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Old 20th July 2019, 03:02 AM   #161
HansMustermann
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Originally Posted by David Mo View Post
You are also "dishonest" because you turn an intellectual problem into a moral problem. Honesty depends on the intentions of someone and you have no information about the intentions of all Christians. But you prefer to call them dishonest because it is a more shocking disqualification. To affirm what is not known in order to incline the opinion of others in your favour is dishonest.
You know, though, this is downright ironic. He assumes intent and calls them dishonest, which you apparently object to. Then IN THE SAME PARAGRAPH you just postulate what his intent is, in order to call him dishonest

I think that doing yourself what you condemn in others is the textbook definition of "hypocrisy"
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Old 20th July 2019, 03:24 AM   #162
HansMustermann
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Originally Posted by David Mo View Post
Intelligence often depends on the means, not the results.
Only if by "means" you mean a functioning brain. Intelligence is defined and generally understood as the capacity to learn, apply what was learned, and reason.

Yet what we see in apologists is ultimately a wilful failure to do either. They can be exposed to information contradicting their dogma all day, and conveniently discard it the next day again. It's called cognitive dissonance, but ultimately it's a failure to learn. It's a funny name for when integrating new information into one's existing world model goes wrong, i.e., failure to actually learn from that new information. And considering that ultimately they end up with is some utter failure of logic, there goes the capacity to apply and reason too.

So yes, they are being stupid.

I don't care how skilled or intelligent they are in some other skill, or on another domain. But when it comes to Christianity, yes, that intelligence goes right out the window, and they're starting to act stupid.


To reuse one of P.Z.Myers' examples as an analogy, would you say that being a brutal, sadistic serial killer is compatible with Christianity? Well, looking at the history of the Inquisition and crusades and pogroms and whatnot, one might even be inclined to say "yep, totally." But if you asked most Christians nowadays, they would gladly tell you that nope, it's against everything that modern Christianity teaches. It is not in fact compatible with Christianity.

Yet Dennis Lynn Rader, a.k.a. "the BTK (bind, torture, kill) killer" was both a professed Christian and one of the most evil men who ever lived. He not only killed some ten victims in some of the most horrific ways, but he wrote letters to the police BRAGGING about it. Not only he showed no remorse or repentance, but he actually BRAGGED about it.

I think most people would agree that that is not particularly Christian. In fact he wasn't acting anything like a Christian when he did any of that.

And I put it to you that the same applies to intelligence and Christianity. Regardless of what their intelligence and skill may be outside the domain, when it comes to apologetics they are not, in fact, acting like an intelligent person. The two are in fact incompatible.


And by this time, someone is probably just itching to jump in with the retort that, yeah, but see, people can compartmentalize. And I'll even grant that.

But compartmentalizing means not applying both at the same time. If you ever have to do that, that's your clue that you are, in fact, dealing with incompatible notions.

And I'll return to the BTK killer as an example: he was compartmentalizing too. The whole Christianity thing was on a different shelf, when it came to his *ahem* hobby of torturing people to death. It doesn't mean the two are perfectly compatible, then. It means precisely that one has to keep them separated, because they don't quite mix.

And the same applies to religion and science, or generally religion and the capacity to reason soundly. Sure, you can compartmentalize. In fact, most people do. But that's just the clue that the two can't work together.
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Old 20th July 2019, 10:44 AM   #163
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Originally Posted by David Mo View Post
You have a problem that is common to many atheists in this forum: you are intolerant and dishonest.

You are intolerant because you judge the intelligence of others by their results. If it matches you, he is smart, if it doesn't match, he is dumb. Intelligence often depends on the means, not the results. You have not probably read books by Paul Ricoeur or Simone Weil, but you think they are silly because they are Christian. This is intolerance.

You are also "dishonest" because you turn an intellectual problem into a moral problem. Honesty depends on the intentions of someone and you have no information about the intentions of all Christians. But you prefer to call them dishonest because it is a more shocking disqualification. To affirm what is not known in order to incline the opinion of others in your favour is dishonest.

There is no valuable atheism without tolerance and honesty .
Wow! Did your read my post? Apparently you didn't.

I never said that one couldn't be intelligent and be a Christian. I know lots of people that fit that description.

But your observation is correct. However your analysis is wrong. I'm not turning an intellectual problem into a moral problem. It is a moral problem. I was a Christian half my life. And yet I always knew I was engaged in special pleading and sophistry. The reason I no longer identify as a Christian is I hated my dishonesty.

I contend that Christians just accept it without thinking or they engage in mental gymnastics. So either they are not intelligent or they refuse to use apply the same epistemology that they use for everything else.
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Old 20th July 2019, 01:42 PM   #164
HansMustermann
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Originally Posted by acbytesla View Post
I contend that Christians just accept it without thinking or they engage in mental gymnastics. So either they are not intelligent or they refuse to use apply the same epistemology that they use for everything else.
Actually, it's the latter. And here's a simple exercise to prove it: tell someone that the Emperor of the Universe has decreed that all taxes on Earth are to be paid into your bank account. See if they're willing to accept "you have to have faith" as proof.

The thing is, everyone is a skeptic on just about any domain except what they really really want to believe. Be it religion or alternative medicine or a conspiracy theory or whatever.

In fact, even then they don't suspend skepticism for ALL of them. Just one. An author whose name escapes me at the moment once noted, based on the letters he received about one of his books on such nonsense beliefs, EVERYONE was in complete agreement that all except one in his book is completely bogus. All that differed was which one. But otherwise homeopaths were completely in agreement that acupuncture is bogus, raelians agreed that scientology is BS, etc.

So it's not really like anyone has to learn a new skill or mode of thinking. They'd just need to stop making excuses for why for just one thing different rules apply.
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Old 20th July 2019, 02:21 PM   #165
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Originally Posted by HansMustermann View Post
Actually, it's the latter. And here's a simple exercise to prove it: tell someone that the Emperor of the Universe has decreed that all taxes on Earth are to be paid into your bank account. See if they're willing to accept "you have to have faith" as proof.

The thing is, everyone is a skeptic on just about any domain except what they really really want to believe. Be it religion or alternative medicine or a conspiracy theory or whatever.

In fact, even then they don't suspend skepticism for ALL of them. Just one. An author whose name escapes me at the moment once noted, based on the letters he received about one of his books on such nonsense beliefs, EVERYONE was in complete agreement that all except one in his book is completely bogus. All that differed was which one. But otherwise homeopaths were completely in agreement that acupuncture is bogus, raelians agreed that scientology is BS, etc.

So it's not really like anyone has to learn a new skill or mode of thinking. They'd just need to stop making excuses for why for just one thing different rules apply.
It is special pleading.
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Old 20th July 2019, 04:06 PM   #166
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Ayup.
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Old 20th July 2019, 11:45 PM   #167
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Originally Posted by HansMustermann View Post
Only if by "means" you mean a functioning brain. Intelligence is defined and generally understood as the capacity to learn, apply what was learned, and reason.

Yet what we see in apologists is ultimately a wilful failure to do either. They can be exposed to information contradicting their dogma all day, and conveniently discard it the next day again. It's called cognitive dissonance, but ultimately it's a failure to learn. It's a funny name for when integrating new information into one's existing world model goes wrong, i.e., failure to actually learn from that new information. And considering that ultimately they end up with is some utter failure of logic, there goes the capacity to apply and reason too.

So yes, they are being stupid.

I don't care how skilled or intelligent they are in some other skill, or on another domain. But when it comes to Christianity, yes, that intelligence goes right out the window, and they're starting to act stupid.
Psychologists distinguish learning ability from intelligence. Intelligence is the ability to respond to new problems in unforeseen circumstances.

You believe that there are intelligent Christians, but they cease to be so when faced with the problem of God's existence. But I don't think there can be people who are intelligent sometimes and sometimes not. Intelligence is a capacity. Probably the answers they give to the problem of God's existence are also intelligent, even though they are guided by a principle that you and I consider false. But you call them stupid because you don't agree with them. I don't think your answer is very intelligent (irony).
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Old 20th July 2019, 11:55 PM   #168
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Originally Posted by acbytesla View Post
Wow! Did your read my post? Apparently you didn't.

I never said that one couldn't be intelligent and be a Christian. I know lots of people that fit that description.

But your observation is correct. However your analysis is wrong. I'm not turning an intellectual problem into a moral problem. It is a moral problem. I was a Christian half my life. And yet I always knew I was engaged in special pleading and sophistry. The reason I no longer identify as a Christian is I hated my dishonesty.

I contend that Christians just accept it without thinking or they engage in mental gymnastics. So either they are not intelligent or they refuse to use apply the same epistemology that they use for everything else.
If you didn't believe what you were saying, you were dishonest. But I don't think you can apply the same argument to everyone who says something you dislike. That would be "dishonest". And it is a very common vice in Internet forums. As soon as someone is against you it is a troll. Especially when he says something you don't understand well. Don't fall into such an unintelligent vice. It is a vice parallel to that of the Christian who sees in the atheist someone possessed by the devil, fanatic, hypocrite, liar, and so on.

Discussions between individuals cease to be rational when they address to the (perverse) intentions of the opponents. Whether they are Christians or atheists.
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Old 21st July 2019, 03:41 AM   #169
HansMustermann
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Originally Posted by David Mo View Post
Psychologists distinguish learning ability from intelligence. Intelligence is the ability to respond to new problems in unforeseen circumstances.

You believe that there are intelligent Christians, but they cease to be so when faced with the problem of God's existence. But I don't think there can be people who are intelligent sometimes and sometimes not.
Psychologists also know about the thing I've already mentioned, namely cognitive dissonance, and how it can be solved by discarding actual data and keeping bogus beliefs. Which is exactly suspending intelligent thought.

Your not thinking it's possible... meh, I'll go with the actual psychologists there.

Originally Posted by David Mo View Post
Intelligence is a capacity.
And like any other capacity you can use it or not, for a particular problem or even on a whole domain.

It's the same as an Audi R8 is a "fast" car, being capable of speeds up to 333 km/h (207 miles per hour for you imperials). But it doesn't mean that if I spot a random R8 on the street (and I've seen a couple actually) it will actually be going fast. It has the capacity to go fast, but it could be doing 30km/h in a residential zone, or indeed be at a clean 0 km/h because it's parked.

Originally Posted by David Mo View Post
Probably the answers they give to the problem of God's existence are also intelligent,
You know that that kind of bare postulate even has a name, right? It's called the sophisticated theology defense.

It's the inevitable postulate, if any thread about religion goes for long enough, that someone somewhere has a perfectly intelligent/logical/whatever interpretation of religion, but apparently the atheists are just not sophisticated enough to know it. Except, as it turns out, it's also too sophisticated for the ones doing the postulate, because they can never actually show it.

More seriously, look, if you want to introduce that premise, it's your burden of proof to show that one actually exists. Otherwise any reasoning based on it is unsound.

Just stating a baseless belief that "probably" one exists is meaningless. I could believe that D&D style dragons are probably real, but that doesn't mean I can use them for my commute.

Originally Posted by David Mo View Post
even though they are guided by a principle that you and I consider false. But you call them stupid because you don't agree with them. I don't think your answer is very intelligent (irony).
Considering that your answer is just a case of personal disbelief and a baseless assertion, both textbook fallacies, really, who cares?
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Old 21st July 2019, 03:46 AM   #170
HansMustermann
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Originally Posted by David Mo View Post
If you didn't believe what you were saying, you were dishonest.
Uh, no, it's still just you having comprehension problems.

His message from which you started the whole nonsense actually stated, and this is a copy and paste quote, "There may be intelligent people that are Christians, but Intelligent and Christianity is an oxymoron." My emphasis of the operative word there. Turning it into some form of 'there are no intelligent Christians' is just your own strawman.

So, you know, it's pretty funny to see you accuse him of dishonesty, when YOU are the one using a dishonest argument technique to that end.

As I keep saying, doing exactly what you're damning others for is the definition of hypocrisy.
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Old 21st July 2019, 08:12 AM   #171
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Originally Posted by David Mo View Post
If you didn't believe what you were saying, you were dishonest. But I don't think you can apply the same argument to everyone who says something you dislike. That would be "dishonest". And it is a very common vice in Internet forums. As soon as someone is against you it is a troll. Especially when he says something you don't understand well. Don't fall into such an unintelligent vice. It is a vice parallel to that of the Christian who sees in the atheist someone possessed by the devil, fanatic, hypocrite, liar, and so on.

Discussions between individuals cease to be rational when they address to the (perverse) intentions of the opponents. Whether they are Christians or atheists.
I'm sorry. I don't believe an intelligent critical thinker with sound epistemology can evaluate the god question and still believe without engaging in special pleading. And that is intellectually dishonest.

Hans nails it. It is wilfull cognitive dissonance.
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Old 21st July 2019, 08:16 PM   #172
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Originally Posted by HansMustermann View Post
B) you're totally exempt if you use any other weapon than a sword. E.g., why priests in the crusades were supposed to use a mace.
That's largely a myth, based on the depiction of Bishop Odo in the Bayeux Tapestry wielding a cudgel, and perpetuated by early editions of Dungeons and Dragons.
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Old 21st July 2019, 11:11 PM   #173
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Originally Posted by HansMustermann View Post
Psychologists also know about the thing I've already mentioned, namely cognitive dissonance, and how it can be solved by discarding actual data and keeping bogus beliefs. Which is exactly suspending intelligent thought.

Your not thinking it's possible... meh, I'll go with the actual psychologists there.



And like any other capacity you can use it or not, for a particular problem or even on a whole domain.

(...)


You know that that kind of bare postulate even has a name, right? It's called the sophisticated theology defense.
It's the inevitable postulate, if any thread about religion goes for long enough, that someone somewhere has a perfectly intelligent/logical/whatever interpretation of religion, but apparently the atheists are just not sophisticated enough to know it.
(...)

More seriously, look, if you want to introduce that premise, it's your burden of proof to show that one actually exists. Otherwise any reasoning based on it is unsound.

Just stating a baseless belief that "probably" one exists is meaningless. I could believe that D&D style dragons are probably real, but that doesn't mean I can use them for my commute.


Considering that your answer is just a case of personal disbelief and a baseless assertion, both textbook fallacies, really, who cares?
I know the theory of cognitive dissonance. I have mentioned it several times in this forum and I have some writings about it on the Internet. Sorry, in Spanish. But cognitive dissonance is only applicable to the case where a Christian believes in some facts that are refuted by later facts. For example: the imminent coming of the Kingdom. If my belief is metaphysical or based on subjective experience, cognitive dissonance never occurs. For example: the allegorical interpretation of the passage where Joshua stops the sun cannot be refuted by historical evidence.

I'm not defending any theology because it might be intelligent. Evil can be intelligent. Sometimes evil is very intelligent. Intelligence doesnít makes the wrong be right

Don't give me easy slogans. Burden of the proof is a condition for factual discussions. Ii think you have here a language problem. I think you don't distinguish between being wrong and being stupid. Therefore you call stupid anything that is not according with your personal beliefs. A big mistake that is usually paid for in debates with intelligent Christians.
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Old 21st July 2019, 11:19 PM   #174
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Originally Posted by acbytesla View Post
I'm sorry. I don't believe an intelligent critical thinker with sound epistemology can evaluate the god question and still believe without engaging in special pleading. And that is intellectually dishonest.

Hans nails it. It is wilfull cognitive dissonance.
I don't understand what specious arguments you're talking about. It seems to me that you should explain more specifically why that is dishonest and what you are talking about. To believe that Jesus really walked the waters? Or to believe that Jesus preached love to the poor? Or to believe that a principle of life can be found in the gospels? Because they are three very different things that I don't see what they have to do with the desire to deceive others (dishonesty). Or do you mean something else by dishonesty?

On cognitive dissonance see my answer to Hans.
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Old 22nd July 2019, 06:19 AM   #175
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Originally Posted by David Mo View Post
I know the theory of cognitive dissonance. I have mentioned it several times in this forum and I have some writings about it on the Internet. Sorry, in Spanish. But cognitive dissonance is only applicable to the case where a Christian believes in some facts that are refuted by later facts. For example: the imminent coming of the Kingdom. If my belief is metaphysical or based on subjective experience, cognitive dissonance never occurs. For example: the allegorical interpretation of the passage where Joshua stops the sun cannot be refuted by historical evidence.
Well, technically yes it can. Because absence of evidence can actually be evidence of absence, where that evidence would be expected if the stated condition were true. Basically if X => Y, then !Y => !X. The absence of Y does become evidence of the absence of X.

Trivial example: if I claimed to have an everlasting magical fire in my garage, the absence of any flames, heat, or much CO2 is in fact evidence that there is no fire in there.

Phenomena involving the sun, moon or astronomical events like the horribly wrong eclipse in Matthew, would be of major interest to thousands of astronomers in various civilizations at the time.

E.g., pretty much the whole of Mesopotamia was heavily into astronomy, and especially observing the sun and moon to keep the calendar aligned. See, it wasn't done by a formula, like they do nowadays with the Chinese or Islamic calendar, but the king had to decree every year when does the new one start and the old one end, and to that purpose he consulted the royal astronomers.

E.g., in Egypt, the sun was at the top of, well, every pantheon they ever had. Stuff like it stopping moving on a special day would have interested the hell out of them.

What I'm saying is that you'd see tablets, stelae, papyri, and various myths in which they explain why their chief god did that. Sure, it wouldn't be "so the Canaanites can kick each other's ass", but some suitable heroic spin for themselves, but it would be there.

The probability of every single astronomer and king and court scribe deciding that, meh, the biggest astronomical event EVER is not worth recording, is infinitesimal.

Basically the absence of evidence does become evidence of absence.

And then there's the physical problems I've explained before.

There's literally a LOT of data that needs to be discarded (e.g., via cognitive dissonance) or compartmentalized, if one wants to keep believing that story.

Originally Posted by David Mo View Post
I'm not defending any theology because it might be intelligent. Evil can be intelligent. Sometimes evil is very intelligent. Intelligence doesnít makes the wrong be right
I never said you were making a moral claim, so that seems a bit irrelevant. Sure, even evil can be very intelligent. But you haven't shown that religion can be intelligent either.

Originally Posted by David Mo View Post
Don't give me easy slogans. Burden of the proof is a condition for factual discussions.
1. If you postulate that Christians have an intelligent theology somewhere, that's a factual claim. Support it or drop it, really.

2. And if your excuse is that your side of the discussion is non-factual gaga, and it's a free for all to just make stuff up, then I'm not interested in it in the first place.

Originally Posted by David Mo View Post
Ii think you have here a language problem. I think you don't distinguish between being wrong and being stupid.
Sort of. I'm calling anything illogical/irrational by the alternate name of "stupid". It certainly doesn't fit any proper application of an ability to reason that I know of.

Originally Posted by David Mo View Post
Therefore you call stupid anything that is not according with your personal beliefs.
... aaand there you go off into dada land again. There is no therefore there. Logic isn't a matter of personal beliefs. There are idiots who wish it were, but it's not. We had only, what, some 2500 years or so to figure out what actually works and what doesn't. And it's independent of whether you believe in it or not.
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Old 22nd July 2019, 09:59 AM   #176
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Originally Posted by David Mo View Post
I don't understand what specious arguments you're talking about. It seems to me that you should explain more specifically why that is dishonest and what you are talking about. To believe that Jesus really walked the waters? Or to believe that Jesus preached love to the poor? Or to believe that a principle of life can be found in the gospels? Because they are three very different things that I don't see what they have to do with the desire to deceive others (dishonesty). Or do you mean something else by dishonesty?

On cognitive dissonance see my answer to Hans.
I'm talking about anything supernatural. That there is an all powerful all knowing being that created the universe and everything in it. That this being took the form of his own son so he/it could be tortured. Etc etc etc.

Not whether you find certain aspects in the bible uplifting or inspirational. I also find some (definitly not all) of the philosophy reportedly taught by Jesus as such.
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Old 22nd July 2019, 10:29 AM   #177
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It's fun arguing about God isn't it?

It's like jerking off to Hentai. It's totally not real and a complete waste of time that will never lead to anything.... but man, is it fun as Hell.
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Old 22nd July 2019, 10:36 AM   #178
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Originally Posted by Ron_Tomkins View Post
It's fun arguing about God isn't it?

It's like jerking off to Hentai. It's totally not real and a complete waste of time that will never lead to anything.... but man, is it fun as Hell.
By that reasoning, what isn't a waste of time?
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Old 22nd July 2019, 12:10 PM   #179
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Jerking off to hentai, obviously. Wait, is it just me?
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Old 22nd July 2019, 11:43 PM   #180
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Originally Posted by HansMustermann View Post
Well, technically yes it can. Because absence of evidence can actually be evidence of absence, where that evidence would be expected if the stated condition were true. Basically if X => Y, then !Y => !X. The absence of Y does become evidence of the absence of X.

Trivial example: if I claimed to have an everlasting magical fire in my garage, the absence of any flames, heat, or much CO2 is in fact evidence that there is no fire in there.

Phenomena involving the sun, moon or astronomical events like the horribly wrong eclipse in Matthew, would be of major interest to thousands of astronomers in various civilizations at the time.

E.g., pretty much the whole of Mesopotamia was heavily into astronomy, and especially observing the sun and moon to keep the calendar aligned. See, it wasn't done by a formula, like they do nowadays with the Chinese or Islamic calendar, but the king had to decree every year when does the new one start and the old one end, and to that purpose he consulted the royal astronomers.

E.g., in Egypt, the sun was at the top of, well, every pantheon they ever had. Stuff like it stopping moving on a special day would have interested the hell out of them.

What I'm saying is that you'd see tablets, stelae, papyri, and various myths in which they explain why their chief god did that. Sure, it wouldn't be "so the Canaanites can kick each other's ass", but some suitable heroic spin for themselves, but it would be there.

The probability of every single astronomer and king and court scribe deciding that, meh, the biggest astronomical event EVER is not worth recording, is infinitesimal.

Basically the absence of evidence does become evidence of absence.

And then there's the physical problems I've explained before.

There's literally a LOT of data that needs to be discarded (e.g., via cognitive dissonance) or compartmentalized, if one wants to keep believing that story.



I never said you were making a moral claim, so that seems a bit irrelevant. Sure, even evil can be very intelligent. But you haven't shown that religion can be intelligent either.



1. If you postulate that Christians have an intelligent theology somewhere, that's a factual claim. Support it or drop it, really.

2. And if your excuse is that your side of the discussion is non-factual gaga, and it's a free for all to just make stuff up, then I'm not interested in it in the first place.



Sort of. I'm calling anything illogical/irrational by the alternate name of "stupid". It certainly doesn't fit any proper application of an ability to reason that I know of.



... aaand there you go off into dada land again. There is no therefore there. Logic isn't a matter of personal beliefs. There are idiots who wish it were, but it's not. We had only, what, some 2500 years or so to figure out what actually works and what doesn't. And it's independent of whether you believe in it or not.
The allegorical interpretation of a text does not defend that what is described in the text is factually true. You have wasted time with the introduction of your comment. That does not mean that you are stupid, but that you have made a mistake.

Irrationalism can be defended intelligently or stupidly. What you consider logical may not be logical. You may be wrong, but that doesn't make you stupid. Maybe the irrationalist is wrong, but this doesn't make him a stupid.

It looks like you don't know any intelligent Christian. It is strange. I am atheist myself and I have not many books by Christians. But I know some that made me thinking on why they were wrong. An this is what I call intelligence: some thing that makes you think. I put some examples: Descartes, Rousseau, Kant (these are classics), Dunn, Meier, Crossan, Bultmann, Schweitzer (about the historical Jesus).

In this forum I had an interesting debate with a certain Tim O'Neill who pretended that there is no conflict between science and religion. (He said he was not a Christian but he was defending the Christian hard line on this subject). About Hypatia and Galileo. He was a tough guy. He was wrong in the main idea but knew how to argue.

If you want to see an intelligent Christian in action, I recommend the polemic between Copleston and Russell. Here: http://www.scandalon.co.uk/philosoph...ical_radio.htm . Although I think it's useless. You'll say Copleston was wrong and that's why he was stupid and dishonest. You've decided beforehand.

Hey, is there anyone smart in this world who thinks differently than you? Who?

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Old 22nd July 2019, 11:46 PM   #181
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Originally Posted by acbytesla View Post
I'm talking about anything supernatural. That there is an all powerful all knowing being that created the universe and everything in it. That this being took the form of his own son so he/it could be tortured. Etc etc etc.

Not whether you find certain aspects in the bible uplifting or inspirational. I also find some (definitly not all) of the philosophy reportedly taught by Jesus as such.
Well, there are Christians who would agree with you or almost agree with you. They shouldn't be as dishonest as you say.
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Old 23rd July 2019, 12:28 AM   #182
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Originally Posted by David Mo View Post
The allegorical interpretation of a text does not defend that what is described in the text is factually true. You have wasted time with the introduction of your comment. That does not mean that you are stupid, but that you have made a mistake.
Well, you didn't mention the "allegorical" part there, but sure, that one suffers from its own problems. Bigger ones, actually.

Originally Posted by David Mo View Post
Irrationalism can be defended intelligently or stupidly. What you consider logical may not be logical.
Anyone can be wrong about something, once. If they persist in being wrong, no matter how much data is presented to the contrary, then... well, maybe "stupid" isn't necessarily the right word. The actually name for it is "delusional".

Originally Posted by David Mo View Post
You may be wrong, but that doesn't make you stupid. Maybe the irrationalist is wrong, but this doesn't make him a stupid.
Again, intelligence is the ability to reason. There is no real way to say that being unable to reason correctly on a domain is anything even remotely intelligent. It may be wilful or it may be just taking the piss or whatever, but it's not something intelligent.

Originally Posted by David Mo View Post
It looks like you don't know any intelligent Christian.
Again, that is your own strawman. The conflict that was stated wasn't between between being intelligent and being a Christian, but between intelligence and Christianity.

And no, I don't know of any intelligent Christian apologetics. If you know any, please do present one.

Originally Posted by David Mo View Post
It is strange. I am atheist myself and I have not many books by Christians. But I know some that made me thinking on why they were wrong. An this is what I call intelligence: some thing that makes you think. I put some examples: Descartes, Rousseau, Kant (these are classics), Dunn, Meier, Crossan, Bultmann, Schweitzer (about the historical Jesus).

In this forum I had an interesting debate with a certain Tim O'Neill who pretended that there is no conflict between science and religion. (He said he was not a Christian but he was defending the Christian hard line on this subject). About Hypatia and Galileo. He was a tough guy. He was wrong in the main idea but knew how to argue.
That's hardly a counter-example. In his particular case what he was doing intelligently was sophistry, rather than applying any real intelligence to Christianity.

Originally Posted by David Mo View Post
If you want to see an intelligent Christian in action, I recommend the polemic between Copleston and Russell. Here: http://www.scandalon.co.uk/philosoph...ical_radio.htm . Although I think it's useless. You'll say Copleston was wrong and that's why he was stupid and dishonest. You've decided beforehand.
Actually, you've just poisoned the well beforehand.

Originally Posted by David Mo View Post
Hey, is there anyone smart in this world who thinks differently than you? Who?
Lots of people, but either it's because of working from different hypotheses, or they're using that intelligence on a different domain than the one on which they're irrational.

A trivial example that is at least connected to religion is Ehrman. I think some of his premises are wrong, one of them being what would actually count as a Historical Jesus, plus he applies a methodology that is obsolete for real historians while conspicuously calling himself one. But otherwise, he does a fine work from there.
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Old 23rd July 2019, 02:19 AM   #183
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Originally Posted by HansMustermann View Post
Well, you didn't mention the "allegorical" part there, but sure, that one suffers from its own problems. Bigger ones, actually.
Originally Posted by David Mo View Post
I know the theory of cognitive dissonance. I have mentioned it several times in this forum and I have some writings about it on the Internet. Sorry, in Spanish. But cognitive dissonance is only applicable to the case where a Christian believes in some facts that are refuted by later facts. For example: the imminent coming of the Kingdom. If my belief is metaphysical or based on subjective experience, cognitive dissonance never occurs. For example: the allegorical interpretation of the passage where Joshua stops the sun cannot be refuted by historical evidence.
Each one suffers from its own problems. Bigger ones, actually. I agree.
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Old 23rd July 2019, 02:32 AM   #184
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Originally Posted by David Mo View Post
It looks like you don't know any intelligent Christian. It is strange. I am atheist myself and I have not many books by Christians. But I know some that made me thinking on why they were wrong. An this is what I call intelligence: some thing that makes you think. I put some examples: Descartes, Rousseau, Kant (these are classics), Dunn, Meier, Crossan, Bultmann, Schweitzer (about the historical Jesus).

(..)If you want to see an intelligent Christian in action, I recommend the polemic between Copleston and Russell. Here: http://www.scandalon.co.uk/philosoph...ical_radio.htm . Although I think it's useless. You'll say Copleston was wrong and that's why he was stupid and dishonest. You've decided beforehand.

Originally Posted by HansMustermann View Post
And no, I don't know of any intelligent Christian apologetics. If you know any, please do present one.
Ein? One? I have presented you nine!

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Old 23rd July 2019, 03:12 AM   #185
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1. They were intelligent people, but, at least the ones I know about, I don't consider their take on religion to be either really apologetics OR particularly rational, which is to say, intelligent. Or in some cases, both.

Kant for example is the easiest example: IIRC his WHOLE defense of religion is really an appeal to consequences, or more specifically what we nowadays call faith in faith.

Descartes? You mean the guy who argued that God must be real, because "of all the ideas that are in me, the idea that I have of God is the most true, the most clear and distinct"? Seriously, does that sound to YOU like an intelligent defense of God?

Etc.

If anything it just shows what I've said all along: that even otherwise intelligent people can suspend that intelligence when they want to justify religion.

2. Technically just spewing some names is still just a form of the "sophisticated theology" defense. If you want to claim that an intelligent defense of God exists in any of the work of those guys, it's your burden of proof to show it. You don't meet it by just spewing a list of names and passing on to someone else the burden of actually finding the supposed needle in the haystack of everything those ever wrote.

What you're doing is like if, say, I were to claim there is a flying pig, and just told you it's somewhere in Australia, the Amazon forest or Antarctica. No, that's not meeting the burden of proof, it's just a denial of service kind of BS. It's just passing the burden of combing every cave and field and valley in those vast places, to prove the negative.

Or in other words it's just a thinly disguised argument from ignorance fallacy.

So please properly meet your burden of proof before posturing that you already gave nine. No you didn't. Unless you're still fighting that strawman of yours instead of what was being discussed, I guess.
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Old 23rd July 2019, 08:30 AM   #186
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Originally Posted by David Mo View Post
Well, there are Christians who would agree with you or almost agree with you. They shouldn't be as dishonest as you say.
Here's where we have a bit of a problem. Who am to say who is and who isn't a Christian?

That said IMV, the bare minimum would be the acceptance of the most basic Christian doctrine and that would be the son of god took human form and died and was resurrected. Otherwise you're not really a Christian, but just a fan.

And even fanboys are a bit dangerous as they give cover to the fundies.
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Old 23rd July 2019, 11:17 PM   #187
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Originally Posted by HansMustermann View Post
1. They were intelligent people, but, at least the ones I know about, I don't consider their take on religion to be either really apologetics OR particularly rational, which is to say, intelligent. Or in some cases, both.

Kant for example is the easiest example: IIRC his WHOLE defense of religion is really an appeal to consequences, or more specifically what we nowadays call faith in faith.

Descartes? You mean the guy who argued that God must be real, because "of all the ideas that are in me, the idea that I have of God is the most true, the most clear and distinct"? Seriously, does that sound to YOU like an intelligent defense of God?

Etc.

If anything it just shows what I've said all along: that even otherwise intelligent people can suspend that intelligence when they want to justify religion.

2. Technically just spewing some names is still just a form of the "sophisticated theology" defense. If you want to claim that an intelligent defense of God exists in any of the work of those guys, it's your burden of proof to show it. You don't meet it by just spewing a list of names and passing on to someone else the burden of actually finding the supposed needle in the haystack of everything those ever wrote.

What you're doing is like if, say, I were to claim there is a flying pig, and just told you it's somewhere in Australia, the Amazon forest or Antarctica. No, that's not meeting the burden of proof, it's just a denial of service kind of BS. It's just passing the burden of combing every cave and field and valley in those vast places, to prove the negative.

Or in other words it's just a thinly disguised argument from ignorance fallacy.

So please properly meet your burden of proof before posturing that you already gave nine. No you didn't. Unless you're still fighting that strawman of yours instead of what was being discussed, I guess.
You cannot judge a whole theory by one sentence. Even more if it is not accurate ("more specifically what we nowadays call faith in faith") or more complex than it seems ("the idea that I have of God is the most true, the most clear and distinct"). The intelligence of an argument can be only seen in the complete development of an idea and in its relationship to others. We see the intelligence of someone by his way of arguing and not only by the final conclusions.

You are asking to me for a full summary of Kantís argument on religion and an a explanation of Descartes' proof of Godís existence on the bases of his concept of clarity and distinction. I am sorry. I have neither time nor ability to do so. There are some good encyclopedias of philosophy that can do this better than me. I recommend you the Stanford encyclopedia on line. In addition I have send you to an interesting debate between Copleston and Russell that is less extent and more popular. It is possible to listen it on Youtube if you don't like to read it. We can discuss what you find non-intelligent if you read it. If you refuse to do it the discussion become impossible. But don't say that I am not presenting evidence. It is just you don't want to see it.

Originally Posted by HansMustermann View Post
If anything it just shows what I've said all along: that even otherwise intelligent people can suspend that intelligence when they want to justify religion.
Anyway, if this is your point, I agree. Intelligent people make intelligent arguments that are flawed because they are based on passion and not reason. I said this in a commentary some time ago. But that is no reason to call them dishonest or stupid. Many people do the same with this or other issues. Yourself.
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Old 23rd July 2019, 11:30 PM   #188
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Originally Posted by acbytesla View Post
Here's where we have a bit of a problem. Who am to say who is and who isn't a Christian?

That said IMV, the bare minimum would be the acceptance of the most basic Christian doctrine and that would be the son of god took human form and died and was resurrected. Otherwise you're not really a Christian, but just a fan.

And even fanboys are a bit dangerous as they give cover to the fundies.
I don't think that you and me are qualified to distribute Christianity certificates. I don't see any difference between to be a fan of Christ and a Christian in order to be qualified so. To believe in a Christian message is equally relevant, whether Christ is a real man or an allegorical figure for a divine being. Just we need distinguish one thing to the other.

I don't think a fan is dangerous if it's clearly separated from the "foundies". Many times "foundies" hate both the "temperate" and the atheists. See religious wars or radical Islamists killing other Muslims.
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Old 24th July 2019, 12:57 AM   #189
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Originally Posted by David Mo View Post
Anyway, if this is your point, I agree. Intelligent people make intelligent arguments that are flawed because they are based on passion and not reason. I said this in a commentary some time ago
Well, it's been my point for a while, you just didn't believe apparently that someone can suspend their intelligence. Which seems to me like it is just another name for what you call arguments "based on passion and not reason." Seems to me like you too are saying that they CAN suspend reason after all.

Sure, those people still have the same capacity for being intelligent, i.e., capacity to reason, but then the Audi R8 parked in front of the office also still has the capacity to go very fast. It's certainly not using it at the moment.

Originally Posted by David Mo View Post
But that is no reason to call them dishonest or stupid.
Why not? A broken argument can certainly be stupid, or at the very least not particularly intelligent.

Originally Posted by David Mo View Post
Many people do the same with this or other issues. Yourself.
Sure. And some of my reasoning can be stonking stupid too. Just look in the science forum for any of my black hole threads.
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Old 24th July 2019, 01:52 AM   #190
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Originally Posted by David Mo View Post
Your assumption would only be valid if men were guided only by their intelligence. Everybody, even geniuses, has passions that are stronger than their intelligence many times over. A Christian can be very intelligent, believe in what he wants to believe and use his intelligence to justify what he wants. There is no contradiction. It is a very common psychological fact.
Originally Posted by HansMustermann View Post
Well, it's been my point for a while, you just didn't believe apparently that someone can suspend their intelligence. Which seems to me like it is just another name for what you call arguments "based on passion and not reason." Seems to me like you too are saying that they CAN suspend reason after all.
Apparently we agreed on the essentials. Either we did not say it clearly or there is another additional disagreement.

I think that additional disagreement is not trivial. It is based on the words "stupid" and "dishonest. I think both are strongly derogatory and, therefore, loaded with passion.
I refuse to use them. "Dishonest" because it is false. No one can be called dishonest if there is no evidence that his words are intended to deceive. Obviously you have no such evidence regarding the authors I proposed to you and many others.

As for "stupid," it doesn't mean anything other than "I think that's very wrong". With stupidity you do nothing but add "and that bothers me a lot", but without making it explicit. That seems to me to use a language trap and therefore very wrong. Stupid just is an insult. Avoiding insults is one of the first rules of a rational debate.
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Old 24th July 2019, 02:34 AM   #191
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1. There is such a thing as being dishonest with oneself, you know? Which really is what most apologetics are.

2. Actually I don't mean "and that bothers me a lot" by "stupid". I literally just mean it's not an intelligent argument. I'm not bothered by people doing stupid stuff, as long as it doesn't affect me. FSM bless stupid people, without them we wouldn't have such quality entertainment as the Darwin Awards

Or, to return to the thread, in the case of the Christian God, I mean that he's falling about two or three standard deviations short of the IQ average.
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Old 24th July 2019, 07:01 AM   #192
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Originally Posted by acbytesla View Post
By that reasoning, what isn't a waste of time?
Well, for starters, arguing about things that matter?

But please, do carry on. God arguments are the fuel of internet forums. Especially this one.
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Old 24th July 2019, 09:34 AM   #193
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Didn't we just have stuff like a country making homosexuality a death-penalty offence because buttsecks makes baby Jesus cry?

Or we're literally just years after the previous Pope told people not to wear condoms in the middle of an AIDS epidemic in Africa? And he gets to say such stuff authoritatively, because the Holy Spirit tells him to. Oh wait, we're not entirely over that either, because the current one still doesn't want condoms distributed to prevent AIDS.

Actually, it's even better, because the current one still thinks preventing pregnancy is evil. It's not as absolute an evil as an abortion, and in some cases it may be a lesser evil, but it's still evil. And note that this time it's not even just about condoms. Any kind of preventing pregnancy is evil. So even taking the pill is technically evil.

Or take abortion for rape victims. Guess who still claims that it's an "absolute evil"? Yep, the cool new Pope.

I'm curious, when actual lives are at stake, and not exactly few either, and many more are ruined by religion... exactly what DOES qualify as things that matter by YOUR standards?
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Old 24th July 2019, 02:05 PM   #194
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Originally Posted by HansMustermann View Post
Didn't we just have stuff like a country making homosexuality a death-penalty offence because buttsecks makes baby Jesus cry?

Or we're literally just years after the previous Pope told people not to wear condoms in the middle of an AIDS epidemic in Africa? And he gets to say such stuff authoritatively, because the Holy Spirit tells him to. Oh wait, we're not entirely over that either, because the current one still doesn't want condoms distributed to prevent AIDS.

Actually, it's even better, because the current one still thinks preventing pregnancy is evil. It's not as absolute an evil as an abortion, and in some cases it may be a lesser evil, but it's still evil. And note that this time it's not even just about condoms. Any kind of preventing pregnancy is evil. So even taking the pill is technically evil.

Or take abortion for rape victims. Guess who still claims that it's an "absolute evil"? Yep, the cool new Pope.

I'm curious, when actual lives are at stake, and not exactly few either, and many more are ruined by religion... exactly what DOES qualify as things that matter by YOUR standards?
By that logic, abstaining from sex is evil as it prevents pregnancy, therefore all priests are evil.
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Old 24th July 2019, 02:07 PM   #195
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Originally Posted by abaddon View Post
By that logic, abstaining from sex is evil as it prevents pregnancy, therefore all priests are evil.
I suppose he meant having sex without pregnancy, but yeah, now that you mention it, he was a bit vague.

Mind you, I could have used a vague pope like that in high school. Then I could tell the religious girls on the highest authority that not having sex is evil
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Old 24th July 2019, 11:45 PM   #196
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Originally Posted by HansMustermann View Post
1. There is such a thing as being dishonest with oneself, you know? Which really is what most apologetics are.

2. Actually I don't mean "and that bothers me a lot" by "stupid". I literally just mean it's not an intelligent argument. I'm not bothered by people doing stupid stuff, as long as it doesn't affect me. FSM bless stupid people, without them we wouldn't have such quality entertainment as the Darwin Awards

Or, to return to the thread, in the case of the Christian God, I mean that he's falling about two or three standard deviations short of the IQ average.
"Deceiving oneself", "not being honest with oneself": There are multiple definitions that do not agree. This is a sign that something is wrong. To deceive is to be aware of something that one is hidding. It supposes two people: the one who knows the truth and the one who does not know and is made to believe something else. But what is the point of deceiving oneself? It is not possible for a part of oneself that knows and deceives the part that does not know, because we are talking about a single person and a conscious activity, which is to deceive.

Here is a game of language that need to be disentangled.

Perhaps it means that there is a truth within oneself (in the unconscious) that the subject could know. But that this truth is uncomfortable and the subject does not allow it to emerge. It implies a duplicity: the unconscious and the conscious. But the conscious is attributed something like a consciousness of what is in the unconscious. An absurdity.

Besides, this produces some paradoxes: one is supposed to have a deep nature but is hidden under appearances. An honest neo-Nazi would be one who recognizes himself as such and dedicates himself to killing Jews and Muslims. A dishonest neo-Nazi would be one who recognizes himself as such, but prefers to act as if he were not, in order to avoid being looked at badly in his family or at work.

The only thing we can say in these cases is that passion is stronger than consciousness and prevents one from facing the truth. That is possible, but it prevents us from talking about any deception. There is simply a stronger part. There is no dishonesty. There is error. False beliefs and wrong acts.

Of course, there are cases in which the refusal to face reality implies a reprehensible attitude. They are usually cases where the person knows or has strong indications of the truth and refuses to talk about it or do anything about it. But you can't attribute it to everyone who believes in something. It is difficult to know when this happen and that occurs under any belief and not in all those who hold it.


On the other hand, how is an error caused by stupidity distinguished from a simple error committed by a non-stupid person? Is there a test for the stupidity of an argument? What is its measure? I know intelligence tests to classify abilities. I don't know tests of intelligence for arguments. Much less for the stupidity of simple propositions. For example: "all human beings believe in something without proof. Then I can believe in something (God) without proof". Is it more stupid than claiming that we need to have evidence of everything?

I insist: we usually call anything or anyone who contradicts our basic beliefs "stupid". This is an inaccurate way of speaking. A common place.

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Old 25th July 2019, 12:05 AM   #197
David Mo
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Originally Posted by Ron_Tomkins View Post
Well, for starters, arguing about things that matter?

But please, do carry on. God arguments are the fuel of internet forums. Especially this one.
And what are the things that matter?

One day Dr. Watson dedicated himself to making a list of Sherlock Holmes' knowledge. He was surprised that his friend, the most intelligent man in England, knew a lot of things like the different kinds of ashes, the customs of the Chinese or how to play the violin and had no idea of astronomy.

"If the Earth revolves around the Sun?" said Holmes. "I don't know and I don't care. What use is it for me to know this?"

And this one: "What good is it for someone to gain the whole world, yet forfeit their soul?" (Mark 8:36)

Both positions are worth to discuss about. I think.
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Old 25th July 2019, 05:08 AM   #198
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While I would agree that words can be used to have more than one meaning, you seem to repeatedly assume that everyone would use them only in the one sense that you would choose. E.g., that "stupid" has to always be meant as a matter of being bothered or of faith, or in the other thread that "sociopathy" has to be meant as a slur instead of a medical term.

Which I mention only because you wanted an example of how a simple proposition can be stupid. Frankly, that would be it. Being wrong about it once, ok, it happens over the internet. But repeatedly insisting that no, you know better than the one using the term that they didn't REALLY mean what they thought they meant, is downright stupid and delusional.
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Old 25th July 2019, 08:28 AM   #199
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Originally Posted by David Mo View Post
And what are the things that matter?

One day Dr. Watson dedicated himself to making a list of Sherlock Holmes' knowledge. He was surprised that his friend, the most intelligent man in England, knew a lot of things like the different kinds of ashes, the customs of the Chinese or how to play the violin and had no idea of astronomy.

"If the Earth revolves around the Sun?" said Holmes. "I don't know and I don't care. What use is it for me to know this?"

And this one: "What good is it for someone to gain the whole world, yet forfeit their soul?" (Mark 8:36)

Both positions are worth to discuss about. I think.
Not Really. Especially since both are fiction.

You get that don't you? Sherlock Holmes is a story made up by Arthur Conan Doyle and nobody has a clue who wrote Mark or Matthew or Luke or John. Those are just stories and 3 of them are simply rewritten stories either of Mark or from another source often referred to as Q.

My question to you is why would you believe them to be non-fiction?
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Old 25th July 2019, 08:33 AM   #200
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Originally Posted by acbytesla View Post
Not Really. Especially since both are fiction.

You get that don't you? Sherlock Holmes is a story made up by Arthur Conan Doyle and nobody has a clue who wrote Mark or Matthew or Luke or John. Those are just stories and 3 of them are simply rewritten stories either of Mark or from another source often referred to as Q.

My question to you is why would you believe them to be non-fiction?
Cue appeal to authority, appeal to tradition, or appeal to popularity as the most possible coherent answer you're gonna get.
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