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Old 18th March 2019, 07:43 PM   #161
attempt5001
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Originally Posted by ynot View Post
Yep, that makes most sense. Thanks Sherlock
Laugh. Thanks. If I've stumbled on to the truth though, it was just by guessing
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Old 18th March 2019, 07:59 PM   #162
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Originally Posted by ynot View Post
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!
I don't mind the challenge and there are some good and fair points there, but whereas I was responding to specific comments you made, you've responded with huge generalizations. I would point out again that your synopses are not all-encompassing and not at all representative of the mindset I had as a believer, or the mindset of the community I was a part of, but I think I've already tried to made that point as well as I can.
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Old 18th March 2019, 08:08 PM   #163
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Originally Posted by attempt5001 View Post
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.
Have you taken any time to consider that perhaps none of Thor 2's posts (or mine) are intended to be a "write them all off mindset"? And perhaps that you think they are may be merely a reflection of your mindset?

Originally Posted by attempt5001 View Post
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?
Well . . .
Originally Posted by attempt5001 View Post
taking the easier "write them off as idiots" approach.
Do you really feel that was the gist of my and Thor 2’s posts? It’s a tit-for-tat post for sure, that’s the point.
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Last edited by ynot; 18th March 2019 at 08:46 PM.
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Old 18th March 2019, 08:26 PM   #164
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Originally Posted by attempt5001 View Post
I don't mind the challenge and there are some good and fair points there, but whereas I was responding to specific comments you made, you've responded with huge generalizations. I would point out again that your synopses are not all-encompassing and not at all representative of the mindset I had as a believer, or the mindset of the community I was a part of, but I think I've already tried to made that point as well as I can.
Your mindset as a member of a particular religious community is not (necessarily) the same thing as your mindset regarding the actual existence of a paranormal/supernatural god. Seems you might be conflating mindset as a religious community member and mindset as an individual "god is real" believer.

Originally Posted by attempt5001 View Post
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.
Okay, help me/us out here then. Provide a "good description" of a theist (person that believes a god is actually real) that doesn’t require belief in a paranormal/supernatural god character, that if were actually real, would completely contradict all current knowledge and understanding of reality. If that’s too hard then merely provide your best attempt (doesn’t need to be 5001 ) at a good description of a theist that isn’t in some way encompassed by any of “my” descriptions.
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Last edited by ynot; 18th March 2019 at 08:40 PM.
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Old 18th March 2019, 09:11 PM   #165
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I can't see why a God belief would actually contradict our current knowledge and understanding of reality.

Certainly I see no reason to believe there is such a thing and it is certainly not required by our current knowledge of reality.

There are many things suggestive of there not being a God.

But I don't see the actual contradiction.
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Old 18th March 2019, 09:16 PM   #166
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Originally Posted by ynot View Post
Dawkins isn't saying deists aren't theists, he's defining one type of theist from another.
I disagree. He says theists believe in a supernatural power that still intervenes and that deists believe in a supernatural power that does not still intervene.

I don't see how he could have been any clearer.

If you disagree with Dawkins, fair enough, but it's silly to pretend that he did not make it a point of contrasting the two terms.

The OP is showing up to me as a very pale yellow. If it weren't for other people quoting it, I wouldn't know what it said. Tried a different browser, same thing.

As far as I can tell the few theists/deists who identify themselves as such in this forum don't do much to elucidate why they are a certain kind of theist. For example, I don't see Roman Catholics defending Catholicism, or anyone discussing why they are an Anglican instead of Catholic. So there's not much discussion about the attributes of specific denominations, or how people choose one over another - if it even is a choice. A fair number of posters don't believe there is such a thing as free will.
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Old 18th March 2019, 09:39 PM   #167
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Originally Posted by Minoosh View Post
I disagree. He says theists believe in a supernatural power that still intervenes and that deists believe in a supernatural power that does not still intervene.
How many times does this need to be said?

Theism is simply belief in a god (aka a supernatural power/being). As Dawkins correctly says (and you repeat above), both theists and deists believe in a god/supernatural power/being, by definition therefore they are both theists. Whether a believed god is believed to intervene or not is irrelevant to a person believing in a god and being a theist.

I don't disagree with Dawkins, you misunderstand and misinterpret Dawkins.
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Paranormal beliefs are knowledge placebos.
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Last edited by ynot; 18th March 2019 at 09:43 PM.
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Old 18th March 2019, 09:48 PM   #168
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Originally Posted by Robin View Post
I can't see why a God belief would actually contradict our current knowledge and understanding of reality.

Certainly I see no reason to believe there is such a thing and it is certainly not required by our current knowledge of reality.

There are many things suggestive of there not being a God.

But I don't see the actual contradiction.
Really!? . A believed god is a paranormal/supernatural character. What in our current knowledge and understanding of reality allows for anything that's paranormal/supernatural?
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Old 18th March 2019, 09:56 PM   #169
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Originally Posted by ynot View Post
How many times does this need to be said?

Theism is simply belief in a god (aka a supernatural power/being). As Dawkins correctly says (and you repeat above), both theists and deists believe in a god/supernatural power/being, by definition therefore they are both theists. Whether a believed god is believed to intervene or not is irrelevant to a person believing in a god and being a theist.

I don't disagree with Dawkins, you misunderstand and misinterpret Dawkins.
Apologies if I'm wrong, but I think you were the poster who claimed I was an atheist because I said I was agnostic. I felt at the time you were trying to shoehorn me into accepting your personal definitions. Compare *and* contrast is a common rhetorical technique wherein both similarities and differences are discussed, which is what Dawkins did. The validity of the similarities does not obliterate the fact that he was also citing differences a clear distinction between the two terms.

Whether Dawkins' definitions hold water or not, he was making a distinction, while you make no distinction. If he wanted to say deists were a subset of theists, he would have said that.

Last edited by Minoosh; 18th March 2019 at 10:07 PM. Reason: Trying to make myself understood
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Old 18th March 2019, 10:03 PM   #170
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Now I wonder too what's up with the OP. I've only skimmed the thread so maybe I missed something.

Sometime it would be interesting to look for overlap here between hardcore materialists and posters who take credit for their own good judgment in rejecting God beliefs. If materialism is true (and currently I lean that way) there is no credit to be taken either way. We believe what we do because we literally have no choice.
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Old 18th March 2019, 10:30 PM   #171
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Originally Posted by Minoosh View Post
Apologies if I'm wrong, but I think you were the poster who claimed I was an atheist because I said I was agnostic.
I would've said if you're an agnostic that doesn't believe in a god then you're an atheist. And if you're an agnostic that does believe in a god then you're a theist. It's not rocket science.

Originally Posted by Minoosh View Post
I felt at the time you were trying to shoehorn me into accepting your personal definitions. Compare *and* contrast is a common rhetorical technique wherein both similarities and differences are discussed, which is what Dawkins did. The validity of the similarities does not obliterate the fact that he was also citing differences a clear distinction between the two terms.

Whether Dawkins' definitions hold water or not, he was making a distinction, while you make no distinction. If he wanted to say deists were a subset of theists, he would have said that.
Rubbish, both Dawkins and myself make a distinction between two different types of theist. One type of theist that believes in a god that does intervene, and another type of theist that believes in a god that doesn't intervene. Dawkins saying they both believe in a god is Dawkins saying they are both theists.

Once again . . . not rocket science.
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To make truth from beliefs is to make truth mere make-believe.

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Old 18th March 2019, 11:06 PM   #172
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Originally Posted by ynot View Post
Rubbish, both Dawkins and myself make a distinction between two different types of theist. One type of theist that believes in a god that does intervene, and another type of theist that believes in a god that doesn't intervene. Dawkins saying they both believe in a god is Dawkins saying they are both theists.

Once again . . . not rocket science.
Not rocket science. English comprehension.

"A theist 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 ... A deist, too, believes in a supernatural intelligence, but one who ... never intervenes thereafter."

You cover both conditions with one overarching description. In Dawkins' usage they are mutually exclusive. A deist who believes God intervenes is no longer a deist.

I think you told me that if I'm not sure God exists, that makes me an atheist.
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Old 18th March 2019, 11:52 PM   #173
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Originally Posted by Minoosh View Post
Not rocket science. English comprehension.

"A theist 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 ... A deist, too, believes in a supernatural intelligence, but one who ... never intervenes thereafter."

You cover both conditions with one overarching description. In Dawkins' usage they are mutually exclusive. A deist who believes God intervenes is no longer a deist.
Sure, but is still a theist.

Dawkins isn't my tutor, hero or guru, and I don't necessarily accept or believe everything he says. From what I understand of Dawkins's atheism however I'm sure he would agree that theism is purely belief in a god, gods or deity. That he may have been somewhat ambiguous in a few lines from a whole book doesn't change this. He certainly doesn't say deism isn't a type of theism anywhere I can see.

Forget Dawkins, how do YOU define theism/theist?

Originally Posted by Minoosh View Post
I think you told me that if I'm not sure God exists, that makes me an atheist.
If you're not sure you believe a god exists then you can't say you DO believe a god exists, therefore you're not a theist (theists DO believe a god exists), therefore you're an atheist (not theist). I'm done with this discussion unless we can continue with something other than repetition.
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Last edited by ynot; 19th March 2019 at 12:20 AM.
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Old 19th March 2019, 12:15 AM   #174
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Originally Posted by TragicMonkey View Post
Color text? Amicability be damned, that's a trigger for jihad!
A mysitic speaking "Mystic" perhaps.
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Old 19th March 2019, 12:40 AM   #175
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Originally Posted by ynot View Post
How many times does this need to be said?

Theism is simply belief in a god (aka a supernatural power/being). As Dawkins correctly says (and you repeat above), both theists and deists believe in a god/supernatural power/being, by definition therefore they are both theists. Whether a believed god is believed to intervene or not is irrelevant to a person believing in a god and being a theist.

I don't disagree with Dawkins, you misunderstand and misinterpret Dawkins.
With all due respect and trying to be friendly, you're wrong.
Dawkins opposes theism to deism. On page 39 of "God's Deception" he wrote:
The only thing all these theistic critics were right was that Einstein was not one of them. He was repeatedly indignant at the suggestion that he was a theist. So he was a deist, like Voltaire and Diderot?
That is, Dawkins opposes theists and deists who are somewhat different. This is a common philosophical distinction.

However, you can use the word theist in a different way. You can be said that the theist is not just someone who attributes to God some specific interactions with the world, but everyone who believes in gods, including deists. The only problem is that if you are talking to someone like Dawkins some communication problems can arise.

The other problem is that you engage in an endless verbal debate about what the true or correct use of the "deist" is. That would be the most regrettable thing.
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Old 19th March 2019, 02:22 AM   #176
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Originally Posted by ynot View Post
In other words, be more intellectually honest with themselves .

Indeed. And that seems to be a huge issue for educated current-day Christains and Muslims.
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Old 19th March 2019, 04:53 AM   #177
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Originally Posted by Robin View Post
I can't see why a God belief would actually contradict our current knowledge and understanding of reality.
Because such beliefs always come with claims about what those gods do in the real world, and all of those claims that have been checkable have turned out to be false
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Old 19th March 2019, 05:05 AM   #178
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Originally Posted by ynot View Post
Really!? . A believed god is a paranormal/supernatural character. What in our current knowledge and understanding of reality allows for anything that's paranormal/supernatural?
Just state what you think the contradiction is or how our current understanding of the world prevents there being a supernatural God.

If you can't state this, on what basis are you claiming there is a contradiction?

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Old 19th March 2019, 05:21 AM   #179
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Originally Posted by Delvo View Post
Because such beliefs always come with claims about what those gods do in the real world, and all of those claims that have been checkable have turned out to be false
Do you have in mind things like the universe being older than 6,000 years old, the Genesis account being wrong, there having been no world-wide flood?

Sure, these claims have been shown to be wrong. If that is what is meant then I agree.
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Old 19th March 2019, 05:32 AM   #180
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But for someone who believes that the Universe was created by a supernatural being who meddles in it from time to time then I don't see how that contradicts anything we know about the Universe.

There is certainly no reason why we should believe such a thing and we have no evidence of such meddling. But no actual contradiction to what we know.

They key point being that such a being would be supernatural, not natural.
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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 19th March 2019, 06:16 AM   #181
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Originally Posted by attempt5001 View Post
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.

OK, that's all fine. And when I said "that's crazy" I was just trying write as any of us might actually talk with a phrase like that. I would not actually say with a straight sombre face to a Christian "you must be crazy if you believe that". But if I knew them well enough, and if we had actually got into an amicable constructive discussion about it, then I might say something like "really?; you believe that's literally true that Jesus rose after being truly dead for 3 days?, or that the first people who produced the idea of this God Yahweh 3000 years ago actually somehow really did see or hear this God and got messages from him? ... that's really just not credible to believe, is it? ... honestly, why would you believe stories as apparently impossible as that?".

Perhaps they might also like to think about this - what is the reason anyone today believes in this particular God at all? They give all sorts of reasons. But the actual reason is that they got it entirely and completely from a pair of books written 2500 years ago (ie the OT) and 2000 years ago (ie the NT). If those books had never been written then it's very hard indeed to see how anyone today would be saying they believe in Yahweh ...

... but how reliable do they think people were at that time 2000+ years ago? In particular how reliable in respect of their religious beliefs and superstitions? How reliable in respect of how much they understood about the world around them compared to what we know today from modern science?

I would say that it's not credible at all to think deeply religious people and deeply superstitious people 2000 years ago were reliable at all when they claimed to have encountered God and received great revelations from him. That's just not believable at all now in the 21st century. But that is, for people today, surely the entire source of their God belief.

Of course I know that many Christians also claim things like "personal experience", saying they have actually somehow been contacted by God. But should anyone believe that? What do they really mean by such "personal experience". What I think they really mean is that they so much want to believe in the faith (a faith which comes to them entirely from those 2000 year old books), that they convince themselves that all sorts of entirely mundane occurrences are communications from God. And I'm sorry to say that equally often, I think it's clear that the mundane experiences get embellished by all sorts of extra more convincing details that the person has knowingly added themselves (ie extra details that really never happened ... added because the person so much wants the God experience to be true).

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Old 19th March 2019, 06:25 AM   #182
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Originally Posted by Robin View Post
Do you have in mind things like the universe being older than 6,000 years old, the Genesis account being wrong, there having been no world-wide flood?

Sure, these claims have been shown to be wrong. If that is what is meant then I agree.
That's where it starts, but it continues...
  • If the Christian god were real, one of the two conflicting creation stories in Genesis 1 & 2 would be true, and the other wouldn't be in there. But we know that both are false and both are there.
  • If the Christian god were real, the structure of the world would be as its book describes (flat, with a clear solid dome above, holding out the water of of the Great Abyss). But we know that it's round, the sky isn't solid, and space is not full of water.
  • If the Christian god were real, the Great Flood would have happened. But we know that it definitely didn't.
  • If the Christian god were real, the Tower Of Babel story would have happened. It definitely didn't.
  • If the Christian god were real, its Special Chosen People would have spent years enslaved in Egypt. They definitely didn't.
  • If the Christian god were real, the whole Exodus thing would have happened. It definitely didn't.
  • If the Christian god were real, its Special Chosen People would never have left it in favor of knowingly made-up fakes, as its own book says they did repeatedly.
  • If the Christian god were real, the destruction of Jericho would have happened at about the same time as the Hebrew takeover of Canaan. It was off by centuries.
  • If the Christian god were real, the sun would have stood still in the sky for hours one day a few thousand years ago when there were plenty of other people all over the Earth who would have noticed such a thing if it happened. It definitely didn't.
  • If the Christian god were real, it would be both all-powerful and unable to arrange for a victory of a bronze-equipped army over an iron-equipped army. That combination isn't even possible.
  • If the Christian god were real, the world would have ended when its book says Jesus said it would: during the lives of the people he was supposedly speaking to. It didn't.
  • If the Christian god were real, somebody who was in Jerusalem at the time would have noticed the zombie horde in the streets right after Jesus's execution. They didn't.
  • If the Christian god were real, maybe its god would for some insane reason allow its brief stint as a human (or its son's or whatever) in just one particular part of the world to be as poorly documented as it was, but the few scraps of documentation about it would at least look like actual attempts to describe reality instead of deliberate mytho-allegorical fabrications, and they'd agree with each other about what actually happened. They don't.
  • If the Christian god were real, prayer would work. It doesn't.
  • If the Christian god were real, its followers' ideas about how to run a society and administer law & order & justice would be effective ideas; they would lead to the best, healthiest, most successful societies. But we know that the exact opposite is the case in reality: religiosity is inversely related to societal health in every way.
  • If the Christian god were real, its descriptions would look like they were describing fundamentally the same thing all along, instead of a human invention subject to perpetual change by humans. They don't.

A god that didn't have a list of contradictions with reality like that might indeed be non-falsifiable. But such a vague god of nothingness would need to be so carefully defined as not having ever done anything or had any traits, that it would not be a god anybody anywhere actually believes in or claims is real anyway.
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Old 19th March 2019, 06:40 AM   #183
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Originally Posted by Robin View Post
But for someone who believes that the Universe was created by a supernatural being who meddles in it from time to time then I don't see how that contradicts anything we know about the Universe.

There is certainly no reason why we should believe such a thing and we have no evidence of such meddling. But no actual contradiction to what we know.

They key point being that such a being would be supernatural, not natural.

Actually the "key point" is that ideas of the supernatural are no longer credible in the light of what we have now discovered from science about this universe.

The entire notion of anything supernatural never had any credible evidence or genuine reasoning in the first place. It was just an idea that people had in times before we had made real progress in science (although many people still persist with the idea today). But as far as we can tell from all of science (and that is a huge amount), there is no reason to think there is any such thing as "the supernatural".
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Old 19th March 2019, 07:24 AM   #184
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Quote:
That's where it starts, but it continues...
Indeed but I have already said I agree if this is about the accuracy of scriptures.

From the context I had thought the remark was about the general concept of beliefs about the Universe being created by a supernatural being who may or may not meddle.

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Old 19th March 2019, 08:50 AM   #185
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Ahh. I understand now. Sorry, I was reading a lot of the thread at once and had this post in mind when I responded earlier.

Originally Posted by HansMustermann View Post
...
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 knew this was neither your, nor Thor 2s post, but I assumed you would get the reference. That's why I chose to highlight some more positive elements in previous discussions, to try to steer the thread back towards "amicability". Sorry it caused a derail and I understand now why you responded the way you did.

Originally Posted by ynot View Post
Have you taken any time to consider that perhaps none of Thor 2's posts (or mine) are intended to be a "write them all off mindset"? And perhaps that you think they are may be merely a reflection of your mindset?

Well . . .
Yes. As explained above. You might be surprised at how much time I spend thinking and considering (and often rewriting and editing) before finalizing my posts. That is exactly why I'm here; to give more consideration to different thoughts and perspectives and to work through my own by expressing them and receiving input and feedback from others who have invested time and energy on similar questions and ideas. As always, thanks for being a part of that process.
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Old 19th March 2019, 09:16 AM   #186
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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 .

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?
I know his first post was out of time to edit it, before it went yellow. Maybe he is a hacker.
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Old 19th March 2019, 09:22 AM   #187
attempt5001
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Originally Posted by ynot View Post
Your mindset as a member of a particular religious community is not (necessarily) the same thing as your mindset regarding the actual existence of a paranormal/supernatural god. Seems you might be conflating mindset as a religious community member and mindset as an individual "god is real" believer.


Okay, help me/us out here then. Provide a "good description" of a theist (person that believes a god is actually real) that doesn’t require belief in a paranormal/supernatural god character, that if were actually real, would completely contradict all current knowledge and understanding of reality. If that’s too hard then merely provide your best attempt (doesn’t need to be 5001 ) at a good description of a theist that isn’t in some way encompassed by any of “my” descriptions.
Okay, here's an example description (one of many along the same lines) of someone I know well and personally. Middle aged woman, mother of 4 very kind and well-adjusted children, married ~20 years, medical doctor, generous, kind and considerate towards people of all sorts. Raised in a Christian home, became more involved in and committed to her faith as a young adult. Knows that faith and science are sometimes at odds, but has found intense peace, comfort, joy, hope, inspiration etc. in times of prayer and other expressions of her faith, both privately and within her community. As such, she is not concerned about trying to define her belief in ways that are congruent with "all current knowledge and understanding of reality", but is very happy to continue to explore and express her faith within the context of Christianity.

So back to the earlier definitions; in my opinion, she is not naive, uneducated, silly, or crazy.
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Old 19th March 2019, 10:19 AM   #188
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Just for the record, I'd still say better leave people alone unless they really WANT to talk about their religion. It's almost unavoidable to trigger a bad cognitive dissonance if you comment at all, or even ask for clarifications they don't actually have. And that-a-way lies them getting offended.

Much as the gay analogy apparently offends someone anyway -- but I guess you can't please EVERYONE -- just stick to "don't ask, don't tell."
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Old 19th March 2019, 10:21 AM   #189
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Originally Posted by attempt5001 View Post
Okay, here's an example description (one of many along the same lines) of someone I know well and personally. Middle aged woman, mother of 4 very kind and well-adjusted children, married ~20 years, medical doctor, generous, kind and considerate towards people of all sorts. Raised in a Christian home, became more involved in and committed to her faith as a young adult. Knows that faith and science are sometimes at odds, but has found intense peace, comfort, joy, hope, inspiration etc. in times of prayer and other expressions of her faith, both privately and within her community. As such, she is not concerned about trying to define her belief in ways that are congruent with "all current knowledge and understanding of reality", but is very happy to continue to explore and express her faith within the context of Christianity.

So back to the earlier definitions; in my opinion, she is not naive, uneducated, silly, or crazy.
I would argue that sticking to beliefs that you KNOW are at odds with reality and logic, is at the very least silly. And ultimately no different than what those who think the government reads their mind with rays do. It's not only the same kind of belief against all evidence that it's unfounded, it's even the same kind of coping mechanism.
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Old 19th March 2019, 12:09 PM   #190
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I was trying to remember where I had seem some esteemed astrophysicist saying that we knew but a little, and that we therefore could not rule out things that we would call supernatural. Then I remembered it was Brian May. He's esteemed, all right, but for his guitar playing and songwriting, not his science.

Maybe he was just being polite to legions of fans who want to believe Freddie Mercury still exists.
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Old 19th March 2019, 12:30 PM   #191
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Originally Posted by Robin View Post
Just state what you think the contradiction is or how our current understanding of the world prevents there being a supernatural God.

If you can't state this, on what basis are you claiming there is a contradiction?

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This . . .
Originally Posted by IanS View Post
Actually the "key point" is that ideas of the supernatural are no longer credible in the light of what we have now discovered from science about this universe.

The entire notion of anything supernatural never had any credible evidence or genuine reasoning in the first place. It was just an idea that people had in times before we had made real progress in science (although many people still persist with the idea today). But as far as we can tell from all of science (and that is a huge amount), there is no reason to think there is any such thing as "the supernatural".
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Old 19th March 2019, 12:32 PM   #192
attempt5001
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Originally Posted by HansMustermann View Post
I would argue that sticking to beliefs that you KNOW are at odds with reality and logic, is at the very least silly. And ultimately no different than what those who think the government reads their mind with rays do. It's not only the same kind of belief against all evidence that it's unfounded, it's even the same kind of coping mechanism.
I tend to agree that faith is often a type of coping mechanism, but I think there are no shortage of challenges people face that require such coping. As such, I feel there is still a big place for faith in society, even if its need and prevalence are in regression.

I wholeheartedly support advocating that faith or religion do not give anyone the right to oppress or incite violence, or to steer science-based policy.
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Old 19th March 2019, 12:34 PM   #193
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Originally Posted by Scorpion View Post
I know his first post was out of time to edit it, before it went yellow. Maybe he is a hacker.
He has deliberately or accidentally changed the global text colour for his posts in the User Control Panel (User CP).
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Old 19th March 2019, 12:40 PM   #194
attempt5001
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Originally Posted by HansMustermann View Post
I would argue that sticking to beliefs that you KNOW are at odds with reality and logic, is at the very least silly. And ultimately no different than what those who think the government reads their mind with rays do. It's not only the same kind of belief against all evidence that it's unfounded, it's even the same kind of coping mechanism.
I think too that for many theist (me included until quite recently), atheism is at odds with your sense of your own experience. I think it's common for someone to hold what they know of reality and logic in one hand, and what they feel by experience and faith in the other, and decide that the scales are not tipped so far towards the former that they can abandon the latter. (that's pretty much the "balancing" I was describing in my earlier thread).
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Old 19th March 2019, 12:41 PM   #195
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Originally Posted by attempt5001 View Post
Yes. As explained above. You might be surprised at how much time I spend thinking and considering (and often rewriting and editing) before finalizing my posts. That is exactly why I'm here; to give more consideration to different thoughts and perspectives and to work through my own by expressing them and receiving input and feedback from others who have invested time and energy on similar questions and ideas. As always, thanks for being a part of that process.
You're welcome, and thanks back for your honest, intelligent and diligent posts (no I'm not being sarcastic ).
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Old 19th March 2019, 01:23 PM   #196
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Originally Posted by ynot View Post
You're welcome, and thanks back for your honest, intelligent and diligent posts (no I'm not being sarcastic ).
Much appreciated ynot.
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Old 19th March 2019, 02:15 PM   #197
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Originally Posted by Delvo View Post
But such a vague god of nothingness would need to be so carefully defined as not having ever done anything or had any traits, that it would not be a god anybody anywhere actually believes in or claims is real anyway.
IMO what's needed is not a careful definition but no definition at all.

Though I can't say what God is, I can opine on what God isn't. You might think this makes any conversation on the subject meaningless, and you would be largely correct. For my own private purposes though, identifying what God isn't at least seems useful at times.

So far I haven't found anyone who agrees with me, but the song "Bernadette" strikes me as a powerful expression of the pain of idolatry. I don't need to define what God is to hear the agony in Levi Stubbs' lacerating vocals. Bernadette is this man's God and I don't think it's bringing him peace of mind. To me that's the point of the song. "By their fruits you will know them" is one snippet of Christian scripture that I find useful.
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Old 19th March 2019, 02:19 PM   #198
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Originally Posted by ynot View Post
He has deliberately or accidentally changed the global text colour for his posts in the User Control Panel (User CP).
Why would somebody do that? Is it a way of wiping content from the Internet?

I realize you don't actually know, just wondering if you've seen this done before.
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Old 19th March 2019, 02:44 PM   #199
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Originally Posted by attempt5001 View Post
Much appreciated ynot.

Glad to see you two are getting along so amicably.

I have asked a question of you on the "Give me a reason to believe." thread attempt. Thought it was more on the rails there than on this one.
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Old 19th March 2019, 02:58 PM   #200
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Originally Posted by attempt5001 View Post
Okay, here's an example description (one of many along the same lines) of someone I know well and personally. Middle aged woman, mother of 4 very kind and well-adjusted children, married ~20 years, medical doctor, generous, kind and considerate towards people of all sorts. Raised in a Christian home, became more involved in and committed to her faith as a young adult. Knows that faith and science are sometimes at odds, but has found intense peace, comfort, joy, hope, inspiration etc. in times of prayer and other expressions of her faith, both privately and within her community. As such, she is not concerned about trying to define her belief in ways that are congruent with "all current knowledge and understanding of reality", but is very happy to continue to explore and express her faith within the context of Christianity.

So back to the earlier definitions; in my opinion, she is not naive, uneducated, silly, or crazy.
Thanks. Well there’s a lot of unnecessary warm-fuzzy emotional “chaff” in that, so I’ll edit it down to what I believe is the relevant “wheat” of the matter . . .

But first, here’s a reminder of what Thor 2 and myself collectively said and which you took exception to and ridiculed - “God beliefs are silly for the educated and intellectually honest in modern times”.

My abridged edit . . .
A person that knows there’s conflict and contradiction between their strongly held and committed life-long Christian God beliefs and their educated intellectual knowledge chooses to compartmentalize them rather than honesty facing and addressing their cognitive dissonance. Their reason for doing this is to preserve and protect the comforting and desirable “rewards” they get from their God beliefs. In other words, they are willfully choosing to be dishonest to their intellectual knowledge in favour of their comforting God beliefs. From this person’s perspective they aren’t being silly because they aren’t being intellectually honest. From an intellectually honest person’s perspective however they are being silly (to put it mildly).

So back to the earlier definitions: Whether she is naive or not is irrelevant because nativity isn’t one of our definitions. She is certainly educated but she's also being intellectually dishonest. She chooses to compartmentalize her educated intellectual knowledge from her comforting emotional God beliefs and favours the beliefs. From an intellectually honest persons perspective intellectual dishonesty in favour of comforting emotional god beliefs is silly, crazy and potentially dangerous for humanity.

So ““God beliefs are silly for the educated and intellectually honest in modern times” is neither condescending nor insulting, it’s merely true.

Please let me know if there’s anything there you take exception to (I imagine there will be ).
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Last edited by ynot; 19th March 2019 at 03:33 PM.
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