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Old 16th March 2019, 01:47 PM   #81
HansMustermann
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Originally Posted by TragicMonkey View Post
Original thought not permitted?
It's permitted in the sense that I'm not even trying to forbid it. But there's a difference between original thought that has any logical justification, and original delusional thought.

Originally Posted by TragicMonkey View Post
It seems contradictory to simultaneously disbelieve in past theories of the supernatural while insisting any current theory of the supernatural be sourced in past theories.
Mate, the point is to have that thought be based on SOMETHING. Regardless of whether it's about the supernatural or about general relativity. Stuff that's just an ad-hoc personal ass-pull and whose only merit is that it makes me feel all fuzzy and special isn't even a logical argument.

So unless someone wishes to claim that God actually spoke to THEM personally and revealed all that, then who did God speak to and reveal exactly that belief, and how did they find that information? It's as simple as that.

Originally Posted by TragicMonkey View Post
The thread title is "reaching out", but this last paragraph sounds like you insist on being able to attack everything someone says when they're invited to do so. "Please tell us your theories...and now I'll tell you why you're wrong". You've promised to not consider what anyone says, before they've even said it. Why, then, would any theist want to talk to you? You're obviously not keeping an open mind.

And it's not "preaching" if someone says what they think, it's only preaching when someone tells other people what to think.
Psst? I'm not the OP. I'm the guy who said I'd rather they stuck to "don't ask, don't tell."

That said, it seems to me like regardless of who may have invited them, expecting it to be a one way street -- because apparently I'm so mean if I have any objections from my side -- IS preaching.
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Old 16th March 2019, 02:04 PM   #82
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Beliefs and utter disbelief are a big rift to jump with a big rucksack of proof.

Not allowing personal ideas either delusional or sort of logic based from either side means the topic has hit a wall.

Not accepting cold logic of no proof means no diety is the other side of that wall.

Talk sports or about current events there may be s lot of common ground. In religion and politics wats begin quickly.
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Old 16th March 2019, 04:27 PM   #83
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Originally Posted by GDon View Post
I wasn't trying to score a point. I was making a point: IMHO many atheists (not all!) want you to prove to them that the particular version of God that they don't believe in in fact exists, rather than working from what the theist themselves describe. The conversion starts with two people talking past each other, and doesn't improve from there.
Atheists don’t have a “particular version of God” any more than theists do. And that’s the problem, there’s as many differing versions of god beliefs as there are people that believe in them, and none of them are clearly or meaningfully defined. The only commonality that exists is that all theists believe their particular god actually, factually exists. It’s appropriate therefore for atheists to ask for proof/reason for that belief.

Originally Posted by GDon View Post
For example, atheists obsessed with the Bible (which seems to include you) will always bring the conversion back to the Bible, even if the theist has other reasons for belief, such as our esteemed former Federal Labour leader and Australian Humanist of the Year, Bill Hayden.
I’ve yet to meet a Christian that doesn’t constantly use The Bible as a proof/reason for their beliefs. Atheist may appear to be obsessed with The Bible because they’re having to constantly respond to theists obsession with it. To claim an old atheist converting to theism is a reason people believe in a god is ludicrous. At best, such a conversion might serve as a form of confirmation/validation/support of an already held god belief.

Originally Posted by GDon View Post
How would you proceed to engage with his ideas that “There’s been a gnawing pain in my heart and soul about what is the meaning of life. What’s my role in it?” and “I can no longer accept that human existence is self-sufficient and isolated”, other than with a shrug of the shoulders?
His “ideas” are merely presuppositional beliefs that don’t deserve serious consideration (no need to proceed at all).

“A gnawing pain in my heart and soul” presupposes the heart is something more than a blood pump, and that a soul exists.
“What is the meaning of life?” presupposes there is a meaning of life.
“What’s my role in it?” presupposes there is a role.
“I can no longer accept that human existence is self-sufficient and isolated” presupposes anyone thinks human existence is self-sufficient and isolated. I don’t know anyone that thinks this.

A shrug of the shoulders is an appropriate response.
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Old 16th March 2019, 04:31 PM   #84
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Originally Posted by Scorpion View Post
JeffBradt has only made two posts, and starting this thread was one of them, I wonder where his other post went. Come on Jeff, come and join in, why don't you?
Dude. He's probably still asleep .

As I mentioned earlier, his first post was in the Welcome! section of the forum.
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Old 16th March 2019, 05:23 PM   #85
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Originally Posted by HansMustermann View Post
It's permitted in the sense that I'm not even trying to forbid it. But there's a difference between original thought that has any logical justification, and original delusional thought.
I disagree. A theory either has merit or it doesn't, regardless of whether the source is a three millennia old document or just popped into Aunt Myrtle's head while she was doing the dishes one evening.

Quote:
Mate, the point is to have that thought be based on SOMETHING. Regardless of whether it's about the supernatural or about general relativity. Stuff that's just an ad-hoc personal ass-pull and whose only merit is that it makes me feel all fuzzy and special isn't even a logical argument.
First, not everybody expects everything to be logical. Second, whether a theory is valid or not is not affected by how it makes someone feel. Third, not all theories of existence are intended to make one "feel special".

Quote:
So unless someone wishes to claim that God actually spoke to THEM personally and revealed all that, then who did God speak to and reveal exactly that belief, and how did they find that information? It's as simple as that.
As someone mentioned above, one issue here is that too many atheists insist upon arguing against their own strawman version of other people's ideas. Here you are assuming 1) a god, 2) a god that interacts with humanity, 3) a god that reveals things to humanity. Do you have any idea how many religions don't fit that profile? I suspect you do not because one hallmark of the vituperative atheist is ignorance of historical religions and beliefs. You wish to argue against a specific set of notions about a specific theology of a specific subset of a specific religion. And if someone brings up something that isn't your idea of Christianity you say it's not "properly sourced".

Quote:
Psst? I'm not the OP. I'm the guy who said I'd rather they stuck to "don't ask, don't tell."
And I pointed out that's offensive, which you seemed to enjoy being.

Quote:
That said, it seems to me like regardless of who may have invited them, expecting it to be a one way street -- because apparently I'm so mean if I have any objections from my side -- IS preaching.
Object away. But you're wasting your time tilting at your own windmills when you refuse to listen to the ideas you think you're objecting to. What do you hope to achieve? You can't convince a person who believes A that they're wrong by arguing about B. The only thing you'll get is misapplied self-satisfaction at being rude to anyone foolish enough to bother talking to you.
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Old 17th March 2019, 01:07 AM   #86
David Mo
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Originally Posted by TragicMonkey View Post

As someone mentioned above, one issue here is that too many atheists insist upon arguing against their own strawman version of other people's ideas. Here you are assuming 1) a god, 2) a god that interacts with humanity, 3) a god that reveals things to humanity. Do you have any idea how many religions don't fit that profile? I suspect you do not because one hallmark of the vituperative atheist is ignorance of historical religions and beliefs. You wish to argue against a specific set of notions about a specific theology of a specific subset of a specific religion. And if someone brings up something that isn't your idea of Christianity you say it's not "properly sourced".

(...)

Object away. But you're wasting your time tilting at your own windmills when you refuse to listen to the ideas you think you're objecting to. What do you hope to achieve? You can't convince a person who believes A that they're wrong by arguing about B. The only thing you'll get is misapplied self-satisfaction at being rude to anyone foolish enough to bother talking to you.
OK. You're right. But theists also have a problem: they easily identify themselves as theists or Christians, but find it difficult to explain their "dissident" particularities when this is the case. They also contribute to the ceremony of confusion.
By the way, you don't think that religions that don't meet all three characteristics are so minority that they don't deserve much attention? Is it worth discussing an absent god? Not much.

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Old 17th March 2019, 04:10 AM   #87
HansMustermann
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Originally Posted by TragicMonkey View Post
I disagree. A theory either has merit or it doesn't, regardless of whether the source is a three millennia old document or just popped into Aunt Myrtle's head while she was doing the dishes one evening.
The argument wasn't whether it's old, it was whether it's SOUND. And if it relies only on stuff that Aunt Myrtle just pulled out of her own ass, then it's fundamentally UNSOUND from the start.

THAT was the argument.

Originally Posted by TragicMonkey View Post
First, not everybody expects everything to be logical.
While I won't disagree, it doesn't make me particularly interested in their illogical stuff. "But it's not LOGICAL" isn't an excuse that somehow makes it all right, then. It's the PROBLEM. It's what makes it stupid.

Originally Posted by TragicMonkey View Post
Second, whether a theory is valid or not is not affected by how it makes someone feel.
Precisely my point, old chap. Just because it makes some silly illogical person feel better, is no reason for me to give it any extra brownie points. Glad you agree, really.

Originally Posted by TragicMonkey View Post
Third, not all theories of existence are intended to make one "feel special".
Maybe. But it still doesn't waiver the question of where they got their premises from.

Originally Posted by TragicMonkey View Post
As someone mentioned above, one issue here is that too many atheists insist upon arguing against their own strawman version of other people's ideas. Here you are assuming 1) a god, 2) a god that interacts with humanity, 3) a god that reveals things to humanity. Do you have any idea how many religions don't fit that profile?
That's addressing your own strawman. Because I'm sure I mentioned that I'd ask the same "where and how did you get that?" of anything, regardless of whether it's even a religion at all. It being revealed by a God is just one example of claiming some source other than one's own imagination, but it's not the only one. The nonsense that I'd ask that only of religions with all those 3 is just your own strawman. So if it bothers you, stop doing strawmen. You have the power

But incidentally, yes, I know a few. I just file most of them under "idiotic". Sorry, pretending to know something that is undetectable and was NOT revealed to humans, has got to be the epitome of brain damage.

Again, that's not an excuse, that's the PROBLEM I was talking about.

Originally Posted by TragicMonkey View Post
I suspect you do not because one hallmark of the vituperative atheist is ignorance of historical religions and beliefs.
Blah, blah, blah, sophisticated theology defense. Mate, if you know one that makes sense, you present it. Postulating that it exists somewhere, it's just the atheists who don't know it, is lame and ultimately irrelevant.

Originally Posted by TragicMonkey View Post
You wish to argue against a specific set of notions about a specific theology of a specific subset of a specific religion. And if someone brings up something that isn't your idea of Christianity you say it's not "properly sourced".
Oh deary me, is it time for the retarded strawmen already? You know, since I denied that already on the previous page. Nah, let's just ascribe to me what you can attack instead. Heh.

Originally Posted by TragicMonkey View Post
And I pointed out that's offensive, which you seemed to enjoy being.
You know that there's such a fallacy as taking an analogy too far, right? Ran out of other arguments than doing a by-association fallacy on an analogy already? It was amusing at first, but it's still stupid.

Originally Posted by TragicMonkey View Post
Object away. But you're wasting your time tilting at your own windmills when you refuse to listen to the ideas you think you're objecting to. What do you hope to achieve? You can't convince a person who believes A that they're wrong by arguing about B. The only thing you'll get is misapplied self-satisfaction at being rude to anyone foolish enough to bother talking to you.
So, strawman AND bulverism then? You did run out of actual arguments, didn't you?
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Old 17th March 2019, 05:54 AM   #88
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Even good ideas begin life being pulled out of someone's arse. None of them come pre-verified.
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Old 17th March 2019, 06:28 AM   #89
HansMustermann
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Originally Posted by Robin View Post
Even good ideas begin life being pulled out of someone's arse. None of them come pre-verified.
The difference though is that those who aren't schizophrenic paranoid still realize that there's a difference between (A) something originating in your imagination, and (B) reality. Until you have SOMETHING from column B to base it on, taking it something from column A as reality is not particularly sane.

Would a benevolent God be a good idea? Sure. And for that matter so are Jedi, unicorns, Santa, etc. Is it reasonable then to believe in something like that without any reality check, and based on no more than it must be true because you imagined it? No, not really.
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Old 17th March 2019, 06:52 AM   #90
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Originally Posted by David Mo View Post
By the way, you don't think that religions that don't meet all three characteristics are so minority that they don't deserve much attention? Is it worth discussing an absent god? Not much.
I disagree. Gnosticism and Taoism, for examples, have been around for millennia.
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Old 17th March 2019, 07:04 AM   #91
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Originally Posted by HansMustermann View Post
The argument wasn't whether it's old, it was whether it's SOUND. And if it relies only on stuff that Aunt Myrtle just pulled out of her own ass, then it's fundamentally UNSOUND from the start.

THAT was the argument.



While I won't disagree, it doesn't make me particularly interested in their illogical stuff. "But it's not LOGICAL" isn't an excuse that somehow makes it all right, then. It's the PROBLEM. It's what makes it stupid.



Precisely my point, old chap. Just because it makes some silly illogical person feel better, is no reason for me to give it any extra brownie points. Glad you agree, really.



Maybe. But it still doesn't waiver the question of where they got their premises from.



That's addressing your own strawman. Because I'm sure I mentioned that I'd ask the same "where and how did you get that?" of anything, regardless of whether it's even a religion at all. It being revealed by a God is just one example of claiming some source other than one's own imagination, but it's not the only one. The nonsense that I'd ask that only of religions with all those 3 is just your own strawman. So if it bothers you, stop doing strawmen. You have the power

But incidentally, yes, I know a few. I just file most of them under "idiotic". Sorry, pretending to know something that is undetectable and was NOT revealed to humans, has got to be the epitome of brain damage.

Again, that's not an excuse, that's the PROBLEM I was talking about.



Blah, blah, blah, sophisticated theology defense. Mate, if you know one that makes sense, you present it. Postulating that it exists somewhere, it's just the atheists who don't know it, is lame and ultimately irrelevant.



Oh deary me, is it time for the retarded strawmen already? You know, since I denied that already on the previous page. Nah, let's just ascribe to me what you can attack instead. Heh.



You know that there's such a fallacy as taking an analogy too far, right? Ran out of other arguments than doing a by-association fallacy on an analogy already? It was amusing at first, but it's still stupid.



So, strawman AND bulverism then? You did run out of actual arguments, didn't you?
It's impossible to argue with someone who insists he alone gets to make the rules of what can be argued, and how. In any case your posts clearly show you are unwilling to consider fairly any other point of view. That doesn't seem like skepticism to me.

For the record I am not theistic myself, but I don't make a religion of it. Also I don't find being rude about it productive. Religion is an interesting topic because it tells us about ourselves. Understanding what people believe is a critical component in understanding history and culture. Dismissing all religious thought, which is as widely varied as humanity itself, as nonsense unworthy of understanding is handicapping knowledge, not extending it. We don't have to believe a particular thing to make it good to know it.
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Old 17th March 2019, 07:53 AM   #92
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Originally Posted by TragicMonkey View Post
I disagree. Gnosticism and Taoism, for examples, have been around for millennia.
Gnosticism was a Christian branch that does not exist now. It is a very diffuse concept. It has recently been resurrected by some minority religious groups with the same name but different ideas.

What I remember about Christian Gnosticism is that there is a god who is not responsible for the creation of the world. This is due to an inferior divinity. But God maintains his relationship with the world through his lower emanations or divinities (Aeons). In addition, the believer can get to know him through gnosis, which reintegrates his spiritual element into the sphere of divinity. More or less, that is what I know and it agrees more or less with the three characteristics we were talking about.

Taoism is also a minority religion. I don't know much about Taoism. As far as I know, Taoists believe in gods that interfere in human affairs. (http://www.bbc.co.uk/religion/religi...efs/gods.shtml) Perhaps there is a Taoist here who explains his belief in an absent god. In the meantime, I find it useful to discuss the great religions in our culture. That is, they believe in a God who interacts in some way with humanity.
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Old 17th March 2019, 08:52 AM   #93
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Originally Posted by David Mo View Post
Gnosticism was a Christian branch that does not exist now. It is a very diffuse concept. It has recently been resurrected by some minority religious groups with the same name but different ideas.
Gnosticism is like sand: it gets into everything and you can never really get rid of it. There were a lot of variations of Gnosticism. There are Gnostic beliefs incorporated into even the mainstreamiest of Christian denominations. It never went away, and never will, because it's solidly married to the Christian mystic tradition. And not just Christian--there are Gnostic currents in Averroes' Islam as well.

Quote:
What I remember about Christian Gnosticism is that there is a god who is not responsible for the creation of the world. This is due to an inferior divinity. But God maintains his relationship with the world through his lower emanations or divinities (Aeons). In addition, the believer can get to know him through gnosis, which reintegrates his spiritual element into the sphere of divinity. More or less, that is what I know and it agrees more or less with the three characteristics we were talking about.
That's the narrative version of Valentianism, slightly similar to Marcionism. But the mystic versions endure. Neo-Platonism is one of the inheritors of the Gnostic tradition.

Quote:
Taoism is also a minority religion. I don't know much about Taoism. As far as I know, Taoists believe in gods that interfere in human affairs. (http://www.bbc.co.uk/religion/religi...efs/gods.shtml) Perhaps there is a Taoist here who explains his belief in an absent god. In the meantime, I find it useful to discuss the great religions in our culture. That is, they believe in a God who interacts in some way with humanity.
There are multiple layers of Taoism as well. Chuang-tzu and the uncarved block are as far removed from the Three Pure Ones version of Taoism as Sophia and the Logos are from the Galilean revolutionary layer of Christianity.

If you're only interested in discussing particular religions, and then only on one particular level, that's fine. But a scholarly mind should retain awareness that most religions have three levels to them: narrative, rationalist, and mystical. Narrative is the story: some magical guy made the world out of a dead giant, a god hatched from an egg in a world ocean, a god incarnated as a carpenter, a goddess arose from some spit. The rationalist level is what happens if a religion lasted long enough to get philosophers and intellectuals interested in building something out of the story: god is loving and wants us to learn a lesson, the unverse has a purpose, it's the divine will that people be good, the point of life is to become gods ourselves. The mystical level is the level where enlightenment is sought outside of a rational framework: religious ecstasy, intuition, sensations. Everything from Buddha under the bodhi tree to St Teresa's obvious orgasm to Vodou possession. This is the level that modern atheists of the style found here can't seem to grasp--mysticism is inherent to religion but doesn't operate rationally so it can't be argued against rationally. Which doesn't mean mystics are even trying or wanting to convince anyone of anything--one of the points of mysticism is that it has to be personal experience. Hearing the experiences of others can do nothing for them. Which is why mystics tend to retreat from the world.

And I can already feel some people dismissing all of mysticism as nonsense. Which again, is fine for them. What they should not do, however, is try to insist that mysticism isn't part of "real" religions. It absolutely is. They all have it. In Christianity there are 'mysteries of faith', Thomas Merton, The Cloud of Unknowing, glossolalia, and myriad other examples. Buddhism has Zen and a bunch of others, and even the mainstream Buddhist branches are all up in meditation. Islam has Sufiism. Judaism has Kabbalah. Animism, voodoo, Santeria, Shinto, shamanism are heavily mystical. If you confine your idea of religion to just the Aquinases and catechisms you are only seeing part of the whole, and whether you're arguing against it or supporting it you're missing a critical piece.

Again, for the hard of reading, I'm not suggesting anyone should believe anything. I'm only saying that it's intellectually rigorous to actually understand a thing before you draw conclusions about it.
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Old 17th March 2019, 08:57 AM   #94
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Originally Posted by TragicMonkey View Post
It's impossible to argue with someone who insists he alone gets to make the rules of what can be argued, and how.
Flattering as that might be, I'm pretty sure that I'm not the one who made the rules of logic. I mean, I know they've only been around for only, oh, about 2500 years or so, but I'd expect them to not be that big a surprise to anyone as to assume that I'm making them up

And frankly, if insisting to use sound logic is making it impossible for someone to argue their case... GOOD. They can come back after they figured out this newfangled logic thing.

Originally Posted by TragicMonkey View Post
In any case your posts clearly show you are unwilling to consider fairly any other point of view.
Not if the deranged notion is that there's any fairness owed to those who fail logic, or, as you called it, "not everybody expects everything to be logical". If even they don't expect their argument to make logical sense, then, frankly, why would I even be interested in it? The fair hearing was letting them get to that point where it fails logic. That's it.

Frankly, I don't subscribe to the school of thought that every point of view was created equal. If someone not only can't support their premises as TRUE -- which is the requirement in standard logic for an argument to be sound -- but is offended even by asking what's their source -- which is all I was asking -- then no, I don't owe them any fair hearing past that point. Once it's not even tangentially connected to actual logic, why would I? No, seriously, you give me a reason, 'cause I'm drawing blanks.

Originally Posted by TragicMonkey View Post
That doesn't seem like skepticism to me.
Ah, right, the age old rationalization that those who ask for logic and evidence are actually not the REAL skeptics. Ho-hum, what else is new?

Originally Posted by TragicMonkey View Post
For the record I am not theistic myself, but I don't make a religion of it.
And I don't care if you are or not.

Originally Posted by TragicMonkey View Post
but I don't make a religion of it.
So... the old "atheism is a religion too" canard?

Originally Posted by TragicMonkey View Post
Also I don't find being rude about it productive.
And I don't find it productive to pretend that an argument that fails logic is of any value. If someone takes offense at my pointing out their lack of sources or any other support for their premises, well, that's their problem not mine.

Originally Posted by TragicMonkey View Post
Religion is an interesting topic because it tells us about ourselves. Understanding what people believe is a critical component in understanding history and culture. Dismissing all religious thought, which is as widely varied as humanity itself, as nonsense unworthy of understanding is handicapping knowledge, not extending it. We don't have to believe a particular thing to make it good to know it.
And you're any closer to understanding it by NOT asking where they got their premises, nor applying any logic to it? Really?
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Old 17th March 2019, 09:12 AM   #95
HansMustermann
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Originally Posted by TragicMonkey View Post
Again, for the hard of reading, I'm not suggesting anyone should believe anything. I'm only saying that it's intellectually rigorous to actually understand a thing before you draw conclusions about it.
You know, the continued postulates that you're the only one who really understands religion, and anyone thinking otherwise doesn't know what they're talking about, are getting tiresome. If you have a point, feel free to make and support it, but just postulating that anyone disagreeing is ignorant, is an ad hominem circumstatial fallacy and thus lame and irrelevant.
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Old 17th March 2019, 09:14 AM   #96
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Originally Posted by ynot View Post
Perhaps I could say to jeffbradt (if he hasn't left already) that his amicable attempt has apparently failed, and that he needs to improve his lack of awareness of the contigent nature of an individual’s beliefs, worldview and self identity, to be truly amicable.
This is a good point. Looking back at this a minute ago, I realized the condescending attitude I had taken, to consider god-belief silly. I do need to work on my friendliness toward theists, and in addition to my wife, you are helping. Thanks.
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Old 17th March 2019, 09:18 AM   #97
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Originally Posted by ynot View Post
Dude. He's probably still asleep .

As I mentioned earlier, his first post was in the Welcome! section of the forum.
I will try to remain active on this forum now that I see so many responses to my post. Evidently, this forum is more active than I suspected, and I am happy to see that.
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Old 17th March 2019, 09:23 AM   #98
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Originally Posted by HansMustermann View Post
You know, the continued postulates that you're the only one who really understands religion, and anyone thinking otherwise doesn't know what they're talking about
I didn't say that, and I don't think it. I'm pointing out some aspects of religion that don't seem to be considered, in this thread and in others. If you have already considered them, then I apologize if my mentioning them implied you hadn't.

Quote:
If you have a point, feel free to make and support it, but just postulating that anyone disagreeing is ignorant, is an ad hominem circumstatial fallacy and thuse lame and irrelevant.
My point is that there is more to religion than logic, so demanding religion be defended by logic alone is futile. That's why berating the religious (or anyone else) with such demands doesn't achieve anything but the opposite of "reaching out amicably". But as you've stated above, you're not the OP and have no desire to reach out amicably. I expect that will eventually lead to nobody with different views speaking to you. Is that what you want? Will that be a victory in your eyes? Personally, I enjoy exchanging ideas with those of different views, it's one of the appeals of the internet. But my goal isn't to convert anyone to my way of thinking. Is yours?
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Old 17th March 2019, 10:08 AM   #99
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Originally Posted by TragicMonkey View Post
My point is that there is more to religion than logic,
The same can be said about conspiracy theories, though

Originally Posted by TragicMonkey View Post
so demanding religion be defended by logic alone is futile.
It seems to me by now that you're equivocating between WHAT someone believes, and WHY they believe it. None of those is actually beyond the reach logic, nor has any reason to be, barring special pleading. It's just that you must be aware which of the two you want supported.

Originally Posted by TragicMonkey View Post
That's why berating the religious (or anyone else) with such demands doesn't achieve anything but the opposite of "reaching out amicably".
I find it much more amicable to avoid religion or politics in the first place, unless someone really wants to talk about it. But in that case, as I was saying, it should be a talk, not a case of expecting me to just nod at whatever nonsense they're spouting. If it's a one way street, it's not much of a dialogue, is it?

Originally Posted by TragicMonkey View Post
But as you've stated above, you're not the OP and have no desire to reach out amicably. I expect that will eventually lead to nobody with different views speaking to you. Is that what you want?
There's a difference between having different views, and being unable to support them. There are plenty of instances even on this board where I could be swayed to a different point of view, if the one proposing it can make a coherent argument for it. Most trivial example, look for my GR and black hole threads in the science forum.

So no, I don't have a problem with different views, I only have a problem with illogical ones. Deliberately equivocating between the two is at best a strawman.

Originally Posted by TragicMonkey View Post
Will that be a victory in your eyes? Personally, I enjoy exchanging ideas with those of different views, it's one of the appeals of the internet. But my goal isn't to convert anyone to my way of thinking. Is yours?
So, more strawman and bulverism?
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Old 17th March 2019, 11:45 AM   #100
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Originally Posted by HansMustermann View Post
The same can be said about conspiracy theories, though
I don't think it can, actually. Conspiracy theorists use faulty logic, but it's still logic. They don't reject logic as a path to truth, they simply apply it incorrectly and end up in the wrong place.

Quote:
It seems to me by now that you're equivocating between WHAT someone believes, and WHY they believe it. None of those is actually beyond the reach logic, nor has any reason to be, barring special pleading. It's just that you must be aware which of the two you want supported.
I don't understand what you're saying here. For those who reject logic as a means to arrive at a religious conclusion logic doesn't apply, nor would they expect it to. Faith or mystic revelation isn't logical. For you, that would appear to automatically invalidate them. Which is fine, it's your opinion that only reason can arrive at truth. But you seem to be expecting people who don't agree with that to act as if they do for the purposes of arguing with you. Why would they?

Quote:
I find it much more amicable to avoid religion or politics in the first place, unless someone really wants to talk about it. But in that case, as I was saying, it should be a talk, not a case of expecting me to just nod at whatever nonsense they're spouting. If it's a one way street, it's not much of a dialogue, is it?
I'm not asking you to nod at anything. I'm asking you to stop demanding nobody else nod at anything because you don't agree with their thinking.

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There's a difference between having different views, and being unable to support them.
In the case of religious mysticism those who believe aren't interested in supporting their views. It doesn't arise because they're subjectively personal and, since they aren't rational, couldn't be defended by any means you'd agree to recognize as legitimate. In other words, not everyone considers being able to support a belief a requirement to hold it. Which would be bad rationalism, but it's good religion.

I didn't think this thread was "prove your religious notions are true", I thought it was about "reaching out to theists amicably". If you aren't interested in doing that perhaps you can start your own thread, "prove your religious notions via logic".

Quote:
There are plenty of instances even on this board where I could be swayed to a different point of view, if the one proposing it can make a coherent argument for it. Most trivial example, look for my GR and black hole threads in the science forum.
Who even wants to "sway" you? I hate to break it to you, but you're not a highpower celebrity that the faithful are desperate to win to their side. Believe what you like.

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So no, I don't have a problem with different views, I only have a problem with illogical ones. Deliberately equivocating between the two is at best a strawman.
Yeah, I get it. You don't value anything that isn't logical. Not everybody agrees with that, so not everybody is going to conform to your demands to disregard all that isn't logical. You can't seem to grasp that: you keep posting objections to things because they're not logical. I know religion (the mystical side) isn't logical. That's part of its nature. It isn't meant to be logical, and it would be foolish to expect it to be.

You said you don't have a problem with different views...unless they don't fit into the subset of views you find sufficiently logical. You do indeed have a problem with all the views that don't privilege logic.

Quote:
So, more strawman and bulverism?
I think I'm acurately characterizing your replies to me in this thread. You disdain everything you don't find "logical" and can't seem to understand that not everybody else does. A large part of most religions embraces the illogical, so complaining about them not adhering to your idea of logic isn't the powerful counterargument you think it is.
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Old 17th March 2019, 11:55 AM   #101
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Originally Posted by jeffbradt View Post
This is a good point. Looking back at this a minute ago, I realized the condescending attitude I had taken, to consider god-belief silly. I do need to work on my friendliness toward theists, and in addition to my wife, you are helping. Thanks.
You're welcome, and welcome back. Hope you had a good "sleep"

I consider god beliefs are silly in modern times, and I don't consider it's condescending to openly and honesty say so. To say otherwise would in fact be a condescending lie. Friendliness toward theists shouldn't/doesn't need to require friendliness toward their theistic beliefs. Your relationship with your theist wife may require "special amicability" however .
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Old 17th March 2019, 01:32 PM   #102
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Originally Posted by TragicMonkey View Post

Personally, I enjoy exchanging ideas with those of different views, it's one of the appeals of the internet. But my goal isn't to convert anyone to my way of thinking. Is yours?

What an extraordinary thing to say. If genuine I would say you are unique. Just cruising around making comments without really trying to convince anyone else of anything hey? Or is this just a load of tosh?
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Old 17th March 2019, 01:52 PM   #103
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Originally Posted by Thor 2 View Post
What an extraordinary thing to say. If genuine I would say you are unique. Just cruising around making comments without really trying to convince anyone else of anything hey? Or is this just a load of tosh?
What would be the purpose of convincing someone of something? I derive no advantage from an anonymous stranger's theological position. Nor would successfully convincing someone of my own position make it more accurate, as I'm either right or wrong no matter how many are in agreement. I would like if this particular subforum weren't so rigidly antireligious, so such things could be discussed better, but I doubt anything I could say could change that.
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Old 17th March 2019, 02:03 PM   #104
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Originally Posted by GDon View Post
I wasn't trying to score a point. I was making a point: IMHO many atheists (not all!) want you to prove to them that the particular version of God that they don't believe in in fact exists, rather than working from what the theist themselves describe. The conversion starts with two people talking past each other, and doesn't improve from there.
This is a discussion forum, and a skeptical one. This typically means that people ask for evidence. Obviously, people ask about the concept of God that they know about, however, I'm sure that many would be ready to discuss any God you wanted to argue about.

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For example, atheists obsessed with the Bible (which seems to include you) will always bring the conversion back to the Bible, even if the theist has other reasons for belief, such as our esteemed former Federal Labour leader and Australian Humanist of the Year, Bill Hayden.
Again, we meet many theists referring to the Bible, so naturally this is an issue. However, if you will define another reference, be free to do so.

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How would you proceed to engage with his ideas that “There’s been a gnawing pain in my heart and soul about what is the meaning of life. What’s my role in it?” and “I can no longer accept that human existence is self-sufficient and isolated”, other than with a shrug of the shoulders?
I would muse that he had been a theist at heart all the time. Otherwise, why would he suddenly have a problem with those things. As for engaging his ideas, I wouldn't, unless he came here and wanted to discuss them.

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Old 17th March 2019, 02:08 PM   #105
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Originally Posted by ynot View Post
You're welcome, and welcome back. Hope you had a good "sleep"

I consider god beliefs are silly in modern times, and I don't consider it's condescending to openly and honesty say so. To say otherwise would in fact be a condescending lie. Friendliness toward theists shouldn't/doesn't need to require friendliness toward their theistic beliefs. Your relationship with your theist wife may require "special amicability" however .

I agree but would add the proviso "Silly for the educated in modern times." Lots of ignorance out there still and when mixed with childhood indoctrination it becomes a lethal mixture.

I had a Catholic girlfriend once that I was very serious about, and I recall many conversations, where some of the sillier bits of Catholic belief were discussed. She just seemed to be able to gloss over or dismiss so much as nonsense, (Stuff like the wafer turning into Christ's body for example.) and just cruise on regardless.

I watched with interest as she gave directions to the priest, in preparation for her fathers funeral. She seemed so at home and at ease in the church. This was her place and these were her people despite the lack of belief in much.
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Old 17th March 2019, 02:52 PM   #106
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Originally Posted by Thor 2 View Post
I agree but would add the proviso "Silly for the educated in modern times." Lots of ignorance out there still and when mixed with childhood indoctrination it becomes a lethal mixture.
Sure, and more specifically, silly for the educated and intellectually honest in modern times .
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Old 17th March 2019, 02:57 PM   #107
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Originally Posted by TragicMonkey View Post
What would be the purpose of convincing someone of something? I derive no advantage from an anonymous stranger's theological position. Nor would successfully convincing someone of my own position make it more accurate, as I'm either right or wrong no matter how many are in agreement. I would like if this particular subforum weren't so rigidly antireligious, so such things could be discussed better, but I doubt anything I could say could change that.

As I said before extraordinary!

A complete lack of interest in convincing someone of anything, or just anything pertaining to religion? What about when someone's beliefs, be they religious or otherwise, impact on you or others?

I don't recall seeing any cautionary note, attempting to dissuade any who were not sufficiently ant religious, from posting on this sub forum. Could it be that the bulk of atheists recognise the harm that religion does so inevitably become anti?
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Old 17th March 2019, 03:00 PM   #108
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@TragicMonkey
Mate, let's try it again, and I'll ignore for the moment the monumental nonsense that you can arrive at TRUTH by anything else than logic, and the rest of the nonsense for that matter.

What I'm saying is that studying religion is actually three different topics, and there's no reason to make a hash as if it's only one:

1. The claim itself, let's call it X. (E.g., "Odin is the allfather god, and you get chosen by him for the afterlife if you die bravely.")

2. Y believes X. (E.g., "the Norse believed X", X being the example above)

3. The REASON Z why they believe that. (E.g., "because in all that warfare it was really the most comforting thought.")

It seems to me like you don't have to abandon logic for any of them.

A. You can acknowledge that #1 fails to have any credible support, even though you may or may not be interested in #2 and #3 anyway. And

B. The fact of the matter is that accepting to no longer use logic for #1 is not bringing you any closer to the truth on any of the three. For #2 and #3, it's simply irrelevant whether #1 is sound, because they're statements about who and why believes what, not about the belief being true. And it doesn't help with arriving at truth for #1 either, since it just meant abandoning any valid framework to evaluate that.

Or in more formal terms, #2 and #3 are in their own intensional context. #1 is not.

C. You may or may not encourage someone to keep talking their nonsense about #1 anyway, if you're curious about #2 or #3. But that doesn't make #1 true. Nor does it constitute another way to arrive at the truth about #1.
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Old 17th March 2019, 03:07 PM   #109
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Originally Posted by GDon View Post
How would you proceed to engage with his ideas that “There’s been a gnawing pain in my heart and soul about what is the meaning of life. What’s my role in it?” and “I can no longer accept that human existence is self-sufficient and isolated”, other than with a shrug of the shoulders?
That is the WHY one would believe something, not the WHAT the belief is. It seems to me like I can still ask WTH his God is, what he does, and how does he know that. Because just knowing what questions got him to believe nonsense isn't actually containing one bit of information about what that belief actually is, nor what made that particular belief seem like the right one.
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Old 17th March 2019, 03:31 PM   #110
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Originally Posted by HansMustermann View Post
@TragicMonkey
Mate, let's try it again, and I'll ignore for the moment the monumental nonsense that you can arrive at TRUTH by anything else than logic, and the rest of the nonsense for that matter.
You've never guessed at anything? Guessing can lead to correct answers, but it's not using logic.

And calling things "nonsense" doesn't make them so, no matter how many times you do it.

Quote:
What I'm saying is that studying religion is actually three different topics, and there's no reason to make a hash as if it's only one:

1. The claim itself, let's call it X. (E.g., "Odin is the allfather god, and you get chosen by him for the afterlife if you die bravely.")

2. Y believes X. (E.g., "the Norse believed X", X being the example above)

3. The REASON Z why they believe that. (E.g., "because in all that warfare it was really the most comforting thought.")

It seems to me like you don't have to abandon logic for any of them.

A. You can acknowledge that #1 fails to have any credible support, even though you may or may not be interested in #2 and #3 anyway. And

B. The fact of the matter is that accepting to no longer use logic for #1 is not bringing you any closer to the truth on any of the three. For #2 and #3, it's simply irrelevant whether #1 is sound, because they're statements about who and why believes what, not about the belief being true. And it doesn't help with arriving at truth for #1 either, since it just meant abandoning any valid framework to evaluate that.

Or in more formal terms, #2 and #3 are in their own intensional context. #1 is not.

C. You may or may not encourage someone to keep talking their nonsense about #1 anyway, if you're curious about #2 or #3. But that doesn't make #1 true. Nor does it constitute another way to arrive at the truth about #1.
But I'm not saying that #2 and #3 are "ways to arrive at the truth of #1". I don't know where you got that from. And I certainly never said that #2 and #3 depend on the truth of #1; they work just as well for economic theories as well as religion.
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Old 17th March 2019, 03:46 PM   #111
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Originally Posted by TragicMonkey View Post
You've never guessed at anything? Guessing can lead to correct answers, but it's not using logic.
However, you can't know it's true until you test it against reality. And since "believing X" means "believing X to be true", it's not a particularly logical belief if X is nothing but a wild guess.
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Old 17th March 2019, 04:01 PM   #112
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Originally Posted by HansMustermann View Post
However, you can't know it's true until you test it against reality. And since "believing X" means "believing X to be true", it's not a particularly logical belief if X is nothing but a wild guess.
Exactly. In the same way, faith in the religious sense is believing without logic, without a demonstration and proof. That's how religion works. If you can't stand to think that way, then fine, don't -- you're not the religious type. But other people are, and expecting them to stick to logic is as unreasonable as it would be for the religious to insist you stick to faith and not use logic. It doesn't mean the religion itself is right about the universe, but it is the right way to do religion. Your demand for logic is asking the religious to hold their religious beliefs in a nonreligious way, which won't happen.
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Old 17th March 2019, 05:11 PM   #113
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Originally Posted by HansMustermann View Post
@TragicMonkey
Mate, let's try it again, and I'll ignore for the moment the monumental nonsense that you can arrive at TRUTH by anything else than logic, and the rest of the nonsense for that matter.
Originally Posted by TragicMonkey View Post
You've never guessed at anything? Guessing can lead to correct answers, but it's not using logic.
Guessing doesn’t lead to correct answers at all. That a guess might subsequently turn out to be correct is merely the result of good luck. The only thing that leads to (knowing) correct answers is some form of applied logic.

Originally Posted by TragicMonkey View Post
Exactly. In the same way, faith in the religious sense is believing without logic, without a demonstration and proof. That's how religion works. If you can't stand to think that way, then fine, don't -- you're not the religious type. But other people are, and expecting them to stick to logic is as unreasonable as it would be for the religious to insist you stick to faith and not use logic. It doesn't mean the religion itself is right about the universe, but it is the right way to do religion. Your demand for logic is asking the religious to hold their religious beliefs in a nonreligious way, which won't happen.
BIG moving of the goalposts there from the “arrive at TRUTH by anything else than logic” to the completely unrelated “the right way to do religion”.
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Old 17th March 2019, 05:31 PM   #114
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Originally Posted by ynot View Post
Guessing doesn’t lead to correct answers at all. That a guess might subsequently turn out to be correct is merely the result of good luck. The only thing that leads to (knowing) correct answers is some form of applied logic.
If you guess A and it turns out to be A, then your guess was indeed correct. That doesn't mean it's any good as reasoning, of course, because it's not reasoning. It's a guess. But that doesn't mean the A you guessed is any different than the A someone else arrived at by reasoning. If the detectives carefully follow the clues and assemble evidence and utilize forensic science and elicit testimony and narrow down the suspects and finally conclude with an airtight case than Miss Scarlet is the murderer, while I did none of that and instead decide that Miss Scarlet is the murderer because it's a one-in-six chance, am I wrong? Miss Scarlet is still the murderer whether anybody knows it or not, or if they guess correctly or arrive at a conclusion via reason. The paths are different but the destination is the same. (But of course the legitimacy of the path matters in other areas, for instance I wouldn't be able to prosecute Miss Scarlet whereas the DA using the cops' work could).


Quote:
BIG moving of the goalposts there from the “arrive at TRUTH by anything else than logic” to the completely unrelated “the right way to do religion”.
I'm not the one who said "arrive at TRUTH". I don't think it's possible for religion to arrive at the real truth. I don't think it's possible for reason to do so, either. I think each approach operates by its own methods, and some of those methods are suitable for other things in life and others aren't. I don't think human understanding, of any fashion or methodology, can comprehend the "TRUTH" if that means "the full understanding of the universe and everything".
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Old 17th March 2019, 05:50 PM   #115
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Originally Posted by TragicMonkey View Post
If you guess A and it turns out to be A, then your guess was indeed correct. That doesn't mean it's any good as reasoning, of course, because it's not reasoning. It's a guess. But that doesn't mean the A you guessed is any different than the A someone else arrived at by reasoning. If the detectives carefully follow the clues and assemble evidence and utilize forensic science and elicit testimony and narrow down the suspects and finally conclude with an airtight case than Miss Scarlet is the murderer, while I did none of that and instead decide that Miss Scarlet is the murderer because it's a one-in-six chance, am I wrong? Miss Scarlet is still the murderer whether anybody knows it or not, or if they guess correctly or arrive at a conclusion via reason. The paths are different but the destination is the same. (But of course the legitimacy of the path matters in other areas, for instance I wouldn't be able to prosecute Miss Scarlet whereas the DA using the cops' work could).
"Poisoned Waffle" . You said "Guessing can lead to correct answers" a guess being correct purely by dumb luck isn't being led to a correct answer. How do you think you eventually establish/know that the merely guessed answer is actually correct?

Originally Posted by TragicMonkey View Post
I'm not the one who said "arrive at TRUTH".
The poster and the post you replied to did. Don't you think your reply should be at least relevant to the post you quote?

Originally Posted by TragicMonkey View Post
I don't think it's possible for religion to arrive at the real truth. I don't think it's possible for reason to do so, either. I think each approach operates by its own methods, and some of those methods are suitable for other things in life and others aren't. I don't think human understanding, of any fashion or methodology, can comprehend the "TRUTH" if that means "the full understanding of the universe and everything".
Are you claiming that religious (or any form of) faith is equal valid at establishing truth as the scientific method? In fact, give a single example of a truth that's ever been established by faith, or lucky guess.
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Last edited by ynot; 17th March 2019 at 05:57 PM.
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Old 17th March 2019, 06:03 PM   #116
attempt5001
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Originally Posted by Thor 2 View Post
I agree but would add the proviso "Silly for the educated in modern times."
Originally Posted by ynot View Post
Sure, and more specifically, silly for the educated and intellectually honest in modern times .
Hi gents. Can't resist chiming in on this one. I think you are both falling into a bit of a trap of "me vs them" thinking here. I think it's easier for you to categorize "them" (theists) as being either uneducated, intellectually dishonest, or just plain silly because it fits neatly into your understanding and experience. Though this may often be true, if you want to challenge your perceptions a little, I would really encourage you to identify and contemplate the exceptions. It may well be that you can't comprehend how a theist could fail to fall into any of those three categories, but that does not make it impossible. Unfortunately the "write them all off" mindset is pretty evident and puts discussions on difficult (and probably counter-productive) footing from the get go. Hope you don't mind the challenge. Cheers!
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Old 17th March 2019, 06:06 PM   #117
TragicMonkey
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Originally Posted by ynot View Post
"Poisoned Waffle" . You said "Guessing can lead to correct answers" a guess being correct purely by dumb luck isn't being led to a correct answer.
Yes, it is. If two people answer the same question the same way one can't be right and the other wrong. A is A, even if someone just picked A by flipping a coin.

(Is it the phrasing "being led to" that's upsetting you? I meant it in the sense of a guess resulting in a correct answer, not in the sense that some force or methodology was literally "leading" the guesser along. A guess occurs, and it happens to be right. I'm not suggesting guessing is a good way to do most/many things, or that it teaches anybody anything valuable.)

Quote:
The poster and the post you replied to did. Don't you think your reply should be at least relevant to the post you quote?
I don't think I'm bound to defend all propositions inherent in someone else's post just because I reply to it, no. Otherwise I'd have to respond to every implication of every remark. I never asserted religion can lead to correct and full understanding of the totality of existence.

Quote:
Are you claiming that religious (or any form of) faith is equal valid at establishing truth as the scientific method?
No, I said that neither religion nor the scientific method can lead to "the TRUTH" if you're defining that as a correct and full understanding of life, the universe, and everything. That says nothing about the relative merits of either approach in any other arena.

Quote:
In fact, give a single example of a truth that's ever been established by faith, or even lucky guess.
You seriously have never seen anybody guess correctly at anything, ever? You've never played a card game, or seen a game show, or a race?
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Old 17th March 2019, 06:45 PM   #118
Thor 2
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Originally Posted by attempt5001 View Post
Hi gents. Can't resist chiming in on this one. I think you are both falling into a bit of a trap of "me vs them" thinking here. I think it's easier for you to categorize "them" (theists) as being either uneducated, intellectually dishonest, or just plain silly because it fits neatly into your understanding and experience. Though this may often be true, if you want to challenge your perceptions a little, I would really encourage you to identify and contemplate the exceptions. It may well be that you can't comprehend how a theist could fail to fall into any of those three categories, but that does not make it impossible. Unfortunately the "write them all off" mindset is pretty evident and puts discussions on difficult (and probably counter-productive) footing from the get go. Hope you don't mind the challenge. Cheers!

Hi attempt ,

Speaking for myself it's not quite as simple as that. Although I find it difficult to accept that an educated intellectually savvy person, can go along with religious "truth" that clashes with reason in so many ways, I am aware of the strength of indoctrination of the young. This is really heavy stuff and it takes a strong person to break free. A good dose of ynot's intellectual honesty helps a lot.

As you have posted the peer pressure can be very strong also. In your case strong but in Muslim and even Amish communities, extreme would be a better description, and exceptionable would be a better description than strong, for those that break ranks.
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Old 17th March 2019, 10:19 PM   #119
Robin
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Again, even good ideas originate in the imagination.

One day someone's Uncle Max imagined that energy changed in discrete steps. It wasn't until it could be tested that anyone could say whether or not it was real.

Gods and unicorns are certainly unpromising, but you can't rule out products of the imagination.
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The non-theoretical character of metaphysics would not be in itself a defect; all arts have this non-theoretical character without thereby losing their high value for personal as well as for social life. The danger lies in the deceptive character of metaphysics; it gives the illusion of knowledge without actually giving any knowledge. This is the reason why we reject it. - Rudolf Carnap "Philosophy and Logical Syntax"
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Old 17th March 2019, 11:28 PM   #120
David Mo
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Originally Posted by TragicMonkey View Post
(...)

If you're only interested in discussing particular religions, and then only on one particular level, that's fine. But a scholarly mind should retain awareness that most religions have three levels to them: narrative, rationalist, and mystical. (...) The mystical level is the level where enlightenment is sought outside of a rational framework: religious ecstasy, intuition, sensations. Everything from Buddha under the bodhi tree to St Teresa's obvious orgasm to Vodou possession. This is the level that modern atheists of the style found here can't seem to grasp--mysticism is inherent to religion but doesn't operate rationally so it can't be argued against rationally. (...)

And I can already feel some people dismissing all of mysticism as nonsense. Which again, is fine for them. What they should not do, however, is try to insist that mysticism isn't part of "real" religions. (...)

Again, for the hard of reading, I'm not suggesting anyone should believe anything. I'm only saying that it's intellectually rigorous to actually understand a thing before you draw conclusions about it.
I wasn't specifically interested in peculiar religions. I'm only interested in talking to someone who wants to talk to me. This implies some common basic principles of rationality and common use or language. Mystics don't respect that. They say they are seeing or feeling things that only they can feel. There is no way to know if a mystic is crazy or a phony - sometimes it is possible to prove it. From this point of view I am not interested in mysticism.

Perhaps you consider this an atheistic prejudice. I think it's rational and "logical". It's useless to argue with fanatics, solipsists, violent... and mystics.

Last edited by David Mo; 17th March 2019 at 11:51 PM.
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