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.
Reply
Old 18th February 2019, 06:25 AM   #201
HansMustermann
Penultimate Amazing
 
Join Date: Mar 2009
Posts: 14,940
But my point is that there's no point in explaining all that to someone who's "just the messenger." I don't start debates with the postman about how mom is wrong to assume that I need written instructions on how to throw the clothes into the washing machine. Nor about how patronizing it is for mom to congratulate me on stuff that you'd figure out on your own even at 6 years old. E.g., she's so proud of me that I can buy food for myself on my own.

But there's fundamentally no point in debating that with the guy just bringing me the letter. He not only has no reason to pick up the defense of mom's position, since it's not his, but probably doesn't give a flying f-bomb about my mommy issues anyway.

IF he is just the messenger, that is.

It seems to me like one can't both hide from any responsibility or argument behind "I'm just the messenger", AND at the same time demand that you can't dismiss an argument out of hand, you have to explain to him personally why. That's moved from the domain of being just the messenger, and into the domain of the guy who actually wants to debate that argument.


... Well, technically, even without being "just the messenger", one still can't really demand a reason to reject out of hand an argument that is just a string of ipse-dixit postulates. Which is all that Dostoevsky's argument is. That which is postulated without any evidence, can be rejected without any evidence. Even if it comes from Dostoevsky.

It is, in fact, an attempt to reverse the burden of proof. Instead of Dostoevsky -- or anyone wanting to be his advocate -- meeting their burden of proof for those assertions, some of which make pretty clearly positive claims, now you have to give a reason why you don't agree with him. That's the very definition of an argument from ignorance fallacy, a.k.a., reversing the burden of proof.

So really, what being "just the messenger" affords one, is that one doesn't have to be the one doing that stupid fallacy. IF one wants to remain just the messenger.
__________________
Which part of "Ph'nglui mglw'nafh Cthulhu R'lyeh wgah'nagl fhtagn" don't you understand?

Last edited by HansMustermann; 18th February 2019 at 06:26 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 February 2019, 06:36 AM   #202
Belz...
Fiend God
 
Belz...'s Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2005
Location: In the details
Posts: 79,582
Originally Posted by Trebuchet View Post
Because if you bet wrong, you'll go to hell!
Right, which means we're all screwed, because of all the other possible religions that someone picking Christianity has to ignore.

Have fun rolling a boulder up a hill for the rest of eternity, noobs!
__________________
Master of the Shining Darkness

"My views are nonsense. So what?" - BobTheCoward


Belz... 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 February 2019, 06:39 AM   #203
HansMustermann
Penultimate Amazing
 
Join Date: Mar 2009
Posts: 14,940
Dude, if we get like 10xp for pushing the boulder, people would line up to do it. Hell, they'd complain about the bloody chinese gold farmers getting in the way while they're trying to grind the boulder quest
__________________
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 February 2019, 02:57 PM   #204
LarryS
Muse
 
Join Date: Oct 2014
Posts: 925
Originally Posted by ynot View Post
I don’t believe in a god because I can’t think of a single reason why I should (and many reasons why I shouldn’t).

Some kind of evidence would be a good reason to believe, but that doesn’t seem to be possible, so what other reason(s) is their to believe in a god (serious question)?
So after all that, and likely more to come, no good reason to believe in God has surfaced, image that!!
LarryS 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 February 2019, 03:44 PM   #205
ynot
Philosopher
 
ynot's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2006
Posts: 8,278
Originally Posted by LarryS View Post
So after all that, and likely more to come, no good reason to believe in God has surfaced, image that!!
Well no good reason from my perspective, but obviously good enough reason for those that believe. Given there doesn't seem to be any credible intellectual reasons to believe, then I can only assume there's only emotional fear and desire reasons that I find incredulous. Guess I'd have a better perspective if I'd ever been a god believer myself.
__________________
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 February 2019 at 04:11 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 February 2019, 07:40 PM   #206
HansMustermann
Penultimate Amazing
 
Join Date: Mar 2009
Posts: 14,940
Frankly, my impression is that 90% of the religion motivation is the kind of irrational fear in that Dostoevsky quote: that unless they take their commandments from a god, and more specifically from YOUR god, and even more specifically the exact sect you're in, then everyone else is free to go murdering, raping and pillaging left, right and centre. And you just know they will.

Because that's what virtually every defense of religion devolves into. Someone may start by arguing why their God actually exists, all right. But if you don't go "haleluia, I'm now convinced Jesus is real because Luke is the great historian" or whatever their argument was, almost invariably it devolves into a faith in faith argument: how great and useful it would be if you believed anyway.

In a sense it's a scam. And the most successful scams are the kind where the marks think they're the ones doing the scamming. In a pyramid scheme, they think they'll get their money before it runs out of marks. In a stock pump-and-dump scam, they think they'll get to do some of that buying low and selling high before it crashes, and leave some other idiot to pick the tab. In a Nigerian 419, the only ones that ever got scammed, thought they're the ones scamming the Nigerian prince. Etc.

Same here. Idiots who can't understand how a secular justice system can possibly work, think they're the ones fooling everyone else into behaving. Essentially it's like everyone else is a 6 year old, and they're the ones fooling them to behave because Santa is watching. Except in practice, all those little stooges running around pretending to fool each other are the ones who get to be told what to do and how much to pay by the real scammers.

Edit: and that's also why I think religion is like nicotine or alcohol: pretty soon it offers comfort only from the problem it created in the first place. It creates its own fear, uncertainty and doubt, and then tells you that if you pray and come to church, you can get some comfort in the face of that same fear, uncertainty and doubt that it put in your head to begin with.
__________________
Which part of "Ph'nglui mglw'nafh Cthulhu R'lyeh wgah'nagl fhtagn" don't you understand?

Last edited by HansMustermann; 18th February 2019 at 07:47 PM.
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 February 2019, 10:31 PM   #207
Aridas
Crazy Little Green Dragon
 
Join Date: Sep 2011
Posts: 4,844
Originally Posted by HansMustermann View Post
But my point is that there's no point in explaining all that to someone who's "just the messenger."
Based on what he said, I deemed that he had effectively discarded his "just a messenger" stance.

Originally Posted by HansMustermann View Post
Frankly, my impression is that 90% of the religion motivation is the kind of irrational fear in that Dostoevsky quote: that unless they take their commandments from a god, and more specifically from YOUR god, and even more specifically the exact sect you're in, then everyone else is free to go murdering, raping and pillaging left, right and centre. And you just know they will.

Because that's what virtually every defense of religion devolves into. Someone may start by arguing why their God actually exists, all right. But if you don't go "haleluia, I'm now convinced Jesus is real because Luke is the great historian" or whatever their argument was, almost invariably it devolves into a faith in faith argument: how great and useful it would be if you believed anyway.
I'm going to disagree a bit with you here. You look like you are effectively conflating "religion" with Christianity (possibly the Abrahamic religions in general). Different religions tend to invoke somewhat different motivations, depending on the premises of the religion, and most of the non-Abrahamic ones that I can think of off the top of my head don't really go that route so much.
__________________
So sayeth the crazy little dragon.
Aridas 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 February 2019, 11:22 PM   #208
Roger Ramjets
Illuminator
 
Roger Ramjets's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2008
Posts: 3,898
Originally Posted by ynot View Post
Rubbish! This is a misuse of language. Bob only exists as an imaginary character in an imaginary simulation. I should know, I imagined it up .
That's what you say, but the only evidence I have is words on a computer screen. For all I know you could be a bot - ie. a simulation in a computer, and Bob might really exist in that real simulation. I mean, it's possible, right?


Quote:
Bob doesn't "does exist" any more than a god "does exist".
Not if he is only a story, but if a real simulation had Bob in it then he would have a kind of existence - in the same way that your posts exist (ie. only as code and data in a computer). Or shall I ignore your posts because they don't exist?

Quote:
If a thing is either impossible or possible then it merely might be possible, and equally it might be impossible. That a thing "might be possible" doesn't mean it "is possible".
Definition of Might
2 —used to say that something is possible

"it's possible that it's possible" is a double positive, not a negative. So although it might be weaker than a simple "it's possible" it still implies a possibility greater than zero. And any possibility greater then zero is 'possible'.
__________________
We don't want good, sound arguments. We want arguments that sound good.
Roger Ramjets 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 February 2019, 11:44 PM   #209
Roger Ramjets
Illuminator
 
Roger Ramjets's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2008
Posts: 3,898
Originally Posted by HansMustermann View Post
- if Jesus were invented, they'd invent a total super-superman-style Mary Sue, not some guy who got crucified, so it has to be real
That would be a good argument, if only Jesus wasn't a total super-superman-style Mary Sue. Someone who regularly performs miracles and comes back from the dead to herald a new era of redemption isn't just 'some guy'.

Every superhero has a weakness, and even Superman was killed and resurrected. No way did that make him any less 'super' - or less invented.
__________________
We don't want good, sound arguments. We want arguments that sound good.
Roger Ramjets 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 19th February 2019, 12:59 AM   #210
David Mo
Illuminator
 
David Mo's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2012
Location: Somewhere on the Greenwich meridian
Posts: 3,845
Originally Posted by HansMustermann View Post
(...)

But anyway, methinks you should still pick one:
1. Either you're just the messenger. OR
2. You actually want to argue that position.
Not both.

"Just the messenger" is the postman who stuffs the local newspaper in my post box. (...).
You are interested in messing with me because of the way I have presented Dostoevsky's reason to believe in God. I regret to say you that I am not interesting in this. I am interesting in discussing Dostoevsky's arguments.
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 19th February 2019, 01:09 AM   #211
HansMustermann
Penultimate Amazing
 
Join Date: Mar 2009
Posts: 14,940
Originally Posted by Roger Ramjets View Post
That would be a good argument, if only Jesus wasn't a total super-superman-style Mary Sue. Someone who regularly performs miracles and comes back from the dead to herald a new era of redemption isn't just 'some guy'.

Every superhero has a weakness, and even Superman was killed and resurrected. No way did that make him any less 'super' - or less invented.
Well, as you probably figured out, I didn't say any of those were really good arguments. That was more like an 'apologists say the darndest things' list

1. I mean even without modern writing techniques, there was enough precedent at the time of gods that worked just like that.

Osiris, for example, was THE god of the afterlife, the one who has the power to give you eternal life or eternal death, and he got that position by being tricked and dismembered by his bro. And in fact, that burying and dismembering was central to their religion, and was celebrated and reenacted ritually every year.

Zalmoxis, at least according to Herodotus, was originally a slave, then a ruler, but after his death the Dacians believed that if they die bravely in battle they go to his domain. Kinda like Kahless The Unforgettable

Etc.

Gods having their own kryptonite moments was really very common.


2. As Carrier and a few others point out, given the constraints that the OT and current rabinical interpretations put on a messiah, that was in fact the ONLY kind of messiah you could invent there. You couldn't actually say that, yeah, the super Mary Sue came and single-handedly defeated the Romans and conquered the world and rebuilt the temple. People would kinda notice that that's not the case. So doing all that only symbolically -- e.g., the temple he rebuilt was actually meant to be his body -- was the ONLY kind of story you could invent and be plausible.


3. But I think the ultimate rebuttal for that silly argument is that it's what worked the best. There were plenty of cults whose gods weren't that vulnerable, but they lost to xianity. So the argument basically means: oh noes, if they could invent any god or messiah they could, they totally wouldn't invent the kind of story that actually works. Uh, why?
__________________
Which part of "Ph'nglui mglw'nafh Cthulhu R'lyeh wgah'nagl fhtagn" don't you understand?

Last edited by HansMustermann; 19th February 2019 at 01:10 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 19th February 2019, 01:26 AM   #212
HansMustermann
Penultimate Amazing
 
Join Date: Mar 2009
Posts: 14,940
Originally Posted by David Mo View Post
You are interested in messing with me because of the way I have presented Dostoevsky's reason to believe in God. I regret to say you that I am not interesting in this. I am interesting in discussing Dostoevsky's arguments.
I'm not interested in "messing" with anyone. But I do expect an honest debate, not one where you duck behind a silly excuse to reverse the burden of proof. Because that's all that your "just the messenger" dodge seems to be.

And frankly that doesn't make it any less of a fallacy.

If you actually want to propose that Dostoevsky's argument has any merit, then you get the burden of proof for his postulates. It's that simple. You don't get to reverse that by claiming you're just the messenger. Being just the messenger of a load of ipse-dixit nonsense, doesn't mean that then you get to demand that the others show what's wrong with it. Until the burden of proof has been met, there is nothing to debate. That which is asserted without evidence, can be dismissed without evidence, and that's what I have already done repeatedly.

Frankly, there is nothing there to even refute, since those claims were not supported by any valid argument, much less sound. Until that's the case, it's just someone pulling postulates out of the ass, which doesn't take any debating to just dismiss out of hand.

All I have to do for such bare postulates is fall back onto the null hypothesis, that, for example, any "true happiness" he personally may feel when thinking of the immortality of the soul, is just a coincidence. He hasn't disproved that null hypothesis in any form or shape. Hell, he hasn't even disproved that it's just his epileptic auras, which really is the counter-hypothesis he himself stated repeatedly, e.g., in The Idiot.

If you want anything to debate, you -- or anyone else wanting to pick up that burden -- must first show that those claims have any merit in the first place.


E.g., that if you don't believe in the immortality of the soul, then you live your days in abject horror of eternal death. Well, a lot of us could tell you that we don't think about death at all, or not until such a topic comes up from someone else. And one counter-example is enough to demolish such an "all X are Y" kind of claim.

But I'm willing to allow, for the purpose of this exercise, that it might work as a probabilistic claim, i.e., as a correlation. You know, so it can stand even if there are counter-examples. Well, then, if someone claims that such a correlation actually exists, as in all "X exists" or "Y happens" claims, it's a positive claim and they have the burden of proof.


E.g., that true happiness IS believing in the immortality of the soul. Well, again, there are plenty of examples of religious people who need anti-depressants, so that would kill the blanket assertion right there and then.

But, again, I'm willing to take it as a probabilistic claim, if anyone wants to try to save it that way. But, again, then the claim is that such a correlation exists. Well, show it then.

Etc.
__________________
Which part of "Ph'nglui mglw'nafh Cthulhu R'lyeh wgah'nagl fhtagn" don't you understand?

Last edited by HansMustermann; 19th February 2019 at 01:29 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 19th February 2019, 01:31 AM   #213
David Mo
Illuminator
 
David Mo's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2012
Location: Somewhere on the Greenwich meridian
Posts: 3,845
Originally Posted by Aridas View Post
That's a popular falsehood in many Christian circles, as they badmouth subjective morality without actually understanding it. Going further, the morality that we actually consistently see in evidence is primarily a societal/cultural construct with a foundation on biological tendencies. This construct can, in fact, be influenced by individuals, but it's hardly the whimsical thing that they try to represent subjective morality as. There's much more that could be said, but that's plenty to demonstrate that this claim doesn't hold up under scrutiny.

(...)

Happier with that response, David Mo?
Thank you with the answer but it has a problem: you confuse morality with moral law. Morality in English means the social rules of a community. A social rule is not imperative in the sense than moral law is.

I can disobey a social rule in the name of a moral law. This is usually called "disidence". Example: I won't go to war. I won't kill innocent men in the war. (A pacifist).
I can also disobey a social rule in the name of my own and different community. I beat my woman because my people do so. (A traditionalist).
I can also disobey a social rule in the name of egoism. I take the money of this walley because nobody has see me. (A thief)

Therefore you cannot say that social rules (morality) are objective. I can choose any option only by my whims, convenience or bad instincts.

Therefore Dostoevsky concludes: Only the one who believe in the immortality of his soul will try to be good over his whims, convencience or bad instincts. By love of Christ. (Note that not everybody that says to love Christ really do so).

What do you think he is wrong?
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 19th February 2019, 01:31 AM   #214
HansMustermann
Penultimate Amazing
 
Join Date: Mar 2009
Posts: 14,940
Basically, the TL;DR version, I can't speak for ynot, but it seems to me like a good reason to believe doesn't mean just stating some postulates, unsupported in any way except maybe their coming from a false authority. That's not a reason and not even an argument, in the logic sense of the word. If all one has as reason is postulating that is so, they don't HAVE a reason, so they don't have what was asked for.
__________________
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 19th February 2019, 01:39 AM   #215
HansMustermann
Penultimate Amazing
 
Join Date: Mar 2009
Posts: 14,940
Originally Posted by David Mo View Post
Thank you with the answer but it has a problem: you confuse morality with moral law. Morality in English means the social rules of a community. A social rule imperative in the sense than moral law is.

I can disobey a social rule in the name of a moral law. This is usually called "disidence". Example: I won't go to war. I won't kill innocent men in the war. (A pacifist).
I can also disobey a social rule in the name of my own and different community. I beat my woman because my people do so. (A traditionalist).
I can also disobey a social rule in the name of egoism. I take the money of this walley because nobody has see me. (A thief)

Therefore you cannot say that social rules (morality) are objective. I can choose any option only by my whims, convenience or bad instincts.

Therefore Dostoevsky concludes: Only the one who believe in the immortality of his soul will try to be good over his whims, convencience or bad instincts. By love of Christ. (Note that not everybody that says to love Christ really do so).

What do you think he is wrong?
Why do you think he is right? Again, you don't get to reverse the burden of proof just by playing the silly "I'm just the messenger" (and apparently suddenly can't understand elementary logic either) game, silly.

If Dostoevsky were right, you would have a correlation between atheism and criminal behaviour. Before that idea merits being disproven, first it must be proven. Anyone claiming that such a correlation exists, has the burden of proof. Until that is in fact supported, the rest of us don't have to do anything else than fall back upon the null hypothesis that no such correlation exists.

Incidentally, we COULD actually even accept that reversal of the burden of proof, because we already know that the exact opposite correlation exists. More secular nations statistically have less crime, and even within the same country more criminals declare themselves religious than the rest of the population. We might also note that the recent decline in religiousness in the west also happens at the same time as a decline in crime, especially violent crime. E.g., the incidence of rape has dropped by almost an order of magnitude since the 1990.

I guess the immortality of the soul doesn't help that much, when you also have a god that will forgive you personally of anything, if you ask nicely.

But we don't have to. Meet your burden of proof, or don't, but you don't get to play a literal argument from ignorance card either way.
__________________
Which part of "Ph'nglui mglw'nafh Cthulhu R'lyeh wgah'nagl fhtagn" don't you understand?

Last edited by HansMustermann; 19th February 2019 at 01:40 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 19th February 2019, 01:39 AM   #216
Darat
Lackey
Administrator
 
Darat's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2001
Location: South East, UK
Posts: 85,059
Notice David Mo has sneaked in a "No true Scotsman".
__________________
I wish I knew how to quit you
Darat 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 19th February 2019, 01:48 AM   #217
HansMustermann
Penultimate Amazing
 
Join Date: Mar 2009
Posts: 14,940
Shhh. Don't spook him now. I was waiting for him to actually take it in the usual direction, of being right BECAUSE there is no evidence
__________________
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 19th February 2019, 01:54 AM   #218
ynot
Philosopher
 
ynot's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2006
Posts: 8,278
If this theist biased Ontological Argument (start of) is valid
(1) It is possible that a maximally great being (God) exists.
(2) If it is possible that a maximally great being exists, then a maximally great being exists . . .


Then this atheist biased version would be equally valid
(1) It is possible that a maximally great being (God) doesn't exist.
(2) If it is possible that a maximally great being doesn't exist, then a maximally great being doesn't exist . . .

However, this secular non-biased version would be actually valid (if the argument has any validity at all).
(1) It is possible that a maximally great being (God) exists or doesn't exist.
(2) If it is possible that a maximally great being exists or doesn't exist, then a maximally great being might or might not exist . . .
__________________
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; 19th February 2019 at 01:57 AM.
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 19th February 2019, 02:32 AM   #219
Aridas
Crazy Little Green Dragon
 
Join Date: Sep 2011
Posts: 4,844
Originally Posted by David Mo View Post
Thank you with the answer but it has a problem: you confuse morality with moral law. Morality in English means the social rules of a community. A social rule is not imperative in the sense than moral law is.
In practice, moral law doesn't exist separate from the social construct. That is, of course, bearing in mind that the construct is not and should not be pretended to be absolute or objective in the first place.

Originally Posted by David Mo View Post
I can disobey a social rule in the name of a moral law. This is usually called "dissidence". Example: I won't go to war. I won't kill innocent men in the war. (A pacifist).
Minor fix to the spelling of dissidence in the quote.

Originally Posted by David Mo View Post
I can also disobey a social rule in the name of my own and different community. I beat my woman because my people do so. (A traditionalist).
I can also disobey a social rule in the name of egoism. I take the money of this walley because nobody has see me. (A thief)

Therefore you cannot say that social rules (morality) are objective.
Once more, there was no claim that social rules are absolute or objective. Trying to bash subjective morality for not being objective when there was no claim to be completely objective in the first place deserves little more than an eyeroll at the foolishness.


Originally Posted by David Mo View Post
I can choose any option only by my whims, convenience or bad instincts.
You're trying to hold a social construct responsible for the fact that it is not what is choosing a person's actions? That's interesting, not least because believers in objective morality actually do exactly what you described in practice (quite possibly at a distinctly higher rate in practice). Morality, objective and subjective, serves roughly as guidelines and principles to aspire to, not that one is actually forced to follow.

As an aside related to Christianity specifically, the "objective morality" of the Bible is little more than "YHWH is powerful, do what he tells you." That "objective" morality can and does change at YHWH's "whims" in the Bible. Hence, the sheer hypocrisy of a Christian trying to argue along lines like what you just put forth is rather severe, alleviated only by assumptions that are quite thoroughly not in evidence.

Originally Posted by David Mo View Post
Therefore Dostoevsky concludes: Only the one who believe in the immortality of his soul will try to be good over his whims, convencience or bad instincts. By love of Christ. (Note that not everybody that says to love Christ really do so).

What do you think he is wrong?
I think the argument is wrong throughout. His premises, easily inferred retrospectively, but pointedly not actually stated, are ridiculous on inspection. His stated logic fails to actually connect, in part because of his refusal to actually state his actual premises, but also because of how it ignores a figurative mountain of relevant information that points at distinctly different conclusions. His conclusion thus can be dismissed with prejudice for being so very antithetical to valid reasoning and in light of the facts.

Why did you think that it had any merit to start with?
__________________
So sayeth the crazy little dragon.

Last edited by Aridas; 19th February 2019 at 02:43 AM.
Aridas 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 19th February 2019, 04:08 AM   #220
HansMustermann
Penultimate Amazing
 
Join Date: Mar 2009
Posts: 14,940
Actually, I'd point out that OBJECTIVE morality wasn't a part of the Dostoevsky quote at all. He only says you can't change it yourself -- which, really, applies to any judicial system OR community rules just as well -- and that it has something to do with believing in the immortality of the soul. He doesn't say that there's only one set that you could have gotten from a god. In fact, technically he doesn't even say that you got it from a god.

So introducing the idea of an objective morality is just a case of David Mo running around with the goalposts. I.e., another fallacy he's doing.

In fact, Dostoevsky himself writes a lengthy critique of organized religion, for example in the The Grand Inquisitor chapter of the Brothers Karamazov. He makes it amply clear that the moment you introduce organized religion into it, you get enslaved and given extra rules. So it takes some cherrypicking even from Dostoevsky to arrive at the conclusion that he believed that there is one single set of rules, which would kinda be required for it to be objective.


But anyway, if we stick to the quote given, and the actual claim that you get them specifically from believing in the immortality of the soul, the idea that what you get is objective is so idiotic that it's trivial to debunk. Different people got VERY different rules while still believing in an immortal soul.

E.g., the Norse sure as Hel believed in the immortality of the soul (well, at least until Ragnarök, anyway) and yet their religion actually endorsed burning a family alive in their home, as a way to settle disputes you may have had with them. At least one king in the sagas even claims that he was told personally by Odin to do THAT to his rival.

They were also into human sacrifice, and belief in gods and immortal souls was why they did it, not some impediment. The slaves you sacrificed at a funeral, for example, were not just "killed", they got to accompany you to the afterlife. The whole sacrifice ONLY made sense if you actually believed that they have an immortal soul. Otherwise, why bother?

E.g., the ancient Greeks sure believed in an immortal soul, but screwing young boys was actually a GOOD thing for them. Quite a different set of rules than, say, the gay-bashing fundie Xians or the Orthodox Church that was Dostoevsky's religion.

If the claim is strictly that those morals are what you get by believing in the immortality of the soul, then quite trivially they're nowhere near objective.
__________________
Which part of "Ph'nglui mglw'nafh Cthulhu R'lyeh wgah'nagl fhtagn" don't you understand?

Last edited by HansMustermann; 19th February 2019 at 04:13 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 19th February 2019, 04:14 AM   #221
MRC_Hans
Penultimate Amazing
 
MRC_Hans's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2002
Posts: 21,804
Originally Posted by Aridas View Post
*snip*

I think the argument [of Dostoevsky] is wrong throughout. His premises, easily inferred retrospectively, but pointedly not actually stated, are ridiculous on inspection. His stated logic fails to actually connect, in part because of his refusal to actually state his actual premises, but also because of how it ignores a figurative mountain of relevant information that points at distinctly different conclusions. His conclusion thus can be dismissed with prejudice for being so very antithetical to valid reasoning and in light of the facts.

Why did you think that it had any merit to start with?
It it a very common argument from theists, and it does indeed fail thoroughly.

- Moral standards pre-existed theistic religions.

- Moral standards evidently follow the norms of the society, rather than religion. This is especially evident in multi-religious societies.

- Millions of atheists and non-theists hold excellent moral standards.

.... And of course, history shows that religion does not necessarily make people behave morally.

Hans
__________________
Experience is an excellent teacher, but she sends large bills.
MRC_Hans 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 19th February 2019, 08:51 AM   #222
David Mo
Illuminator
 
David Mo's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2012
Location: Somewhere on the Greenwich meridian
Posts: 3,845
Hans, _Hans and Aridas:

A. On the burden of proof.
Dostoevsky's position can be summarized in three propositions.
1. Social norms (morality) are not the moral law
I think I made this point very clear with the first of my examples: the dissident.
2. Social norms are not obligatory. The following two examples (the traditionalist and the thief) demonstrate this.
3. Conclusion: a social norm can be violated without contradiction. It is contradictory to defend that social norms are obligatory.
The burden of proof lies with who claims that there are social norms that are binding.

B) The cynical position.
According to the above, the cynic --let us call him Critias-- affirms that social norms are conventional, not obligatory.
Consequence: there is no rational criterion to decide between one norm and another. The only reason is violence and coercion. The law of the strongest. Either the ability of Critias to make his community believe that he complies with social norms when he is just following his own profit. In this way, Critias overcomes the objection that disrespect for social norms can destroy society (assuming that maintenance of society being an end in itself).

C) Dostoevsky affirms that only Love for Christ and belief in immortality can refute cynicism. He who loves Christ has a reason not to be violent and against coercion.

Naturally, this is a statement of fact. It must be proven or refuted (the burden of proof). Nothwistanding, both are practically impossible. ( Dostoevsky acknowledges this). It can be refuted that belief in the immortality of the soul makes men more compassionate and less violent. But if we addh Love for Christ (Dostoevsky formula), we would have to define what Love for Christ is in operative terms. As he understands it, Love of Christ is demonstrated when some person is less aggressive and more compassionate in the name of Christ. But agressive Christian people are discarded as not true lovers of Christ. This is a petitio principi. Dostoevsky has not shown that Love for Christ makes men more compassionate.

D) But beware, those who believe that Dostoevsky has been refuted with this have no reason to be happy. They have refuted statement C), but not A and B. It is the cynical Critias who ends up as the winner of the fight. And remember that for Critias, "everything is permitted".
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 19th February 2019, 09:58 AM   #223
HansMustermann
Penultimate Amazing
 
Join Date: Mar 2009
Posts: 14,940
Originally Posted by David Mo View Post
Hans, _Hans and Aridas:

A. On the burden of proof.
Dostoevsky's position can be summarized in three propositions.
1. Social norms (morality) are not the moral law
I think I made this point very clear with the first of my examples: the dissident.
2. Social norms are not obligatory. The following two examples (the traditionalist and the thief) demonstrate this.
3. Conclusion: a social norm can be violated without contradiction. It is contradictory to defend that social norms are obligatory.
The burden of proof lies with who claims that there are social norms that are binding.
Actually, the burden of proof is on the one who claims that any other kind is.

And until that is met, saying that "yeah, but social norms aren't" is meaningless. It's like saying that Leghorn roosters are the worst, because they don't lay eggs. As opposed to the other kinds of roosters, which don't lay eggs either.

Or in more to the point terms, unless you prove that religion-based morality actually has any advantage, you haven't even given a reason for that kind of morality.


NB, in either case, you still haven't given ANY reason to BELIEVE in any god or religion, so it's still a huge red herring, and was from the start. Bearing in mind that saying you believe X is the same as saying that you think X is true.

All you -- or Dostoevsky, although he's not the one who brought it here as relevant to the topic -- have done is back out into exactly the faith-in-faith non-sequitur that I've called out repeatedly in the last two pages alone: oh, but how useful it would be if you believed anyway. But that's a fallacy, if the topic is giving a logical reason to believe that any X is true.

The most trivial example is Santa. It would be useful if Santa were real. And, in either case, it would be useful if everyone believed that Santa is real and watching them all the time. But that isn't actually a valid argument for Santa actually being real, much less a SOUND one. And as such it's not a logical reason to believe in Santa.

So this whole trip is a huge and pointless red herring for the topic we're in.

Originally Posted by David Mo View Post
B) The cynical position.
According to the above, the cynic --let us call him Critias-- affirms that social norms are conventional, not obligatory.
Consequence: there is no rational criterion to decide between one norm and another. The only reason is violence and coercion. The law of the strongest. Either the ability of Critias to make his community believe that he complies with social norms when he is just following his own profit. In this way, Critias overcomes the objection that disrespect for social norms can destroy society (assuming that maintenance of society being an end in itself).
At this point you're confusing what is POSSIBLE with what IS. If you want to find a fault with secular morality, you have to show that it does produce those results more often than the alternative.

Because so far you've produced just postulates that the cynic or atheist does this and that, and that the True Scotsman... err... believer doesn't. In fact, the evidence we have so far, is the other way around: not only does the believer also have no problem with resorting to crime, even violent crime, but actually does it more often than the unbeliever. The actual statistical correlation is the other way around.

And the fact that one uninformed idiot -- or rather, THE Idiot, Dostoevsky himself -- postulates otherwise doesn't just magically become true by just repeating the same bare assertion over and over again.

Originally Posted by David Mo View Post
C) Dostoevsky affirms that only Love for Christ and belief in immortality can refute cynicism. He who loves Christ has a reason not to be violent and against coercion.

Naturally, this is a statement of fact.
No it's not. A bare assertion doesn't become stating a fact by just claiming so.

Plus, if we look at history, the ones who REALLY loved Christ, were actually the most inclined to justify violence and coercion in his name. You only need to look at the Spanish Inquisition, for example, since you're from Spain, to see both violence and coercion. In fact the whole POINT of the violence was the coercion part: coercion to be a proper Xian, not some half-assed on-the-fence converso.

There is no reason to believe that people who have dedicated their whole life not just to Jesus, but to eradicating any wrong opinion of Jesus, like so many inquisitors did, were not REALLY loving Jesus or not REALLY believing in the immortality of the soul. Prima facie, all their actions seem to be driven by an outright obsession with Jesus and the immortal soul, not by not being religious enough.

And even those who weren't inquisitors, for example hundreds of thousands of poor people left everything and joined the first crusade, without any hope of recompense in this life for it. They were not promised lands and titles and honours like the nobles and knights. You can't explain their actions if they weren't real believers in Jesus and in the immortality of the soul. In fact, they were THE most faithful that Xianity had in Europe.

Yet they didn't even reach the middle east before starting fights with fellow Xians and assaulting Xian cities in Hungary and such, because they perceived them as not doing their part in supporting the crusade. I.e., for being rationalizable as not good enough Xians. And to coerce them to do their part and be good enough Xians.

There goes that silly assumption that loving Jesus would stop one from using violence and coercion, eh?

Originally Posted by David Mo View Post
D) But beware, those who believe that Dostoevsky has been refuted with this have no reason to be happy. They have refuted statement C), but not A and B. It is the cynical Critias who ends up as the winner of the fight. And remember that for Critias, "everything is permitted".
Actually, you still have to show that those hold water. So far you've just handwaved, done more ipse-dixit postulates, and unilaterally claimed victory. I'm seriously not impressed.
__________________
Which part of "Ph'nglui mglw'nafh Cthulhu R'lyeh wgah'nagl fhtagn" don't you understand?

Last edited by HansMustermann; 19th February 2019 at 10:06 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 19th February 2019, 10:55 AM   #224
Aridas
Crazy Little Green Dragon
 
Join Date: Sep 2011
Posts: 4,844
Originally Posted by HansMustermann View Post
Actually, I'd point out that OBJECTIVE morality wasn't a part of the Dostoevsky quote at all.
Directly, no. However, that part is clearly invoking a fairly common line of argument among some Christians, as they try to claim that subjective morality is worthless and objective morality is the way of things. There are a number of fallacies invoked in the process, of course.

Originally Posted by David Mo View Post
Hans, _Hans and Aridas:

A. On the burden of proof.
Dostoevsky's position can be summarized in three propositions.
1. Social norms (morality) are not the moral law
I think I made this point very clear with the first of my examples: the dissident.
2. Social norms are not obligatory. The following two examples (the traditionalist and the thief) demonstrate this.
3. Conclusion: a social norm can be violated without contradiction. It is contradictory to defend that social norms are obligatory.
The burden of proof lies with who claims that there are social norms that are binding.
Except that that's not really a claim that's meaningfully being made in the first place. Rather, it's those who propose objective morality and things like "moral law" that are trying to claim, against the evidence, that there are things like that that are actually binding. Trying to shift the burden of proof based on failures to understand what one's talking about is generally not going to be a good argument.


Originally Posted by David Mo View Post
B) The cynical position.
According to the above, the cynic --let us call him Critias-- affirms that social norms are conventional, not obligatory.
Consequence: there is no rational criterion to decide between one norm and another. The only reason is violence and coercion. The law of the strongest. Either the ability of Critias to make his community believe that he complies with social norms when he is just following his own profit. In this way, Critias overcomes the objection that disrespect for social norms can destroy society (assuming that maintenance of society being an end in itself).
This has already effectively been addressed and refuted by prior points made. It fails especially by failing to take into account a fair bit of relevant information. That would be more excusable in the ancient past as they groped around with much less to work with. Not so much these days. There are certainly rational criteria to decide between norms, after all, depending on what values and goals are actually desired.


Originally Posted by David Mo View Post
C) Dostoevsky affirms that only Love for Christ and belief in immortality can refute cynicism. He who loves Christ has a reason not to be violent and against coercion.
And his basis to do so is about as holey as Swiss cheese.

Originally Posted by David Mo View Post
Naturally, this is a statement of fact. It must be proven or refuted (the burden of proof). Nothwistanding, both are practically impossible. ( Dostoevsky acknowledges this). It can be refuted that belief in the immortality of the soul makes men more compassionate and less violent. But if we addh Love for Christ (Dostoevsky formula), we would have to define what Love for Christ is in operative terms. As he understands it, Love of Christ is demonstrated when some person is less aggressive and more compassionate in the name of Christ. But agressive Christian people are discarded as not true lovers of Christ. This is a petitio principi. Dostoevsky has not shown that Love for Christ makes men more compassionate.
The premises it rests on can be examined, though. On inspection, you'll fairly certainly find that they're little more than half-truths spread by means of Christian propaganda. Of particular pertinence are questions like "What other causes are there not to be violent, to be compassionate, etc?"

Originally Posted by David Mo View Post
D) But beware, those who believe that Dostoevsky has been refuted with this have no reason to be happy. They have refuted statement C), but not A and B. It is the cynical Critias who ends up as the winner of the fight. And remember that for Critias, "everything is permitted".
Given that A, B, C, and D all fail on their own merits or rather the lack thereof, I'm not that worried.
__________________
So sayeth the crazy little dragon.

Last edited by Aridas; 19th February 2019 at 10:59 AM.
Aridas 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 19th February 2019, 12:03 PM   #225
epeeist
Critical Thinker
 
Join Date: May 2009
Posts: 446
Originally Posted by ynot View Post
I don’t believe in a god because I can’t think of a single reason why I should (and many reasons why I shouldn’t).

Some kind of evidence would be a good reason to believe, but that doesn’t seem to be possible, so what other reason(s) is their to believe in a god (serious question)?
Why not? Oops, ynot...

As I've said before, I don't think belief in God is a choice. Religious practice is; religious belief is not. So that means I can't really answer your question that way. But it also means that I don't see atheists in the negative way some religious people do (at least not for that reason!).

Now, if, hypothetically, religious belief were a choice, I think I've read some studies about longer life or happiness or better health of some religious believers, but I think I've also read some studies or groups the opposite. And, if you are a believer and follower of some religions you may get more days off of work or other benefits.
epeeist 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 19th February 2019, 12:54 PM   #226
MRC_Hans
Penultimate Amazing
 
MRC_Hans's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2002
Posts: 21,804
Originally Posted by David Mo View Post
Hans, _Hans and Aridas:

A. On the burden of proof.
This is not a scientific discussion and, as you concede later in your post, belief is not a falsifiable theory, so burden of proof is irrelevant.

Quote:
Dostoevsky's position can be summarized in three propositions.
1. Social norms (morality) are not the moral law
I think I made this point very clear with the first of my examples: the dissident.
2. Social norms are not obligatory. The following two examples (the traditionalist and the thief) demonstrate this.
3. Conclusion: a social norm can be violated without contradiction. It is contradictory to defend that social norms are obligatory.
God's laws are also not obligatory. After all, they are just what we believe god wants.

Quote:
The burden of proof lies with who claims that there are social norms that are binding.
That is not the claim. We see believers break god's laws, and of course we see non-believers break social norms. The claim is that in general, people do not need fear of god's punishment to behave morally. Social norms are, while not unbreakable, quite as adequate as some alleged laws of some alleged god.

Quote:
C) Dostoevsky affirms that only Love for Christ and belief in immortality can refute cynicism. He who loves Christ has a reason not to be violent and against coercion.
He claims it, but without evidence.

Quote:
Naturally, this is a statement of fact.
No, it is a declaration of belief.

Quote:
It is the cynical Critias who ends up as the winner of the fight. And remember that for Critias, "everything is permitted".
No, everything is not permitted. Even the cynic will feel the wrath of society, they break the norms.

Hans
__________________
Experience is an excellent teacher, but she sends large bills.
MRC_Hans 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 19th February 2019, 12:56 PM   #227
MRC_Hans
Penultimate Amazing
 
MRC_Hans's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2002
Posts: 21,804
Originally Posted by epeeist View Post
As I've said before, I don't think belief in God is a choice.
Well, as one who has made that choice, I can inform you that it is.

Hans
__________________
Experience is an excellent teacher, but she sends large bills.
MRC_Hans 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 19th February 2019, 01:20 PM   #228
epeeist
Critical Thinker
 
Join Date: May 2009
Posts: 446
Originally Posted by MRC_Hans View Post
Well, as one who has made that choice, I can inform you that it is.

Hans
Really?

So you can turn belief on and off at will? Maybe raise money by starting a bidding war over whether or not you'll believe or not, because you can choose either way?

Ridiculous.

Now, I do agree that someone's beliefs may change over time, they're not immutable, but the possibility of changing over time is not the same as belief being a simple matter of choice.
epeeist 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 19th February 2019, 01:24 PM   #229
LarryS
Muse
 
Join Date: Oct 2014
Posts: 925
Originally Posted by ynot View Post
Well no good reason from my perspective, but obviously good enough reason for those that believe. Given there doesn't seem to be any credible intellectual reasons to believe, then I can only assume there's only emotional fear and desire reasons that I find incredulous. Guess I'd have a better perspective if I'd ever been a god believer myself.
My suggestion does not include fear nor a belief in an afterlife - but a need for more 'structure/personality' than a quivering QM field (for example) as a focus for appreciation - - - but yes not everyone feels this need, I don't. I loves me some QM Field without a smiley or stern face.
LarryS 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 19th February 2019, 01:36 PM   #230
HansMustermann
Penultimate Amazing
 
Join Date: Mar 2009
Posts: 14,940
Originally Posted by MRC_Hans View Post
This is not a scientific discussion and, as you concede later in your post, belief is not a falsifiable theory, so burden of proof is irrelevant.
"Believing X" is simply thinking that X is true. As such, it is just as falsifiable as any other statement. If I say I believe that Trump is an alien from the Gamma Quadrant, you can falsify that belief just fine, and you can most certainly demand that I produce evidence if I wanted it taken seriously.

More importantly, we were not talking about religious beliefs per se, but about logical reasons for such a belief. More specifically about some very falsifiable statements made in support of that belief.

And, as was said before by smarter people than me, while one may be entitled to their own beliefs, they're not entitled to their own FACTS. If I provide a "statement of fact", as David calls it, as reason why my belief is perfectly sane, then that better be supportable as a fact.

If, for example, I claim as a fact that the reason I think Trump is an alien is because he was piloting the spaceship where lil' ol' abductee me was sitting between Elvis and Bigfoot, I would hope you're not going to actually take it as a fact just because it's related to some belief. Asking that I meet the burden of proof for that "fact" would in fact be the sane course of action.

I fail to see how statements boiling down to "atheists have no morals, everything is permitted" or "atheists live every day in abject terror of eternal death" would be exempt from such standards. If one makes clear statements about other people, then they better show the study that showed that.
__________________
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 19th February 2019, 01:38 PM   #231
HansMustermann
Penultimate Amazing
 
Join Date: Mar 2009
Posts: 14,940
Originally Posted by LarryS View Post
My suggestion does not include fear nor a belief in an afterlife - but a need for more 'structure/personality' than a quivering QM field (for example) as a focus for appreciation - - - but yes not everyone feels this need, I don't. I loves me some QM Field without a smiley or stern face.
Well, I need a beer, but that's not a logical reason to believe that there's one in the fridge. I need my house to be a spaceship, too, but, you know, same problem. Thinking that something is so, just because somehow the universe must meet your psychological need for it to be so, is just magical thinking.
__________________
Which part of "Ph'nglui mglw'nafh Cthulhu R'lyeh wgah'nagl fhtagn" don't you understand?

Last edited by HansMustermann; 19th February 2019 at 01:40 PM.
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 19th February 2019, 01:41 PM   #232
Thor 2
Illuminator
 
Thor 2's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2016
Location: Brisbane, Aust.
Posts: 4,668
Originally Posted by epeeist View Post

I don't think belief in God is a choice.
Originally Posted by MRC_Hans View Post
Well, as one who has made that choice, I can inform you that it is.

Hans

Well this is the essence of what ynot is asking isn't it?

If epeeist doesn't think belief in god is a choice then please enlighten us as to how it comes about. What is the driving reason or reasons behind god belief that ynot can examine and weigh.

Interesting that you state your god belief or lack thereof is the result of choice Hans. How so?

Personally I'm with epeeist on this one. We are compelled to believe or disbelieve depending on what we are fed and what we find out. I was fed a lot of crap when younger and had to believe in God as no alternative was known to me. When I got older and found material appealing to reason I rejected my former belief. I did not say to myself "Hey, I have now decided not to believe." I was compelled (gratefully) to reject the belief.

Now no doubt there are some, (although few I think), who have gone the other way, from null to a belief in God. I, and I think ynot also, would like to hear from these guys. What pushed you over the cliff?
__________________
Thinking is a faith hazard.

Last edited by Thor 2; 19th February 2019 at 01:51 PM.
Thor 2 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 19th February 2019, 01:44 PM   #233
Steve
Illuminator
 
Steve's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2005
Posts: 4,645
Originally Posted by Minoosh View Post
I don't think the poster was endorsing that intellectual dishonesty, but I'm not really a veteran of these discussions.

I'd kind of like to believe in the warm fuzzy version of religion - God is love, the fruits of the spirit will reliably guide us - but I know very well that idea does not hold up to scrutiny.
Being guided by fruits is not the way I choose to live my life.
__________________
Caption from and old New Yorker cartoon - Why am I shouting? Because I'm wrong!"
Steve 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 19th February 2019, 02:02 PM   #234
HansMustermann
Penultimate Amazing
 
Join Date: Mar 2009
Posts: 14,940
But actually let's address this stupid idea that if you really believe, then you can't change the rules. Because it's quite trivial to show that not only believers did just that, but did it en masse.

E.g., one of the few rules actually written down by the finger of God (no, literally, see Exodus 31:18), on those tables that Moses came down with, is the express interdiction to work Sundays. Yet not only everyone discarded that, but you'd probably be called mad if you wanted to stop a whole bunch of services on Sundays. Even the most devout religious still find it no problem to change one of the few commandments that God not only personally dictated, but actually personally wrote down.

E.g., in the same place, there's an interdiction to use God's name in any other context than a formal oath. (Or, again, that's how most interpretations go.) Yet even the most devout fundies routinely break that one. It's in fact probably THE most broken rule in the whole Bible. At some point we did decide to have a change from obeying it, to, basically, nah God doesn't mind.

E.g., the commandment to honour one's parents is not only there, but you have Jesus too blasting the Pharisees for no longer killing people who break that rule. It's in fact not only one of the rules written down by God himself, but also one of the few rules from the OT that area also in the NT, and endorsed by Jesus explicitly. Yet at some point we decided we can change from executing people to allowing them to do exactly what Jesus condemns: telling their parents some version of I don't owe you anything any more.

Etc.

We changed our mind between something being a crime and it being allowed several times, and about several rules. The idea that if people just loved Jesus really hard and believed in the immortality of the soul, then they wouldn't or couldn't change the rules, is quite trivially false.
__________________
Which part of "Ph'nglui mglw'nafh Cthulhu R'lyeh wgah'nagl fhtagn" don't you understand?

Last edited by HansMustermann; 19th February 2019 at 02:04 PM.
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 19th February 2019, 02:06 PM   #235
LarryS
Muse
 
Join Date: Oct 2014
Posts: 925
Originally Posted by HansMustermann View Post
Well, I need a beer, but that's not a logical reason to believe that there's one in the fridge. I need my house to be a spaceship, too, but, you know, same problem. Thinking that something is so, just because somehow the universe must meet your psychological need for it to be so, is just magical thinking.
the OP is looking for reasons to believe in God, he never said the reasons had to be 'true'. We all have intuitions that we follow and adhere to because they have good outcomes not because they are true. For example I treat all guns as though they are loaded even after a specific gun has been proven to me to be unloaded - believing all guns to be loaded has better outcomes.
LarryS 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 19th February 2019, 02:09 PM   #236
epeeist
Critical Thinker
 
Join Date: May 2009
Posts: 446
Originally Posted by Thor 2 View Post
Well this is the essence of what ynot is asking isn't it?

If epeeist doesn't think belief in god is a choice then please enlighten us as to how it comes about. What is the driving reason or reasons behind god belief that ynot can examine and weigh.

Interesting that you state your god belief or lack thereof is the result of choice Hans. How so?

Personally I'm with epeeist on this one. We are compelled to believe or disbelieve depending on what we are fed and what we find out. I was fed a lot of crap when younger and had to believe in God as no alternative was known to me. When I got older and found material appealing to reason I rejected my former belief. I did not say to myself "Hey, I have now decided not to believe." I was compelled (gratefully) to reject the belief.

Now no doubt there are some, (although few I think), who have gone the other way, from null to a belief in God. I, and I think ynot also, would like to hear from these guys. What pushed you over the cliff?
I see belief more as a gift from God than compulsion from other humans, but since we seem to be in agreement it's not a pure choice, then I'll skip to your last sentence.

Not myself, but my recollection speaking to an atheist who became an observant Catholic, they said that they had to read parts of the Bible for a university course, they got more interested and intrigued and read more and it made sense to them, they started visiting church etc. As I recall they said that their atheist friends were surprised and bemused, but not hostile, and at least some were willing to attend their baptism (adult baptism for Catholics at least generally takes place at the Easter vigil, the longest church service of the year...).

So it was, being open-minded and having an inquiring mind, not rejecting religion out of hand? Whereas someone who is determined not to believe might reject anything that might persuade them otherwise, and contrariwise, someone whose faith is very fragile might refuse to read anything that might challenge their beliefs. Both are, in my view, similar closed-minded extremes. A theist refusing to read philosophy or theology (or should that be atheology?) challenging their beliefs, or about scandals, etc. is not supporting faith, they're rejecting truth (someone who studies such things and disagrees, and is still a theist, is not rejecting truth, if they've given a fair hearing). And contrariwise an atheist who refuses to read philosophy or theology challenging their atheism etc. is similarly adopting a closed-minded standard and rejecting what might be truth because they don't want to change.

So, while I don't think belief is a choice, there can be choices such as ignoring anything that might challenge you, a closed-minded standard, that does have a moral dimension to it unlike simple belief or not.
epeeist 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 19th February 2019, 02:21 PM   #237
epeeist
Critical Thinker
 
Join Date: May 2009
Posts: 446
Originally Posted by HansMustermann View Post
But actually let's address this stupid idea that if you really believe, then you can't change the rules. Because it's quite trivial to show that not only believers did just that, but did it en masse.

E.g., one of the few rules actually written down by the finger of God (no, literally, see Exodus 31:18), on those tables that Moses came down with, is the express interdiction to work Sundays. Yet not only everyone discarded that, but you'd probably be called mad if you wanted to stop a whole bunch of services on Sundays. Even the most devout religious still find it no problem to change one of the few commandments that God not only personally dictated, but actually personally wrote down.

E.g., in the same place, there's an interdiction to use God's name in any other context than a formal oath. (Or, again, that's how most interpretations go.) Yet even the most devout fundies routinely break that one. It's in fact probably THE most broken rule in the whole Bible. At some point we did decide to have a change from obeying it, to, basically, nah God doesn't mind.

E.g., the commandment to honour one's parents is not only there, but you have Jesus too blasting the Pharisees for no longer killing people who break that rule. It's in fact not only one of the rules written down by God himself, but also one of the few rules from the OT that area also in the NT, and endorsed by Jesus explicitly. Yet at some point we decided we can change from executing people to allowing them to do exactly what Jesus condemns: telling their parents some version of I don't owe you anything any more.

Etc.

We changed our mind between something being a crime and it being allowed several times, and about several rules. The idea that if people just loved Jesus really hard and believed in the immortality of the soul, then they wouldn't or couldn't change the rules, is quite trivially false.
Those are all examples of religious practices, which are a choice. You're talking about changing religious practices, not whether or not one believes. And also beliefs over time. I can think of people who used to be very anti-same-sex marriage and aren't anymore. Their beliefs changed over time, but they didn't choose to change, they were open to new and more information and experience and as a result changed, but it wasn't a deliberate choice.

Also, Christians have the New Testament which includes things like Jesus healing on the sabbath etc. (and most Christians observe a different sabbath day celebrating the resurrection). And your third example I assume is Matthew 15, which reading the whole verse is NOT Jesus saying kill those who don't honour their parents (the quote says those who curse their parents, not those who don't honour them), but pointing out hypocrisy. Elsewhere, you've heard of the woman taken in adultery?
epeeist 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 19th February 2019, 02:52 PM   #238
ynot
Philosopher
 
ynot's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2006
Posts: 8,278
Originally Posted by epeeist View Post
I see belief more as a gift from God than compulsion from other humans
Belief in a god is a gift from a belief in a god?

You don't see anything circular in that?

ETA - You have to believe in a god before you can believe you've received a gift from that god. To believe that receiving a belief in a god that you already believe in is a "gift" from that god, is . . . well . . . y'know . . .
__________________
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; 19th February 2019 at 04:20 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 19th February 2019, 02:56 PM   #239
HansMustermann
Penultimate Amazing
 
Join Date: Mar 2009
Posts: 14,940
Originally Posted by epeeist View Post
Those are all examples of religious practices, which are a choice.
Whatever gave you the idea that I was answering to your argument whether or not belief is a choice?
__________________
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 19th February 2019, 03:26 PM   #240
ynot
Philosopher
 
ynot's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2006
Posts: 8,278
Originally Posted by Thor 2 View Post
Well this is the essence of what ynot is asking isn't it?

If epeeist doesn't think belief in god is a choice then please enlighten us as to how it comes about. What is the driving reason or reasons behind god belief that ynot can examine and weigh.

Interesting that you state your god belief or lack thereof is the result of choice Hans. How so?

Personally I'm with epeeist on this one. We are compelled to believe or disbelieve depending on what we are fed and what we find out. I was fed a lot of crap when younger and had to believe in God as no alternative was known to me. When I got older and found material appealing to reason I rejected my former belief. I did not say to myself "Hey, I have now decided not to believe." I was compelled (gratefully) to reject the belief.

Now no doubt there are some, (although few I think), who have gone the other way, from null to a belief in God. I, and I think ynot also, would like to hear from these guys. What pushed you over the cliff?
I've been offered gods to believe in by god believers all my life. That I've never accepted and adopted their god beliefs for myself has always been my choice.

If you tell me without supporting evidence that you have a pet black and white dog called "Scratch", am I compelled to believe you or not, or do I have a choice in a decision to believe you or not? Accepting/rejecting an unsupported god claim is the same in practice as accepting/rejecting an unsupported dog claim.

Children that have been indoctrinated into believing accepting a god exists do so because they accept it as being a truth. No different than children accepting the truth of Santa.
__________________
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; 19th February 2019 at 03:45 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
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 03:00 AM.
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.