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

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


Welcome to the International Skeptics Forum, where we discuss skepticism, critical thinking, the paranormal and science in a friendly but lively way. You are currently viewing the forum as a guest, which means you are missing out on discussing matters that are of interest to you. Please consider registering so you can gain full use of the forum features and interact with other Members. Registration is simple, fast and free! Click here to register today.
Tags theism

Reply
Old 17th March 2019, 11:42 PM   #121
David Mo
Illuminator
 
David Mo's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2012
Location: Somewhere on the Greenwich meridian
Posts: 4,485
Originally Posted by TragicMonkey View Post

My point is that there is more to religion than logic, so demanding religion be defended by logic alone is futile.
If anyone wants to defend his beliefs, he can't speak Russian with me. We have to look for a common language. If the religious man wants to defend his beliefs to unbelievers, we have to adopt a common language. If he still speaks Russian he can look for a Russian friend. They will be happy together... or not. Sometimes they kill each other. Perhaps it is not the same dialect.

Excuse me for my irony. It is not offensive, I hope.
David Mo is offline   Quote this post in a PM   Nominate this post for this month's language award Copy a direct link to this post Reply With Quote Back to Top
Old 17th March 2019, 11:50 PM   #122
David Mo
Illuminator
 
David Mo's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2012
Location: Somewhere on the Greenwich meridian
Posts: 4,485
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.
The problem is that we need to talk to believers about many things in a common world. The problem is that they want to enter their private world into our common world. For example: everyone has to do X because my god says no-X is sin. At this point the discussion becomes impossible. All you have to do is to try to convince them not to mix their private world with the common world. It's not easy. They often get angry.

Last edited by David Mo; 17th March 2019 at 11:57 PM.
David Mo is offline   Quote this post in a PM   Nominate this post for this month's language award Copy a direct link to this post Reply With Quote Back to Top
Old 18th March 2019, 12:19 AM   #123
HansMustermann
Penultimate Amazing
 
Join Date: Mar 2009
Posts: 15,737
Originally Posted by Robin View Post
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.
"Uncle Max" was basing it on a monumental amount of experimental evidence, more of it in fact than most theories I know of. There had been decades at that point of trying to explain black body radiation, and it was amply known how they fail, what the real curve looks like, and the increasing amount of experimental data showing it to be so. He wasn't taking guesses in the dark, like TM's "Aunt Myrtle" when she guesses there might be a god, just because it makes her feel all fuzzy.

Also, "Uncle Max" didn't go talking to everyone about how he believes it to be right, until he actually did the maths and saw that it did explain the available data. Unlike "Aunt Myrtle" who will believe it just because.

Long story short, I never said that theories originate anywhere else than in someone's mind. They are however not entirely based on imagination, if they're worth anything. I'm pretty sure I mentioned "premises" at least a dozen times by now just in this thread. "Uncle Max" could point out what his experimental data was, what other physical theories he applied, and where did he get them from. E.g., if you were to ask him what his source is for the total energy he had to explain with his theory, he could point you at Josef Stefan und Ludwig Boltzmann. He had SOURCES for the stuff he based his own stuff on, that didn't boil down to just imagination.
__________________
Which part of "Ph'nglui mglw'nafh Cthulhu R'lyeh wgah'nagl fhtagn" don't you understand?

Last edited by HansMustermann; 18th March 2019 at 12:38 AM.
HansMustermann is offline   Quote this post in a PM   Nominate this post for this month's language award Copy a direct link to this post Reply With Quote Back to Top
Old 18th March 2019, 12:25 AM   #124
HansMustermann
Penultimate Amazing
 
Join Date: Mar 2009
Posts: 15,737
Originally Posted by TragicMonkey View Post
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.)



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.



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.



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?
The difference is that presumably you didn't go believing that your guess is correct, much less starting threads about how you guessed right and the unbelievers are wrong, until it actually turned out to be correct. You'd be irrational to go proclaiming it to be the one true card before you saw that's the case.

Here, simple exercise: guess the name of my grandma from my mother's side. I'll even give you the obvious hint, the family name isn't Mustermann. Now guess what she likes and dislikes, like the religious do about their god. Don't even tell me what you guessed, just go and rationalize that that's exactly who she was, just because you imagined so.

Well, now you understand what I object to, when it comes to religion.
__________________
Which part of "Ph'nglui mglw'nafh Cthulhu R'lyeh wgah'nagl fhtagn" don't you understand?

Last edited by HansMustermann; 18th March 2019 at 12:36 AM.
HansMustermann is offline   Quote this post in a PM   Nominate this post for this month's language award Copy a direct link to this post Reply With Quote Back to Top
Old 18th March 2019, 01:48 AM   #125
Robin
Penultimate Amazing
 
Join Date: Apr 2004
Posts: 10,641
At one point it was an inspired guess about how to solve a problem with the existing theory.

Sent from my Moto C using Tapatalk
__________________
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"
Robin is offline   Quote this post in a PM   Nominate this post for this month's language award Copy a direct link to this post Reply With Quote Back to Top
Old 18th March 2019, 01:57 AM   #126
Robin
Penultimate Amazing
 
Join Date: Apr 2004
Posts: 10,641
Incidentally, theists seem to be much more likely to use actual logic than atheists, I suppose because logic can look very impressive while saying precisely nothing. Nevertheless I am betting that WLC, Platnga et al, know a good deal.more about logic than Dawkins, Krauss etc.

Theists seem to be especially fond of modal logic. My old Discrete Maths lecturer called modal logic "a precise and technical method for talking nonsense".

Sent from my Moto C using Tapatalk
__________________
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"
Robin is offline   Quote this post in a PM   Nominate this post for this month's language award Copy a direct link to this post Reply With Quote Back to Top
Old 18th March 2019, 04:00 AM   #127
TragicMonkey
Poisoned Waffles
 
TragicMonkey's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2004
Location: Monkey
Posts: 51,225
Originally Posted by David Mo View Post
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.
I think you posted in the wrong thread. This is the 'reach out amicably', not 'prove your beliefs to be true' thread. If you're not interested in 'peculiar' religions then you needn't engage with any. I'm certain that the consolation of faith will comfort those who are disappointed.
__________________
You added nothing to that conversation, Barbara.
TragicMonkey is offline   Quote this post in a PM   Nominate this post for this month's language award Copy a direct link to this post Reply With Quote Back to Top
Old 18th March 2019, 04:01 AM   #128
TragicMonkey
Poisoned Waffles
 
TragicMonkey's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2004
Location: Monkey
Posts: 51,225
Originally Posted by David Mo View Post
If anyone wants to defend his beliefs, he can't speak Russian with me. We have to look for a common language. If the religious man wants to defend his beliefs to unbelievers, we have to adopt a common language. If he still speaks Russian he can look for a Russian friend. They will be happy together... or not. Sometimes they kill each other. Perhaps it is not the same dialect.

Excuse me for my irony. It is not offensive, I hope.
Again, wrong thread. Not everyone wants to 'defend their beliefs'. It's rather telling that some people can't seem to conceive of a conversation that isn't adversarial.
__________________
You added nothing to that conversation, Barbara.
TragicMonkey is offline   Quote this post in a PM   Nominate this post for this month's language award Copy a direct link to this post Reply With Quote Back to Top
Old 18th March 2019, 04:07 AM   #129
TragicMonkey
Poisoned Waffles
 
TragicMonkey's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2004
Location: Monkey
Posts: 51,225
Originally Posted by David Mo View Post
The problem is that we need to talk to believers about many things in a common world. The problem is that they want to enter their private world into our common world. For example: everyone has to do X because my god says no-X is sin. At this point the discussion becomes impossible. All you have to do is to try to convince them not to mix their private world with the common world. It's not easy. They often get angry.
The religious aren't the only ones who try to control other people's behavior. What's necessary is that everyone agree on basic rules of conduct to get along, while leaving everyone free to think as they like so long as we all behave. A prohibition on murder furthers society whether one thinks it an ethical principle based on humanistic philosophy or a direct instruction from the god Zeus.
__________________
You added nothing to that conversation, Barbara.
TragicMonkey is offline   Quote this post in a PM   Nominate this post for this month's language award Copy a direct link to this post Reply With Quote Back to Top
Old 18th March 2019, 04:14 AM   #130
TragicMonkey
Poisoned Waffles
 
TragicMonkey's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2004
Location: Monkey
Posts: 51,225
Originally Posted by HansMustermann View Post
The difference is that presumably you didn't go believing that your guess is correct, much less starting threads about how you guessed right and the unbelievers are wrong, until it actually turned out to be correct. You'd be irrational to go proclaiming it to be the one true card before you saw that's the case.

Here, simple exercise: guess the name of my grandma from my mother's side. I'll even give you the obvious hint, the family name isn't Mustermann. Now guess what she likes and dislikes, like the religious do about their god. Don't even tell me what you guessed, just go and rationalize that that's exactly who she was, just because you imagined so.

Well, now you understand what I object to, when it comes to religion.
No, I don't understand you here. Is this a language difference? Your grandmother presumably has a name. If one person were to ask her what it is, and another to just guess it, and they both came up with the same answer then they're both right (unless Grandma lied). As I said before that doesn't mean guessing is a good or reliable path to answers, but it certainly doesn't mean it's always wrong.

Nor did I suggest it's a good method for arriving at religious or philosophical principles; I just answered 'guessing' as an example of a method of reaching 'truth' that doesn't involve logic, which you asked for examples of.
__________________
You added nothing to that conversation, Barbara.
TragicMonkey is offline   Quote this post in a PM   Nominate this post for this month's language award Copy a direct link to this post Reply With Quote Back to Top
Old 18th March 2019, 04:39 AM   #131
David Mo
Illuminator
 
David Mo's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2012
Location: Somewhere on the Greenwich meridian
Posts: 4,485
Originally Posted by TragicMonkey View Post
I think you posted in the wrong thread. This is the 'reach out amicably', not 'prove your beliefs to be true' thread. If you're not interested in 'peculiar' religions then you needn't engage with any. I'm certain that the consolation of faith will comfort those who are disappointed.
Originally Posted by TragicMonkey View Post
Again, wrong thread. Not everyone wants to 'defend their beliefs'. It's rather telling that some people can't seem to conceive of a conversation that isn't adversarial.
"Defend" was your word. It doesn't matter. We also need a common language in order to talk "amicably".
I am interested in speak with any believer that wants to speak to me in a language I can understand. This is what I said. Otherwise it would be a loss of his time and mine.
If I have not said it clearly I clarify it now.

Originally Posted by TragicMonkey View Post
The religious aren't the only ones who try to control other people's behavior. What's necessary is that everyone agree on basic rules of conduct to get along, while leaving everyone free to think as they like so long as we all behave. A prohibition on murder furthers society whether one thinks it an ethical principle based on humanistic philosophy or a direct instruction from the god Zeus.
I have not said different. Only that it is harder to search for a agreement whit someone that is hearing voices.
David Mo is offline   Quote this post in a PM   Nominate this post for this month's language award Copy a direct link to this post Reply With Quote Back to Top
Old 18th March 2019, 04:58 AM   #132
HansMustermann
Penultimate Amazing
 
Join Date: Mar 2009
Posts: 15,737
Originally Posted by TragicMonkey View Post
No, I don't understand you here. Is this a language difference? Your grandmother presumably has a name. If one person were to ask her what it is, and another to just guess it, and they both came up with the same answer then they're both right (unless Grandma lied). As I said before that doesn't mean guessing is a good or reliable path to answers, but it certainly doesn't mean it's always wrong.

Nor did I suggest it's a good method for arriving at religious or philosophical principles; I just answered 'guessing' as an example of a method of reaching 'truth' that doesn't involve logic, which you asked for examples of.
It means it's wrong as a method, because it's incredibly unlikely to be right on just about any domain by just taking a wild guess, based on nothing from reality, like the mystics are doing.

I mean, let's look at the probabilities side even for my analogy. You might take a guess that my name is German, so my grandma might have been too? Well, if you take just the top 10 German female first names and the top 10 German last names, that's just a 1 in 100 chance to be right about the combination. Actually, more like 1 in a couple hundred or so, because even those top names don't cover the whole population, but it's a good start.

... except you still wouldn't have even that chance, because she wasn't actually German.

And that, in a nutshell, is why if someone bases their beliefs on unverified wild guesses, I'm going to file them under "I" for "Idiot."
__________________
Which part of "Ph'nglui mglw'nafh Cthulhu R'lyeh wgah'nagl fhtagn" don't you understand?

Last edited by HansMustermann; 18th March 2019 at 05:00 AM.
HansMustermann is offline   Quote this post in a PM   Nominate this post for this month's language award Copy a direct link to this post Reply With Quote Back to Top
Old 18th March 2019, 05:09 AM   #133
HansMustermann
Penultimate Amazing
 
Join Date: Mar 2009
Posts: 15,737
Originally Posted by Robin View Post
Incidentally, theists seem to be much more likely to use actual logic than atheists, I suppose because logic can look very impressive while saying precisely nothing. Nevertheless I am betting that WLC, Platnga et al, know a good deal.more about logic than Dawkins, Krauss etc.

Theists seem to be especially fond of modal logic. My old Discrete Maths lecturer called modal logic "a precise and technical method for talking nonsense".
Bla, bla, bla, the ones using logic aren't the REAL skeptics. We're back to that canard, innit?

And... strawman much? Modal logic? Who asked for THAT in the last month? I'm not even asking for a mention in this thread, but generally. Because I'm sure nobody mention any specific kind of logic here. And when any was mentioned, it was usually me clarifying that I'm also up for informal or probabilistic logic as long as it's sound. Nor is asking for soundness reserved to modal logic.

Or was this a Poe? As in, when the discussion is about premises pulled out of the ass, you illustrate it by pulling out of the ass that it's somehow about modal logic?
__________________
Which part of "Ph'nglui mglw'nafh Cthulhu R'lyeh wgah'nagl fhtagn" don't you understand?
HansMustermann is offline   Quote this post in a PM   Nominate this post for this month's language award Copy a direct link to this post Reply With Quote Back to Top
Old 18th March 2019, 05:10 AM   #134
TragicMonkey
Poisoned Waffles
 
TragicMonkey's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2004
Location: Monkey
Posts: 51,225
Originally Posted by HansMustermann View Post
It means it's wrong as a method, because it's incredibly unlikely to be right on just about any domain by just taking a wild guess, based on nothing from reality, like the mystics are doing.

I mean, let's look at the probabilities side even for my analogy. You might take a guess that my name is German, so my grandma might have been too? Well, if you take just the top 10 German female first names and the top 10 German last names, that's just a 1 in 100 chance to be right about the combination. Actually, more like 1 in a couple hundred or so, because even those top names don't cover the whole population, but it's a good start.

... except you still wouldn't have even that chance, because she wasn't actually German.

And that, in a nutshell, is why if someone bases their beliefs on unverified wild guesses, I'm going to file them under "I" for "Idiot."
I agree that guessing isn't a good method for arriving at correct conclusions. But it is a method nonetheless, which is what you asked for an example of.
__________________
You added nothing to that conversation, Barbara.
TragicMonkey is offline   Quote this post in a PM   Nominate this post for this month's language award Copy a direct link to this post Reply With Quote Back to Top
Old 18th March 2019, 05:11 AM   #135
HansMustermann
Penultimate Amazing
 
Join Date: Mar 2009
Posts: 15,737
Originally Posted by Robin View Post
At one point it was an inspired guess about how to solve a problem with the existing theory.
Maybe, but it was still based on reality, and it was still based on other existing SOURCES. It wasn't just based on someone's imagination.
__________________
Which part of "Ph'nglui mglw'nafh Cthulhu R'lyeh wgah'nagl fhtagn" don't you understand?
HansMustermann is offline   Quote this post in a PM   Nominate this post for this month's language award Copy a direct link to this post Reply With Quote Back to Top
Old 18th March 2019, 05:19 AM   #136
HansMustermann
Penultimate Amazing
 
Join Date: Mar 2009
Posts: 15,737
Originally Posted by TragicMonkey View Post
I agree that guessing isn't a good method for arriving at correct conclusions. But it is a method nonetheless, which is what you asked for an example of.
I don't recall asking for one. Can you provide a quote?

That said, I'm still not impressed. If it's not a good method, and more importantly not a reliable one, then why should I afford any consideration or fair hearing to any argument based on it?

If your accountant rolled the dice for how much money you need to pay in taxes, you wouldn't give him/her a fair hearing on that, would you? I mean, technically there is a chance that they land on the right number, but you want something more reliable before you actually trust your money with that guess, wouldn't you?

Same here. The one in trillions chance that they'd nail exactly what a God wants, in the incredibly vast space of what a God COULD want, is not even worth the bother if it's based on just taking a stab in the dark.
__________________
Which part of "Ph'nglui mglw'nafh Cthulhu R'lyeh wgah'nagl fhtagn" don't you understand?
HansMustermann is offline   Quote this post in a PM   Nominate this post for this month's language award Copy a direct link to this post Reply With Quote Back to Top
Old 18th March 2019, 05:32 AM   #137
TragicMonkey
Poisoned Waffles
 
TragicMonkey's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2004
Location: Monkey
Posts: 51,225
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
To which I answered 'guessing', as a means to 'arrive at TRUTH' in a way other than logic. I never said it was a good way. It's just possible, hence I brought it up when you seemed to suggest it was 'monumental nonsense' that any means other than logic could arrive at truth. Did I misinterpret your statement?
__________________
You added nothing to that conversation, Barbara.
TragicMonkey is offline   Quote this post in a PM   Nominate this post for this month's language award Copy a direct link to this post Reply With Quote Back to Top
Old 18th March 2019, 07:30 AM   #138
Beelzebuddy
Philosopher
 
Beelzebuddy's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2010
Posts: 6,998
I don't think you two are using the word "truth" the same way. You mean "correct," Hans means "objective certitude." It's truth vs Truth.
Beelzebuddy is offline   Quote this post in a PM   Nominate this post for this month's language award Copy a direct link to this post Reply With Quote Back to Top
Old 18th March 2019, 07:56 AM   #139
TragicMonkey
Poisoned Waffles
 
TragicMonkey's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2004
Location: Monkey
Posts: 51,225
Originally Posted by Beelzebuddy View Post
I don't think you two are using the word "truth" the same way. You mean "correct," Hans means "objective certitude." It's truth vs Truth.
Ah. I don't believe the latter is something obtainable by any means whatsoever.
__________________
You added nothing to that conversation, Barbara.
TragicMonkey is offline   Quote this post in a PM   Nominate this post for this month's language award Copy a direct link to this post Reply With Quote Back to Top
Old 18th March 2019, 08:07 AM   #140
attempt5001
Critical Thinker
 
Join Date: Oct 2018
Location: Canada
Posts: 455
Originally Posted by Thor 2 View Post
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.
Hi Thor 2. Agreed 100% that it's not simple. I'm mostly advocating for acknowledging the complexity. You have mentioned examples of some very intense personal experiences when it comes to interacting with theists. I'm really encouraged by your efforts to discuss theism and to understand how and why different theists believe, rather than taking the easier "write them off as idiots" approach. Cheers!
attempt5001 is offline   Quote this post in a PM   Nominate this post for this month's language award Copy a direct link to this post Reply With Quote Back to Top
Old 18th March 2019, 08:17 AM   #141
P.J. Denyer
Philosopher
 
Join Date: Aug 2008
Posts: 5,713
Originally Posted by Scorpion View Post
From ' the God delusion' page 39 of the paperback edition.

" Let's remind ourselves of the terminology. A theists believes in a supernatural intelligence who, in addition to his main work of creating the universe in the first place, is still around to oversee and influence the subsequent fate of his initial creation. In many theistic belief systems, the deity is intimately involved in human affairs. He answers prayers; forgives or punishes sins; intervenes in the world by performing miracles; frets about good and bad deeds, and knows when we do them [or even think of doing them] . A Deist too, believes in a supernatural intelligence, but one whose activities were confined to setting up the laws that govern the universe in the first place. The deist God never intervenes thereafter , and certainly has no specific interest in human affairs."
That 'many' indicates that the following beliefs do not apply to all theists, those who do not hold them are afterward defined in the subgroup 'deists'.
__________________
"I know my brain cannot tell me what to think." - Scorpion

"Nebulous means Nebulous" - Adam Hills
P.J. Denyer is offline   Quote this post in a PM   Nominate this post for this month's language award Copy a direct link to this post Reply With Quote Back to Top
Old 18th March 2019, 08:20 AM   #142
attempt5001
Critical Thinker
 
Join Date: Oct 2018
Location: Canada
Posts: 455
Originally Posted by TragicMonkey View Post
Again, wrong thread. Not everyone wants to 'defend their beliefs'. It's rather telling that some people can't seem to conceive of a conversation that isn't adversarial.
If the OP is able to contribute to the thread, it may help steer it towards the intended direction. I read it like you TM, that the goal was to have non-adversarial conversation between theists and atheists; not trying to be persuasive about points of disagreement, but emphasizing common ground, such as an appreciation for fun, kindness etc. A challenging goal, but I'm all for giving it a shot.

For my part, and as someone who has seen things through a very theistic lens most of my life, it's been helpful for broadening my perspective to see examples of compassion, encouragement and kindness here in the forum community. If any atheists are interested in "challenging" a theist on their beliefs, I can tell you, this is a far more effective approach than arguing logic.

Last edited by attempt5001; 18th March 2019 at 09:13 AM.
attempt5001 is offline   Quote this post in a PM   Nominate this post for this month's language award Copy a direct link to this post Reply With Quote Back to Top
Old 18th March 2019, 10:50 AM   #143
jeffbradt
New Blood
 
Join Date: May 2017
Location: Batavia, NY
Posts: 6
Attempt5001, that is exactly the thing about which I was posting: reaching people for the sake of getting closer, not to de-convert them. I seek common ground, yes. I want to become friends with more theists, not argue and alienate them.
jeffbradt is offline   Quote this post in a PM   Nominate this post for this month's language award Copy a direct link to this post Reply With Quote Back to Top
Old 18th March 2019, 11:34 AM   #144
Scorpion
Graduate Poster
 
Scorpion's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2013
Posts: 1,974
Originally Posted by jeffbradt View Post
Attempt5001, that is exactly the thing about which I was posting: reaching people for the sake of getting closer, not to de-convert them. I seek common ground, yes. I want to become friends with more theists, not argue and alienate them.
jeffbrant, seems to me your post is too faint to read it, so I quoted it.
__________________
You see many stars in the sky at night, but not when the sun rises. Can you therefore say there are no stars in the heavens during the day? O man because you cannot find God in the days of your ignorance, say not that there is no God.
Sri Ramakrishna
Even in the valley of the shadow of death two and two do not make six.
Leo Tolstoy

Last edited by Scorpion; 18th March 2019 at 11:38 AM.
Scorpion is offline   Quote this post in a PM   Nominate this post for this month's language award Copy a direct link to this post Reply With Quote Back to Top
Old 18th March 2019, 11:38 AM   #145
TragicMonkey
Poisoned Waffles
 
TragicMonkey's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2004
Location: Monkey
Posts: 51,225
Color text? Amicability be damned, that's a trigger for jihad!
__________________
You added nothing to that conversation, Barbara.
TragicMonkey is offline   Quote this post in a PM   Nominate this post for this month's language award Copy a direct link to this post Reply With Quote Back to Top
Old 18th March 2019, 02:13 PM   #146
IanS
Illuminator
 
Join Date: Jun 2011
Posts: 4,844
Originally Posted by jeffbradt View Post
Hi all,

My name is Jeff Bradt. My parents raised me Catholic from infancy, until at age 12 I told my mother there was no god and that I was an atheist. From ages 26 to 38, I belonged to a non-denominational Christian church, and then I went back to atheism in 2008, journeying through agnosticism as I went. Now, I am a very strong atheist: gods are silly concepts to me.

Nonetheless, I want to reach out to believers like my wife, who I married fully knowing she believed in God, and with her fully knowing I was an atheist. We actually enjoy talking about God, and I hope to do the same with other believers as well. I am thinking perhaps starting online would be a good idea. I have been tweeting many atheistic quotes and personal thoughts, as well as following many atheistic Twitter accounts, for a few years now. I very much enjoy that. I hope to blog atheism and naturalism, and to reach people with the message that we atheists are amazing, lovable, kind, compassionate, gentle people. Most of us are not rude to theists online, but they see the rudeness, especially as the rest of us often do not speak up. I want to be one of the ones who speak up. Those whom no one has exposed to atheism, agnosticism and skepticism, need exposure to these things so that they are aware of our true, wonderful nature.

In addition to exposing others to our non-theism, we can learn more about theists as well, and get to understand them progressively better.

I look forward to engaging input from you here on the forum, and I wish you the best in the meantime!

I found that post suspicious on account of the OP describing atheists in such gushing terms as "wonderful ...amazing ...lovable … kind …. compassionate … gentle … true”. That does not seem like a normal atheist post to me.

Jeffbradt – atheists are just like all other large groups of people … some are ultra polite and extra friendly etc., whilst others are rude and aggressive, but most are just average people who are not rude or aggressive unless provoked by others first being aggressive or rude to them.

I always try to be very polite and constructive to any theists here (or atheists or agnostics) unless they are deliberately rude, aggressive, or particularly insistent on claims that are very unlikely indeed (mostly claims of the supernatural) … and even then the most I'm likely to say is that the claims are silly or in clear conflict with the evidence … it takes a lot before I ever finally lose patience with them and point out their agressive or insulting behaviour.

I think most atheists are probably like that. But there are a lot of Christians (and Muslims) on the internet who are either particularly aggressive, or else just constantly insisting on the absolute truth of the most ridiculous and frankly dishonest arguments to support their religion … and in saying “dishonest” I mean they are mostly being dishonest with themselves.

Even so, I don't see many atheists actually with an agenda or strategy trying to convert theists to atheism. Or certainly not in the evangelical sense typical of so many US Christians (quite a few evangelising like that in the UK and the EU too of course).

The only reason I would like to dissuade theists from continuing to believe in a God, heaven, hell, and miracles etc. is because I think it's obviously dangerous. In fact it's very dangerous … it leads far too many theists into things such as protests threatening staff at abortion clinics, praying for sick people instead of immediately calling for medical assistance, denying science and particularly evolution (because they see so much of science as a threat to religious beliefs … eg in the US we've seen such things as the Dover Trial, with all the religious dangers & deceits that entails) etc. etc.

I'd like to see theists stop doing all of that. But I don't think they will stop until they stop believing in God/gods and the inerrancy of holy books.
IanS is offline   Quote this post in a PM   Nominate this post for this month's language award Copy a direct link to this post Reply With Quote Back to Top
Old 18th March 2019, 02:40 PM   #147
attempt5001
Critical Thinker
 
Join Date: Oct 2018
Location: Canada
Posts: 455
Originally Posted by jeffbradt View Post
Attempt5001, that is exactly the thing about which I was posting: reaching people for the sake of getting closer, not to de-convert them. I seek common ground, yes. I want to become friends with more theists, not argue and alienate them.
Originally Posted by Scorpion View Post
jeffbrant, seems to me your post is too faint to read it, so I quoted it.
(Thanks for the repost Scorpion. That was helpful.)

Sounds great Jeff. I wish you the best and I'm happy to participate if I can contribute in a meaningful way. I think some have rightly pointed out in this thread that the forum here may be a challenging place to try to a) meet theists, and b) engage in a discussion that doesn't get argumentative or contentious. I think the poster who suggested looking to make "real life" acquaintances was giving good advice. But if you're committed to exploring this avenue, I hope you are able to find a way to achieve your goal. Cheers!
attempt5001 is offline   Quote this post in a PM   Nominate this post for this month's language award Copy a direct link to this post Reply With Quote Back to Top
Old 18th March 2019, 02:41 PM   #148
attempt5001
Critical Thinker
 
Join Date: Oct 2018
Location: Canada
Posts: 455
Also, I think IanS makes some excellent points in his post above that probably captures the sentiment of many members here on the forum.
attempt5001 is offline   Quote this post in a PM   Nominate this post for this month's language award Copy a direct link to this post Reply With Quote Back to Top
Old 18th March 2019, 02:43 PM   #149
Robin
Penultimate Amazing
 
Join Date: Apr 2004
Posts: 10,641
Originally Posted by HansMustermann View Post
Bla, bla, bla, the ones using logic aren't the REAL skeptics. We're back to that canard, innit?,,
Depends. Who said that? Or anything.remotely like it?

How does anything you wrote relate even tangentially to anything I wrote?

Look, here is a hint. Before responding to me, try actually reading what I wrote.
__________________
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"

Last edited by Robin; 18th March 2019 at 02:55 PM.
Robin is offline   Quote this post in a PM   Nominate this post for this month's language award Copy a direct link to this post Reply With Quote Back to Top
Old 18th March 2019, 03:01 PM   #150
Robin
Penultimate Amazing
 
Join Date: Apr 2004
Posts: 10,641
Here is the thing. When you pick a couple of words out of someone's post and make a bizarrely inaccurate guess about what they said and launch into a spittle-flecked rant on that basis ... that is not how logic is done. Really it isn't.
__________________
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"
Robin is offline   Quote this post in a PM   Nominate this post for this month's language award Copy a direct link to this post Reply With Quote Back to Top
Old 18th March 2019, 04:27 PM   #151
IanS
Illuminator
 
Join Date: Jun 2011
Posts: 4,844
Originally Posted by attempt5001 View Post
Hi Thor 2. Agreed 100% that it's not simple. I'm mostly advocating for acknowledging the complexity. You have mentioned examples of some very intense personal experiences when it comes to interacting with theists. I'm really encouraged by your efforts to discuss theism and to understand how and why different theists believe, rather than taking the easier "write them off as idiots" approach. Cheers!

Well, first- thanks for the previous kind words (above).

Outside of this forum and apart from one particularly good friend (who believes in God and the resurrection Jesus, but is not a practising Christian and does not think much of organised religions), I never discuss religion with anyone at all (though most of my neighbours, who I know very well, even on dinner party terms & social outings, are actually pretty religious, i.e. they attend church regularly).

I'd be happy to discuss it with them, but I don't want to offend them by explaining why I find the belief so obviously mistaken.

I have a vague recollection from seeing some of your posts in other threads, that you are a theist or at least believe in God, is that right??; but let me say this anyway - how on earth can anyone in the 21st century, as an educated person (I'm talking entirely generally, and not about you or any theists here) actually believe that Jesus was a real person who walked about in Judea but who nevertheless rose from the dead and was witnessed ascending to heaven? That's just crazy to believe something like that.

Similarly (and same wording lol) "how on earth can any educated person in the 21st century" believe that an invisible God exists who somehow (unexplained) created the entire universe, apparently merely in order to provide an environment for his creation of humans? How can any objective sensible person believe that? I mean - just think about it ... just think what you are being asked to believe ... ??? ... the whole idea is too ridiculous for words.

Seriously – I'd like theists (e.g. Christians and Muslims) to just take a big step back, sit down quietly for a moment, and ask themselves honestly “is it at all reasonable and sensible to believe a story like that?”.
IanS is offline   Quote this post in a PM   Nominate this post for this month's language award Copy a direct link to this post Reply With Quote Back to Top
Old 18th March 2019, 05:14 PM   #152
ynot
Philosopher
 
ynot's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2006
Posts: 8,321
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 - Feel free to chime in (and tsk, tsk ) whenever you feel inspired or triggered to do so. For myself, rather than being a “me/us vs them” trap, it’s a “normal/natural knowledge vs paranormal/supernatural beliefs” debate.

The purpose of my post #101 in reply to jeffbradt was to point out my personal, considered opinion that saying “god beliefs are silly” isn't condescending, dishonest or saying god believers are silly beyond their god beliefs (or needs to be taken as being unfriendly). Nor is it even saying that all god believers are silly for having silly god beliefs.

Some god believers (including the young) are simply ignorant (have no modern knowledge and understanding) and are merely accepting what they’re told because they don’t know any better. It’s not silly (as in it’s understandable) for a child to accept and believe what their “superior” parents and other adults tell them, and for uneducated adults to accept and believe what “superior” educated adults tell them.

For those that do/should know better however, yet reject/deny/ignore modern knowledge and understanding in favour of their personal, emotional, paranormal/supernatural god beliefs, then they’re being silly because they’re deliberately choosing to remain willfully ignorant. This is what I call “intellectual dishonesty”.

If you want to challenge your perceptions a little let’s compare what you claim is "Our write them all off" mindset with the "write them all off" mindset of Christian believers (still your mindset perhaps?).

“Our” mindset . . .
Uneducated god believers aren’t silly because they’re ignorant (lack knowledge and understanding) and don’t know any better. They’re merely accepting and believing the god claims of those that are “superior”. Educated and knowledgeable god believers are being silly however because they do/should know better. To reject/deny/ignore modern knowledge and understanding in favour of their personal and emotional, paranormal/supernatural god beliefs is being silly because it’s deliberately choosing to remain willfully ignorant. This doesn’t “write off” these theists at all, it merely points out they’re being silly. The cure for this form of silly is what I call “intellectual honesty”.

Christian believers mindset . . .
All humans are born nasty sinners and as such are a damaged and sick species that requires fixing/curing. The only fix/cure for humans is to love and worship a particular Christian paranormal/supernatural/mythical God in a particular way. If you don’t do this correctly, then not only will you not be fixed/cured, but you will also suffer an eternity of suffering and pain imposed on you by this otherwise “loving God.”

Not only do Christian beliefs/believers totally “write off” all atheists, but they also totally “write off” all non-Christian god believers and Christian God believers that “got it wrong”. Talk about an unfortunate "write them all off" mindset that’s blatantly evident and puts discussions on difficult (and probably counter-productive) footing from the get go.

Hope you don't mind the challenge. Cheers!
__________________
Paranormal beliefs are knowledge placebos.
Rumours of a god’s existence have been greatly exaggerated.
To make truth from beliefs is to make truth mere make-believe.

Last edited by ynot; 18th March 2019 at 06:04 PM.
ynot is offline   Quote this post in a PM   Nominate this post for this month's language award Copy a direct link to this post Reply With Quote Back to Top
Old 18th March 2019, 05:23 PM   #153
ynot
Philosopher
 
ynot's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2006
Posts: 8,321
Originally Posted by IanS View Post
I have a vague recollection from seeing some of your posts in other threads, that you are a theist or at least believe in God, is that right??; but let me say this anyway - how on earth can anyone in the 21st century, as an educated person (I'm talking entirely generally, and not about you or any theists here) actually believe that Jesus was a real person who walked about in Judea but who nevertheless rose from the dead and was witnessed ascending to heaven? That's just crazy to believe something like that.

Similarly (and same wording lol) "how on earth can any educated person in the 21st century" believe that an invisible God exists who somehow (unexplained) created the entire universe, apparently merely in order to provide an environment for his creation of humans? How can any objective sensible person believe that? I mean - just think about it ... just think what you are being asked to believe ... ??? ... the whole idea is too ridiculous for words.

Seriously – I'd like theists (e.g. Christians and Muslims) to just take a big step back, sit down quietly for a moment, and ask themselves honestly “is it at all reasonable and sensible to believe a story like that?”.
In other words, be more intellectually honest with themselves .
__________________
Paranormal beliefs are knowledge placebos.
Rumours of a god’s existence have been greatly exaggerated.
To make truth from beliefs is to make truth mere make-believe.

Last edited by ynot; 18th March 2019 at 06:14 PM.
ynot is offline   Quote this post in a PM   Nominate this post for this month's language award Copy a direct link to this post Reply With Quote Back to Top
Old 18th March 2019, 05:36 PM   #154
ynot
Philosopher
 
ynot's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2006
Posts: 8,321
Originally Posted by attempt5001 View Post
I'm really encouraged by your efforts to discuss theism and to understand how and why different theists believe, rather than taking the easier "write them off as idiots" approach. Cheers!
Yet in your post #116 you lump Thor 2 in with myself as having a "write them all off mindset"

Originally Posted by attempt5001 View Post
Hi gents [Thor 2 and myself]. <snipped> Unfortunately the "write them all off" mindset is pretty evident and puts discussions on difficult (and probably counter-productive) footing from the get go.
Perhaps you might consider putting more effort into discussing and understanding how and why different atheists don't believe, rather than taking the easier "write them off as nasty, insulting, aggressive, idiots" approach. Cheers!
__________________
Paranormal beliefs are knowledge placebos.
Rumours of a god’s existence have been greatly exaggerated.
To make truth from beliefs is to make truth mere make-believe.

Last edited by ynot; 18th March 2019 at 06:27 PM.
ynot is offline   Quote this post in a PM   Nominate this post for this month's language award Copy a direct link to this post Reply With Quote Back to Top
Old 18th March 2019, 06:34 PM   #155
ynot
Philosopher
 
ynot's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2006
Posts: 8,321
Originally Posted by IanS View Post
I found that post suspicious on account of the OP describing atheists in such gushing terms as "wonderful ...amazing ...lovable … kind …. compassionate … gentle … true”. That does not seem like a normal atheist post to me.
I also had the same suspicions. I'm also suspicious of the relative lack of participation in his own thread. The "hidden text" post was weird enough to add to those suspicions .

ETA - Have just had a look at jeffbradt's first post in the Welcome! section of the forum because I remembered something that I was also suspicious of from there. His first ever forum post was titled "I haven't posted much". Not a big deal I guess but the whole text of the post has been changed to the "hidden" light yellow color! Suspicious has become bizarre!

Seems all jeff's posts are now light yellow text. Is he fading his way out of the forum? Any budding Sherlocks have an explanation?
__________________
Paranormal beliefs are knowledge placebos.
Rumours of a god’s existence have been greatly exaggerated.
To make truth from beliefs is to make truth mere make-believe.

Last edited by ynot; 18th March 2019 at 07:12 PM.
ynot is offline   Quote this post in a PM   Nominate this post for this month's language award Copy a direct link to this post Reply With Quote Back to Top
Old 18th March 2019, 07:26 PM   #156
attempt5001
Critical Thinker
 
Join Date: Oct 2018
Location: Canada
Posts: 455
Originally Posted by IanS View Post
Well, first- thanks for the previous kind words (above).

Outside of this forum and apart from one particularly good friend (who believes in God and the resurrection Jesus, but is not a practising Christian and does not think much of organised religions), I never discuss religion with anyone at all (though most of my neighbours, who I know very well, even on dinner party terms & social outings, are actually pretty religious, i.e. they attend church regularly).

I'd be happy to discuss it with them, but I don't want to offend them by explaining why I find the belief so obviously mistaken.

I have a vague recollection from seeing some of your posts in other threads, that you are a theist or at least believe in God, is that right??; but let me say this anyway - how on earth can anyone in the 21st century, as an educated person (I'm talking entirely generally, and not about you or any theists here) actually believe that Jesus was a real person who walked about in Judea but who nevertheless rose from the dead and was witnessed ascending to heaven? That's just crazy to believe something like that.

Similarly (and same wording lol) "how on earth can any educated person in the 21st century" believe that an invisible God exists who somehow (unexplained) created the entire universe, apparently merely in order to provide an environment for his creation of humans? How can any objective sensible person believe that? I mean - just think about it ... just think what you are being asked to believe ... ??? ... the whole idea is too ridiculous for words.

Seriously – I'd like theists (e.g. Christians and Muslims) to just take a big step back, sit down quietly for a moment, and ask themselves honestly “is it at all reasonable and sensible to believe a story like that?”.
Hi IanS. Yeah, I spent my whole life as a devoted Christian up until a few years back since which time the sort of critical thinking you describe above has supplanted a lot of what I believed earlier. Nonetheless, I'm grateful for the encouragement, kindness etc. that I experienced in a Christian family and community (shown both towards other believers and non-believers alike). It's easy for me to understand many reasons why people believe and while I agree it is sometimes because of naiveté, lack of education, or not being honest with oneself, I've also seen many instances where that is not a good description of the person, so I tend to object when people suggest those are the only sensible/possible justifications for theism.

I appreciate and understand when you ask "how on earth can someone believe...?" as well as why you would prefer if theists "took a big step back...". That, to me, is a very reasonable question and desire. My feeling though is that the "that's just crazy" kind of statement goes past "I can't possibly understand" (which is fair) to "because I can't understand, there is something wrong with these people", which is problematic.
attempt5001 is offline   Quote this post in a PM   Nominate this post for this month's language award Copy a direct link to this post Reply With Quote Back to Top
Old 18th March 2019, 07:29 PM   #157
attempt5001
Critical Thinker
 
Join Date: Oct 2018
Location: Canada
Posts: 455
Originally Posted by ynot View Post
I also had the same suspicions. I'm also suspicious of the relative lack of participation in his own thread. The "hidden text" post was weird enough to add to those suspicions .

ETA - Have just had a look at jeffbradt's first post in the Welcome! section of the forum because I remembered something that I was also suspicious of from there. His first ever forum post was titled "I haven't posted much". Not a big deal I guess but the whole text of the post has been changed to the "hidden" light yellow color! Suspicious has become bizarre!

Seems all jeff's posts are now light yellow text. Is he fading his way out of the forum? Any budding Sherlocks have an explanation?
Is it possible that changing an account setting could make that global change? I think I have some format called "the blues" by default here. Maybe just an unintended consequence of making a change there, but I'm just taking a stab in the dark.
attempt5001 is offline   Quote this post in a PM   Nominate this post for this month's language award Copy a direct link to this post Reply With Quote Back to Top
Old 18th March 2019, 07:32 PM   #158
arthwollipot
Observer of Phenomena
 
arthwollipot's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2005
Location: Location, Location
Posts: 63,776
Originally Posted by attempt5001 View Post
Is it possible that changing an account setting could make that global change? I think I have some format called "the blues" by default here. Maybe just an unintended consequence of making a change there, but I'm just taking a stab in the dark.
You can change your default font and colour in your Control Panel - Edit Options. But it's discouraged.
__________________
Self-described nerd. Pronouns: He/Him

My mom told me she tries never to make fun of people for not knowing something.
- Randall Munroe
arthwollipot is offline   Quote this post in a PM   Nominate this post for this month's language award Copy a direct link to this post Reply With Quote Back to Top
Old 18th March 2019, 07:33 PM   #159
ynot
Philosopher
 
ynot's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2006
Posts: 8,321
Originally Posted by attempt5001 View Post
Is it possible that changing an account setting could make that global change? I think I have some format called "the blues" by default here. Maybe just an unintended consequence of making a change there, but I'm just taking a stab in the dark.
Yep, that makes most sense. Thanks Sherlock
__________________
Paranormal beliefs are knowledge placebos.
Rumours of a god’s existence have been greatly exaggerated.
To make truth from beliefs is to make truth mere make-believe.
ynot is offline   Quote this post in a PM   Nominate this post for this month's language award Copy a direct link to this post Reply With Quote Back to Top
Old 18th March 2019, 07:40 PM   #160
attempt5001
Critical Thinker
 
Join Date: Oct 2018
Location: Canada
Posts: 455
Originally Posted by ynot View Post
Yet in your post #116 you lump Thor 2 in with myself as having a "write them all off mindset"
The posts I quoted suggested a "write them all off mindset"; one that I don't think is reflected in Thor 2's other posts, which I have found encouraging in that it opens the door for further discussion.

Quote:
Perhaps you might consider putting more effort into discussing and understanding how and why different atheists don't believe, rather than taking the easier "write them off as nasty, insulting, aggressive, idiots" approach. Cheers!
Do you really feel that was the gist of my post? I'm definitely open to discussing and understanding atheist perspectives (they mostly make a lot of sense to me as well), but that highlighted bit feels like a sort of tit-for-tat posting that doesn't really follow?

Last edited by attempt5001; 18th March 2019 at 07:42 PM.
attempt5001 is offline   Quote this post in a PM   Nominate this post for this month's language award Copy a direct link to this post Reply With Quote Back to Top
Reply

International Skeptics Forum » General Topics » Religion and Philosophy

Bookmarks

Thread Tools

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

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


All times are GMT -7. The time now is 07:50 PM.
Powered by vBulletin. Copyright ©2000 - 2019, Jelsoft Enterprises Ltd.

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

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