was a perfect analogy that highlighted why "being unable to know whether something exists is philosophically identical with knowing that it does not" is a ridiculous argument.
__________________
"The process by which banks create money is so simple that the mind is repelled. Where something so important is involved, a deeper mystery seems only decent." - Galbraith, 1975
psionl0 is offline   Quote this post in a PM   Nominate this post for this month's language award Copy a direct link to this post Reply With Quote Back to Top
Old 12th February 2020, 08:09 AM   #917
psionl0
Skeptical about skeptics
 
psionl0's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2010
Location: 31°57'S 115°57'E
Posts: 16,284
Originally Posted by JoeMorgue View Post
Philosophical nonsense about "Can we truly know if a container is empty" . . . . .
As usual, you take simple words and twist them around so that their meaning is the exact opposite of what they really mean.

THINK! If you are unable to examine what is inside a container then how can you tell whether it contains anything or not?
__________________
"The process by which banks create money is so simple that the mind is repelled. Where something so important is involved, a deeper mystery seems only decent." - Galbraith, 1975

Last edited by psionl0; 12th February 2020 at 08:10 AM.
psionl0 is offline   Quote this post in a PM   Nominate this post for this month's language award Copy a direct link to this post Reply With Quote Back to Top
Old 12th February 2020, 08:10 AM   #918
JoeMorgue
Self Employed
Remittance Man
 
JoeMorgue's Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2009
Location: Florida
Posts: 24,769
Originally Posted by psionl0 View Post
No. That was a perfect analogy that highlighted why "being unable to know whether something exists is philosophically identical with knowing that it does not" is a ridiculous argument.
*Poke. Poke*

What's in my garage Psion?
__________________
- "Ernest Hemingway once wrote that the world is a fine place and worth fighting for. I agree with the second part." - Detective Sommerset
- "Stupidity does not cancel out stupidity to yield genius. It breeds like a bucket-full of coked out hamsters." - The Oatmeal
- "To the best of my knowledge the only thing philosophy has ever proven is that Descartes could think." - SMBC
JoeMorgue is offline   Quote this post in a PM   Nominate this post for this month's language award Copy a direct link to this post Reply With Quote Back to Top
Old 12th February 2020, 08:11 AM   #919
psionl0
Skeptical about skeptics
 
psionl0's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2010
Location: 31°57'S 115°57'E
Posts: 16,284
See above. Can't you tell that this is a totally different analogy?
__________________
"The process by which banks create money is so simple that the mind is repelled. Where something so important is involved, a deeper mystery seems only decent." - Galbraith, 1975
psionl0 is offline   Quote this post in a PM   Nominate this post for this month's language award Copy a direct link to this post Reply With Quote Back to Top
Old 12th February 2020, 08:11 AM   #920
JoeMorgue
Self Employed
Remittance Man
 
JoeMorgue's Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2009
Location: Florida
Posts: 24,769
Originally Posted by psionl0 View Post
As usual, you take simple words and twist them around so that their meaning is the exact opposite of what they really mean.

THINK! If you are unable to examine what is inside a container then how can you tell whether it contains anything or not?
The dragon remains in my garage for you to voice your opinion on. I'm not letting this go.
__________________
- "Ernest Hemingway once wrote that the world is a fine place and worth fighting for. I agree with the second part." - Detective Sommerset
- "Stupidity does not cancel out stupidity to yield genius. It breeds like a bucket-full of coked out hamsters." - The Oatmeal
- "To the best of my knowledge the only thing philosophy has ever proven is that Descartes could think." - SMBC
JoeMorgue is offline   Quote this post in a PM   Nominate this post for this month's language award Copy a direct link to this post Reply With Quote Back to Top
Reply

International Skeptics Forum » General Topics » Religion and Philosophy

Bookmarks

Thread Tools

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Forum Jump


All times are GMT -7. The time now is 09:24 PM.
Powered by vBulletin. Copyright ©2000 - 2020, Jelsoft Enterprises Ltd.

This forum began as part of the James Randi Education Foundation (JREF). However, the forum now exists as
an independent entity with no affiliation with or endorsement by the JREF, including the section in reference to "JREF" topics.

Disclaimer: Messages posted in the Forum are solely the opinion of their authors.