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Old 26th December 2017, 10:29 PM   #41
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Originally Posted by LSSBB View Post
Presupposes that they did not apply the scientific method to their beliefs, or that it was even a necessary step for them to lead a functional and fruitful life - or are you saying compatability has some other meaning?
There simply is no way to apply the scientific method to any God claim and arrive at a positive answer. Go ahead, come up with a hypothesis for God that is unfalsifiable.
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Old 26th December 2017, 10:49 PM   #42
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Originally Posted by LSSBB View Post
Presupposes that they did not apply the scientific method to their beliefs,
The scientific method can’t be applied to paranormal beliefs other than possibly as a scientific study or test of the claims of paranormal beliefs (there's no actual credible evidence to deal with). You apparently have no idea how the scientific method even works.

Originally Posted by LSSBB View Post
or that it was even a necessary step for them to lead a functional and fruitful life - or are you saying compatability has some other meaning?
That some scientists that are also theists can separate their paranormal religious beliefs from their empirical science work and believe they are compatible is an example of nothing but their cognitive dissonance. Certainly not an example of any form of compatibility I know of. Perhaps you conflate compatibility with emotional comfort?
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Old 26th December 2017, 11:21 PM   #43
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Originally Posted by ynot View Post
Rejecting the claims of theism requires such a low level of critical thinking I don't think I would call it "science". I rejected theism at a very young age.
I think we are defining science differently. I run into this a lot. I define it more akin to evidence supported beliefs or conclusions and some people define it as a more formal investigation.

Not saying there is a right or wrong here, just a different POV about defining science.
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Old 26th December 2017, 11:28 PM   #44
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Originally Posted by acbytesla View Post
There simply is no way to apply the scientific method to any God claim and arrive at a positive answer. Go ahead, come up with a hypothesis for God that is unfalsifiable.
I'm reading your post two different ways, one) can one form a testable hypothesis re gods existing and two) "arrive at a positive answer" presupposes that hypothesis will be unsupportable.

Which are you stating: no hypothesis is possible or said hypothesis will always fail?

I ask a different question: what best explains god beliefs? If you ask that question instead of, do gods exist, you can indeed apply the scientific process to the evidence.
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Old 26th December 2017, 11:32 PM   #45
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Originally Posted by ynot View Post
The scientific method can’t be applied to paranormal beliefs other than possibly as a scientific study or test of the claims of paranormal beliefs (there's no actual credible evidence to deal with). You apparently have no idea how the scientific method even works.
I think we are often stuck repeating this mantra without considering maybe there is indeed another way to approach the question.


Originally Posted by ynot View Post
That some scientists that are also theists can separate their paranormal religious beliefs from their empirical science work and believe they are compatible is an example of nothing but their cognitive dissonance. Certainly not an example of any form of compatibility I know of. Perhaps you conflate compatibility with emotional comfort?
I call it a blind spot. The same people have no issue addressing the gods they don't believe in.
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Old 26th December 2017, 11:36 PM   #46
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Originally Posted by Iamafalser View Post
I have evidence that all of those emotions and opinions exist. How? Because I feel them myself.
Brain research begs to differ. Human brains often misinterpret what they think they are feeling.

IOW, your brain can be tricked
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Old 27th December 2017, 12:07 AM   #47
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Originally Posted by Skeptic Ginger View Post
Brain research begs to differ. Human brains often misinterpret what they think they are feeling.

IOW, your brain can be tricked
Yeah, some idiots just think they're happy
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Old 27th December 2017, 12:30 AM   #48
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Originally Posted by Skeptic Ginger View Post
I'm reading your post two different ways, one) can one form a testable hypothesis re gods existing and two) "arrive at a positive answer" presupposes that hypothesis will be unsupportable.

Which are you stating: no hypothesis is possible or said hypothesis will always fail?

I ask a different question: what best explains god beliefs? If you ask that question instead of, do gods exist, you can indeed apply the scientific process to the evidence.
The first thing that is necessary when creating a valid scientific hypothesis is that the hypothesis is necessarily falsifiable. And I have never heard hypothesis for testing that a God exists that is. Usually they fail when they try to define God. Feel free Ginger to come up with one that doesn't start out with false premises or fallacies. I bet you can't. Every time I have ever heard anyone try, it's always filled with unproven assertions and special pleading.

So back to what I'm saying. It is impossible to apply the scientific method to the question AND prove or disprove it.

Unfalsifiable
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Old 27th December 2017, 12:36 AM   #49
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Why would one apply the scientific method to religion any more than to what food you like to eat or when you want to poop or say please?
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Old 27th December 2017, 03:23 AM   #50
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Originally Posted by ynot View Post
Theists often defend their god beliefs by attacking science with silly comments like - “Science doesn’t know everything, Science isn’t always right, Science can’t explain love”, etc. My response is usually - “So what? I’m an atheist mainly because theism has failed to convince me any god exists. Take away science and I would still be an atheist. Don’t blame science for the failure of theism”.

As I’ve never had a god belief (or any paranormal belief) I’m wondering if others are atheists predominately because of the success of science or the failure of theism.
I’m responding to your most interesting OP before reading further. It is such a good contrast to quite a lot of posts on the GH forum to which I have replied already this morning!
There they write the sort of comments to which you refer in your first sentence. There is often mention of ‘many scientists’ who are religious too. *sigh*!!
I point out that I am an atheist because there is zero objective evidence for any God/god/spirit/whatever and of course trying to explain that there is no such thing as ‘fundamental atheism’ is an on-going theme!

I am an atheist because the God belief which was inculcated as guaranteed truth when I was a child was, after years of thinking and reading and life’s experiences, obviously an impossibility. At least that was the only faith belief taught; I did not have to wade through all the other stuff to step outside it all.

I think it is the success of science that has been the bigger influence, especially as I have always asked, ‘Is this true?’
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Old 27th December 2017, 04:54 AM   #51
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Originally Posted by acbytesla View Post
No, your post is ridiculous. Love, hope, beauty, empathy, good taste etc are descriptive words for feelings or ideas. They aren't really an existential claim. Comparing that to a God claim is comparing apples to oranges.

In contrast, you claim that the Bible is the word of God and that we should follow it. For me, the mere assertion that there is a God and the bible is God's word is not enough. Extraordinary claims require extraordinary evidence and yet none has ever been provided.

The bible tells us that it is ok to own and beat slaves. That it is ok to sell our daughters into slavery and that if our daughter is raped that the rapist has to marry her. That if our bride is not a virgin on the wedding night that it is ok to kill her.

This is your book big dog.
That is quite a concise, reasonable and logical reply.

So naturally, I assume it will be answered with laughing dog gif, "ok", winky smile gif with a smattering of unrelated and unproductive snark.
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Old 27th December 2017, 05:02 AM   #52
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I grew up in an atheist family, and I read the bible, but it did not convince me that God exists. If there is a supernatural being, then why don't they appear to me and convince me of their existence, or perform some other feat that convincingly is their work?

Originally Posted by acbytesla View Post
There are supernatural phenomenons attributed to virtually every God ever invented. Whether it be Vishnu, Wotan Zeuss, Allah or Yahweh. I view it this way. If God wanted me to believe in him/her, it would know exactly what it would take to get me to believe. Why does Jesus appear to Paul and no one today?

Why do the miracles stop 2,000 years ago?
That timescale depends on which faith you're talking about. The Jewish canon of their bible closes with the last God-inspired story written ca. 300BC. They don't even recognize Jesus as a prophet, let alone as God's only-born son.

OTOH, 600 years after Jesus, the archangel Gabriel allegedly appeared to Muhammed and dictated him the contents of the Quran, and 200 years ago allegedly another angel appeared to Joseph Smith and gave him some golden plates.
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Old 27th December 2017, 05:09 AM   #53
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Originally Posted by The Big Dog View Post
There is no requirement that love, hope, beauty, empathy, good taste, hell political beliefs have evidence or verification.

Say, I love my kids.... so let’s get out the test tubes and run that through the old verification process.

How ridiculous.
On top of acbytesla's evisceration of your argument - that you compare apples and oranges - what's so strange about that idea?

Feelings are, in the end, chemical-electrical processes in our brain. When I was a kid, I had a couple of EEGs because I suffered epilepsy - a rubber cap with a dozen or so electrodes on your head which measure brain activity. Nowadays, we also have fMRI and maybe other methods I don't know about to measure brain activity. What's silly about the idea that, in the future, we can measure them in such detail and analyze them in such a way that we can identify such emotions?
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Old 27th December 2017, 05:42 AM   #54
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First I'll answer the OP.

The fundamental difference between science and religious faith to me is this:
Science assumes that nothing can be considered a fact that we as individuals cannot test with our own capacities, at least in principle.
Faith rests, ultimately, on unquestionable authority (of a book, a prophet, a high priest, a majority of society, or those of your own "visions" that you blame on some hypothetical being external to you)

My atheism rests on two pillars:
First, I never saw a good reason to accept any of the authorities that tried to convince my of Christianity; first the RC kind predominant where I grew up; second the new-born, bible literalist kind I ran into first as a young adult. I always saw all these people of other religions, all disagreeing with one another about the base facts, yet all agreeing that their divergent truths must be considered universal. Obviously, all of them failed to convince most of them, so why should I be convinced by any of them?
Secondly, applying the scientific ground rule that I get to test theories on the strength of my own reasoning capacities, theism failed at science when all of theistic discourse failed to present a testable hypothesis about "god", and consequently no evidence emerged.

Tl;dr: Theism failed at science after I accepted the primacy of science for shedding facts from fantasy.
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Old 27th December 2017, 05:50 AM   #55
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Originally Posted by The Big Dog View Post
Of course theism and science are not incompatible. Heck, most of history’s greatest scientists had strong faith.

As such it seems pretty clear that atheism is the fail one.
But these greatest scientists of faith believed in many, mutually inconsistent theistic belief systems, which shows that each of these scientists was individually prone to failure when it comes to telling fact and fantasy apart.

I am also quite convinced that all great scientists sucked at many other domains of knowledge or skill. Most excelled only in a limited number of fields of study.

It's scientists that fail in such casrs, or perhaps their science, but not atheism.
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Old 27th December 2017, 05:53 AM   #56
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Originally Posted by ynot View Post
Theists often defend their god beliefs by attacking science with silly comments like - “Science doesn’t know everything, Science isn’t always right, Science can’t explain love”, etc. My response is usually - “So what? I’m an atheist mainly because theism has failed to convince me any god exists. Take away science and I would still be an atheist. Don’t blame science for the failure of theism”.
True...

My disbelief in Yahweh and his avatar/son stem from the same place as my disbelief in Zeus, Brahma, a World-Tree with nine worlds, fish-gods inventing agriculture, or human sacrifice as fuel for the Sun...

It doesn't make sense, there's no evidence to support it and it contradicts what we do know about the World, there are numerous competing religions that also claim to be the ony true one, yet contradict all the other ones, and if we study history the hypothesis that all religions were invented by humans makes a lot more sense than the hypothesis that one of them is secretly true.
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Old 27th December 2017, 05:55 AM   #57
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Originally Posted by Beerina View Post
Why would one apply the scientific method to religion any more than to what food you like to eat or when you want to poop or say please?
I think many people would benefit greatly if they spent a few hours learning the science of passing poop, to make better informed decisions on when, where and how to poop.
Likewise with eating and social behaviour, although those are more complex. And with religions.
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Old 27th December 2017, 06:42 AM   #58
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Unlike many here, I essentially “bought it” up until around age 20 or so. Why would I not? I was raised Catholic and was never exposed to anything else. The whole ball of wax, all the sacraments, first communion, confirmation, daily church-going in elementary school... Essentially non-stop Catholic inculcation.
It wasn’t until I left home to join the army that I became exposed to other ways of thinking and promptly lost interest in Catholicism.
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Old 27th December 2017, 06:45 AM   #59
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Originally Posted by ynot View Post
Is one more predominant than the other? If so, which one most caused you to become or remain an atheist?
I was raised in a Catholic family but as far back as I can remember I wasn't buying it. I can just remember thinking it made no sense at all. That would be long before I discovered or understood the proper formal application of the scientific method.

I have never had any need of or use for religion or any sort of deity. I don't spend a lot of time thinking about it.
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Old 27th December 2017, 07:10 AM   #60
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I was raised Swedenborgian, and while there's some crazy stuff in there in many ways it's more reasonable than your average version of Christianity. So I started off arguing against things that I thought were absurd in other branches of religion while giving my own church a pass, and then that habit of being critical and evaluating religious claims eventually turned inwards.

So I guess I'd say it was a failure of theology to stand up to scrutiny. Categorize that as you will. It was a kind of slow, passive failure though; nothing bad happened, and there was no one big eye opening event. I remember my mom wanting me to be Confirmed and realizing that I couldn't honestly stand up in front of the church and say I believed all that, but even after that I did the whole deism thing.
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Old 27th December 2017, 07:31 AM   #61
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Originally Posted by acbytesla View Post
No, your post is ridiculous. Love, hope, beauty, empathy, good taste etc are descriptive words for feelings or ideas. They aren't really an existential claim. Comparing that to a God claim is comparing apples to oranges.

In contrast, you claim that the Bible is the word of God and that we should follow it. For me, the mere assertion that there is a God and the bible is God's word is not enough. Extraordinary claims require extraordinary evidence and yet none has ever been provided.

.
anyone else get whiplash from that change of subject??

My post expertly showed that many things most of us directly experience every day are not subject to "scientific" "verification," despite being so claimed in this thread.

Rather than getting an attempt at a response, we get cherry picking.
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Old 27th December 2017, 07:47 AM   #62
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Originally Posted by The Big Dog View Post
anyone else get whiplash from that change of subject??
Nope, seemed like a reasonable response to me.

Originally Posted by The Big Dog View Post
My post expertly showed that many things most of us directly experience every day are not subject to "scientific" "verification," despite being so claimed in this thread.
Expertly? Really? Look, you're not differentiating between feelings, opinions, and facts. Facts are the ones that we apply science to (if we care to be critical, which we sometimes don't because it's not worth the effort).

"God exists" counts as a statement of fact. "I love my kids" is more of an opinion or feeling. They aren't the same kind of thing and can't be examined in the same way.
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Old 27th December 2017, 07:52 AM   #63
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Theism fail, at first.
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Old 27th December 2017, 08:13 AM   #64
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Theism fail, the Judeo-Christian god is obviously nonsensical, I figured that out by Junior High. I wasn't a skeptic for another 25 years.
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Old 27th December 2017, 08:37 AM   #65
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Also TBD, all those things you mention are outcomes of or expressions of human consciousness. Science is making good inroads into understanding human consciousness so yes, science can and will be able to explain more about your supposedly unexplainable things. The gaps for god to squeeze into get smaller every day.
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Old 27th December 2017, 09:12 AM   #66
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Originally Posted by Craig B View Post
What beliefs, and why are these particular beliefs exempt from the usual requirement for evidence or verification?
Originally Posted by SOdhner View Post
Nope, seemed like a reasonable response to me.

Expertly? Really? Look, you're not differentiating between feelings, opinions, and facts. Facts are the ones that we apply science to (if we care to be critical, which we sometimes don't because it's not worth the effort).

"God exists" counts as a statement of fact. "I love my kids" is more of an opinion or feeling. They aren't the same kind of thing and can't be examined in the same way.
What is fascinating is that most people are agreeing with me, i.e. there are plenty of "beliefs" that are not subject to the "usual" "requirement" for "evidence or verification."

Beauty exists, love exists, those are "facts." What I find doubly fascinating is that so few people in this thread wish to address the blatant false dichotomy in the headline and op.

Seems like a critical thinking "fail" as it were.
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Old 27th December 2017, 09:14 AM   #67
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Originally Posted by ynot View Post
Theists often defend their god beliefs by attacking science with silly comments like - “Science doesn’t know everything, Science isn’t always right, Science can’t explain love”, etc. My response is usually - “So what? I’m an atheist mainly because theism has failed to convince me any god exists. Take away science and I would still be an atheist. Don’t blame science for the failure of theism”.

As I’ve never had a god belief (or any paranormal belief) I’m wondering if others are atheists predominately because of the success of science or the failure of theism.
I am an atheist pagan buddhist, because I have been taking Zoloft for an extended period.
The feelings and thoughts of connection and magical thinking are gone now.
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Old 27th December 2017, 09:19 AM   #68
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Originally Posted by The Big Dog View Post
What is fascinating is that most people are agreeing with me, i.e. there are plenty of "beliefs" that are not subject to the "usual" "requirement" for "evidence or verification."

Beauty exists, love exists, those are "facts." What I find doubly fascinating is that so few people in this thread wish to address the blatant false dichotomy in the headline and op.

Seems like a critical thinking "fail" as it were.
What they are saying, and what you are ignoring (and will keep ignoring), is that beauty and love are subjective experiences.

The existence of a God with very particular rules for human civilisation that he had people write down in a book, is a statement of fact.

Compare "I like strawberry jam" with "Strawberry Jam is the creator of the Universe". One requires more evidence than the other.

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Old 27th December 2017, 09:23 AM   #69
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Originally Posted by Porpoise of Life View Post
What they are saying, and what you are ignoring, is that beauty and love are subjective experiences.

The existence of a God with very particular rules for human civilisation that he had people write down in a book, is a statement of fact.
so you are saying that they are NOT "beliefs" that are subject to "the usual requirement for evidence or verification?"

It is fine.
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Old 27th December 2017, 09:29 AM   #70
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Originally Posted by The Big Dog View Post
so* you are saying that they are NOT "beliefs" that are subject to "the usual requirement for evidence or verification?"

It is fine.
If you want to equivocate between the different meanings of 'belief' and claim that describing one's own state of mind and making metaphysical claims about how the world operates are the same, then sure...

*I believe a certain poster here once coined a rule that said when a post starts with 'so', it's a strawman... If I could only remember who...
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Old 27th December 2017, 09:36 AM   #71
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Originally Posted by Porpoise of Life View Post
If you want to equivocate between the different meanings of 'belief' and claim that describing one's own state of mind and making metaphysical claims about how the world operates are the same, then sure...

*I believe a certain poster here once coined a rule that said when a post starts with 'so', it's a strawman... If I could only remember who...
who is "equivocating"? CERTAINLY not me. I am taking the claim made, i.e., that beliefs are subject to the "usual requirement for evidence or verification" head on and destroying it and salting the earth from which it sprang, much as I have done so with the false dichotomy in the opening post by demonstrating that religious faith and science are not incompatable.

* I think it was Lash L.
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Old 27th December 2017, 09:45 AM   #72
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Originally Posted by The Big Dog View Post
much as I have done so with the false dichotomy in the opening post by demonstrating that religious faith and science are not incompatable.
There is no such false dichotomy in the OP. I'll quote it in full...
Originally Posted by ynot View Post
Theists often defend their god beliefs by attacking science with silly comments like - “Science doesn’t know everything, Science isn’t always right, Science can’t explain love”, etc. My response is usually - “So what? I’m an atheist mainly because theism has failed to convince me any god exists. Take away science and I would still be an atheist. Don’t blame science for the failure of theism”.

As I’ve never had a god belief (or any paranormal belief) I’m wondering if others are atheists predominately because of the success of science or the failure of theism.
OP doesn't claim that science and faith are incompatible.
In fact, OP states that the merits of science are not related to the merits of faith, and that both should be able to stand on their own.
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Old 27th December 2017, 09:47 AM   #73
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Originally Posted by Porpoise of Life View Post
There is no such false dichotomy in the OP. I'll quote it in full...

OP doesn't claim that science and faith are incompatible.
In fact, OP states that the merits of science are not related to the merits of faith, and that both should be able to stand on their own.
Oy vey:

"Is your atheism predominately a science success or a theism fail?"
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Old 27th December 2017, 09:58 AM   #74
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Originally Posted by The Big Dog View Post
Oy vey:

"Is your atheism predominately a science success or a theism fail?"
Yes... If you are an atheist, is that because science convinced you there is no God, or because religion failed to convince you there is one (OP leaning towards the latter, and only including the former option because in his experience theists attack science when they discover he isn't a believer)?...

Nowhere does OP claim that these are the only two choices.
And more importantly: neither of these options implies that science and faith are incompatible. There is no false dichotomy.
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Old 27th December 2017, 10:01 AM   #75
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Originally Posted by Porpoise of Life View Post
Yes... If you are an atheist, is that because science convinced you there is no God, or because religion failed to convince you there is one (OP leaning towards the latter, and only including the former option because in his experience theists attack science when they discover he isn't a believer)?...

Nowhere does OP claim that these are the only two choices.
And more importantly: neither of these options implies that science and faith are incompatible. There is no false dichotomy.
Expressio Unius Est Exclusio Alterius
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Old 27th December 2017, 10:03 AM   #76
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Originally Posted by The Big Dog View Post
Expressio Unius Est Exclusio Alterius
Yes, as it is phrased in the OP, it's a dichotomy.
What you have either failed or declined to do is demonstrate how this is the false dilemma fallacy.

ETA: OP is as much a false dichotomy as the question 'do you prefer chocolate or vanilla ice cream?'

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Old 27th December 2017, 10:09 AM   #77
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Read "Stranger in a.Strange Land" at age 12. Made more.sense than the contradictions in the Bible, which eventually failed the logic and consistency test..
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Old 27th December 2017, 10:19 AM   #78
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Originally Posted by The Big Dog View Post
Of course theism and science are not incompatible. Heck, most of history’s greatest scientists had strong faith.

As such it seems pretty clear that atheism is the fail one.
During much of those times they would have been killed in many ways involving massive pain had they not claimed to believe in that batch of cretinism!!!
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Old 27th December 2017, 10:20 AM   #79
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Originally Posted by rwguinn View Post
Read "Stranger in a.Strange Land" at age 12. Made more.sense than the contradictions in the Bible, which eventually failed the logic and consistency test..
Good book that!!!!
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Old 27th December 2017, 10:25 AM   #80
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Originally Posted by fuelair View Post
During much of those times they would have been killed in many ways involving massive pain had they not claimed to believe in that batch of cretinism!!!
While one does enjoy a surfeit of exclamation points, I notice that this claim appears to be made up of whole cloth.

You don't really think that Newton secretly did not believe in God but could only transmit that knowledge to us in this day and age by wishful thinking?
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