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Old 19th September 2018, 06:49 PM   #41
arthwollipot
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Originally Posted by The Great Zaganza View Post
Another rookie move is to assume that debunking one idea cannot be done without promoting a different one.
There's actually research on this. It's been found that debunking one idea without promoting a different one is actually less effective. You need to provide something when you take something away, or you are less likely to persuade them.
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Old 19th September 2018, 10:03 PM   #42
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Link?!
(It may be less effective, but sometimes you yourself don't know the correct answer. You just know that the one you debunked is wrong. And isn't that an important part of skepticism?)
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Old 19th September 2018, 11:28 PM   #43
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Originally Posted by dann View Post
Link?!
(It may be less effective, but sometimes you yourself don't know the correct answer. You just know that the one you debunked is wrong. And isn't that an important part of skepticism?)
It was covered as a news item on the Skeptics Guide to the Universe podcast a couple of months ago, so I don't have a specific link. You could always hunt through the show notes if you're interested. And yes, knowing that something is wrong is one part of the process, but if you want to dislodge someone else's false belief (which is another part of the process) it works better if you have the correct information available to replace the incorrect information with.
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Old 20th September 2018, 01:52 AM   #44
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Originally Posted by arthwollipot View Post
It was covered as a news item on the Skeptics Guide to the Universe podcast a couple of months ago, so I don't have a specific link. You could always hunt through the show notes if you're interested. And yes, knowing that something is wrong is one part of the process, but if you want to dislodge someone else's false belief (which is another part of the process) it works better if you have the correct information available to replace the incorrect information with.
Perhaps that really is the difference between a "skeptic" and lots of other people - a skeptic can live with uncertainty without having to have an explanation?
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Old 20th September 2018, 02:31 AM   #45
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At least, it's probably one of the differences. For instance, how exactly did the universe begin? Or life? We don't know exactly, but nothing seems to indicate that an intelligent creator did it. So the God 'hypothesis' wins every time if you prefer to believe in certainty instead of accepting uncertainty.
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"The abolition of religion as the illusory happiness of the people is required for their real happiness. The demand to give up the illusion about its condition is the demand to give up a condition which needs illusions." K. Marx

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Old 20th September 2018, 05:22 AM   #46
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Originally Posted by Darat View Post
Perhaps that really is the difference between a "skeptic" and lots of other people - a skeptic can live with uncertainty without having to have an explanation?
Yes.
"I don't know.", is a perfectly reasonable answer.
As well as a perfectly comfortable state of mind.
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Old 20th September 2018, 05:51 AM   #47
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Originally Posted by Brainster View Post
Just saying that it's fine to be skeptical about God's existence, but the minute you express certainty about his existence or non-existence you are not being skeptical, you are expressing faith in something that is unknowable.
Congratulations on actually answering the OP by using yourself as an example.
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Old 21st September 2018, 01:16 PM   #48
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Originally Posted by HansMustermann View Post

Also, you can deconvert from Xianity and jolly well keep other pre-existing woo. Just stopping believing in one woo, doesn't mean one suddenly drops all of them. E.g., I know one guy who's totally not into religion any more, but still believes that the world is run by some cabal of people so rich, that they're not even on the Top X lists of the richest people. Apparently they slid right off the list UPWARDS.
A whole lot of the time, when someone deconverts from one demonstrably incorrect belief they previously held to really strongly, a sort of mental domino effect kicks in, and over time "everything" is fair game for serious reconsideration. There are exceptions, but I think what I just described is more average than not. It's the first one that's "painful", and everything
else is kinda small potatoes after that.

Re: the super rich who might not show up on the top 10 lists, is it actually impossible that some fantastically wealthy, "rich as Bill Gates" type people hide most of their wealth in the sort of anonymous shell companies described here?
https://thinkprogress.org/delaware-m...-7f52c5f08f32/

I honestly have no idea and don't really care, but it's not "believes in reptilians" implausible-sounding to me.
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Old 22nd September 2018, 07:55 PM   #49
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Quote:
Quote:
Originally Posted by Brainster View Post
Just saying that it's fine to be skeptical about God's existence, but the minute you express certainty about his existence or non-existence you are not being skeptical, you are expressing faith in something that is unknowable.


Originally Posted by Belz... View Post
Congratulations on actually answering the OP by using yourself as an example.

Sorry Belz. Wrong. Brainster has it right.
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Old 22nd September 2018, 08:02 PM   #50
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Originally Posted by Bubba View Post
Sorry Belz. Wrong. Brainster has it right.
Okay who wants to go through the motions again? I don't.
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Old 22nd September 2018, 08:06 PM   #51
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Bubba, you're alive
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Old 23rd September 2018, 12:16 PM   #52
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It was reported here that a rookie skeptic will mock the silly clueless conspiracy theories
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Old 23rd September 2018, 12:20 PM   #53
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Originally Posted by Bubba View Post
It was reported here that a rookie skeptic will mock the silly clueless conspiracy theories
Or latch onto them.
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Old 30th September 2018, 05:40 AM   #54
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Originally Posted by Venom View Post
What are some of the habits of a rookie skeptic?

Does he call out every logical fallacy he sees?
No, that was CFLarsen, and he was no rookie.

Originally Posted by fagin View Post
I think they make sweeping assumptions about individuals.
Attacking persons when you no longer bother to mine for facts is rather popular among the experienced forumers too.

Originally Posted by Venom View Post
Is he reflexively anti-government
I don't know about anti-, but probably skeptical of the politically motivated and always biassed information distributed by any politician anywhere.

Originally Posted by arthwollipot View Post
As I have said before, if a real god does genuinely exist, then they already know exactly what kind of evidence that they need to present to me in order to convince me that they are real. Their evidence will be perfect and indisputable.
This makes sense, but what comes to God of the NT, he "chose to proclaim a folly, so that the wise of this world would find it silly and not believe". Figure out what might be the motive for that.

Originally Posted by The Great Zaganza View Post
Another rookie move is to assume that debunking one idea cannot be done without promoting a different one.
On the other hand, nothing is cheaper and easier than opposing an idea without any evidence on your behalf, and without having any clue about the topic under discussion. I prefer to take the policy of reminding an opponent that claiming something to be false without telling what is right is useless, and stands a good chance of being ignored on my behalf.

Originally Posted by Brainster View Post
Just saying that it's fine to be skeptical about God's existence, but the minute you express certainty about his existence or non-existence you are not being skeptical, you are expressing faith in something that is unknowable.
Originally Posted by Belz... View Post
Congratulations on actually answering the OP by using yourself as an example.
This does not indicate a rookie either. My perception is that skeptics don't routinely start as agnostics and end up as atheists. Many (such as myself) remain as agnostics to the bitter end.

Last edited by JJM 777; 30th September 2018 at 05:42 AM.
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Old 30th September 2018, 06:44 AM   #55
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Originally Posted by JJM 777 View Post
No, that was CFLarsen, and he was no rookie.


Attacking persons when you no longer bother to mine for facts is rather popular among the experienced forumers too.


I don't know about anti-, but probably skeptical of the politically motivated and always biassed information distributed by any politician anywhere.


This makes sense, but what comes to God of the NT, he "chose to proclaim a folly, so that the wise of this world would find it silly and not believe". Figure out what might be the motive for that.


On the other hand, nothing is cheaper and easier than opposing an idea without any evidence on your behalf, and without having any clue about the topic under discussion. I prefer to take the policy of reminding an opponent that claiming something to be false without telling what is right is useless, and stands a good chance of being ignored on my behalf.



This does not indicate a rookie either. My perception is that skeptics don't routinely start as agnostics and end up as atheists. Many (such as myself) remain as agnostics to the bitter end.
Which of the gods people actually worship and claim to believe in do you believe in?
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Old 30th September 2018, 08:11 AM   #56
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Originally Posted by Darat View Post
Which of the gods people actually worship and claim to believe in do you believe in?
Agnostics don't believe in gods, but they bother to acknowledge that we don't have evidence against the existence of gods.
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Old 30th September 2018, 08:14 AM   #57
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Originally Posted by JJM 777 View Post
Agnostics don't believe in gods, but they bother to acknowledge that we don't have evidence against the existence of gods.
Does this describe you?

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Agnostic_atheism
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Old 30th September 2018, 09:40 AM   #58
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Originally Posted by kellyb View Post
Checking also the obvious counterpart of your link ...

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Agnostic_theism

... it becomes apparent that agnosticism is a vague concept that applies to majority of religious people too. Not many humans firmly believe that they know everything about their religion, the unknown and unseen is ever present in religious experience, for obvious reasons.

Agnostic atheism is what I wanted to refer to earlier with the concept agnosticism.
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Old 30th September 2018, 10:02 AM   #59
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Originally Posted by JJM 777 View Post
Agnostic atheism is what I wanted to refer to earlier with the concept agnosticism.
That's what I figured. I call myself an atheist, because my lack of belief in deities is...significant, you could say. But at the end of the day, philosophically I'm with Descartes on the whole:


Quote:
Accordingly, seeing that our senses sometimes deceive us, I was willing to suppose that there existed nothing really such as they presented to us; And because some men err in reasoning, and fall into Paralogisms, even on the simplest matters of Geometry, I, convinced that I was as open to error as any other, rejected as false all the reasonings I had hitherto taken for Demonstrations; And finally, when I considered that the very same thoughts (presentations) which we experience when awake may also be experienced when we are asleep, while there is at that time not one of them true, I supposed that all the objects (presentations) that had ever entered into my mind when awake, had in them no more truth than the illusions of my dreams. But immediately upon this I observed that, whilst I thus wished to think that all was false, it was absolutely necessary that I, who thus thought, should be something; And as I observed that this truth, I think, therefore I am, was so certain and of such evidence that no ground of doubt, however extravagant, could be alleged by the Sceptics capable of shaking it, I concluded that I might, without scruple, accept it as the first principle of the philosophy of which I was in search.
...thing, so technically, I'm an agnostic atheist.
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Old 30th September 2018, 11:03 AM   #60
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Originally Posted by JJM 777 View Post
Agnostics don't believe in gods, but they bother to acknowledge that we don't have evidence against the existence of gods.
To make sure I'm clear, you don't believe in any of the gods religious people claim they believe in? If so then as much as you may not like it you are an atheist. The "a" signifies that you are not a theist I.e. don't belive in a god.
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Old 30th September 2018, 11:28 AM   #61
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As for me, I've accepted Pascal's Wager as a sort of fire insurance in case there really is more to life out there.
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Old 1st October 2018, 03:01 AM   #62
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We should avoid the discussion of agnosticism vs atheism in a description of the rookie skeptics. After all, veteran skeptics can get their knockers into a knot over this question: just look at the lot of threads that have thrashed about over this question.
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Old 1st October 2018, 03:15 AM   #63
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Originally Posted by Venom View Post
As for me, I've accepted Pascal's Wager as a sort of fire insurance in case there really is more to life out there.
Serious question: How do you choose to believe in the Roman Catholic Church's god ?
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Old 1st October 2018, 03:16 AM   #64
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Originally Posted by steenkh View Post
We should avoid the discussion of agnosticism vs atheism in a description of the rookie skeptics. After all, veteran skeptics can get their knockers into a knot over this question: just look at the lot of threads that have thrashed about over this question.
That lots of people may honestly but wrongley disagree with me isn't my problem!
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Old 1st October 2018, 03:50 AM   #65
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Originally Posted by Venom View Post
As for me, I've accepted Pascal's Wager as a sort of fire insurance in case there really is more to life out there.
I'm going with a reverse-Pascal's wager:
since every other deity/demon etc. will be cross with me if I pick one favorite, I ignore them equally.
It's the safest bet.
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Old 1st October 2018, 05:12 AM   #66
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Originally Posted by The Great Zaganza View Post
I'm going with a reverse-Pascal's wager:
since every other deity/demon etc. will be cross with me if I pick one favorite, I ignore them equally.
It's the safest bet.
I cannot rule out that there exists a cruel God that hates people who take on Pascal's Wager, so to be on the safe side, I choose not to believe ...
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Old 1st October 2018, 06:58 AM   #67
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Originally Posted by Venom View Post
As for me, I've accepted Pascal's Wager as a sort of fire insurance in case there really is more to life out there.

Hello, rookie skeptic.
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Old 1st October 2018, 07:29 AM   #68
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Originally Posted by The Great Zaganza View Post
I'm going with a reverse-Pascal's wager:
since every other deity/demon etc. will be cross with me if I pick one favorite, I ignore them equally.
It's the safest bet.

Only if the other deities and demons are no more powerful and/or no more crazy than old man Yhwh.

What if Yhwh is the biggest baddest craziest God of them all, by far? I don't think any of the others actually boasts about how jealous they are, so perhaps He's at least crazier than the rest, if not necessarily more powerful. You sure you want to piss him off?
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Old 1st October 2018, 07:31 AM   #69
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Originally Posted by Darat View Post
To make sure I'm clear, you don't believe in any of the gods religious people claim they believe in? If so then as much as you may not like it you are an atheist. The "a" signifies that you are not a theist I.e. don't belive in a god.
Maybe it's a sign of rookie skepticism to try to pigeonhole people in defiance of their own assessment and worldview.
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Old 1st October 2018, 07:38 AM   #70
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Originally Posted by Chanakya View Post
Only if the other deities and demons are no more powerful and/or no more crazy than old man Yhwh.

What if Yhwh is the biggest baddest craziest God of them all, by far? I don't think any of the others actually boasts about how jealous they are, so perhaps He's at least crazier than the rest, if not necessarily more powerful. You sure you want to piss him off?
Jehova is obviously suffering from an inferiority complex, or he would not have to tell everyone all the time how great he is.


If I had to chose, I would go with Mormonism since, as a man, I would get my own planet if I picked right.
The best God gives me is a harp.
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Old 1st October 2018, 11:35 AM   #71
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Originally Posted by Bubba View Post
Originally Posted by Brainster View Post
Just saying that it's fine to be skeptical about God's existence, but the minute you express certainty about his existence or non-existence you are not being skeptical, you are expressing faith in something that is unknowable.
Sorry Belz. Wrong. Brainster has it right.

No, Bubba, Brainster doesn't have it right.
God is a made-up character in a book that some people think is good. You don't go around saying that it is unknowable if the Grinch exists or not, you don't doubt that Donald Duck isn't an actual talking duck, and you don't start having discussions about the "certainty about his existence or non-existence."
If you do, you've started taking fiction much too seriously. Fictional characters are imaginary = not real.
It's one of the things that you can be absolutely certain about.
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Old 1st October 2018, 11:37 AM   #72
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Originally Posted by The Great Zaganza View Post
Jehova is obviously suffering from an inferiority complex, or he would not have to tell everyone all the time how great he is.

I'm reminded of a current tweeter ...
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"Stupidity renders itself invisible by assuming very large proportions. Completely unreasonable claims are irrefutable. Ni-en-leh pointed out that a philosopher might get into trouble by claiming that two times two makes five, but he does not risk much by claiming that two times two makes shoe polish." B. Brecht
"The abolition of religion as the illusory happiness of the people is required for their real happiness. The demand to give up the illusion about its condition is the demand to give up a condition which needs illusions." K. Marx
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Old 2nd October 2018, 04:19 AM   #73
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Originally Posted by theprestige View Post
Maybe it's a sign of rookie skepticism to try to pigeonhole people in defiance of their own assessment and worldview.
Might be. Any reason for the comment?
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Old 2nd October 2018, 04:37 AM   #74
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Originally Posted by JJM 777 View Post
Agnostics don't believe in gods, but they bother to acknowledge that we don't have evidence against the existence of gods.
After thousands of years with a complete lack of evidence in support of any supernatural agent, doesn't there come a time when it is reasonable to admit a la k of existence?

Do you hold out for unicorns or elves?
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Old 2nd October 2018, 04:47 AM   #75
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Originally Posted by fromdownunder View Post
What is a "rookie sceptic"?


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Old 2nd October 2018, 04:52 AM   #76
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Originally Posted by Captain_Swoop View Post
After thousands of years with a complete lack of evidence in support of any supernatural agent, doesn't there come a time when it is reasonable to admit a la k of existence?

Do you hold out for unicorns or elves?
It's worse than that, if you look at the definitions of many of the gods that people have actually believed in we do have evidence that many of them do not exist. The example I always trot out is Zues - many people believed in that god and according to their definition he lived in a palace on Mount Olympus, we know no such palace exists on Mount Olympus therefore we know the god that they claimed to actually believe in does not exist.

The push back is often given as "could be a metaphor" or something like "it could be that only gods can see this palace" and so on, and the answer to that is "No it couldn't be because that is NOT what the people who believed in Zeus believed in". In other words the only way to provide space for doubt of Zeus's existence is to change what the people who claimed to believe in him believed in i.e. it is no longer the god they believed in.

Which is why I try to ensure that I make it clear that the gods I am sure do not exist are the gods as defined by the people who actually believe in those gods and not some pseudo-god entity that you can imagine could exist beyond verification of existence.

I'll stick to not believing in the real gods that people actually claim do exist not fictional gods that no one claims to believe in!
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Old 3rd October 2018, 12:19 AM   #77
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Originally Posted by Darat View Post
To make sure I'm clear, you don't believe in any of the gods religious people claim they believe in? If so then as much as you may not like it you are an atheist. The "a" signifies that you are not a theist I.e. don't belive in a god.
Sounds as if you don't want to acknowledge that there are three possibilities: 1) believe that gods exist, 2) believe that they don't exist, and 3) regard both of these beliefs as uncertain and unproven.

Since the JREF forum times, I have seen decades of debate on whether atheism means lack of faith in gods, or faith in the nonexistence of gods. And which of these is the scientific default position, true until proven false.

Originally Posted by Chanakya View Post
What if Yhwh is the biggest baddest craziest God of them all, by far? ... You sure you want to piss him off?
This is not rookie skepticism. This is rookie religiosity.

Originally Posted by Captain_Swoop View Post
After thousands of years with a complete lack of evidence in support of any supernatural agent, doesn't there come a time when it is reasonable to admit a la k of existence?
A temptating question, but then, we had thousands of years with complete lack of evidence in support of the Higgs boson etc. Science will discover new things, and I will not make any effort to know with certainty what they will discover and what not.

Last edited by JJM 777; 3rd October 2018 at 12:26 AM.
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Old 3rd October 2018, 02:55 AM   #78
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Originally Posted by JJM 777 View Post
A temptating question, but then, we had thousands of years with complete lack of evidence in support of the Higgs boson etc. Science will discover new things, and I will not make any effort to know with certainty what they will discover and what not.

I think that this is a rather poor analogy.


Gods were in the human mainstream thousands of years ago and are still hanging around so to speak.


Are you suggesting that the Higgs boson was in the human mainstream thousands of years ago, or is it just a recent concept, say proposed in the 1960's?



There is a huge difference between an artifact that has been with us maybe close to forever, and something even like a mobile phone for which we did not have evidence for thousands of years ago.


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Old 3rd October 2018, 06:14 AM   #79
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Originally Posted by JJM 777 View Post
Sounds as if you don't want to acknowledge that there are three possibilities: 1) believe that gods exist, 2) believe that they don't exist, and 3) regard both of these beliefs as uncertain and unproven.

...snip...
No idea where you get that from.

As I said I know that many of gods many people have believed in do not exist, there are probably thousands of definitions of gods that people claim to believe in that we can be certain do not exist for example Aphrodite and Zeus.

Originally Posted by JJM 777 View Post

Since the JREF forum times, I have seen decades of debate on whether atheism means lack of faith in gods, or faith in the nonexistence of gods. And which of these is the scientific default position, true until proven false. ...snip...
A theist believes in a god, an atheist is someone without that belief.

Unless you respond to the question "Which god do you believe in?" with an actual god you are without that belief. Whether a god does exist or not or could exist etc. is outside the scope of being without a belief in a god or gods.

Now yes some people want to load additional meaning onto the word, and that is where everyone gets their knickers in a twist trying to out "skeptic" one another.


Originally Posted by JJM 777 View Post
...snip...

A temptating question, but then, we had thousands of years with complete lack of evidence in support of the Higgs boson etc. Science will discover new things, and I will not make any effort to know with certainty what they will discover and what not.
We only started to look for the Higgs boson since the 1960s.

People have been looking for their various gods since recorded history and still haven't found one.
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Old 3rd October 2018, 06:23 AM   #80
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If you subscribe to the ideas of Yuval Noah Harari, the Belief in Atheism is a kind of Religion.
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